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Nordic FAQ - 7 of 7 - SWEDEN
Section - 7.3 History

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   (A brief chronicle is to find in the sections 7.3.3-7.3.7.)
  7.3.1 A chronology of important dates
          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,
          With the first archbishop of Lund, Scandinavia was made a
          separate church province, no longer belonging to Hamburg.
          Norwegian "crusade" to Småland gave 1800 heads of cattle.
          Bishop Henry in Uppsala resumes securing (conquering) of
          Finland for Catholicism in a "crusade".
          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.
          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.
          Falu copper mine is opened.
          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.
          The Swedish King Birger (Ladulås) claims supremacy over
          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.
          Viipuri/Viborg is established at/as the eastern border of
          King Birger is imprisoned by his brothers duke Valdemar and
          duke Erik, the so called Håtunaleken.
          Sweden is split in three dutchies.
          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.
          Peace with Novgorod in Nöteborg / Pähkinälinna. The borders of
          this peace lasted beyond year 147 when the Grand-Duchess Moscow
          conquered Novgorod.
          Personal union with Norway under King Magnus Eriksson.
          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
          Slavery was abolished.
          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
          The Black Death (the Plague)
          The first Swedish national law replaced the local
          The Danish King Valdemar Atterdag conquers Gotland.
          Finland's status as an equal part of the realm is confirmed by
          participation in election of king.
          The Nordic kingdoms are united as the "Kalmar Union", led by
          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.
          Uppsala university founded; the oldest university in the Nordic
          Stockholm blood bath ignites Gustav Vasa's rebellion.
          Gustav Vasa is elected regent.
          June, 6th, Gustav Vasa is elected king of Sweden.
          The New Testament and hymnal is printed in the Swedish language
          - 1541 is the whole Bible ready
          - 1551 the New Testament on Finnish.
          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.
          The Diet declares the monarchy hereditary. After this the
          principle of all four Estates participating in the Diets i
          firmly established.
          Estonia surrenders to Sweden.
          Expulsion is the penalty for spread of beliefs divergent from
          orthodox Lutheranism.
          King Erik is imprisoned and 1577 poisoned.
          Lutheranism is confirmed by a Church meeting in Uppsala.
          The Catholic Sigismund inherits the throne, Sweden in civil war
          while in personal union with Poland.
          Linköping's blood bath.
          Academic printer established at the university (Uppsala).
          Sweden pays ransom for the fort at Älvsborg, where 1619
          Gothenburg i founded.
          Justice reform leads to royal courts of appeal in Stockholm,
          Turku/Åbo (1623) and Tartu/Dorpat (1630).
          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.
          King Gustav II Adolf land on the European continent to take
          part in the 30-years war.
          Poland cedes Livonia to Sweden in the peace of Altmark.
          The university in Tartu/Dorpat is founded.
          Gustav II Adolf is killed in the battle of Lützen.
          The university in Turku/Åbo is founded.
          Sweden gets Gotland, Saaremaa/Ösel, Jämtland and Härjedalen
          from Denmark in the peace of Brömsebro.
          In the peace treaty of Westphalia, Sweden wins the German
          territories (Vorpommern, Rügen, Stettin, Wismar, and
          Bremen-Verden) and becomes a major power.
          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.
          The university in Lund is founded.
          Nobel masters have right to sentence their employees.
          The battle at Lund.
          Gotland is annected by Sweden, followed by Blekinge 1680,
          Halland 1693 and Scania 1721.
          The Stockholm Castle ("Three Crowns") burns down.
          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.
          Konventikelplakatet counteracts Pietism by prohibiting
          religious meetings without ordained priests (except for prayers
          and teachings inside the household in a strict sense).
          Celsius designs a thermometer.
          The Estates confirm the democratic forms for decisions at the
          village meeting.
          A failed coup d'etat by the royal Court leads to the king's
          function becoming less more than ceremonial.
          Storskifte, first reform of Swedish farming decided.
          The liberty of Press and "Offentlighetsprincipen" was declared
          as constitution.
          Scheele discovers oxygen.
          Gustav III performs a coup and the Diet restores the monarchy.
          Torture is abolished in Sweden.
          Freedom of religion for aliens make immigration of Jews
          The absolute monarchy is enforced - partly with illegal
          methods, partly decided by a Diet.
          Bellman publishes the Fredman collections.
          Gustav III is assassinated at a masked ball.
          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.
          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.
          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.
          Göta Kanal is built across Sweden from Söderköping to
          Personal-union between Norway and Sweden.
          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).
          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.
          Daughters get equal rights as sons to inherit land.
          The first Swedish Free Church congregation and baptizing.
          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
          Electric telegraph between Stockholm and Uppsala.
          Railway between Örebro and Ervalla. Later the same year the
          first state railway is opened between Malmö and Lund.
          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.
          Feminist pioneer Fredrika Bremer publishes Hertha.
          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.
          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.
          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.
          Sweden becomes very Germany-oriented, both economically and
          culturally - in particular after Prussia's military successes
          against Denmark, Austria and France.
          Nordic currency and postal union.
          The metric system is introduced.
          Hjalmar Branting is elected the first Social Democrat in
          First Nobel Prize award.
          The universal military service is organized. All men become
          trained for defense of the country.
          Railroad from Narvik at the Norwegian coast to Kiruna where
          iron ore mines get exploit.
          Norway declares itself independent of the Swedish king.
          Major spelling reform.
          Men get equal rights to vote.
          Strike by 300'000 Swedish workers, but no revolution.
          Olympic Games in Stockholm.
          Law on public pension.
          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.
          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.
          Law on eight hours workday (six days a week).
          Women get rights to vote equal to men.
          Death penalty abolished (in times of peace).
          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.
          Swedish employees get minimum two weeks of yearly paid vacation
          The ferry Hansa en route between Stockholm and Gotland was sank
          by a Soviet submarin. 84 passengers drowned.
          Count Folke Bernadotte was (assassinated in Jerusalem by a
          Jewish terrorist organization (lead by Yitzhak Shamir) when
          mediating between Jews and Arabs.
          General right for members of the state Church to submit one's
          resignation. General freedom of religion for Swedish citizen.
          A Swedish computer, BESK, is for a time the fastest in the
          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.
          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.
          The aircraft of Dag Hammarskjöld, the UN secretary general, is
          shot down during mediating in Africa.
          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
          The Riksdag becomes unicameral. Parliamentarism is written into
          the constitution.
          the king loses his political influence (including formation of
          the cabinet).
          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.
          Referendum says nuclear power is to be liquidated.
          A Russian submarine runs aground in the Blekinge archipelago.
          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
          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)

