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Nordic FAQ - 7 of 7 - SWEDEN

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A Frequently Answered Questions (FAQ) file for the newsgroup
S O C . C U L T U R E . N O R D I C
*** PART 7: SWEDEN ***


Index
7.1
Fact Sheet
7.2
General information
7.2.1
Economy
7.2.2
Geography, climate, vegetation
7.2.3
Government & its spendings
7.2.4
Population
7.2.5
the Swedish language
7.2.6
Culture
7.2.7
Democratic traditions
7.2.8
Free access to official documents
7.2.9
The school system
7.3
History
7.3.1
A chronology of important dates
7.3.2
A list of Swedish monarchs
7.3.3
the medieval time
7.3.4
the consolidation of the state
7.3.5
toward democracy
7.3.6
War all around Sweden
7.3.7
social security
7.3.8
history of the Sweden-Finns
7.3.9
the native minorities
7.4
Main tourist attractions
7.4.1
Stockholm
7.4.2
Uppsala
7.4.3
Malmö
7.4.4
Göteborg
7.4.5
Gotland
7.4.6
The rest of Sweden
7.5
@ Swedish literature
7.5.3
@ Romanticism and Modernism
7.6
Scania
7.6.1
Skåne and Skåneland
7.6.2
Miscellaneous facts
7.6.3
Some marks in Scania's history
7.6.4
The Scanian flag
7.6.5
! Scanian literature
7.6.6
Scanian Culture
7.6.7
Scanian Language
7.6.8
Membership in the European Union
7.6.9
Cooperation with Sjælland and the bridge over
Öresund
7.6.10
A politically united region
7.6.11
International status
7.7
Books for learning Swedish
_________________________________________________________________



Subject: 7.1 Fact Sheet

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Name:  Konungariket Sverige

Telephone area code:   46

Area:       449.964 km² / 173.629 sq mi.
 [ thereof: 237.000 km² designated for reindeer herding ]

Land boundaries:  Norway, Finland

Terrain:  mostly flat or gently rolling lowlands;
          blunt mountains in north and west;
          large archipelagos on the eastern coast.

Highest mountain:  Kebnekaise, 2,111 m (6,926 ft)

Natural resources:  iron ore, zinc, lead, copper, silver,
                    timber, uranium, hydropower

Population:  8.835.000 (1996)

Population density:  19 persons / km².

Distribution:  83% urban, 17% rural. (1990)

Life expectancy:  males: 76, females: 81  (1995)

Capital:  Stockholm       (pop.   693,000;
          Stockholm's län pop. 1,686,000  [ the metropolitan area])

Other major towns:   Göteborg (Gothenburg 450,000),
                     Malmö (240,000),
                     Uppsala (180,000),
                     Linköping (130,000),
                     Norrköping (120,000)

Flag:  a yellow Nordic cross on blue background.

Type:  constitutional monarchy

Head of state:  King Carl XVI Gustaf

National anthem:  Du gamla, Du fria

Royal anthem:  Kungssången

Languages:  Swedish.
            (Finnish, Romani and Sámi languages
            are acknoledged minority languages.)

Currency:  krona (Swedish crown, SEK)
           for the current exchange rate,
           see the URL <http://www.dna.lth.se/cgi-bin/kurt/rates>


Climate:   temperate in south with cold winters; sub-arctic in north.
           Temp. in Stockholm: -5°C  -  +1°C in Feb.,
                              +14°C  - +22°C in July.

Religion:  Evangelic-Lutheran (91%) (official state-religion),
           Lutheran free churches (3%),
           Islam (2%),
           Roman Catholic (1.5%),
           Orthodox (0.7%)

Exports:    machinery, motor vehicles, paper products, pulp and wood,
            iron and steel products, chemicals, electronics

   
   




