Scandinavia (/ ˌ s k æ n d ɪ ˈ n eɪ v i ə / SKAN-di-NAY-vee-ə) is a subregion in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties.. In English usage, Scandinavia can refer to Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, sometimes more narrowly to the Scandinavian Peninsula, or more broadly to include the Åland Islands, the Faroe Islands, Finland, and Iceland.
- Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Sometimes also:, Åland Islands, Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Nordic territories that are not part of Scandinavia:, Bouvet Island, Greenland, Jan Mayen, Svalbard
- .dk, .no, .se, .ax, .fi, .fo, .gl, .is, .sj
By contrast, the term Scandinavia more selectively refers to just Denmark, Norway and Sweden, although other Nordic countries are sometimes included within this definition. The joint ruling of Denmark and Norway from the mid-14th century until 1814, and then the joint rule of Sweden and Norway until 1905, have contributed towards a closely ...
People also ask
What is the origin of the term Scandinavian?
How many ethnic Swedes are there in Sweden?
What is the meaning of Scandinavism?
What is the difference between Scandinavian and Nordic?
Scandinavism, also called Scandinavianism or pan-Scandinavianism, is an ideology that supports various degrees of cooperation among the Scandinavian countries. Scandinavism comprises the literary, linguistic and cultural movement that focuses on promoting a shared Scandinavian past, a shared cultural heritage, a common Scandinavian mythology and a common language or dialect continuum (from the ...
- Pre-Historic Age
- Sami Peoples
- Viking Age
- Middle Ages
- 17th Century
- 18th Century
- 19th Century
- 20th Century
- See Also
- Further Reading
Little evidence remains in Scandinavia of the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, or the Iron Age except limited numbers of tools created from stone, bronze, and iron, some jewelry and ornaments, and stone burial cairns. One important collection that exists, however, is a widespread and rich collection of stone drawings known as petroglyphs.
Since prehistoric times, the Sami people of Arctic Europe have lived and worked in an area that stretches over the northern parts of the regions now known as Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Russian Kola Peninsula. They have inhabited the northern arctic and sub-arctic regions of Fenno-Scandinavia and Russia for at least 5,000 years. The Sami are counted among the Arctic peoples and are members of circumpolar groups such as the Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples' Secretariat. Petroglyphs and archeological findings such as settlements dating from about 10,000 B.C. can be found in the traditional lands of the Sami. These hunters and gatherers of the late Paleolithic and early Mesolithic were named Komsaby the researchers as what they identified themselves as is unknown. The Sami have been recognized as an indigenous people in Norway since 1990 according to ILO convention 169, and hence, according to international law, the Sami people in Norway are entitled special protection and rights.
During the Viking Age, the Vikings (Scandinavian warriors and traders) raided, colonized and explored large parts of Europe, the Middle East, northern Africa, as far west as Newfoundland. The beginning of the Viking Age is commonly given as 793, when Vikings pillaged the important British island monastery of Lindisfarne, and its end is marked by the unsuccessful invasion of England attempted by Harald Hårdråde in 1066 and the Norman conquest.
The Kalmar Union (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish: Kalmarunionen) was a series of personal unions (1397–1520) that united the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden under a single monarch. The countries had given up their sovereignty but not their independence, and diverging interests (especially Swedish dissatisfaction over the Danish and Holsteinishdominance) gave rise to a conflict that would hamper it from the 1430s until its final dissolution in 1523. The Kalmar War in 1611–1613 was the l...
The Protestant Reformation came to Scandinavia in the 1530s, and Scandinavia soon became one of the heartlands of Lutheranism. Catholicism almost completely vanished in Scandinavia, except for a small population in Denmark.
Thirty Years War
The Thirty Years' War was a conflict fought between the years 1618 and 1648, principally in the Central European territory of the Holy Roman Empire but also involving most of the major continental powers. Although it was from its outset a religious conflict between Protestants and Catholics, the self-preservation of the Habsburg dynastywas also a central motive. The Danes and then Swedes intervened at various points to protect their interests. The Danish intervention began when Christian IV (...