 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 ]

 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 ]

 1751-71 Adolf Fredrik 1771-92 Gustav III
1792-1809 Gustav IV Adolf, under age until 1796 [ dethroned ] 1809-18

 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 ]

  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
  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
   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
   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.
   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
   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
   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
   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
   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.
   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
   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.
   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 ]

  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
   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
   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.
   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
   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
   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
   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.
   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
   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

[ the sections above are available at the www-page ]

  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
   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
   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
   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.
   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.
   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.
   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
   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 ]

  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
   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%.
   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.
   Industry workers get 48 hours working week in year 1919. The Social
   Democrats dominate the political life in most towns and in the
   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
   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
   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
  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
   National basic old age pension was decided upon in 1913, and a few
   years later mandatory insurance for occupational injuries in the
   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.
   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
   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
   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
   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
     * 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
     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
     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
   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
     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
     July 1941
     The attitude to Finland's and Germany's demands less and less
     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
    3. Preliminary declaration of confiscation ("kvarstad") until
       decision could be made about prosecution or immediate
    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
    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 ]

  7.3.7 social security
   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
   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
   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).
   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
   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.
   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
   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
   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
   The alienation between the electorate and the elected becomes worse.

[ the sections above are available at the www-page ]

  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
   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
   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 ]
   [ 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
   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
   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 ]
   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
   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
   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
   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
   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 ]
   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 ]
   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
   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
   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
   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
   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 ]


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