Subject: 7.2 General information [ By: Ahrvid Engholm, Johan Olofsson and Antti Lahelma ] 7.2.1 Economy Sweden's most valuable assets are forests, mines (especially iron, but copper has also been important), and in modern days hydroelectric power. The metallurgic industry was started in the 16th and 17th centuries, and through the ages Sweden has been known as one of the biggest iron exporters in the world. A mechanical industry came with the industrial revolution in the 19th Century, and Swedish products such as steel (Sandvik), paper (SCA and others), cars (Volvo and Saab), ball bearings (SKF), electrical equipment (ASEA, now ABB), telephone equipment (Ericsson), refrigerators (Electrolux) and cameras (Hasselblad) have become well known. Beside cars Saab has also produced computers and aircrafts. More recently also medical equipment (Gambro), medicine (Pharmacia, Astra), chemical industry (Nobel, AGA) and food-processing equipment (Tetra-Pak, Alfa-Laval) has been developed and marketed by Swedish companies. During the 1980s and 1990s there has been some debate in Sweden over the reasons why new products (as for instance a flat screen for television and computers) has to find foreign companies for investments and marketing. After particularly good years from World-War II to the early 1970s, Sweden has then seen branch after branch of the industry to lose competitive capacity. Textile industry, skinn industry and shipyards have almost disappeared. During the 1990s the mining industry has went through a period of radical reorganization. The wide forests are mainly used for production of paper, contributing with about 20% of Sweden's export (some wood export included). [ the sections above are available at the www-page http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq71.html ] 7.2.2 Geography, climate, vegetation [ By: Ahrvid Engholm, Johan Olofsson and Antti Lahelma ] For some Swedish towns and provinces there actually exist English forms of the names, but in the news group and in this faq you will discover that Gothenburg and Göteborg, Scania and Skåne or Dalecarlia and Dalarna are used interchangeably without any intended difference in meaning. Sweden occupies the Eastern part of the Scandinavian peninsula. It's a long (1572 kilometers) and rather narrow country, and the largest of the Nordic countries. It shares a long border with Norway to the west and a shorter border with Finland in the east; Denmark lies to the south across the Danish straits, over one of which (Öresund) a huge bridge is being built. The Baltic Sea islands of Gotland and Öland are integral parts of Sweden. Norrland is on the map the dominating region of Sweden. Norrland - that is the northernmost two thirds of the country, where almost no people live. Except at the mines and along the coast. Northwestern Sweden is crossed by an ancient mountain chain; the remainder of the north is a southeast-sloping plateau that rises to between 200 and 500 meters. South of Norrland, forming the regions of Svealand in central Sweden and Götaland farther south, is a varied landscape of plains and rift valleys. To the north of the highlands is the Central Swedish Depression, a down-faulted, lake-strewn lowland extending across the peninsula from near Göteborg to east of Stockholm and Uppsala. To the south is Skåne, a low-lying, predominantly agricultural area. (Notes: 1. The region Götaland should strictly speeking not be used for more than the provinces Dalsland, Västergötland, Småland and Östergötland, but most often also Bohuslän, Halland, Skåne and Blekinge are understood as provinces of Götaland, as they are incorporated in the Swedish realm after being captured in the 17th century. 2. Gotland as a baltic island occupies an intermediate position, closer connected to Svealand although counted to Götaland. 3. Åland is an autonomous island-province under Finnish sovereignty which was ceeded to Russia in 1809, and is, albeit culturally as Swedish as Gotland, not a part of Sweden. 4. Year 1815 the Götaland province of Värmland was for a time belonging to the court of appeal of Svealand, i.e. the Svea Hovrätt, and since then Värmland is often counted to Svealand - at least in weather reports - but that is of course totally unhistorical.) Population density Outside of the three major urban areas (Stockholm with 2 milj. inhabitants, & Gothenburg and W Scania with eight hundred thousand each) the pattern from Viking times has turned out to be surprisingly stable. The rich plain-provinces in Svealand and Götaland have today a population density around 40 inhabitants per km² (Uppland, Västmanland, Sörmland, Östergötland & Västergötland). The Scanian provinces (including Halland & Blekinge) nourish 50 inh./km² while the old wood provinces of Småland, Dalsland, Värmland and Gästrikland have 20 inh./km². For Dalarna and Norrland's southern coast the figure is 10 inh./km² and the rest of Norrland has virtually no population density to speak of - with exception of a few towns. It's sometimes reminded that only 10% of the inhabitants populate the northern half of the country, but one could also say that 15% live in the 60%-part comprising the Northern and Western wood and fjeld region, or that 20% of the people live on 70% of the realm's area. Most of the land in the North is designated for reindeer herding. Climate regions Because of its large area and latitudinal extent, Sweden has a number of climate regimes. A cold, maritime climate dominates the country's west coast. The northern two-thirds of the country has a continental climate marked by severe winters. The south central areas experience the long, rather cold winters of the north, but they enjoy milder summers. The mountain regions remain cool in summer. In January temperatures average -0.8°C at Lund in the south), -2.8°C at Stockholm, and -13.7°C at Jokkmokk north of the the Arctic Circle. In July, the temperature variation is lower because of the sun shines the longer the further north one goes: 15°C at Jokkmokk, 18°C at Stockholm, and only 17°C at Lund. Snow remains on the ground for 40 days in southernmost Sweden, 100 days in the Stockholm area, and 250 days in the northwest mountains. Forest covers two thirds of the land area. It consists of a summer-green forest of beeches, oaks, and other deciduous trees in the south, a mixed forest of deciduous and coniferous trees in central Sweden, and a predominantly coniferous forest of mainly pines and spruce in the north. Mountain birch and dwarf birch grow in colder upland areas, and tundra covers the highest elevations. Treeless moors (peat moss and marshland) cover more than 14% of all Sweden and as much as 40% in western areas of the south and parts of Norrland. Bears, wolves and lynxes are now found only in isolated woodlands, elk and deer are the common large animals found elsewhere. Härad, landskap and län Sweden consists of 25 provinces (landskap) which are divided in hundreds (one härad - several härader). The concepts of landskap and härad are ancient, mirroring how people in pre-historic times identified and knew each others. The landskap are (approximately from north to south): Norrland: Lappland, Norrbotten, Västerbotten, Jämtland, Härjedalen, Ångermanland, Medelpad, Hälsingland, Gästrikland, Svealand: Dalarna, Värmland, Västmanland, Uppland, Södermanland, Närke, Götaland: Dalsland, Bohuslän, Västergötland, Östergötland, Gotland, Öland, Småland, Halland, Blekinge & Skåne. The härader play no role in the Swedish society any more - except for folk costumes. But well into the 20th century rural judges were called häradsdomare [literally härad's judges], which reminds about the function of the härad as the area from which the people assembled for the local Thing. For civil service the country is divided in 24 län [literally "fiefs"] (currently being reduced in number). The governor for the län and his board are appointed by the central government. Since 1634 this administration handles governmental matters equal in all of the realm. The landsting are regionally elected assemblies, mostly for the same areas as for the län, with responsibility mainly for health care, which is why the landsting decide about local taxes. Usually län is translated to "county" and landsting to "county council" in English. The very word "landsting" means the Thing of a landskap, but that is not entirely valid any more. :-) The country is divided in 286 independent kommuner - mostly one town and the country around. In the newsgroup and in this faq the English word "municipality" will most of the time be used for kommuner regardless of their size or degree of urbanity. The kommun decides about local taxes too. [ the sections above are available at the www-page http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq72.html ] 7.2.3 Government & its spendings Sweden is a constitutional Monarchy, but the monarch only acts as a ceremonial head of state. A parliament (Riksdag) composed of 349 members is elected every four years; it elects the prime minister, passes laws, decides on taxes and approves the state budget. The cabinet holds office only as long as it retains the support of a majority in the Riksdag. The state authorities are comparably independent of the cabinet: their highest officials being appointed by the cabinet for six years, and usually the term is extended unless serious problems occurred in the contact between the authority and the ministry. There are laws with constitutional status, for instance: the Instrument of Government, the Parliament Act, the Succession Act, and the Freedom of the Press Act. The county councils and the 286 municipalities are obliged to provide services to their inhabitants as stipulated by law, but are independent to decide the means without interference from state authorities. Municipalities are mainly responsible for education and social service. The provinces are through the county councils (landsting) responsible mainly for hospitals, medical practioners and other health care. The representational councils for municipalities and provinces (i.e. counties) are elected by the residents, regardless of citizenship, which in the most extreme cases means that nearly 20% of those eligible to vote are aliens. After the era of the Kalmar Union between Denmark and Sweden (1387-1521), King Gustaf Vasa created a more modern nation and made Sweden Lutheran. After the losses of territories 1718 and 1809 democratic reforms where made, but it lasted to 1921 until all adult citizens had the right to vote (for men: 1907), and first 1971 the constitution was altered to reflect the long-time practice of parliamentarism. During the 1990s the state church is in the process of liberating itself from the state, or maybe more accurate: the state is giving up its power over the church, and the church will lose some of the authority connected to its status as state church. A decrease in number of members is expected. Sweden has not been involved in a war since 1814, mainly due to luck and a strong policy of neutrality. This policy may change as Sweden in January 1995 joined the European Union (but the future isn't very clear yet). Sweden became a member of the United Nations in 1946, the year after the organization was founded. Since that time, active commitment to the United Nations has been a corner-stone of Sweden's foreign policy. Sweden is the fourth largest contributor to the UN, and is one of the countries that meet the UN's goal of 0.7% of GNP for development assistance. More than 70,000 Swedes have served with the UN forces over the years. Sweden has participated in most peace-keeping operations since the 1960s. Individual Swedes have successfully served the UN in various capacities. Dag Hammarskjöld was UN Secretary-General from 1953-1961. The first UN mediator was Count Folke Bernadotte (assassinated in Jerusalem 1948). Several other Swedes subsequently carried out mediation assignments: Gunnar Jarring, Olof Rydbeck, Olof Palme and Jan Eliasson. Others who have recently held prominent positions in the UN include Jan Mårtenson, Hans Corell, Rolf Ekéus and Lennart Aspegren. As the EU High Representative, Carl Bildt reported regularly to the Security Council on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are old proto-democratic traditions in Sweden. In the middle ages the kings were elected for life by representatives of the different "landskap" (provinces). Even when the monarchy was made hereditary after the Kalmar Union, the elected estates at the Riksdag retained substantial power (though the king sometimes managed to push this power back). These traditions played an important role as modern Democracy gradually took over in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Two important political concepts emerge from Sweden: the ombudsman, a representative elected by the parliament to watch public administrations and with the power to prosecute, and the constitutional principle of official documents ("offentlighetsprincipen" constituting a part of the Freedom of the Press Act), which says that all governmental documents are a priori public (unless declared secret under special laws). Political forces The principal political parties are * the Social Democratic party (led by the prime minister Göran Persson), * the "Moderata Samlingspartiet" (the right wing party with liberal policy but a conservative heritage; led by former prime minister Carl Bildt), * the Center party (with agrarian dominance and subsequently diminishing), * the (Social) Liberal party "Folkpartiet", * the Christian Democratic party, * the Environmentalists (De Gröna "The Greens"), * the Left (formerly the Communist) party, and * the populist "Ny Demokrati" (New Democracy - now committing suicide). From the 1930's onwards, the Social Democrats has been the dominant party, their position secured by economic prosperity and a broad program of social initiatives. In the 1970s and 1980s, however, dissatisfaction grew among the voters over high taxes and a lagging economy. An anti-Socialist coalition governed from 1976 to 1982, and another one under Carl Bildt from 1991 to 1994, as the Social Democrats under Carlsson again came to power. When in trouble, as for the moment, the Social Democrats have a tradition to lean against the Center party, with regular negotiations and agreements, but without forming coalition cabinets. In the last elections the results has been as follows: 1973 1976 1979 1982 1985 1988 1991 1994 ----------------------------------------------------- Left 5,3 4,8 5,6 5,6 5,4 5,8 4,5 6,2 Green (1,7) (1,5) 5,5 (3,4) 5,0 Soc.Dem. 43,6 42,7 43,2 45,6 44,7 43,2 37,7 45,3 Soc.Lib. 9,4 11,1 10,6 5,9 14,2 12,2 9,1 7,2 Center 25,1 24,1 18,1 15,5 12,4 11,3 8,5 7,7 Christ. (1,9) (2,9) 7,1 4,1 Right 14,3 15,6 20,3 23,6 21,3 18,3 21,9 22,4 Popul. 6,7 (1,2) ----------------------------------------------------- Blocks: left 48,9 47,5 48,8 51,2 50,1 54,5 42,2 56,5 right 48,8 50,8 49,0 45,0 47,9 41,8 53,1 41,4 In parentheses: results below the 4,0% limit for representation. Maybe due to the dominant position of the Social Democrats the political life in Sweden has been characterized by semi-rigid right and left blocks, defined as oppositional to, or supporters of, the Social Democrats. During some periods the Social Democrats have succeeded to cooperate with one of the right block parties, as during 1996 with the Center Party, which the other parties have seen as weakening of the opposition. Account over municipal responsibilities Approximately 50% of the municipal services are financed through direct taxes, only 15% by direct fees, and about 20% as state contributions. (Don't ask about the remaining 15% - the municipal tomtar might change their minds.) Totally 350 milliards SEK are used for municipal activities, and 170 milliards SEK for the province councils, of which nearly all goes to the health care sector. The main municipal expenditures are (in percents of the 350 milliard brutto, regardless of fees and state subsidies): * Primary and secondary education (21%), * caring for elderly (17%), * caring for children (11%), * support of disabled and poor (8%), * supply of ground and housing (10%), * supply of water, energy and garbage disposal (7%), * public transportation (4%), and * sport and leisure (4%). [ Figures above for year 1993 ] In recent years cash support to poor people has increased. 8% of the population received such at least once during 1994. In this figure almost no elderly are included. The service for elderly (and also younger disabled persons) includes: * 5% of the (country's whole) population getting subsidies for taxi fares * 2% of the population getting help in their home by municipal employees (with food, tidying and sometimes personal care or health care) * 1.5% of the population living at nursing homes and other institutions for elderly. Account over state revenue Approximately 550 milliards SEK are distributed by the state budget, of which 75 milliards go straight to the municipalities and provinces as subsidizes. The rest is distributed on: (memorizeable figures, in the range +/- 10% of exact figures) * 100 mill. National debt interest * 75 mill. pensions to aged and disabled * 75 mill. state consumption (defence, police, universities etc) * 75 mill. transfers to families, unemployed, diseased and others * 45 mill. transfers to private corporations * 30 mill. transfers to state enterprises * 15 mill. foreign aid [ Figures above for the fiscal year 1993/94 ] [ the sections above are available at the www-page http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq723.html ] 7.2.4 Population The nation has its roots in the different kingdoms of the Viking Age, and is said to have been created when the king of the Svenonians ("Svearna") assumed kingship over Goths ("Götarna") as well in early middle ages. The word "Sverige" ("Sweden" short for "Svea rike" in Swedish) comes from the Svenonians; "Sverige" means the realm of the Svenonians. The English form of the name is probably derived from an old Germanic form, Svetheod, meaning the Swedish people. In medieval times the Swedes also pushed north to colonize the province now known as Norrland, and over the Baltic Sea to conquer Finland. Sweden has a relatively homogeneous population in ethnic stock, language, and religion. Because of the country's isolation only few non-Swedes have intermixed with the Swedes before very recent times; the major groups that have done so were Finns 1580-1660 and Walloons from present-day Belgium, who settled in the Bergslagen area in the 1620s. Groups that maintain their distinct ethnic identity today include a Finnish minority on the border to Finland (in Tornedalen and adjacent areas), about 15,000 Sámi, and recent immigrants. Since 1987 the Tornedalen-Finnish, Sámi languages and Romani have special status as minority languages, and since 1993 the Sámi minority elects a representative assembly, the Sámi Parliament, which however has limited power. Constitutionally this assembly, despite its name, is little more than a lobby organization with the authority to distribute the funds the Swedish government lets it dispose. The national minorities' rights to preserve and develop their own cultural and social life is granted by Sweden's Constitution (Instrument of Government, chapter 1 article 2). The constitution does not list minorities. Sámi In the furtest north geographical names make the Lappish heritage obvious. The following words in Sámi languages are usual in geographical names: tjuolma = land between rivers, luokta = bay, jaure = lake, jokk = small river, kaise = steep peak, tjåkkå = blunt peak, vare = fjeld mountain, tuottar = fjeld plain (without trees). Finnish The Finnish language has a relatively strong position as it is 1. the biggest minority language (the Tornedalen variety is mother tongue for maybe as many as 30'000 natives of Sweden), 2. until recently also the dominating immigrant language, and 3. since the 1950s covered by certain Nordic treaties. Although Sweden by the very most Swedes is still perceived as mono-cultural and mono-lingual, other languages have become increasingly important as domestic languages. Finnish has a leading position among them, despite Arabic, Spanish and Persian being spoken by larger groups of residents. * After the reformation of mandatory schools in 1962, Finnish could be studied as (or instead of) a second foreign language in grade 7-12. (English is taught from grade 3 or 4. French and German are the common choices as second foreign language.) * The Swedish government funds (in cooperation with the Finnish government) a state committee taking care of and guiding the usage of Finnish in the Swedish society. * Sweden cooperates with Finland in the distribution of Finnish television to Finns in Sweden. * Bi-lingual education in Swedish & Finnish is advocated by the Swedish parliament. * The Swedish government has decided to support exams in Standard-Finnish to facilitate studies in Finland for Swedish pupils and students. * The Swedish State Church requires priests in Tornedalen, and in some other parishes, to be bi-lingual. * The Church's service-book and the hymn-book is to be confirmed also in a Finnish translation. * The municipality of Stockholm (with almost 20'000 immigrated Finns among its residents) has organized secondary high school (Gymnasium) education with Finnish used as educational language - with a special permission from the State School Board. (The unsatisfactory interest is however a menace to the continuation of the experiment.) In all these respects the position of Finnish is unique compared to other foreign and minority languages in Sweden. (On the first point the situation improved from 1970 for all minority and immigrant language as parental mother-tongue could be studied one to three hours a week in grade 1-12.) Immigrants 11% of the population are 1:st generation immigrants: from the Baltic countries (1944); Hungary (1956); Yugoslavia, Greece, and Turkey (in the 1960s and '70s), Czechoslovakia (1968), Chile (1973), Iran and Iraq (in the 1980s), Palestina/Lebanon, and recently arrived refugees from the civil wars in Yugoslavia. A third of the immigrants (4,4%) has arrived from the neighboring countries Finland, Norway, Denmark, Germany and Poland. Another third comes from Asia, most of all from the middle East, and a small but visible share comes from Africa (5% of the immigrants). The main difference to more typical immigrant countries (as for instance USA with 10% of the population being 1:st generation immigrants) is that immigration to Sweden is a fairly recent phenomena. Swedes also tend to expect more of integration and assimilation from the immigrants than is the case in for instance Germany. Today about half of the immigrants have Swedish citizenship. Many prominent Swedes are actually 1:st or 2:nd generation Swedes (i. e. immigrants), but that's not generally acknowledged. During the 1990s the public radio (and to some degree also the television) seems to have initiated a campaign to increase the number of journalists with immigrant family names. But the 18.7% first and second generation immigrants (Jan 1st 1997) are still clearly underrepresented among journalists and many other influential professions. 7.2.5 The Swedish language Swedish is a Germanic language, very closely related to Danish and Norwegian (most Swedes can understand Danish and Norwegian), and somewhat less close to Icelandic, German, Dutch and English. There are many words borrowed from German, French (18th Century) and English (later). Except for in Sweden, Swedish is spoken by a native minority in Finland, and a nowadays very small minority at the Estonian coast and islands. Peculiar is that there exists not only one, but at least four hight status dialects (and sociolects): One southern, connected with Scania and the University in Lund, one western spoken by affluent people in and around Gothenburg /Göteborg, one eastern valid in Finland (for instance on stage in Helsinki /Helsingfors), and finally the sociolect spoken by higher officials, actors and others in the capital, which serves as high status standard for the rest of Sweden, connected with the University in Uppsala. Besides there exist at least a dozen of still distinguishable dialects, or dialect groups, but after the breakthrough for radio and TV these dialects have been heavily influenced by the equalizing effect of the broadcasting media. (A recent unsolved dispute in the newsgroup was whether the Scanian dialects rightfully are to classify as East-Danish together with the dialect on Bornholm, or with the dialects of Götaland i.e. in Östergötland, Småland, Västergötland and around Gothenburg.) For non-Nordics who attempt to learn the Swedish language, the pronunciation might seem rather difficult, since Swedish (at least the "standard" variety of it spoken in Sweden) has several unusual vowels and consonants, e.g. retroflexed dentals and the whistle-like "sj"-sound in sjuk "sick" which are not found in other European languages. Distinct word tones also characterize certain elements of its vocabulary, for which reason acquisition of a good Swedish pronunciation requires a considerable amount of commitment and work. The serious student of Swedish also has to learn to deal with regional varieties such as Scanian and Finland-Swedish, both of which differ sharply in pronunciation from the Stockholm-area oriented "standard broadcast" Swedish. Swedish has (approximately) 18 different vowel sounds except diphthongs, compared to (approximately) 14 in English. The dialects around and between Stockholm, Gothenburg and the coast of Norrland are characterized by fewer diphthongs. The rural Swedish spoken on Gotland, in Finland and in Southern Sweden use diphthongs in the most vowel positions. The vowel sounds appear to be ordered in nine pairs [i, e, ä, a, y, ö, u, o, å]. In each pair one of the sounds is always long and the other short. In written Swedish the short sounds can usually be identified as vowels followed by at least two consonants belonging to the same syllable. In some dialects the short sounds of 'o' and 'u' tend to be indistinguishable. The same goes for the short sounds for 'e' and 'ä' in many dialects. Stressed syllables can have both short and long vowel-sounds, however it's usual to find the unstressed vowels as short. Vowel sounds in Swedish --------------------------------------------- rid gryt hus bo vill trygg ull ~ port sed död nåd vägg ~ sedd höst pojk väg - - hall hal ============================================ The 'r'-sound is the most prominent marker between southern and central Swedish dialects. In the south 'r' is pronounced "in the French way" deep in the throat. In Finland, and on most of the Scandinavian peninsula, 'r' is pronounced as Italians do - with the tongue vibrating against the back side of the front teeth. In an intermediate zone both kinds of 'r'-sounds are in use, but in different positions in the words. In unstressed syllables the 'r'-sound is also often modified to kinds of the "British" 'r'-sound. Finally the 'r'-sound uses to modify preceding vowels. The difference sad-said, man-men, bad-bed exists in Swedish, but in most dialects the former only when followed by 'r' while the latter is the pronunciation of the 'ä'-vowel in other cases. (The same goes for the 'ö'-vowel.) Hence some Swedes have problems with these basic English sounds. Erland Sommarskog <sommar@algonet.se> replies: To be fair, dialects of Swedish are not worse than say of Italian. - Or for that matter, English. You don't need to bother about the "sj" in "sjuk". While as noted above, this is a strange creature, it is also subject to huge variation, and if you get in conversation with some Swedes you might find that everyone is pronouncing the sound differently - even that the same person is chosing different realisations on different occassions. Phonemically you would write them all /S/, you can use the sound for "sh" in "shoe" without being particularly wrong. You will then have to learn to distinguish this alevoar fricative from the palatal fricative in "tjuv" - then again, there are Swedes who don't. From my experience the retroflexes do not cause much problems either. Odd as they are, foreigners seem to pick them up quite easily. And, again, it is possible to avoid them. They arise when 'r' is followed by 's', 'n', 'd', 't' and 'l', but several dialects pronounce them separately. And while in Sweden this is dialects which have an uvular or velar 'r', I know people who speak with a front 'r' and yet do not use retroflexes without having any Finland-Swedish ancestry at all. How this has come about I don't know, but I'm suspecting these individuals to have abandoned their original dialect for an over-correct standard Swedish. There are nevertheless some difficult sounds in Swedish. 'u' as in "kul" is a rounded semi-high front vowel which has few equals. To a foreigner it might seem close to 'y' which is a rounded high front vowel, but I can assure you to a Swede they are most definitely not. Then again, I once spoke with a British gentleman who said "Sturegatan". His 'u' was perfect, but the first 'a' in "gatan" revealed him directly. To wit, the 'a' is the same as in "father" but with slightly different colour. Anyway, Swedish pronouciation is probably difficult because it is so irregular. Not so bad as English, but bad enough. One thing we are particularly fond of are homographs, that is words with the same spelling but different pronounciation: "vän", "kort", "hov", "hänger" (friend/friendly, short/picture, court/hoof, hang/devote). 7.2.6 Culture Swedes work hard, pay high taxes, try to be open minded towards other cultures (there is much immigration, which most people seem to accept), enjoy their traditions (around Christmas and Midsummer, for instance), but it is not true we should be among the heaviest drinkers in the world. Statistics in the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet January 7th 1995 shows Swedish alcohol consumption to be on only 21st place among a selection of the industrialized nations, with 6.1 (100% pure) liters of alcohol/year (after most Western European countries and USA). On the other hand we do (most of us do) still follow our old custom to drink only occasionally, but then with the goal to get drunk. [ For further information, see the article in part 2 about festivals and Nordic alcohol customs. ] Swedes take pride in making the society friendly to children and their parents including long government-paid paternal leaves, subsidized pre-schools and municipal investments for sport and leisure-time activities. Swedish women have one of the highest fertility rates in the industrialized world, giving birth to 1.97 child each, and the highest rate of breast feeding. It is however wide spread misconceptions that Sweden should suffer from high number of suicides or that Swedes should work less than others. Sweden is on the 15th position on the list of suicide rates in Europe, and only England and Portugal have longer working weeks than Sweden. In the same intention to make the society friendly and to lighten the lives of its members, Sweden has also put certain effort into making public buildings, and also ordinary tenement houses, available for wheel chairs. The nature, the big woods and the mountains, have a particular place in the hearts of the Swedes. The General Right to Public Access ("Allemansrätten") is unique for the Scandinavian countries, and the most important base for outdoor recreation, providing the possibility for each and everyone to visit non-cultivated land, to take a bath in seas, and to pick the wild flowers, berries and mushrooms. The religious rites such as baptizing, confirmation, wedding and funeral are deeply rooted in the culture, although only a small minority participate in ordinary mass. Despite the fact that the Swedes have honored the old Germanic tradition that the people follow the religion of the king, and subsequently all Swedes were obliged to communion long into the 19:th century and to membership in the state church long into the 20:th century, it can also be noted that Swedes are one of the most secularized peoples in the world. The church, and its services, are perceived more as a cultural heritage, than as a religious. As for instance at 1:st Sunday in Advent and at Christmas Eve - the two days of the year when the churches are filled. The Church of Sweden ("Svenska Kyrkan") is Lutheran. Most of the Swedish people belong to this church. The bonds between State and Church will be somewhat loosened around year 2.000. Besides the Church of Sweden there are several other Christian and non-Christian denominations. In most major towns you can find the Catholic Church, Islamic centers, the Baptist churches, Pentecoastal congregations and the Covenant Church of Sweden ("Svenska missionsförbundet") which is related to the Reformed Churches, and in some towns there is also a Jewish community. Science and technology also play an important role in the contemporary Swedish society. Private companies fund substantial research and development, and also the government funds research at the universities. Examples are the JAS Gripen fighter project, and the information technology strategies put forth by the Bildt (1991-1994) government. (The following cabinets, led by Ingvar Carlsson and Göran Persson have been less enthusiastic about these projects.) Leading cultural institutions (in Stockholm) are the Swedish Royal Opera; the Royal Dramatic Theater; the National Touring Theater; and the Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Prize for Literature. Literature is important in Swedish culture. Authors like August Strindberg (1849-1912), Selma Lagerlöf (1858-1940) who wrote Gösta Berlings Saga (awarded with the Nobel Prize) and Astrid Lindgren (1907-) are among the best known. At the previous turn of the century public libraries were organized by different organizations in nearly every village with a church or a school. Most of them still remain, but now run by the municipalities. A curious detail is that most Swedes probably would not count authors as Edith Södergran (1892-1923) and Tove Jansson as Swedish authors, despite the fact that they have written in Swedish - their mother tongue. There aren't many internationally known Swedish composers, but Swedes have an ancient fondness for ballads and troubadours (Carl Michael Bellman (1740-1795) is dearly loved by Swedes), and in the later days Swedish pop and rock groups have reached international fame (e.g ABBA, Army of Lovers, Roxette, Ace of Base, etc). Many popular cultural personalities are of immigrant background, but few have let this become a part of their image. Maybe with exception of the poet Theodor Kallifatides and Finland-Swedish actors, as Stina Ekblad, Jörn Donner, Birgitta Ulfsson and Lasse Pöysti. The Finnish conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Finnish singer Arja Saijonmaa should belongs to the most famous Sweden-Finns. Promising is however how a lot of new Swedish rock bands come from suburbs with immigrant majorities, and how some of the most popular rock and pop artists are clearly visible proud immigrants, as for instance Dr. Alban. Sweden also has a strong movie tradition, already from the days of the silent movies, people such as Victor Sjöström (1879-1960), known in the United States as Victor Seastrom, and Mauritz Stiller (1883-1928). The director Ingmar Bergman (1918-) is world-famous and actors like Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982) and Greta Garbo (1905-1990) have played in several of the classics of the movie history. Max von Sydow and Viveca Lindfors can be mentioned as other internationally well known film actors. Various sports are popular in Sweden, especially team sports like soccer and ice hockey, but also for example tennis and table-tennis, outdoor activities like skiing and orienteering. Food should of course be mentioned in a cultural chapter, but since the Swedes in the s.c.n. news group seem to be more