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During the 11th and 12th centuries, Sweden
Sweden
gradually became a unified Christian kingdom that later included what is today Finland. During the early Middle Ages, the Swedish state also expanded to control Norrland
Norrland
and Finland. Modern Sweden
Sweden
started out of the Kalmar Union formed in 1397 and by the unification of the country by King Gustav Vasa in the 16th century. Vasa fought for an independent Sweden
Sweden
and broke with the papacy, establishing the Lutheran Church in Sweden. In the 17th century Sweden
Sweden
expanded its territories to form the Swedish empire. Most of these conquered territories had to be given up during the 18th century. During the 17th century, after winning wars against Denmark, Russia, and Poland, Sweden
Sweden
emerged as a great power by taking direct control of the Baltic region. Sweden's role in the Thirty Years' War determined the political as well as the religious balance of power in Europe. The Russians won a war against Sweden
Sweden
in 1709, capturing much of the Swedish army and annexing the Swedish Estonia
Swedish Estonia
and Livonia. Sweden
Sweden
joined in the Enlightenment culture of the day in the arts, architecture, science and learning. Between 1570 and 1800 Sweden experienced two periods of urban expansion. Finland
Finland
was lost to Russia in a war in 1808–1809. In the early 19th century Finland
Finland
and the remaining territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were lost. After its last war in 1814, Sweden
Sweden
entered into a personal union with Norway
Norway
which lasted until 1905. Since 1814, Sweden
Sweden
has been at peace, adopting a non-aligned foreign policy in peacetime and neutrality in wartime. Sweden
Sweden
was neutral in World War I. Post-war prosperity provided the foundations for the social welfare policies characteristic of modern Sweden. Sweden
Sweden
created a successful model of social democracy. Sweden remained neutral during World War II, avoiding the fate of occupied Norway. Sweden
Sweden
was one of the first non-participants of World War II to join the United Nations
United Nations
(in 1946). Apart from this, the country tried to stay out of alliances and remain officially neutral during the entire Cold War; it never joined NATO. The social democratic party held government for 44 years (1932–1976). The 1976 parliamentary elections brought a liberal/right-wing coalition to power. During the Cold War, Sweden
Sweden
was suspicious of the superpowers, which it saw as making decisions affecting small countries without always consulting those countries. With the end of the Cold War, that suspicion has lessened somewhat, although Sweden
Sweden
still chooses to remain nonaligned.

Contents

1 Prehistoric Sweden
Prehistoric Sweden
before AD 800 2 Viking Period and Middle Ages: 800–1500 3 Modern Sweden: 1523–1611 4 Early Modern

4.1 Sweden
Sweden
as a Great Power 1648–1721 4.2 The Great Northern War: 1700 4.3 Enlightenment

4.3.1 Colonies and slavery

4.4 Early urbanization

5 19th century

5.1 Loss of Finland: 1809 5.2 Union with Norway: 1814 5.3 Modernization of Sweden: 1860–1910 5.4 Health

6 20th century

6.1 Sweden
Sweden
in World War I 6.2 Industrialization: 1910–1939 6.3 Welfare state 6.4 Foreign policy 1920–1939 6.5 Sweden
Sweden
during World War II 6.6 Post-war Sweden: 1945

7 Historiography 8 See also 9 References 10 Bibliography

10.1 Surveys 10.2 Pre-1700 10.3 Since 1700

11 External links

Prehistoric Sweden
Prehistoric Sweden
before AD 800[edit] Main article: Prehistoric Sweden Sweden, as well as the adjacent country Norway, has a high concentration of petroglyphs (hällristningar[1] in Swedish) throughout the country, with the highest concentration in the province of Bohuslän
Bohuslän
and around Gamleby
Gamleby
and Västervik
Västervik
in northern county of Kalmar, also called "Tjust" (Peterson 2009). The earliest images can, however, be found in the province of Jämtland, dating from 5000 BC.[2] They depict wild animals such as elk, reindeer, bears and seals.[citation needed] The period 2300–500 BC was the most intensive carving period[citation needed], with carvings of agriculture, warfare, ships, domesticated animals, etc.[citation needed] Also, petroglyphs with themes have been found in Bohuslän; these are dated from 800–500 BC.[citation needed] Viking Period and Middle Ages: 800–1500[edit] Main article: History of Sweden
Sweden
(800–1521)

Viking expeditions (blue): depicting the immense breadth of their voyages throughout most of Europe, North Atlantic and Mediterranean

