Archaeological studies have shown that the southern part of present-day Sweden was inhabited as early as 10,000 years BCE in the period 8-6. For millennia, the area was inhabited by a number of tribes who lived by hunting, fishing and using simple stone tools. In the Bronze Age (1800-500 BCE), a developed culture existed in the area, reflected in the richly equipped burial sites.
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In the 5th century BCE, the first important political center in the country arose in the area of Lake Mälaren and led by the Swears. During the migration period and from the 6th century onwards until around the year 800, the population became resident and agriculture became the basis for the economy and for society. In the 9-11. century, Swedish Vikings undertook looting and trade expeditions along the Baltic coast and far into present Russia.. They reached as far as the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea, where they came into contact with Byzan and the Arab world. In the same centuries, Christian missionaries from the Carolingian Empire led by Ansgar invaded and Christianized most of Sweden, though the gods of ancient mythology continued to worship until the 12th century. The country got its first archbishop in 1164.
From the middle of the 12th century, the governors of Sweden and Erik fought for control of the Swedish kingdom, and in the period 1160-1250 they were changed to take over. Until the 13th century, the nobility continued to have extensive autonomy until the king made laws that would apply to the whole country. During the same period, the current Finland was placed under Sweden.
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In 1350, the black plague triggered a protracted recession that was only overcome about 100 years later, when foundries in the central parts of the country became important to the economy. In the 15-16. century, the German Hanseatic region dominated trade with Sweden and stimulated the formation of a number of cities.
Due. succession and connection between the genera concentrated the king’s power in Norway, Denmark and Sweden with the Danish queen Margrethe, who in 1397 created the Kalmar Union. However, the Union had a short life span. The constant conflicts between the Danish central power and the nobility as well as with the rebel Swedish peasants and citizens culminated in 1523 with the election of Gustav Vasa as king of Sweden.
During Vasa’s reign, the monarchy changed from being elected, where the nobility could claim its voice to be a succession monarchy. The administration was designed according to German pattern and the foundation of the nation state was created. The church’s property and values were taken over by the state and a short time later the Protestant Reformation was completed. From this time the country sought to establish hegemony over the Baltic Sea.
After victorious participation in the Thirty Years’ War, Sweden in 1630, in a new war, conquered the Danish areas of Skåne, Halland and Blekinge, the Baltic Sea island of Gottland and the Norwegian counties Bohuslän, Jämtland and Härjedalen. Sweden also had control over Finland, a number of provinces in the north of Germany as well as Estonia, Latvia and Lithaun. The country thus played a major power role in Northern Europe, but it was still far and away an agricultural country, and it lacked resources to defend its superpower position in the long term.
The country suffered defeat in the Great Nordic War (1700-21), lost most of its provinces in Northern Germany, the entire area east of the Gulf of Finland, and was largely reduced to what is today Sweden and Finland. In the later Napoleonic wars, Russia also conquered Finland from the Swedes.
When Karl XII died in 1718, the nobility in parliament abolished the monarchy and assumed power, but in 1772 the new king Gustav II carried out a coup d’état and reinstated the monarchy in 1789.
Karl XIV was elected king in 1810. As compensation for the losses the country had suffered during the Napoleonic wars, he succeeded in acquiring Norway, and after a short war this was forced in 1814 to unite with Sweden. After many conflicts, however, the union was peacefully dissolved in 1905 and Norway gained its independence. (See Swedish-Norwegian Union).
By the middle of the 19th century, Sweden remained a poor country where 90% of the population lived from agriculture. This led to extensive emigration. Out of a population of 5 million, about 1 million emigrated. Most to North America.
During the same period, the Liberal majority had parliament, and with the support of King Oskar I, a number of reforms were carried out: rights and in 1860 freedom of religion was introduced. During the same period, a number of social movements were formed such as the abstinence movement, the free church movement and the women’s movement. The spiers were formed into a labor movement that grew with industrialization and took a major leap forward with the formation of the Social Democracy in 1889.
Industrialization seriously struck through the last decades of the 19th century. From being a backward peasant society, Sweden developed in half a century to become one of the model societies of welfare capitalism. The way this society solved the conflict between labor and capital, and the social consequences of changes in social conditions, was viewed with admiration – including internationally. The peculiar and rapid changes are a common thread in the history of modern Sweden. The causes and effects can be seen in all areas of social life.
Stockholm, Sweden’s capital; 1.52 million in the contiguous urban area (2016). The metropolitan area called Greater Stockholm, which is also identical to Stockholm County, has 2.23 million homes (2016).