interested in consuming than in producing this particular kind of culture we have no other alternative than to direct recipe interested readers to the splendid Family Santesson's collection of recipes for Swedish Cooking at <http://www.santesson.com/recept/swelist.htm>. [ the sections above are available at the www-page http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq724.html ] 7.2.7 local democratic traditions If Swedes aren't proud of the violent past with Vikings, wars and conquers then instead the long and strong democratic tradition is a very important part of the cultural heritage. To trace this tradition is almost impossible, since already in the first written laws (from the 1220s) it seems obvious that the customs are time-honored. Villages had had time at least since the Iron age to develop traditions. To distinguish Sweden's conditions compared to Finland, Denmark or the European continent is also hard, but a few differences are obvious. While solitarily living families have been more important in parts of Finland and Norway, villages and works are the most prominent communities in Sweden. The Danish tradition is influenced by feudalism and the absence of woods and works. Fishing villages have been of the greatest importance on the long Norwegian coast and on the many Danish islands. These societal differences are usable when one tries to analyze the differences between "national characters" - still one must remember the resemblance is more prominent than the differences. The Scandinavian peninsula and Finland has had only a rudimentary feudal system. Most land has been owned by commoners paying taxes to the king and without being directs subordinates to any lords. The great forests has made it hard for the lords to pester and punish the commoners. the village In Sweden the villages were left to rule themselves without any superior to interfere. Each villages had, until the 19:th century, one fenced field precisely marked in shares for each property. (On the rich plains some villages had two or even three fenced fields where the crops were changed systematically, but in these cases each farm had property on each field. Actually these rich plains were also exceptional inasmuch feudal lords could have significant influence over decisions of "their" villages.) Outside of the fence the cattle had to graze between sowing and harvest. The farmers were responsible for one part each of the fence. The fence was the most important subject the villagers had to cooperate about, but as the field was organized it was also practically and often necessary to do the work coordinated on the same days. The village meeting had to discuss and decide about this, but also about the use of woods, fishing water, common roads, boats and herding. The village meeting was however not for crofters or other poor. Instead it often regulated how many lodgers the village could feed, forcing people to move. (From the oldest written laws there is an important distinction between the former owners of a farm and other poor. The law forced the elderly to transfer their land to the next generation when their physical strength weakened, but the law also forced the new owner to support the previous for their remaining time in life. Conflicts regarding this duties were common cases at the Thing.) The main rule was, that changes in the statues for a villages were to be accepted by all farmers unanimous. The statues could however stipulate that other decisions were to be made by a majority. Unanimity was however the basic rule for how decisions were to be made at meetings in villages and parishes. This tradition of unanimous decisions must have contributed to the Swedish custom of adjustment of ones attitudes to the perceived majority. Unanimous decisions demand a high degree of compromises from the individuals. the þing The pre-Christian culture was a tribe culture like many other of the pre-Christian cultures among the indo-Europeans. The members of a tribe were obliged to avenge injuries against their dead and mutilated relatives. A balancing structure is necessary to hinder tribe fights to lead to anarchy destructing the society. In the North-Germanic cultures the balancing institution was the Thing ("ting" or "þing"). The Thing was the assembly of free men in an area, as in a hundred ("härad") or in a province / county ("landskap"), at which disputes were solved and political decisions were made. Before Christianity chieftains where at the same time political and religious leaders, with the main purpose to bring the people good times ("fred" - nowadays actually the word for peace). The place for the Thing ("tingsplats") was often also the place for public religious rites, and sometimes the place for commerce. The þing met at regular intervals, legislated, elected chieftains and judged according to the law recited and memorized by the law speaker. The þing's negotiations were presided by the chieftain or often by the law speaker. In reality the þing was of course dominated by the most influential members of the community, but in theory one-man one-vote was the rule. Gotland, as an example, had in late medieval time twenty Things, each represented at the island-Thing (landsting) by its elected judge. (The judge also conducted the local Thing.) New laws were decided at the landsting, which also took other decisions regarding the island as a whole. The landsting's authority was successively eroded after the island being occupied by the Tyska Orden (the "German Order") 1398, then sold to Erik of Pomerania and after 1449 ruled by Danish governors. In late Swedish medieval time the Thing-court consisted of twelve representatives for the farmers (free-holders or tenants). the king An important function of the king or the chieftain was (probably) to distribute of his own luck to all of the people. Therefore men with much luck were ideal kings. The people were dependent of good luck in many aspects: good harvests, good trade, good hunting, good fishing and no attacks from enemies. In case of bad times the people could sacrifice their leader (before Christianity literally!), or maybe less violently select another leader. As the Christian missionaries then convinced the most respected among the Viking magnates, an abyss opened between the ordinary agrarian people an their converted magnates; and the old order was disrupted. Free peasants who were used to participate in the decision making in the village, in the province and in the realm did not easily accept to be left unquestioned when the Svea kingdom expanded. The Engelbrecht rebellion is probably the best picture we can get of how kings had been elected in older times. Engelbrecht was elected to captain for Dalarna where he and the people had promised each other allegiance, then he went to Västmanland, where the people summoned to the "tingsplats" expressed their support and allegiance, then to Uppland where Engelbrecht and the people promised each other allegiance, then to Östergötland, where the procedure was repeated, and then to Västergötland where he was honored by the people, then to Halland (the part which at that time was identified with Götaland and Sweden). All this occurred in the end of the summer 1434. In January 1435 a diet appointed Engelbrecht as captain for the Swedish realm, and as such he that year negotiated with the union-king - with poor result. In response to demands from the country a new diet was summoned in 1436 where Engelbrecht was elected king. As king he requested the people in Stockholm to swear allegiance. The Stockholmians (most of whom were Germans) had to choose between a battle and a new king, and accepted the new king. The nobility's exemption from land tax after 1280 had the consequence that farmers pawned or sold their land to the noble bailiffs. Also the Church's exemption from tax in year 1200 had in practice the same effect. Subsequently the crown's tax incomes diminished, and strong royal rulers as Magnus Eriksson and Queen Margrete tried to hinder this development. after the medieval time During the 16th century a lot of land was taken by the state from parishes and convents. These lands were then often transferred to the nobility, particularly from 1567 to 1680, which had important consequences for the peasants. Tenant farmers on state property could be forced to do extra work in addition to the law-regulated taxes, which was a less favorable situation than for farmers owning their own land, but farmers on land sold/given to noble masters had additionally lost their right to participation in the elections of peasant representatives at the diets. Works (bruksorter) is the contrasting element, organized in much as a manorial estate, where the owner had the duty to act as a good master in a strictly hierarchical household. The works was a closed society, taking responsibility for the people living there from the cradle to the grave. United the people could express their wishes and propositions, and a wise master would not act against the best of the people. But the power was his. Many masters of works were descendents of nobilitated industrialists from Walloonia invited in the early 17th century. The rules of order at democratic meetings got changed in the 19:th century. The villages were split, many farmers' houses were moved away from the village, each farm got it's field separated from the others, and the village meeting became obsolete. The traditions from the higher assemblies, where the majority ruled, were found fit for the parishes also, particularly when these came to grow due to the urbanization. With the Free Churches, the Temperance movement and the workers unions foreign influences were added to the old traditions. Today fairness and equality are important parts of the order at a meeting. The word is given to speakers in the order they have asked for it, no-one is to be unfairly favored. The assembly and the chair are not supposed to interrupt the speaker, unless he/she breaks any decided rules (as a time limit) or humiliates others. All who wish to speak are entitled to do so prior to the voting, all are entitled to put propositions forward, all propositions are to be equally handled (almost!), and in case of the majority taking a position one feel impossible to take responsibility for, then all are entitled to get ones dissentient opinions taken to the records. But still traces of the unanimity tradition is visible in the attitude that people who suspect they belong to a minority should better not utter their opinion - to the best of all - in order to reinforce the feeling of unity and unanimity. ...and after a decision all participants are expected to advocate the opinion of the majority - whatever they thought before. 7.2.8 free access to official documents The history of the Rights of Free Expression is dialectic and full of contradictions. From 1718 to 1844 the liberties of thought and the parliament's right to decide over laws and wars were hot topics in Sweden as in the rest of Europe, many times leading to changes of rulers: 1680 the common estates of the parliament handed over all power to the king, in reaction against the nobility. 1720 the parliament made the king almost powerless after Karl XII:s failed wars. 1756 the king was made really powerless after a failed coup d'etat. However 1772 the king succeeded in a coup d'etat and the parliament approved a new constitution. 1789 the king again gained dictatorship which is abolished in a revolution 1809 and laws are again to be agreed on by the king and the majority of the estates. Surprisingly it lasted until the 1760s until the politicians took up serious debates regarding legal guarantees for the freedom of the press. Until then the ruling party had gained from the advantages of power and secrecy, and used this to suppress its enemies as much as they could, and when another party gained majority, it did the same. But after the royal court's failed coup 1756 the royalists and the big opposition party in the parliament found each other in the wish to gain knowledge about the government's actions. And when the parliament majority changed, Freedom of the Press and the public's free access to official documents ("offentlighetsprincipen") were decided after English model and given constitutional status. Although it lasted until 1809 before the free access to official documents had become more than lip service by the bureaucracy, and another 30 years before the Freedom of the Press could be used for critics of the king and his government without acts of reprisal, these aspects are now understood as very important foundations for a working democracy. In 1831 the newspaper Aftonbladet is founded by Lars Johan Hierta in Stockholm, important because of its struggle to increase the freedom of the press. The king, Karl XIV Johan, at the time had the right to retract permissions to publish newspapers. When Aftonbladet criticized the king, he retracted the publish rights - but the paper immediately reappeared as "The Second Aftonbladet", "The Third Aftonbladet" and all the way to the "28th Aftonbladet". 1838 the civil service officer responsible for revocal of the governmental license declares this method unfit and useless, and 1844 it's also formally abolished. Since then the free access to official documents is understood as a right for any citizen to request a list of received and sent documents from any state authority (after the 1930s also municipal authorities) and then immediately look at (or receive copies of) single documents unless these necessarily are to be kept secret, according to special laws, in order to protect: * the security of the realm and its currency * negotiations with foreign powers * ongoing supervisory activities of the authority * the interest of preventing or prosecuting crimes * the personal integrity of individuals * the free competition between enterprises Of course it could be argued that these exceptions can be made wide and very wide, but it's important that it is the governmental agency which has to prove its right to keep a document secret, if a case goes to court, and that the constitution clearly express that exceptions to the main rule are to be scrupulously specified. The definition of "document" is wide including pictures, sound records and other messages which can be comprehended by means of technical aids. If officials want their private letters to be secret, then they must be sent to their private address. But if letters regarding the authority are sent privately to officials, then they must be taken to the office. Documents which are in the process of production are however not available for the public until they are sent or used for a decision by the authority. Today this principles is among them which by Swedes are perceived as the most differing in comparison with other cultures. One of the most commons points of suspicions among Swedes against the European Union, which Sweden entered 1995, is the fear that lack of access to documents of the Union's authorities not only harm the democracy in the European Union, but even worse that Sweden might be affected and the Swedish democratic society will be severely harmed. 7.2.9 School system Children start school at the age of six or seven. The compulsory education (Grundskolan) spans nine years with the pupil finishing junior high school (högstadiet) at the age of fifteen or sixteen. High schools (Gymnasier) provide a broad selection of study courses / programs ranging from vocational university-preparatory, to lasting three or four years. One year in pre-school (förskola) and three years in high school is what virtually all pupils complete, although this is not required. A few years ago all high school programs were made to last at least three years in order to make all pupils formally entitled to university studies. Many children also attend kindergarten (daghem). When both parents work, another option exists. The parents may have their child taken care of by a municipality-employed "nanny" (dagmamma - literally "day mother"). The child stays in her private home, usually together with 2-3 other children). As a rule all children attend public schools. Private schools are rare, and those that exist often have a specific educational philosophy or religious affiliation. The degree of governmental financing of private schools has been changed several times in the 1990s. Currently it is usual for municipalities to pay about 80% of their average cost per pupil for those attending private schools. [ the sections above are available at the www-page http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq727.html ]
Subject: 7.3 History (A brief chronicle is to find in the sections 7.3.3-7.3.7.) 7.3.1 A chronology of important dates 829 The German bishop Ansgar introduces Christian mission to Sweden (however travelers, captured wifes and slaves had most probably made both Islam and Christianity known before). 1004 (ca) King Olof Skötkonung was baptized, and made Christianity the official religion of Sweden. Several pagan kings followed him, though. 1104 With the first archbishop of Lund, Scandinavia was made a separate church province, no longer belonging to Hamburg. 1125 Norwegian "crusade" to Småland gave 1800 heads of cattle. 1155 Bishop Henry in Uppsala resumes securing (conquering) of Finland for Catholicism in a "crusade". 1164 A separate arch-bishopric for Sweden was instituted in Uppsala. Until 1152 the archbishop in the Scanian town Lund in Denmark had been the primate for all of Norden. 1187 Estonians invade and burn Sigtuna. 13th century After the example of the Scanian Law (written down in circa 1210) also the Swedish provinces () start to write down their landskapslagar. 1240 the movement has reached Västergötland, and Äldre Västgötalagen is written down. 1226 Falu copper mine is opened. 1250 Stockholm becomes the capital, after Birka and Sigtuna, founded by Birger Jarl, Earl of Sweden and 1250-1266 guardia for the under age King Valdemar. 1285 The Swedish King Birger (Ladulås) claims supremacy over Gotland. 1290-1789 The king is supplemented by a State Council with a chancellor (rikskansler), commander in chief (riksmarsk), minister of Justice (riksdrots), the bishops and some other peers. 1293 Viipuri/Viborg is established at/as the eastern border of Sweden. 1306 King Birger is imprisoned by his brothers duke Valdemar and duke Erik, the so called Håtunaleken. 1310-19 Sweden is split in three dutchies. 1317 King Birger imprisons his brothers, at a Christmas party, and let them starve to death (the so called Nyköpings gästabud), but is forced to escape out of the country. Crown-prince Magnus is assassinated. 1323-1471 Peace with Novgorod in Nöteborg / Pähkinälinna. The borders of this peace lasted beyond year 147 when the Grand-Duchess Moscow conquered Novgorod. 1319-1343 Personal union with Norway under King Magnus Eriksson. 1332-1361 Also Gotland & Scania (including Bornholm, Halland & Blekinge) are ruled by King Magnus Eriksson. At the Thing in Lund the Scanian Archbishop and magnates had elected Magnus Eriksson, the king of Norway and Sweden to become also king of the Scanian provinces when he had come to age (16 years). (Well, there were some debts the king's regent promised to pay in return.) 1335 Slavery was abolished. 1344 St. Birgitta (1303-1373), an important opponent to King Magnus and Sweden's most important medieval saint, starts to write down her Heavenly Revelations and decides to start a convent in Vadstena. The Brigittine Order exists even today in many countris. 1350 The Black Death (the Plague) The first Swedish national law replaced the local landskapslagar. 1361 The Danish King Valdemar Atterdag conquers Gotland. 1362 Finland's status as an equal part of the realm is confirmed by participation in election of king. 1388/97-1523 The Nordic kingdoms are united as the "Kalmar Union", led by Denmark. 1434 The Engelbrecht rebellion against the Union-King's export-endangering wars with German Counts and the Hansa. After this the Union-Kings never regained authority in Sweden. 1477 Uppsala university founded; the oldest university in the Nordic countries. 1520 Stockholm blood bath ignites Gustav Vasa's rebellion. 1521 Gustav Vasa is elected regent. 1523 June, 6th, Gustav Vasa is elected king of Sweden. 1526 The New Testament and hymnal is printed in the Swedish language - 1541 is the whole Bible ready - 1551 the New Testament on Finnish. 1527 Reformation decided at the Diet of Västerås. Printing of books is made a royal privilege. Royal censure is enacted 1539, import control of books 1550. 1544 The Diet declares the monarchy hereditary. After this the principle of all four Estates participating in the Diets i firmly established. 1561 Estonia surrenders to Sweden. 1563-1864 Expulsion is the penalty for spread of beliefs divergent from orthodox Lutheranism. 1568 King Erik is imprisoned and 1577 poisoned. 1593 Lutheranism is confirmed by a Church meeting in Uppsala. 1594-99 The Catholic Sigismund inherits the throne, Sweden in civil war while in personal union with Poland. 1600 Linköping's blood bath. 1613 Academic printer established at the university (Uppsala). Sweden pays ransom for the fort at Älvsborg, where 1619 Gothenburg i founded. 1614 Justice reform leads to royal courts of appeal in Stockholm, Turku/Åbo (1623) and Tartu/Dorpat (1630). 1617 Sweden gets the Kexholm province and Ingria ("Ingermanland") in the peace of Stolbova with Russia. Possession of printed propaganda from foreign powers gets sentenced by death penalty. 1626 King Gustav II Adolf land on the European continent to take part in the 30-years war. 1629 Poland cedes Livonia to Sweden in the peace of Altmark. 1632 The university in Tartu/Dorpat is founded. Gustav II Adolf is killed in the battle of Lützen. 1640 The university in Turku/Åbo is founded. 1645 Sweden gets Gotland, Saaremaa/Ösel, Jämtland and Härjedalen from Denmark in the peace of Brömsebro. 1648 In the peace treaty of Westphalia, Sweden wins the German territories (Vorpommern, Rügen, Stettin, Wismar, and Bremen-Verden) and becomes a major power. 1658 The peace treaty of Roskilde gives Sweden Bohuslän and the Scanian provinces of Bornholm, Skåne, Blekinge and Halland Bornholm is returned to Denmark after an uprising 1660. The Swedish territory of today is thereby collected. 1668 The university in Lund is founded. 1671-1675 Nobel masters have right to sentence their employees. 1676 The battle at Lund. 1679 Gotland is annected by Sweden, followed by Blekinge 1680, Halland 1693 and Scania 1721. 1697 The Stockholm Castle ("Three Crowns") burns down. 1700-21 The Great Northern War, with the battles at Narva 1700 and Poltava 1709. Finland occupied. Swede loses Viipuri /Viborg on the Karelian isthmus, southern Karelia, most of the German and all of the Baltic territories. The power shifts from the king to the Estates. 1726-1858 Konventikelplakatet counteracts Pietism by prohibiting religious meetings without ordained priests (except for prayers and teachings inside the household in a strict sense). 1742 Celsius designs a thermometer. The Estates confirm the democratic forms for decisions at the village meeting. 1756 A failed coup d'etat by the royal Court leads to the king's function becoming less more than ceremonial. 1757 Storskifte, first reform of Swedish farming decided. 1766 The liberty of Press and "Offentlighetsprincipen" was declared as constitution. 1771 Scheele discovers oxygen. 1772 Gustav III performs a coup and the Diet restores the monarchy. 1773 Torture is abolished in Sweden. 1778 Freedom of religion for aliens make immigration of Jews possible. 1789 The absolute monarchy is enforced - partly with illegal methods, partly decided by a Diet. 1790-91 Bellman publishes the Fredman collections. 1792 Gustav III is assassinated at a masked ball. 1807 Enskifte, grand reform of Swedish farming decided. Villages were split into separate farms, so farmers came to live closer to their land, more distant from their neighbors. 1808-09 The War of Finland: the whole of Finland (extended also by a part of the northern county Norrbotten) was joined to Russia. A new constitution is written that puts an end to autocracy. "Offentlighetsprincipen" and freedom of press get restored. June 6, 1809 Duke Karl signs the new constitution. 1810 One of Napoleon's generals, Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, is elected as the heir to throne. Despite this Sweden joins the British-led anti-Napoleon alliance. In 1818, he becomes King Carl XIV Johan. 1810-1832 Göta Kanal is built across Sweden from Söderköping to Gothenburg. 1814-1905 Personal-union between Norway and Sweden. 1841 The parish meetings are reformed by law. It's settled that also craftsmen, tradesmen and industrial workers shoul have right to vote (if they earn enough). 1842 A national compulsory public education system, "Folkskolan", is introduced, and is to be administrated by the parishes, followed 1843 by law on municipal self rule. 1845 Daughters get equal rights as sons to inherit land. 1848 The first Swedish Free Church congregation and baptizing. 1848-51 Swedish troops are located to Jutland as support for Denmark against a rebellion in Schleswig-Holstein. Prussia supports the rebells. The Swedes are never participating in military activities. 1853 Electric telegraph between Stockholm and Uppsala. 1856 Railway between Örebro and Ervalla. Later the same year the first state railway is opened between Malmö and Lund. 1858 The prohibition of religious meetings in the absence of a state church priest is abolished. 1860 it becam allowed for Swedish citizens to switch religious affiliation from the State Church to certain other approved (Christian) Churches. 1859 Feminist pioneer Fredrika Bremer publishes Hertha. 1864 The Estates refuse to live up to the promise by the king to support Denmark when attacked by Prussia. The obligation to yearly communion is abolished. 1866 The parliament is reformed. The system of the four Estates is abandoned and a new system of two chambers is introdued. The right to vote remains dependent on income and gender. 1871 The parish meeting is reformed, majority decisions are enforced instead of the former tradition of consensus, disciplinary matters are to be decided by a committee. 1871-1940s Sweden becomes very Germany-oriented, both economically and culturally - in particular after Prussia's military successes against Denmark, Austria and France. 1873-1914 Nordic currency and postal union. 1878 The metric system is introduced. 1896 Hjalmar Branting is elected the first Social Democrat in parliament. 1901 First Nobel Prize award. The universal military service is organized. All men become trained for defense of the country. 1902 Railroad from Narvik at the Norwegian coast to Kiruna where iron ore mines get exploit. 1905 Norway declares itself independent of the Swedish king. 1906 Major spelling reform. 1907 Men get equal rights to vote. 1909 Strike by 300'000 Swedish workers, but no revolution. 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. 1913 Law on public pension. 1914 Public demands of rearmament of the fleet leads King Gustav V to approve a demonstration march (bondetåget) in a public speech (borggårdstalet) without the consent of the Cabinet Council. The parliamentarian cabinet resigns and an anti-parliamentarian cabinet under Hjalmar Hammarskjöld is in function February 1914 - March 1917. 1918 A Swedish troop of 600 man intervene on Åland, attempting to mediate when the civil war of Finland led to Finnish troops fighting on Åland. The Finnish and Swedish troops leave after a German fleet had approached. 1919 Law on eight hours workday (six days a week). 1921 Women get rights to vote equal to men. Death penalty abolished (in times of peace). 1923 A proposition to prohibit alcoholic beverages is narrowly defeated in a referendum. The Conservative Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Hederstierna resigns after having suggested a defense alliance with Finland in a speech at a dinner at which too much of inebriating refreshments must have been served. 1938 Swedish employees get minimum two weeks of yearly paid vacation (semester). 1944 The ferry Hansa en route between Stockholm and Gotland was sank by a Soviet submarin. 84 passengers drowned. 1948 Count Folke Bernadotte was (assassinated in Jerusalem by a Jewish terrorist organization (lead by Yitzhak Shamir) when mediating between Jews and Arabs. 1951 General right for members of the state Church to submit one's resignation. General freedom of religion for Swedish citizen. 1953 A Swedish computer, BESK, is for a time the fastest in the world. 1957 A referendum supports a Social Democratic proposal for mandatory participation in a retiring allowance scheme with minimal funds. The alternative was a voluntary funding system. 40 years later a mandatory funding system is decided. 1958 Right for women to be ordained as priests in the State Church (until 1982 combined with a right for male priests to abstain from working together with female priests). First in 1997 the first femle bishop is ordained. 1961 The aircraft of Dag Hammarskjöld, the UN secretary general, is shot down during mediating in Africa. 1964 Bar prohibition revoked. Public establishment did no longer lose their licence if they served alcoholic beverages to guests who hadn't ordered food. (The rationing of alcohol was abolished already in 1956.) 1965-77 it was also legal to sell beer (mellanöl) in ordinary supermarkets. 1971 The Riksdag becomes unicameral. Parliamentarism is written into the constitution. 1975 the king loses his political influence (including formation of the cabinet). 1976 The right of "ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities to preserve and develop a cultural and social life of their own" is added to the constitution. 1979 Referendum says nuclear power is to be liquidated. 1981 A Russian submarine runs aground in the Blekinge archipelago. 1986 The prime minister Olof Palme is assassinated Feb 28. April 26th nuclear radiation is discovered outside of the nuclear plant Forsmark to the north of Stockholm. After some time it turns ou to come from Ukraine, but large areas of Sweden are struck, with slaughter of reindeers and restrictions against using wild berries and mushrooms for many following years. 1994 The ferry Estonia sank in Åland's sea. About 900 drowned. A referendum supports joining of the European Union. As of January 1st 1995 Sweden became a full member of the EU. 7.3.2 A list of Swedish monarchs the late viking age: ca 990 Erik (the victorious) ca 995-1020 Olof Skötkonung, baptized as a Christian in 1008 ca 1019-50 Anund Jakob competing magnates: ca 1050-60 Emund den gamle (the old) ca 1160 Stenkil ca 1066-80 Halsten ca 1080 Blotsven ca 1080-1110 Inge the elder ca 1110-18 Filip ca 1118-20 Inge the younger ca 1130 Ragnvald ca 1135-56 Sverker the elder ca 1158-60 Erik IX den helige (St. Eric) 1160-67 Karl VII Sverkersson 1167-96 Knut Eriksson 1196-1208 Sverker Karlsson the younger 1208-16 Erik X Knutsson 1216-22 Johan Sverkersson 1222-29 Erik XI Eriksson läspe och halte (lisp and limp) 1229-34 Knut Holmgersson den långe (the long) 1234-49 Erik XI Eriksson läspe och halte (lisp and limp) 1250-66 Birger Jarl, earl (regent) of Sweden 1250-75 Valdemar Birgersson, under age until 1266 1275-90 Magnus Birgersson Ladulås 1290-1318 Birger Magnusson, under age until 1298 1290-1317 Duke Erik Magnusson (regent) 1319-62 Magnus Eriksson, under age until 1332. 1357-59 Erik Magnusson (most of the realm) 1362-64 Håkon of Norway 1364-89 Albreckt of Mecklenburg the Kalmar Union: 1388-1412 Margareta (regent of the Kalmar Union) 1396-1434 Erik of Pommerania (king of the Kalmar Union) 1434-36 Engelbrecht (Captain of the Realm) 1436 Engelbrecht (king of Sweden) 1436-40 Karl Knutsson (regent of Sweden) 1440-48 Kristoffer of Bavaria (king of the Kalmar Union) 1448-57 Karl Knutsson (king of Sweden) 1457-64 Kristian I (king of the Kalmar Union 1448-1481) 1464 Karl Knutsson (king of Sweden) 1464-66 Erik Axelsson (regent of Sweden) 1467-70 Karl Knutsson (king of Sweden) 1471-97 Sten Sture the elder (regent of Sweden) 1497-1501 Hans (king of the Kalmar Union 1481-1513) 1501-03 Sten Sture the elder (regent of Sweden) 1504-11 Svante Nilsson Sture (regent of Sweden) 1512-20 Sten Sture the younger (regent of Sweden) 1520-21 Kristian II (king of the Kalmar Union 1513-1523) Vasa: 1521-23 Gustav Eriksson Vasa (regent of Sweden) 1523-60 Gustav I Vasa (king of Sweden) 1560-68 Erik XIV [ dethroned ] 1568-92 Johan III 1592-99 Sigismund III Vasa of Poland and Sweden [ dethroned ] 1599-1604 Johan, under age [ abdicated 1604 ] 1600/04-11 Karl IX [ appointed to king by the Estates in 1600 ] 1611-32 Gustav II Adolf 1632-54 Kristina, under age until 1644 [ abdicated ] Pfalz: 1654-60 Karl X Gustav 1660-97 Karl XI, under age until 1672 1697-1718 Karl XII 1719-20 Ulrika Eleonora [ abdicated ] 1720-51 Fredrik I [ consort of Queen Ulrika Eleonora ] Holstein-Gottorp: 1751-71 Adolf Fredrik 1771-92 Gustav III 1792-1809 Gustav IV Adolf, under age until 1796 [ dethroned ] 1809-18 Karl XIII Bernadotte: 1818-44 Karl XIV Johan 1844-59 Oscar I 1859-72 Karl XV 1872-1907 Oscar II 1907-50 Gustaf V 1950-73 Gustaf VI 1973- Carl XVI Gustaf [ the sections above are available at the www-page http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq731.html ] 7.3.3 prehistoric and medieval time Stone Age The first found traces after the Ice Age are from northern Scania 13'000 years ago. From 8'000 years ago great settles are found along the coastal line of that time. 6'000 years ago agriculture was established. After a change of climate 5'000 years ago most of the farmlands were abandoned for colonization of the coasts and Baltic islands (for instance Åland), followed again by spread of settlements in the Scandinavian inland 4'000 years ago. Bronze Age About 4'000 years ago the contacts between South-Scandinavia and the European continent increased, and approximately at the same time the central and northern parts of Scandinavia came in closer contact with Russia and Siberia. Cattle and stock-raising became important in the South, and in the North a complement to hunting, fishing and gathering. Iron Age 500 B.C. - 1050 A.D. At the rise of the Roman Empire contacts between South/Central Scandinavia and the European continent seems to have surged, as indicated by rich finds of import objects and houses with stone foundations. Runic characters are introduced. Denmark dominates southern Scandinavia. Germanics often serve as mercenaries for the Roman armies. In early 6th century a group of disposed mercenaries of the Heruli tribe is said to have resettled in Västergötland. Approximately 500-700 A.D. the Sámi population is pushed further north during a Germanic expansion. Svenonians ("Svear") come to play a dominating role, and the Goths ("Götar") a subordinate role. Ironworks make the Svenonian area west for Uppland rich, and is the ground for extensive contacts also with what today is Russia, Finland and the Baltic states. The Åland islands are believed to have been colonized around 550 A.D. The realm of the Vikings is probably better described in terms of water-ways and coastal strips along their trading routes, an not in terms of land areas. On some places there ought to have come up permanent trade stations, as for instance at the Ladoga shore. The best and most secure settlements were deep in bays ("vik" in Swedish) were only skillful navigators could find their way. The town Birka is founded in the 800:th century at such a position. As it looks there was from the beginning a strong garrison protecting Birka all around the year. 800-1050 Viking age It was a prosperous period. Swedish Vikings traveled trading fur and slaves to Russia, Byzantium and all the way down to the Arab caliphate at Baghdad. Possibly also silk trading was of major importance until the 970s. The Svea kingdom gets a leading position, at least it gets best known abroad. Its capital is in Gamla ("Old") Uppsala. The Svea vikings seem to have had a couple of trade stations along the water-way from lake Ladoga to the south. The trade through Russia was in competition with the Gutar from Gotland, Danes (including Scanians) and with Östgötar from Östergötland. Svea Vikings possibly inhabited also Åland and coastal areas in Finland and Norrland. The Russian leader Rurik was obviously a Viking Chieftain, who settled in Gårdarike (Russia) in the mid 9th century, and whose descendants ruled Russia until year 1598. Novgorod and Kiev were important stations on the way to Persia and Byzantium. At the end of the previous millennium the trade and plundering became less profitable, and the magnates on the great plains became more powerful than the Viking leaders at the coast. Sweden at this time can be said to consist of six rich agricultural provinces with great plains, their neighboring dark woods (see the table) and the more independent people at the coast and in the archipelago. King Olof Skötkonung converted to Christianity, was banned from the pagan Svealand, got accepted as a refugee in Skara (or as king over Västergötland?) where Sweden's first bishopric was established. 