History of Sweden Part III

By | August 26, 2021

In Livonia there was resistance to the confiscation of estranged Swedish crown estates, one of the reasons for the Second Northern War (1700-21). August II of Saxony-Poland believed that Livonia could easily be won. Tsar Peter I , the Great, sought Ingermanland, East Karelia and Narva, Denmark turned against the Swedish branch of the House of Holstein-Gottorp. The war broke out three years after the accession (1697) of the 15-year-old Charles XII. the end. After initial Swedish successes, the fortunes of war turned in 1709 with the Battle of Poltava. After the death of Karl (1718) ended the peace treaties of Stockholm, Frederiksborg and Nystad 1719-21 with Hanover, Prussia, Denmark, Poland and Russia, the Swedish great power position in the Baltic Sea area; Sweden kept his possessions on the Scandinavian peninsula and in Finland, of his continental acquisitions only Western Pomerania west of the Peene with Rügen and Wismar remained.

»Time of freedom«, parliamentarization, union with Norway

With the “forms of government” of 1719 and 1720, the imperial estates implemented a constitution that left them almost exclusively to the government. Thus, the policy under Friedrich I (1720–51) from the House of Hessen-Kassel and Adolf Friedrich (1751–71) from the House of Holstein-Gottorp through the rival parties of the “hats” (conservative, oriented towards France) and the “Hats” (more liberal, orientated towards Russia) determined. In the case of foreign policy failures (loss of south-eastern Finland), the “period of freedom” (1719–72) brought economic progress through changes in the social and economic structure. Gustav III (1771–92) restored absolutism through a coup d’état (“form of government” of 1772).

Under the reign of Gustav III. According to eningboSweden experienced a cultural heyday. His son Gustav IV. Adolf (1792-1809) joined the third coalition against Napoleon at. When Russia conquered Finland in 1808, he was removed from the estates. His uncle Karl XIII. (1809–18) had to agree to a new “form of government” at the accession to the throne, which became the basis of the modern Swedish constitution. In 1810 the French Marshal J.-B. Bernadotte elected heir to the throne (1818–44 as Karl XIV. Johann König). Sweden took part in the wars of liberation against Napoleon. In the Peace of Kiel (1814) Denmark ceded Norway to Sweden, which was intended to compensate for the loss of Finland; In return, Denmark received Swedish Pomerania (given to Prussia in 1815). Norway was linked to Sweden in personal union and retained its own constitution. Under French and English influence, v. a. Liberal ideas in Sweden since the 1830s. Even under Charles XIV Johann, the liberal opposition implemented a reform of the ministries in 1840. Further reforms were under Oskar I. (1844-59) and Karl XV. (1859–72) carried out, particularly significant the introduction of the two-chamber system instead of the Reichstag of the four estates (1865/66). Around 1860, Scandinavianism, striving for rapprochement and unity of the Scandinavian countries, reached its climax; however, Sweden did not intervene in the German-Danish War of 1864. The increasing industrialization in the 2nd half of the 19th century led to a strong increase in the workforce, which in 1889 under H. Branting organized (establishment of the Social Democratic Labor Party) and – like the Liberals – sought universal suffrage (introduced in 1909 for the 2nd Chamber). The popular movements that emerged in the 19th century (workers, women, revival and temperance movements) promoted, among other things. popular education and contributed to the development of a democratic, civil society and political consensus culture. The number of Swedish emigrants in the second half of the 19th century was remarkably high (around 1 million to the USA alone).

Neutrality, World War I and World War II

Under Oskar II (* 1872, † 1907) there was a rapprochement with the German Empire and in 1905 the union with Norway was dissolved. Gustav V (* 1907, † 1950) continued his father’s foreign policy. In 1912 the three Scandinavian states concluded agreements on their neutrality. In the spring of 1914, an extensive petition movement demanded reinforcement of the army and navy despite the guarantee of neutrality. When the king this, v. a. The liberal government under Karl Albert Staaff (* 1860, † 1915) supported the movement supported by willing peasants and therefore referred to as the »peasant procession«; 2nd cabinet 1911-14) forced to resign; a constitutional conflict arose between the king and the council of state, but this was soon resolved. When the First World War broke out, Sweden remained neutral. At a meeting in Malmö (December 1914) the three Scandinavian monarchs affirmed Scandinavia’s neutrality. Under the influence of the revolutionary events in Eastern and Central Europe, Sweden’s development towards parliamentary democracy accelerated between 1918 and 1921 (universal suffrage in the election to the 1st Chamber of the Reichstag, 1918; women’s suffrage, 1919). The Swedish Social Democratic Workers’ Party developed into the strongest political force and posed with H. Branting In 1920 the Prime Minister for the first time. The farmers’ union (founded in 1914) gained increasing domestic political importance. Between 1920 and 1932 there were frequently changing minority governments of social democrats, liberals (1926–28, 1930–32) and conservatives (1923–24, 1928–30).

History of Sweden 3