Stockholm was built between Mälaren and Saltsjön, a tab of the Baltic Sea, and is still strongly marked by its location by the water; it is often called “Venice of the North”. Here you will meet the archipelago, in-depth fault lines and a north-south-walking pebble sauce, Brunkebergsåsen. Significant land uplift in the area since the last ice age made it difficult for sailing to Sweden’s old core areas around Birka and Sigtunaat Lake Mälaren. As a result, Stockholm’s oldest part, the islands of Stadsholmen and Helgeandsholmen, between the narrow and now shallow seas, came to occupy an important trade and defense position. In the following years, the islands grew here partly because of the land uplift and partly by the imposition of cultural layers. The highest parts of Stadsholmen are made up of Brunkebergsåsen, which continues through the nearby and later built-up areas of Norrmalm and Södermalm (of black ore ‘gravel or sand deposits’).
The original and partially preserved street network of Stadsholmen (Gamla stan) is adapted to the hilly terrain, and today the district with its nearby houses and narrow streets with specialty shops has a special charm that attracts many tourists. Only on the southwestern corner of the island is the street network after a fire in 1625 replaced by the right-angle street pattern of the Renaissance. On the northern part of Stadsholmen lies the royal castle over Birger Jarl’s castle from the 1200’s. as well as the cathedral, and on the neighboring islands of Helgeandsholmen and Riddarholmen were built, among other things. a number of noble mansions. The island of Skeppsholmen became in 1600-t. the center of Stockholm’s naval military facilities, but after their relocation (completed 1968) was especially well known for its museums; On the small island of Kastellholmen south of this, in the 1660’s, a castle was erected, which was later expanded. The island of Djurgården further to the east is characterized by large green areas with museums and amusement places such as the Vasa Museum, the Nordiska Museum, the Abba Museum, Skansen and Gröna Lund.
From being the center of administration, commerce and shipping, Stadsholmen lost in the late 1800’s. its dominant position, and Norrmalm on the mainland, where the Central Station was built, became the center of gravity for the city functions. From 1870 to 1980, the population of Stadsholmen fell from 14,000 to 1300. Former plans for a radical change of the cityscape were now replaced by efforts to preserve the old buildings, which was difficult, however, due to the district’s location as a traffic link between Stockholm’s northern and southern parts.
Already in the Middle Ages the settlement spread to the ores, but the city privileges remained reserved for Stadsholmen. Large parts of Norrmalm were owned by the church as well as the crown that built war industries here. The neighboring Östermalm served as a barn farm, and on Södermalm (Åsön) large areas were laid out for the town’s citizens such as livestock grazing and cattle farms. In the 1400’s and 1500’s. the houses on the ore were burned for defense reasons, but the time of the great power in the 1600’s. led to increasing population, and from the 1630’s most of the urban areas were greatly changed when the right-angle street network was constructed. At Norrmalm, however, the hill prevented the complete regularity.
In the 1800’s. the city came to the shadow of Norrköping (“Sweden’s Manchester”) and Gothenburg, but after the middle of the century Stockholm grew again, among other things. with a background in rural immigration. The need for new housing was met by an 1866 city plan that continued the principles of the 1600’s. and continued the right-angled street network beyond the ores. New elements were large esplanades, inspired by Haussmann’s Paris Paris cut through the pane pattern, and star-shaped squares. In addition, large parks in the more hilly areas. In the flat Östermalm was built for the upper class, while the more hilly and more accessible Södermalm and Kungsholmen quickly became industrialized and proletarized. Here speculation carts were built with backyards and scattered small industry. After World War II, many of these settlements have been renovated through yard clearing and refurbishment.
With the increased motorism and lack of space, in the 1930’s, requests for modernization of the city blocks at Norrmalm emerged, and in 1945, the first was adopted by a series of plans that in the coming years and together with the construction of the subway system resulted in a major renovation of Sergel’s square in south to Hötorget in the north. In the new city, 50,000 people had to work, while only 1,000 had to live here; since then, however, efforts have gone towards increasing the housing stock and making Norrmalm more versatile. Inspiration from New York’s Manhattan settlement can be traced in the five Trumpets, five centrally located high-rise buildings, built in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The main railway has been brought in through the city center, and the Central Station from 1872 has since been expanded to a rather unique center for long-distance trains, regional traffic and the large subway network. In addition, from the 1980’s there are post terminals (since moved to Solna) as well as air and charter bus terminals, and the neighborhood is dominated by hotels, restaurants and travel agencies.
As a result of the land uplift, Söderström between Stadsholmen and Södermalm developed into a powerful stream which made traffic difficult, and in the 1630’s a sluice was built to regulate the flow. The north coast of Södermalm is a steep slope, and in 1935 a “traffic machine” was built here at Slussen to drive road traffic across. It supplemented the elevator that had been helping traffic since 1883, which was also replaced in 1935 by the now-operating passenger elevator Katarinahissen. The ever-present problem of facilitating traffic between north and south has since been solved partly by subways and byways, and partly by tolls for motorists, congestion tax, which after a year as an experimental scheme was made permanent in 2007.
