Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Sweden
S W E D E N
Part I.—Geography and Statistics.
SWEDEN comprises the eastern and southern divisions of the Scandinavian peninsula. Its northern extremity, Kuokimodka, is situated in 69° 3′ 21″ and the southern in 55° 20′ 18″ N. lat. The western extremity (on the Cattegat) lies in 11° 6′ 29″ and the eastern (on the frontier of Finland) in 24° 10′ E. long. The greatest length of the country from north to south is 986 miles and its greatest breadth 286 miles, and the area is 170,713 square miles. The length of the coast-line is 1603 miles, the length of the boundary line towards Norway 1019 miles, and that of the boundary line towards Finland 305 miles.
Sweden is divided into three chief parts,—the southern being called Götaland, the middle part Svealand or Sweden proper, and the northern Norrland. The north and north-west parts of Norrland are called Lapland.
The frontier towards Norway, from 69° to 63° N. lat., and is formed by a continuous mountain range called Kölen (the keel). The snow peaks of Sulitelma (6178 feet), east of Saltenfjord, on the frontier between Sweden and Norway, were long supposed to mark the highest elevation of this mountain chain, but the geodetical survey now in progress in western Lapland has already shown that there are at least two peaks whose height exceeds that of Sulitelma, viz., Kefnekaise (7008 feet) and Sarjektjåkko (6988 feet).
In this mountain range (Kölen), rise a great number of rivers and streams, which flow in a south-easterly direction to the Gulf of Bothnia. The immense quantity of fresh water that is thus carried into the gulf makes its water scarcely more salt than that of a lake (0.25 to 0.40 per cent. of salt). Between the upper courses of the rivers the watersheds consist of mountain ridges, which gradually diminish in height. The intermediate valleys are for the most part filled with the water of the rivers, and thus form a number of lakes at a considerable elevation above the sea-level. Issuing from these lakes, the rivers form great cataracts, and afterwards flow through the level plain that forms the coast-region of the Gulf of Bothnia for a distance of many miles from the shore.
The boundary between Sweden and Finland is formed by (1) Muonio Elf, and afterwards by (2) Torneå Elf, into which it flows; Torneå Elf rises in Torneå Träsk, at an elevation of 1132 feet above the sea. Then come, in order along the coast, the following rivers:—(3) Kalix Elf, which in its upper course forms the lakes of Paitas Jaur and Kalas Järvi; (4) Stora Luleå Elf (242 miles), which forms Stora Luleå Jaur (1214 feet) and receives on the right (5) Lilla Luleå Elf, which forms the lakes of Saggat Träsk and Skalka Jaur (984 feet); (6) Piteå Elf, with the lake of Tjäggelvas; (7) Skellefteå Elf, forming a number of great lakes, such as Hornafvan (1391 feet), Uddjaur (1375 feet), Storafvan (1371 feet); (8) Umeå Elf (261 miles), with a great number of lakes, of which the largest is Stor-Uman, receives on the left a tributary of almost equal size, viz., (9) Vindel Elf; (10) Ångerman Elf (211 miles), which receives the water of a whole system of streams and lakes, the largest of the latter being Ströms Vattudal, in the south of Lapland; (11) Indals Elf, which receives the Ammerå, with its tributaries and the numerous emissary lakes, as Hotagen (1017 feet), Kallsjön and Storsjön (“Storsa Lake” on the map) (958 feet, area 173 sq. miles). Close to the railway from Trondhjem to Östersund, between Kallsjön and Storsjön, rises the peak of Åreskutan (4652 feet), which is ascended every year by a great number of tourists, and in the vicinity many sanatoria are situated. Farther south flow three large rivers:—(12) Ljungan (193 miles), with Holmsjön (656 feet); (13) Ljusnan (249 miles); and (14) Dal Elf (286 miles), which passes through Särnasjön (1450 feet) and Siljan (541 feet, 110 sq. miles), and receives on the right (15) West Dal Elf. The last-named four rivers rise in a mountainous region with many high summits, which are the eastern outposts of the high range of Dovrefjeld, which traverses Norway from west to east, between the parallels of 67° and 63° N. lat. Among these summits, situated on the frontier or in Sweden, are to be observed the Syltoppar (5865 feet), Son Fjell (4190 feet), Helags Fjell (5900 feet), and Städjan (3860 feet) on the north shore of Särnasjön.
In Norway, not far from the sources of Dal Elf, lies the lake of Fämundsjö, which gives rise to (16) Klar Elf, which flows southwards to Lake Vener, the largest lake in Sweden (144 feet, area 2150 square miles). The outlet of Verier is (17) Göta Elf, which falls into the Cattegat, near Gothenburg. The watershed between Dal Elf and Klar Elf is a wooded range of hills without high peaks, sloping to the south-east. The south-eastern part of Svealand comprises the water systems of the large lakes of Hjelmar (75 feet, area 185 square miles) and Mälar (area 449 square miles). Lake Mälar discharges into the Baltic at Stockholm by two outlets—(18) Norrstrom and Soderstrom. They are, however, almost to be regarded as channels or sounds, rather than as streams, the difference of level between Lake Mälar and the Baltic being so small that occasionally, when the water is low in Mälar and high in the Baltic, the current sets from the latter into the former. Lake Mälar may thus be considered a fjord of the Baltic. Still its waters are kept fresh by the great number of small streams that discharge into it, the most important of these being (19) Fyris Elf, which passes Upsala.
The boundary between Svealand and Götaland consists of wooded heights. Between Lake Vetter and the northern shore of Bråviken Bay stretches the forest of Kolmorden, and between the northern extremity of Lake Vetter and Lake Vener lies that of Tiveden. Lake Vetter (290 feet, area 733 square miles) discharges itself into Bråviken by (20) Motala Ström, the falls of which are utilized for the mills in the town of Norrköping, near the mouth of the river.
The central part of Götaland consists of an extensive tableland or plateau, of which the highest part, at an elevation of 1237 feet, lies somewhat to the south of Vetter. On the north this plateau descends rather abruptly towards the fertile plains of Östergötland (drained by Motala Ström) and Skaraborg län, between Vetter and Vener. Near the south-eastern shore of Vetter, a little to the north of Jönköping, lies Mount Omberg (863 feet), and near the southern shore of Vener, close by Lidköping, lies Kinnekulle (915 feet), both hills remarkable for their beauty. The great plateau descends less abruptly towards east, south, and west. A great number of lesser streams flow down its slopes. The principal are—(21) Emmån, which falls into Calmar Sound; (22) Lyckebyån, (23) Mörrumsån, and (24) Helgaån, which flow in a southerly direction; and (25) Lagan, (26) Nissan, (27) Ätran, and (28) Viskan, which fall into the Cattegat. On this great plateau and its slopes lie also many lakes. In the northern part, east of Vetter, lies Sommen (479 feet), and farther north Boren, Roxen, and Glan. Between Vetter and Vener lies Unden (384 feet). On the summit of the plateau lies Ekelsjö (1132 feet), and on its southern slope Helgasjö (535 feet), Bolmen (466 feet), Möckeln (446 feet), and Åsnen.
The southmost part of Sweden, Skåne, consists for the most part of a low fertile country. Only in the northern part, Christianstad län, occur two low stretches of hills, called Linderödsåsen and Söderåsen.
Waterfalls.—The largest waterfalls are (1) Njuommelsaska (Harsprånget), in Stora Luleå Elf, with a breadth of 60-70 feet, consisting of two cataracts of 103 feet at the upper end and a fall of 150 feet more in the course of 1⅓ miles, the largest waterfall in Europe; (2) Ädna-Muorki-Kortje (“the great fall of the lake”), on the same river as the former, higher up, between the two lakes Jäntajaur and Kaskajaur, has a fall of 130 feet, of which 100 feet are one perpendicular cataract; (3) Tännforsen, 12 miles west of Åreskutan in Jemtland, between Tännsjön and Noren, has a breadth of 160 and a perpendicular fall of 84 feet; (4) Trollhättan, in Göta Elf, consists of three successive falls having a total height of 100 feet.
It will be seen that, with the exception of the north-west part along the Norwegian frontier, Sweden is not a mountainous country. On the other hand, fertile plains are not frequent. The most extensive are the north-west shore of the Gulf of Bothnia, where, however, the severe climate precludes any successful agriculture, the water districts of Lake Mälar and Lake Hjelmar, the rich agricultural district of Östergötland between Vetter and the Baltic, Vestergötland, or the whole country between the two great lakes as far as Gothenburg, and, as has been just mentioned, the southmost part, or Skåne, which comprises Christianstad and Malmöhus län. The greatest part of the country consists of low hills of granite or gneiss, clothed with forests of pine and fir. The valleys are generally in great part filled with water, and the shores of their lakes or wide rivers are covered with forests of deciduous trees, chiefly birch, or consist of arable soil. With the exception of Finland there is no country so full of lakes as Sweden. Nearly one-twelfth of the whole surface of the country, or about 13,900 square miles, is covered with water.
Coast.—The coast of Sweden is not broken by so many or so deep fjords as that of Norway. The most considerable indentation is the above-mentioned Bråviken Bay. On the other hand, the Swedish coast is, perhaps in a still greater degree than the Norwegian, fringed by innumerable little islets. Except on the coast round Skåne, in the south, the mainland does not come into direct contact with the sea, girdled as it is by a belt of islands, holms, and skerries, more or less thickly set, which forms the so-called “skärgård” fence of skerries or outer coast, Between this wall of islets and the mainland, therefore, extends a connected series of sounds of the greatest importance for coastal navigation, since they admit of the employment of vessels of less size and strength. This skärgård forms, besides, a most valuable natural defence; for, while some sounds are deep, navigation in the vicinity of the coasts is, as a rule, practically impossible without the help of pilots.
The broadest part of this skärgård is that off Stockholm, which stretches many miles out into the Baltic. It consists of a few large and well-peopled islands, surrounded by many hundreds of islets, for the most part uninhabited. The outer islands are bare grey rocks of gneiss, but the inner ones are mostly covered with fir and birch trees. The entrance to Stockholm through this archipelago is of its kind one of the most curious and picturesque in the world. The largest of these islands are Ljusterö, Vermdö, Ingarö, Vindö, Runmarö, Ornö, and Utö (with rich iron mines). As mentioned above, Lake Mälar is to be considered as a fjord of the Baltic. The skärgård also extends into Mälar, which is filled with islands. The most remarkable is Björkö, where the old town of Birka was situated. The archaeological researches on this spot have been of the greatest importance for our knowledge of life in Sweden in the times of the vikings. The part of the skärgård next in breadth is that off Carlskrona, where the islands of Sturkö, Tjurkö, Aspö, and Hasslö are situated.
The Cattegat skärgård, which extends from the fjord of Svinesund at the southern extremity of the Norwegian frontier as far as Halmstad, has a different aspect from that of the Baltic. In the Cattegat all the islands, as well as the rocks of the mainland, are almost bare of vegetation. Trees are quite absent in most places, and generally the grey rocks are not even covered with grass or moss. They look as if they were polished by the sea. Between these bare rocks there is, however, in many places even on the larger islands arable soil of great fertility. In the northern part of the skärgård near Strömstad lie the larger islands of Sandö, Ödö, Tjernö, Rösö, &c. Farther seawards lie the Koster Islands and the Väder Islands with their lighthouses. A little more to the south, in the vicinity of Lysekil, are three narrow fjords—Åbyfjord, Gullmarfjord, and Koljefjord. Off the first-named lies Malmö, remarkable for its quarry, where the fine granite of which the island consists is wrought. Next come, in succession, Kornö, Skaftö, Flatö, Hermanö, and Lyrö, the last two situated off the two largest islands on this coast, Oroust and Tjörn. All the islands now enumerated are surrounded by innumerable islets and rocks. South of Tjörn there are no considerable islands except Marstrand (with a small town and much-frequented sea-bathing quarters), Koö, and Klöfverö, all situated immediately to the south of Tjörn. On the coast of Halland we find only Särö, off the fjord of Kungsbacka, and the Väderö of Halland, off Torekow, between Laholm Bay and Skelder Bay, the only islands on the whole coast that are covered with a rich vegetation of trees. On the extreme point of the cape, between the latter fjord and the Sound, lies the isolated Mount Kullen with its lighthouse. In the Sound off Landskrona lies the islet of Hven, where Tycho Brahe had his observatory, Uranienborg, in the end of the 16th century (1576-1597).
In the Baltic lie the two great islands of Gotland and Öland, of which the former is itself a county and a bishopric. These islands are quite different from the Swedish mainland. They are formed of Silurian limestone. On the western coast of Gotland the limestone rocks descend precipitously into the sea, and the island forms a comparatively smooth plateau, which slopes gradually to the east. The limestone soil is very fertile, and trees and plants thrive on it that do not otherwise grow in the climate of Sweden, such as walnuts, ivy, &c. The case is the same in Öland. This island somewhat resembles a house-top. A sterile limestone plain (Alvaren) stretches the whole length of the island from north to south, and from this the country slopes both towards Calmar Sound on the west and towards the Baltic on the east. The slopes, especially the western, are very fertile.
Norwegian Sea). It stretches along the west and south coasts of Norway southward and eastward almost to Christiania Fjord and the Cattegat. The deepest part of this channel, upwards of 400 fathoms, extends through the Skagerack between Arendal in Norway and the Scaw. In the Cattegat the depth diminishes abruptly, and between Gothenburg and the Scaw the greatest depth is between 33 and 55 fathoms. The greatest part of the southern half of the Cattegat has a depth of less than 30 fathoms. The depth of the Sound generally is even less than 12 fathoms. The whole southern part of the Baltic between Sweden and Germany is very shallow. West of Bornholm the depth nowhere reaches 30 fathoms. East of Bornholm the sea is somewhat deeper, and a small area of a depth of 50 to 60 fathoms is found a little east of that island. The whole of that part of the Baltic which lies between Sweden and Russia is divided into two separate basins by a submarine bank. From the southern extremity of Gotland (Hoburg) there extends a nearly uninterrupted bank to the south-west as far as the Prussian coast. The depth on this bank nowhere reaches 30 fathoms. The shallowest parts are Hoburg Bank south of Gotland, Mittel Bank south-east of Öland, and Stolpe Bank off the Prussian coast. Between Fårö off the north coast of Gotland and the Gottska Sandö there extends a similar bank, which continues with a somewhat greater depth of about 30 fathoms as far north as Stockholm. The deepest part of the Baltic between these banks is situated in the north part between Landsort and the Gottska Sandö, the maximum depth being about 160 fathoms. Ålands Haf, the channel between the Swedish coast and the Åland Islands, is tolerably deep (100 to 160 fathoms).Sea-Bed.—The seas that surround Sweden are remarkably shallow. Round the south part of Norway runs a depression in the sea-bed, called the Norwegian Channel (see
The Gulf of Bothnia is divided into two basins by the channel of Qvarken; the southern is the deeper (about 50 fathoms), and the depth increases towards the north-west, where, over a small area off the island of Ulfö near the Swedish coast, it reaches 160 fathoms. The channel of Qvarken is very shallow (8 to 16 fathoms). The basin on the north side is also shallow. Only over a small area off Bjurö Cape does the depth exceed 160 fathoms.
Climate.—Sweden is situated between two countries of very different climatological conditions. On the west there is the maritime climate of the Norwegian coast, and on the east the continental climate of Russia. It may be said that Sweden alternates between the two. Cold winters alternate with mild ones, and warm and dry summers with cool and rainy ones. But different parts of Sweden have also in this respect a greatly differing climate, of which we readily see the reason if we only recollect the character and the general features of the configuration of the country. Lapland and the western part of the country along the Norwegian frontier have a pronounced continental climate, and so has the high plateau to the south of Lake Vetter. On the other hand, the climate is more maritime the more we approach the coasts of the Baltic, and on the coast of the Cattegat and in Skåne the maritime climate distinctly predominates.
