Today A Concise History of Sweden Timeline 550 to 2022

History About Sweden

A Concise History of Sweden : About Sweden is one of the largest and one of the oldest states in Europe. Its extensive coastlines have naturally made its inhabitants a nation of sailors. The domination of the Baltic Sea was thus at the heart of the ambitions of this energetic people although other options were explored. Withdrawn from armed confrontations for two centuries, this power nevertheless remains active in world affairs and international politics.

A Concise History of Sweden
A Concise History of Sweden

The History of Sweden

The History of Sweden: Sweden is a Nordic Country. Three territories form the cradle of the Swedish state: Svealand where Stockholm is located, Götaland around the Great Lakes, and finally the island of Gotland. For the Swedes, there is no doubt that the Germanic peoples who put an end to the Roman Empire such as the Goths, the Vandals or the Burgundians were their ancestors. A second wave was that of the Varangians, both warriors and merchants who crossed the Baltic , the “East Sea” ( Östersjön ) of the Swedes, at the end of the seventh century and followed the course of the rivers to the Crimea .

Sweden Geography

Geography of Sweden: Sweden is part of the European continent. It is part of Scandinavia, a region in northern Europe consisting of the countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland. The Swedish capital city of Stockholm is almost as close to the North Pole as Anchorage, Alaska!

  • Location: Between Finland and Norway in Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Kattegat, and Skagerrak.
  • Capital: Stockholm.
  • Climate: temperate in south with cold, cloudy winters and cool, partly cloudy summers; subarctic in north.
  • Population: 10+ million (2019 est.)
  • Language: Swedish
  • Area : 4,50,300 km²
  • Ethnic Make-up: indigenous population: Swedes with Finnish and Sami minorities; foreign-born or first-generation immigrants: Finns, Yugoslavs, Danes, Norwegians, Greeks, Iranians and Turks.
  • Religions: Lutheran 87%, other (includes Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist) 13%.
  • Business Culture: Ranked 8th in the Business Culture Complexity Index

    Sweden Geography
    Sweden Geography

A Short Summary of Sweden’s History

A Brief History of Sweden: In the 17th century, Sweden was much larger than it is today. Sweden had a large army that had conquered large tracts of land in war. The Swedish king’s name was Charles XII and he wanted Sweden to be even bigger. That is why he wanted to defeat Russia. But the Swedish soldiers lost a battle against the Russians at the city of Poltava in 1709. After that, Sweden was no longer a great power in Europe. Sweden has been in many wars over the years but since 1815 there has been peace in Sweden.

First Inhabitants of Sweden

Prehistory of Sweden: Around 11,000 BC The area of today’s Sweden was settled by people for the first time. They came north from central Europe. At that time there was a land bridge between today’s Denmark and southern Sweden, which was later flooded by water and thus disappeared. From north-eastern Europe, on the other hand, from around 8000 B.C. the far north settled (Komsa culture). From 4000 BC BC, the hunters and gatherers became sedentary people who practiced agriculture. Different cultures developed.

Sweden in Stone, Bronze and Iron Age

Ancient History of Sweden: Sweden was once covered in ice! When the ice started melting 10,000 years ago, the first people came to live in Sweden. Ancient graves and dwellings have been discovered and traced back to the Stone Age. People hunted, gathered and fished. The Bronze Age brought sophisticated metal artifacts, or objects made by human beings. This was followed by the Iron Age, when people started to farm.

Eventually goods were traded with the Roman Empire. Around 500 AD, a tribe of warriors called Svea became powerful. This is how Sweden got its name. It is the land of the Svea. History of Sweden. 

Vendel Period (550-800)

The time between 550 and 800 is called the Vendel period. A distinctive feature of this culture were burials in boats. People were burned and buried in a boat. A burial mound was then built over it. Rich burial objects such as helmets and swords were also found.

Where The Sweden Vikings

Viking Age (800-1050)

Sweden in Viking Age: Where The Sweden Vikings: The peoples of the north who sailed the North and Baltic Seas in the early Middle Ages are called Vikings. The Vikings were traders and warriors. From southern Sweden they traveled mainly across the Baltic Sea to the east and from there on across large rivers such as the Volga. They played a key role in the formation of the Old Russian Empire.