Swedish tribes in Northern Europe in 814

For centuries, the Swedes
Swedes
were merchant seamen well known for their far-reaching trade. During the 11th and 12th centuries, Sweden gradually became a unified Christian kingdom that later included Finland. Until 1060 the kings of Uppsala ruled most of modern Sweden except the southern and western coastal regions, which remained under Danish rule until the 17th century. After a century of civil wars a new royal family emerged, which strengthened the power of the crown at the expense of the nobility, while giving the nobles privileges such as exemption from taxation in exchange for military service. Finland was taken over. Sweden
Sweden
never had a fully developed feudal system, and its peasants were never reduced to serfdom. The Vikings from Sweden
Sweden
mainly traveled east into Russia, but also took part in the raids of the west and southern regions of Europe. The large Russian mainland and its many navigable rivers offered good prospects for merchandise and, at times, plundering. During the 9th century, extensive Scandinavian settlements began on the east side of the Baltic Sea. The conversion from Norse paganism
Norse paganism
to Christianity was a complex, gradual, and at times possibly violent (see Temple at Uppsala) process. The main early source of religious influence was England
England
due to interactions between Scandinavians and Saxons
Saxons
in the Danelaw, and Irish missionary monks. German influence was less obvious in the beginning, despite an early missionary attempt by Ansgar, but gradually emerged as the dominant religious force in the area, especially after the Norman conquest of England. Despite the close relations between Swedish and Russian aristocracy
Russian aristocracy
(see also Rus'), there is no direct evidence of Orthodox influence, possibly because of the language barrier. About 1000, the first king known to rule over both Svealand
Svealand
and Götaland
Götaland
was Olof Skötkonung, but the further history is obscure with kings whose periods of regency and actual power is unclear. In the 12th century, Sweden
Sweden
was still consolidating with the dynastic struggles between the Erik and Sverker clans, which finally ended when a third clan married into the Erik clan and founded the Folkunga dynasty on the throne. This dynasty gradually consolidated a pre-Kalmar-Union Sweden
Sweden
to a strong state, and king Magnus IV also ruled over Norway
Norway
and Scania. Following the Black Death, this union was severely weakened, and Scania
Scania
was lost to Denmark. During the early Middle Ages, the Swedish state also expanded to control Norrland
Norrland
and Finland. Exactly how this happened is not entirely clear; some of the crusades to christen the Finns that are mentioned in some sources are considered unhistorical. What is clear is that this expansion sparked tension with the Russian states, tension that was to continue through Swedish history. After the Black Death
Black Death
and internal power struggles in Sweden, Queen Margaret I of Denmark
Margaret I of Denmark
united the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
in the Union of Kalmar in 1397, with the approval of the Swedish nobility. Continual tension within the countries and within the union gradually led to open conflict between the Swedes
Swedes
and the Danes in the 15th century, however. The union's final disintegration in the early 16th century brought on a long-lived rivalry between Denmark
Denmark
on one side and Sweden on the other. Modern Sweden: 1523–1611[edit] Main article: Early Vasa era

Gustav Vasa
Gustav Vasa
(Gustav I) in 1542

In the 16th century, Gustav Vasa
Gustav Vasa
fought for an independent Sweden, crushing an attempt to restore the Union of Kalmar and laying the foundation for modern Sweden. At the same time, he broke with the papacy and established the Lutheran Church in Sweden. The Union of Kalmar's final disintegration in the early 16th century brought on a long-lived rivalry between Norway
Norway
and Denmark
Denmark
on one side and Sweden
Sweden
on the other. The Catholic bishops had supported the Danish King Christian II, but he was overthrown by Gustavus Vasa (1490–1560), and Sweden
Sweden
was now independent again. Gustavus used the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
to curb the power of the church and became King Gustavus I in 1523. In 1527 he persuaded the Riksdag
Riksdag
of Västerås (comprising the nobles, clergy, burghers, and freehold peasants) to confiscate church lands, which comprised 21% of the farmland. Gustavus took the Lutheran reformers under his protection and appointed his men as bishops. Gustavus suppressed aristocratic opposition to his ecclesiastical policies and efforts at centralisation.

An image made by Gustavus Vasa during his reign showing him (in dark brown clothing and cap) capturing and subduing Catholicism
Catholicism
(the lady in orange).

Tax reforms took place in 1538 and 1558, whereby multiple complex taxes on independent farmers were simplified and standardised throughout the district; tax assessments per farm were adjusted to reflect ability to pay. Crown tax revenues increased, but more importantly the new system was perceived as fairer and more acceptable. A war with Luebeck in 1535 resulted in the expulsion of the Hanseatic traders, who previously had had a monopoly of foreign trade. With its own businessmen in charge Sweden's economic strength grew rapidly, and by 1544 Gustavus controlled 60% of the farmlands in all of Sweden. Sweden
Sweden
now built the first modern army in Europe, supported by a sophisticated tax system and government bureaucracy. Gustavus proclaimed the Swedish crown hereditary in his family, the house of Vasa. It ruled Sweden
Sweden
(1523–1654) and Poland (1587–1668).[3] Early Modern[edit] Main article: Rise of Sweden
Sweden
as a Great Power During the 17th century, after winning wars against Denmark, Russia, and Poland, Sweden
Sweden
(with scarcely more than 1 million inhabitants) emerged as a great power by taking direct control of the Baltic region, which was Europe's main source of grain, iron, copper, timber, tar, hemp, and furs.

Gustavus Adolphus, victor at the Battle of Breitenfeld, 1631

Formation of the Swedish Empire, 1560–1660

Sweden
Sweden
had first gained a foothold on a territory outside her traditional provinces in 1561, when Estonia opted for vassalage to Sweden
Sweden
during the Livonian War. While in 1590 Sweden
Sweden
had to cede Ingria
Ingria
and Kexholm
Kexholm
to Russia, and Sigismund tried to incorporate Swedish Estonia
Swedish Estonia
into the Duchy of Livonia, Sweden
Sweden
gradually expanded at the eastern Baltic during the following years. In a series of Polish–Swedish War (1600–1629) and the Russo-Swedish Ingrian War, Gustavus Adolphus retook Ingria
Ingria
and Kexholm
Kexholm
(formally ceded in the Treaty of Stolbovo, 1617) as well as the bulk of Livonia
Livonia
(formally ceded in the Treaty of Altmark, 1629).