The following table gives the mean annual temperatures (Fahr.) at twenty-eight meteorological stations in Sweden, together with the means for January and July:—
From these figures it appears that, as mentioned above, the climate is most continental in the northern and interior parts of the country, especially at the two stations of Lapland, Stensele and Jockmock, while it is more maritime on the coasts. For this reason the isotherms for January on the Scandinavian peninsula are linguiform. The warm sea off Norway causes the peculiarity that the western parts of Lapland, although situated at the greatest elevation above the sea, have not so cold winters as the interior parts round the great lakes. Still farther to the east the temperature increases again towards the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia. Thus, for example, the isotherm of 10° F. enters Lapland from the north-east at about 68° N. lat. , runs towards the south-west over the great lakes as far as about 64½°, south of Lake Stor-Uman, makes there an abrupt bend towards the east, and runs in a north-easterly direction to Haparanda at the northern extremity of the Gulf of Bothnia. The isotherm of 23° F. runs from the great lake of Mjösen in Norway, north of Christiania, to the southern shore of Lake Siljan, or almost straight east, curves there to the north-east, and reaches the shore of the Gulf of Bothnia a little north of the mouth of Ljusnan. Finally, the isotherm of 30° runs from Gothenburg towards the south-east to the lake of Åsnen, curves towards the north-east, and passes Calmar and the northern parts of the islands Öland and Gotland. On the summit of the plateau south of Vetter the mean temperature is of course lower than both north and south of the plateau. In July the temperature is almost constant all over the country. With the exception of the interior of Lapland the mean temperature varies generally between 59° and 62°. The warmest point is Linköping on the plain of Östergötland, between Lake Vetter and the Baltic. The most temperate and most agreeable climate of the whole country is that of the Cattegat coast round Halmstad.
Map of Equal Ice Periods.
A good indication of the climate, especially that of the winter, is the time during which the freshwater lakes remain frozen. We have seen that nearly one-twelfth of the whole surface of Sweden is covered with water, and in Finland the number of the lakes is still greater. In both countries the times of freezing and breaking up of a great many lakes have been observed for many years. From these data we can calculate the length of the ice periods. If these periods are entered on a diagram, we can draw out the lines of equal ice periods, or the equiglacial lines. The accompanying map shows these lines for Sweden and Finland. From it we see that the glacial period in the southern part of the country is 90 days, while in the northern part of Lapland it has a duration of no less than 230 of the 365 days of the year. The western lakes of Lapland, though the higher in situation, have a somewhat shorter ice period than the eastern. The ice period is considerably lengthened on the great plateau south of Lake Vetter.
We have said above that in certain years the climate of Sweden is more maritime, in others more continental. Thus, for instance, the annual mean temperature of Upsala has varied dining the last 30 years between 43°.2 (1859) and 35°.0 (1867). The mean temperature of particular months varies of course in a still higher degree, especially during the winter; thus the mean temperature of January 1873 was 34°.3, but of January 1875 only 12°.2.
The difference between the means of the warmest month and the coldest is the so-called yearly range of temperature. In Sweden July is generally the warmest and February the coldest month. The difference between the January and July temperatures, however, as given in the foregoing table, will show the yearly range approximately. It will be seen that this increases towards the north. For the same latitude, it is greater in the interior of the country than on the coasts.
As is easily understood, the periodic daily range of temperature is least during the darkest part of the year, during December and January, especially in the north part of the country round the polar line, and still farther north, where it is almost nil. The mean range for the whole country is in December only 2°. The
maximum occurs in June or July at all stations except those of western Sweden, where it occurs as early as May. The mean of June is 13. A curious fact is that in Norrland, especially in the interior, a secondary maximum occurs in March, which sometimes even exceeds the summer maximum.
The non-periodic daily range of temperature, or the difference between the monthly means of daily maximum and minimum of temperature, is as usual considerably greater than the periodic. The difference is almost constant for all stations, especially during the warmer part of the year. We have, for the whole country—
The mean direction of the winds shows little variation during different seasons. During the summer it is west or west-south-west in the south of Sweden, changes to south-west in the middle part of the country, and due south along the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia. In winter north-north-east winds become comparatively frequent in the north part of the country. This is explained bythe difference in barometric pressure in summer and in winter. In July the mean height of the barometer indicates a gradual fall along the coast of the Baltic, from 29.828 inches in Calmar to 29.675 in Haparanda. In January, on the other hand, there is a gradual fall from 29.853 in Calmar to 29.718 in Hernösand, but thereafter a gradual rise to 29.834 in Haparanda. Unfortunately the isobarometric lines for Sweden have not yet been calculated with due precision.
The rainfall is greatest on the coast of the Cattegat. The annual amount is greatest at Gothenburg, where it is 32.56 inches. At Halmstad it is 28.26, and at Venersborg, where Göta Elf issues from Lake Vener, it is 30.33. These are the rainiest stations of Sweden. Generally speaking, the amount of rain diminishes afterwards as well towards north and north-west as towards south-east. The least rain falls on the one hand in northern Lapland, where the annual amount is only 15.52 inches, and on the other hand in the south-eastern corner of Sweden, where (at Calmar) we have the lowest known rainfall for the whole country (12.75 inches). Between these two tracts there runs a belt of greater precipitation from Gothenburg towards the north-east to Upsala, where the annual amount is 23.28. Even along this belt the amount of rainfall diminishes towards the north-east, but at every point the amount is greater than to the north-west and south-east of it. The greatest amount of rain falls in July and August and the least in February and March. Thus, for instance, there fall in Upsala during August 2.86 inches and during March 0.99 inches. As the temperature varies, so does the rainfall for different years.
The number of thunderstorms is small in Sweden compared with the countries of the south. Their number diminishes as does the precipitation from south-west towards north and east. From 1871 to 1880 the mean annual number of thunderstorms at each station was 9.5 in Götaland, 8.4 in Svealand, and only 6.3 in Norrland. In the south their number diminishes rapidly from west to east, from 11 on the coast of the Cattegat to 8.3 on the coast of the Baltic, and only 6.6 on the isle of Gotland. The thunderstorms have a distinctly marked annual and daily period. They occur almost always during the warmest time of the year and of the day. During the above-mentioned ten years the least number occurred during the month of February, only 3, whereas there occurred in May 1194, in June 3724, in July 4419, in August 3306, and in September 1461. As regards the daily period, the least number, 147, occurred between 1 and 2 A. M., and the greatest, 1704, between 3 and 4 P. M. In Götaland and Svealand most of the thunderstorms come with a south-westerly wind, in Norrland with a southerly; for the whole country, the least number come with a northerly wind.
If the number of thunderstorms is small in Sweden, the same is in a still higher degree to be said of their intensity. Hail, which on the Continent causes such immense damage to the growing crops, is rare in Sweden, and often quite harmless. In the south of Germany about 2 per cent. of the crops are annually destroyed by hail. At Magdeburg the damage is 0.9 per cent., at Berlin 0.6 to 0.7 per cent., but in Sweden only 0.06 per cent. (H. H. H.)
Geology.—The fundamental rocks of Sweden belong to the Azoic or Pre-Cambrian formation, and consist of crystalline rocks. Three great divisions of this formation may be distinguished,—the grey gneiss, the red iron gneiss, and the granulite.
The grey gneiss rules in the northern and western parts of the country, from West Norrland down to the province of Calmar. The rock has a prevalent grey colour, and contains as characteristic minerals garnet and in some parts graphite.
The red iron gneiss prevails in western Sweden in the provinces of Vermland, Skaraborg, Elfsborg, and down to the province of Christianstad. The formation is very uniform in its character, the gneiss having a red colour and containing small granules of magnetite, but, nevertheless, not a single iron-mine belongs to this region. The red gneiss contains in many places beds or masses of hyperite.
The granulite, also called eurite and hälleflinta, is the most important of the Pre-Cambrian formation, as it contains all the metalliferous deposits of Sweden. It prevails in the middle part of the country, in the provinces of Vermlaud, Kopparberg, Vestmanlaud, and Upsala. It occurs also in some parts of the pro- vinces of Östergötland, Calmar, and Kronoberg. The main rock in this region consists of hälleflinta, a kind of very compact and fine-grained mixture of feldspar, quartz, and mica, often graduating to mica schists, quartzite, and gneiss. With these rocks are often associated limestones, dolomites, and marbles containing serpentine (Kolmården). The metalliferous deposits have generally the form of beds or layers between the strata of granulite and limestones. They are often highly contorted and dislocated.
The iron-mines occur imbedded in more or less fine-grained gneiss or granulite (Gellivaara, Grängesberg, Norberg, Striberg), or separated from the granulite by masses of augitic and amphibolous minerals (grönskarn), as in Persberg and Nordmark. Sometimes they are surrounded by hälleflinta and limestone, as at Dannemora, Långban, Pajsberg, and then carry manganiferous minerals. Argentiferous galena occurs at Sala in limestone, surrounded by granulite, and at Guldsmedshytta (province of Örebro) in dark hälleflinta. Copper pyrites occurs at Falun in mica-schists, surrounded by hälleflinta. Zinc blende occurs in large masses at Ammeberg, near the northern end of Lake Vetter. The cobalt ore consists of cobalt-glance (Tunaberg in the province of Södermanland) and of linneite (at Gladhammar, near Vestervik). The nickel ore of Sweden is magnetic pyrites, containing only a very small percentage of nickel. The magnetic pyrites occurs generally imbedded in diorite and greenstones. In the evidently most recent division of the granulite occurs clay-slate (at Grythytta in the province of Örebro).
Large masses of granite are found in many parts of Sweden, and form extensive massiffs as in the provinces of Kronoberg, Örebro, Göteborg, Stockholm, &c. Sometimes the granite graduates into gneiss; sometimes (as north of Stockholm) it encloses large angular pieces of gneiss. In many parts of Sweden occur greenstones, as hyperite, gabbro (anorthite-gabbro at Rådmansö in the province of Stockholm), and diorite, the last often forming beds between the strata of the gneiss.
The Cambrian formation occurs generally associated with the Lower Silurian, and consists of many divisions. The oldest is a sandstone, in which are found traces of worms, impressions of Medusæ, and shells of Lingula. The upper divisions consist of bituminous limestones, clay-slates, alum-slate, and contain numerous species of trilobites of the genera Paradoxides, Conocoryphe, Agnostus, Sphærophthalmus, Peltura, &c. In Öland and north of Siljan are found beds with Obolus.
The Lower Silurian consists of the following divisions: (1) beds with Cerotopyge; (2) schists with Graptolites; (3) large beds of red and grey limestone (200 feet in thickness) containing Megalaspis and Orthoceratites. This limestone is largely used as building material; (4) slates with Trinucleus; (5) slates with Brachiopods; (6) slates with Graptolites. The Cambrian and Lower Silurian strata occur scattered in several places from Vesterbotten down to Jemtland (around Storsjön), and in the provinces of Skaraborg, Elfsborg, Örebro, Östergötland, and Christianstad. The whole of the island of Öland consists of these strata. The strata are in most places very little disturbed, and form horizontal or slightly inclined layers. They are, south of Lake Vener, capped by thick beds of eruptive diabase (called trapp). North of Lake Siljan (province of Kopparberg) occur Lower Silurian but not Cambrian strata, which have been very much dislocated. The Upper Silurian has in Sweden almost the same character as the Wenlock and Ludlow formation of England. The island of Gotland consists entirely of this formation, which occurs also in some parts of the province of Christianstad. In the western part of the province of Kopparberg are extensive deposits of sandstone, separated by beds of diabase, and seemingly of the same age,—the Middle Silurian,—but no fossils have been found in them. In the vicinity of this sandstone region are large beds and massiffs of porphyries. There are still two sets of stratified, not fossiliferous, deposits, viz., in the province of Elfsborg (formation of Dalsland) and around Lake Vetter (formation of Visingsö). The Dalsland formation, which attains the thickness of 6000 to 7000 feet, consists of conglomerates, chlorite schists, quartzites, and mica schists. The Visingsö formation, 800 to 1000 feet in thickness, consists of sandstones, clay-slate, &c. In the western and northern alpine part of Sweden, near the boundaries of Norway, the Silurian strata are covered by crystalline rocks, mica schists, quartzites, &c., of an enormous thickness. These rocks form the mass of the high mountain of Åreskutan, &c.
The Triassic formation (Rhætic division) occurs in the northern
part of the province of Malmöhus. This formation consists partly of sandstones with impressions of plants (cycads, ferns, &c.), and partly of clay-beds with coal.
The Cretaceous formation occurs in the provinces of Malmöhus and Christianstad. Also some spots of this formation are found in the province of Blekinge. The Cretaceous beds of Sweden belong to the most recent division of the Cretaceous formation (chalk and danien). In many parts it has all the characteristics of a coast-deposit.
The most recent deposits of Sweden date from the Glacial and Post-Glacial periods. At the beginning of the Glacial period the height of Scandinavia above the level of the sea was greater than at present, Sweden being then connected with Denmark and Germany and also across the middle of the Baltic with Russia. On the west the North Sea and Cattegat were also dry land. On the elevated parts of this large continent glaciers were formed, which, proceeding downwards to the lower levels, gave origin to large streams and rivers, the abundant deposits of which formed the diluvial sand and the diluvial clay. In most parts of Sweden these deposits were swept away when the ice advanced, but in Skåne they often form still, as in northern Germany, very thick beds. At its maximum the inland ice not only covered Scandinavia but also passed over the present boundaries of Russia and Germany. When the climate became less severe the ice slowly receded, leaving its moraines, called in Sweden krosstenslera and krosstensgrus. Swedish geologists distinguish between bottengrus (bottom-gravel, bottom moraine) and ordinary krossgrus (terminal and side moraine). The former generally consists of a hard and compact mass of rounded, scratched, and sometimes polished stones firmly imbedded in a powder of crushed rock. The latter is less compact and contains angular boulders, often of a considerable size, but no powder. Of later origin than the krosstensgrus is the rullstensgrus (gravel of rolled stones), which often forms narrow ranges of hills, many miles in length, called åsar, running generally, independent of the relief of the country, in a north-and-south direction or towards the south-east. They are of the same nature as the kames and eskers in Ireland and Scotland, and consist of rolled pebbles and sand. It is very probable that these åsar were formed on the bottoms of rivers which cut their way in the inland ice. During the disappearance of the great inland ice large masses of mud and sand were carried by the rivers and deposited in the sea. These deposits, known as glacial sand and glacial clay, cover most parts of Sweden south of the provinces of Kopparberg and Vermland, the more elevated portions of the provinces of Elfsborg and Kronoberg excepted. In the glacial clay shells of Yoldia arctica have been met with in many places (e.g., near Stockholm). At this epoch the North Sea and the Baltic were connected along the line of Vener, Vetter, Hjelmar, and Mälar. On the other side the White Sea was connected by Lakes Onega and Ladoga with the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic. In the depths of the Baltic and of Lakes Vener and Vetter there actually exist animals which belong to the arctic fauna and are remnants of the ancient ice-sea. The glacial clay consists generally of their darker and lighter coloured layers, which give it a striped appearance, for which reason it has often been called hvarfvig lera (striped clay). The glacial clay of the Silurian regions is generally rich in lime and is thus a marl of great fertility. The deposits of glacial sand and clay are found in the southern part of Sweden at a height ranging from 70 to 150 feet above the level of the sea, but in the interior of the country at a height of 400 feet above the sea.
On the coasts of the ancient ice-sea, in which the glacial clay was deposited, there were heaped up masses of shells which belong to species still extant around Spitzbergen and Greenland. Most renowned among these shell-deposits are the Kapellbackarne near Uddevalla. With the melting of the great ice-sheet the climate became milder, and the southern part of Sweden was covered with shrubs and plants now found only in the northern and alpine parts of the country (Salix polaris, Dryas octopetala, Betula nana, &c. ). The sea fauna also gradually changed, the arctic species migrating northward and being succeeded by the species existing on the coasts of Sweden. The Post-Glacial period now began. Sands (mosand) and clays (åkerlera and fucuslera) continued to be deposited on the lower parts of the country. They are generally of insignificant thickness. In the shallow lakes and enclosed bays of the sea there began to be formed and still is in course of formation a deposit known by the name gyttja, characterized by the diatomaceous shells it contains. Sometimes the gyttja consists mainly of diatoms, and is then called bergmjöl. The gyttja of the lakes is generally covered over by peat of a later date. In many of the lakes of Sweden there is still in progress the formation of an iron-ore, called sjömalm, ferric hydroxide, deposited in forms resembling peas, coins, &c., and used for the manufacture of iron. (P. T. C.)
Flora.—Of the whole area of Sweden about 132,000 square miles are covered with wild vegetation. This may be broadly divided into five different sorts, viz., the forest, bush, marsh, heath, and prairie vegetations, of which the first-mentioned covers by far the largest area, or upwards of 40 per cent. of the whole surface of Sweden. In the northern part of the country the fir (Pinus sylvestris) and the pine (Pinus Abies) are the predominating trees; south of Dal Elf the oak (Quercus pedunculata), and in the southern and south-western provinces the beech (Fagus sylvatica), are, together with the fir and pine, the forest-forming trees. Besides these, there are two species of birch (Betula verrucosa and B. odorata), which form considerable forests. The bush vegetation derives its character from various species of Salix, Rubus, and Rosa, from Primus spinosa and several other species. The marsh vegetation is composed of some low bushes, of Cyperaceæ, Gramineæ, and a small number of dicotyledonous and large-flowered monocotyledonous plants. The heath vegetation consists principally of social Ericaceæ, especially heather (Calluna vulgaris), and the prairie vegetation of a considerable variety of plants.
