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SWEDEN

Places that I visited in Sweden:

Stockholm


I traveled to Sweden with my brother from Finland when I was visiting to my brother who as living in Helsinki. We took a boat from Helskinki to Stockholm. The boat was great, there are a lot of students drinking and dancing in the disco boat, and there are also a lot of beautiful woman like in all north european countries.

Sweden is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden has land borders with Norway and Finland, and is connected to Denmark by the Oresund Bridge. It has been a member of the European Union since January 1, 1995. Its capital city is Stockholm.

At 449.964 km² (173.732 sq mi), Sweden is the third largest country by area in Western Europe and fourth in all of Europe. With a total population slightly over 9 million, Sweden has a low population density of 20 people per km² (52 per sq. mi). About 84% of the population live in urban areas. The inhabitants of Sweden enjoy a high standard of living, and the country is generally perceived as modern and liberal, with an organizational and corporate culture that is non-hierarchical and collectivist compared to its Anglo-Saxon counterparts. Nature conservation, environmental protection and energy efficiency are generally prioritized in policy making and embraced by the general public in Sweden.

Sweden has long been a major exporter of iron, copper and timber. Improved transportation and communication has allowed for the large scale utilization of remote natural assets, most notably timber and iron ore. In the 1890s, universal schooling and industrialization enabled the country to develop a successful manufacturing industry and by the twentieth century, Sweden emerged as a welfare state, consistently achieving high positions among the top-ranking countries in the UN Human Development Index (HDI). Sweden has a rich supply of water power, but lacks significant oil and coal deposits.

Modern Sweden emerged out of the Kalmar Union formed in 1397, and by the unification of the country by King Gustav Vasa in the 16th century. In the 17th century the country expanded its territories to form the Swedish empire. Most of the conquered territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were lost during the 18th and 19th centuries. The eastern half of Sweden constituted by the eastern half of Norrland and Österland was lost to Russia in 1809. The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Sweden by military means forced Norway into a personal union with Sweden, a union which lasted until 1905. Since 1814, Sweden has been at peace, adopting a non-aligned foreign policy in peacetime and neutrality in wartime.

Sweden's prehistory begins in the Allerød warm period c. 12,000 BCE with Late Palaeolithic reindeer-hunting camps of the Bromme culture at the edge of the ice in what is now the country's southernmost province. This period was characterised by small bands of hunter-gatherer-fishers using flint technology.

Farming and animal husbandry, along with monumental burial, polished flint axes and decorated pottery, arrived from the Continent with the Funnel-beaker Culture in c. 4,000 BCE. Sweden's southern third was part of the stock-keeping and agricultural Nordic Bronze Age Culture's area, most of it being peripheral to the culture's Danish centre. The period began in c. 1700 with the start of bronze imports from Europe. Copper mining was never tried locally during this period, and Scandinavia has no tin deposits, so all metal had to be imported though it was largely cast into local designs on arrival.

The Nordic Bronze Age was entirely pre-urban, with people living in hamlets and on farmsteads with single-story wooden long-houses.

In the absence of any Roman occupation, Sweden's Iron Age is reckoned up to the introduction of stone architecture and monastic orders about 1100 CE. Much of the period is proto-historical, that is, there are written sources but most hold a very low source-critical quality. The scraps of written matter are either much later than the period in question, written in areas far away, or local and coeval but extremely brief.

The climate took a turn for the worse, forcing farmers to keep cattle indoors over the winters, leading to an annual build-up of manure that could now for the first time be used systematically for soil improvement.

A Roman attempt to move the Imperial border forward from the Rhine to the Elbe was aborted in AD 9 when Germans under Roman-trained leadership defeated the legions of Varus by ambush in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. About this time, a major shift in the material culture of Scandinavia occurred, reflecting increased contact with the Romans.

Starting in the 2nd century CE, much of southern Sweden's agricultural land was parcelled up with low stone walls. They divided the land into permanent infields and meadows for winter fodder on one side of the wall, and wooded outland where the cattle was grazed on the other side. This principle of landscape organization survived into the 19th century. The Roman Period also saw the first large-scale expansion of agricultural settlement up the Baltic coast of the country's northern two thirds.

Sweden enters proto-history with the Germania of Tacitus in 98 CE. Whether any of the brief information he reports about this distant barbaric area was well-founded is uncertain, but he does mention tribal names that correspond to the Swedes (Suiones) and the Sami (Fenni) of later centuries. As for literacy in Sweden itself, the runic script was invented among the south Scandinavian elite in the 2nd century, but all that has come down to the present from the Roman Period is curt inscriptions on artefacts, mainly of male names, demonstrating that the people of south Scandinavia spoke Proto-Norse at the time, a language ancestral to Swedish and other North Germanic languages.