Christina, Queen of Sweden, David Beck, ca 1650

Sweden's role in the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
determined the political as well as the religious balance of power in Europe. From bridgeheads in Stralsund (1628) and Pomerania (1630), the Swedish army advanced to the south of the Holy Roman Empire, and in a side theater of the war deprived Denmark– Norway
Norway
of Danish Estonia, Jämtland, Gotland, Halland, Härjedalen, Idre and Särna, became exempted from the Sound Dues, and established claims to Bremen-Verden, all of which was formalized in the Treaty of Brömsebro (1645). In 1648, Sweden
Sweden
became a guarantee power for the Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years' War and left her with the additional dominions of Bremen-Verden, Wismar
Wismar
and Swedish Pomerania. Since 1638, Sweden
Sweden
also maintained the colony of New Sweden
Sweden
along the Delaware River
Delaware River
in North America. Sweden
Sweden
as a Great Power 1648–1721[edit] Main article: Swedish Empire In 1655, in the Second Northern War, Charles X Gustav of Sweden invaded and occupied western Poland–Lithuania, the eastern half of which was already occupied by Russia. The rapid Swedish advance became known in Poland as the Swedish Deluge. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania became a Swedish fief, the Polish–Lithuanian regular armies surrendered and the Polish king John II Casimir Vasa fled to the Habsburgs. The Deluge lasted for 5 years and took a great toll on Poland and Lithuania, with some historians crediting this invasion as the start of the downfall of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The country was devastated, treasures stolen and taken back to Sweden
Sweden
and insurmountable loss of lives occurred. Sweden
Sweden
was able to establish control of the eastern bank of the Sound, formalized in the Treaty of Roskilde
Treaty of Roskilde
(1658), and gain recognition of her southeastern dominions by the European great powers in the Treaty of Oliva (1660); yet, Sweden
Sweden
was barred from further expansion at the southern coast of the Baltic. That Sweden
Sweden
came out of the Scanian War with only minor losses was largely due to France
France
forcing Sweden's adversaries into the treaties of Fontainebleau (1679) (confirmed at Lund) and Saint-Germain (1679). The following period of peace allowed Charles XI of Sweden
Sweden
to reform and stabilize the realm. He consolidated the finances of the Crown by the great reduction of 1680; further changes were made in finance, commerce, national maritime and land armaments, judicial procedure, church government and education. The Great Northern War: 1700[edit] Main article: Sweden
Sweden
after the Great Northern War Russia, Saxony–Poland, and Denmark– Norway
Norway
pooled their power in 1700 and attacked the Swedish empire. Although the young Swedish King Charles XII (1682–1718; reigned 1697–1718) won spectacular victories in the early years of the Great Northern War, most notably in the stunning success against the Russians at the Battle of Narva (1700), his plan to attack Moscow and force Russia into peace proved too ambitious.

This family crypt and the chapel above it in highly ornate coffins house the remains of all four of the Wittelsbach Dynasty monarchs of Sweden
Sweden
whose high-powered period (1654–1720) has been called the Caroline Era for Kings Carl X Gustav, Carl XI and Carl XII.

The Russians won decisively at the Battle of Poltava
Battle of Poltava
in June 1709, capturing much of the exhausted Swedish army. Charles XII and the remnants of his army were cut off from Sweden
Sweden
and fled south into Ottoman territory, where he remained three years. He outstayed his welcome, refusing to leave until the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
joined him in a new war against Tsar Peter I of Russia. In order to force the recalcitrant Ottoman government to follow his policies, he established, from his camp, a powerful political network in Constantinople, which was joined even by the mother of the sultan. Charles's persistence worked, as Peter's army was checked by Ottoman troops. However, Turkish failure to pursue the victory enraged Charles and from that moment his relations with the Ottoman administration soured. During the same period the behavior of his troops worsened and turned disastrous. Lack of discipline and contempt for the locals soon created an unbearable situation in Moldavia. The Swedish soldiers behaved badly, destroying, stealing, raping, and killing. Meanwhile, back in the north Sweden
Sweden
was invaded by its enemies; Charles returned home in 1714, too late to restore his lost empire and impoverished homeland; he died in 1718.[4] In the subsequent peace treaties, the allied powers, joined by Prussia and Great Britain-Hanover, ended Sweden's reign as a great power. Russia now dominated the north. The war-weary Riksdag
Riksdag
asserted new powers and reduced the crown to a constitutional monarch, with power held by a civilian government controlled by the Riksdag. A new "Age of Freedom" opened, and the economy was rebuilt, supported by large exports of iron and lumber to Britain.[5] The Rikstag developed into an active parliament. This tradition continued into the nineteenth century, laying the basis for the transition towards a modern democracy.[6] The reign of Charles XII (1697–1718) has stirred great controversy; historians have been puzzled ever since why this military genius overreached and greatly weakened Sweden. Although most early-19th-century historians tended to follow Voltaire's lead in bestowing extravagant praise on the warrior-king, others have criticized him as a fanatic, a bully, and a bloodthirsty warmonger. A more balanced view suggests a highly capable military ruler whose oft-reviled peculiarities seemed to have served him well, but who neglected his base in Sweden
Sweden
in pursuit of foreign adventure.[7] Slow to learn the limits of Sweden's diminished strength, a party of nobles, who called themselves the "Hats", dreamed of revenge on Russia and ruled the country from 1739 to 1765; they engaged in wars in 1741, 1757, 1788, and 1809, with more or less disastrous results as Russian influence grew after every Swedish defeat. Enlightenment[edit] Main article: Enlightened Absolute Monarchy in Sweden

