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Swedish history (the s.c.nordic FAQ)
nordic flags
The home pages for the Usenet newsgroup soc.culture.nordic
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Swedish history


Subject: 7.3 


(A more verbose chronicle is to find in the sections 7.3.3-7.3.7.)  

7.3.1 A chronology of important dates

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Christian mission among Vikings
Christian missionaries arrived
to a Viking tribe society

The German bishop Ansgar introduces Christian mission to Sweden (however travelers, captured wifes and slaves had most probably made both Islam and Christianity known before).

1004 (ca)
King Olof Skötkonung was baptized, and made Christianity the official religion of Sweden. Several pagan kings followed him, though.

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 (landskap) start to write down their landskapslagar. 1240 the movement has reached Västergötland, and Äldre Västgötalagen is written down.
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typical Swedish red colored buildings
The red color,
typical for Swedish buildings,
produced in the Falu copper mine

Falu copper mine is opened.

Stockholm becomes the capital, after Birka and Sigtuna, founded by Birger Jarl, Earl of Sweden and 1250-1266 guardian for the under age King Valdemar.

The Swedish King Magnus (Ladulås) claims supremacy over Gotland. [ ...although some kind of relationship between Gotland and the King of Sweden had been the rule for a long time. ]

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 Sweden.

King Birger is imprisoned by his brothers Duke Valdemar and Duke Erik, the so called Håtunaleken.

Sweden is split in three dutchies after the peace in Helsingborg 1310.

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 1471 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 return.)

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 countries.
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the Scyther
The Plague came
(to Norden in 1349)

The Black Death (the Plague)
The first Swedish national law replaced the local landskapslagar.

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 Denmark.

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 countries.

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 is firmly established.

Estonia surrenders to Sweden.

Expulsion is the penalty for spread of beliefs divergent from orthodox Lutheranism.

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    Erik XIV
King Erik XIV

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 is 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. Sweden 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 possible.
The absolute monarchy is enforced - partly with illegal methods, partly decided by a Diet.

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Carl Michael Bellman
Carl Michael Bellman,
Sweden's most loved poet

Bellman publishes the Fredman collections.

Gustav III is assassinated at a masked ball.

Enskifte, grand reform of farming enforced in Scania. Villages were split into separate farms, so farmers came to live closer to their land, more distant from their neighbors. In 1807 this was introduced in the rest of Sweden.

The War of Finland: the whole of Finland (extended also by a part of the northern county Norrbotten) aswell as Åland, 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 the throne. Despite this Sweden joins the British-led anti-Napoleon alliance. In 1818, he becomes King Carl XIV Johan. As Crown Prince and King he put his signum on Sweden's foreign policy, establishing the foundaments for what would become Sweden's as yet almost 200 years period of peace. The first premise was to accept Russia's position as The Great Power of Northern Europe. Ideas to re-capture Finland were not at all endorsed by Carl Johan, ideas to capture Norway on the other hand were. During the last phases of the Napoleonic wars Crown Prince Carl Johan led one of the larger armies on the North European war theater. The Swedish contributions were however very modest.

Göta Kanal is built across Sweden from Söderköping to Gothenburg.

Personal-union between Norway and Sweden after a short war against Denmark, and an even shorter war against Norway. That was the last time the Swedish army was at war.

The parish meetings are reformed by law. It's settled that also craftsmen, tradesmen and industrial workers should 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 activities.

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 became allowed for Swedish citizens to switch religious affiliation from the State Church to certain other approved (Christian) Churches.
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Fredrika Bremer
Fredrika Bremer

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 introduced. 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.

Scandianvian (Sweden - Norway - Denmark) currency and postal union.

The metric system is introduced.

Hjalmar Branting is elected the first Social Democrat in parliament.

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 rather large faction of revolutionary Social Democrats leaves the party as it turns out the Reformists, led by Per Albin Hansson, are in majority. The chairman of the Social Democrats, Hjalmar Branting, pays a visit to S:t Petersburg to study the February Revolution. Meanwhile Lenin travels from Switzerland to S:t Petersburg and makes a stop in Stockholm. They never meet.

Fearing the country being on the verge of revolution (as also in contemporary Finland, Russia and Germany) the King and the power elite of well-to-do industrialists and land owners chose to accept democratic reforms and handing over governmental power to a Cabinet of Liberals and Social Democrats reflecting the majority of the Parliament. In retrospect this ment a real shift of power: The King withdrew from the government and has ever since acted as a purely ceremonial Head of State, the Social Democrats were not any longer seen as somehow illegitimate or immature and has every since remained the leading political force, although outside of the Cabinet during a few shorter periods. Reformists gained a stronghold in the Social Democrats, and revolutionary movements have got very limited support in Sweden after 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).

As in most other European democratic countries, the parliamentarians fancy disposing the Cabinets as often as they get a chance. The turbulence lasts until 1932, after the world wide depression, when Strong Leaders gains popularity all over Europe. In Sweden this strong leadership is taken by the Social Democrats who are to control Cabinet formation until 1976.

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 (semester).

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 world.

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.

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Dag Hammarskjöld
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 supermarkets.

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 out to come from Ukraine, but large areas of Sweden are struck, with slaughter of reindeers and restrictions against using wild berries and mushrooms for many following years.

The ferry Estonia sank in Åland's sea. About 900 drowned.
A referendum narrowly supports joining of the European Union.
As of January 1st 1995 Sweden became a full member of the EU.

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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 (Eric the holy) 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 de-facto) of Sweden 1250-75 Valdemar Birgersson, under age until 1266 1275-90 Magnus Birgersson Ladulås 1290-1310 Birger Magnusson, appointed 1284, under age until 1298 1310-1321 Birger Magnusson (part of the realm), dethroned by rebells in 1318 1290-1306 Torgils Knutsson (marsk, regent de-facto) 1290-1298 Duke Erik Magnusson (regent de-jure) 1310-1317 Duke Erik Magnusson (part of the realm) 1310-1317 Duke Valdemar Magnusson (part of the realm) 1318-20 Magnus Birgersson, appointed 1304, dethroned and killed 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/Margrethe Queen of Norway (regent of the Kalmar Union) 1396-1434 Erik of Pommerania (king of the Kalmar Union) 1434-36 Engelbrecht (elected rikshövitsman [supreme commander of the Realm]) 1436-40 Karl Knutsson Bonde (regent of Sweden) 1440-48 Kristoffer of Bavaria (king of the Kalmar Union) 1448-57 Karl Knutsson Bonde (king of Sweden) 1457-64 Kristian I (king of the Kalmar Union 1448-1481) 1464 Karl Knutsson Bonde (king of Sweden) 1464-66 Erik Axelsson (regent of Sweden) 1467-70 Karl Knutsson Bonde (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 (Eriksson) 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 ] 1604-11 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 Karl XIII


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 Adolf 1973- Carl XVI Gustaf

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© Copyright 1994-2001 by Antti Lahelma and Johan Olofsson.
You are free to quote this page as long as you mention the URL.
The line of flags is modified after a picture at det Åländska skoldatanätet.
This page was last updated March the 4th in the year of 2001.

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