Birka on an island in Lake Mälaren (west of Stockholm) became one of the most important trading posts. The kingdom of the Svear (a North Germanic tribe) arose and King Olof Skötkonung became the first Christian king. Gradually, in the 11th century, the population was also Christianized. History of Sweden. 

Where The Sweden Vikings
Where The Sweden Vikings

Sweden in the High Middle Ages (1050-1389)

Mid History of Sweden: In the kingdom of the Svear, the king was determined by election (rather than inheritance), which often led to power struggles. Especially the families of Sverker and Erik fought against each other. In 1250 Waldemar became king and in 1275 his brother Magnus Ladulås deposed him. A medieval estate society with an imperial nobility, a clergy and the peasantry emerged. In the 12th and 13th centuries, Sweden conquered what is now Finland.

Kalmar Union (1397-1523)

In 1397, Queen Margaret I united Denmark, Norway and Sweden in the Kalmar Union . She had been Queen of Denmark since 1387, and through marriage and inheritance also became Queen of Sweden and Norway. Her nephew Eric VII became the first king of the Kalmar Union. Due to all sorts of power struggles, however, it only functioned to a very limited extent. In 1520, the Union king Christian II arrested and executed insurgents in Stockholm.

Sweden under Norwegian-Danish rule

At the end of the 14th century, Sweden came under the rule of the Norwegian-Danish Queen Margaret I. The Swedes were unwilling to accept the abandonment of Swedish sovereignty sealed in the Kalmar Union in 1397 and the brutal actions of the Danish rulers.
When the Danish king Christian II executed a hundred Swedish nobles, supporters of the national resistance, in the »Stockholm bloodbath« at Stortorget in Gamlastan in 1520 , there was an open uprising in which Gustav Eriksson Vasa freed Sweden from Danish rule.

In 1523 he was elected King of Sweden as Gustav I. This was the beginning of the Swedish nation-state, which under Gustav II Adolf rose to become a major power in northern Europe in the 17th century and ruled all of Finland , provinces of Denmark and Norway , large areas of the Baltic Sea countries and parts of northern Germany for over 100 years .

A Concise History of Sweden from 1523 to the 18th century

The Vasa period (1523-1611)

A man named Gustav Wasa defended himself against the Stockholm bloodbath that Christian II had caused. In 1523 he forced Christian II to flee and took Stockholm on June 6th. Sweden was independent again and this day is still celebrated as a national holiday. Wasa was elected king. The Reformation prevailed and in 1544 Sweden was declared an evangelical kingdom. In the same year, the elective monarchy became a hereditary monarchy.

In 1558, during the Livonian War, the struggle for control of the Baltic region began. A war over territories also began with Russia. After Gustav’s death, Gustav’s sons fought for the kingship. Sweden was temporarily allied with Poland, but then they fought each other again. War also broke out against Denmark. Sweden also laid claim to Sami lands in Lapland. History of Sweden. 

Sweden A great European power (1560-1720)

After the death of Gustave Vasa in 1560, reunified and restructured Sweden, unable to be satisfied with its geographical isolation, undertook a real expansion in the Baltic. For a century and a half, the Scandinavian kingdom will be a major player in major European conflicts and its soldiers among the most feared on the continent. But the death of Charles XII in 1718 sounded the death knell for Swedish dreams of grandeur.

Gustave Vasa Sweden
Gustave Vasa Sweden

Sweden As a Great Power (1611-1719)

In 1611, Gustav II Adolf ascended the throne. He continued the policy of conquest. In the Thirty Years’ War he conquered parts of northern Germany. In 1658 Denmark had to cede the southern areas of Scania and Blekinge to Sweden.

Also to be able to pay for the warfare, Sweden mined iron and in Falun copper. Both raw materials and products from them were sold to other countries. Nevertheless, Sweden remained a sparsely populated agricultural country . In the long run, that was not enough to maintain its position as a great power.