Gustav III, 1780s

Sweden
Sweden
joined in the Enlightenment culture of the day in the arts, architecture, science and learning. A new law in 1766 established for the first time the principle of freedom of the press—a notable step towards liberty of political opinion. The Academy of Science was founded in 1739 and the Academy of Letters, History, and Antiquities in 1753. The outstanding cultural leader was Carl Linnaeus (1707–78), whose work in biology and ethnography had a major impact on European science. Following half a century of parliamentary domination came the reaction. King Gustav III (1746–1792) came to the throne in 1771, and in 1772 led a coup d'état, with French support, that established him as an "enlightened despot," who ruled at will. The Age of Freedom and bitter party politics was over. Precocious and well educated, he became a patron of the arts and music. His edicts reformed the bureaucracy, repaired the currency, expanded trade, and improved defense. The population had reached 2.0 million and the country was prosperous, although rampant alcoholism was a growing social problem. Gustav III weakened the nobility and promoted numerous major social reforms. He felt the Swedish monarchy could survive and flourish by achieving a coalition with the newly emerged middle classes against the nobility. He personally disliked the French Revolution, but he decided to promote additional antifeudal reforms to strengthen his hand among the middle classes.[8] When Gustav made war on Russia and did poorly he was assassinated by a conspiracy of nobles angry that he tried to restrict their privileges for the benefit of the peasants. Under King Charles XIII, Sweden joined various coalitions against Napoleon, but was badly defeated and lost much of its territory, especially Finland
Finland
and Pomerania. The king was overthrown by the army, which in 1810 decided to bring in one of Napoleon's marshals, Bernadotte, as the heir apparent. He had a Jacobin background and was well-grounded in revolutionary principles, but put Sweden
Sweden
in the coalition that opposed Napoleon. He served as a quite conservative king Charles XIV John of Sweden
Sweden
(1818–44).[9] Colonies and slavery[edit] Sweden
Sweden
experimented briefly with overseas colonies, including "New Sweden" in Colonial America
Colonial America
which began in the 1630s. Sweden
Sweden
purchased the small Caribbean island of Saint Barthélemy
Saint Barthélemy
from France
France
in 1784, then sold it back in 1878; the population had included slaves until they were freed by the Swedish government in 1847.[10] Early urbanization[edit] Between 1570 and 1800 Sweden
Sweden
experienced two periods of urban expansion, c. 1580-1690 and in the mid-18th century, separated by relative stagnation from the 1690s to about 1720. The initial phase was the more active, including an increase in the percentage of urban dwellers in Stockholm – a pattern comparable to increasing urban populations in other European capital and port cities – as well as the foundation of a number of small new towns. Increasing populations in the small towns of the north and west characterized the second period of urban growth, which began around 1750 in response to shifts in Swedish trade patterns from the Baltic to the North Atlantic.[11] 19th century[edit] Loss of Finland: 1809[edit] Main article: Finnish War Finland
Finland
was lost to Russia in a war that lasted from February 1808 to September 1809. As a result of the peace agreement, Finland
Finland
became a Grand Duchy and thus was officially ruled by the Czar of Russia though was not strictly part of Russia. Union with Norway: 1814[edit] Main article: Union between Sweden
Sweden
and Norway

The Swedish Crown Prince Charles John (Bernadotte), who staunchly opposed Norwegian independence, only to offer generous terms of union.

In 1810 French Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, one of Napoleon's top generals, was elected Crown Prince Charles by the Riksdag. In 1813, his forces joined the allies against Napoleon and defeated the Danes at Bornhöved. In the Treaty of Kiel, Denmark
Denmark
ceded mainland Norway
Norway
to the Swedish king. Norway, however, declared its independence, adopted a constitution and chose a new king. Sweden
Sweden
invaded Norway
Norway
to enforce the terms of the Kiel treaty—it was the last war Sweden
Sweden
ever fought. After brief fighting, the peace established a personal union between the two states. Even though they shared the same king, Norway
Norway
was largely independent of Sweden, except Sweden
Sweden
controlled foreign affairs. The king's rule was not well received and when Sweden
Sweden
refused to allow Norway
Norway
to have its own diplomats, Norway
Norway
rejected the King of Sweden
Sweden
in 1905 and selected its own king. During Charles XIV reign (1818–1844), the first stage of the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
reached Sweden. This first take-off was founded on rural forges, textile proto-industries and sawmills. The 19th century was marked by the emergence of a liberal opposition press, the abolition of guild monopolies in trade and manufacturing in favor of free enterprise, the introduction of taxation and voting reforms, the installation of a national military service, and the rise in the electorate of three major party groups—Social Democratic Party, Liberal Party, and Conservative Party. Modernization of Sweden: 1860–1910[edit] Main article: Modernization of Sweden

Two golden 20 kr coins from the Scandinavian Monetary Union, which was based on a gold standard. The coin to the left is Swedish and the right one is Danish.