Part of Stockholm’s industry has remained where it was built in its time, for traffic or power supply reasons. The land uplift has caused transport difficulties, which include: was overcome by blasting the Danvik canal from Saltsjön into the industrial areas of Hammarby. From the 1930’s the construction of new industrial areas took place following a rolling planning. Many old industrial areas changed to offices and homes. The city’s continued growth, increased traffic, new legislation and labor competition forced many industries to move 5-25 km away from the center, and specialized industrial suburbs emerged with good traffic connections and space for connected commercial and residential areas. Neighboring municipalities were swallowed up, and the social segregation known from inner Stockholm,the city’s poor wreath) and patrician neighborhoods such as Villastaden and Djursholm. Closest to the town center, however, wealthy neighborhoods such as Lidingö and the Baltic Sea retained their independent status.
Stockholm has acquired large areas within and outside the municipal boundary. Thanks to the large and heavily branched metro network, a number of well-planned sleeping villages have been created with, among other things, completed traffic separation. However, some of these have since experienced significant social problems. Others, which were expanded in the 1940’s with housing for young families, are now left with a declining population with overweight pensioners, unutilized schools and lack of business and other services. In response, in the 1950’s, models were constructed from the British new towns suburbs of Vällingby and Farsta. Here, an attempt has been made to create a link between housing vacancy and local workplaces.
Stockholm’s location with easy and ample access to open water and the diversity of the archipelago has meant that especially in summer there is a lively traffic of tourist boats. At Lilla Värtan a free harbor has been built; From here and from the dock at Södermalm there is frequent ferry traffic to the Åland Islands and Finland. The airport in Bromma has now become a victim of urban development and is only used for domestic flights, while Stockholm’s major airport, built and expanded since 1957, is located in Arlanda, halfway to Uppsala.
The landslide after the last ice age called for attempts to control shipping; approximately In 1010 a pile barrier was built in one of the sailing races to Mälaren, later Norrström, but from this period there are no traces of development. Under Birger Jarl, which is considered to be the founder of Stockholm, was built in 1250 on a castle on a islet in Norrström, Helgeandsholmen (after the Holy Spirit House, which was built here about 1320). Opposite the castle, Birger Jarl built a castle, Three Crowns, at Stadsholmen, which became the core of the later Stockholm castle. The city grew rapidly and was already before 1300 Sweden’s most populous. The earliest settlement, in which German Hanseatic merchants made up a substantial portion of the population, was given a city wall with three city gates; Unlike in all other Swedish cities, the houses from the first stage were built of stone and brick. Around the middle of the 1300’s, when Magnus Eriksson’s Bylaw was drafted, Stockholm, with its German and Nordic citizenship, had become the key to Sweden’s economy, especially through the iron export from ports at Lake Mälaren.
Denmark’s Margrete 1. besieged the city from 1388; the following year, the king of Sweden, Albrecht of Mecklenburg, was captured. He was released in 1396; when in 1398 he had not yet paid the promised ransom, Margrete took over Stockholm instead. A new city wall was built and the settlement at Stadsholmen grew.
The control of Stockholm became crucial for the Danish kings in Union policy. It succeeded, however, in contravention of the union agreements for Karl 8. Knutsson to be elected Swedish king in Stockholm in 1448. Christian 1., after Karl Knutsson’s death, tried to recapture Sweden, but suffered defeat at Brunkeberg at Norrmalm in 1471. In 1497, however, he succeeded. King Hans to be crowned Swedish King of the Great Church. Already in 1501-02 he again lost Stockholm and Sweden. Christian 2. captured Sweden. After his coronation in the Great Church in 1520, he sentenced more than 80 Swedish politicians to death for heresy; they were executed on Stortorget in the Stockholm Blobbad.
Since Gustav Vasa became Swedish king in 1523, Stockholm has been Sweden’s capital. The city soon became the center of the Navy and of the Swedish administration; it grew beyond Stadsholmen to Norrmalm in the north and to Åsön in the south, which was named Södermalm; from the 1630’s, both city plans were regulated. Urban growth started again in the 1800’s, and around 1900 Stockholm was Sweden’s leading industrial city.
Architecture and museums
The main church at Stadsholmen is Stockholm’s cathedral, founded in the 1200’s. and expanded in 1300-1400-t. to a five-ship church that was rebuilt in Baroque in the 1700’s.
Swedish cultural life has never been as centralized about the capital as the Danish one. For example, the theaters in Malmö, Gothenburg and Gävle have for long periods been equal competitors to the capital’s scenes.