Rise of Sweden and the Swedish Empire
The Swedish rise to power began under the rule of Charles IX. During the Ingrian War Sweden expanded its territories eastward. Several other wars with Poland, Denmark-Norway, and German countries enabled further Swedish expansion, although there were some setbacks such as the Kalmar War. Sweden began consolidating its empire. Several other wars followed soon after including the Northern Wars and the Scanian War. Denmark suffered many defeats during this period. Finally under the rule of Charl...
Great Northern War
The Great Northern War was fought between a coalition of Russia, Denmark-Norway and Saxony-Poland (from 1715 also Prussia and Hanover) on one side and Sweden on the other side from 1700 to 1721. It started by a coordinated attack on Sweden by the coalition in 1700 and ended 1721 with the conclusion of the Treaty of Nystad and the Stockholm treaties. As a result of the war, Russia supplanted Sweden as the dominant power on the Baltic Seaand became a major player in European politics.
Both Sweden and Denmark-Norway maintained a number of colonies outside Scandinavia starting in the 17th century lasting until the 20th century. Greenland, Iceland and The Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic were Norwegian dependencies that were incorporated into the united kingdom of Denmark-Norway. In the Caribbean, Denmark started a colony on St Thomas in 1671, St John in 1718, and purchased Saint Croix from France in 1733. Denmark also maintained colonies in India, Tranquebar and Frederiks...
Scandinavia was divided during the Napoleonic Wars. Denmark-Norway tried to remain neutral but became involved in the conflict after British demands to turn over the navy. Britain thereafter attacked the Danish fleet at the battle of Copenhagen (1801) and bombarded the city during the second battle of Copenhagen (1807). Most of the Danish fleet was captured following the Second Battle of Copenhagen in 1807. The bombardment of Copenhagen led to an alliance with France and outright war with Bri...
Sweden and Norway
On 14 January 1814, at the Treaty of Kiel, the king of Denmark-Norway ceded Norway to the king of Sweden. The terms of the treaty provoked widespread opposition in Norway. The Norwegian vice-roy and heir to the throne of Denmark-Norway, Christian Frederik took the lead in a national uprising, assumed the title of regent, and convened a constitutional assembly at Eidsvoll. On 17 May 1814 the Constitution of Norwaywas signed by the assembly, and Christian Frederik was elected as king of indepen...
The Finnish War was fought between Sweden and Russia from February 1808 to September 1809. As a result of the war, Finland which formed the eastern third of Sweden proper became the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland within Imperial Russia. Finland remained as a part of Russian Empire until 1917 at which point it became independent. Another notable effect was the Swedish parliament's adoption of a new constitution and a new royal house, that of Bernadotte.
First World War
All three Scandinavian countries remained neutral throughout the First World War. The war did have a significant impact on the economy of the area, primarily as a result of the British blockade of Germany. However, they were able to work around that with trade agreement with Britain. Norway's large merchant marine delivered vital supplies to Britain but suffered huge losses in ships and sailors because of indiscriminate attack by the German navy. Denmark called up much of its military, but Ge...
Development of the welfare state
All three countries developed social welfare states in the early to mid-20th century. This came about partially because of the domination of the social-democrats in Sweden and Denmark, and the Labour party in Norway.
Second World War
Near the beginning of World War II in late 1939, both the Allies and the Axis Powersfeared their enemies gaining power in Scandinavia. Britain believed Germany was planning to invade and made counter plans for its own invasion. At the same time, Germany feared that Britain could gain bases in the area and claimed they suspected an outright invasion. In addition, Germany highly valued the Swedish iron ore they received through Norway and could not afford to lose it. They also desired Norway fo...Arnold, Martin. The Vikings: culture and conquest(Hambledon Press, 2006)Bagge, Sverre. Cross and Scepter: The Rise of the Scandinavian Kingdoms From the Vikings to the Reformation(Princeton University Press; 2014) 325 pages;Bain, R. Nisbet. Scandinavia: A Political History of Denmark, Norway and Sweden from 1513 to 1900 (2014) onlineBarton, H. Arnold. Scandinavia in the Revolutionary Era 1760–1815, University of Minnesota Press, 1986. ISBN 0-8166-1392-3.