11th century Sweden becomes Christian, and the country is united into a single kingdom. Due to pressure from the mighty Danish kingdom, which had united maybe a hundred years before, the warring landscapes of Sweden settle into an uneasy truce and start to elect a king to rule them as one kingdom. This kingdom was often called the "Svea kingdom", because traditionally this was the only stable entity and the only kingdom that foreigners had heard of. Västergötland (often with Värmland and Dalsland) remained the most independent province for many hundred years. The royal power and authority were limited to leadership in combat and sometimes to function as the highest judicial authority. Norwegians and Svenonians participate in attempts to make the people on the coast of Finland Christian. During the second half of the century the Svenonians seem to have a succeeded with colonies north of Åland. 1076 Bishop Adam of Bremen writes the history of the bishopric of Hamburg, describing the christianization of Sweden, which is one of our main sources to the early history of Scandinavia. 1050-1397 After the Christianization Sweden is ruled by kings elected by the nobility - most of the time from two rival dynasties. Formerly kings were elected by each "landsting" (that was a combined court and law-giving meeting of the free men in a province). First in 1319 the peasantry would again be officially, participating in the election of kings. The title king of the Svears did however not give much power. Neither among the Svears nor in more distant parts of the country. The forces of particularism were very strong during the first centuries and often there would be two or three claimants to the throne engaged in civil war. This time is characterized by the power being divided on so many local magnates assuring no individual command too much power, and becoming a threat against the other magnates. A suitable king could well be chosen from Götaland, perhaps because that person would find it hard to make his power be felt in Svealand. Earls (jarlar) were commanders of the fleet (leiðungr) and deputy in Svealand when the king resided in Götaland. 1152 a papal cardinal refuse to organize a separate Swedish archdiocese tired of the quarrel between Götar and Svear, who couldn't agree on one of the two alternatives: Linköping in Östergötland or Uppsala in Uppland. Until the beginning of the 13th century Östergötland appears as the stronghold for the Christian Kingdom, with (heaten?) opposition particularly in Uppland. Sweden conquers the Finnish woods for Catholicism through a series of "crusades". Most of the coast on both sides of the Bothnic sea, Åland and the plains in southern Finland of today is believed to have been colonized by Svears already. (After the first crusade 1155 Uppland was rewarded with the archdiocese.) Finland is not participating in the elections of kings until 1362. The dominance in the Baltics by the Gutar from Gotland island is competed by the Germans in the Hansetic League, who from 1161 has an agreement with the Gutar. The situation for Götar and Svear is not improved, but Gotland gets weaker, with civil war in the end of the 13th century, and finally defeat under the Danish king Valdemar Atterdag 1361. Swedish kings had ambitions to rule also over Gotland, but the Gutar were not too interested. The first one to yield such power that he could issue grants of land in both Götaland and Svealand (showing that he had territorial power), was Knut Eriksson (late 12:th century). In his early days this son of the throne claimant Erik, "Erik the saint", used the title king of Götaland, but after coming out on top in a civil war he also called himself king of Svealand and also used the titles together. Before his days the king can be said to have wielded power only with the consent of the local upper class. Knut Eriksson is also believed to have initiated the building of stone towers in Kalmar, Borgholm and Stockholm which later were extended to castles. Stockholm, as situated at the very center of the realm, between the rich Svealand provinces, becomes the constant residence for the crown's administration. 13th & 14th century The crown and the realm increase in strength and stability - slowly, but though. The common people play the non-speaking parts in the drama of the noble families' competition with each other. And the kings? They participated in the competition as much as they could. The kings more than once were appointed at very low age. Probably it was easier to agree upon kings in the three-years age for the noble magnates who then had a long time to strengthen their influence. 1248 at the church meeting in Skänninge (in Östergötland), on demand from the catholic pope, the Swedish church introduces celibacy for priests, and the priests should now be appointed by the bishop. Earlier, priests were elected by their parish (or its noble master) and they married. The independence of the Church is now secured (until the Reformation 1527). From the latter half of the 13th century the kings are requested to "cooperate" with [maybe sooner: be balanced and controlled by] a Council for the realm, with representatives for the highest nobility: a chancellor (kansler / rikskansler), commander in chief (marsk / riksmarsk), minister of Justice (drots / riksdrots), the bishops and some other peers. 1319 it is settled how king's election should take place, requiring the king to take an oath that no one could be imprisoned unless he'd been found guilty according to law, and that only domestic men were to be appointed as bailiffs. As a national law is proclaimed 1350 the power of legislation and taxation is still formally regarded as an issue solely for the landsting of the seven provinces to decide (1362 Finland was acknowledged as the eight). Until the Plague 1350 the forests were increasingly colonized for agriculture. Then followed a long time characterized by decrease in population and wealth. The reasons are not well known, but a change in the climate might be a possible explanation. On the map to the left Sweden as it was understood between 1336 and 1561 is marked with a darker shade of gray, and the provinces temporarily ruled by king Magnus Eriksson (Norway, Gotland and the Scanian provinces) are marked with a lighter shade of gray. During the 1350s the conflict between King Magnus Eriksson and the strong Swedish State Council aggravates. The noble opposition is led by the high-born Birgitta Birgersdotter in Vadstena (St. Birgitta) and seconded by the crown-prince Erik. The king and his main councillor, his alleged lover Bengt Algotsson, had debts and after the Plague also diminishing taxes and eastern wars to tamper with. When Bengt Algotsson 1353 was made duke with Halland in the west and large parts of Finland in the east as his duchy, and the Prince Håkon 1355 took over the crown of Norway, then the Crown-Prince and the State Council lost their temper. As a result of the following civil war Bengt Algotsson was expelled and most of the realm came under the rule of the Crown-Prince Erik. The king was allowed to keep the insignificant provinces of Närke, Västergötland and adjacent parts of Småland. After the crown-prince and all of his family suddenly had died 1359 his father Magnus Eriksson regained power, but the realm is weak and the nobility is split and fighting. Denmark conquers Gotland and regains Scania, and King Magnus is 1362 forced to abdicate in favor of his son King Håkon. It is in this sorrow time of the Swedish realm as representatives for the Finns are invited as equals to the Diet. Thereby the eastern provinces were given status as totally integrated parts of the realm. Soon a nephew of Magnus Eriksson, the German duke Albreckt of Mecklenburg, is asked to claim the crown by a faction of the State Council. Albreckt defeats King Håkon and the ex-King Magnus Eriksson in a battle. Ex-king Magnus is imprisoned in Stockholm. The magnates of three provinces (Värmland, Dalsland & Västergötland) on the border to Norway agree however that Håkon is the rightful (or better?) king why their provinces were to belong to Norway. From 1371 the Swedish State Council has bound the King Albreckt with promises to follow its advices. 15th century After 1397 Sweden and Denmark (including Finland, Norway and Iceland) were united in the Kalmar Union under Queen Margrete (Princess of Denmark, Queen of Norway). Margrete never held the title Queen of Sweden, but was instead appointed as "authorized agent" (Fru och fullmäktige av Sverige). This period is characterized by struggle between the nobility, the commons and the queen/king. The nobility seems to have preferred a union-king far away in Copenhagen for meddlesome kings in Stockholm. The union meant two more advantages: internal peace between the Nordic countries; and a united front against the German powers, and later against Moscow. The nobility came however to fear the loss of the profitable and politically important positions as bailiffs at the crown's castles. In Finland the nobility in Finland came to play a strong and rather independent role in the union, underlined by the Count of Viipuri/Viborg functioning as Marquis /Markgraf after German model. The union was a reaction against the strong influence German merchants had around the Baltics, illustrated by a German being elected king in Sweden in the late 14th century, but the union gets questioned both by the nobility, when they are discontent, and by the Commons, when they experience worsening conditions. Germans continue to play a dominating role in towns and mining. 1398 Tyska Orden (the German Order) occupies Gotland. Year 1408 they sell the island to King Erik, who came to regard it as his private property. 1434-36 A rebellion led by Engelbrecht is motivated by the king of the Kalmar union breaking a promise not to change laws or taxes without asking the people (i.e. the four Estates at a Diet). In January 1435 a Diet appointed Engelbrecht as captain for the Swedish realm, and as such he negotiated with the union-king that year - with poor results. In response to demands from the country the four Estates were summoned to a new Diet in Arboga 1436; which decided to continue the rebellion. Engelbrecht was elected king. But then the two higher Estates (nobility and clergy) chose to appoint another man as captain for the realm, while the two lower Estates supported Engelbrecht. The result: Engelbrecht being assassinated, and succeeded by his allied the high-born Karl Knutsson Bonde, Engelbrecht's "marsk" (commander-in-chief), who then kills the most famous supporters of Engelbrecht. The bishop and magnates in Finland had not so much sympathy for Engelbrecht's rebellion, but after the Diet in Arboga they joined. In the following years all four Estates are participating in Diets, and Swedes flatter themselves with 550 years of continuous peasant participation in the Diets where taxes and laws were negotiated. 1440 the Swedish regent the Marsk Karl Knutsson and the Duke Christoffer of Bavaria agree with the most of the nobility in Sweden and Denmark: Duke Christoffer becomes regent (later king) for all of the union and Karl Knutsson becomes independent count (jarl) of Viipuri, keeping the crown's taxes to use for the defense of the eastern border. And, of course, as marsk he remains in the Swedish State Council. When Christoffer of Bavaria dies 1448, only 35 years old, and no follower is agreed upon, the Swedish State Council finds it a matter of course to appoint Karl Knutsson to king. The Danish State Council did of course find this initiative highly impudent and had to appoint someone else. 1449-1450 King Karl (Knutsson Bonde) is crowned to king of Norway in opposition against the Danish King Christian, who some months earlier had been elected king of Norway. (King Christian I was the first in the Oldenburg dynasty, and since the crown of Norway was to be inherited, the election was regarded as illegal by many magnates on the Scandinavian peninsula.) Year 1450 King Karl is forced by the Swedish State Council to give up the Norwegian crown, after pressure from the union-king in Denmark. The atrocities calm down after Karl Knutsson has devasted Scania and put the towns Vä, Helsingborg and Lund to fire. 1463-71 Swedish peasants formed armies at many occasions, fighting the smaller but professional troops of the union-king. The peasants were supported, and often encouraged, by the separatists among the nobility. In 1471 the election of a separatist as regent for Sweden led to a relative calmness. After Novgorod's defeat under Moscow 1471 the eastern border becomes a trouble again, after 150 years of relative peace. 1497 The State Council tried to depose the separatist regent for Sweden who declared he had been appointed by all of the people in Sweden through the Estates at the Diet. The king of the union, King Hans of Denmark, hired an army which vanquished the regent's separatist army, but the State Council soon accepts the four Estates as their in practice highest authority. [ the sections above are available at the www-page http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq733.html ] 7.3.4 The consolidation of the state The 16th century is markedby struggle between the kings and the high noble members of the Council of the Realm. The kings' actions in this struggle were * emmancipation from the Denmark-dominated Kalmar Union (the chief idea of the Sture dynasty, finally represented by Gustav 1 Vasa); * emancipation from the supranational Catholic Church (Gustav Vasa to Gustavus II Adolphus); * strengthening of the Crown's economical position; * making the monarchy hereditary; The peasantry, the low nobility and the common priests were in majority at the Diets of the four Estates of the Realm, and cooperated willingly with the kings against the higher noblemens' interests. 1520-1560 Gustaf Vasa When the Danish King Christian II is coronated in Stockholm, he executed a hundred men, burghers and noblemen, who belonged to the separatist Sture-party. This so called Stockholm blood bath causes again a rebellion in Sweden which is led by Gustaf Vasa. (The name is often spellt "Gustav".) With the help of the Hansa-city of Lübeck, Vasa defeats the Danes and is elected king. Gustav Vasa's election to Swedish king turned out to mark a definitive end of the Kalmar Union. The Swedish realm was unified, despite several rebellions, and Denmark was severly struck by internal conflicts. Denmark's King Christian II was dethroned, and did then several attempts to regain the throne - and the Union. The most important try was made in 1533, after the death of his successor Fredrik I. The plot by the mayors of Malmö, Copenhagen and Lübeck lead to an intense Civil War, Grevefejden 1533-36. The effect of the Civil War in Denmark was dramatic: * Norway lost its status as kingdom, * the Danish peasantry lost the right to posess land, * Reformation was introduced also in Denmark (with Norway), * the Hansa's power-position and Germany's strong influence over the Scandinavian peninsula was broken, and * Gustav Vasa could feel more secure about his throne. The king became very competent in using the rivalry between factions and individuals to the advantage of the Crown. The radical reformists are held back by the king avoiding reactions from the more conservative among the peasants and the nobles. Gustaf Vasa summoned sometimes noble Diets and sometimes Diets with all four Estates represented. From 1544 the crown is to be inherited. Protests against the king's powerful rule leads to rebellions in Dalarna, Västergötland & Småland 1524-25, 1527, 1529, 1531, 1536, 1539 and 1542-43. After the rebellion in southern Götaland 1542-43 (Dackefejden) King Gustaf did his outmost to get the Commons to also accept his politics. The means were both skillful propaganda and real compromises. An important saving was the transition from a mercenary army to soldiers raised in all of the country. Now the Diets become important as legitimating the king's actions and supremacy over clergy and nobility. The words Ständer (Estates - 1544) and Riksdag ("realm's meeting" - 1561) are introduced instead of the older Herredag ("meeting of the lords"). Reformation is approved by the Diet of Västerås 1527. Sweden becomes Lutheran, the Church is stripped of its riches and the debts to Hanseatic towns and merchants could be paid. By the surplus from the confiscations large lands gave the Crown an outstanding strength compared to the noble landowners. The bishops' military power cease. Before this clergy and nobility owned approximately one sixth each of the tilled land in the realm, concentrated in Svealand & Götaland where they owned far more than the half. Few years later, 1530, the king starts ordaining bishops and archbishops. One of the important consequences of the Reformation is the obligation for the parishes to engage a parish clerk responsible for educating the people in reading the Bible and/or the catechism, and for the clergy to examine the peasants yearly in their homes. Many also learned to write. The clerical education at convents and cathedral schools is however devastated. As the Church lost its capital the Crown took over the responsibility for diseased and poor people. In reality, however, it became the villages and parishioners who had to organize and finance it all. With the Reformation the usage of runic inscriptions cease also in everyday life (except for in Dalarna where it remained to the 19th century). Archaeological findings suggest that runic knowledge had persisted through all of the medieval time, however the Latin alphabet had higher status and was used by the church, nobility and royal administration. Until the 18th century a runic calendar was in rural use, where 19 runes represented the years (in each lunar cycle of 235 true months). Gustaf Vasa's interest in the Reformation seems not to have had with religion to do. Instead he was appealed by the possibilities to get rid of competing powers, as the Germans, the Danes and the State Council with the bishops and the higher nobility. The idea of strengthening the position of the local languages, Swedish and Finnish, is however known to have delighted the king who hadn't learned much Latin. High culture was not at all promoted during his reign. Gustaf Vasa encouraged the mining leading to increased demand on workers which was satisfied by internal migration to the mining districts - not the least from Finland. 1560-1660 The construction of Sweden as a Great Power of Europe After Gustav Vasa's death three of his sons came to succeed each other on the throne. The usurpers gained access to the throne through support from the military - i.e. the nobility. Printing of books becomes a privilege received from the Crown. The bishops take over the responsibility for censure except for academic works. The state starts the publishing of a news paper. Gustav Vasa's son, the mentally unstable Erik XIV, becomes king 1560, and in 1561 he starts Sweden's overseas conquests by capturing northern Estonia from the Teutonic Knights. 1563-70 War with Denmark In 1563-70 war between Denmark and Sweden led to devastatings on both sides. Halland, Blekinge, Bohuslän and Oslo with surroundings were burned by the Swedes, and towns & castles of Västergötland and Östergötland were put to fire by the Danish king's vasall Count Daniel Rantzau's troops. The nobility fights for its rights and privileges. During Erik's regime measures against corrupt sheriffs and despotic nobility were prioritized, and a peasant army was organized (according to the historian Knut Carlqvist the first of its kind in Europe - i.e. organized peasant-infantry on the side of the authorities'). In 1563 the highest nobility, the Danish king and the Duke Johan (of Åland and parts of Finland) had started a combined war and coup d'etat. In despise for the peasants (and discontent at the king) the noble general refuses to use peasant infantry in battle. (Which saved the Danish army that time.) King Erik XIV chose a commoner as chancellor, Jöran Persson, and in 1568 Erik married a common soldier's daughter Karin Månsdotter after unsuccessfully courting e.g Elizabeth I of England and Mary Stuart of Scotland. The Swedish nobility acts against Erik's plans wishing to get the king closer to them through marriage with any of their daughters. In the same year his brother Duke Johan, who had been pardoned after the coup 1563, turns against Erik and imprisons him. The Duke becomes King Johan III and Erik, having been sent from one prison to another for nine years, is finally poisoned in 1577 after several death sentences by the National Council, however never executed due to fear of the public reaction. King Johan doesn't summon the peasantry to the next Diets, declares commons to be unfit as chancellors (Erik's chancellor Jöran Persson get severely tortured before beheading) and pay back to the nobility by reliefs and more privileges. Immigration encouraged Skillful smiths were recruited from what today is Belgium; Dutchmen were recruited to build new towns, particularly Gothenburg; Scottish men were hired as soldiers. The western parts of the kingdom, great uninhabited woods around the sea Vänern, were colonized by skillful farmers from Savolax in Finland encouraged by the king's brother Duke Karl. The Finns from western Finland, who came to work in Svealand's towns, mines, industries and agriculture were soon integrated. A popular tradition, represented also in school books, describes the relations between the Swedes and the migrants from eastern Finland as violent. Established historical science and official sources give no such indications. The Savolaxians in the woods were isolated and remained culturally different for hundreds of years (the migration was ended at 1680 when maybe 10'000 Finns had moved to the woods of western Svealand). The annals from the courts give the impression of the Finns living in peaceful co-existence with the Swedish peasants. When the situation had settled after the Thirty Years' War Sweden's territories were bigger than ever later or before. Inside the new realm people came to move between the different parts. A policy of swedifying hit the new provinces, maybe most in Scandinavia, including founding universities and change of priests and some noble men. The year 1682 the king decided that Finns had to learn Swedish or to return to Finland. This official policy was however impossible to enforce in the distant woods, but has remained until recent days. 1590-95 Sweden fights a smaller war with Russia that ends with the peace of Teusina and the recognition of Sweden's right to northern Estonia. Russia had tried to expand toward the Baltic sea all since Novgorod had fallen for Moscow in year 1471. Poland and Sweden had a common interest against Russia, and had fought successfully in wars around 1560. After the death of King Johan III 1592 the throne is inherited by his son, the Catholic King Sigismund of Poland, who is not accepted by all involved. Duke Karl leads the opposition - for instance at Diets he has summoned himself. On the king's side stand most of the nobility, and particularly Claes Fleming, viceroy in Finland, who hindered the participation from Finland in a Diet 1595. The nobility and King Sigismund aimed at collecting all of the coasts of the Baltic Sea under a Polnish-Swedish Union, at the same time closing Russia's access to the Baltic Sea and improving the position of the noble estate-owners. Sweden's nobility suffered much from the kings' and the peasanty's independence, and a union with Poland promised in the long run to gain the aristocracy of Sweden. After the war against Russia many troops still remain in Finland, and the peasants are increasingly discontent with their duty to supply the troops who ought to be demobilized. Duke Karl supports a rebellion against Claes Fleming, but Fleming dies a natural death. This was the last time a peasant rebellion in Sweden was a real threat for the current government. 1596-99 Civil war between King Sigismund of Poland & Sweden and his uncle, Duke Karl. Most nobility supported the king, but Sigismund is kicked out, and the Duke becomes King Karl IX. (Appointed by the Estates 1600 although the under-age Crown Prince Johan, son of King Johan III, rightfully stood closer to the throne. Prince Johan abdicated in 1604.) The brief personal union with Poland is over. King Karl follows up on Erik's anti-feudal policy. 1611-13 War with Denmark, Russia & Poland Then King Karl IX dies while the heir is not yet legally mature to enter the throne. To make a complicated matter worse: Sweden is in war with Denmark, Poland and Russia. Great parts of the nobility, knowledgeable in warfare, advocated Sweden's legal king, the Catholic Sigismund, which would re-set the war-scene to more equal terms: Denmark/Russia against Sweden/Poland. The common Estates did however prefer the under-age Crown Prince Gustav Adolf. The solution was important constitutional concessions making the king more dependent of the Parliament, and most of all of the higher nobility - a dependency which came to last until 1680. The role and priveleges of the nobility were constitutionally fixed; The State Council (the Council of the Realm) which played a major role 1280-1527 gets anew importance - most all as the Highest Authority while the king was fighting overseas. The Swedish-Danish war was this time fought in the less populated provinces of Småland, Västergötland, Dalsland and Värmland. The Norwegians proved to be very unwilling to warfare and very willing to desert. Thus this war was one of the least bloody of its epoque. The king and the leading noble Civil Officers adjust very well to the new situation, in a cooperation with radical effects on Swedish policy and Civil Service. 1630-48 in the Thirty Year Gustav II Adolf (Gustavus Adolphus) interferes in the Thirty Years' War (1616-48) and Swedish troops fight in Russia, Poland, Austria and Germany. The "Lion of the North" achieves legendary status as the defender of Protestants, he receives crushing victories but his appetite for conquest grows and eventually the king is killed in the battle of Lützen, 1632, after which the war fortunes waded back and forth for the following 16 years. Gustav's daughter Christina becomes queen; as she is still under age until 1644 the country is led by Sweden's perhaps most famous statesman Axel Oxenstierna. The year 1638 Sweden's American colony, "New Sweden" (in present day Delaware) is founded and settled by Swedish and Finnish pioneers. The colony remains in Swedish hands only for 17 years, and is lost to the Dutch. 1643-45 War with Denmark Another war between Denmark and Sweden is initiated as Sweden attacks Jutland and Scania. In the peace of Brömsebro Sweden gains Jämtland, Härjedalen, Ösel, Gotland and (for thirty years) Halland. 1644-54 Queen Christina The reign of Queen Christina, the daughter of Gustav II Adolf, was at the same time one of favoring arts, culture, science and philosophy, and on the other hand a period of continued expensive wars on the continent, which had ruined Sweden's economy by raising hundreds of new families into nobility who were exempted from taxation. This was more or less made undone by her followers, her cousin King Karl X and his son Karl XI, in the second half of the century. The year 1654 the queen converts to Catholicism and gives up the crown. The conversion of the daughter of the greatest enemy of Catholicism was a brilliant propaganda victory for the Catholic counter-reformation. She spends the rest of her life in Rome. 1657-60 War with Denmark Another of the wars between Denmark and Sweden is this time started by a Danish re-conquest of Jämtland & Härjedalen. After a Swedish advance from Germany through "Store Belt" the Danes accepted a peace in Roskilde ceding the province of Trondheim, Bohuslän, Halland ("for ever"), Blekinge, Bornholm and Denmark's richest province Scania. The peace treaty did however not lead to a stop of Sweden's warfare, laying siege to Denmark's capital Copenhagen. Denmark was really threatened by eradication, but Holland and England couldn't support such a development. The peace treaty was renewed. Bornholm and Trondheim were regained by Denmark's Crown, and an intense Swedifying process was launched in the provinces won by Sweden: Priests and Civil Servants were exchanged, noblemen lost their properties unless they had proved to be loyal to the Swedish Crown, and improving the Danification policy in Norway from the previous century the use of Swedish language became necessary for them who didn't want to be perceived as illoyal to the conquerer. It is easy to understand the importance for the Swedish realm of the territorial gains of 1658/60, when considering that Bohuslän, Halland, Skåne and Blekinge today is inhabited by more than a fourth of Sweden's total population. Denmark's control over Sweden's access to the North Sea and the Atlantic was broken. 1662-89 Censure strengthened The censure of the increased realm is centralized to Stockholm, with considerable delays for distant universities and bishops as the result. Nevertheless the number of prints in the periphery increase, with two prints in Turku /Åbo, one each in Viipuri /Viborg, Tartu /Dorpat, Uppsala and Lund. 1665 the censors are instructed to remove all disgraceful attacks hinting that printed matters had been used in heated disputes. From 1689 any written critic of the government is prohibited, also in protocols from the State Council and the Diets. But this era is also that of Sweden's first scientist in a modern sense Olof Rudbeck the Elder (1630-1702) teacher, university rector, scientist, archaeologist and more. Arriving at the University of Uppsala in 1648, he pursued his medical studies so successfully that in 1652 he unveiled an epoch-making discovery: the human lymphatic system. In 1654 he laid out Sweden's first botanical garden at Uppsala. Rudbeck was one of the most versatile men that Sweden has ever produced. He urged the establishment of secondary schools focusing on technology and science, built bridges, planned water systems and taught many subjects including mathematics, astronomy and architecture. 1675-79 War with Denmark Denmark declares war. King Karl XI, who newly has came to age, discovers the great fleet and the state finances being ruined. Scania is taken back by the Danes, the Swedish troops retract to Småland and returns strengthened, conquering Scania once again. Major battles are fought in Scania, as for instance at Lund December 4th 1676. The archepelago of Blekinge and the deep woods at the old border between Småland and Scania/Blekinge were controlled by pirates and guerilla units more or less cooperating with the regular Danish forces. The Diet 1680 makes the State Council (representing the highest nobility), which was governing when the king was under age, personally responsible for the bad state finances. The Diet also makes the king independent of the State Council, and the Diet also accepted to hand over its lawgiving power to the king. The King Karl XI used his dictatorship also for radical reforms of the state administration, the Army and the education of the commoners. On later Diets the nobility was (collectively) forced to give back some of the land which had been given them as reward for services to the State. The Swedifying process of the southern provinces is facilitated by the population's memory of plundrings by the armies and guerilla units, and also by rumors (or Swedish propaganda) of harsh treatment of common Scanians who had followed Danish proclamations biding the Scanians to come over to Zealand. 1680-1720 Successive incorporation of the Scanian provinces in the Swedish national state. 1680 the province Blekinge is declared incorporated in Sweden in connection with the construction of a navy base. 1682/83 the Scanian civil and clerical laws were replaced by Swedish laws. 1693 Halland is incorporated in Sweden. 1700-21 The Great Northern War Sweden is attacked by an alliance of Denmark, Poland and Russia. The young King Karl XII invades Denmark forcing it to accept a separate peace. He then turns toward Russia, lands in Estonia with 10 000 men and achieves a glorious victory in the battle of Narva against a three times larger Russian army. With Russia and Denmark beaten, Karl XII ignores all suggestions of negotiating peace and attacks Poland. This gives Peter I of Russia time to raise a new army and to start reconquering the Swedish territories. Karl XII eventually succeeds in subduing Poland, and starts a new campaign against Russia heading for Moscow. The troops that were planned to come to aid the main army, however, never manage to show up, and Karl is forced to turn south to Ukraine because of problems with supply. There he suffers a crushing defeat in the battle of Poltava June 28th 1709 and most of the Swedish army surrenders while Karl XII manages to escape with a thousand men to Turkey. He spent several years there trying to form a new alliance against Russia. 1709-10 War with Denmark As Sweden's army is crushed Denmark launch a new mission to re-conquest Scania. In November Denmark lands 16,000 man in Råå south of Helsingborg. Like in 1676 the Swedish troops retreats to Småland, to return strengthened. February 28th, at the Helsingborg's battle, the Danes are beaten and forced to retire inside their fortress. With Finland occupied by Russians, most of the Baltic provinces lost and Sweden itself threatened by a Russian invasion, the Estates decide in 1714 that a peace is necessary. But since the king was still in Turkey a messenger was sent there to inform him that Sweden would accept any peace terms given unless the king soon returns to Sweden. Karl XII reacts immediately, rides in 15 days through the whole of Europe ,with only one man accompanying him. After the king had returned, all talk of peace was banned. In 1716 King Karl XII still manages to raise an army of 40 000 man, and attacks Norway in 1718. King Karl XII agrees with Russia at peace negotiations in Lövö village at Åland to cede Karelia and the remaining Baltic territories. In exchange Russia accepts to suport a Swedish attack on Norway during which the king gets killed (in 1718) while laying siege to Fredrikshald in Norway. To this date, it isn't known whether the bullet came from the Norwegian or Swedish side. Whether he was assassinated or not, his death put a welcome end to the Swedish campaigns and the exhausted nation could eventually achieve peace. Peace treaties with Hanover, Prussia, and Denmark leave Sweden only Stralsund, Rügen and parts of Vorpommern of its former "German territories". The most severe of the peace treaties is, however, the one with Russia signed in Nystad in 1721. Sweden loses, in accordance with the accord with Russia, all its Baltic territories, the southeastern part of Finland, and ultimately its status as a major power. [ the sections above are available at the www-page http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq734.html ] 7.3.5 toward democracy 1718-72 the so called Age of Freedom Political power shifts from the king to the Estates. (With the new constitution the incorporation of Scania and other conquered provinces is completed.) A two-party system develops and Arvid Horn, a Finnish noble man and one of King Karl XII's best militaries and administrators, became the most well-known Prime Minister, totally outshining the King Fredrik I who actually came on the throne as the consort of the abdicated queen. During the period 1720-1738 Arvid Horn pilots Sweden between Russian and French conflicts, but resigns finally accused for weakness and exaggerated fear for wars. His party gets the nickname the "Nightcaps" opposed by the pride "Hats." In the country the parish meetings are now established as deciding authority, electing priests, organizing common work and poor relief, and stating moral and juridical sentences (the latter without formal right). In 1742 the Estates confirm the democratic forms for decisions at the village meeting. The reason is unclear. The institution had worked well for many hundreds of years. Maybe the lords in the new more feudal southern provinces made problems, maybe the increase of crofters and impecunious caused tension. 