The Swedish phanerogamic flora is angiospermous, with about thrice as many dicotyledonous as monocotyledonous plants. The gymnosperms are only about 0.25 per cent. of the species of the flora. Its largest families are (in the order of number of species)—Compositæ, Gramineæ, Cyperaceæ, Cruciferæ, Papilionaceæ, Rosaceæ, Personatæ, Ranunculaceæ, Umbelliferæ, Alsinaceæ, Labiatæ, and Orchideæ, the first-named being represented by 160, the last-named by 38 species. The number of families represented amounts to 99. The largest genus of the flora is Carex, with 88 species. More than 250 genera are represented by only one species each. The whole number of phanerogamic species now known in Sweden is 1475. Of these only a very small number can be supposed to have originated in the country; the greatest number have immigrated from the south or east after the Glacial period, or have been introduced in one way or another by man. Among the immigrated species about 400 are more or less generally spread over the polar countries of the present period, or are to be found in southern countries as alpine plants. The great mass of these Glacial plants, the earliest inhabitants of the country, are confined to the northern part of Sweden; a smaller number are also to be found, or are only to be found, in the south and in particular localities; a larger number—about 70 species—are abundantly distributed over the whole country.
The Glacial plants were followed and superseded partly by subarctic or subglacial species. Of these the Swedish flora has about 300, of which 50 are abundantly spread over the country, and 80 are pretty generally and abundantly distributed. The principal mass of the remaining species of the flora have immigrated in the same period as the oak, and have spread over the country south of Dal Elf, or also to the provinces immediately to the north of this river; some are outlying steppe-plants; some have entered with the beech, the last immigrated forest-tree of Sweden; and a small number of species, now limited to the west of the country, have possibly entered during a period before that of the beech, when the climate was warmer and moister than at present. (F. K.)
Fauna.—After the close of the Glacial period a twofold immigration of animals occurred,—from the south-west through Denmark, and from the north-east through Finland. Of the existing fauna, many species are widely spread. Especially in the north we find boreal circumpolar forms (wild reindeer, glutton, arctic fox, ptarmigan, several birds of prey, Grallæ, and aquatic birds). Others, such as the bear, the wolf, the fox, the magpie, &c., are to be found only in the Old World, but are represented in America by forms resembling them so much as to be regarded by many as only local varieties. Many of the commonest species, e.g., the squirrel, the woodpeckers, the crow, most of the singing-birds, &c., though wanting in the New World, are distributed over Europe and parts of northern Asia.
Besides these we find also specially eastern, southern, and western forms, which have immigrated from widely separated regions. Thus, the northern hare, Lepus timidus, properly an inhabitant of Russia and Siberia, but also to be found in the mountainous tracts of central Europe, is common in most parts of Sweden, while the European hare, Lepus europæus, which is spread over central and western Europe, and is also to be found in Denmark, is wanting. Most of the field-mice, and many birds which have an exclusively eastern range, have immigrated from Siberia. Among mammals, which nearly all belong to Europe, may be mentioned the roe-deer and the red-deer, the dormouse and the hedgehog; the last-named is common in central and southern Sweden. The elk is considered to have immigrated from the south.
Not very long ago the bear, lynx, and wolf were common in all the forests of northern and central Sweden, but their number has rapidly decreased during the last fifty years. The bear is now confined to the wildest mountain and forest regions of Norrland and Kopparberg län. The wolf was formerly common throughout the country, and between 500 and 600 were killed annually fifty
years ago. Now the number is only 30 to 40, and it is to be found almost exclusively in the mountain regions of Norrland. The lynx is also being exterminated; it is still found in the greater part of northern and central Sweden, at least as far south as Lake Vener. On the other hand, foxes have of late increased, at least in certain parts of the country, and are common everywhere. The glutton also is by no means rare in the mountain regions of Lapland. The destruction of cattle caused by beasts of prey, especially in the north, is not inconsiderable, the loss being estimated at about 2500 reindeer and from 9000 to 10,000 sheep and goats annually.
Not without influence on the number of the smaller beasts of prey are the singular migrations of the mountain Lemming (q.v.), which has its home on the higher mountains above the tree-limit, whence in certain years it migrates in countless numbers to the lower forest regions and lowlands, doing great damage to the vegetation wherever it goes. After the last migration in 1883 the number of the foxes was found to have increased in the regions through which the lemmings had passed.
Of eatable game the elk holds the first place. It has increased in numbers and range of late years, and is pretty common in the forest tracts of central Sweden. The roe-deer, which has its proper home in the southmost parts of Sweden, has also increased of late, and has been seen as far north as Örebro län and Vestmanland. Hares occur in great abundance. Seals are found round the coast; they are hunted chiefly in the Baltic and the Gulf of Bothnia. Besides the larger beasts of prey, martens, weasels, otters, and squirrels are hunted for the sake of their skins, but not to any great extent. The beaver is now probably extinct. Some of the mammals (the bat, hedgehog, dormouse, badger, bear) hibernate; most of the other animals are in winter covered with a thicker coat of hair, and some change their colour to white or grey.
The wood-grouse is the most valued winged game. Its favourite haunt is the great lone forests. Although it has been obliged to retreat before advancing cultivation, it is still pretty common in suitable places. More numerous and almost as much liked is the black grouse, which has somewhat the same distribution as the wood-grouse, but is less particular in the choice of its abode. In the forests of central and especially of northern Sweden the hazel-grouse is numerous in many places, and on the mountains above the tree-limit the ptarmigan is common everywhere. In the birch and willow regions we find the willow-ptarmigan, which above the snow-line is superseded by the common ptarmigan. In winter a great deal of game is exported from Norrland to the southern provinces. The partridge, probably introduced about 1500, with difficulty endures the rude climate of Sweden, and great numbers often perish in winter for want of food. Still it is distributed all over southern and central Sweden as far north as Jemtland, and of late its numbers have increased. The number of woodcock and snipe is, like that of Grallæ in general, decreasing. Numerous sea-fowl are found on all the coasts. Some are killed and eaten, but as a rule they are not much relished. Their eggs are collected for food by the inhabitants of the seaboard. The eider-duck is common on both coasts. Among the birds of prey the hawk is the most destructive and the most hunted. The gyrfalcon and the golden eagle are found in Norrland and Lapland, and the sea-eagle throughout the country, especially on the coasts. Some kinds of falcons and owls are very common, the latter especially in northern Sweden. In the interior the most characteristic birds are swallows, sparrows, the birds of the crow family, and the singing-birds, among which the lark, the chaffinch, the thrushes, and the many species of Sylvia are most noticeable. The northern nightingale is rare in southern Sweden. The cuckoo is heard everywhere, especially in the forest regions. The mute swan is found in great numbers in a few places in southern and central Sweden. The whooper swan frequents the marshes and lakes of Lapland. The white stork is found in Skåne and Halland, and herons are found in great numbers here and there in Skåne and Blekinge. Cranes are distributed all over the country. Characteristic of the wild forest tracts of Lapland is the Siberian jay. Upwards of 250 species of birds may be considered as belonging to the Swedish fauna, most of them birds of passage, scarcely 40 remaining over winter in their summer resorts. In spring and autumn Sweden is visited by great flocks of the birds of passage of the extreme north, especially geese and snipe.
The reptiles and amphibians are few (3 snakes, 3 lizards, 11 batrachians).
The Swedish rivers and lakes are generally well stocked with fish. The objects of capture are chiefly salmon, eel, pike, different species of perch, burbot, and several species of the Salmonidse and Cyprinidse. The annual income from the fisheries in the lakes and rivers amounts to upwards of £135,800, of which the salmon fisheries alone yield £42,000. Of still greater importance, of course, are the sea-fisheries. In the end of last century the herring fishery in the “skärgård” of the west coast was the most important in Europe, and it is estimated that in one year 1500 millions of herrings were taken. Somewhat later, however, the great shoals disappeared for a long time. In 1877 a new era began in the history of the west-coast fisheries, the take that year being 1,230,000 cubic feet. Since then the herring has returned every year in greater or smaller numbers. There are also captured on the same coast flat-fishes and cod-fish, mackerel, and sprats. The annual produce of the sea-fishery of the south and west coasts is valued at about 111,000. A smaller variety of the herring is found in great abundance on the east coast. In the Sound it is still 11 inches in length, in the Baltic only 6 or 8 inches. This variety is called “strömming,” and is the object of an important fishery, annually bringing in more than £175,000. About 140 kinds of fishes are constantly found in Sweden or along its coasts. Of these nearly 100 belong exclusively to the sea, and upwards of 10 are to be found both in salt and fresh water. The remainder are properly freshwater fishes, but many are found in the brackish water of the Baltic coasts. Here we find perch, pike, &c., by the side of purely saltwater fishes, as the “strömming,” the flat-fish, &c.
The species of Scandinavian insects number at least 15,000. Notorious among these are the Lapland gnats. The “skärgård” of the west coast has a rich fauna of lower marine animals, partly forms of boreal and arctic descent, partly immigrants from the south. The Royal Academy of Science has here a zoological station, Kristineberg, for the purpose of scientifically examining the marine fauna.
Compared with the fauna of the west coast, that of the Baltic is extremely poor. It consists partly of European boreal forms, which have immigrated from the west, partly of freshwater forms, which have been able to live in the brackish water. But other types also occur, which, though sparingly represented, are of the greatest interest to the naturalist,—namely, certain dwarfed forms,—two or three species of fishes, some crustaceans and other lower marine animals, belonging to a purely arctic fauna, which have immigrated when the Baltic during a part of the Glacial period communicated with the White Sea. They are wanting on the south and west coasts of Sweden, but are found in the Arctic Ocean. Some of them, the four-horned cottus and some crustaceans, are found in Lake Vetter and some other lakes of central Sweden, whither they had come when these lakes formed part of the arctic sea; they have since been shut in and have survived both the climate and the altered composition of the water. The arctic “vikare” seal (Phoca foœtida), which is common in the north part of the Baltic but is not found on the west coast, and which is also found in Lake Ladoga, Lake Onega, and some lakes of Finland, is also considered as a survival of the fauna of the Glacial period. On the west coast lobster and oyster fisheries are carried on, the former being very productive. The common mussel is abundant, but in Sweden is only used as bait for fish. The crayfish is common in many places in central and southern Sweden. Pearls are sometimes found in the freshwater mussel Margaritana margaritifera, which is met with all over the country. (A. WI.)
Extent and Population.—Sweden takes rank among the larger countries of Europe. It contains 170,712.60 English square miles, of which area 3,517.29 square miles are occupied by the large lakes Vener, Vetter, Mälar, and Hjelmar, leaving 167,195.31 square miles, distributed among the counties as shown in the following table, which gives the areas and the estimated population in 1885 of the different administrative divisions (the capital Stockholm and the twenty-four “län” or counties) into which the kingdom is divided:—
The population has long been steadily increasing. In 1750 it amounted to 1,763,368, in 1800 to 2,347,303, and in 1850 to 3,482,541. The census of December 31, 1880, returned the number as 4,565,668 (2,215,243 males, 2,350,425 females), and at the end of 1885 the population was estimated at 4,682,769 (2,273,861 males, 2,408,908 females).
It will be seen that Sweden is sparsely peopled (the average for the whole country being only 28 inhabitants to the square mile), and that the population is very unevenly distributed,—Malmöhus län, which lies farthest south, counting 193 persons to the square mile, whereas Norrbotten, farthest to the north, and by far the largest county, has only 2.4.
The urban population as late as 1884 amounted to only 777,857 (the rural amounting to 3,866,591). The towns are in general small. Except Stockholm (215,688 inhabitants in 1885), only five towns—Gothenburg (91,033), Malmö (44,532), Norrköping (28,503), Gene (20,753), and Upsala (20,202)—had in 1885 more than 20,000 inhabitants.
The average number of marriages per 1000 inhabitants was for each of the years 1751-60 9.09; this proportion has gradually diminished since, having been 7.60 in 1851-60 and 6.81 in 1871-80. The yearly average of living children born from 1871-80 was 133,730, and the yearly average of deaths 80,140. The yearly average of deaths to 100 inhabitants for 1751-1815 was 2.71; this number has since been almost constantly decreasing, the average for 1851-60 being 2.17, and for 1871-80 1.82. Immigration and emigration till comparatively recent times had little influence on the numbers of population, but the latter years of the decennial period 1860-70 caused a change in this respect. The number of emigrants, which as late as 1867 amounted to little more than 9000, increased during 1868 to 27,000 and during 1869 to 39,000. During the years that followed there was a considerable decrease, but towards 1880 the number of emigrants again rapidly increased, and in 1882 this amounted to upwards of 50,000. The figure for 1884 was 23,560. Immigration, on the contrary, continues to be insignificant. The annual average of immigrants for 1875-84 was 3333.
The inhabitants of Sweden belong almost exclusively to the Scandinavian race. The principal exceptions are the Finns (in 1880 about 17,000), who chiefly inhabit the north-eastern part of the county of Norrbotten, the Lapps (in 1880 about 6400), spread over an area of about 44,000 square miles in Lapland and Jemtland, and the Jews (in 1880 about 3000).
Agriculture.—Agriculture is the principal industry in Sweden. The number of persons gaining their livelihood by this occupation and those immediately depending on it was 2,342,000 in 1880, and the value of the harvest in 1884 was estimated at about £25,500,000 sterling, of which the grain-harvest made £14,800,000. From 1840 to 1880 the export of grain (including meal, &c.) exceeded the import; but this has not been the case since 1881, while, on the other hand, the export of dairy produce has meanwhile increased.
Mines.—Sweden is rich in minerals, especially iron-ores, and the Swedish iron is celebrated for its good quality. In 1884 526 iron-mines were worked, the joint produce of which amounted to 922,310 tons. The manufacture of cast-iron amounted to 416,958 tons, that of bar-iron to 267,534 tons, of steel to 66,329 tons, and of hardware to 43,226 tons. The copper during the same year amounted to 650 tons, and the silver to rather more than 4000 ℔. Pit-coal has been found only in Malmöhus län, and even there in small quantity compared to the consumption of the country. The produce of the coal-mines was in 1884 not more than 7,277,000 cubic feet, whereas the import of coal amounted to 52,650,000 cubic feet.
Forests.—A great part of Sweden is, as was above mentioned, covered with forests. Most of these are the property of private persons or joint-stock companies, but the Government also possesses large forests, the value of which was in 1884 estimated at about £2,400,000. The forest produce ranks among the principal articles of export from Sweden.
Manufactures.—It was not till 1854 that Sweden completely broke with the pre-existing protectionist system and adopted the principles of free trade. Since 1860 there has been no prohibition, and import duty is in general low. The value of the manufactures, which as late as 1850 was estimated at only £2,000,000, was for 1883 computed at more than £10,600,000.
Commerce.—The united value of the exports and imports of Sweden was estimated for 1850 at little more than £4,000,000, whereas in 1884 it was something over £31,000,000 (imports about £18,000,000, exports about £13,000,000). The principal articles of export were—timber and wooden wares, £5,747,000; metals and hardware goods, £2,667,000; grain (including meal, &c.), £1,307,000; animal food, £1,081,000; live animals, £652,000; paper and stationery, £584,000. The principal articles of import during the same year were—cotton and woollen manufactured goods, £3,012,000; colonial products (coffee, sugar, &c.), £2,309,000; grain and meal, £2,258,000; minerals (principally coal), £1,479,000; metals and hardware goods, £1,308,000; cotton, wool, &c. £1,125,000; animal food, £1,036,000; ships, carriages, machines, instruments, &c., £807,000; hair, hides, bones, horns, and other animal substances, £784,000; tallow, oils, tar, gums, and similar substances, £782,000. The aggregate burden of vessels entering from and clearing to foreign ports was 858,827 tons in 1850, 5,388,085 tons in 1884. The estimated value of the exports to the United Kingdom during 1884 was £6,229,000, to Denmark £1,848,000, to France £1,073,000, to Germany £1,008,000, and to Norway £604,000; while the imports from Great Britain and Ireland reached £4,952,000, from Germany £4,947,000, from Denmark £2,932,000, from Russia and Finland £1,881,000, and from Norway £1,225,000.