Sweden—much like Japan at the same time—transformed from a stagnant rural society to a vibrant industrial society between the 1860s and 1910. The agricultural economy shifted gradually from communal village to a more efficient private farm-based agriculture. There was less need for manual labor on the farm so many went to the cities; and about 1 million Swedes
Swedes
emigrated to the United States between 1850 and 1890. Many returned and brought word of the higher productivity of American industry, thus stimulating faster modernization. In 1873, Sweden
Sweden
and Denmark
Denmark
formed the Scandinavian Monetary Union. The late 19th century saw the emergence of an opposition press, the abolition of guild monopolies on craftsmen, and the reform of taxation. Two years of military service was made compulsory for young men, though there was no warfare. Health[edit] The steady decline of death rates in Sweden
Sweden
began about 1810. For men and women of working age the death rate trend diverged, however, leading to increased excess male mortality during the first half of the century. There were very high rates of infant and child mortality before 1800. Among infants and children between the ages of one and four smallpox peaked as a cause of death in the 1770–1780s and declined afterward. Mortality also peaked during this period due to other air-, food-, and waterborne diseases, but these declined as well during the early 19th century. The decline of several diseases during this time created a more favorable environment that increased children's resistance to disease and dramatically lowered child mortality.[12] The introduction of compulsory gymnastics in Swedish schools in 1880 rested partly on a long tradition, from Renaissance
Renaissance
humanism to the Enlightenment, of the importance of physical as well as intellectual training. More immediately, the promotion of gymnastics as a scientifically sound form of physical discipline coincided with the introduction of conscription, which gave the state a strong interest in educating children physically as well as mentally for the role of citizen soldiers.[13] Skiing is a major recreation in Sweden
Sweden
and its ideological, functional, ecological, and social impact has been great on Swedish nationalism and consciousness. Swedes
Swedes
perceived skiing as virtuous, masculine, heroic, in harmony with nature, and part of the country's culture. A growing awareness of strong national sentiments and an appreciation of natural resources led to the creation of the Swedish Ski Association in 1892 in order to combine nature, leisure, and nationalism. The organization focused its efforts on patriotic, militaristic, heroic, and environmental Swedish traditions as they relate to ski sports and outdoor life.[14] 20th century[edit] With a broader voting franchise, the nation saw the emergence of three major party groups – Social Democrat, Liberal, and Conservative. The parties debated further expansion of the voting franchise. The Liberal Party, based on the middle class, in 1907 put forth a program for local voting rights later accepted in the Riksdag; the majority of Liberals wanted to require some property ownership before a man could vote. The Social Democrats called for total male suffrage without property limitations. The strong farmer representation in the Second Chamber of the Riksdag
Riksdag
maintained a conservative view, but their decline after 1900 gradually ended opposition to full suffrage. Religion maintained a major role but public school religious education changed from drill in the Lutheran catechism to biblical-ethical studies.

Main Line railways built 1860–1930.

