A unified kingdom with a common king has
existed in the landscapes of the Great Lakes in the
south since the 1100s. From the 16th century, a state
with more central government and hereditary kingship
emerged, and in the 1600s conquests were made abroad.
The Great Power collapsed in the 18th century and in the
early 19th century Sweden also lost Finland, which has
been a member of the empire for 500 years. At the end of
the century, Sweden was given a two-chamber kingdom day
and universal suffrage was introduced in 1921. From the
1930s, the Social Democrats were the dominant party.
Sweden managed to stay out of both world wars of the
Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Sweden, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
The first finds of human life in the area that today
constitutes Sweden have been found in Skåne and are up
to 13,000 years old. The Roman historian Tacitus is the
first to refer in writing around the year 100 AD to the
Swedes, the armored Swedes in the north, with whom the
Romans had trade exchanges.
The archeological remains after the trading town of
Birka in the Lake Region give a picture of the
flourishing trade in the 7th and 8th centuries. The
Swedish Vikings then controlled the trade routes in
Eastern Europe all the way down to Constantinople. The
first Christian missionary, Ansgar, had Birka as his
base when he tried to Christianize Sweden in the 830s.
The essence of today's Sweden - the Swealand
landscape, Östergötland and Västergötland - emerged as a
unit under a common king from the 1100s. In 1350, Sweden
received a national team that applied to the whole
kingdom. However, Sweden's borders were not the same as
today: after 200 years of expansion along the Finnish
coast, Finland had been incorporated under the Swedish
krona at the beginning of the 1300s.
The nation state is founded
In 1397, Sweden was incorporated into a union with
the Nordic countries under the Danish Queen Margareta -
the so-called Kalmar Union. The Union was primarily a
defense alliance directed against German princes and the
northern German cities of the Hansa Federation, which
controlled trade in the Baltic Sea area. The conflict,
which affected Swedish exports, led to several uprisings
against the Union during the 1400s. At the beginning of
the 1520s, the Danish king Kristian II was defeated in a
rising led by Gustav Vasa, who was elected king of
Sweden in 1523. The new kingdom consisted of
Sweden-Finland but did not include Skåne, Halland and
Blekinge as well as Bohuslän, Jämtland-Härjedalen and
Gotland, which were conquered from Denmark-Norway only
in the 17th century. Gustav Vasa ruled until his death
Under Gustav Vasa, his sons and, above all, his
grandson Gustav II Adolf (regent 1611-1632) laid the
foundations for the Swedish national administration, the
judiciary, the military organization and the education
system. The Swedish expansion in the Baltics was also
initiated. In the middle of the 17th century - after
victory over Denmark and successes in the thirty-year
war on the European continent - in Stockholm, the Baltic
Sea could be regarded as an inland sea.
The empire ceases
In 1700, the Great Nordic War began with Sweden being
attacked by the coalition Russia, Saxony-Poland and
Denmark. A long line of Swedish victories were broken in
1709 at Poltava since Karl XII decided to try to invade
Russia. The Swedish superpower now collapsed and the
possessions in the Baltics were lost. After the death of
Karl XII in 1718, a complete reorganization of the state
government took place and power slipped from the king to
the parliament and the parliamentary committee. The
so-called freedom period was characterized by foreign
policy adversities, but also by economic development and
A power struggle between various political parties
led to the end of the period of freedom in 1772. The
king power was restored under Gustav III, whose most
important efforts were in the cultural field. But the
nobility was dissatisfied with the royal monarchy, which
contributed to the assassination of Gustav III in 1792.
Gustav III's son, Gustav IV Adolf, started a war
against Napoleon's France in 1805. As a result, the
Swedes first got rid of the North German possessions.
Later, during the war of 1808-1809 against Russia
(allied with France), Sweden lost all of Finland.
The dissatisfaction with Gustav IV Adolf's
monarchical rule and failed war policy led to him being
forced to hand over the throne to his uncle, Karl XIII.
At the same time, a form of government was established
which diminished the king's power.
Karl XIII lacked legitimate heirs. The French Marshal
Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte was therefore appointed a
successor to the throne. He led the Swedish final battle
against Napoleon but became king only when Karl XIII
died in 1818. Through the peace in Kiel in 1814,
Denmark, which stood on the French side, had to resign
Norway to Sweden. These were united in a staff union
under the Swedish King. The Union existed until 1905.
Democracy is growing
The political system changed when the old state day
(with four states: nobility, priests, citizens and
peasants) was replaced by a two-chamber kingdom day
1865-1866. Around the turn of the century, the modern
political parties were formed: the Social Democratic
Labor Party in 1889, the Liberal Union Party in 1900 and
the Right Party in 1904. The king had gradually
retreated from his powers. The so-called bailiff crisis
in 1914 was the last time a Swedish government fell
because it did not have the king's confidence. The
crisis emerged from contradictions on defense policy and
resulted in a constitutional conflict between Gustav V
(King 1907-1950) and the government led by the liberal
Karl Staaff. The crisis finally led to the government's
departure. At the same time, it contributed to the
development of parliamentarism,
During World War I, Sweden was neutral. In 1920, the
first Social Democratic government took office under
Hjalmar Branting. It became a short-lived ministry and
the period 1920-1936 was characterized by minority
governments and changing political alliances. During the
first years of the 1930s, Sweden was hit by the
international economic crisis. In the same decade,
guidelines were also drawn up for future reform and
welfare policy, then summarized in the concept of "the
The outbreak of World War II in 1939 led to a
unifying government under the incumbent Prime Minister,
Social Democrat Per Albin Hansson. Sweden was neutral.
The unification government succeeded in keeping Sweden
out of the war partly through concessions to Hitler
Germany. Sweden exported iron ore to Germany, which
needed the raw material for its war industry. In
addition, unarmed German troops were allowed to travel
through Sweden to Norway and in 1941 the fully equipped
German Engelbrecht division was transported from Norway
to Finland through northern Sweden.
Amendment of the FRA Act
The Riksdag voted in favor of an amendment that,
among other things, requires court decisions to allow
FRA to scout (see June 2008).
The pharmacy monopoly is abolished
The pharmacy monopoly that has existed since 1970
will disappear. Private players are allowed to establish
themselves in the market.
Record low repo rate
The Riksbank lowers the interest rate to a record low
0.25 percent (see also December 2008).
Sweden becomes EU President
The rotating presidency is valid for six months.
Changes in health insurance
With the figures 138–126, disputed changes are
assumed in health insurance: through a faster
“rehabilitation chain”, sick leave will soon move on to
other tasks or change employers. According to critics,
more will now be "fully insured" and without
compensation from the Social Insurance Office. Through
the reform, the government parties hope to get more
people back to work sooner. The changes are already
valid from mid-year.
Decision to abolish military service
With the numbers 153-150, the Riksdag decides to
abolish the general military duty in peacetime. In
recent years, approximately 15 percent of conscripts
have completed basic education.
Gender-neutral marriage law
Gay couples get the opportunity to get married when a
new marriage law comes into force.
Nuclear decommissioning is halted
Climate change and energy security are cited as
reasons when the government deviates from earlier
decisions to decommission nuclear power, and says that
existing reactors may be replaced.