- Scandinavians in Fiction and Theater
The most famous group of Scandinavians is the Vikings of the Middle Ages. The Vikings attacked and raided but they were also traders, traveling to the Ukraine and starting trade routes to the Middle East. Vikings from Norway were explorers, crossing the North Atlantic in their longships. They came to Iceland and Greenland and built towns and farms there. The Norwegian explorers also came to the east coast of Canada, where they set up at least one settlement, but it did not last into modern times. The Vikings from Denmark came to England, where they affected the history and politics and even the English language. Danish raiders attacked England many times with great violence. Sometimes the Danes would ask that the English pay them to go away. These payments were called "Danegeld" (Danish gold). The priests and bishops of churches on the east coast of England wrote a famous prayer: "deliver us, O Lord, from the wrath of the Norsemen!" "Norsemen" is another way to say "men from the nor...
Much later, in the 19th century (1800s), Richard Wagner and other artists in the Romantic period made operas and other artwork about ancient Germanic culture. They liked the Vikings because they were not Greeks or Romans. They were the first to have the idea of Vikings wearing helmets with wings or horns on them and drinking out of hollowed-out animal horns. Some ancient Germans wore helmets with horns on them, but real Vikings did not. Wagner and his partners deliberately dressed the actors in the opera Ring des Nibelungenso they would look like ancient Germans and so the audience would feel like modern Germans came from medieval Vikings.
During the 10th through 13th centuries, when the Christian religion spread through Scandiavia, modern countries started to form there. They came together into three kingdoms: 1. Denmark 2. Sweden 3. Norway These three Scandinavian kingdoms made the Kalmar Union in 1387 under Queen Margaret I of Denmark. However, in 1523, Sweden left the union. Because of this, civil war broke out in Denmark and Norway. Then, the Protestant Reformationhappened, and Catholic and Protestant Christians fought each other. After things settled, the Norwegian Privy Council was abolished: it assembled for the last time in 1537. Denmark and Norway formed another union in 1536, and it lasted until 1814. It turned into the three modern countries Denmark, Norway and Iceland. The borders between Denmark, Sweden and Norway came to the shape they have today in the middle of the seventeenth century: In the 1645 Treaty of Brömsebro, Denmark–Norway gave some territory to Sweden: the Norwegian provinces of Jämtland, H...
- Influence by Immigration to Sweden
- Geographic Distribution
- See Also
- Further Reading
The English term "Swede" has been attested in English since the late 16th century and is of Middle Dutch or Middle Low German origin. In Swedish, the term is svensk, which is from the name of svear (or Swedes), the people who inhabited Svealand in eastern central Sweden, and were listed as Suiones in Tacitus' history Germania from the 1st century AD. The term is believed to have been derived from the Proto-Indo-European reflexive pronominal root, *s(w)e, as the Latin suus. The word must have meant "one's own (tribesmen)". The same root and original meaning is found in the ethnonym of the Germanic tribe Suebi, preserved to this day in the name Swabia.
Like other Scandinavians, Swedes descend from the presumably Indo-European Battle Axe culture and also the Pitted Ware culture. Prior to the first century AD there is no written evidence and historiography is based solely on various forms of archeology. The Proto-Germanic language is thought to have originated in the arrival of the Battle Axe culture in Scandinavia and the Germanic tribal societies of Scandinavia were thereafter surprisingly stable for thousands of years. The merger of the Ba...