Sweden
Sweden
in World War I[edit] Main article: Sweden
Sweden
in World War I Sweden
Sweden
was neutral in World War I, although the Swedish government was sympathetic to both sides at different times during the conflict, even briefly occupying the Åland islands jointly with the Germans. At first the Swedish government flirted with the possibility of changing their neutral stance to side with the Central Powers, and made concessions to them including mining the Öresund
Öresund
straights to close them to Allied warships wishing to enter the Baltic. Later the Swedish signed agreements allowing trade with the Allied powers and limiting trade with Central Powers, though this brought about the fall of the government of Hjalmar Hammarskjöld. Industrialization: 1910–1939[edit] Main article: Industrialization of Sweden During the First World War and the 1920s its industries expanded to meet the European demand for Swedish steel, ball bearings, wood pulp, and matches. Post-war prosperity provided the foundations for the social welfare policies characteristic of modern Sweden. Foreign policy concerns in the 1930s centered on Soviet and German expansionism, which stimulated abortive efforts at Nordic defence co-operation. Sweden
Sweden
followed a policy of armed neutrality during World War II
World War II
and currently remains non-aligned. Welfare state[edit] Sweden
Sweden
created a successful model of social democracy because of the unique way in which Sweden's labor leaders, politicians, and classes cooperated during the early development period of Swedish democracy. Because Sweden's socialist leaders chose a moderate, reformist political course with broad-based public support in the early stages of Swedish industrialization and prior to the full-blown development of Swedish interclass politics, Sweden
Sweden
escaped the severe extremist challenges and political and class divisions that plagued many European countries that attempted to develop social democratic systems after 1911. By dealing early, cooperatively, and effectively with the challenges of industrialization and its impact on Swedish social, political, and economic structures, Swedish social democrats were able to create one of the most successful social democratic systems in the world, including both a welfare state and extensive protections of civil liberties.[15] When the Social Democratic Party came into power in 1932, its leaders introduced a new political decision-making process, which later became known as "the Swedish model." The party took a central role, but tried as far as possible to base its policy on mutual understanding and compromise. Different interest groups were always involved in official committees that preceded government decisions. Foreign policy 1920–1939[edit] Foreign policy concerns in the 1930s centered on Soviet and German expansionism, which stimulated failed efforts at Nordic defense cooperation. Sweden
Sweden
followed a policy of armed neutrality during World War II (although thousands of Swedish volunteers fought in the Winter War against the Soviets); however, it did permit German troops to pass through its territory to and from occupation duties in its neighbour, Norway, and it supplied the Nazi regime with steel and much needed ball-bearings. Sweden
Sweden
during World War II[edit] Main article: Sweden
Sweden
during World War II Sweden
Sweden
remained neutral during World War II, avoiding the fate of occupied Norway. A key event came with the German invasion of Russia in June 1941 and demanded that Sweden
Sweden
make available transit through Swedish-held territories as well as the use of Swedish railroads. Sweden
Sweden
agreed.[16] The dominant historiography for decades after the war ignored the Holocaust
Holocaust
and used what it called the "small state realist" argument. It held that that neutrality and cooperation with Germany
Germany
were necessary for survival, for Germany
Germany
was vastly more powerful, concessions were limited and were only made where the threat was too great; neutrality was bent but not broken; national unity was paramount; and in any case Sweden
Sweden
had the neutral right to trade with Germany. Germany
Germany
needed Swedish iron and had nothing to gain—and much iron to lose—by an invasion.[17] The nation was run by a national unity government that included all major parties in the Riksdag. Its key leaders included Prime Minister Per Albin Hansson, King Gustav V, and Foreign Minister Christian Günther. Humanitarian aid to Jews facing the Holocaust
Holocaust
was the mission of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg. As the secretary of the 1944 Swedish delegation to Hungary, to coordinate humanitarian relief for the Jews of Europe during the Jewish Holocaust. He helped rescue tens of thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary in late 1944. He disappeared in January 1945, and probably died in a Soviet prison in 1947.[18] Post-war Sweden: 1945[edit] Main articles: History of Sweden
Sweden
(1945–1967), History of Sweden (1967–1991), and History of Sweden
Sweden
(1991–present) Sweden
Sweden
was one of the first non-participants of World War II
World War II
to join the United Nations
United Nations
(in 1946). Apart from this, the country tried to stay out of alliances and remained officially neutral during the entire Cold War; it never joined NATO. The social democratic party held government for 44 years (1932–1976), they spent much of the 1950s and 1960s building Folkhemmet
Folkhemmet
(The People's Home), the Swedish welfare state. Sweden's industry had not been damaged by the war and it was in a position to help re-build Northern Europe in the decades following 1945. This led to an economic upswing in the post-war era that made the welfare system feasible.[19] By the 1970s the economies of the rest of Western Europe, particularly that of West Germany
Germany
were prosperous and growing rapidly, while the Swedish economy stagnated. Many economists blamed its large tax funded public sector.[20] In 1976, the social democrats lost their majority. The 1976 parliamentary elections brought a liberal/right-wing coalition to power. Over the next six years, four governments ruled and fell, composed by all or some of the parties that had won in 1976. The fourth liberal government in these years came under fire by Social Democrats and trade unions and the Moderate Party, culminating in the Social Democrats regaining power in 1982. During the Cold War
Cold War
Sweden
Sweden
maintained a dual approach, publicly the strict neutrality policy was forcefully maintained, but unofficially strong ties were kept with the U.S., Norway, Denmark, West Germany
Germany
and other NATO
NATO
countries. Swedes
Swedes
hoped that the U.S. would use conventional and nuclear weapons in case of a Soviet attack on Sweden. A strong ability to defend against an amphibious invasion was maintained, complete with Swedish-built warplanes, but there was no long-range bombing capability.[21] In the early 1960s U.S. nuclear submarines armed with mid-range nuclear missiles of type Polaris A-1 were deployed not far from the Swedish west coast. Range and safety considerations made this a good area from which to launch a retaliatory nuclear strike on Moscow. The U.S. secretly provided Sweden
Sweden
with a military security guarantee, promising to provide military force in aid of Sweden
Sweden
in case of Soviet aggression. As part of the military cooperation the U.S. provided much help in the development of the Saab 37 Viggen, as a strong Swedish air force was seen as necessary to keep Soviet anti-submarine aircraft from operating in the missile launch area. In return Swedish scientists at the Royal Institute of Technology
Royal Institute of Technology
made considerable contributions to enhancing the targeting performance of the Polaris missiles.[22] On February 28, 1986, the Social Democratic leader and Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme
Olof Palme
was murdered; shocked Swedes
Swedes
worried whether the nation had "lost its innocence". In the early 1990s there occurred once again an economic crisis with high unemployment and many banks and companies going bankrupt. A few years after the end of the Cold War
Cold War
Sweden
Sweden
became a member of the European Union
European Union
in 1995, and the old term "policy of neutrality" fell out of use.[23][24] In a referendum held in 2003, voters decided not to adopt the Euro
Euro
as the country's official currency. Historiography[edit] According to Lönnroth (1998)[25] in the 19th century and early 20th century, Swedish historians saw their writing in terms of literature and story telling, rather than analysis and interpretation. Harald Hjärne (1848–1922) pioneered modern historical scholarship. In 1876 he attacked the traditional myths of the social and legal conditions of ancient Greece and Rome inherited from the classical authors. He was inspired by German scholar Barthold Georg Niebuhr
Barthold Georg Niebuhr
(1776–1831), a founder of modern German historiography. As professor of history at Uppsala University, Hjärne became a spokesman for the Conservative Party and the Swedish monarchy by 1900. Hjärne had enormous influence on his students and, indeed, on an entire generation of historians, who mostly became political conservatives and nationalists. Another movement emerged at Lund University around 1910, where critical scholars began using the source critics' methods to the early history of Scandinavia. The brothers Lauritz Weibull and Curt Weibull were the leaders, and they had followers at Lund and Göteborg universities. The result was a half-century of often embittered controversy between traditionalists and revisionists that lasted until 1960. There was a blurring of the ideological fronts resulting from experiences during and after World War II. In the meantime, in the general expansion of university education in the postwar period, history was generally neglected. Only through the activities of the National Research Council of the Humanities and the dedicated efforts of certain ambitious university professors created some expansion of historical scholarship. After 1990 there were signs of revival in historiography, with a strong new emphasis on 20th-century topics, as well as the application of social history and computerized statistical techniques to the demographic history of ordinary villagers before 1900.[26] See also[edit]