Railways, Posts, and Telegraphs.—The length of the railways in Sweden is very great in proportion to the population. In 1884 the total length was 4194 miles, of which 1437 miles belonged tothe Government and 2657 to 76 private companies. The postal system is remarkably well organized. In 1884 the number of post offices was 1965, through which 46,533,627 inland letters, post-cards, post-office orders, newspaper and book packets, &c., were forwarded, and 5,507,770 to and 6,511,248 from foreign countries. The telegraph system is also in a very flourishing condition. The total length of the telegraph wires in 1884 was 12,969 miles, and the number of messages forwarded was 1,178,959.
Education.—With regard to education Sweden occupies a very prominent place. Primary education is compulsory for all the children of the country, and this principle is so strictly applied that in 1884 out of 733,329 children of school-age only 15,143 were not under tuition. To supply this primary instruction there are 9925 national schools of different kinds, with 5216 male teachers and 6832 female teachers (1884). For higher educational purposes there are 96 public schools (1885), of three grades, with 14,617 pupils, and two universities (Upsala with 1821 and Lund with 827 students). In Stockholm there is, besides, a medical faculty, the Royal Caroline Medico-Chirurgical Institution. A free university is in course of formation, for which large sums have been given by private persons. There are a large number of Government schools for the military and naval services, for the technical sciences, for metallurgy, agriculture, nautical science, and for the blind and the deaf and dumb. All instruction at the national schools, the public schools, and the universities is free.
Religion.—Christianity was introduced into Sweden about the ninth century, and was generally professed by the twelfth. The country adopted the doctrines of the Reformation during the reign of Gustavus Vasa. The national church, established by the resolution passed at Upsala in 1593 (Upsala möte), is Lutheran. The country is divided into 12 bishoprics (stift). The bishop of Upsala is archbishop of Sweden. In 1880 the number of dissenters was 21,234, of whom 14,627 were Baptists, 2993 Jews, 1591 Methodists, and 810 Roman Catholics.
Army and Navy.—The land defences consist partly of a standing army, partly of a militia. The former is for the most part founded on the so-called “indelningsverk,” an institution dating from the time of Sweden's greatness, which makes the soldier a settled farmer. This force comprises about 40,000 men. The militia comprises (since 1885) all males between twenty-one and thirty-two years of age. The time of drill for the militia is only forty-two days, extending over two years.
The navy, with a permanent personnel (also for the most part founded on the “indelningsverk”) of rather more than 7000 men, consists principally of coasting vessels, both ironclad and unarmoured.
Constitution.—Sweden is a limited monarchy. Its constitution, like that of England, rests on an historical development of several centuries. From the earliest times the people governed themselves through elected trustees, made laws and levied taxes, while the king was little more than their leader in war. By and by the power of the king was extended, and alongside of it there arose a class of great men, who certainly lessened the legal rights of the lower orders, but who never succeeded in completely subduing them. Through Engelbrecht the burghers and yeomen regained their influence on the development of the state, and their deputies were summoned to the riksdag (1435). Gustavus Vasa and his son Charles IX. stripped the nobility of the high authority they had exercised during the latter part of the mediæval period, and which had been dangerous both to the power of the king and to the people, and so saved the work of Engelbrecht. The right of the lower classes to be members of the riksdag was confirmed by the first “Riksdagsordning” (“law for regulating the riksdag or parliament”) of Sweden (1617), which for the first time legally regulated the system of four houses formerly adopted. In the 16th century the nobility, having been endowed with extensive domains by the crown, again won an ascendency that was very dangerous to the lower classes, but it was crushed when Charles XI., by the diminution of their property (1680), for ever put an end to the supremacy of the nobility and the council in the state. By this act the power of the king was greatly strengthened, so much so as to endanger even the most essential rights of the riksdag,—those of giving laws and levying taxes. But after the death of Charles XII. the despotic system was abolished, and all power was lodged in the hands of the riksdag by the constitutions of 1719 and 1720. During the following period, which is called “the time of liberty,” it was the riksdag that had the function of appointing and dismissing the councillors of state, and by this means was able to dominate the administration so completely as to make the power of the king of little more significance than an empty word. Different political parties defeated each other, and sold their services to foreign states without any regard to the interests of their own country. This state of affairs, which might eventually have proved exceedingly disastrous, was altered by a revolution effected by Gustavus III. (1772), which restored to the king his former power. In the new constitution, however, neither the authority of the king nor that of the people was clearly limited, and this soon led to collisions by which the king succeeded in considerably increasing his ascendency (1789), though he cannot be said to have gained despotic power. Gustavus IV., however, abused his great authority, so that he was dethroned by a revolution. New constitutional laws were now made, in which, guided by the experience of former times, an effort was made clearly to define the respective powers of the king and the representatives of the people, to prevent encroachment from either side. The effort was crowned with success, and the new constitution of June 6, 1809, is still in great measure in force. The old division, however, into four houses has been abolished, and the influence of the representatives of the people has been increased by the new Riksdagsordning of 1866. The other constitutional laws are the “Successionsordning” (“law of succession”) of 1810 and the “Tryckfrihetsordning” (“law regulating the liberty of the press”) of 1812.
The executive power is vested in the king alone. The legislative power he shares with the riksdag, both parties having the rights of initiative and veto. The king has, besides, a legislative power, not precisely defined, in certain economic matters. The right of levying taxes belongs to the riksdag alone; but the king may in certain cases (as, for example, through his right of lowering the custom duties) exercise a certain influence. He can declare war and make peace, and has the supreme command of the army.
The king is irresponsible, but all his resolutions must be taken in the presence of responsible councillors (“statsråd”). These, who form the council of state, are ten in number, of whom seven are also the heads of departments of the administration (justice, foreign affairs, army, navy, internal affairs, finance, and ecclesiastical affairs, including both church and schools). For the advice they give the councillors of state are responsible to the riksdag, which revises the record of their proceedings through an annually appointed board, which has power also to indict the councillors before a special tribunal, the “riksratt,” formed for the occasion, of which certain high functionaries have to be members. One of the councillors of state is, as prime minister, the head of the administration.
The riksdag meets every year on January 15, and consists of two houses. The members of the first house, one for every 30,000 inhabitants (143 in 1887), are elected by the “landsting” in the counties, or by the municipal councils of the larger towns, for a period of nine years. They receive no payment. Any Swede is eligible who is at least thirty-five years of age, who possesses, and for three years before the election has possessed, real property to the value of 80,000 crowns, or who, during the same period, has paid taxes on an annual income of 4000 crowns. The members of the second house (one or two for every district of judicature in the country, according as the population exceeds or falls short of 40,000, and one for every 10,000 inhabitants in the towns) receive a salary of 1200 crowns, and are elected for a period of three years by electors, or directly, according to the resolution of the electoral district. If a member retires during that period, his successor is elected for the remainder of the three years, and thus the house is wholly renewed at regular intervals, which is not the case with the first house. The franchise is possessed by every one who owns landed property to the value of 1000 crowns, or who has farmed for at least five years lands worth 6000 crowns, or pays taxes on an annual income of 800 crowns. All electors are eligible. The number of electors is about 6.5 per cent. of the population. The towns elect their representatives separately. Both houses have in theory equal power. Before bills are discussed they are prepared by boards, whose members are elected by half of eaeh house. When the houses differ on budget questions, the matter is settled by a common vote of both houses, which arrangement gives the second house a certain advantage from the greater number of its members. By revisers elected annually the riksdag controls the finances of the kingdom, and by an official (“justitieombudsman”) elected in the same way the administration of justice is controlled; he can indict any functionary of the state who has abused his power. The bank of the kingdom is superintended by trustees elected by the riksdag, and in the same way the public debt is administered through an office (“Riksgäldskontoret”), the leader of which is appointed by the riksdag.
Administration, Law, and Justice.—The administration consists partly of a centralized civil service, arranged under different departments, partly of local authorities. Each of the twenty-four counties has a governor (“landshöfding”) who presides over the local offices (the “landskansli,” the “landskontor”), and is assisted by subordinate local officers (“kronofogdar,” “häradsskrifvare,” “länsmän”). There is, moreover, in each county a representation (the “landsting”), elected by the people, that deliberates on the affairs of the county and has a right to levy taxes. Each county is divided into parishes, which, like the towns, have a very strong communal self-government. The law of Sweden dates from 1736, but it has of course undergone a great many alterations and additions, the most important being the new penal law of 1864. Justice is administered by tribunals of three instances:—(1) the “häradsrätter” in the country, consisting of a judge and seven to twelve assessors elected by the people, who, if they are unanimously of an opinion different from that of the judge, can outvote him, and the “rådhusrätter” (boards of magistrates) in the towns; (2) three “hofrätter” (higher courts) in Stockholm, Jönköping, and Christianstad; and (3) the royal supreme court, which passes sentence in the name of the king, and two members of which are present in the council of state when law questions are to be settled; this tribunal has, moreover, to give its opinion upon all proposed changes of the law. A jury is never summoned in Sweden except in cases affecting the liberty of the press.
Union with Norway.—Sweden has been united to Norway since 1814. The union is regulated by the “Riksakt” of 1815, according to which each country is free and independent, though both are governed by the same king. The connexions of both countries with foreign states are regulated by the Swedish minister for foreign affairs, but when the king has to settle matters concerning foreign states which also are of importance to Norway a Norwegian councillor of state has to be present. Both countries have the same ambassadors and consuls abroad, and share the expenses of their support, Sweden bearing the larger part of this outlay. In war the two countries are bound to assist each other. Thus the union is what is called a “unio realis.” (
From the earliest times of which we have any authentic information there were in Sweden two more or less distinct peoples,—the Göta or Goths in the south, and the Svea or Swedes in the north. They spoke similar languages, were of the same Teutonic stock, and had like customs, institutions, and religious beliefs; but these facts did not prevent them from regarding one another with jealousy and dislike. The most powerful king among these peoples was the king at Upsala. There were other chiefs or kings, called in later times smaa-kongar, but they recognized the superiority of the Upsala king, whose peculiar position was due to the fact that there was at Upsala a great temple of Wodan, which was held in equal reverence by the Swedes and the Goths. Upsala was in the territory of the Swedes, and we can account for the feeling of the Goths with regard to it only by supposing that they were an offshoot from the Swedes, and that the worship of Wodan was in some special way associated with Upsala before the separation took place. Of the two peoples, the Goths seem to have been most active and open to new ideas. They spread along the southern coasts of Sweden and among the islands of the Baltic, and there can be little doubt that the Goths in Germany and Russia, who played so great a part in the disruption of the Roman empire, sprang from the Swedish Goths.
Slavery was not unknown in ancient Sweden, but it did not form an important element in social life. The vast majority of the people were free. They were divided into two classes, jarls and bondar, corresponding to the Anglo-Saxon eorls and ceorls. The bondar were the landed freemen, while the jarls were of noble blood. In some remote age the land may have been held in common by village communities, but in historic times there has always been in Sweden private property in land as well as in movables,—the jarls having wider lands than the bondar, and some bondar being better off than other members of their class. The kings were treated with much respect, for they belonged to families which were believed to be descended from the gods; but their power was far from being absolute. When a king died, his authority did not necessarily pass to one of his sons; the freemen chose as his successor the member of the royal family who seemed to them best fitted for the duties of the office. The king's power was limited not only by the fact that he was elected but by the rights of the freemen in all matters concerning life and land. At regular times moots were held for legal, legislative, and political purposes; and without the sanction of the Great Thing, as the tribal assembly was called, no law was valid and no judgment good.
Besides the Great Thing, of which all freemen were members, there were local things, each attended by the freemen of the district to which it belonged. The chief function of these local assemblies was to settle disputes between freemen, their decisions being given in accordance with rules based on ancient customs. Very often their judgments could not be enforced; and here, as in other Teutonic lands, the impotence of the local popular courts was one of the causes which led to the growth of the king's authority. He was bound to go round his land in regular progress, doing and enforcing justice among his subjects; and in course of time men felt more and more strongly that the best way of obtaining redress for serious grievances was to appeal directly to him.
As far back as we can go in Swedish history we find that the principal aim of the Upsala kings was to get rid of the smaa-kongar, and to put royal officers in their place. These officers ruled in the king's name in association with the local things, but their tendency, especially in times of great civil commotion, was to make themselves as independent as possible. The king himself was always attended by some of the leading magnates, who formed a sort of council of state, and with their aid he prepared the plans which were afterwards submitted to the Great Thing. Although the Great Thing never ceased to be in theory an assembly of the nation, it gradually lost its primitive character, the political rights of the common freemen being usurped by the nobles, who sought also to hamper the exercise of the royal authority.
According to the Ynglinga Saga, in which bits of old Swedish legends are preserved, the first Upsala kings were Ynglingar, sprung from Yngve Frey, the grandson of Wodan. We are told that the last representative of this dynasty was Ingjald Illrede, that he slew six of the smaa-kongar, and that he afterwards killed himself when he heard that the son of one of the murdered chiefs was advancing against him. It is said that the Ynglingar were succeeded by the Skioldungar, who claimed to be descended from Skiold, Wodan's son; and the traditional account is that this line began with Ivar Widfadme, and that he not only became king at Upsala but conquered Denmark, a part of Saxony, and the fifth part of England. Another of the Skioldungar, Eric Edmundsson, is said to have been an even greater king than the founder of the dynasty. During this legendary period, kings in Sweden were often at war with kings in Norway and Denmark, and Swedish adventurers undertook many war-like enterprises against the Finns and the Wends. While Danes and Norwegians were founding states in the British Islands and France, the Swedes were accomplishing like results on the eastern shores of the Baltic.
At this early period Sweden did not take in all the territory which now belongs to it. Scania, one of the most fruitful and prosperous districts of modern Sweden, had been from time immemorial an independent and comparatively powerful Gothic state. In the 9th century it was annexed to Denmark by King Guthrun; and, although in later times it was often a subject of bitter dispute between Denmark and Sweden, its connexion with the former country was not finally severed until the 17th century. Lund, the principal town in Scania, was for many generations the see of the primate of the Danish church.
The scattered notices of Adam of Bremen, Saxo, and certain saints' lives, with a few allusions elsewhere, are our direct written sources for this early period. They may be eked out by study of the laws and of local nomenclature. Later the rich runic remains of Sweden give us some fuller help. After the end of the 10th century the evidence gradually becomes clearer and more trustworthy. There was then at Upsala a powerful king called Eric the Victory-Blest. He defeated a band of vikings in a great battle at Fyrisval, and, according to Adam of Bremen, had for some time complete control over Denmark. He was succeeded in 993 by his son Olaf (993-1024), who was called the Lap-King because he was a child when his reign began. Olaf was baptized about the year 1000, and was the first Christian king of the Swedes. In the 9th century St Ansgar had laboured for some time as a missionary in Sweden, but without much success. Even Olaf, who was supported in his efforts by Siegfred, the devoted English missionary from whom he had received instruction in Christian doctrine, found that it was impossible to convert the majority of his subjects. He was allowed to build churches in West Gothland, but in the rest of his dominions the people clung obstinately to paganism. During his reign there was war between Sweden and Norway, and Olaf seems to have been in favour of carrying on the struggle with vigour. His people, however, desired peace, and it is related that at the Great Thing at Upsala they threatened to take his life if he did not give Olaf, the Norwegian king, his daughter in marriage. He consented to do as they wished, but broke his promise; and he would probably have been set aside had it not been for the mutual jealousy of the Swedes and the Goths.
The Lap-King was succeeded, one after the other, by his sons Anund and Edmund the Elder; and under their rule the church lost much of the ground which it had gained through the efforts of Olaf. After Edmund the Elder's death the Goths resolved that Stenkil, the Christian jarl of West Gothland, should be made king. This decision was resisted by the Swedes, but the result of the civil war which broke out was that Stenkil was able to maintain his claim. He reigned from 1056 to 1066, and effectually protected the church without attempting to do violence to the convictions of the pagan population. His reign was followed by a period of much confusion, during which the Goths and the Swedes treated each other as enemies,—the latter upholding paganism, the former contending for Christianity. Under Inge the Elder, who reigned from 1080 to 1112, the temple at Upsala was burned, and from this time there could be no doubt as to the ultimate triumph of the church, which was served with heroic courage by many zealous foreign missionaries. So much progress was made that Swerker Karlsson, who reigned from about 1135 to 1155, begged the pope to give the Swedish people bishops and a primate. Nicholas Breakspear, the English cardinal who was afterwards raised to the papacy as Adrian IV., was sent to make the necessary arrangements. He found that the Swedes and the Goths could not agree as to a place for the see of a primate; but at a synod which met at Linköping in 1152 it was decided that the Swedish clergy should accept the law of celibacy, and that Sweden should pay a yearly tax to the pope. For a long time many pagan ideas and customs survived, but Sweden was now, at least nominally, a Christian country.