Migration Age and Vendel Period
The migration age in Sweden is marked by the extreme weather events of 535–536 which is believed to have shaken Scandinavian society to its core. As much as 50% of the population of Scandinavia is thought to have died as a result and the emerging Vendel Period shows an increased militarization of society. Several areas with rich burial gifts have been found, including well-preserved boat inhumation graves at Vendel and Valsgärde, and tumuli at Gamla Uppsala. These were used for several genera...
Viking and Middle Ages
The Swedish Viking Age lasted roughly between the 8th and 11th centuries. During this period, it is believed that the Swedes expanded from eastern Sweden and incorporated the Geats to the south. It is believed that Swedish Vikings and Gutar mainly travelled east and south, going to Finland, the Baltic countries, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine the Black Sea and further as far as Baghdad. Their routes passed through the Dnieper down south to Constantinople, on which they did numerous raids. The Byzan...
The growth of immigration to Sweden in the post-war era has triggered a debate in Sweden about the nature of "Swedishness" and how immigrants can be integrated in Swedish society.In a report by the Swedish government it has been claimed that Swedishness usually is classified by researchers in five different ways: country of birth (i.e. Sweden), citizenship, consanguinity (i.e. perceived kinship), culture or language; and appearance. It also claims that a mix of these ideas is found in more mundane uses of the word Swedish, in media and ordinary speech and that it should be understood in the light of how national stories of Sweden have been formed over a long period of time. Sweden's main statistics bureau Statistics Sweden (SCB) does not keep any record of ethnicity, but about 20% of Sweden's population is of foreign background.Some immigrants in Sweden feel that they experience "betweenship" which arises when others ascribe them an identity that they do not hold themselves. The gro...
The native language of nearly all Swedes is Swedish (svenska [ˈsvɛ̂nːska] (listen)) a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is, to a considerable extent, mutually intelligible with Norwegian and to a lesser extent with spoken Danish (see especially "Classification"). Along with the other North Germanic languages, Swedish is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era. It is the largest of the North Germanic languages by numbers of speakers. Standard Swedish, used by most Swedish people, is the national language that evolved from the Central Swedish dialects in the 19th century and was well established by the beginning of the 20th century. While distinct regional varieties descended from the older rural dialects still exist, the spoken and written language is uniform and standardized....
According to recent genetic analysis, both mtDNA and Y chromosome polymorphisms showed a noticeable genetic affinity between Swedes and other Germanic ethnic groups. For the global genetic make-up of the Swedish people and other peoples, seeand. Paternally, through their Y-DNA haplogroups, the Swedes are quite diverse and show strongly of Haplogroup I1d1 at over 40% of the population tested in different studies, followed by R1a1a and R1b1a2a1a1 with over 20% each and haplogroup N1c1 with over 5% at different regional variance. The rest are within haplogroups J and E1b1b1 and other less common ones. Maternally, through their mtDNA haplogroups, the Swedes show very strongly of haplogroup H at 25–30%, followed by haplogroup U at a 10% or more, with haplogroup J and T, K at around 5% each.
The largest area inhabited by Swedes, as well as the earliest known original area inhabited by their linguistic ancestors, is in the country of Sweden, situated on the eastern side of the Scandinavian Peninsula and the islands adjacent to it, situated west of the Baltic Sea in northern Europe. The Swedish-speaking people living in near-coastal areas on the north-eastern and eastern side of the Baltic Sea also have a long history of continuous settlement, which in some of these areas possibly started about a millennium ago. These people include the Swedish-speakers in mainland Finland – speaking a Swedish dialect commonly referred to as Finland Swedish (finlandssvenska which is part of the East-Swedish dialect group) and the almost exclusively Swedish-speaking population of the Åland Islands speaking in a manner closer to the adjacent dialects in Sweden than to adjacent dialects of Finland Swedish. Estonia also had an important Swedish minority which persisted for ab...
"What Makes the Beautiful Swedish Blonde Look: History and Genetics". Arlen Tanner. Live Scandinavia.