A brief history of Sweden

Gustav Vasa

The lands that are today known as Sweden date back to prehistoric times with many wonderful examples of Rock carvings / paintings from 9000 BC to be found throughout the country.
The period of 800 – 1066 saw the rule of the sea faring Vikings in Sweden that through their many contacts with England helped to establish the seeds of Christianity in Sweden.
In 1397 Queen Margaret I of Denmark united the Nordic Countries in the Kalmar Union. This union lasted until the 16th Century when tensions between Sweden and Denmark reached breaking point and fighting broke out between the two countries.
Gustav Vasa won Sweden’s independence in the 16th century and by the 17th century the country was considered a great power on the continent. Sweden defeated the Russians, the Danes, Norway and Poland and set about ruling many cities in northern Germany and Russia including Ingra (St Petersburg).
In 1700 the great Northern war broke out. Russia, Denmark, Norway and Poland joined forces and defeated the Swedish empire abolishing the monarchy and installing parliamentary power.
The parliamentary rule in Sweden was to last just 50 years with a coup lead by king Gustav III reinstating monarchical rule.
In 1813 Sweden joined arms with the other allied nations against Napoleon in the Napoleonic wars which once again brought about the end of monarchical rule in Sweden.
In the last century Sweden has taken a neutral standpoint in all international conflicts remaining non-aligned in both the first and second World Wars. In 1995 Sweden became part of the European Union.