When Swerker was murdered in 1155 the Goths wished to make his son king, but the Swedes chose Eric Edwardsson, and he reigned until 1160. Eric was so good a king that after his death he was canonized by the popular voice, as was then the way in the North. Upsala was made by him a primate's see, and he began the series of efforts which led to the annexation of Finland to Sweden. Finnish pirates had often desolated the Swedish coasts, and it had become absolutely necessary that their country should be subdued. Eric not only overcame the Finns, but did what he could to compel them to accept Christianity.
For about a century after Eric's death the Goths and the Swedes were almost constantly at war with one another, each people choosing its own king. The Goths preferred the descendants of Swerker, while the Swedes were loyal to the descendants of Eric, who were known as the yeomen-kings, because Eric had originally belonged to the class of bondar or yeomen. The Danish kings often aided one or other of the contending parties, and as a rule they seem to have done far more harm than good by their interference. To some extent the church maintained among the people a sense of national unity, but it was not powerful enough to give much protection to the poorer members of the community against the despotism of local magnates. In the end, when the church itself became rich, the higher clergy were quite as tyrannical as the secular nobles.
John Swerkerson, the last king of the Swerker dynasty, died in 1222; Eric the Halt, the last of the yeomen-kings, in 1250. In the latter year the crown was given toWaldemar, whose mother was a sister of King Eric the Halt. Waldemar belonged to the Folkungar family, which had acquired great estates and risen to a position of high importance in the state. Under this dynasty the Goths and the Swedes gradually ceased to be jealous of one another, and became a thoroughly united people. From this time civil troubles in Sweden sprang, not from the antagonism of rival peoples, but chiefly from the increasing power of the great landowners, who strove incessantly to limit the rights of the free peasantry, and were often strong enough to defy the crown.
At the time of the death of Eric the Halt, Birger Brosa, Waldemar's father, was in Finland, where he conquered Tavastland and strengthened the hold of the Swedish crown over those tribes which had been already subdued. On his return to Sweden he was indignant to find that he had not himself been elected to the throne. He accepted what had been done, however, and devoted his energies to the promotion of his son's interests. Until his death Birger was the real ruler of Sweden, and the nation had never been governed by a man of stronger will or more upright character. If he did not actually found Stockholm, it was he who made it the strongest fortress in the country,—a service for which the Swedish people had good reason to be grateful to him, for it enabled them to put an end to the depredations of Finnish pirates. After the death of Birger great evils were brought upon the country by the folly and incompetence of Waldemar, who was at last driven from the throne and imprisoned by his brotherMagnus, who succeeded him. Magnus (1279-1290) was a lover of pomp and splendour, and formed a more brilliant court than the Swedes had ever seen. He granted immunity from taxation to those landowners who should give the crown ross-djenst or horse-service, that is, serve the king in war at the head of a body of horsemen. His intention in adopting this plan was to secure for the crown a powerful body of loyal and attached supporters, but, as the measure added to the wealth, dignity, and influence of the nobles, its ultimate effect was to weaken the royal authority. Although he increased the importance of the aristocracy, Magnus was not unmindful of the interests of the common freemen. He is known as Ladu-laas or Barn-Lock, because he issued a law requiring persons of noble birth to pay for the straw and corn with which, when travelling, they might be supplied by peasants. Magnus was also a munificent benefactor of the clergy. He endowed a large number of churches and built five monasteries.
caused this faithful and able counsellor to be beheaded, and the result was civil war, in which the weak king found it hard to make way against his restless and ambitious brothers. At last he got them into his power by treachery, and threw them into a dungeon of the castle of Nyköping, where they died of starvation. Soon afterwards Birger himself died, despised and hated by his subjects. He was succeeded by his nephew Magnus, his brother Eric's son, a child of about three years of age. Magnus's guardian, Mats Ketilmundsson, was a man of strong and noble character, and as long as his supremacy lasted the Swedish people were more prosperous than they had ever been before. Taking advantage of the troubled condition of Denmark, he joined Scania and the neighbouring districts of Halland and Blekinge to the Swedish kingdom; and had his prudent system of government been maintained these provinces might have been kept, for the inhabitants seem to have preferred Swedish to Danish rule. But, when he died in 1336, the king fell under the influence of unworthy favourites. Scania, Halland, and Blekinge were restored to Denmark, and Sweden was soon in a state of the greatest confusion. In 1363 a number of nobles who had given Magnus much trouble, and whom he had expelled from the country, went to his sister's son Albert, count of Mecklenburg, and offered him the crown. The offer was accepted, and afterwards Albert was formally elected by the Great Thing. Magnus resisted, but was defeated and made prisoner in a battle at Enköping in 1365. In 1371 he was released, and the rest of his days he spent in Norway, where he was not unpopular. From his mother he had inherited the Norwegian crown, but before the misfortunes of his later years it had been transferred to his son Haco.Magnus was succeeded by his son Birger (1290-1319). Birger was only nine years old when his father died, and for a long time the power of the crown was wielded by his guardian, Torkel Knutsson, a wise and vigorous statesman. Knutsson drew up a code of laws which was accepted by the Great Thing in 1295; and in Finland he not only put down rebellion but annexed Savolax and Carelia. In 1306, misled by his brothers Eric and Waldemar, Birger
The nobles and the hierarchy of Sweden were now so powerful that only a king of the highest political genius could have hoped to control them. Albert of Mecklenburg proved to be utterly unfit for the task he had undertaken. He tried to protect himself by giving many of the great offices of state to Germans, but he was warned that he would be dethroned if he continued to show so much favour to foreigners. In 1371 he accepted as his chief counsellor a great Swedish noble called Bo Jonsson, to whom about a third of the kingdom is said to have belonged. Bo Jonsson gave much more heed to his own interests than to those of his country, and did hardly anything to mitigate the hardships inflicted on the common people at this time by the turbulence of the well-off classes. After Bo Jonsson's death Albert attempted to regain some of the authority which he had been forced to delegate to his powerful minister; but the nobles refused to obey him, and invited Margaret of Denmark and Norway to take his place.
Margaret, one of the most remarkable figures in Scandinavian history, was the daughter of Waldemar IV. of Denmark, and at an early age she had become the wife of Haco of Norway, son of the Swedish king whom Albert had supplanted. The offspring of this marriage was an only son, Olaf, who succeeded his grandfather in Denmark in 1375 and his father in Norway in 1380. Both countries were ruled firmly and wisely by Margaret in her son's name; and after his death in 1387 the Danes and the Norwegians begged her to retain supreme power. To this request she assented; and, when the Swedish nobles asked her to undertake the government of Sweden also, she at once expressed her willingness to attack Albert, who had irritated her by claiming the Danish crown. An army was soon despatched to Sweden, and in 1389 Albert was defeated and taken prisoner at Falköping. Stockholm, which was held by German mercenaries, refused to admit the conqueror, and for several years it was besieged without success by Danish troops. At last the difficulty had to be settled by negotiation. In 1395 it was arranged that Albert should be set at liberty on condition that within three years he should pay a ransom of 60,000 marks. If at the end of that period the money was not paid, he was either to give up Stockholm or to return to captivity. The result was that in 1398 Stockholm was surrendered by the Hanseatic League, which had become security for the fulfilment of Albert's engagement.
Meanwhile Margaret had persuaded the Danes, the Norwegians, and the Swedes to accept her grandnephew Eric of Pomerania as her successor, and in 1397 he was crowned at Calmar. Margaret was eager that the union of the Scandinavian countries under a single sovereign should be made permanent, and delegates from the councils of state of the three kingdoms met at Calmar to discuss her proposals. On the 20th of July 1397 these delegates concluded what was called the union of Calmar. Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, while retaining their local laws and customs, were in all future time to be ruled by one king. When a king died he was to be succeeded by his eldest son; but if he were childless his successor was to be freely elected. In foreign affairs Scandinavia was always to act as a united country. Margaret had excellent intentions in devising this bold scheme, but the time was not ripe for so vast a change. It was inevitable that when popular movements were no longer held in check by her strong will, formidable difficulties should spring from the jealousies of the three nationalities.
Even after Eric's coronation Margaret remained the real sovereign, and she was powerful enough to make the union something more than a mere name. But even during her lifetime the Swedish people showed that they resented the idea of being taxed for objects in which they were only indirectly interested, and when she died (in 1412) it soon became evident that Eric would be unable to retain their allegiance. In 1386 Margaret had formally recognized the claim of Gerhard VI., count of Holstein, to be feudal lord of the duchy of Schleswig. Gerhard died in 1404, leaving three young sons. Margaret and Eric then tried to recover the rights of the Danish crown in the duchy; and in 1413, soon after Margaret's death, Eric caused Schleswig to be declared a forfeited fief. The result was a war which lasted about twenty years. The Swedes had to bear heavy burdens to enable Eric to carry on the conflict, and he made no attempt to allay their discontent. He seldom visited their country, and his officers often treated them with reckless cruelty. In the province of Dalecarlia the royal bailiff acted so tyrannically that in 1434 the people rebelled. They were led by a brave and patriotic miner, Engelbrecht Engelbrechtsson, and under his influence the movement spread rapidly among the peasantry of other districts. The Swedish council of state, alarmed by the enthusiasm he had excited, agreed in 1436 to declare the king deposed. The nobles were more afraid of the peasants than of Eric, and soon placed him on the throne again; but he never fully recovered his authority. He was obliged to make Charles Knutsson his viceroy in Sweden; and Knutsson was as anxious as Engelbrechtsson that Swedish independence should be restored. The two patriotic leaders became jealous of one another, and Engelbrechtsson was murdered by a member of Knutsson's party. But the popular agitation lost none of its original force, and in 1439 Eric was dethroned by all his kingdoms. He fled to the island of Gotland, where he lived for some years by piracy; and afterwards he was compelled to seek for refuge in Pomerania.
Norway and Sweden. He was a man of good intentions, but was not strong enough to overcome the prejudice created against him by the fact of his being a foreigner. When he died in 1448 the Danes chose Christian, count of Oldenburg, as his successor, and the Norwegians by and by followed their example. Had the decision in Sweden rested only with the nobles and the clergy, Christian would at once have received the Swedish crown, for under the nominal rule of a foreign king these classes were able to tyrannize as they pleased over their poorer neighbours. But the Swedish people generally so strongly disliked the union, and stood so urgently in need of the protection of a native sovereign, that Charles Knutsson was made king. He mounted the throne as Charles VIII. The aristocracy, both spiritual and temporal, detested him; and in 1457 he found in Archbishop Jöns Bengtsson so formidable an enemy that he had to make his escape to Dantzic. Christian I. of Denmark and Norway then became king of Sweden, but he was unable to assert supremacy over the country as a whole, and in 1464 Charles VIII. again secured the throne. In the following year Charles was displaced a second time, but soon afterwards he was recalled, and he retained the crown until his death in 1470.Christopher of Bavaria, Eric's nephew, was elected to the Danish throne, and he was soon acknowledged also in
Charles was succeeded, not as king but as regent, by his nephew Sten Sture, under whose firm rule Sweden became prosperous and contented. Sten Sture was a far-seeing statesman, and sided resolutely with the peasants against the nobles. He took great pains also to promote the intellectual culture of the people. The university of Upsala was founded by him, and he introduced into Sweden the art of printing, and invited to the country many foreign scholars. He was not able wholly to destroy the union, for in 1496 he was defeated by King Hans of Denmark and Norway, who afterwards received the Swedish crown. Nevertheless Sten Sture remained the real master of Sweden, and after the defeat of the Danes by the Ditmarshers in 1500 his power was almost absolute. He died in 1503, when his authority passed to his nephew Svante Nilsson Sture, whom King Hans and the Swedish clergy and nobles in vain attempted to put down. Svante Nilsson Sture was succeeded by his son, Sten Sture the younger, in 1512, and for some time this brave and patriotic regent vigorously held his own both against his enemies at home and against Christian II., king of Denmark and Norway. In 1520, however, he was mortally wounded in a battle with the Danes at Bogesund, after which Christian II. became king of Sweden. This sovereign had some enlightened ideas, but he was a man of ferocious passions, and he had no sooner restored the union than he made the maintenance of it impossible by an act of almost unparalleled cruelty. Under the pretence of upholding the honour of the church he ordered at Stockholm the execution of ninety persons accused of having taken part in the deposition of his friend and supporter Archbishop Gustavus Trolle, who had been the late regent's bitterest enemy. Most of the condemned men were nobles, and Christian hoped that by killing them he would secure the allegiance of the peasantry. The whole Swedish nation, however, was shocked by so horrible a massacre, and resolved to shake off for ever the hated Danish yoke.
The movement for national independence was headed by Gustavus Ericsson, known afterwards as Gustavus Vasa. This young noble had been one of a group of Swedish hostages whom Christian II. had sent to Denmark, treating them as if they had been prisoners of war. In 1519 he escaped from prison, and after a short stay in Lübeck found his way to Dalecarlia, where he went about in disguise among the peasantry, urging them to combine against the common enemy. At first they were afraid to act with him, but their hesitation vanished when they heard of the blood-bath in Stockholm, a crime by which Gustavus himself was more than ever embittered against the Danes, for his father was one of Christian II.'s victims. A force raised by Archbishop Trolle having been defeated, Gustavus led his troops beyond the limits of Dalecarlia and took Vesterås and Upsala, and laid siege to Stockholm and Calmar. These fortresses were bravely defended, but in 1523, with the help of a fleet sent to him by Lübeck, he succeeded in capturing them.In 1521 he had been declared regent, and in 1523, before the conquest of Stockholm and Calmar, he summoned at Strengnäs a diet which elected him to the throne. Soon afterwards he made himself master of Finland, and he annexed Scania, Halland, and Blekinge. The union had now been brought to an end, and from this time Sweden was always ruled by her own kings. Denmark and Norway, however, remained subject to one crown until the beginning of the 19th century
Gustavus Vasa was by far the greatest sovereign who had up to this time ruled the Swedish people. Before he was made king the doctrines of Luther had been proclaimed in Sweden by the brothers Olaus and Laurentius Petri; and Gustavus, who listened attentively to their teaching, became one of the most enthusiastic adherents of the Reformation. He acted cautiously, however, and resolutely opposed violent agitators. The majority of the Swedes cordially accepted the new doctrines, and at a diet held at Westerns in 1527 Gustavus received authority to reorganize the church. This he did thoroughly, making it clear from the beginning that Protestant pastors would never be permitted to wield the power which the Roman priesthood had so often abused. The greater part of the vast estates which had belonged to the Roman clergy he confiscated and applied to the uses of the state. In his secular policy he was as bold and successful as in his dealings with the church. For centuries the independence and arrogance of the great nobles had been the curse of the Swedish people. Gustavus missed no opportunity of limiting their influence. He compelled them to bear their fair share of the public burdens, and secured for himself faithful allies by obtaining for burghers and the peasantry, who had lost almost all their political influence, a recognized place in the diet, which was now summoned more frequently and regularly than it had been for several generations. Gustavus did everything he could to encourage industry. For six years he fought with Lübeck in order to break the supremacy of the Hanseatic League, and he concluded treaties of commerce with England and the Netherlands. So many changes were effected in Sweden in his time that several conspiracies were formed against him, but he had little difficulty in overcoming his enemies, for he had the confidence and affection of the great mass of his subjects. In 1544 it was decided by the diet that the Swedish throne should cease to be elective, and that it should be hereditary in the family of Gustavus.
his father, and under the influence of passion and suspicion caused the death of many powerful and loyal subjects. In 1568 his brothers John and Charles rebelled against him. His favourite, Goran Persson, who was accused of having constantly misled him, was seized and executed, and Eric himself was obliged to surrender. He was deprived of the crown and kept in close confinement until 1577, when he was murdered.When Gustavus died in 1560, his eldest son Eric became king. Eric was foolish enough to go to war with Frederick II. of Denmark for no better reason than that the latter, like Eric himself, claimed the right to put three crowns in his coat-of-arms. This war, which lasted seven years, caused much suffering to both nations. The Danes were generally beaten at sea, but under the leadership of the stout soldier Daniel Rantzau they gained important victories on land. Intellectually Eric was one of the most cultivated of Swedish kings, but in action he was so headstrong and wayward that most people believed him to be insane. He wasted the treasure amassed by
John mounted the throne as John III. (1568-1592). In 1570 the war between Sweden and Denmark was brought to an end by the peace of Stettin. Sweden obtained some advantages by this treaty, but she had to resign to Denmark her claims to the island of Gotland, and to Scania, Halland, and Blekinge. Through the influence of his first wife Catherine, sister of King Sigismund II. of Poland, John had become a Catholic; and as king he laboured to restore as far as possible the old religious forms. His efforts were bitterly resented by the Protestants, while at Rome he was condemned for not acting with sufficient decision in the interest of his church. He was succeeded by his son Sigismund, who had been elected king of Poland in 1587. In the interval between John's death and Sigismund's arrival in Sweden supreme power was exercised by Duke Charles, Sigismund's uncle. Charles, the ablest of all the sons of Gustavus Vasa, resolved to take advantage of the opportunity to place the ecclesiastical system of the country on a satisfactory basis. Accordingly a great assembly was summoned at Upsala in 1593, and by this assembly it was decreed that the Augsburg confession of faith should be accepted as the authoritative statement of the theological doctrines of the Swedish church. The decision was of vast importance, and the Swedes have ever since looked back upon it as one that marked an era in their national history.