The Swedish Viking Age lasted roughly between the eighth and eleventh centuries CE. During this period, it is believed that the Swedes expanded from eastern Sweden and incorporated the Geats to the south.[8] While Vikings from what is today Norway, Denmark and the west coast and south of Sweden travelled south and west, Swedish vikings and Gutar travelled east and south, going to Finland, the Baltic countries, Russia, the Mediterranean and further as far as Baghdad. Their routes passed the rivers of Russia down south to Constantinople (Byzantine Empire) (present-day Istanbul, Turkey) on which they did numerous raids. The Byzantine Emperor Theophilos noticed their great skills in war, and invited them to serve as his personal bodyguard, these were called the varangian guard. The Swedish vikings Template:Early Swedish history. The Swedish vikings (Rus) are, according to the most popular theory, believed to have to have founded Russia. The adventures of these Swedish Vikings are commemorated on many runestones in Sweden, such as the Greece Runestones and the Varangian Runestones. There was also considerable participation in expeditions westwards, which are commorated on stones such as the England Runestones. The last major Swedish Viking expedition appears to have been the ill-fated expedition of Ingvar the Far-Travelled to Serkland, the region south-east of the Caspian Sea. Its members are commemorated on the Ingvar Runestones, none of which mentions any survivor. What happened to the crew is unknown, but it is believed that they died of sickness.

The 17th century saw the rise of Sweden as one of the Great Powers in Europe. Sweden also had colonial possessions as a minor colonial Empire that existed from 1638—1663 and later 1785—1878.

Sweden was during Imperial times the most powerful country of northern Europe and the Baltic Sea. Sweden's Imperial status took its start with Gustav II Adolph as king, who made Sweden the third biggest nation in Europe by area after Russia and Spain, and his successful participation in the Thirty Years' War, which made Sweden the recognized leader of continental Protestantism in Europe until 1721, when the Empire collapsed.[11] Sweden's Imperial status during this period is largely credited to Gustav I's major changes on the Swedish economy in the mid-1500s, and his introduction of Protestantism (Lutheran).

The mid 1600s and the early 1700s were Sweden's most successful years as a great power. Sweden reached its largest territorial extent as an empire during the rule of Charles X (1622–1660) after the treaty of Roskilde in 1658. However, Sweden's largest territorial extent lasted from 1319 to 1343 with Magnus Eriksson ruling all of the traditional lands of Sweden and Norway. 17th century saw Sweden engaged in warfare with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth with both sides competing for territories of today's Baltic states, with the disastrous Battle of Kircholm being one of the highlights. This period also saw the Deluge - the Swedish invasion of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. After more than a half century of almost constant warfare the Swedish economy had deteriorated. It would become the lifetime task of Charles' son, Charles XI (1655-1697), to rebuild the economy and refit the army. His legacy to his son, the coming ruler of Sweden Charles XII, was one of the finest arsenals in the world, a large standing army and a great fleet. Sweden's largest threat at this time, Russia, had a larger army but was far behind in both equipment and training. After the Battle of Narva in 1700, one of the first battles of the Great Northern War, the Russian army was so severely injured, that Sweden had an open chance to invade Russia. Instead, however, Charles XII invaded Poland and changed their king to a more Swedish friendly one. However after the crushing defeat at poltava the old king quickly took his throne back. This gave the Russian Tsar time to rebuild and modernise his army. After the success of invading Poland Charles decided to make an invasion attempt of Russia, which however, ended in a decisive Russian victory at the Battle of Poltava in 1709. The campaign had a successful opening for Sweden, which came to occupy Poland and change their rule into a more Swedish friendly king. But after a long march exposed by cossack raids, the Russian Tsar Peter the Great's scorched-earth techniques and the cold Russian climate, the Swedes stood weakened with a shattered confidence, and enormously outnumbered against the Russian army at Poltava. The defeat meant the beginning of the end for Sweden as Empire.

After building up a new army Charles XII attempted to invade Norway 1716, however he was shot at Fredriksten fortress in 1718. The Swedish military was not defeated at Fredriksten. However, when Karl died the whole structure and organisation of the Norwegian campaign fell apart and the army withdrew back home. However this led to defeat, the Swedish head of state signed the Treaty of Nystad in 1721. Forced to cede large areas of land, Sweden also lost its place as an empire and as the dominant state on the Baltic Sea. With Sweden's lost influence, Russia began to emerge as an empire, and become one of Europe's dominant nations.

In the 18th century, Sweden did not have enough resources to maintain its territories outside Scandinavia and most of them were lost, culminating with the 1809 loss of the eastern part to Russia: forming the semi-autonomous (Duchy) of Finland of Imperial Russia.

After Denmark-Norway was defeated in the Napoleonic Wars, Norway was ceded to the king of Sweden on 14 January 1814, at the Treaty of Kiel. The Norwegian attempts to keep their status as a sovereign state were rejected by the Swedish king, Charles XIII. He launched a military campaign against Norway on July 27, 1814, ending in the Convention of Moss, which forced Norway into a personal union with Sweden, which was not dissolved until 1905. The 1814 campaign was also the last war in which Sweden participated as a combatant.

Sweden political map:
Sweden location map:

March 2007

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Ah, Stockholm! I've been there. It's absolutely beautiful in Sweden!


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