1741-43 the War of the Hats The French-minded "Hat Party" advocating aggressive foreign politics became a majority in the Riksdag and declares war on Russia. The war goes miserably and Finland is occupied by Russia. In connection with the "War of the Hats" Dalecarlian distrust for the heavily bribed politicians erupted in a minor mutiny of the Dalecarlian regiment (Lilla Daldansen) and in a more serious uprising when a large armed deputation marched to Stockholm (Stora Daldansen) requesting the responsible for the war to be strictly prosecuted, the king's power to be restored, a Danish prince to be elected king, and thereby, in effect, the Nordic Union to be restored, which subsequently would restore the trade over the Dalecarlian border to Norway. The government fled in fear from Stockholm, some military troops refused to shoot on the Dalecarlians, but other troops attacked harshly. In the peace treaty of Turku, Russia despite her military success agrees to gaining only fairly minor territories in eastern Finland under the condition the Swedish Estates elect the Russian-approved Prince-bishop Adolf Fredrik of Lübeck to heir to the Swedish throne. Liberty of Press Adolf Fredrik, who became king in 1751, was said to be relatively content with his limited power, but his wife Queen Lovisa Ulrika was not. In 1756 she initiated a failed coup d'etat. This leads instead to the king's signature on decrees is declared to be replaceable by a stamp - in practice it ment the abolishment of the king's right to veto governmental decisions. Year 1766 the censure of printed matters is abolished. The campaign is led by the priest Anders Chydenius from Finland, and had at the diet 1761 gained support in all circles opposing the governing Hat Party, including the Court Party which wished to make the king's protests in the State Council publically known. The censor of the last twenty years of governmental censure, mr Oelreich, had made himself impopular in all parties, including the governing Hat Party, known to be intelligent, stubborn and parsimonious. The salary of the censor was dependent of him approving works, and so he did, tired of orders and contra orders from the leading Hat politicians. After the Caps having gained the majority in the Riksdag, the Liberty of Press was enacted and declared as constitution. An important part was making documents of the state administration (with few exceptions) publicly available, the "offentlighetsprincipen". The proud principles are however successively violated. After one year the king's right of expressions over political questions is withdrawn. At the shift of majority from Caps to Hats again in 1769 it's the Hats who advocate the Liberty of Expression, but at power also they violate the letters of the constitution. Scientific inventions and discoveries (Most of the text in this section is quoted from the Swedish Institute's Fact Sheets.) With the Frihetstiden Sweden experienced not only a surge of political debate and curiosity, but also a surge of scientific curiosity. Christopher Polhem (1661-1751) lived in an age when it was still possible for one individual to learn and to master a large proportion of human knowledge. Without question, he was among those who strived to be universalists. He designed lathes, clocks, tools and a wide variety of machines. During his 90-year life, Polhem turned out numerous inventions and ingenious designs. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he built his own machines and carried out many of his own projects. Anders Celsius (1701-44), astronomer and mathematician, is best known today for the centigrade thermometer that bears his name and is now used in much of the world. But Celsius initially designated the boiling point of water as zero degrees and the melting point of ice at 100°. Later, Linnaeus (see below) is said to have turned this scale upside down. Celsius carried out a number of highly important astronomical measurements as well. Carl von Linné (1707-78), born Linnaeus and known in English by the latter name, is mainly famous for the systematic classification of plants, animals and minerals presented in the work Systema naturae. Linnaeus made his first scientific journeys in Sweden, resulting in lengthy, many-faceted reports: he traveled to the province of Lapland in 1732, to Dalarna in 1734 and finally to Skåne in 1749. He also sent his disciples to all corners of the world to collect specimens and report their observations: Anders Sparrman and Carl Peter Thunberg traveled to China; Sparrman and David Solander participated in James Cook's round-the-world expedition; Thunberg visited Japan; Johan Peter Falck explored the interior of Asia; Pehr Kalm traveled to North America; Anton Martin to the Arctic Ocean, Daniel Rolander and Pehr Löfling to South America, Fredrik Hasselqvist to Palestine and Peter Forsskål to Arabia. Only in recent years has it been possible fully to appreciate Linnaeus's greatness as a scientist, especially as a botanist, and as a physician. His insistence on empirical evidence for all conclusions furthered the cause of the inductive method in the natural sciences. Pehr Wilhelm Wargentin (1717-83) combined scientific talent with good organizational skills in leading the Royal Academy of Sciences to a position of stability and renown. He laid the groundwork for modern Swedish population statistics on the basis of a 1686 law requiring the Church of Sweden to keep records of births, deaths and people who moved into or out of each parish. In 1749 Tabellverket, a government agency for statistics headed by Wargentin, was established to compile this Church-collected material. As a result, Sweden (along with Finland, then part of the country) has the world's oldest official population statistics. Wargentin's agency was the forerunner of Statistics Sweden (Statistiska centralbyrån, SCB). Carl Wilhelm Scheele (1742-86) began as an apprentice to an apothecary. Working on his own, he gained a broad knowledge of chemistry surpassing that of most internationally famous chemists of his era. Scheele devised many outstanding analytic techniques and was the first to verify that the same metal may go through different stages of oxidation. He discovered several chemical elements, among them chlorine and molybdenum, and isolated many other substances. The split of the realm in two parts The events leading forward to the split of Sweden in one Grand Duchy under the Russian emperor and one rest-kingdom under a French general is an often returning topic in the newsgroup. A relatively minute account of the circumstances will therefore be given. 1772-1809 the "Gustavian era" Gustav III performs a coup 1772 (and restores absolute monarchy in 1789). The coup was planned as joint actions simultaneously in Stockholm, Finland and Scania. Despite failures of the plan Gustav has luck in Stockholm with support of the royal guard, and a changed constitution is approved by the Estates. Gustav's coup was very popular. People had become tired of the disadvantages of parliamentarism. Gustav's rule is authoritarian and freedom of speech is step by step limited, but in the spirit of "enlightened autocracy" he pushes through many important reforms that the Estates had been unable to decide on during the Age of Freedom. Swedish economy strengthens, laws are made more humane, new towns and roads are built, the navy is reformed and arts are favored. The attitudes at the royal court had been markedly discontent with the royal powerlessness after 1756, which was balanced by intense intriguing (and tries to influence the foreign powers which by bribes to the parliamentarians tried to control the Swedish politics). After Gustav's coup d'etat much of this intriguing atmosphere remained reinforced by disappointed nobles and courtiers (and the king's mother and brother) who had hoped for greater favors and advantages. The Queen-widow Lovisa Ulrika also accused her son for the cold relations between King Gustav and Queen Sofia Magdalena from Denmark (married 1766) and his limited interest in the continuance of the dynasty. Surprisingly the birth of an heir, Crown-Prince Gustav Adolf, led to undisguised hostility between the king and his mother who didn't believe the child to be his. The king's choice of bed-mates were not much of a problem for his contemporaries. However quite another importance had endangering the legitimacy of the royal dynasty. The conflicts at the court increased after Gustav Mauritz Armfelt from Turku /Åbo 1781 had been appointed Gentleman to the king. Armfelt had according to the noble critics far too much influence over the king. The death of the queen-widow in 1782 did lead to slightly improved relations between the king and the nobility, but at the diet 1786 the nobility and the peasantry found each others as allied against the king's unrealistic plans for war. Concessions for demands from this opposition became necessary (for instance the State monopoly for distillation of spirits was revoked), and the king perceived the unusual cooperation between the lowest and the highest Estates as a personal betrayal. From 1787 it's again death punishment on critic of governmental actions. 1788-90 Gustav's war against Russia Sweden attacks Russia hoping to reconquer eastern parts of Finland and Ingria ("Ingermanland"). The troops are poorly motivated, the war goes badly, a rebellion known as the Anjala-alliance rises among the officers in Finland and Gustav has to stop the Russian campaign. Meanwhile, Denmark attacks Sweden, but finds England and Prussia opposing all military actions in the Danish straits, and is forced to accept a truce. In June 1789 the war at the eastern front is continued, but with no significant advance on land and several defeats on sea. However, on July 9th 1790 in Svensksund on the Finnish coast, the Swedish navy achieves a glorious victory in the largest naval battle ever fought on the Baltic sea. After this Russia accepts a peace offered by Sweden. At the peace negotiations in Värälä Sweden's head representative Gustav Mauritz Armfelt manages to establish good relations with the Russians, on a personal level, and achieved a peace without ceding of territories. Absolute monarchy After the failed Anjala revolt the support for King Gustav had increased among the commoners. At a diet 1789 this was used to crush the noble opposition and (partly by illegal means) give the king absolute power. The conflict with the nobility is thereby reinforced. (As one of the consequences of this conflict the protocol from the noble Estate of the diet is printed in Russia's capital St Petersburg - while Sweden was in war with Russia.) Plans to overthrow the dictator seems to be approved also by Duke Karl, the king's brother, who was prepared to take up the crown. Year 1792 Gustav attends a masquerade ball in Stockholm's opera despite several warnings about conspirators planning an assassination. Around midnight, he is mortally wounded by a certain J. J. Anckarström, and dies a couple of weeks later. During his illness he plans for the time after his death. Armfelt is entrusted the guardianship of Prince Gustav Adolf and made head of the council of regency. Since the king doesn't die immediately it's not suitable to appoint Duke Karl to king. His supporters manage however to replace the dead king's arrangements. Duke Karl becomes a sole regent while the young Crown Prince Gustav Adolf is underage and Armfelt is sent far away to Naples as ambassador, and 1794 in his absence sentenced as traitor to lose name, citizenship and possessions. Until 1799, when the king had come to age and Armfelt was pardoned, he lived in Russia. Russia was the grand and growing power of the 18th century. Adornment for Russia was common among the societal elites in the Nordic states. During the Age of Freedom both Russia and France spent huge amounts to bribe the parliamentarians of the Swedish Riksdag. After the French revolution only one big power remained for ambitious officers discontent with the options in the diminishing Swedish realm - Russia. 1807-1808 Russia had agreed in the treaty of Tilsit, July 5th 1807, to pressure Sweden to join the Napoleonic anti-British trade blockade. The new Russian capital would also need more of security, for instance by chasing the enemy from all of the coast around the Gulf of St Petersburg. But Sweden refuses to listen to the Russian ultimatums and scare-tactics and remains opposed to Napoleon. Eventually, when all diplomatic means have failed, Russia attacks Finland February 21st 1808. Due to intelligence reports the army in Finland was mobilized since three weeks, and initially the war goes according to the Swedish plans. But then the fortress Suomenlinna /Sveaborg surrenders bafflingly May 3rd 1808, after less than two months of siege. When Russia on March 28th 1808 proclaimed Finland to have become "eternally incorporated in Russia" the educated class in Finland (i.e. clergy, landowners and administrators - all Swedish speaking) seems to have greeted this with satisfaction. The peasantry, however, dreaded to become enserfed as their Estonian neighbors had been. (The mother tongue of the peasantry was dominantly Finnish.) The abyss of distrust widened between the Swedish speaking upper classes and the peasantry in Finland (Finnish and Swedish speaking). The state officials, formally still serving the Swedish Crown, had a hard time trying to convert the hostile farmers to supply the Russian military with hay and food after four years of crop failures, often also to hinder the peasants from attacks on the occupants, and even more troubles to convince about the advantages in swearing an oat to the Russian emperor Alexander, which was decreed after the surrender of Suomenlinna. Instead the peasantry organized guerilla units, sometimes cooperating with the Swedish fleet and army. Two proclamations by high Russian officials in April and June, followed by the emperor's declaration June 17th 1808, promising not to change any laws or privileges, came not to be believed at once. At the same time the Russian army had been instructed to carry out public executions in case peasants were found with weapons. A peculiar method to try to make friends with hunters. On Åland, for example, a rebellion starts May 6th with a capturing of the Russians guarding the main island, a few hundreds of men, and hinders thereby probably a planned invasion north of Stockholm. May 10th another 600 Russians are trapped by 450 peasants and the rottening ice. On other islands of Åland smaller troops were captured by the peasantry and delivered to Sweden. Grand Duchy 1809 But with the winter the guerilla warfare stopped. By the spring of 1809 the Finnish troops had surrendered, the main army had retreated half-way through Sweden and in the peace treaty of Hamina /Fredrikshamn September 1809 the whole of Finland was joined to Russia. The peace was anticipated by the diet in Porvoo /Borgå end of March 1809, where the Estates of Finland declared their will to come under Russian rule. The revolution in Stockholm, a few weeks before, must have made the decision even easier. Armfelt is said to have been among the most eager advocates of the association with Russia - the modern and advantageous empire of this time. But he still also played a roll in Stockholm. After the creation of the Grand Duchy his influence grew, and after having been expelled from Sweden 1811 (i.e. for the second time) he became favorite and councillor for Alexander I whom he had met in Porvoo 1809 - if not before. According to Encyclopedia Britannica Armfelt contributed more than anyone else to the erection of the grand duchy as an autonomous state and to the improved relations between Russia and Sweden after the conference 1812 between Alexander and Crown Prince Karl Johan. Revolution 1809 For the defense of Sweden's territories an extra conscription for an extra army had been made among males below the age of 26 years. Unfortunately their training was far too brief, and then at the fronts in the south and the west they were left with deficient support, why many died from hunger and freezing. Because of the disastrous war Gustav IV Adolf loses power in a coup d'etat March 13th 1809, and a new constitution is written that puts an end to Gustavian autocracy. With the loss of Finland it is made evident that the strength of the Swedish army was far more depending on soldiers from Finland than her 27% share of the population would suggest. After 1809 Sweden has had no belief in its capacity as a military aggressor. The constitution was signed June 6th 1809 by Duke Karl, again regent after the king had been dethroned. Duke Karl is elected king (Armfelt led the opposition advocating the Crown-Prince as the legal heir), and the Danish Prince Christian August, who led the Norwegian government and army, was elected to Crown Prince of Sweden - obviously with a Nordic union planned, but the Danish King Frederik VI opposed this idea, unless he himself was elected. May 1810 the Swedish Crown Prince dies unexpectedly; his big brother accepts to succeed him, but suddenly a French Marshall Jean Baptiste Bernadotte announces his candidacy, and in solely ten days the state council, the king and the Estates change their minds. The election in August is unanimous. In 1812 new wordings are settled for the constitutional Liberty of Expression and Publicity of Official Documents ("offentlighetsprincipen") - in a more liberal version than 1766. Theological censure is abolished, but newspapers have to be licensed by the government for another 40 years, and finally a contradiction gets hidden in a late compromise version: "Printed matters with expression causing misunderstanding with foreign power can be confiscated without judicial trial." Until 1939 this was never used, but then over 300 times to please the Nazi Germany. Before that Sweden had experienced the last peasant uprising. In 1811 a thousand peasants had arrived at Klågerup's castle in western Scania to protest against the cruel noble master and against the calling up of new troops for the attack on Norway (with the failed wars of 1808/1809 in fresh memory, when the hastily summoned and barely trained soldiers died from hunger and freezing due to bad supply of food and tents). The threatening mob was driven away from the manor by military troops, and thereby 29 peasants were killed ( - this is the official figure, rumors say that most corpses had been taken care of by friends and relatives before the rest was counted by the military). 1814-1905 - Union with Norway In return for its anti-Napoleonic stance, Sweden receives Norway in the treaty of Vienna, and the two countries are united in a personal union, with Sweden occupying a leading position. During this period Sweden develops from a poor agrarian country, to a less poor agrarian country - and then industrialism begins. The old villages are divided, each farm get its fields collected; the democratic village meeting loses its function when each farm has its own fences. New methods and crops (potatoes!) are introduced by farmers now independent of the conservative neighbors' opinion. The life expectancy rise - as does the number of crofters and vagrants. In the beginning of the 19th century the vodka consumption is the highest ever, estimated to 24 liters 100% pure alcohol per inhabitant. Paradoxally the slightly improved living conditions, as indicated by longer life expectancy, led to a new kind of misery with a growing number of peasants without property. The crofters, farm-hands etc form a rural proletariat which grows fast while becoming relatively all more impoverished. As a reaction Social-purity ideas grow, leading among other things to reforms of the mandatory schools, of the political representation and of the municipal responsibilities for poor. In 1860 it becomes again prohibited for ordinary citizens to make their own vodka. In 1831 the newspaper Aftonbladet is founded, important because of its struggle to increase the freedom of the press. The king, King Karl XIV Johan at the time, had the right to retract permissions to publish newspapers. When Aftonbladet criticized the king, he retracted the publish rights - but the paper immediately reappeared as "The Second Aftonbladet", "The Third Aftonbladet" and all the way to the "28th Aftonbladet". 1838 the civil service officer responsible for revocal of the governmental license declares this method unfit and useless, and 1844 it's also formally abolished. The revolutions in Europe 1848 were mirrored by disturbances in Stockholm. The mob engaged in window-smashing and throwing stones at the military. About 30 craftsmen, journeymen and apprentices were shot to death. Industrialism About one million Swedes moved to America during the years 1850-90, but the emigration slowed after 1900 because of improved conditions of living and increased industrialization. Norway, industrialized before Sweden, was an enticement on poor Swedes who couldn't afford the fare to America. 1845-1923 Women get equal rights in society * From 1845 daughters inherit as much land as their male siblings. (Until then the sons had got twice as much.) * In 1858 unmarried women get right to dispose own incomes and possessions and also to run enterprises, and come of age at 25 years (including right to vote at the parish meeting in case they earn enough). * Unmarried women get right to state employment in the 1860s. Higher education for women is organized in some towns. * In 1874 married women get right to dispose their income. * As late as 1921 married women get total right to dispose their own possessions and act on their own judicial responsibility, and also rights to vote in parliamentary elections. Finally 1923 also the right to higher positions in the state administrations. 1880s The Scandinavian democratic traditions develop in the working class - initially in the free Churches, the temperance movement (IOGT was established 1879) and the worker's unions which all grow to strong democratic forces. Education extension was an important part of their work. Debates and proclamations are made, from the 1870s public parades are organized to express the will of the people. In the end of the 1880s the Liberty of Press is modified to complicate revolutionary propaganda, which contributed to the conflicts between proletarians and the educated class. The Social Democratic Party is founded 1889. The question of free trade vs. protectionism (tullfrågan) was the big political issue of the 1880s, leading to radically increased participation in the elections. The issue developed to a Left-Right dispute where the free trade proponents were associated with demands for equal suffrage, social reforms and Liberalism in general. The Protectionists championed the Crown and the Army, being the base for the surge of Nationalism in the 1890s. The free trade dispute was also connected with a political "scandal" given a lot attention: One of the Liberal candidates in the parliamentary elections 1887 turned out to have a minor tax debt. This led to lots of votes being declared unguilty, and the protectionists to gain the majority in the parliament. The Prime-Minister and his Cabinet resigned and was succeeded by Gillis Bildt, the grand-grand-grand-grandfather of Carl Bildt, Prime Minister 1991-94. Industrial Inventions (Most of the text in this section is quoted from the Swedish Institute's Fact Sheets.) During the 19th century quite a few inventions were made and put in industrial production. Initially it had very little influence on the ordinary people's miserable conditions, but it is commonly believed that these inventions were the foundation on which the wealth of the 20th century was built. In the 1870s, the Swedish engineering industry entered a period of expansion unparalleled before or since. The next few decades witnessed the creation of a number of companies that would gain a dominant role in Swedish industry. For the most part, they manufactured mechanical products, some so successfully that the engineers that invented them became the heroes of their era. Many of their names remain familiar in Sweden and internationally. Below a few of them are listed. Jöns Jacob Berzelius (1779-1848) was among the first scientists to embrace Dalton's atomic theory. Using this as well as Gay-Lussac's gas law and other theories, he pursued the daunting task of working out the earliest table of atomic weights, which he published in 1818. With the aid of precise calculations, he determined atomic weights for 45 of 49 then-known chemical elements. He also introduced the simplified system of denoting the elements by one or two letters from their Latin names. In 1817 Berzelius discovered the element selenium, in 1823 silicon, and in 1828 thorium. The pioneering work of Anders Jonas Ångström (1814-74) in spectral analysis forms the basis for this entire modern discipline. He analyzed the sun's chemical elements, and in 1868 he published a map of the spectral lines of nearly 100 elements. Ångström was also the first to measure wavelengths in absolute terms. For this purpose he introduced a basic unit, one ten-millionth of a millimeter, later (1905) named after him. Alfred Nobel (1833-96) was only 29 years old when he patented a detonating cap for nitroglycerine and nitric acid, but nitroglycerine was still likely to explode on the slightest impact. In 1866 Nobel discovered that nitroglycerine flowing out of a broken bottle was absorbed by kieselguhr [a porous diatomite] which protected the container from blows. He noticed that the mixture was very stable and easy to handle, but retained its explosive characteristics. This marked the birth of dynamite, patented 1867. Earlier explosives were dangerous to handle, and many people were killed or hurt in accidents. The revenues from Nobel dynamite factories in 20 countries rendered the inventor, who remained a bachelor, an enormous fortune. Alfred Nobel's will created the Nobel Prizes in physics, chemistry, medicine/physiology, literature and peace, to be given to those who had "conferred the greatest benefit on mankind" the preceding year. The Nobel Prizes were awarded for the first time in 1901. After engineering studies in Göteborg and Zurich, Nils Gustav Dalén (1869-1937) became interested in acetylene for lightning. Appointed chief engineer of AB Gasaccumulator (AGA) in 1906, he was responsible for a series of important inventions: agamassa (a substance that absorbs acetylene, reducing the risk of explosions in the same way as dynamite works); a switch for maritime beacons; and the sun valve, which automatically turned on the beacon at nightfall and turned it off at dawn. The AGA beacon meant major savings in personnel and materials and made shipping safer along Sweden's long coastlines. In 1912 Dalén was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics. In 1872, after jobs and studies in Sweden and Germany, Gustaf de Laval (1845-1913) began to concentrate on what would be one of his most important inventions, the cream separator. The first model was patented in 1878. In 1883 a company called AB Separator (later Alfa-Laval) was established to manufacture and export the separator. Laval also designed a milking machine, but his other great invention was a steam turbine with a resilient axle, which he completed in 1892. John Ericsson (1803-89) showed great engineering talents from an early age. In 1826 he moved to England, where he designed the locomotive "Novelty" which competed with George Stephenson's "Rocket." He also developed caloric (hot air) engines, solar collectors and other mechanical devices, but his most important invention was the screw propeller for ships. Ericsson gained widespread fame by designing an ironclad vessel, the Monitor, which defeated the Confederate armored steamer Merrimac in 1862, during the American Civil War. In 1876 Lars Magnus Ericsson (1846-1926) and a partner started the company that evolved into Telefonaktiebolaget L.M. Ericsson, today abbreviated Ericsson. It began manufacturing telephones in 1878 but soon ran into competition from the American-owned Bell company. Lars Magnus Ericsson was chiefly an outstanding entrepreneur, but he also made various improvements to early telephone equipment, designed switchboards and set up telephone networks. As early as the 1890s he established subsidiaries abroad, and Ericsson's products attracted international attention. Carl Edvard Johansson (1864-1943) worked at the government-owned Small Arms Factory in Eskilstuna, where he discovered that the gage blocks being used there did not allow sufficiently precise measurements. So he designed sets of gage blocks of greater accuracy. His gage blocks from 1901 had a tolerance of one thousandth of a millimeter, and in 1907 he patented a gage block set with even finer tolerances. C.E. Johansson's gage blocks eventually played an important role in the Swedish and international engineering industry, particularly in the American automotive industry. Johan Petter Johansson (1853-1943) discovered while working as a mechanic in an industrial plant that he and his assistants often had to carry around numerous wrenches for different nuts and bolts. So he came up with the concept of the universal pipe wrench (1888), and in 1892 he designed and patented the adjustable wrench (monkey wrench or universal screw spanner). He established a company that later became Bahco. More than 100 million monkey wrenches have now been manufactured by the company, now called Sandvik Bahco, and production continues. Throughout the world, about 40 million monkey wrenches of J.P. Johansson's model are produced annually. Johansson made a total of 118 inventions, several of them world-famous and still in production. While only 16 years old, Birger Ljungström (1872-1948) invented and designed a bicycle that had a free wheel and a rear-wheel brake (still the most common type in Sweden). His first prototype, completed in 1892, was later mass-produced under the name Svea. He and his brother Fredrik Ljungström (1875-1964) invented high-pressure steam boilers and a new type of steam turbine, the Ljungström turbine (patented in 1894). Other important inventions were the turbine-powered locomotive and the air preheater. Gustaf Erik Pasch (1788-1862), Johan Edvard Lundström (1815-88) and Alexander Lagerman (1836-1904) laid the groundwork for the Swedish match industry. In 1844 Pasch received a patent for the safety match. He replaced the hazardous yellow phosphorus found in the matches of that period with red phosphorus and put it on the striking surface instead of the match head. In 1845 Lundström and his brother started a match factory which adopted and improved Pasch's invention. In 1864 Lagerman designed the first automatic match fabricating machine, thereby opening the way to mass production of matches. His "full-service machine" produced both matches and match boxes, turning out filled match boxes that were ready for sale. Together with a brother, Frans Wilhelm Lindqvist (1862-1931) developed the kerosene stove, which was patented in the late 1880s. In partnership with a factory owner, he began to manufacture the new stove, dubbed the Primus. About 50 million Primus stoves were made. A clever marketing specialist named B.A. Hjort was instrumental in the success of the Primus stove to which he enjoyed worldwide exclusive sales rights. [ the sections above are available at the www-page http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq735.html ] 7.3.6 War all around Sweden During the 20th century Sweden manages to stay out of both World Wars, achieves a high standard of living and becomes an urbanized welfare state. The parishes are merged to municipalities and then merged again to even bigger municipalities, and then again. The share of the population working on farms drops dramatically, from 80%, to 25% in the 1950s, and levels finally out at 2.5%. 1905-14 The union with Norway is ceased without violence, and almost without threats. (Germany's Emperor had refused Sweden military support.) The workers' unions organize several massive strikes, frightening the upper class. The proposal to equal votes for men was made by a conservative cabinet which feared a revolution as the alternative. World War 1914-1918 Sweden declares itself neutral in the world war. Contacts with, and sympathies for, the German Empire are however common. In February, half a year before the war, King Gustav V addresses the participants of a militarist demonstration (borggårdstalet) expressing support for Germany and the possibility of Sweden joining the war. As a result the Cabinet resigns, and the king appoints (for the last time) a Cabinet without support by the parliament. Sweden does not suffer much for the war - except for shortage of food at the end of the war. During the Civil War in Finland a voluntary Corps (Svenska Frivilligkåren) operated on the White side. It numbered about 8,000 Swedes and circa 700 Norwegians. Åland crisis 1918-1921 The most "violent" actions were connected to Åland where the population against the wills of Russia and the liberating Finland wished to become a part of Sweden, expressed in a petition December 1917 (organized without support from the government of Finland, which December 6th had proclaimed Finland's independence). The petition was signed by over 95% of the adult population. February 1918 the Swedish Cabinet decided to send war ships to rescue refugees fearing Russian prosecution for their separatistic plans. As the Civil War in Finland the very same week extended to the Åland Islands, Swedish naval officers mediated between the combatants who started to leave the islands. A few days later troops from Finland again prepared to land on Åland, and the Swedish Cabinet decided to send a Swedish unit for the protection of the civilians. The departure of 600 man from Sweden followed on February 23rd. Swedish troops were gradually retracted after also German troops had arrived on March 5th. In December 1918 an agreement was made between Sweden, Finland and Germany that the old Russian forts where to be destroyed, which was done in 1919. In 1920 the issue was still hot and the unofficial Åland county council sent representatives to Stockholm, to remind the Swedish government about the wish to re-unite with Sweden. Two leading officials from Åland were subsequently imprisoned in Finland, accused of high treason, and the Swedish government continued its careful neutrality policy from the previous century, trying to achieve the best possible relations with its neighbors instead of prioritizing the Åland people's wish and the strategic interest in the islands for the defense of Stockholm. The League of Nations settled the question in 1921 by demanding Finland and Sweden agree on a treaty guaranteeing Finland's sovereignty but the Åland people far-reaching autonomy. The treaty is still valid. 