Before his coronation in 1594 Sigismund undertook to protect the rights of his Protestant subjects; but, being an ardent Catholic, he soon began to work for the triumph of his own creed. On his return to Poland the discontent he had excited in Sweden found free expression, and he was obliged to place the administration of affairs in the hands of his uncle, Duke Charles. In the time of King John a dispute about frontiers had led to war between Sweden and Russia, and this war was still going on when Charles undertook his new duties. In 1595 he concluded peace, securing for Sweden the provinces of Esthonia and Narva, but yielding to Russia some districts on the borders of Finland. These districts were held by Klas Fleming, an enthusiastic adherent of King Sigismund, and he declined to give them up, nor were they surrendered until the death of this general in 1597. Meanwhile Charles had found that some members of the council of state were bent on thwarting all his schemes, and from them he appealed to the diet. The diet heartily supported him, and appointed him governor-general of Sweden; whereupon he set to work in earnest to put down Catholic intriguers, and to promote the interests of the peasantry in opposition to those of the great nobles. In 1598 Sigismund advanced against him with a Polish army, and was defeated at Stängebro, near Linköping. The war went on for some time, but Sigismund himself returned to Poland. In 1600 the diet demanded that he should reside in Sweden or send his son to be educated as a Protestant. No answer being returned to these demands, Sigismund was dethroned, and his heirs were deprived ofthe right of succession. Duke Charles was then made king, and reigned as Charles IX. Sigismund continued to regard himself as the lawful sovereign, and as the same pretension was made by his descendants, a very bitter feeling sprang up between Sweden and Poland,—a feeling which led to many wars during the next sixty years.
Charles IX. (1600-1611) carried on with splendid vigour the work which had been begun by his father Gustavus Vasa. Under his rule Sweden became a thoroughly Protestant country, and for the first time associated herself to some extent with the general Protestant movement in other lands. Charles watched with especial interest the action of religious parties in Germany, and carefully maintained good relations with the leading German Protestant princes. At home one of his principal aims was to force the aristocracy to be subservient to the crown, and he succeeded as no Swedish king had done before him. For burghers and the peasantry he secured in the diet a more important and more clearly defined place than had formerly belonged to them, and he devised many sagacious measures for the material welfare of his people. He devoted much attention to the development of mining industries, and by the founding of convenient seaports he gave a great impetus to trade. In foreign relations he was not less masterful than in his management of domestic affairs. In 1609 he sent an army into Russia to oppose the false Demetrius, whose pretensions to the Russian throne were supported by Poland. The Swedish generals, after having achieved some success, were obliged to retreat in consequence of a mutiny among their troops; but Charles despatched a fresh force, which did its work so well that the Russians came to terms, and even promised to accept his younger son, Charles Philip, as czar. In the last year of his life Charles was engaged in a war with Christian IV. of Denmark, who invaded Sweden because Charles claimed to be king of the Norwegian Laplanders and sought to exclude the Danes from the extensive trade with Riga. Calmar, notwithstanding the strenuous exertions of Charles, was captured by the Danes, and from this circumstance the struggle came to be known as the Calmar War.
Charles IX. was succeeded by his son Gustavus Adolphus (1611-1632), the most illustrious of the kings of Sweden. He was only seventeen years of age when he became king, but he had already given evidence of high intellectual and moral qualities. One of his first public acts was to appoint as chancellor the youngest of his counsellors, Axel Oxenstjerna, a great statesman whose name is intimately associated with all the most prominent events of his reign. By mingled gentleness and firmness Gustavus won almost immediately the goodwill of his subjects, and before he was many years on the throne he became the object of their most enthusiastic devotion. He showed unfailing respect for the rights of the diet, improved its organization, and summoned it regularly once a year. Industry and trade flourished under his wise rule, and he did much to develop the educational system of Sweden by giving splendid endowments to the university of Upsala and by founding the university of Dorpat and many schools and colleges. He introduced into the army a rigid system of discipline, yet he was adored by his soldiers, who had perfect faith in his military genius and were touched by his care for their welfare and by the cheerfulness with which, when necessary, he shared their hardships.
The war with Denmark which had been begun in his father's time he was obliged to continue, but he did so very unwillingly, and as soon as possible (in 1613) he signed a treaty of peace, by which, in return for the payment of a million thalers, Sweden received back all the territory that had been conquered by the Danes. Having no further cause of anxiety in this direction, he prosecuted with renewed vigour the war with the Russians, who had not kept their promise to recognize Prince Charles Philip as czar. The Swedish general, Count de la Gardie, had gained many advantages in the struggle, and when Gustavus himself took part in it the Swedes were so successful that in 1617 the czar Michael was glad to conclude the peace of Stolbova, giving up Kexholm, Carelia, and Ingermanland, and confirming Sweden in the possession of Esthonia and Livonia. The next task of Gustavus was to subdue Sigismund of Poland, who had formally renewed his claim to the crown of Sweden after Charles IX.'s death, and had proved himself one of the most troublesome of the young Swedish king's enemies. In 1621 Gustavus took the field against him, and achieved a series of brilliant successes, which were interrupted only when, in 1629, Austria sent to the aid of Poland a force of 10,000 men under Arnheim.
Meanwhile the Thirty Years' War, begun in 1618, had been raging in Germany. Christian IV. of Denmark, who had intervened on behalf of the Protestants, had been forced to lay down his arms; and it seemed in the highest degree probable that the Catholic reaction, headed by the fanatical emperor Ferdinand II., was about to be completely triumphant. Gustavus, like his father and grandfather, was an enthusiastic Protestant, and he had watched with grief and dismay the misfortunes of those who were struggling for the right of free judgment in religion. At last he resolved to give them the support they so urgently needed, and, in order that he might without unnecessary delay act upon his decision, he arranged with Poland in 1629 that there should be an armistice for six years. He then began to make preparations for his great enterprise, and in 1630 he embarked for Germany with an army of 15,000 men. In undertaking this splendid task he was not influenced only by religious motives. He wished to punish the Austrians for having helped the Poles; he hoped to find an opportunity of adding to Swedish territory; and there are reasons for supposing that he dreamed of snatching the imperial crown from the Hapsburg dynasty and placing it on his own head. But all the evidence we possess goes to show that these objects were subordinate. His principal aim was to save Protestantism in Germany from extinction.
He had many unexpected difficulties to contend with, for he was distrusted by most of the German Protestant princes. Very soon, however, his tact and courage enabled him to overcome every obstacle, and at Breitenfeld he gained a decisive victory over the imperial general Tilly. After this great success the confidence of the German Protestants revived, and Gustavus was everywhere received as their deliverer. Tilly tried to prevent him from crossing the Lech, but was again defeated; and the Swedish king took possession of Munich, having already held court at Frankfort. For some time the destinies of the empire appeared to be at his disposal, but all the hopes excited by his heroic career were suddenly cut short by his death in the battle of Lützen in 1632.
Gustavus was succeeded by his daughter Christina, whom, before his departure for Germany, he had presented to the diet as heiress to the crown. During her minority Sweden was governed by five nobles whom the diet appointed to be her guardians, the foremost place being given to Axel Oxenstjerna. They continued the foreign policy of Gustavus, maintaining in Germany a powerful army, which, although no longer uniformly successful, gained many victories over the imperial forces. Christina, carefully educated in accordance with instructions left by her father, became one of the most cultivated women of the 17th century; and at an early age she astonished her guardians by the vigour of her understanding. In 1644, on her eighteenth birthday, she assumed supreme power, and for some time she fulfilled all the expectations which had been formed as to her reign. In 1645 she brought to an end a war with Denmark which had been begun two years before. The Danes had been repeatedly defeated, and by the treaty of Bromsebro they resigned to Sweden Jemtland and Harjeaadalen along with the islands of Gotland and Oesel, and gave up Halland for a period of twenty-five years. Contrary to the advice of Oxenstjerna, Christina pressed for the conclusion of peace in Germany, and, when her object was attained, the Swedes had no reason to be dissatisfied with the result. By the peace of Westphalia, concluded in 1648, Sweden obtained the duchies of Bremen, Verden, and Western Pomerania, a part of Eastern Pomerania, and Wismar. Moreover, Sweden was recognized as a state of the empire.
The Swedish people were anxious that Christina should marry, but she declined to sacrifice her independence. In 1649, however, she persuaded the diet to accept as her successor the best of her suitors, her cousin Charles Gustavus of Pfalz-Zweibrücken, the son of the only sister of Gustavus Adolphus. In the following year she was crowned with great pomp. About this time her character seemed to undergo a remarkable change. She became wayward and restless, neglected her tried counsellors, and followed the advice of self-seeking favourites. So much discontent was aroused by her extravagance and fickleness that she at last announced her determination to abdicate, and she abandoned her purpose only in deference to Oxenstjerna's entreaties. She now devoted herself to her duties with renewed ardour, and made her court famous by inviting to it Descartes, Grotius, Salmasius, and other scholars and philosophers. But she had soon to encounter fresh difficulties. During the Thirty Years' War the influence of the nobles had been greatly increased, partly in consequence of their position in the army, partly through the wealth they acquired in Germany. They made as usual so bad a use of their power that an agitation which seemed likely to have most serious consequences sprang up against them among the peasants, the burghers, and the clergy. Unable to bring order out of the prevailing confusion, and longing for repose, Christina finally resolved to resign the crown; and in 1654 she formally laid the royal insignia before the diet in orderthat they might be transferred to Charles Gustavus, who forthwith became king as Charles X. Christina immediately left the country, and did not return to it for many years. She ultimately made some attempts to recover the crown, as well as to be elected queen of Poland, but her efforts were not successful. She joined the Roman Church, and there was much talk at all the courts in Europe about the eccentricities of her character and about her passionate love of art and learning.
Charles X. (1654-1660) devoted his energies chiefly to war, in which he was brilliantly successful. He began his military career by attacking Poland, whose king claimed to be the true heir to the Swedish crown. In a great battle at Warsaw Charles destroyed the Polish army, and Poland would probably soon have been absolutely at his mercy but for the intervention of Russia, which sought to weaken him by invading Esthonia and Livonia. While the war with Poland and Russia was in progress, Charles became involved in a struggle with Denmark, and he conducted it so vigorously and skilfully that the Danes, by the peace of Roeskilde, signed in 1658, gave up Scania, Halland, Blekinge, and various other territories. War with Denmark was several times renewed, and at the time of his death Charles was engaged in making extensive preparations for a fresh onslaught.
peace of Oliva, whereby Sweden received the whole of Livonia as far as the Düna. Soon afterwards peace was also concluded with Denmark and Russia, the former receiving back Drontheim and Bornholm, which had been taken by Charles X. Sweden, however, kept Scania, Halland, and Blekinge, which were now finally severed from the Danish monarchy. In 1672 Charles XI. himself assumed the direction of affairs. For some time he seemed to take little interest in public business, and in 1674 he was rash enough to send an army into Germany to aid Louis XIV. in his war with the United Provinces and their allies. The Swedes were defeated at Fehrbellin by the elector of Brandenburg, who at once followed up his victory by taking possession of Pomerania. Christian V. of Denmark, thinking he had now a good opportunity of recovering Scania, joined the enemies of France and Sweden, and at sea the Danes gained several great victories over the Swedes. Charles XI., aroused by these disasters, began to show the real vigour of his character. He placed himself at the head of his army, and in several battles so decisively defeated the Danes that they were driven from Scania, the greater part of which they had occupied. When peace was made in 1679, Sweden had to give up to Brandenburg a part of Pomerania, but she sustained no other losses.He was succeeded by his son Charles XI., a child of four years of age. During the minority of Charles XI. the government was carried on by his mother Hedwig Eleonore and by the chancellor De la Gardie and four other ministers. In 1660 they concluded with Poland the
At this time the finances of Sweden were in utter confusion, and the revenue was not nearly large enough to cover the necessary expenditure. So many of the crown lands had from time to time been given away to nobles that the administration could not be carried on without a system of crushing taxation. The common people, unable to bear the burdens imposed upon them, had often insisted that these lands should be taken back. Charles XI. became convinced that there was no other way out of his difficulties, and in 1680, with the sanction of the diet, he ordered that the fourth part of all the crown lands which had been given away during the previous thirty years should be restored. This, however, was only the beginning of the so-called process of reduction, which was soon extended and carried out with ruthless severity. By this measure some of the foremost families in Sweden were ruined, and the crown was made almost independent of the diet, for it recovered no fewer than ten counties, seventy baronies, and many smaller estates. Charles became virtually an absolute sovereign, and on the whole he made an excellent use of his power. For more than a century Sweden had been almost constantly engaged in war. She now enjoyed a period of repose, and profited greatly by the king's vigorous administration. He built fortresses, reorganized the army and navy, and carried on many important public works in the interests of commerce. He also founded the university of Lund, and made larger provision for popular education, frequently impressing upon the clergy the duty of attending to the intellectual needs of their parishioners. His comparatively early death was lamented by the great majority of the people, who were grateful for the steady determination with which he applied himself to the duties of his office.
Charles XI. was succeeded by his son Charles XII. (1697-1718), the most brilliant although not the greatest figure in Swedish history. He was a youth of fifteen when his father died, and he was so enthusiastically devoted to sport and all kinds of physical exercise that he seemed to be utterly destitute of political ambition. Accordingly Augustus II. of Poland and Saxony, Peter I. of Russia, and Frederick IV. of Denmark, thinking the time had come for the recovery of the possessions taken from their predecessors by Sweden, formed an alliance against him, and they appear to have had no doubt that he would be easily overcome. Charles XII., however, was in reality a man of extraordinary vigour and daring, and he soon convinced his enemies that they would find in him a formidable opponent. In 1700 he began what is known as the Northern War by suddenly advancing against Copenhagen, which he was about to besiege when Frederick, alarmed by the overwhelming numbers of the enemy, accepted Charles's terms, and signed the peace of Travendahl. Charles at once crossed the Baltic to attack Augustus II. and Peter I., the former of whom was besieging Riga, while the latter threatened Narva. At Narva the Swedish king gained a splendid victory, and afterwards he defeated the Saxons, driving them away from Riga. If he had now concluded peace, he might have been for many years by far the greatest potentate in northern Europe. But he was resolved to humiliate Augustus II., and this he did most effectually. Defeated at Klissoff, Augustus was held to have forfeited the throne of Poland, and at Charles's suggestion Stanislaus Leczinski was elected king. Charles followed Augustus into Saxony, and in 1706 forced him to conclude the treaty of Altranstädt. Meanwhile Peter I. had been taking possession of Swedish territory on the Baltic, and on a portion of it had begun to build St Petersburg. Instead of attacking him directly, Charles resolved to thwart him by seizing Moscow, and this decision proved fatal to his great designs. Worn out by a long and dreary march, during which many soldiers died of hunger and disease, his dispirited army was defeated at Poltava (1709); and Charles, ignorant of the real condition of the enemy's forces, fled across the Russian frontier into Turkey. He remained five years in the Turkish dominions, trying to induce the sultan to become his ally. But, although war did break out between Russia and Turkey, the Turks had little confidence in Charles, for it was supposed that he wished to become king of Poland, and the sultan suspected that if this scheme were effected he might become a dangerous enemy of the Ottoman empire. Convinced at last that nothing was to be gained from Turkey, Charles made his escape, and in fourteen days rode from Adrianople to Stralsund. In his absence the war had been continued by Peter I., who had soon been joined again by Augustus II. and Frederick IV.; and ultimately the alliance was strengthened by the accession of the king of Prussia and the elector of Hanover, each of whom was eager to possess those Swedish territories which were in the neighbourhood of his own dominions. In Stralsund, which was besieged by an army of Danes, Saxons, Prussians, and Russians, Charles displayed astonishing valour and military skill, but about a year after his arrival the town was obliged to surrender. He then went to Lund, adopted vigorous measures for the defence of the Swedish coasts, and attacked Norway. By the advice of his friend Baron Görtz he entered into negotiations with Peter I., who was not unwilling to come to terms. Had Charles lived, it is possible that the tide of misfortune might have turned, but he was shot dead while engaged in besieging Frederikshall. His intention was to conquer Norway after having made peace with Russia, and from Norway to cross to Great Britain, where he hoped to punish the elector of Hanover by placing the Pretender on the English throne.
