Timeline and History Overview
- 4000 - People in Sweden begin a farming culture.
- 1700 - The Bronze Age begins in Sweden.
- 500 - The Iron Age begins.
- 800 - The Viking Age begins. Swedish warriors raid northern Europe and Russia.
- 829 - Christianity is introduced to the Swedes by Saint Ansgar.
- 970 - Eric the Victorious becomes the first King of Sweden.
- 1004 - King Olof converts to Christianity and makes it the official religion of Sweden.
- 1160 - King Erik IX is assassinated by the prince of Denmark.
- 1249 - Finland becomes part of Sweden after the Second Swedish Crusade led by Birger Jarl.
- 1252 - The city of Stockholm is established.
- 1319 - Sweden and Norway are united under the rule of Magnus IV.
- 1349 - The Black Death plague arrives in Sweden. It will eventually kill around 30% of the population.
- 1397 - The Kalmar Union is established by Margaret I of Denmark. It united Sweden, Denmark, and Norway under a single leader.
- 1520 - Danish forces invade Sweden and execute rebellious nobility in the "Stockholm Bloodbath."
- 1523 - Sweden declares independence from the Kalmar Union when Gustav Vasa is hailed as the new King of Sweden.
- 1527 - The Swedish Reformation begins. Sweden will become a Protestant country breaking ties with the Catholic Church.
- 1563 - The Northern Seven Years' War with Denmark begins.
- 1570 - Treaty of Stettin ends the Northern Seven Years' War. Sweden gives up claims on Norway.
- 1628 - The Swedish warship, the Vasa, sinks shortly after leaving port on her first voyage. The ship was recovered in 1961.
- 1630 - Sweden enters the Thirty Years' War on the side of France and England.
- 1648 - The Thirty Years' War comes to an end. Sweden gains territory and this starts the rise of the Swedish Empire.
- 1700 - The Great Northern War begins. It is fought against Russia led by Tsar Peter the Great. The Swedes defeat the Russians at the Battle of Narva.
- 1707 - Sweden invades Russia, but bad weather weakens the army as they march.
- 1709 - The Russians defeat the Swedes at the Battle of Poltava.
- 1721 - The Great Northern War ends with Sweden's defeat. The Swedish Empire is significantly reduced.
- 1809 - Finland is lost to Russia.
- 1813 - Sweden fights against the French and Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig. They gain control of Norway from Denmark after the victory.
- 1867 - Scientist Alfred Nobel obtains a patent for dynamite.
- 1875 - Sweden, Norway, and Denmark establish a single currency called the kroner.
- 1901 - The first Nobel Prizes are awarded for peace, chemistry, physics, medicine, and literature.
- 1905 - Norway gains its independence from Sweden.
- 1914 - World War I begins. Sweden remains neutral.
- 1927 - The first Volvo car, nicknamed "Jakob", is produced.
- 1939 - World War II begins. Sweden remains neutral, but is forced by Germany to allow troops to pass through.
- 1943 - Furniture company IKEA is founded.
- 1945 - Swedish author Astrid Lindgren publishes her first Pippi Longstocking book.
- 1946 - Sweden joins the United Nations.
- 1972 - Famous pop music band ABBA is formed.
- 1975 - The last remaining governmental powers of the Swedish king and queen are removed by a new constitution.
- 1986 - The Prime Minister of Sweden, Olof Palme, is assassinated. The crime is surrounded with mystery and remains unsolved.
- 1995 - Sweden joins the European Union.
- 2000 - The Oresund Bridge opens between Malmo, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark.
King Eric the Victorious
The Battle of Narva
Sweden became known to the rest of the world through the Vikings who emerged in the 9th century to raid much of northern Europe. In the centuries to come, Sweden would become a Christian kingdom.
In 1397 Sweden united with Denmark, Norway, and Finland in the Kalmar Union led by Queen Margaret of Denmark. Eventually Sweden left the union. In the 16th century there was an attempt to restore the Kalmar Union. Gustav Vasa led the fight to stay independent. He established the foundation for today's modern Sweden and also broke from the Catholic Church with the Reformation.
In 1809, after the Napoleonic wars, Sweden lost Finland to Russia. Later, however, Sweden gained Norway. Norway would stay part of Sweden until 1905 when the union was dissolved and Norway became an independent country.
In the late 1800s around 1 million Swedish people immigrated to the United States due to a poor economy. The Swedish economy picked up in World War I, where Sweden remained neutral. Sweden also managed to remain neutral in World War II.
Sweden joined the European Union in 1995, but did not join the Monetary Union and, therefore, still uses the Swedish krona as money rather than the Euro.
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