1920s Industry workers get 48 hours working week in year 1919. The Social Democrats dominate the political life in most towns and in the parliament. Sweden's political development to a parliamentarian democracy, with equal rights for all citizens to participate in elections on municipal and state level, was somewhat delayed compared to the other Nordic countries. It was first towards the end of World War I as the king accepted the principle of parliamentarism, i. e. that the king's councillors, the Cabinet members, had to resign if they lost the confidence of the majority in the parliament. In 1917 King Gustav V unwillingly had to appoint a Cabinet with Liberals and Social Democrats, but thereby the revolutionary impulses from Germany, Russia and Finland were smothered, and the final steps toward equal suffrage for men and women were taken peacefully. Equal suffrage was decided upon in 1918 and in use from the parliamentary elections 1921. Until 1917 the governments were mostly Conservative, 1917-1926 Social Democrats formed most Cabinets, sometimes in coalition with Liberals. In 1932 the Social Democrats returned to the Cabinet, and except for a few months the summer 1936 they remained at power until 1976. I. e. from 1917 until today Social Democrats have been in the Cabinet all the time except: * 1922-1926¹ * 1926-1932 * summer 1936 * 1976-1982 * 1991-1994 ¹/(turbulent period, some Cabinets with Social Democrats) After the first World War a strong popular opinion for disarmament became a major political topic, in line with other West European democracies. 1930s Sweden was without doubt Germany-oriented and Germany-friendly, and to a considerable degree the ideological climate in Germany influented the Swedish society. Social Democrats had their most international contacts with Germany and Austria, and like-wisely the educated class had close connections to Germany. German universities were close - and the best in the world. In Sweden higher education was performed with German textbooks and Germany-educated professors. The Swedish establishement felt akin to the Germans. Germany's period of weaknes after the unjust Versaille peace, with the Weimar Republic and political instability, was grieved in Sweden as in Germany. And thus the "National awakening" after Hitler gaining power was generally understood as good for Germany, or at least as much better than the alternative. What was right for Germany was however not neccessarily right for Sweden. The Swedish Nazi parties got their best results in the parliament elections 1932, with 10,000 votes. They never got represented in the parliament. In 1931 a protest marsh in Ådalen against strike-breachers resulted in assault and battery of the latter. The protest-marsh was repeated the following day, when military troops were ordered to protect the strike-breachers. The military performed their task: five strikers were killed and five wounded. In the following parliament debate support for the violent strikers was to find among Communists, but not so much among Social Democrats who wanted to avoid the situation in Germany (and earlier in Finland) where militias and armed political corpses had made the cities to regular battlefields. Wearing of political uniforms in public was banned in 1933, and also membership in organizations aiming at armed support /protection of political groupings was forbid. This was directed against both Right-wing and Left-wing militias, however the initial event triggering the law had been a private "anti aircraft corps" in Stockholm with Fascist connections. In 1938 far reaching agreements between workers' and employers' unions (Saltsjöbadsavtalet) marked the radical change in the relations between employers and workers' unions. Instead of the frequent and big strikes of the time around the W.W.I the situation for the following decades got characterized by nationwide agreements and few and short conflicts. Social Issues Like in other European countries Social Problems became an issue during the 19th century. With the increasing political rights for common men, questions such as hospitals and caring for the elderly and the poor had become a hot topic in the responsible democratically elected bodies. Caring for the poor had in theory been a responsibility of the State since the Reformation 1527, which the State solved by requiring the poor to beg only within the borders of the parish they belonged to. At the end of the Frihetstiden, year 1764, towns and parishes also formally got the responsibility for the caring for the elderly which they in practice had always had. From 1847 towns and municipalities were required to support also other poor, and begging was prohibited. Since the Reformation the need for hospitals had been neglected until the early 18th century, when hospitals were organized in Uppsala (1708), Stockholm (1752) and Lund (1768). These were financed by grants collected at baptisms, weddings and funerals. Now hospitals were made a responsibility for the Landsting (independent provincial governments introduced 1864) while psychiatric asylums were funded and run by the State from the end of the 19th century on. By the turn of the century, towns and municipalities began to construct old people's homes with the goal to differentiate between the elderly and other poor, as for instance children, alcoholics and insanes. National basic old age pension was decided upon in 1913, and a few years later mandatory insurance for occupational injuries in the industries. The inclusion of women in the politics (from the early 1920s on) gave new impetus for Social Issues, and was immediately followed by a referendum over prohibition of distilled liquors 1922. In opposite to Iceland, Norway, Finland and the US (where prohibition had been introduced 1912, 1916, 1919 and 1922 respectively) Sweden's prohibition referendum turned out a very narrow race, with 49.3% voting for prohibition and 50.7% voting against. The result was thus no prohibition but a continuation of the rationing system (called the Bratt System after Dr Ivar Bratt) introduced in Stockholm February 26th 1914 and in force in all of the country since 1919. The Bratt System was based on a strict licensing procedure for restaurants with extensive veto rights for local authorities, and individual rations for adult citizens to secure that each individual wasn't allowed to buy more than one could consume without harm for oneself or one's family. In practice this meant that the wealthy were allowed to buy more than the poor, and men allowed to buy more than women. Except for at restaurants, the purchases were noted in individual books (motbok) which like bankbooks were to be presented at the liquor store. Wine, beer and distilled liquors were sold by the glass only in connection with meals and only at licensed restaurants and cafés - and sold in bottles only by the Systembolaget's monopoly liquor stores. The Bratt rationing system was abolished in 1954, but the monopoly for sale of liquors, wine and beers (with more than 2.8% alcohol) still remains. After the world wide financial turbulence around 1930, the State came to play a much more active role - for instance through state subsidies for sickness insurance (1932), increased support for unemployed with subsidies for relief work and unemployment insurance (1934), and improved old age pensions (1935). The Swedish policy during the depressions 1921-22 and 1931-34 had been aiming at organizing relief works for unemployed (with wages below the level for unskilled laborers) and additionally, to financially support those who couldn't get access to the relief works (on a level about two thirds of the minimum wage for unskilled laborers). From 1933 the main aim was changed to a general stimulus of the economy. 1939-45 Sweden declares itself neutral at the eve of the war but has to compromise on several occasions to avoid direct conflict with Germany: Sweden continues to deliver iron ore and other strategic goods to Nazi Germany and allows the transfer of German soldiers through its territory. At the same time, however, Sweden acts as a haven for refugees coming from the neighboring countries, provides aid to Finland in its fight with the USSR and trains Danish and Norwegian police troops that were used to restore order after the German surrender. When Russia attacks Finland 1939, many (maybe as many as 80'000) children from Finland were received in families all over Sweden. From the start of the war to the end of the century Sweden receives far more than a million refugees and economic immigrants, of which the majority choose to remain in Sweden. This includes some of the war-children who never returned to Finland, or who came back to Sweden in later years. Nov 1939 --> March 1940 The Soviet bomb attack on Helsinki, and advance on the Carelian isthmus toward Viipuri, on November 30th 1939 led to a broadening of the Swedish Cabinet with participants from all political parties except the Communists. The Swedish opinion was strongly engaged for the sake of Finland's, although split. Around Stockholm the Finland-support was general, whereas in the rest of the country the support is said to have been concentrated to the upper class. The higher state officials were also split, but predominantly negative toward Swedish contributions for the state of Finland, fearing a weakened and endangered defense of southern Sweden. A certain aversion against a humiliating submission under the Finns can maybe also be traced in the indifference: The harsh negotiation and diplomatic correspondence twenty years ago were not forgotten, and now since the end of the 1930s the Finns requested Swedish troops for the support of the demilitarized and neutral Åland islands. After the outbreak of the war also proposals of Swedish troops for the defense of Carelia could be heard. It's also possible that many believed the ruin of Finland to be sure, and thereby all military help to Finland to be wasted. The iron ore mines in the sparsely populated northernmost province Norrbotten were Sweden's best card in the war game. Germany was dependent on the iron for its munition industries, and would hopefully hesitate to attack Sweden for discovering the mines to be blasted and destroyed. But this strategy was dependent on Sweden's capacity to protect the mines for attacks from Russia or England. The Russian air-forces in Murmansk were a dangerous threat, but even more a Russian occupation of Åland and/or the coast of Finland. Also the opinions among the leaders of the government and the defense were split regarding Åland, but decidedly negative regarding Swedish troops in Finland. The popular support for missions on the Carelian isthmus was deemed to be insufficient, and Sweden's military strength was also feared to be insufficient to fight both Russia in the East and Germany in the South. This alternative was although seriously discussed. The Social Democratic foreign minister Rickard Sandler advocated, supported by the trade unions and Högern, the most Right-wing party of the parliament, military units on Åland. Liberals and Agrarians were outspoken opponents of Swedish missions abroad. The conflict regarding military support of Åland and Finland complicated the formation of a new cabinet in December 1939, and was solved when Rickard Sandler resigned after the prime minister Per Albin Hansson had chosen to support a careful compromise: * not to declare neutrality in the war between Finland and Soviet * leave for officers who wanted to volunteer in Finland if, but only if, they could be replaced without danger for the defense of Sweden * humanitarian support to Finland, including preparations for rationing of provisions as cereals in Sweden * a limited support with munitions But the Swedish opinion, unaware of the miserable preparations for war, was influenced by strong pro-Finland feelings, why the government chose an increasingly permitting attitude over for the Swedes who enlisted for Finland. The volontary Corps in Finland came to comprise 2,000 Swedes and 700 Norwegians. When Soviet after two months of war with Finland declared a peace with the lawful government in Helsinki to be possible, instead of Kuusinen's Communist government, the Swedish fear for a Russian occupation of the whole of Finland disappeared. Instead England threatened to occupy the iron mines, why Sweden brusquely opposed demands from Finland to facilitate the transport of British troops via Sweden. Simultaneously the cabinet rejects a direct question from the government of Finland February 13th 1940 regarding Swedish units of 20'000 men to be engaged on the Carelian isthmus. The decision led to agitated disappointment among the Swedish public, and the 82 year old King Gustav V made an unconstitutional public statement supporting the decision of the government, explaining it with the danger of invasion from the South, which no Swedish official had dared to mention in public. After Finland's harsh peace treaty England continued its attempts to close the export of iron ore from Northern Sweden to Germany. April 5th England declares to the government of Sweden that unless Sweden shuts the flow of necessities to Germany, the allies would be forced to do this by their own. (It is worth to note that the Swedish iron was of considerable importance for Germany's ability to perform the war. In 1939 Sweden contributed with 40% of Germany's need. But we also ought to remember that the history is written by the victorer. Sweden's export of iron to Germany is much more criticized than Sweden's export of ball bearings to the UK.) Swedish military was prepared for an allied attack against Northern Scandinavia with 100'000 men at the Northern borders, although only a thousand as guards at the very mines, but in the South the situation was quite the opposite. A demand from the commander-in-chief for partial mobilization in Southern Sweden was motivated by intelligence reports from Germany's Baltic harbors, but the government didn't deem this to be justified. The hope was that the strong protection of the mines would be enough. (Post-war research has shown that the initiated de-mobilization after the peace between Finland and the Soviet Union had made the protection of northernmost Sweden almost illusory, but that wasn't known by the Cabinet.) As Denmark and Norway were occupied April 9th 1940 it became clear that the troops in Germany's Baltic harbors weren't intended for Sweden - this time. Foreign troops in Sweden Sweden having become enclosed by Germany and the increasingly Germany-oriented Finland did however result in intensified German demands (and threats), which is why the Cabinet chose to allow continuous transports via Swedish railways of (unarmed) troops between Germany and Norway. The extent of these transports was kept secret however the Prime Minister admitted their existence when rumors had begun to spread. Officially the trains transported wounded soldiers and soldiers on leave (permittent-tåg), which however didn't make it less of a violation of neutrality. ______________________________________________________________ Since this is an often returning topic in the news group, a more throughout relation might be motivated: April 9th, 1940 Sweden accepts German demands for import and export of products to/from Norway as before - i. e no war material. April 16th, 1940 Food and oil supplies permitted transport to northern Norway to "save the population from starvation" after the war had emptied the reserves. Troops, including 40 "red-cross soldiers" denied transit April 18th, 1940 The 40 "red-cross soldiers" were accepted for transit together with a train loaded with sanitary material, which however turned out to contain 90% food according to the Swedish customs. Further requests for transit of "sanitary material" were rejected. April to June, 1940 Norway protests over Sweden taking the neutrality too seriously, expecting more of support for Norway. German civil sailors were given individual transit visa. Wounded soldiers were transported through Sweden, and 20 further "red-cross soldiers" and a physician were allowed to pass together with five wagons with food stuff. June 18th, 1940 As the war in Norway was finished, German demands for transit were reinforced. The Swedish parliament did formally modify the neutrality policy according to Germany's demands. (England and France were informed before the parliament debate.) July 7th, 1940 The Prime Minister admits the transit in a public speech in Ludvika. July 8th, 1940 Agreement with Germany: 1 daily train (500 man) back and forth Trelleborg-Kornsjö 1 weekly train (500 man) back and forth Trelleborg-Narvik The agreement with Germany was later increased. July 15th, July 20th, 1940 Protests from Norway's exile Cabinet, and from Britain's government. In connection with Germany's attack on Russia on Midsummer's Day 1941 (which Finland was to join a few days later) Sweden had its most serious Cabinet crisis: Germany demanded to transit the fully armed division Engelbrecht from Norway to Finland. The transit permission was granted. April 1941 As the German plans for an attack on Russia was taken seriously by the Swedish government it was discussed between the Cabinet and the Commander-in-chief how Sweden could react in case of a war between Germany, Finland and Russia. The Commander-in-chief warned for the danger in provoking German anger and occupation by a continued neutrality policy. Plans for cooperation with Germany and Finland were made. Single Cabinet members considered cooperation with the Soviet Union, which however was fiercely rejected. June 23rd, 1941 The Cabinet discuss the requested transit of one armed division (Division Engelbrecht) from northern Norway to northern Finland. Agrarians, Liberals and the Right supported the combined Finnish-German request. Social Democrats rejected. The king declared he would abdicate if the government couldn't agree with him in a positive answer on Finland's and Germany's request. June 24rd, 1941 The Social Democratic parliament group decides, with the votes 72-59, to try to convince the other parties for a rejection, but to agree in case they insisted. The other parties seemed prepared to split the Cabinet. June 25th, 1941 The Swedish government accept the transit of Division Engelbrecht. July 11, 1941 Finland's official ambitions on a Big-Finland get known. New demands on transit of an armed division from Trelleborg to Tornio. July 1941 The attitude to Finland's and Germany's demands less and less favorable. The troop transit is proposed to be realized on Swedish water along the Swedish coast with Swedish escort. Several requests for neutrality-violating exports and transits rejected during the following autumn. In 1943, as Germany's war luck had begun to wane, and the opposition among the Swedish opinion against the favors for Germany and Finland increased, as well as the pressure from England and USA, the Swedish Cabinet declared June 29th, 1943 the transit to have to stop before October 1943. August 5th it was officially announced that the transitations were agreed to stop. Sweden also started train small Danish and Norwegian military units, planned to take part in the re-conquest of Denmark and Norway, and in particular to ensure the immediate establishment of government, law and order after a re-conquest. Officially it was labeled as training of police forces, which was almost true. At the very end of the war, Sweden made preparations to enter Norway. German troops had devastated many of the northern fjord valleys the previous winter, and as they now continued their doomed struggle also after the capitulation of the German troops in Denmark and The Netherlands (on May 4th) it was discussed if Sweden could contribute to a soon end of the atrocities in Norway. But before any decisions were made Germany's total capitulation on May 7th made it unnecessary. Christian Günther, who had served as unpolitical Minister for Foreign affairs during the war, was made scapegoat for Sweden's embarrassing indulgence toweard Germany, and was after the war not accepted by the Danish government as ambassador in Copenhagen. The under-secretary for foreign affairs, Boheman, on the other hand was appointed ambassador in Washington after the war, then elected Member of the Parliament for the Liberal party, and finally Speaker of the parliament 1965-1970. Freedom of Press limited During the Second World War the Swedish press was put under a considerable pressure, requested to avoid tempting fate by making the German powers less friendly toward Sweden. Beside self-censure and regular cooperation between the government and editors five means were prepared to restrain the press' outspokenness: 1. Prosecution according to the Freedom of the Press Act against "expressions aiming at dis-concord with foreign powers" - except powers which the realm are in war with. 2. Immediate confiscation without following prosecution of "printed matters with expression causing misunderstanding with foreign power." 3. Preliminary declaration of confiscation ("kvarstad") until decision could be made about prosecution or immediate confiscation. 4. Prohibition to distribute newspapers and magazines during a limited period of some months (decided by the government, not a judicial court) after conviction according to the Freedom of the Press Act. (From March 1st 1940) 5. Press Censure could according to a constitutional change 1941 be decided by a 3/4-majority of the Parliament, and when the Parliament wasn't meeting the cabinet meeting could proclaim censure for at the most 30 days. (This was never used, and again revoked 1945.) Most of these restrictions came to strike Communist and Syndicalist papers, but also for instance a major paper in Gothenburg (Göteborgs Handels- och Sjöfartstidning) was confiscated many times. Confiscation according to point 2 above was made about 300 times during the war. Approximately 10% of the actions were directed against Swedish Nazi press. Extraditions of refugees - Baltutlämningen At the close of the war Sweden returns 167 male Baltic refugees who had fled in connection with the Soviet Union's second occupation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Despite a strong public opinion they were extradited to Stalin's Soviet Union (the so called "Baltutlämningen"), as they had been fighting against the Soviet troops. (Some 2,700 German soldiers were also extradited to the Soviet Union, which however caused no attention.) Also Ingrian refugees where hunted on behalf of the Finnish government, who after the unsuccessful second war against Russia had accepted to deport them to Russia. The Bernadotte Dynasty Since the break-through of parliamentarism in 1917 the royal family had gained very much in goodwill. In the critical times of the Second World War also the aged, and previously controversial, King Gustav V could act as a unifying symbol and leader for all of the nation. Prince Bertil, son of the British-oriented Crown-Prince Gustav Adolf, worked during the war as a naval attaché in London, where he could contribute to improved relations between UK/USA and Sweden. Also export of arms from the US was promoted. Among the Swedish public he gained great popularity as athlete and racing driver. Count Folke Bernadotte af Wisborg, newphew of King Gustav V, worked for the Red Cross and, after the war, for the United Nations. Just before the end of the war he gained much good-will as leader for a rescue-operation transporting interned Norwegians, Danes and other inmates from German Concentration Camps to Swedish hospitals (in the so-called "White Buses" 27,000 persons where liberated, a considerable share of them Jews). September 17th, 1948, he was ambushed during a mission as UN-mediator in Jerusalem. The assassination was one of many by Lohamei Herut Yisrael, also known as the Stern gang, a Jewish terror organization, whose leaders included Yitzak Shamir who later would become Prime Minister for Israel. [ the sections above are available at the www-page http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq736.html ] 7.3.7 social security 1945-1960 During the 1940s the agrarian proletarians are transformed to tenant farmers, and house maids which now had gotten regulated working hours became a very rare sight. The Social Democrats continued to dominate the society - in the parliament, when neccessary, in cooperation with the Agrarians. The industry expands. People leave the countryside for the towns. The urbanization leads to a new kind of social misery with shortage of housing and "wild" adolescent gangs in the towns. In the spirit of McCartyism communists, homosexual men and wild youths came to be seen as the prime threats against the good society. Communists were fought and hunted in the workers' unions, homosexuals were connected with a couple of justice scandals and the youth danced to "negro jazz" and rock'n'roll. Immigrants were welcomed by the industries: Germans, Italians, Hungarians, Finland-Swedes and Finns. From the start of world-war II to the end of the century Sweden receives far more than a million refugees and economic immigrants, of which the majority choose to remain in Sweden. Yearly vacations are expanded. Mandatory health insurance is decided 1955, child allowance (introduced 1948) becomes an important contribution to the economy of families, the national pensions became increased in 1948 and then equalized ATP decided after a referendum in 1957. After the war the Swedish national pride is inflated by the good deeds of Count Folke Bernadotte (the Red Cross) and the United Nation Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld (former minister in the Social Democratic Cabinet). 1960-1980 Women participate in the caring for children and elderly as employees by the municipalities. Taxes rise. A surge of immigrants are engaged in the industries. Vacations get limited to not less than 5 weeks yearly. 40 hours working week is enforced. Strong laws against arbitrary sacking of workers are decided and the unions get the right to participate in board meetings for companies. The educational system is made uniform with 10 years of mandatory theoretical school, with minimized freedom to choose subjects, followed by 3 years of specializing ("Gymnasium"). Matriculation examination is abolished, as are apprentices. All secondary schools give access to higher studies, the mark system is debated and changed. The king loses the last executive power. Princesses get equal rights with princes to inherit the throne. Swedish politicians tend to start their careers in younger years, before having accomplished in any profession (Olof Palme is one of the first examples), and the reduced number of municipal politicians contribute to a growing alienation between politicians and the electorate. The Swedish Social Democratic governments are eager to act in international politics. Preferably on the "anti-imperialist" side against the United States - and sometimes against the Soviet Union. Olof Palme belonged to the Swedes who were strongly engaged against the Vietnam war, which led to the US ambassador leaving Sweden for some years. In Sweden communists were hunted in the unions and among the employees in governmental institutions (as hospitals!). In the 1970:ies Jan Guillou, an investigating journalist at a left-wing periodical, was imprisoned for revealing the close cooperation between the Social Democratic party and a secret organization registering people with leftist opinions. Jan Guillou became some 15 years later Sweden's most famous novel writer with his series about the super-hero baron Carl G Hamilton in the Swedish secret service. In elections to the parliament 1973 the left block and the anti-Socialist block got 175 seats each. Olof Palme remained as prime minister. Many laws were decided after drawing of lots. The number of seats is made unequal. 1976-1994 The political majority in the parliament changes almost every 6:th year, and the Swedes get used to new non-Socialist Prime-Ministers every second year instead of a new Social-Democratic Prime-Minister every 20th year. Waves of refugees arrive but fail to find employment. Plans to force companies to give shares to the workers' unions every year are discussed, decided and abandoned. The defense forces are successively reduced. In 1976 the leader for the Center party, Thorbjörn Fälldin, becomes the first non-Social Democratic prime minister since 1936 after an intense campaign in favor of environment protection and against nuclear power. In a referendum 1979 between three proposals to close the thirteen nuclear power plants the Social Democratic version wins a relative majority and is interpreted as use of all nuclear power is to be liquidated in thirty years. (It will last until February 1997 until the first power plant-closing is politically agreed.) In the autumn 1981 a Russian submarine runs a-ground in what the military calls inner security zone of the navy base area in the Blekinge archipelago. After half a day an inhabitant on the island informs the military about the unexpected guest. A Russian navy gathers at the territorial border, but leaves after the Swedish prime minister Thorbjörn Fälldin publicly declared he had ordered the Swedish defense forces to use all means against further intruders on the sea or in the air. The Russians denied accusations of having brought atomic weapons to Sweden, as the US navy always had done when they had come on (announced) visits. After this perturbing episode the Swedish navy hunted Russian mini- and macro-submarines intensely for the following ten years. Then it turned out that some, most or all of the hunted objects had been minks. Big curency devaluations solve some problems and cause other. In the 1980s a lot of Swedish industrial profits are gambled away on continental real estates. February 28th 1986, the Social Democratic prime minister Olof Palme, who had dominated Swedish politics in the 70s and 80s, is assassinated while returning from movies. A political heir of Tage Erlander (another influential Swedish prime minister, in power 1946-69), he had an international reputation as an architect of the Swedish welfare model and an outspoken advocate of disarmament. He was the first Swedish leader to be killed since king Gustav III. Despite feverish and almost tragicomic investigations, the motive and the killer still remain unknown. At the beginning of the 1990:ies the employment drops drastically, as does the value of the currency, and the state budget deficit explodes. Subsidies are diminished for sick insurance, maternal and paternal leave, unemployment insurance... The bad times result in some changes on higher positions in the banks and industries, and it turns out that their boards (also state owned banks and companies) have granted the management fabulous pensions. The Social Democrats have propagandized much against the Bildt Cabinet policy, populistically claiming it to strike hard against the weakest among the people. The people got surprised when the Social Democrats, after the election of 1994 back at power, in the parliament do much harder cuts in the social security system. The ferry Estonia en route between Tallin and Stockholm with over a thousand people on-board sank into the icy Baltic September 28th 1994; only circa 130 were saved. Of the drowned, the vast majority were Swedes, and the disaster shook the whole nation. Latest news In 1996 The Social Democratic party elected a new chairman, Göran Persson, namesake to the chancellor of Erik XIV, who becomes prime minister and the sixth leader of the party in 107 years. Persson's supporters have acted against Mona Sahlin, proposed by the retiring Ingvar Carlsson, spreading (true) rumors about her bad capability to take care of her own economy, and her purchase of diapers and chocolate with a government credit card. Mona Sahlin is made impossible and leaves the political life. Göran Persson is caught shop-lifting chocolate, and the former minister of Justice (in mr Bildt's Cabinet) is forgiven purchase of shoes and dresses with her government credit card. The strongest criticism comes from Per Uncle, another former minister of mr Bildt's, who turns out to be the one the prosecutor finds his greatest interest in. Several municipal politicians and managers leave their positions after having been too self-indulgent with municipal credit cards on night clubs, brothels and holiday trips. The unveiling of this habit was introduced by a Scanian radio journalist, Janne Svensson, who soon got employed as secretary for the Social Democratic mayor of Malmö. The former leader for the (Social) Liberal party leads an "independent" commission investigating espionage on a private TV station where a reporter had unveiled embarrassing facts about HSB, a national organization for housing societies, not without ties to the Social Democratic party. The espionage is ordered by the manager for a public relation firm with close ties to the Social Democratic party, but the commission declares that HSB could not be shown to have aimed at espionage - only at a vicious slander campaign. The HSB manager, who over a bottle of whiskey had commissioned the PR-firm manager, should not have acted on behalf of HSB. - The commission worked on the behalf of HSB. The European Union, which Sweden entered 1995, is among many perceived as the greatest threat against the Swedish democracy (except for wars). The alienation between the electorate and the elected becomes worse. [ the sections above are available at the www-page http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq737.html ] 7.3.8 History of the Sweden-Finns [ By: Jari Partanen ] A movement of people across the sea from Finland to Sweden (as well as from Sweden to Finland) has been a most natural phenomenon for the last one thousand years. There was a close connection between "Sweden" and "Finland" already in the pre-Christian era. Right from the beginning an essential part of the population of Stockholm has been Finns - both Finnish speaking and Swedish speaking. (I.e. Finns in the meaning as originating from Finland of today. Crossing the language border was very natural for the Finns in the old days, as a means or result of climbing upwards in the society. This did not make these people non-Finns, as little as English language makes an Irishman non-Irish.) Due to the higher mortality rates a constant flow of migrants was a must for a medieval town, and the migrants from Finland constituted in the Middle Ages 10-20% of the population - in the later centuries in the order of 5%. The Finns also formed a significant part of the countryside population. The main direction of the Finnish movement was in the 14th century to Uppland - and later to Södermanland, Närke, Västmanland and Bergslagen. In these provinces also several towns got a Finnish minority. The 16th and the 17th centuries witnessed a large-scale movement of Savolaxians to Dalarna, Värmland, Gästrikland, Hälsingland, Medelpad and Ångermanland. At this time Savolax was experiencing a rapid growth of population because of the efficient forest farming technique, which gave nourishment for big families, and enabled an expansion of agriculture to new and new areas. The expansion in the Scandinavian woods did not stop with the border between Norway and Sweden, why Finnskogar ("Finn woods") exist also in Norway. Most Finns who moved to Sweden belonged to the working class - or were farmers. However, also merchants and priests were represented. Especially during the times of Russian occupations also many upper class people moved from Finland to Sweden. The impact of the Sweden-Finns was probably at its strongest in the 15th and 16th centuries. At that time the Swedish language used by common people was full of Finnish loan words, which shows how the Finns brought with them their customs and techniques, thus making their contribution to the development of Sweden. (Many Finnish words were in common use in old Swedish: känga, pajta, pjäxa, kont, ria, pörtom, pärta, kappe, katsa, kalja, and so on...) The expansion of the realm in the 17th century led to a weakened position for the Finnish language. And in connection with the swedifying (or de-danefying) of the 1645 and 1658 gained Scandinavian provinces also the forests-Finns in central Scandinavia were required (from 1646) to learn the Swedish language. After that Finnish was used more or less secretly. However, still in the beginning of the 19th century the estimated number of forest-Finns was 50.000; half of them understood Finnish. The last speaker of Finnish language was Niittahon Jussi, who died in 1965. The Sweden-Finns did not disappear anywhere, even though the countries were separated in 1809. An estimate from 1836 states that the number of Finns in the reach of the Finnish parish of Stockholm was 16.000 to 20.000. However, from now on new arrivals from Finland were naturally regarded as immigrants. Nowadays the number of Sweden-Finns is 200.000 to 500.000, depending on criteria. Most of them are rather recent immigrants, or their descendents, who moved to Sweden in the 60'ies and the 70'ies when many Swedish industries were actively searching for labour force from Finland. The Finnish language has a special position in Sweden. Some people believe that the availability of services in Finnish is inadequate. There are however for example 10 private schools giving education in Finnish and also many Finnish classes in other schools. The Sweden-Finns have not been very active in forming institutions of their own. The biggest reason for this is that the assimilation to the main stream culture has been so easy - the differences in the way of life are small. The Finnish parish in Stockholm has been continuously functioning from the year 1533. (It was the first place in the world were Christian church ceremonies were held in Finnish.) The Finns have generally been accepted well in the Swedish society; also the Crown encouraged migration. Generally, the Sweden-Finns do not isolate themselves: they mingle with the Swedes and marry a Swede. The major exception was the Finnish speaking forest farmers. The Sweden-Finns have taken part in all stages of the history of Sweden. Also today's Sweden-Finns are giving their contribution to the Swedish way of life; scratching the surface of surprisingly many Swedish cultural celebrities would reveal a Finnish origin. The existence of people with roots in Finland, as well as Finnish language and culture, have always been a characteristic features of Sweden. 