All the conditions of political life in Sweden were now changed. The Swedish people were surrounded by a crowd of enemies whom they could not hope to overcome, and in the confusion caused by the Northern War the nobles had recovered their ancient power. As Charles XII. had no children, it was doubtful whether the crown should pass to his younger sister Ulrica Eleonore or to Charles Frederick of Holstein-Gottorp, the son of his elder sister Hedvig Sophia. The nobles decided in favour of Ulrica Eleonore, who secured their support by undertaking to place all real power in their hands. In 1720 her authority was transferred to her husband, Prince Frederick of Hesse, who reigned as Frederick I. until his death in 1751. He reigned, however, only in name, for the diet, which now practically meant the nobles, usurped every important prerogative of the crown. There were two parties, known as the Hats and the Caps, who assailed one another with much vehemence; but on one point they were agreed, and that was that the Swedish people should in future be ruled, not by a king, or by a king acting in conjunction with the diet, but by the aristocracy.
Meanwhile Sweden had been shorn of most of the foreign territory for which in past times she had made so many sacrifices. In 1719 she had given up Bremen and Verden to Hanover; in 1720 Stettin and Western Pomerania as far as the Peene were resigned to Prussia; and in 1721 Russia obtained Livonia, Esthonia, Ingermanland, and a part of Viborg län. In 1741, against the wish of King Frederick, the Hats plunged into a war with Russia; and the consequence was that in 1743 Sweden had to conclude the degrading peace of Åbo, by which she lost Eastern Finland. She had even to beg Russia to aid her against Denmark, and she was obliged to recognize Adolphus Frederick of Holstein-Gottorp, a relative of the czarina Elizabeth, as heir to the throne.
From the reign of Charles IX. until that of Charles XII. Sweden had been one of the greatest powers in Europe. She had conducted many wars successfully; she had secured a vast territory beyond her proper limits; in the crisis of the struggle between Catholicism and Protestantism she had lent powerful support to those who were fighting for spiritual freedom. In the management of international relations during this period no great decision was arrived at by any European state without reference to her wishes, and there seemed to be solid reasons for the belief that her power would be enduring. Yet she suddenly sank from her high position to that of a third-rate state, which exercised little or no influence on the affairs of the rest of the world. This striking change was immediately due to the calamities brought upon his country by Charles XII., but sooner or later it would have come even if he had never lived. The circumstances of Europe were in his time very different from those with which Gustavus Adolphus had to deal. Russia had emerged as a united and growing state; Prussia had begun to display some of the qualities which were ultimately to make her supreme in Germany; and Hanover had been made important by the accession of the house of Brunswick to the throne of Great Britain. Sweden could not have permanently maintained her conquests against these new political forces. Charles XII., by his bold but headstrong policy, only hastened a process which was in any case inevitable.
Under Adolphus Frederick (1751-1771) Sweden took part in the Seven Years' War, siding with the enemies of Frederick the Great. But she was now so feeble, and her statesmen were so incompetent, that her intervention led to no serious results. The Hats, who were responsible for the humiliation brought upon Sweden by this exhibition of her weakness, had to make way for the Caps; but neither party had the power or the will to arouse the nation from the lethargy into which it had fallen. Gustavus III., Adolphus Frederick's son (1771-1792), was a man of a very different temper from his indolent father. He had great energy of character, a thorough comprehension of some of the conditions of political progress, and a frank and persuasive manner. In early youth he seems to have convinced himself that it would be impossible for Sweden to become a prosperous country unless the royal authority were restored, and when at the age of twenty-five he succeeded his father he secretly resolved to make the crown supreme.
He carried out his plans with remarkable ability and caution. Under the pretence that he wished to introduce a new system of military manœuvres, he collected around him about two hundred officers, most of whom were young men, and they were gradually induced to pledge themselves to support him. Agents were despatched to win over the regiments in the provinces, and Gustavus was careful to make a good impression on the burgher class and on the peasantry. When all was ready, the commandant of Christianstad, on the 12th of August 1772, as previously arranged, formally renounced his allegiance to the diet, and one of the king's brothers went to the town with the regiments in the neighbourhood and pretended to besiege it. Suspicions were aroused at Stockholm, and at a meeting of the council of state Gustavus was bitterly reproached by some of the members. He then boldly proclaimed his purpose. The members of the council of state were arrested, and the king received the homage of the leading authorities in the military, naval, and civil services. The diet was forthwith summoned, and at its first sitting Gustavus spoke of the lamentable condition of the kingdom, and of the need for more efficient methods of government. He had no wish, he said, to establish an absolute monarchy, but it was necessary that the supremacy of the aristocracy should be destroyed, and that the country should re-establish the system which existed in the time of Gustavus Adolphus, when the crown and the diet had each its separate functions and worked cordially together. A new constitution, which had been drawn up, placing executive power wholly in the king's hands, was afterwards read, and at once accepted.
Delivered from the trammels which had hampered his immediate predecessors, Gustavus worked hard for the welfare of his subjects. Agriculture, industry, and trade revived; the army and navy were improved; and the educated classes began to show greater interest in art, literature, and science. Unfortunately the king took the court of France as the model for his own court, and the country resented the incessant demands for money which were rendered necessary by his personal extravagance. In 1788 he declared war with Russia, hoping to recover Livonia and the part of Finland which Russia had conquered; and the discontent he had aroused found expression in the army, the leaders of which declined to fight, protesting that the war ought not to have been begun without the sanction of the diet. At the same time Denmark was persuaded by the czarina Catherine to attack Sweden. Gustavus seemed to be on the verge of ruin, but he was saved by his own courage and sagacity. Hastening back from Finland, he was able to rescue Gothenburg from the Danes with a force raised in Dalecarlia, and soon afterwards, through the intervention of England and Prussia, Denmark was induced to withdraw from the struggle. The majority of the diet, seeing the dangers to which the nation was exposed, rallied around the king, and, notwithstanding the opposition of the nobles, recognized the right of the crown to declare war. Impressed by the firm and rapid action of Gustavus, the army returned to its allegiance, and the conflict with Russia was begun in earnest. In 1789 the Swedes were very unsuccessful, but in the following year they gained several victories both at sea and on land. Gustavus saw, however, that it would be impossible for him to wrest from Russia any of her territories, and in 1790 peace was concluded on the understanding that both states should occupy the position they held before the war.
Gustavus was greatly excited by the French Revolution, and sought to form an alliance with Russia, Prussia, and Austria for the restoration of Louis XVI. But the diet refused to support his wild schemes. Several nobles, desiring to avenge the supposed wrongs of their order, entered into a conspiracy against him, and in 1792 he was mortally wounded by an assassin who acted as their agent.
Gustavus IV. (1792-1809) was not quite fourteen years old when his father was murdered, and during his minority the government was carried on by his uncle the duke of Södermanland. Gustavus began to exercise royal authority in 1796. His reign was remarkable chiefly for the obstinacy with which he clung to his own ideas, no matter how far they might conflict with the obvious interests of his country. He had a bitter detestation of Bonaparte, and in 1803 went to Carlsruhe in the hope that he might induce the emperor and some of the German princes to act with him in support of the Bourbons. His enmity led to an open rupture with France, and even after the peace of Tilsit, when Russia and Prussia offered to mediate between him and the French emperor, he refused to come to terms. The consequence was that he lost Stralsund and the island of Rügen. He displayed so much friendship for England that Russia and Denmark, acting under the influence of France, declared war against him; and the whole of Finland was soon held by Russian troops. Gustavus attacked Norway, but his army was driven back by the Danes and Norwegians. He still declined to make peace, and he even alienated England when she attempted to influence him by moderate counsels. The Swedish people were so enraged by the consequences of his policy that in 1809 he was dethroned, and the claims of his descendants to the crown were also repudiated. He was succeeded by the duke of Södermanland, who reigned as Charles XIII.
Charles XIII. (1809-1818) concluded peace with Russia, Denmark, and France, ceding to Russia by the treaty of Frederikshamm (1809) the whole of Finland. The loss of this territory, which had been so long associated with the Swedish monarchy, was bitterly deplored by the Swedes, but it was universally admitted that under the circumstances the sacrifice was unavoidable. Charles assented to important changes in the constitution, which were intended to bring to an end the struggle between the crown and the aristocracy and to provide some security for the maintenance of popular rights. The king was still to be at the head of the executive, but it was arranged that legislative functions and control over taxation should belong to the diet, which was to consist of four orders—nobles, clergymen, burghers, and peasants.
As Charles XIII. was childless, the diet elected as his successor Prince Christian Augustus of Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg. In 1810, soon after his arrival in Stockholm, this prince suddenly died; and Sweden astonished Europe by asking Marshal Bernadotte to become heir to the throne. Bernadotte, who took the name of Charles John, was a man of great vigour and resource, and soon made himself the real ruler of Sweden. Napoleon treated Sweden as almost a conquered country, and compelled her to declare war with England. Bernadotte, associating himself heartily with his adopted land, resolved to secure its independence, and entered into an alliance with Russia. In 1813 he started with an army of 20,000 Swedes to co-operate with the powers which were striving finally to crush the French emperor. The proceedings of the Swedish crown prince were watched with some suspicion by the allies, as he was evidently unwilling to strike a decisive blow at France; but after the battle of Leipsic he displayed much activity. He blockaded Hamburg, and by the peace of Kiel, concluded in January 1814, he forced Denmark to give up Norway. He then entered France, but soon returned, and devoted his energies to the conquest of Norway, which was very unwilling to be united with Sweden. Between the months of July and November 1814 the country was completely subdued, and Charles XIII. was proclaimed king. The union of Sweden and Norway, which has ever since been maintained, was recognized by the congress of Vienna; and it was placed on a sound basis by the frank adoption of the principle that, while the two countries should be subject to the same crown and act together in matters of common interest, each should have complete control over its internal affairs. The new relation of their country to Norway gave much satisfaction to the Swedes, whom it consoled in some measure for the loss of Finland. It also made it easy for them to transfer to Prussia in 1815 what remained of their Pomeranian territories.
In 1818 Bernadotte mounted the throne as Charles XIV., and he reigned until he died in 1844. Great material improvements were effected during his reign. He caused new roads and canals to be constructed; he encouraged the cultivation of districts which had formerly been barren; and he founded good industrial and naval schools. He was not, however, much liked by his subjects. He never mastered the Swedish language, and he was so jealous of any interference with his authority that he sternly punished the expression of opinions which he disliked. To the majority of educated Swedes the constitution seemed to be ill-adapted to the wants of the nation, and there was a general demand for a political system which should make the Government more directly responsible to the people. In 1840 a scheme of reform was submitted to the diet by a committee which had been appointed for the purpose, but the negotiations and discussions to which it gave rise led to no definite result.
Charles XIV. was succeeded by his son Oscar I. (1844-1859). Oscar had always expressed sympathy with liberal opinions, and it was anticipated that the constitutional question would be settled during his reign without much difficulty. These expectations were disappointed. The diet met soon after his accession, and was asked to accept the scheme which had been drawn up in 1840. The measure received the cordial approval of the burghers and peasants, but was rejected by the nobles and the clergy. In 1846 a committee was appointed to prepare a new set of proposals, and late in the following year the discussion of its plans began. While the debates on the subject were proceeding some excitement was produced by the revolutionary movement of 1848, and a new ministry, pledged to the cause of reform, came into office. The scheme devised by this ministry was accepted by the committee to which it was referred, but the provisions of the existing constitution rendered it necessary that the final settlement should depend upon the vote of the next diet. When the diet met in 1850 it was found that the difficulties in the way were for the time insuperable. The proposals of the Government were approved by a majority of the burghers, but they were opposed by the nobles, the clergy, and the peasantry. The solution of the problem had, therefore, to be indefinitely postponed.
Although the constitution was not reformed, much was done in other ways during the reign of Oscar I. to promote the national welfare. The criminal law was brought into accordance with modern ideas, and the law of inheritance was made the same for both sexes and for all classes of the community. Increased freedom was secured for industry and trade; the methods of administration were improved; and the state took great pains to provide the country with an efficient railway system. The result of the wise legislation of this period was that a new spirit of enterprise was displayed by the commercial classes, and that in material prosperity the people made sure and rapid progress.
In 1848, when the difficulty about Schleswig-Holstein led to war between Denmark and Germany, the Swedes sympathized cordially with the Danes, of whom they had for a long time ceased to be in the slightest degree jealous. Swedish troops were landed in Fünen, and through the influence of the Swedish Government an armistice was concluded at Malmö. The excitement in favour of Denmark soon died out, and when the war was resumed in 1849 Sweden resolutely declined to take part in it. The outbreak of the Crimean War greatly alarmed the Swedes, who feared that they might in some way be dragged into the conflict. In 1855, having some reason to complain of Russian acts of aggression on his northern frontiers, the king of Sweden and Norway concluded a treaty with England and France, pledging himself not to cede territory to Russia, and receiving from the Western powers a promise of help in the event of his being attacked. The demands based on this treaty were readily granted by Russia in the peace of Paris in 1856.
Charles XV. (1859-1872) mounted the throne after his father's death. Nearly two years before his accession he had been made regent in consequence of Oscar I.'s ill-health. Charles was a man of considerable intellectual ability and of decidedly popular sympathies, and during his reign the Swedish people became enthusiastically loyal to his dynasty. In 1860 two estates of the realm—the peasants and the burghers—presented petitions, begging him to submit to the diet a scheme for the reform of the constitution. This request he willingly granted. The main provisions of the plan offered in his name were that the diet should consist of two chambers,—the first chamber to be elected for a term of nine years by the provincial assemblies and by the municipal corporations of towns not represented in those assemblies, the second chamber to be elected for a term of three years by all natives of Sweden possessing a specified property qualification. The executive power was to belong to the king, who was to act under the advice of a council of state responsible to the national representatives. This plan, which was received with general satisfaction, was finally adopted by the diet in 1866, and is still in force.
Early in the reign of Charles XV. there were serious disputes between Sweden and Norway, and the union of the two countries could scarcely have been maintained but for the tact and good sense of the king. He also exercised a steadying influence in 1863, when his people expressed passionate sympathy with the Poles in their insurrection against Russia, and with the Danes in their war with Prussia and Austria.
Charles XV. died in 1872, and was succeeded by his brother Oscar II., who still reigns (1887). Under him Sweden has maintained good relations with all foreign powers, and political disputes in the diet have never been serious enough to interrupt the material progress of the nation.
Many documents relating to Swedish history have been published in Scriptores Rerum Suecicarum Medii Ævi, edited by Fant, Geijer, and Schröder, in Scriptores Suecici Medii Ævi, edited by Rietz, and in other collections. Among the older histories of Sweden may be named those by Dalin and Lagerbring in the 18th century and by Rühs in the 19th. More important works on the subject are those by Geijer, Carlson, Fryxell, and Strinnholm. (J. SI.)
Swedish literature, as distinguished from compositions in the common norræna tunga of old Scandinavia, cannot be said to exist earlier than the 13th century. Nor until the period of the Reformation was its development in any degree rapid or copious. The oldest form in which Swedish exists as a written language is the series of manuscripts known as Landskapslagarne, or “The Common Laws.” These are supposed to be the relics of a still earlier age, and it is hardly believed that we even possess the first that was put down in writing. The most important and the most ancient of these codes is the “Elder West Gota Law,” reduced to its present form by the law-man Eskil about 1230. Another of great interest is Magnus Eriksson's “General Common Law,” which was written in 1347. These ancient codes have been collected and edited by Prof. Schlyter. The chief ornament of mediæval Swedish literature is Um Styrilse Kununga ok Höfdinga (“On the Conduct of Kings and Princes”), first printed, by command of Gustavus II. Adolphus, in 1634. The writer is not known; it has been conjecturally dated 1325. It is a handbook of moral and political teaching, expressed in terse and vigorous language. St Bridget, or Birgitta (1302?-1373), an historical figure of extraordinary interest, has left her name attached to several important religious works, in particular to a collection of Uppenbarelser (“Revelations”), in which her visions and ecstatic meditations are recorded, and a version, the first into Swedish, of the five books of Moses. This latter was undertaken, at her desire, by her father-confessor Mattias (d. 1350), a priest at Linköping. The translation of the Bible was continued a century later by a monk named Johannes Budde (d. 1484).