Flag of Sweden History of Denmark History of Europe History of Finland History of Germany History of Iceland History of Norway History of Russia History of Scandinavia History of Sweden
Sweden
(1772–1809) History of the European Union List of Prime Ministers of Sweden List of Swedish monarchs List of Swedish people Military history of Sweden Political unions involving Sweden

Kalmar Union Union between Sweden
Sweden
and Norway

Politics of Sweden Privy Council of Sweden Riksdag
Riksdag
of the Estates Sami history

References[edit]

^ Nordström, Patrik. "Arkeologiska undersökningar invid hällristningar. Analys av 16 utgrävningar invid hällristningar i Sverige och Norge." (1995) STARC ^ (in Swedish) Hällristningarna i Gärde ^ Michael Roberts, The Early Vasas: A History of Sweden
Sweden
1523–1611 (1968); Jan Glete, War and the State in Early Modern Europe: Spain, the Dutch Republic, and Sweden
Sweden
as Fiscal-Military States, 1500–1660 (2002) online edition ^ He was shot through the head during a siege in his second failed attack on Norway, but whether by assassination at close range or by stray enemy fire at long range is mysteriously unclear. Andersson, A History of Sweden
Sweden
p. 247 ^ Absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy
returned briefly at the end of the 18th century. ^ Baten, Jörg (2016). A History of the Global Economy. From 1500 to the Present. Cambridge University Press. p. 23. ISBN 9781107507180.  ^ R. M. Hatton, Charles XII of Sweden
Sweden
(1968) ^ Neander N. Cronholm, A History of Sweden
Sweden
from the Earliest Times to the Present Day (1902) ch 35 ^ Alan Palmer, Bernadotte: Napoleon's Marshal, Sweden's King (1991) ^ Francine M. Mayer, and Carolyn E. Fick, "Before and After Emancipation: Slaves and Free Coloreds of Saint-Barthelemy (French West Indies) in The 19th Century." Scandinavian Journal of History 1993 18 (4): 251–73. ^ Sven Lilja, "Swedish Urbanization c. 1570–1800: Chronology, Structure and Causes," Scandinavian Journal of History 1994 19 (4): 277–308. ^ Jan Sundin, "Child Mortality and Causes of Death in a Swedish City, 1750–1860." Historical Methods 1996 29(3): 93–106. ^ Jens Ljunggren, "Nation-Building, Primitivism and Manliness: The Issue of Gymnastics in Sweden
Sweden
around 1880". Scandinavian Journal of History 1996 21(2): 101–20. ^ Sverker Sörlin, "Nature, Skiing and Swedish Nationalism." International Journal of the History of Sport 1995 12(2): 147–63. ^ Jae-Hung Ahn, "Ideology and Interest: The Case of Swedish Social Democracy, 1886–1911." Politics & Society 1996 24(2): 153–87. ^ N. Vukolov, "In Sweden
Sweden
at the Time of World War II," International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy & International Relations (2010) 56#4 pp. 247–61. ^ John Gilmour, Sweden, the Swastika, and Stalin: The Swedish Experience in the Second World War (2011) pp. 270–81 online ^ Johan Matz, "Sweden, the United States, and Raoul Wallenberg's Mission to Hungary in 1944," Journal of Cold War
Cold War
Studies (2012) 14#3 pp. 97–148 in Project MUSE ^ Albert Harold Rosenthal, The social programs of Sweden: a search for security in a free society (1967) ch. 7–8 ^ See Dezsö J Horvath; Donald J DalySmall countries in the world economy: the case of Sweden
Sweden
(1989) pp 30-35 online ^ Askelin, Jan-Ivar, "Lifeless lifeline to the west", Framsyn Magazine, Swedish Defence Research Agency, 2004, Issue 1, Retrieved February 24, 2010 ^ Bruzelius, Nils, "Secret nuclear submarines guaranteed Swedish security", Framsyn Magazine, Swedish Defence Research Agency, 2005, Issue 1, Retrieved February 24, 2010 ^ Erich Reiter and Heinz Gärtner, eds. Small States and Alliances (2001) online p. 103 ^ Christine Agius, The Social Construction of Swedish Neutrality: Challenges to Swedish Identity and Sovereignty (2006) p. 207 ^ Erik Lönnroth, "Svensk Historieskrivning Under 1900-Talet," ["Swedish historiography in the 20th century"] Historisk Tidskrift, 1998, Issue 3, pp. 304–13 ^ See Martin Dribe, and Patrick Svensson, "Social Mobility in Nineteenth Century Rural Sweden
Sweden
– A Micro Level Analysis," Scandinavian Economic History Review, July 2008, Vol. 56#2 pp. 122–41

Bibliography[edit] Further information: History of Scandinavia
History of Scandinavia
§ Further reading Surveys[edit]

Andersson, Ingvar. A History of Sweden
Sweden
(1956) online edition Derry, Thomas Kingston. A History of Scandinavia: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland
Finland
and Iceland. (1979). 447 pp. Kent, Neil. A Concise History of Sweden
Sweden
(2008), 314 pp. excerpt and text search Lagerqvist, Christopher, Reformer och Revolutioner. En kort introduktion till Sveriges ekonomiska historia, 1750-2010 (Lund 2013). Magnusson, Lars. An Economic History of Sweden
Sweden
(2000) online edition Moberg, Vilhelm, and Paul Britten Austin. A History of the Swedish People: Volume 1: From Prehistory to the Renaissance, (2005); A History of the Swedish People: Volume II: From Renaissance
Renaissance
to Revolution (2005) Nordstrom, Byron J. The History of Sweden
Sweden
(2002) excerpt and text search Scott, Franklin D. Sweden: The Nation's History (1988), survey by leading scholar; excerpt and text search Sprague, Martina. Sweden: An Illustrated History (2005) excerpt and text search Warme, Lars G., ed. A History of Swedish Literature. (1996). 585 pp.