7.3.9 Native minorities in Sweden [ By: Johan Olofsson ] Four groups in Sweden have, or have had, any kind of official recognition as minorities with certain (however rather limited) minority rights. Additionally the population in the last incorporated provinces (Jämtland, Härjedalen, Bohuslän, Gotland, Halland, Skåne and Blekinge) and the people of Dalarna are to varying degree perceiving themselves as less Swedish than other citizens. [ Sámi | Tornedalians | Gypsies | Jews ] Sámi [ see also section 2.3! ] During the last thousands of years the Germanic people have inhabited more and more of the Scandinavian peninsula. The people living here before the Germanians has retreated without a struggle. For at least from the late medieval era taxation and exploiting trade have been the major kinds of contact. The Scandinavian kings declared themselves to be kings also over the "Fenni" or the "Lapps" - but these subjects were without most citizens' rights. It is questionable if the taxation gave any value in return to the Sámis other than the relief from extermination. There has been much scientific debate regarding these people's early history in disciplines such as linguistics, archaeology, genetics and physical antropology. The impression of these discussions is the major uncertainty and dependency on contemporary societal debate. We can conclude that we don't know when the people of Sámi became "one" people, but in the year 98 A.D. the "Fenni" are reported by the historian Tacitus as being distinct from the Germanians. We don't know who lived in Scandinavia in the earliest times; and claim of links in archaeological findings with either Germanians or "Fenni" seem to be pure speculations. It is not until the Viking era we can make plausible guesses. However, there are serious scholars that think that continous cultural presence can be shown in coastal areas of North Scandinavia from late mesolithic periods onwards. And that these people are the forefathers of the Sámi. Allthough this theory is not finally proved it is well founded and deserves to be taken seriously. We also don't know if a non-Sámi population have lived in Southern Scandinavia before the Norse-men, and maybe been assimilated in the Norse culture, but archaeological findings make this plausible. Linguistic evidences indicate contacts between the Finns and the Sámi people for at least 2'000 years, and contacts with the Norse language at least since the start of Viking time 1'300 years ago. Trade (coercive trade) is likely to have evolved not later than in early medieval time. As the Swedish king opted for the province of Ostrobothnia /Österbotten, his position was strengthened as he offered the magnates to get royal privileges for trading with the "wild Lapps." With the Reformation and the constitution of national states the position of the indigenous Sámi culture worsened. From time to time the governmental policy moved between seeing the "Lapps" as eternally inferior without normal human rights and on the other hand poor souls who should be made happier by becoming Swedes and abandoning the Sámi customs, languages and beliefs. The Church's relations with the Sámi people were maybe not worse than elsewhere in the world where Christianity met shamans and animistic religions, but in our part of the world it is the last and worst example of atrocities along the line of witch-burnings, terror against orthodox Christian Karelians and forced conversions in connection with "crusades" to Finland. Christian missionaries were impressed by the supernatural power of shamans they met, and made what they could in the "war against Satan" - not only the shamans' drums were burned. Over 50% of Sweden's area is by law (or in the Torne river valley through tenant contracts) designated for reindeer herding. Natural limitations such as lakes and sterile mountains make however only 135'000 km² (that is 30% of Sweden's area) to be usable pastures. Silver, iron, timber, agriculture, roads and electrical power stations at the rivers have been reasons for the Swedes to colonize part after part of the Sámi land. In this process the Sámis have in practice had few, if any, rights. In this respect the position of the Sámis has not improved much. In the 20th century the policy has become more humane. As the Norwegian government argued the ancient Sámi right to be invalid in the independent Norway, the Swedish government forced dozens of Sámi families to relocate to the South. This caused, of course, a lot tension between the newcomers and the Sámis already living in those southern areas. They also didn't understand each others languages. But at least no-one starved to death. After 1945 the Swedish government has tried to rise the Sámis' health status and standard of living by demanding the herding and stock raising to be rationalized. Fewer and fewer have been allowed to live as reindeer herds, as the in Stockholm centrally decided number of reindeers per herd has increased. Today 900 Sámis are allowed to work as reindeer herdsmen in Sweden. They are organized in 50 communities (Samebyar orSiida) with collective responsibility for a geographic area. With the increased immigration to Sweden the attitude started to change in the 1960s, and with reforms aimed at immigrants also the linguistic position of the Sámis has improved. From 1968 the minority of the Sámi pupils who have a Sámi language as their mother-tongue has been granted the right to education in reading and writing their mother-tongue. Since the 1980s the Sámi languages have been given a somewhat stronger position in the schools, changing the former policy which has led to 80% of the Sámis being unable to write in any Sámi language. (The same estimation says 20% of the 15'000 self-identifying Sámis of Sweden don't understand spoken Sámi.) The Sámi languages and heritage have for long time been connected with feelings of shame and inferiority. The next century will show if Sweden has the moral strength to stop the exploition of the Sámi people and their land. The question is of course also if a change will come into effect before it's too late and the culture is doomed to extinction. [ Sámi | Tornedalians | Gypsies | Jews ] Tornedalians Around year 1'000 the rich soil along the last 50 kilometers of the Torne river was colonized by Finns from Tavastia. They were followed by colonialists from Karelia (13th century) and Savolax (16th century). The Sámis who had used to hunt in the river valley retreated. Swedes who at the same time colonized coastal plains along the Gulf of Bothnia came later to make contact with the Finnish settlements, and clear cut language borders evolved at the coast: some 20 kilometers west of the Torne estuary and at the eastern side some 200 kilometers to the south. In the inland the Finnish settlements spread to the south of Gällivare and in the north to "Finnmark" in Norway. There the Sámis dominated over Finns and scattered Swedes. The people along the rivers and the Gulf shore lived from fishing, farming and hunting. At the Torne estuary a trade station sprang up, where merchants from southern Scandinavia, Narvik, the Kola peninsula, Finland and Russia made business. As the Swedish realm was extended the peasants north of the Bothnic Gulf were no different than from other Finnish subjects of the Crown. The parishes in the North belonged to the see in Luleå, which was natural and much closer than the see in Turku. The priests had to speak Swedish with the bishop but Finnish with the parishioners, but knowledge in Swedish was expected from the clergy in all of the realm anyway. In the 17th century Germans, Walloons and Swedes immigrated to establish mines and iron works. Many families have names indicating continental heritage, but they have spoken Finnish for centuries. After the peace treaty of Hamina /Fredrikshamn 1809 when Sweden had to cede the eastern counties (i.e. Åland and Finland of the 18th century) and most of the northernmost county Norrbotten to Russia. The new border was defined by the Torne, Muonio and Könkämä rivers ignoring the fact that a river sooner unites than divides the people on its shores. By and large the 1809 peace resulted in linguistically homogeneous countries, with a 15% Swedish minority in the Grand Duchy and a small 2½% Finnish minority in "rest-Sweden" [the remains of the realm] compared to 25%-75% in the realm before 1808, and 33%-66% before 1645. In both halves of the realm the minorities lived in areas where their language dominated the local societies. In post-1809 Sweden this was mainly in Norrbotten and in the woods of Värmland & Dalarna (north of lake Vänern), although the latter, the Finns in central Sweden, got rapidly assimilated during the 19th century. The people along the Swedish-Finnish border rivers continued their contacts over the new border almost as if it didn't exist. But a new town had to be founded on the Swedish side: Haparanda. Except for the town, where some pure-Swedes came to reside, Finnish here remained the dominant language during all of the 19th century, and the area colonized by Finnish speakers came to grow - on both sides of the new border. The strong Læstadian revivalist movement contributed also to the survival of the Finnish speaking culture, as preaching mostly was in Finnish. In recent years the distinction between standard-Finnish and Tornedalen-Finnish, and also cultural differences, have led the people of the Torne river area to emphasize their distinct identity as a group different from Finns, Sámis and Swedes with an own history and an own language. Hence Tornedalians (Fi: Tornionlaaksolainen; Sw: Tornedalingar) is used for this people. The Finns of Scandinavia's more southern woods were swedified as mandatory education was introduced around 1850. The Finns around Gällivare were more or less assimilated as mining led to massive migration to the area. But the Tornedalians of the Torne river area preserved their Finnish culture and language. At the end of the 19th century (and the growing tension between Norway and Sweden) Russia was again perceived as a serious threat to Sweden. And the Finnish nationalism had led the Swedish government to fear the Tornedalians to be more sympathetic to Russia than to Sweden. Contemporary race-biological arguments, security interests and a wish to support the very poor municipalities led to a policy of extra state subsidies from 1888 for school buildings and teachers in the Finnish areas of Norrbotten if, but only if, the educational language was Swedish. Year 1920 no schools taught in Finnish any more. But the area where Finnish was the dominating language was considerably bigger than 100 years before. (On the other hand: The Finnish areas in the south, on the border between Dalarna, Värmland and Norway, had practically disappeared.) The situation in Sweden was hence very different from Finland, where the minority was much bigger and where the state administration initially used only the minority language. Ragnar Lassinantti (1915-85 and born at Pello on the border to Finland) was the first person of the Finnish native minority to become prominent in the Swedish society. As a county governor of Norrbotten 1966-81 he was an eager advocate of improvements for the Finnish language in Sweden, and for Nordic cooperation - particularly at the Nordkalotten. In sports, however, the small population from the Tornedalen area has again and again produced Swedish champions and World champions, such as the wrestler Thomas Johansson and the ice hockey playing brothers Stig and Börje Salming. Today a cultural area can be defined as all land along and north of the Torne river. The mining town Kiruna lies at the very border. People born and raised in this area north and east of Kiruna usually identify themselves as "Tornionlaaksolainen" (or in Swedish: Tornedaling) regardless of if they speak Finnish or not. Most do however, and only exceptionally pupils chose not to study Finnish now when it has been allowed. The national parliament decided that Finnish from 1962 should be a study option from grade 7, like French and German, but the local authorities were not too keen. In 1958 the national Swedish school board had declared that the locally decided ban on Finnish conversations on the school yard was annulled. Ten years later the board reminded the local authorities... How many are the Tornionlaaksolainen? Year 1930 the number of people preferring Finnish over for Sámi or Swedish was inquired in a regular census, and reported at 30'000 in the county of Norrbotten. Most of them lived at or north of the Torne river. Since then there has been much migration. Both immigration from Finland and "emigration" from the Torne river area to southern Sweden. People who have moved to the south have assimilated. The size of the population which today know Finnish ought to be approximately in the same size as the figure for 1930. However people's knowledge of Swedish today is greater, and many in the area speak as good Swedish as Finnish. [ Sámi | Tornedalians | Gypsies | Jews ] Gypsies From the 16th century Gypsies are known as immigrants to Sweden. Year 1637 all Gypsies were declared outlaws in a law unique in the Swedish history. In 1642 it was modified to an instruction to deport all Gypsies from county to county in the direction of the borders of the realm. Male Gypsies could be sentenced to beheading for any crime. As a result many of the Gypsies concentrated in the eastern part of the realm, in what today is Russian Karelia and Finland. They belong to the Sinte-Manuch group of Gypsies and are called Kalé-Gypsies. At the end of the 19th century a group of Romany-Gypsies immigrated. Today over 1'500 descendants live in Sweden. When the Nordic citizens became free to move and work in all of the Nordic countries a considerable part of the Kalé-Gypsies came from Finland to Sweden. This group is today larger than the former group. Their mother-tongues are different, but many of the Kalé-Gypsies have Finnish as their first language. A third group of approximately the same size are refugees who arrived from central Europe in the last 50 years. The Swedish policy has aimed at assimilation. The assimilation policy has had some success when it comes to the Gypsies with long tradition in Sweden, but fared very poorly with the newer arrivals. It has turned out that few Gypsies get employed, and relatively more Gypsies has become dependent on cash support from the municipalities than is the case for any other ethnic group in Sweden. Gypsies cultivating their particular traits in clothes and morals are perceived as provoking by many (or most?) Swedes. The minority group doesn't appear to be loyal towards the Swedish society, and has continued to be the most stigmatized ethnic minority. [ Sámi | Tornedalians | Gypsies | Jews ] Jews 35'000 Jews live in the Nordic countries. (Well, the figure varies depending on whom you ask.) Two thirds in Sweden and one fourth in Denmark. In Sweden the status of the Jewish religion became equal to the state church in some respects 1838, but Jewish immigration became anew prohibited. 1850-1870 Jews got right to live in all of the realm, to possess land and houses everywhere, to marry Christians, to become naturalized and to be elected to the parliament and to municipal bodies. 1880-1930 the number of Jews was doubled by refugees from Russia and Poland, leading to religious conflicts with the assimilated and influential (more or less secularized) Jews who often where prominent scholars (Eli F Heckscher), artists (Oscar Lewertin, Ernst Josephson, Isaac Grünewald) and industrialists (Bonnier, Philipson). Before the second World War students, workers unions and scientists agitated against Jewish immigration with race-biological arguments. From 1938 Swedish custom officers were instructed to hinder all Jews to enter. The Jewish leadership in Sweden was keen on keeping good relations with the government and consented. At least from 1942 the Swedish government had detailed informations about the German extermination of Jews and others in the concentration camps. With few exceptions Swedish officials agreed with the allied powers to keep this knowledge secret. During the war 7'000 refugees came from Denmark and Norway, and after the war 10'000 victims from Das Dritte Reich were hospitalized in Sweden, of which the majority soon moved on to other countries. (Other sources say it was as many as 9'000 Jews only from Denmark who escaped during the war.) Around 1970 aproximately 3'000 refugees came from Poland and Czechoslovakia. The Jews arriving in waves came to settle in different towns at different times, but after 1950 all Jewish communities have been characterized by rapid assimilation and secularization. The most orthodox Jews left Sweden. The founding of a Jewish school in Stockholm in the beginning of the 1950s is sometimes argued to have contributed to the successful assimilation, which however wasn't the intention. Despite the fact that the most of the Swedish Jews of today are 1'st or 2'nd generation immigrants the Jewish organizations have neither been acknowledged as immigrant organization, nor have the Jews been acknowledged as a native minority. _________________________________________________________________ CREDIT: Source: Svanberg, Ingvar & Runblom, Harald (editors): Det mångkulturella Sverige - En handbok om etniska grupper och minoriteter, Centrum för multietnisk forskning vid Uppsala universitet, Gidlunds Bokförlag, 2nd edition, Stockholm 1990, printed in Värnamo 1990, ISBN: 91-7843-037-2 [ the sections above are available at the www-page http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq738.html ]
Subject: 7.4 Main tourist attractions 7.4.1 Stockholm area Stockholm was originally established (c. 1250) by Birger Jarl as a defense outpost against the Baltic pirates on one of the channel islands that now make up Old Town. The city gained importance during the late Middle Ages as an exporter of metals, timber, and furs from its hinterland, but was still second after Uppsala in importance. Following the Stockholm Bloodbath and the subsequent overthrow of Danish rule in 1523, Stockholm became the center of the new Swedish kingdom. Under Gustav II Adolf (ruled 1611-32) Sweden became a major European power. His daughter and successor Christina (ruled 1632-54) established Stockholm as an intellectual and cultural center. Stockholm is sometimes known as the Venice of the North. It is the cultural, educational, and industrial center of Sweden. The heart of the city is built on 13 small islands at the junction where Lake Mälaren joins the Baltic Sea. Remnants of medieval Stockholm survive on three small islands known as Gamla Stan (the Old Town). They are Stadsholmen (The City Island) , Riddarholmen (Knight Island), and Helgeandsholmen (The Island of the Holy Spirit). The islands are closely connected and form the "Staden mellan broarna", or "city between the bridges". Stadsholmen has old gabled houses and narrow streets not found in other sections. Facing the water is the Royal Palace, which was completed in 1760, and is open to tourists. Nearby is the Storkyrkan (cathedral), the oldest building of the city (although the exterior is baroque), which houses e.g the famous medieval sculpture of St. Georg and the Dragon by the German sculptor Berndt Notke. Cobblestone streets wind up from the palace to the old Stortorget, or Great Market, the site of the Bloodbath of 1520. Eighty-two Swedish noblemen were executed in the market by Danish King Christian II. Close to Stadsholmen is Riddarholmen, where many of the Swedish rulers have been buried in Riddarholmskyrkan. On the tiny Helgeandsholmen, or Island of the Holy Spirit, where the House of Parliament stands. North of the Old Town are Norrmalm, the modern business and theater district, and Östermalm, a resedential section. Södermalm, a manufacturing center, is in the city's southern section, across the bridge leading from Old Town. The Town Hall, which is Stockholm's symbol, and most of the city government offices are on Kungsholmen, a large island west of Norrmalm. Stockholm is famous for its cleanliness and for its large number of parks and open spaces. On Djurgarden (a peninsula reserved for parkland and a cultural center) is Skansen, an open-air museum. The University of Stockholm, founded in 1877 as a private institution, was taken over by the state in 1960 and is now the country's largest university. The Nobel Prizes are awarded annually in Stockholm, with the exception of the Nobel Peace Prize, which is presented in Oslo, Norway. Major museums include the National Museum (of art), the Moderna Museet (Museum of modern art), the Vasa Museum (where a magnificient, 17th Century royal warship Vasa is on display; it sunk in the harbour on it's first journey in 1628 and was well preserved in the water for over 300 years until it was lifted in 1961. It's a must for every Stockholm visitor), the Historical Museum, the Nordic Museum, the Museum of Natural History (with Cosmonova omni theatre), the Museum of Naval History, the Skansen outdoor museum, the medieval museum, and the Royal Armoury (Livrustkammaren) where all sorts of fascinating artifacts from the history of the kingdom are on display, including crown jewels. In August each year we have the Stockholm Water Festival, an annual cultural and entertainment event sponsored by the city council and local business life. The one and a half week festival offers special exhibitions, concerts, shows, fireworks, an impromptu shopping mall in the Old Town with street restaurants, outdoor movie shows, activities for children, etc. The offcial guide of the festival each year lists more than 1 000 festival events. The Stockholm archipelago with tens and tens of thousands of islands is very popular in the summer. You can take the white Waxholm boats to the archipelago. A popular area for summer houses. Have a tour around Stockholm by sightseeing boat. Or see the city on a regular boat trip. In that case, note Skeppsholmen and Kastellholmen, formerly navy base. Then get the most condensed view of the old town. Further out, note Waldermarsudde, home of artist late Prince Eugen, now museum. Young artists will give concerts here summertime. Then a white building with towers, home of late Marcus Wallenberg. Finally two beautiful houses from baroque era on point Blockhusudden. Drottningholm. Accessed by land or by boat. Home of the royal family. Theatre with advanced scene mechanism from 18th century, in use today. Park in the style of Versailles, with "Kina slott", romantic building in Chinese style. Open-air museum Skansen in Djurgården should preferably be seen when all workshops are open which will not be until the end of August. At least some of them should however be open every Sunday. Skansen also has a Zoo. You can get there with the museum tram line leaving from Norrmalmstorg. Suggested walks or bike rides around Stockholm * Along shore Norr Mälarstrand. Outdoor cafe. Then one will come to the City Hall. Enter the tower. * From Djurgården eastwards along the shore to Blockhusudden. Bring a picnic basket early in the morning. * On the hills of Södermalm, with red cottages dispersed among the stone houses. Fine views over the water. * Along the shores of Reimersholme. Then, on the way to bridge Västerbron, pass by "Lasse i parken" (cafe in a red cottage). Go over Västerbron and again come to Norr Mälarstrand. * On Skeppsholmen and Kastellholmen. Museum of Eastern antiques. Youth hostel and outdoor cafe. There is no particular restaurant area in Stockholm. Stureplan and around however is somewhat of a meeting place. It is also close to water. In later years the south side (Södermalm), especially around Medborgarplatsen, has emerged as an important area of restaurants and pubs. There are over a hundred of them within 5 minutes walking distance from Medborgarplatsen. Plenty of choir concerts are given in the churches and the choirs are generally very good. There are some places close to Stockholm which should be seen, if possible. * Gripsholm castle, accessed e.g. with s/s Mariefred on a one-day trip; oldest part was built in the 1380s. Interesting because it's different styles inside reflect different epochs. * Home and orangery of the famous botanist Carl von Linne in Uppsala. * Hammarby, east of Uppsala. Summer resort of Linne, used by him for lecturing. * Österbybruk, north of Uppsala. The pre-industrial factories called "bruk" ("works" should be the appropriate term in English) are peculiar for Sweden. A bruk was a complete community. They are dispersed throughout middle Sweden. Österbybruk is very well preserved. * Skokloster castle at lake Mälaren, from about the same time as man-of-war Vasa. Armoury collection. (Rent a car in order to visit the previous four items.) * The remains of Birka in lake Mälaren. Birka could be considered capital of Sweden during the Viking age. Best accessed by boat. Suggested one-day archipelago trips from Stockholm * Sandhamn on island Sandön. Have beefsteak lunch onboard on the steamer. From the harbour, walk southwards to village Sandhamn. Then follow the southern shore of the island to point Trouville. Find a suitable way back to the village. Be careful to enter the right boat back. Avoid Saturdays and Sundays. * Kymmendö. Strindberg's Hemsö. Restricted area. Ask for permission at the police office. * Rödlöga. Small formerly fishing village. Forest meadows and hardwood forest, very impressing that far out in the sea. It will however be at its best in early summer. The main island of this detached archipelago is rather small and will be walked around in one hour. Choose between Saturdays or Sundays. * Husarö. If you have the time, stay over night somewhere. There are accommodations at several places. Buy a smoked fish if there are not any restaurants. Check restricted (military) areas on the map. Ticks is not a big problem, but ask for advice if you are uncertain. On a half-day trip from Stockholm one can go to Vaxholm. See the citadel (open until 16.00) with gunnery museum and minute exhibition about the Ytterby mine, known for ytterbium, yttrium, terbium, holmium, scandium, gadolinium and lanthanum. The mine itself may be visited but is hardly worth seeing and minerals may not be collected. Open air cafe in the citadel. 7.4.2 Uppsala The city of Uppsala, a major Swedish cultural center, lies about 70 km north of Stockholm and can easily be accessed by train. Uppsala has a history going well into the prehistoric era, it became the seat of the Swedish archbishop in 1164 and a royal residence in the next century, although it later lost much of its status and the king moved to Stockholm. The most important sight is Uppsala cathedral (domkyrkan), Sweden's largest medieval church, and a national sanctuary where e.g the king Gustav Vasa, philosopher Emmanuel Swedenborg and the botanist Carl von Linné (Linnaeus) are buried. The University of Uppsala (1477) is Sweden's oldest institution of higher learning, and it's main building Gustavianum (1623) houses a couple of museums. Uppsala castle overlooks the city from a high hill, and beside it is the symbol of the city, Gunillaklockan (Gunilla's clock), which is played daily 6 a.m and 9 p.m. Uppland's museum is located in an old mill by the river Fyrisån. Linné's home museum (Linnés Hammarby) with a garden dedicated to him are also in the city. Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala), now a suburb five kilometers to the north of the modern city, was the religious and political capital of the Sveas in the Viking age. The three high burial mounds (kungshögarna) from the 6th century belong, according to tradition, to the kings Aun, Adils and Egil; finds from their excavations are displayed in Stockholm in the Historical Museum (Historiska Museet). In a 1164 a church was built on the site of the famous old pagan temple of which nothing remains, as a symbol of the victory of Christianity in Sweden -- it was the seat of the archbishop until 13th century when a new cathedral was finished. The restaurant Odinsborg, built in "viking style", serves mead (mjöd). [ the sections above are available at the www-page http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq74.html ] 7.4.3 Malmö Located in Skåne, the southern tip of Sweden, 26 km across the sea (Öresund) from Copenhagen, Malmö is Sweden's third largest city. It was chartered as a city during the 13th century, at which time the region belonged to Denmark. In 1658 it passed to Sweden. Originally, Malmö's harbor was poor, and the city served mainly as a herring market until 1775, when the port facilities were improved. After 1800, Malmö began to develop as an industrial city. The center of Malmö is Stortorget square, by which are located the governor's house (Residenset, 1720), the City Hall (Rådhuset, 1546) and the statue of Karl X Gustav, conqueror of Skåne. St Peter's Church (S:t Petri, 1319), with a nicely sculptured interior and a 88m high green spire is also in the center. The castle Malmöhus was first built 1434, and rebuilt 1537-42; now it houses a museum of archaology, history, natural history and art. The Small Square (Lilla Torg) is one of the most beautiful in the country, with it's houses from the 17th and 18th centuries. Other sights include the Technical Museum, Charlotte Weibull's House, the City Theatre, the Arts Hall, and the old Market Hall. In the summer, you may want to visit the beach Ribersborgbadet. 7.4.4 Göteborg Göteborg (Gothenburg), founded in 1621 by Gustav II Afolf on the site of an earlier settlement, is Sweden's second largest city and chief seaport. It prospered during especially during the Napoleonic Wars, when Göteborg remained open while many other European ports were under the anti-British trade blockade. Located where the Göta river empties into the Danish straits, it was designed on Netherlandic fashion, with canals and bridges. The Göta Gota Canal built in the 19th century runs between Stockholm and Stockholm, and is a very scenic route indeed. In the center of the city are Gustav Adolf's square, by which the old Stock Exchange is located. The City Hall was designed by Nicholas Tessin the younger in 1672. The Östra Hamngatan and Kungsportavenyn streets lead to Götaplatsen (Göta Square), in the center of which is the statue of Poseidon by Carl Milles; the city theatre, concert hall and art musem (Nordic, French and Dutch art from 19th and 20th centuries) are located by the square. Ostindiska Huset (the house of the East-Indian Company), built 1750, houses historical, archaeological and ethnological collections. The city museum is housed in the oldest house of the city, Kronhuset, from the year 1653. Kronan is a fortress with a war museum. Off the city lies Älvsborgs Festning (Ävsborg Fortress), 1670, which can be accessed by boat. The old parts of the city contain the also the cathedral (1633), Kristine Church (1648), the law courts (1672), and the opera house (1859). There's a university (1891) and Chalmers Technical University. The sports stadium Ullevi, with seats for 52,000 people, is Sweden's biggest; the indoors stadium Scandinavium houses 14,000. Two bridges go over the wide Göta River, Götaälvbron and the newer Älvborgsbron. 7.4.5 Gotland Gotland is the the largest island (3,023 km²) in the Baltic Sea and has a population of 56,383 (1989), with the town of Visby as the administrative center. It lies 80 km off the Swedish coast and can be accessed by daily boats from the mainland. Close to it are a couple of smalle islands, Fårön, Gotska Sandön and Karlsö. Gotland is a low limestone plateau with a temperate, sunny climate. It developed rather early in prehistory etensive trade contacts with the people of northern Europe, and had a very distinctive culture, represented by e.g the numerous, beautiful picture stones erected all over the island. By the 12th century Visby was an important, independent town and a member of the Hanseatic League. The Danish king Valdemar Atterdag brutally conquered it in 1361, and after that, control of Gotland was disputed by several nations. Trade routes shifted, however, and by the time Sweden gained lasting control in 1645, it had lost much of its former importance and was impoverished. Nowadays the island is a very popular summer destination, rich in sights (including lots of medieval churches) and very good for a cycling holiday. It has a beautiful, characteristic nature, and the old ring wall around the medieval city of Visby, no doubt one of the most beautiful towns in Scandinavia, is almost totally intact. An important event is the Medieval Week (medeltidsveckan) arranged in Visby in August every year, with knights, Medieval markets, etc. The Forntidssalen museum in Visby displays the fascinating prehistory of Gotland, including picture stones and some of the rich Viking age treasures that are constantly found in the island (metal detectors are banned in Gotland!) Other absolute "musts" in and around Gotland include the caves at Lummelunda, the rauk fields (peculiar limestone formations on the coasts) and Stora Karlsö (an island off the south-west of Gotland). 7.4.6 The rest of Sweden In the north, people appreciate the beauty of the mountain range ("fjällvärlden"), where you can hike, fish, pick berries, ski (in the winter) or see the midnight sun (in the summer and far north). There are several big national parks here. The province of Dalarna is the "home" of the traditional Midsummer celebrations, where people dance around the Midsummer poles in traditional folk dresses. Jämtland is one of the latest provinces to have been incorporated in the Swedish realm, and remains almost half-Norwegian both in customs and language - and a great resort for hiking and skiing. A popular route is Göta Kanal, on which you can go on boat from Norrköping to Gothenburg and at the same time see a cross section of the mid-Sweden country side. Skåne (Scania) is the Swedish province that gives an almost Central European impression. The landscape is very flat and much of it is farmed. You'll find beautiful beech woods here and everywhere you see the traditional black and white houses ('korsvirkeshus'). Many like to rent or own summer houses on the Scanian country side. For more info on Scania, see section 7.6. [ the sections above are available at the www-page http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq743.html ]