Under Charles XI (1660-1697) Sweden became an absolutist state. His son Charles XII. ruled from 1697 to 1718. Under him, Sweden waged the Great Northern War (1700-1721) against, among others, Russia, Poland and Denmark. Sweden lost the war and with it its supremacy in the Baltic Sea region. Russia’s rise as a great power began. History of Sweden. 

The further 18th century

With the death of Charles XII. ended the period of absolutism . The period of freedom (1719-1772) began. The Reichstag received sole legislation. In addition to the nobility, clergy and bourgeoisie, the peasants have always been represented in the Reichstag, which was unique in Europe. There were other costly wars. Lapland in the north was now systematically settled. New citizens were promised tax exemption and work in the ore mines.

In 1772 the Gustavian era (1772-1809) began. Gustavus III restored the old power of the king. He particularly promoted the arts, founded the Swedish Academy and even had his own style named after him, the Gustavian style, which is based on French classicism. Above all, however, he ruled in an increasingly authoritarian manner and restricted, for example, freedom of the press. Resentment grew in the country. In 1792, the king was assassinated at a masked ball, from which he finally died.

His son Gustav IV Adolf turned against France in the Napoleonic Wars. Sweden lost Finland to Russia and the last possessions in northern Germany (West Pomerania with Rügen). In 1809 the king was deposed in a coup d’état. History of Sweden. 

History of New Sweden from the 19th century to the present day

The 19th Century

Gustav IV Adolf and his descendants were excluded as heirs to the throne and so his uncle was chosen as Charles XIII. on the throne. The power of the king was again limited, that of the Reichstag restored. History of Sweden. 

Since Charles XIII. had no children, a French marshal was finally chosen as heir to the throne: Jean Baptiste Bernadotte. He became the founder of today’s Swedish royal family. In 1810 he was appointed crown prince. He converted to the Protestant denomination, learned Swedish and was stripped of his French citizenship by Napoleon. In Sweden one also hoped for the support of France in a possible war against Russia and thus to be able to win back Finland. In 1818 he ascended the throne as Karl XIV Johann . Even before that, he was in charge of official business.

In 1814 he succeeded in leading Norway into a union with Sweden, which lasted until 1905. The brief war of 1814 was the last in which Sweden took part. It was the beginning of Sweden ‘s policy of neutrality. History of Sweden. 

Economically, Sweden slowly (and lately) transformed from an agrarian state to an industrial state. Culturally and scientifically there was a flowering. However, population growth led to poverty and social problems, which is why many people emigrated in the second half of the 19th century. History of Sweden. 

The 20th and 21st centuries

Sweden in World War II and in the post-war period

The History of Sweden before and after World War: The country has maintained a policy of strict neutrality since the mid-19th century, which to this day has prevented it from being drawn into wars, including World War II. While German troops invaded Denmark and Norway, which were also neutral, Sweden managed with luck and tactics to stay out of the war. However, the concessions to which it agreed (troop and goods transport of the German Wehrmacht to and from Norway via Swedish territory) were criticized nationally and internationally.

After the war, Sweden rejected NATO membership, but was active on the international scene and at the United Nations – the country, for example, granted asylum to hundreds of thousands of refugees and politically persecuted people.

In 1905 the union with Norway was dissolved peacefully.
During World War I and World War II Sweden remained neutral . The industry took another upswing. In the 1930s the development of the welfare state began.
In 1995 Sweden joined the European Union . Sweden is now a parliamentary democratic monarchy . Since 1973 Carl XVI. Gustav King of Sweden. This is a brief history of Sweden.

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References 1.  https://www.kinderweltreise.de/kontinente/europa/schweden/daten-fakten/geschichte-politik/
2. https://www.elchburger.de/schweden/land-und-leute/geschichte
3. https://www.herodote.net/Une_grande_puissance_europeenne_1560_1720_-synthese-2434.php
4. https://www.revueconflits.com/suede-mer-baltique-russie/

5. https://www.informationsverige.se/sv/omsverige/att-komma-till-sverige/sveriges-historia/

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