Be Aware: Cornerstones of Swedish History

When you think about your high school years, history may sound like boring old tales. However, if you are planning to move into another country, it is always good to know some historical events that will give you some clues about how the life is in that specific country. Here, I listed four different historical cornerstones, which will show you how Sweden became Sweden.

From 8th century to 18th century, Sweden history consists of:


Adventurist Nordic Explorers are one of the most exciting parts of history. Even though, all of Scandinavian countries try to claim Vikings, it is sure that Vikings deserves a chapter in the world history.

They travelled, by boat, to Americas, Russia and even Middle East between 700 – 1050. They had their own alphabet and many gods. One of them was Oden who gave his name to Wednesday (Onsdag in Swedish). The world-wide-known Hollywood superhero Thor’s name has been given to Thursday ( Torsdag in Swedish) and finally Freja The God’s name has been given to Friday. (Fredag in Swedish)

Gustav Vasa


Every nation has some historical persons who changed the destiny of the country. For Sweden, this is definitely Gustav Eriksson or later known Gustav Vasa.

As King, Gustav proved an inexplicable administrator with cold-blooded methods. He worked to raise taxes, end Feudalism and bring about a Swedish Reformation, replacing the privileges of local landowners, noblemen and clergy with centrally appointed governors and bishops. During his 37-year rule, the country saw a complete break with not only the Danish hegemony but also the Roman Catholic Church, whose assets were nationalized, with the Lutheran Church of Sweden established under his personal control. During his rule, Gustav Vasa compared himself with Moses whom he believed to have also liberated his people and established a sovereign state

That’s why many Swedes call him as the founder of the modern Sweden and father of the nation.


Swedish_Empire-2In Swedish, Stormaktstiden literally means “Great Power Time” which refers to the Kingdom of Sweden’s territorial control of much of the Baltic region during the 17th and early 18th centuries, a time when Sweden was one of the great European powers. The kingdom reached to such a wide territories in which Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Estonian, Sami languages, Low German, Latin, Livonian, Latvian, Danish and Russian became de facto official languages.

Freedom of Press Act

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Swedish legislation of Freedom of Press Act regarded as the world’s first law supporting the freedom of the press and freedom of information. The law was passed by the parliament on December 2, 1766, the Freedom of the Press Act abolished the “censorship of all printed publications, including those imported from abroad but excluding those on academic and theological subjects” Britannica says.

Andaç Baran

Written by Andaç Baran

25 Feb 2016