Pre-1700[edit]

Forte, Angelo. Oram, Richard. Pedersen, Frederik. Viking Empires. (2005) Hudson, Benjamin. Viking Pirates and Christian Princes: Dynasty, Religion, and Empire in North America. (2005). Moberg, Vilhelm, and Paul Britten Austin. A History of the Swedish People: Volume 1: From Prehistory to the Renaissance, (2005) Österberg, Eva. Mentalities and Other Realities: Essays in Medieval and Early Modern Scandinavian History. Lund U. Press, 1991. 207 pp. Österberg, Eva and Lindström, Dag. Crime and Social Control in Medieval and Early Modern Swedish Towns. (1988). 169 pp. Porshnev, B. F. and Paul Dukes, eds. Muscovy and Sweden
Sweden
in the Thirty Years' War, 1630–1635. (1996). 256 pp. Roberts, Michael. The Early Vasas: A History of Sweden
Sweden
1523–1611 (1968) Roberts, Michael. From Oxenstierna to Charles XII. Four Studies. (1991). 203 pp. Roberts, Michael. The Swedish Imperial Experience, 1560–1718. (1979). 156 pp.

Since 1700[edit]

Barton, H. Arnold. Scandinavia in the Revolutionary Era, 1760–1815 (1986) Barton, Sunbar P. Bernadotte: Prince and King, 1810–1844 (1925), standard scholarly history Chatterton, Mark. Saab: The Innovator. (1980). 160 pp. Cronholm, Neander N. (1902). A History of Sweden
Sweden
from the Earliest Times to the Present Day.  Frängsmyr, Tore, ed. Science in Sweden: The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, 1739–1989. (1989). 291 pp. Fry, John A., ed. Limits of the Welfare State: Critical Views on Post-War Sweden. (1979). 234 pp. Gustavson, Carl G. The Small Giant: Sweden
Sweden
Enters the Industrial Era. (1986). 364 pp. Hodgson, Antony. Scandinavian Music: Finland
Finland
and Sweden. (1985). 224 pp. Hoppe, Göran and Langton, John. Peasantry to Capitalism: Western Östergötland in the Nineteenth Century. (1995). 457 pp. Lagerqvist, Christopher, Reformer och Revolutioner. En kort introduktion till Sveriges ekonomiska historia, 1750-2010 (Lund 2013). Lewin, Leif. Ideology and Strategy: A Century of Swedish Politics. (1988). 344 pp. Metcalf, Michael F., ed. The Riksdag: A History of the Swedish Parliament. (1987). 347 pp. Misgeld, Klaus; Molin, Karl; and Amark, Klas. Creating Social Democracy: A Century of the Social Democratic Labor Party in Sweden. (1993). 500 pp. Moberg, Vilhelm, and Paul Britten Austin. A History of the Swedish People: Volume II: From Renaissance
Renaissance
to Revolution (2005) Norberg, Johan (October 23, 2013). How Laissez-Faire Made Sweden
Sweden
Rich. Cato Institute. Retrieved 15 March 2017.  Olsen, Gregg M. "Half Empty or Half Full? the Swedish Welfare State in Transition." Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology. v. 16 #2 (1999) pp. 241+. online edition Olson, Kenneth E. The history makers: The press of Europe from its beginnings through 1965 (LSU Press, 1966) pp. 33–49 Palmer, Alan. Bernadotte: Napoleon's Marshal, Sweden's King. (1991). 285 pp. Pred, Allan. Lost Words and Lost Worlds: Modernity and the Language of Everyday Life in Late Nineteenth-Century Stockholm. (1990). 298 pp. Pred, Allan Richard. Place, Practice and Structure: Social and Spatial Transformation in Southern Sweden, 1750–1850. (1986). 268 pp. Roberts, Michael. The Age of Liberty: Sweden, 1719–1772. (1986). 233 pp. Sejersted, Francis. The Age of Social Democracy: Norway
Norway
and Sweden
Sweden
in the Twentieth Century (Princeton University Press; 2011); 543 pp; Traces the history of the Scandinavian social model as it developed after the separation of Norway
Norway
and Sweden
Sweden
in 1905. Söderberg, Johan et al. A Stagnating Metropolis: The Economy and Demography of Stockholm, 1750–1850. (1991). 234 pp. Waldenström, Daniel. "The national wealth of Sweden, 1810–2014" Scandinavian Economic History Review 64#1 (2016) pp. 36–54 doi:10.1080/03585522.2015.1132759

External links[edit]

Historical Monetary Statistics of Sweden
Sweden
1668–2008 History of Sweden: Primary Documents Historical Atlas of Sweden US Department of State entry on Sweden http://www.kalmarlansmuseum.se/1/10.0.1.0/706/hallristningar.pdf

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