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History >> Geography >> Europe >> Sweden

Sweden

Timeline and History Overview

Sweden Timeline

BCE CE Brief Overview of the History of Sweden

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.


Oresund Bridge

In the 17th century the Kingdom of Sweden reached the peak of its power. It controlled areas of Denmark, Russia, Finland, and northern Germany. However, Russia, Poland, and Denmark united against Sweden in 1700 and fought the Great Northern War. Though Sweden fought well at the start, the young Swedish King Karl XII decided to attack Moscow and fell in battle. At the end of the war Sweden was no longer a great European power.

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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History >> Geography >> Europe >> Sweden

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