Subject: 7.5 Swedish literature Swedish writing dates back to 11th-century runic inscriptions, but actual literature originated in the Catholic Middle Ages. Saint Birgitta (1303-1373) wrote her Revelations, which became internationally known, in Latin. Another important work from the 14th century is the Erikskrönikan, which recounts historical events in poetic form. Most medieval Swedish writings served nonliterary purposes, with the exception of the folk ballads. Gustav Vasa's reformation of the church contributed to a cultural decline in the 16th century. However, of vital importance to the development of the Swedish language were Olaus Petri's Bible translations of 1526 and 1541. Another important 16th century work, although in Latin, was Olaus Magnus' Historia De Gentibus Septentrionalibus (History of the Nordic Peoples, 1523). During this period there also appeared Sweden's first lyric poet, Lars Wivallius. Another significant early poet is Georg Stiernhelm in the 1600's. The Age of Freedom The 18th century, a period of enlightenment, was dominated by prose. Only toward the close of the century, during the reign of Gustaf III, did other genres emerge in the wake of French cultural influence. Noteworthy is Carl Michael Bellman's rococo ballads. Emmanuel Swedenborg's mystical visions influenced many authors and thinkers around Europe and prompted the Swedenborgian religion that still exists. 7.5.3 Romanticism and Modernism Erik Johan Stagnelius's Neoplatonism, Esaias Tegner's and Erik Gustaf Geijer's glorification of the nation's past, and Abraham Viktor Rydberg's idealistic liberalism all reflect the philosophical orientation of Swedish 19th-century romanticism. Carl Jonas Love Almqvist, initially a mystic and romantic, came later to herald new trends of realism in prose works characterized by social awareness. The poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg, with his heroic and romantic poetry, had enormous influence in the Swedish speaking literary circles. Runeberg, as well as many other of the important writers of the 18th and 19th century lived in Finland, as for instance Frese and Topelius, and are better covered in section 4.7 of this FAQ. But the most important figure of the century was, however, August Strindberg (1849-1912), Sweden's greatest writer and the father of modern Swedish drama and fiction. Moving in his later plays from naturalism to dreamlike symbolism, Strindberg fore-shadowed expressionism. A novelist and playwright, he defied social convention by writing dramas of sexual conflict and psychological torment, drawn largely from his personal life. His plays are now esteemed as classics of the modern stage. Important works include e.g the Red Room (Röda Rummet), Olaus Petri and Inferno. With Strindberg a new era was established, the era of the industrialization and urbanization. Strindberg and later authors are still very popular, while earlier (National-Romantic) Swedish authors seems antiquated or alien Strindberg represents the modern society which we still live in. The socially opinionated prose writers of the 1880s were succeeded by a new wave of romantics, who preferred verse and emphasized the past (Selma Lagerlöf) and the countryside (Erik Axel Karlfeldt). About 1900, Hjalmar Söderberg published exquisite short stories set in the streets of Stockholm; but the novelists of the next decade favored small-town Sweden. Modernism was introduced in the 1920s by the Finland-Swedish poets Edith Södergran (1892-1923), Gunnar Björling, and Elmer Diktonius, and it was affirmed in Pär Lagerqvist's innovative dramas and Gunnar Ekelöf's surrealistic poetry. A new social class of self-educated country writers entered Sweden's literary world in the 1930s, among them the 1974 Nobel laureates Harry Martinson and Eyvind Johnson. Sweden managed to avoid the world wars, but its literature from the 1940s (Erik Lindegren, Karl Vennberg) reflects the general postwar depression. The feeling of pessimism and guilt worsened during the following decades because of the Vietnam War and Third World problems. An intense questioning of literature's social function and a mistrust of language found many literary expressions -- from "new simplicity" and "concreteness" in poetry, to documentaries in prose, but the stories of Astrid Lindgren stand out with their delighting humor and humanity. Swedish literature of the end of the 1970s was characterized by a new trust in the word and a new delight in traditional fiction writing. After the second world war popular authors as Vilhelm Moberg (1898-1973), Astrid Lindgren and Jan Guillou has taken part also in the political debate. Still in the mid-1990:ies Astrid Lindgren in her high age appears in radio as an defender of vulnerable children and animals, as for instance for a 11 years old girl threatened by deportation after eight years in Sweden. For electronic versions of some of the works of Nordic literature, see the collection of Project Runeberg: * Icelandic Literature * Literature from the Viking Age * Medieval Nordic Literature * Danish Literature * Norwegian Literature * Literature of Finland * Literature from the Age of Liberty [ in Sweden and Finland (1719-1772) ] [ the sections above are available at the www-page http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq75.html ]
Subject: 7.6 Scania <This section by Malte Lewan> Malte Lewan also maintains a list over links to Scanian pages (most in Swedish). 7.6.1 Skåne and Skåneland Lat: Scania, Eng: Scania, Ger: die Schonen, Fr: la Scanie "Skåne" is old Danish/Scanian and means "the dangerous beach". It is possibly the same word as the contemporary "skada" / "skade" in Swedish and Danish respectively which mean "damage". Skåne is the most southern of the provinces in Sweden. Together with Blekinge, Halland and Danish Bornholm, it has a unique history while it was an integral part of Denmark all the years before 1658 except 1332-1360 when Denmark had no king and was in chaos and Scania had status as country under the Swedish king. "Skåneland" in Swedish or "Skånelandene" in Danish is a name used for the four provinces together. In Latin and English it is "Scania". In 1658, they all became Swedish, but Bornholm was returned to Denmark in 1660 while the other provinces remained Swedish. "Scania" is used for representing "Skåneland" in the text below but not in a strict sense. Sometimes, the meaning might be closer to the province of Skåne. And Bornholm will in this use often not be included. When emphasizing that it is only the southern province that is referred to, "Skåne" is used, but when emphasizing that all provinces are referred to, "Skåneland" will be used. 7.6.2 Miscellaneous facts <This section by Malte Lewan> The populations of the four provinces are today: Skåne: 1,110,000 Halland: 270,000 Blekinge: 160,000 Bornholm: 50,000 The big cities in Skåne are: Malmö: 250,000 Helsingborg: 110,000 Lund: 90,000 Kristianstad: 70,000 Some rural parts of Scania are well known as separate parts also by many non-Scanians: Kullabygden, Göinge, Mellanskåne, Söderslätt and Österlen. The borders of these local provinces are very much disputed though. As a rule, the historic areas were smaller than how the terms are used today. Particularly Österlen covers so many positive connotations as a nice vacation resort that the traditional borders often get transgressed when trying to sell real estates for example! The traditional definition of Söderslätt is "south of the highway" (today highway 101) between Malmö and Ystad. The biggest newspaper is "Sydsvenska Dagbladet" that has its base in Malmö but covers southwestern Skåne equally well. It is independently liberal. In the same area, there are Social Democratic "Arbetet" and Centre Party "Skånska Dagbladet". Several other local papers exist like for example Helsingborgs Dagblad and Nordvästra Skånes Tidningar. The only university in Scania is Lund University. Other schools for higher education in the same official university area of southern Sweden are situated in Växjö, Kalmar, Karlskrona/Ronneby, Kristianstad and Halmstad. There are also quite big university independent schools in Malmö, and Lund University offers some courses in Helsingborg and Jönköping (the later outside Scania) as well. There are ferries between Copenhagen and Malmö, Helsingborg-Helsingør, Landskrona-Tuborg (close to Copenhagen) and of course to the islands Ven and Bornholm. There are also ferries to Germany (Travemünde and Saßnitz) and Poland and sometimes to Lithuania. A few other ones exist too. There are no original ethnic minorities living in Scania but there are a few dozens of thousand of Danes that have moved in after World War II. Some live in Landskrona and others have houses in Northern Skåne. Of foreign citizens, there are 9,800 Danes, 8,700 ex-Yugoslavs and 3,150 Finlanders in Skåne. (These are the three biggest groups.) [ the sections above are available at the www-page http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq761.html ] 7.6.3 Some marks in history See also the history sections for Denmark and Sweden. Until 1360 Scania was, without doubts, a Danish land, in the sense that Scanians were Danes, however not always under a united King of the Danes. After 1360 Denmark's kings had a firm grip of Scania until the province was ceeded to Sweden in 1658. 995 King Olav Tryggvesson lands in Scania and wins a battle. 1000 (circa) In the naval battle at Svolder (probably the island Hven or Saltholm) King Svend Tveskæg is allied with King Olof Skötkonung. They defeat Olav Tryggvesson's ships. The border between Scania and Sweden is marked by six raised stones between Halland & Västergötland; Scania proper & Småland; and between Blekinge & Småland. During early 11th century the town of Lund is made to a center of the eastern half of King Canut the Great's realm. 1026 (circa) Canute the Great defeats the attacking allies King Amund Jakob from Sweden and King Olav ("the Saint") from Norway at a big naval battle at the Helge Å estuary. 1042 As the Danes lose the realm in England Denmark is split under different kings until 1047 when Svend Estridsen from Scania ascends to the throne. 1060 King Svend Estridsen lets build a church in Dalby (the oldest remaining stone church on the Scandinavian peninsula), and Scania is divided in two bishoprics: Lund and Dalby. However, in 1067 the bishoprics are united under bishop Egino in Dalby, who after some years move the see to Lund. 1080 The Bishop in Bremen and the Bishop in Canterbury have fought for the dominance over Denmark, and as a move in this complicated fight rich funds are donated by the king for a cathedral in Lund. The cathedral school is opened in 1086. The school has been in function ever since. 1104 With the first arch-bishop of Lund, Scandinavia was made a separate church province, no longer belonging to Hamburg. 1124 King Sigurd Jorsalafarare ("Jerusalem traveler") of Norway pesters eastern Scania and put the town Tumathorp to fire. 1134 A Danish Civil War culminates in the battle at Fotevik, close to Skanör. Lund is made residence of the victor King Erik Emune. After he has been assassinated Scania is again for some years separated from Denmark, until 1142 when King Erik Lam of Zealand and Jutland defeats King Oluf Haraldsen of Scania. 1180 A peasant rebellion ends in defeat in the battle at Dösjöbro. Two years later the Scanians are again defeated in the battle at Höje Å, as the newly elected king of Jutland and Zealand (Knud VI "King of the Wends") defeats the Scanian King Harald Olufsen. 1202 Estonians (pirates or vikings) pesters Blekinge. 1202-1210 The Scanian Law is written down. 50 years later it's also transcribed to runes. 1249 A peasant rebellion against the "plough-tax" is successful. The Scanians are exempted from the tax. 1276 The Swedish King Magnus Ladulås pesters Halland and northern Scania proper. In the following four hundred years Scania will endure at least two dozens war. 1332 The Scanian nobility (alternatively the Thing in Lund) had in the beginning of the 1330s chosen the young Magnus Eriksson to be king also for the Scanian provinces, as also Gotland had done, after his regents had promised to pay Count Johan of Holstein to whom Scania was pawned. At that time Magnus Eriksson was the under-age king of both Norway and Sweden. 1356-1360 During conflicts between King Magnus and his son Prince Erik Scania is again pestered by war and plundering which ends as King Valdemar Atterdag of Denmark re-conquests Scania in 1360. The Swedish King Albrecht of Mecklenburg will however launch several attacks on Scania in the hope to regain the land. After this the Thing in Lund didn't cause more disturbance in the kingdom of Denmark. 1425 Sort of a proto-University, a Studium Generale, is founded at a Franciscan Convent in Lund. It disappears, however, at the Reformation. 1452 King Karl Knutsson (Bonde) of Sweden pesters Scania with the largest army Sweden yet had raised. 1534-36 Grevefejden: Civil War between pro-Lutherans and anti-Lutherans. The mayors of Malmö and Copenhagen come out on the losing end together with the Hanseatic town of Lübeck. Reformation follows in 1536. 1560-1570 When Erik XIV ascends on the Swedish throne the attacks on Scania with massacres and burned towns are intensified. 1573 Tycho Brahe publishes the book "De nova stella" and becomes famous. In 1576 he is entfeofed with the island Hven where he erects the observatory Uranienborg. 1644-1660 As Sweden has gained much prestige during the 30-years' War - and Denmark has lost some. Sweden attacks in 1644, and Halland is lost to the Swedes (on thirty years). As Denmark try to take revenge the result is disastrous. The Swedes reach Zealand via Jutland and the islands, and Denmark is threatened by eradication. In the peace Scania is ceded to Sweden (despite Scania being the only part of Denmark proper free from Swedish troops). 1668 The university in Lund is founded. 1676-1721 The Scanians (not the least the Snapphanar - i.e. guerilla units) and the Danish Army make several attempts to re-unite Scania with Denmark. The mission in 1676-1680 was military well prepared, however without support from the Great Powers of Europe (France in particular) why Denmark was forced to peace without territorial gains - despite a good position on the battle field. The Swedish policy is a strict Swedification, in conflict with the peace treaties which guarantee Scania to keep her laws and nationality. Part by part is Scania incorporated in the Swedish realm. De jure this was accomplished in 1721, however certain legal and cultural differences between Scania and the rest of Sweden would remain for centuries. 1811, June 15th After a year of unrest among the Scanian peasants a thousand peasants had arrived at Klågerup's castle in western Scania to protest against the cruel noble master and against the calling up of new troops for the attack on Norway (with the failed wars of 1808/1809 in fresh memory, when the hastily summoned and barely trained soldiers died from hunger and freezing due to bad supply of food and tents). The threatening mob was driven away from the manor by military troops, and thereby 29 peasants were killed ( - this is the official figure, rumors say that most corpses had been taken care of by friends and relatives before the rest was counted by the military). 1857 The prohibition of books in Danish (or Scanian) is abolished. 1872 The flag used by the Arch-bishop during medieval times is re-invented and introduced as the National Flag of Scania. 7.6.4 The flag <This section by Malte Lewan> The Scanian flag is red with yellow ribbons and is more square than both the Danish and Swedish ones. The measurements are based on the old (1748-1926) Danish measures for its flag. They are 3-1-4.5 in length and 3-1-3 in height. The flag is most likely (though not proved) from the archbishop in Lund Andreas Sunesen (1201-1228) who then was archbishop for all of Norden. (But the country diocese ("landestiftet") where the Scanian law was in force was Skåneland). He got the flag pattern from (and used it on) a crusade in Latvia and a stay in Riga. The fact that the flag is like a Danish-Swedish combination with what could have been borrowed colors from these flags is a coincidence. The Swedish flag is younger. The Scanian flag itself was probably pretty much forgotten (though other yellow-red symbols existed) until Mathias and Martin Weibull "reinvented" it around the end of the last century. First, it was used very sparingly but the use has grown and does so even today. But only outside one of the Scanian town halls, in Ystad, is the Scanian flag flying so far. It is more frequently used by the common people, depending on area in Scania. The Swedish flag is still more common in the province. As late as in March 1992, the flag was registered in the Scandinavian Roll of Armor. At the same time, the Scanian coat of arms was registered: a golden panther on red background with hind legs like a lion and front legs like an eagle. The day of the Scanian flag is the third Sunday in July. __________________________________________________________________________ Sources: "Skånelands flagga", Sven-Olle R Olsson, 1993 Newspaper articles from "Sydsvenska Dagbladet", 1992-95 __________________________________________________________________________ [ the sections above are available at the www-page http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq763.html ] 7.6.6 Culture <This section by Malte Lewan> Scania is associated (mostly nationally) with certain hallmarks like some types of food: the goose, the smoked eel ("røgad åol") and "spettkaka" (Swedish spelling) that is a type of cake. Other associations many people get (and also used in the tourist business) are the clogs a lot of people wear even today and the folk costumes containing a certain distinctive pale yellow color, with the men wearing pants reaching just below the knee followed by white socks. The women have kerchiefs instead of hats when they are married. The colors of the dresses are dark. The would-be "jacket" of the dress is one part with the skirt and not separate. The clothings mark richness with silver and many visible skirts. The folk costumes are based on the farmers' rather than for example the fishers' Sunday dresses. They differ of course from hundred ("härad") to hundred but keep certain characteristics in common. Lately, the Danish red sausage, the "pølse", has made it into the outdoor food commerce. It was for a long time not allowed in Sweden due to the added ingredients making the sausage red. When it finally became allowed, this was looked upon like a great success of the local politicians. Maybe because of the Scanian habit of eating this sausage when visiting København, it has now become very popular in Scania too. In Lund, there is another sausage called "lundaknake" that has reached fame, at least locally. The willows that edges many Scanian roads give the landscape a characteristic outlook. Scania is like Denmark very flat and without much of forests except in the north (in fact, this was the natural divider before 1658 between Denmark and Sweden). The willows are supposed to shelter against the wind in an environment where no other natural shelters exist. Also, the Scanian mills ("möllor") are typical for the province. Often situated on hills, they too characterize the horizon in the Scanian scenery. Being a region containing one eighth of the population in Sweden, there exist of course a great number of nationally famous Scanians, some of these comedians and singers. There will not be a list here, but the maybe most famous Scanian, the most Scanian Scanian will be mentioned. His name was Edward Persson and was the main character and very much dominating personality in a number of film comedies taken place on some farm in south western Skåne, in Söderslätt. He more or less established the image of the Scanian person: fat (!), slow, content with life, feeling secure and of course having the accent considered strong in those days of television. He's dead since some years now. Scanians have often got a bad reputation in Sjælland for going there to get drunk. The background is different state policies when it comes to the selling of alcohol. While this is harshly regulated in Sweden and only sold in certain stores with high prices, it's cheaper and much more easily accessible in Denmark. The result is irritation between the former fellow countrymen. 7.6.7 Language <This section by Malte Lewan> The old language of the province has many resemblences to Danish but has also many unique features that would make it problematic to simply call it a Danish dialect. In the very south west, the language could be said to be Danish but the heart land is filled with unparalleled features and related words so different from both Danish and Swedish that they ordinarily aren't recognizable to either group of speakers. Until the 19th century, the language was unaltered by significant influence of both Danish (until 1658) and Swedish (from that year and onwards). But in the middle and end of that century, the Swedish language started to persuade vital parts of the population. In the beginning of the 20th century most people still spoke the old language, but that majority diminished faster and faster. Today, the percentage is probably in the one digits and this group of inhabitants consists mainly of older people though there are some young bilingual people as well. The language these persons speak is even usually softly Swedified (where for example the most Swedish of two alternatives in the old language regularly gets chosen) and examples of folks today speaking an untouched old Scanian is probably very scarce. What is spoken by most today is a dialect of Swedish, but many speakers show differences that are more or less noticable depending on the person. For example: * Intonation * Pronunciation of the "r" is made by the root of the tongue in the "French way". Like the Danes do it. * When Swedes use t, k and p, Scanians often use d, g, and b. Like the Danes. * Like in Danish, t and k are pronounced very hard in beginning of words whereas in Swedish, they are softer. * None of the vowels are pronounced exactly in the same place of the mouth they are in Swedish, and you could say that standard Swedish "o" and "u" simply do not exist. * Every long vowel in Swedish is a diphthong in Scanian. The Swedish language lacks diphthongs entirely. The type of widely spread strongly dialectal Scanian that there exists today can be quite difficult even for Swedish speakers to understand. It's probably as commonly used among young people as among older ones. It's alive to another extent than the old language and is a Swedish influenced version of it, with the many parts sensitive to external domination left out. Even in this dialect, there are several examples of grammatical differences and there are a few hundreds of local words still in use all over the province by many people. Just ten examples: Scanian English Swedish hutta = throw (Sw: kasta) klyddig = complicated (Sw: besvärlig) lässa = load, put up (Sw: lasta, lägga upp) mölla = mill (Sw: kvarn) nimm = neat (Sw: praktisk, lätt) påg = boy (Sw: pojke) rälig = ugly, mean (Sw: ful, stygg, otäck) sammedant = likewise (Sw: likadant) titt = often (Sw: ofta) töj = clothes (Sw: kläder) __________________________________________________________________________ Sources: Newspaper articles from "Sydsvenska Dagbladet", 1992-95 __________________________________________________________________________ [ the sections above are available at the www-page http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq766.html ] There are probably three things that are a salient for the Scanian development today: membership in the European Union, the bridge over Öresund (the sea between Sjælland and Skåne) to Denmark/regional cooperation with Sjælland and Skåne becoming one region politically. These things are in contrast to much of that of history and culture openly discussed and many times pushed forward by local Scanian politicians: 7.6.8 Membership in the European Union <This section by Malte Lewan> In October 1995, Sweden voted a slight yes to become a member of the European Union. In Skåne, the decision was very clear though. It was the region the most favorable to membership in all of Sweden. There is hope that Scania being a member of the EU can have positive implications for reasons of regional strength. There is talk about a Europe of the regions where the regions are getting more responsibility of conducting their own affairs and acting independently. The EU will probably to a certain degree result in the removal of administrative and political borders to neighbouring regions in other countries surrounding Scania. That is at least the explicit goal of the EU. In the long term, an abolition of customs controls and a common currency are discussed. This will especially benefit border regions. The EU membership resulted in that Sweden needed to be divided into so called NUTS regions. These are regions that the EU use for socio- economic calculations, for example when determining distribution of subsidies from the EU structural funds. Of three levels 1-3, NUTS 2 is the most important, often called the "basic region". It's necessary that it has some sort of political controlling unit, a council or parliament. As a result of these demands for NUTS regions, Sweden and the EU agreed in 1995 on a division of NUTS 2 in Sweden into 8 regions. Skåne and Blekinge became one. Halland was decided to belong to another region. This EU NUTS 2 division has been made a business separate from the _internal_ regional one described late in 7.6.9 where Skåne _alone_ will constitute one region). Some people are not so happy with this that the boundaries had to be different, thereby splitting the regional focus. The EU subsidizes the Interreg II program that supports border regional cooperation within the EU. For the Öresund region - that is: Greater København and all of Skåne - it will cover the years 1995-1999. The sum will be 13 million ECU for the whole project and 0.2 of these are used for a specific cooperation between south eastern Skåne and Bornholm. The same amount that the EU gives must be invested from the two states, thereby doubling the amount of money available. Scania is also represented in the EU Committee of Regions in which the member states' regions have representatives. 2 of the 12 Swedish representatives are Scanians but that is not the result of any fixed quota granted to Skåne. The Committee of Regions has no decisional, but only advisory, powers in the EU. Still, in some EU countries, regional top politicians are members and have high hopes for the future of the institution before the EU intergovernmental congress in that started in Mars 1996. 7.6.9 Cooperation with Sjælland and the bridge over Öresund <This section by Malte Lewan> There is since a few years a lot of talk in all kinds of sectors in Skåne public life about the prospect of a cooperative region involving Sjælland and Copenhagen. That's a goal every local politician seems to acknowledge nowadays. There are for example ideas about common transportation cards, a common TV channel, all kinds of cooperation projects in science, sports etc, a common labor market, and there has even been spoken of common Olympic Games in the year of 2008. Skåne was supposed to be a part of Copenhagen's arrangements as cultural capital of Europe in 1996, but in the end, the Scanian politicians decided to avoid some of its costs. But maybe the most discussed project for better communications between Scania and Sjælland is the bridge over Öresund: A bridge is being built between a point just south of Malmö and the airport of Copenhagen "Kastrup" which is the biggest airport in northern Europe. The bridge will be 16.5 km long and will carry cars as well as trains but not bikes. The current regional trains in Skåne and in Sjælland (the island on which Copenhagen lies) will be connected. It will take 28 min to go from Copenhagen to Malmö and 41 min to go to Lund. The university town of Roskilde will be on the same connection (26 min west of Copenhagen). The bridge was planned to be finished 1999, but is not on schedule so current predictions are mentioning the year after. It will be financed by the car (and of course truck) traffic whose drivers will pay a few hundred SEK for a single trip, just below the prices of today's ferries. Train passengers will only pay the normal price of 50 SEK in today's money. The Swedish and Danish states will act as guarantors for the project. The bridge was debated a lot because people were worried about hurting environmental effects. The flow of water between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea was one of the problems since it could be altered with damaging effects. The current solution is supposed to make sure there is no change at all in the water transportation. Other questions raised involved the increased car traffic and its environmental consequences. 7.6.10 A politically united region <This section by Malte Lewan> In Skåne, there is a certain amount of dissatisfaction with the centralization of a lot of cultural and administrative activities around the capital Stockholm. For example,there has been a famous research that showed that Stockholm gets six times higher cultural subsidies than Malmö per inhabitant. The editorial offices of national radio and TV stations are usually located in Stockholm which many, not only Scanians, are worried give a particular Stockholm perspective in produced programs. But Sweden is slowly in a process of getting a new division into regions. For the moment there are 24 smaller administrative provinces, "län", whose borders date back to the 1630's. In the future, there might be less than ten regions. What was long discussed (not a very loud debate though) was which areas would belong together and many different alternatives came up. Finally it was determined that Skåne and Western Sweden (including the second Swedish city Göteborg) would start out reuniting their respective län into two big regions (while the other Swedish län not involved would be left intact for the moment). The Scanian politicians were probably the most eager for this project and pushed rather strongly for it. (Already in 1992, did the main political organisations in Skåne submit a request to the government for a Skåne political region.) In this building of regions, the other parts of Skåneland - Blekinge and Halland - were omitted from being part of the new region. For now, they will continue being ordinary län. So, a state official report in 1995 proposed that Skåne politically should become one region and that a directly elected regional council should be formed. The date was in a government proposition in 1996 specified to Jan 1, 1997. When this proposal will be carried through, today's two län councils will disappear and be substituted by the regional council. Some of the state administrative powers (concerning regional development) will be transferred to the region. The Swedish parliament will make a decision concerning this in 1996. This report also suggested that the site of state administration would be Kristianstad in northern Skåne and this soon became a heated issue where the "capital of Skåne" would be. Malmö politicians were upset about making Kristianstad the administrative site and the positions seemed to be locked. Finally, this position was given to Malmö, a fact which of course angered the Kristianstad politicians much and who threatened to leave the project entirely. Parallel to having this new common political institution, there is also already a will from the regional politicians to coordinate and integrate regional decision making. Many different political domains (eg communications, economic life, education, tourism) are examined one by one by selected teams on how to improve the way those decisions that concerns all of Skåne are made. This will be made with or without the help of a regional parliament. It seems, the theme is always one Skåne institution or organisation for different activities. This is not least visible in the names being used. 7.6.11 International status <This section by Malte Lewan> Scania is a member of the national minority organization FUEV (Föderalistische Union Europäischer Volksgruppen [German]) which is located in Flensburg, Germany. Only regions with their own language, clearly defined border and a history to go back to, are accepted in the FUEV. It is also a recent member of UNPO (Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization). UNPO is an alternative to the UN for minorities of the world, which are not represented in there. UNPO is located in Haag, Netherlands where the Scanian flag now is flying. __________________________________________________________________________ Sources: Newspaper articles from "Sydsvenska Dagbladet", 1992-95 Brochures by SVEDAB (Svensk-Danska Broförbindelsen AB), 1993-94 Ett enat Skåne: www.skane.se, Öresundskomiteens: www.orestad.com __________________________________________________________________________ [ the sections above are available at the www-page http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq768.html ]
Subject: 7.7 Books for learning Swedish * Teach Yourself Swedish, a complete course for beginners (Hodder & Stoughton 1996) by: Vera Croghan * Svenska Utifrån, Lärobok i svenska, (Svenska Institutet, 1997) by: Nyborg, Roger & Pettersson, Nils-Owe * In French: Le suedois sans peine - svenska på lätt sätt * Swedish : a comprehensive grammar (London & New York : Routledge, 1994) by: Philip Holmes and Ian Hinchliffe * Swedish, A Concise Grammar (London & New York: Routledge 1997) by: Philip Holmes and Ian Hinchliffe * Basic Swedish Grammar (1963), by: Beite, Ann-Mari, Englund, Gertrud, Higelin, Siv & Hildeman, Nils-Gustav * Easily found in any bookshop. These two books are a sort of small FAQ about Sweden: *skål*, herrings and bier, Americans with Swedish backgrounds, etc. Two sets of cassettes can be bought with the books. * Practice Swedish, Exercises in the Swedish Language (1957) * Learn Swedish, Swedish Reader for Beginners (1959) by: Hildeman, et al [ the sections above are available at the www-page http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq77.html ] -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- END OF PART 7 -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- © Copyright 1994-98 by Antti Lahelma and Johan Olofsson. You are free to quote this page as long as you mention the URL for the original archive (as: <http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/index.html>), where the most recent version of this document can be found. -- e-mail: jmo@lysator.liu.se s-mail: Majeldsvägen 8a, 587 31 LINKÖPING, Sweden www: http://www.lysator.liu.se/~jmo/

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