In verse the earliest Swedish productions were probably the folk-songs. The age of these, however, has been commonly exaggerated. It is doubtful whether any still exist which are as old, in their present form, as the 13th century. The bulk are now attributed to the 15th, and many are doubtless much later still. The last, such as “Axel och Valborg,” “Liten Karin,” “Kampen Grimborg,” and “Habor och Signild,” deal with the adventures of romantic mediæval romance. Almost the only positive clue we hold to the date of these poems is the fact that one of the most characteristic of them, “Engelbrekt,” was written by Tomas, bishop of Strengnäs, who died in 1443. Tomas, who left other poetical pieces, is usually called the first Swedish poet. There are three rhyming chronicles in mediæval Swedish, all anonymous. The earliest, Erikskrönikan, is attributed to 1320; Karlskrönikan is at least 120 years later; and the third, Sturekrönikorna, was probably written about 1500. All three have been edited by G. E. Klemming. The collection of rhymed romances which bears the name of Queen Euphemia's Songs must have been written before the death of that lady in 1312. They are believed to date from 1303. They are versions of three mediæval stories taken from French and German sources, and they deal respectively with King Arthur and the Table Round, with Duke Frederick of Normandy, and with Flores and Blancheflor. They possess very slight poetic merit in their Swedish form. A little later the romance of King Alexander was translated by, or at the command of, Bo Jonsson Grip; this is more meritorious. A brilliant and pathetic relic of the close of the mediæval period exists in the Love Letters addressed in 1498 by Ingrid Persdotter, a nun of Vadstena, to the young knight Axel Nilsson. The first book printed in the Swedish language appeared in 1495.
The 16th century added but little to Swedish literature, and that little is mostly connected with the newly founded university of Upsala. The Renaissance scarcely made itself felt in Scandinavia, and even the Reformation failed to waken the genius of the country. Psalms and didactic spiritual poems were the main products of Swedish letters in the 16th century. Two writers, the brothers Petri, take an easy prominence in so barren a period. Olaus Petri (1497-1552) and Laurentius Petri (1499-1573) were Carmelite monks who proceeded in 1516 to Wittenberg to study theology under Luther, and who came back to Sweden as the apostles of the new faith. Olaus, who is one of the noblest figures in Swedish annals, was of the executive rather than the meditative class. He found time, however, to write a Chronicle, which is the earliest prose history of Sweden, a mystery-play, Tobie Comedia, which is the first Swedish drama, and three psalm-books, the best known being published in 1530 under the title of Någre Gudhelige Vijsor (“Certain Divine Songs”). Laurentius Petri, who was archbishop of all Sweden, edited or superintended the translation of the Bible published at Upsala in 1540. He also wrote many psalms. Laurentius Andreæ, who died in 1552, had previously prepared a translation of the New Testament, which appeared in 1526. He was a polemical writer of prominence on the side of the Reformers. Finally, Petrus Niger (Peder Svart), bishop of Vesterås (d. 1562), wrote a chronicle of the life of Gustavus I. up to 1533, in excellent prose. The same writer left unpublished a history of the bishops of Westerns his predecessors. The latter half of the 16th century is a blank in Swedish literature.
With the accession of Charles IX. and the consequent development of Swedish greatness, literature began to assert itself in more vigorous forms. The long life of the royal librarian, Johannes Buræus (1568-1652), formed a link between the age of the Petri and that of Stjernhjelm. Buræus studied all the sciences then known to mankind, and confounded them all in a sort of Rabbinical cultus of his own invention, a universal philosophy in a multitude of unreadable volumes. But he was a patient antiquarian, and advanced the knowledge of ancient Scandinavian mythology and language very considerably. He awakened curiosity and roused a public sympathy with letters; nor was it without significance that two of the greatest Swedes of the century, Gustavus Adolphus and the poet Stjernhjelm, were his pupils. The reign of Charles IX. saw the rise of secular drama in Sweden. The first comedy was the Tisbe of Magnus Olai Asteropherus (d. 1647), a coarse but witty piece on the story of Pyramus and Thisbe, acted by the schoolboys of the college of Arboga in 1610. This play is the Ralph Roister Doister of Swedish literature. A greater dramatist was Johannes Messenius (1579-1636), who, having been discovered plotting against the Government during the absence of Gustavus in Russia, was condemned to imprisonment for life—that is, for twenty years. Before this disaster he had been professor in Upsala, where his first historical comedy Disa was performed in 1611 and the tragedy of Signill in 1612. The design of Messenius was to write the history of his country in fifty plays; he completed and produced six. These dramas are not particularly well arranged, but they form a little body of theatrical literature of singular interest and value. Messenius was a genuine poet; the lyrics he introduces have something of the charm of the old ballads. He wrote abundantly in prison; his magnum opus was a history of Sweden in Latin, but he has also left, in Swedish, two important rhyme-chronicles. Messenius was imitated by a little crowd of playwrights. Nikolaus Catonius (d. 1655) wrote a fine tragedy on the Trojan War, Troijenborgh, in which he excelled Messenius as a dramatist. Andreas Prytz, who died in 1655 as bishop of Linköping, produced several religious chronicle plays from Swedish history. Jacobus Rondeletius (d. 1662) wrote a curious “Christian tragi-comedy” of Judas Redivivus. These plays were all acted by schoolboys and university youths, and when they went out of fashion among these classes the drama in Sweden almost entirely ceased to exist. Two historians of the reign of Charles IX., Erik Göransson Tegel (d. 1636) and Ægidius Girs (d. 1639), deserve mention.
The reign of Gustavus Adolphus was adorned by one great writer, the most considerable in all the early history of Sweden. The title of “the Father of Swedish Poetry” has been universally awarded to Göran Lilja, better known by his adopted name of Georg Stjernhjelm (1598-1672), This extraordinary man was born at Wika in Dalecarlia on the 7th of August 1598. He took his degree at Greifswald, and spent some years in travelling over every quarter of Europe. On his return he attracted the notice of Gustavus Adolphus, who gave him a responsible post at Dorpat in 1630, and raised him next year to the nobility. After the king's death Christina attached him, as a kind of poet-laureate, to her court in Stockholm. His property lay in Livonia, and when the Russians plundered that province in 1656 the poet was reduced to extreme poverty for two or three years. He died at Brunkeborg in Stockholm on the 22d of April 1672. Stjernhjelm was a man of almost universal attainment, but it is mainly in verse that he has left his stamp upon the literature of his country. He found the language rough and halting, and he moulded it into perfect smoothness and elasticity. His master Buræus had written a few Swedish hexameters by way of experiment. Stjernhjelm took the form and made it national. His greatest poem, Hercules, is a didactic allegory in hexameters, written in very musical verse, and with an almost Oriental splendour of phrase and imagery. In its faults as well as its beauties the style of Stjernhjelm reminds us of that of his great Dutch contemporary Vondel. He was certainly influenced by a writer a few months older than himself, the German poet Martin Opitz. The Hercules, which deals with the familiar story of the dispute for the hero between Duty and Pleasure, was first printed, at Upsala, in 1653, but was finished some years earlier. Bröllops-Besvärs Ihugkommelse, a sort of serio-comic epithalamium in the same measure, is another very brilliant work of Stjernhjelm. His masques, Then fågne Cupido (“Cupid Caught”) (1649), Freds-afl (“The Birth of Peace”) (1649), and Parnassus Triumphans (1651), were written for the entertainment of the queen, and have a charming lyrical lightness. He can scarcely, however, be said to have been successful in his attempt, in the first two of these, to introduce unrhymed song-measures. Stjernhjelm was an active philologist, and left a great number of works on language, of which only a few have ever been printed. He wrote letter A of the earliest Swedish dictionary, published in 1643, and a work on mathematics entitled Archimedes Reformatus. No brighter intellectual figure arose in Sweden till the beginning of the 19th century.
Rosenhane. As personal friends and pupils of the former, the brothers Columbus deserve special attention. Each wrote copiously in verse, but Johan (1640-1684) almost entirely in Latin, while Samuel (1642-1678), especially in his Odæ Suethicæ, showed himself an apt and fervid imitator of the Swedish hexameters of Stjernhjelm. Of a rhyming family of Hjärne, it is enough to mention one member, Urban Hjärne (1641-1724), who introduced the new form of classical tragedy from France, in a species of transition from the masques of Stjernhjelm to the later regular rhymed dramas. His best play was a Rosimunda. Lars Johansson (1642-1674), who called himself “Lucidor the Unfortunate,” has been the subject of a whole tissue of romance, most of which is fabulous. It is true, however, that he was stabbed, like Marlowe, in a midnight brawl at a tavern. His poems were posthumously collected as Flowers of Helicon, Plucked and Distributed on various occasions by Lucidor the Unfortunate. Stripped of the myth which had attracted so much attention to his name, Lucidor proves to be an occasional rhymster of a very low order. Haquin Spegel (1645-1714), the famous archbishop of Upsala, wrote a long didactic epic in alexandrines, God's Labour and Rest, with an introductory ode to the Deity in rhymed hexameters. He was also a good writer of hymns. Another ecclesiastic, the bishop of Skara, Jesper Svedberg (1653-1735), wrote sacred verses, but is better remembered as the father of Swedenborg. Peter Lagerlöf (d. 1699) cultivated a pastoral vein in his Elisandra and Lucillis; he was professor of poetry, that is to say, of the art of writing Latin verses, at Upsala. Olof Wexionius (1656-1690?) published his Sinne-Afvel, a collection of graceful miscellaneous pieces, in 1684, in an edition of only 100 copies. Its existence was presently forgotten, and the name of Wexionius had dropped out of the history of literature, when Hanselli recovered a copy and reprinted its contents in 1863. We have hitherto considered only the followers of Stjernhjelm ; we have now to speak of an important writer who followed in the footsteps of Rosenhane. Gunno Eurelius, afterwards ennobled with the name of Dahlstjerna (1661-1709), early showed an interest in the poetry of Italy. In 1690 he translated Guarini's Pastor Fido, and in or just after 1697 published, in a folio volume without a date, his Kunga-Skald, the first original poem in ottava rima produced in Swedish. This is a bombastic and vainglorious epic in honour of Charles XI., whom Eurelius adored; it is not, however, without great merits, richness of language, flowing metre, and the breadth of a genuine poetic enthusiasm. He published a little collection of lamentable sonnets when his great master died. Eurelius struck the lyre several times in honour of Charles XII., but these poems have all perished. He was a true patriot, and grief at the defeat of Poltava is said to have cost him his life. Johan Runius (1679-1713), called the “Prince of Poets,” published a collection entitled Dudaim, in which there is nothing to praise, and with him the generation of the 17th century closes. Talent had been shown by certain individuals, but no healthy school of Swedish poetry had been founded, and the latest imitators of Stjernhjelm had lost every vestige of taste and independence.The claim of Stjernhjelm to be the first Swedish poet may be contested by a younger man, but a slightly earlier writer, Gustaf Rosenhane (1619-1684), who was a reformer on quite other lines. If Stjernhjelm studied Opitz, Rosenhane took the French poets of the Renaissance for his models, and in 1650 wrote a cycle of one hundred sonnets, the earliest in the language; these were published under the title Venerid in 1680. Rosenhane printed in 1658 a “Complaint of the Swedish Language” in thirteen hundred rattling rhyming lines, and in 1682 a collection of eighty songs. He was a metrist of the artistic order, skilful, learned, and unimpassioned. His zeal for the improvement of the literature of his country was beyond question. Most of the young poets followed Stjernhjelm rather than
In prose the 17th century produced but little of importance in Sweden. Gustavus Adolphus (1594-1632) was the most polished writer of its earlier half, and his speeches take an important place in the development of the language. The most original mind of the next agewas Olof Rudbeck (1630-1702), the famous author of Atland er Manhem. He spent nearly all his life in Upsala, building anatomical laboratories, conducting musical concerts, laying out botanical gardens, arranging medical lecture rooms—in a word, expending ceaseless energy on the practical improvement of the university. He was a genius in all the known branches of learning; at twenty-three his physiological discoveries had made him famous throughout Europe. His Atland (or Atlantika) appeared in four folio volumes, in Latin and Swedish, in 1679-98; it was an attempt to summon all the authority of the past, all the sages of Greece and the bards of Iceland, to prove the inherent and indisputable greatness of the Swedish nation, in which the fabulous Atlantis had been at last discovered. It was the literary expression of the majesty of Charles X., and of his autocratical dreams for the destiny of Sweden. From another point of view it is a monstrous hoard or cairn of rough-hewn antiquarian learning, now often praised, sometimes quoted from, and never read. Olof Verelius (1618-1682) had led the way for Rudbeck, by his translations of Icelandic sagas, a work which was carried on with greater intelligence by Johan Peringskjöld (1654-1720), the editor of the Heimskringla. The French philosopher Descartes, who died at Christina's court at Stockholm in 1650, found his chief, though posthumous, disciple in Anders Rydelius (1671-1738), bishop of Lund, who was the master of Dalin, and thus connects us with the next epoch. Charles XII., under whose special patronage Rydelius wrote, was himself a metaphysician and physiologist of merit.
A much more brilliant period followed the death of Charles XII. The influence of France and England took the place of that of Germany and Italy. The taste of Louis XIV., tempered by the study of Addison and Pope, gave its tone to the academical court of Queen Ulrica Eleonore, and Sweden became completely a slave to the periwigs of literature, to the unities and graces of classical France. Nevertheless this was a period of great intellectual stimulus and activity, and Swedish literature took a solid shape for the first time. This Augustan period in Sweden closed somewhat abruptly about 1765. Two writers in verse connect it with the school of the preceding century. Jacob Frese (1691-1729), whose poems were published in 1726, was an elegiacal writer of much grace, who foreshadowed the idyllic manner of Creutz. Samuel von Triewald (1688-1743) played a very imperfect Dryden to Dalin's Pope. He was the first Swedish satirist, and introduced Boileau to his countrymen. His Satire upon our Stupid Poets may still be read with Swedes do; but he was certainly an unsurpassable master of pastiche.entertainment. Both in verse and prose Olof von Dalin (1708-1763) takes a higher place than any writer since Stjernhjelm. He was inspired by the study of his great English contemporaries. His Swedish Argus (1733-34) was modelled on Addison's Spectator, his Thoughts about Critics (1736) on Pope's Essay on Criticism, his Tale of a Horse on Swift's Tale of a Tub. Dalin's style, whether in prose or verse, was of a finished elegance. His great epic, Swedish Freedom (1742), was written in alexandrines of far greater smoothness and vigour than had previously been attempted. When in 1737 the new Royal Swedish theatre was opened, Dalin led the way to a new school of dramatists with his Brynhilda, a regular tragedy in the style of Crébillon père. In his comedy of The Envious Man, he introduced the manner of Molière, or more properly that of Holberg. His songs, his satires, his occasional pieces, without displaying any real originality, show Dalin's tact and skill as a workman with the pen. He stole from England and France, but with the plagiarism of a man of genius; and his multifarious labours raised Sweden to a level with the other literary countries of Europe. They formed a basis upon which more national and more scrupulous writers could build their various structures. A foreign critic, especially an English one, will never be able to give Dalin so much credit as the
The only poet of importance who contested the laurels of Dalin was a woman. Hedvig Charlotta Nordenflycht flycbt. (1718-1763) was the centre of a society which ventured to rival that which Queen Ulrica Eleonore created and Dalin adorned. Both groups were classical in taste, both worshipped the new lights in England and France. Fru Nordenflycht wrote with facility and grace; her collection of lyrics, The Sorrowing Turtledove (1743), in spite of its affectation, enjoyed and merited a great success; it was the expression of a deep and genuine sorrow—the death of her husband after a very brief and happy married life. It was in 1744 that she settled in Stockholm and opened her famous literary salon. She was called “The Swedish Sappho,” and scandal has been needlessly busy in giving point to the allusion. It was to Fru Nordenflycht's credit that she discovered and encouraged the talent of two very distinguished poets younger than herself, Creutz and Gyllenborg. Gustaf Filip Creutz (1729-1785) was a Finlander who achieved an extraordinary success with his idyllic poems, and in particular with the beautiful pastoral of Atis och Camilla, long the most popular of all Swedish poems. In 1763, the year of the death of Dalin and of Fru Nordenflycht, Creutz ceased to write, having been appointed minister to Spain; he gave up poetry for politics. Gustaf Frederik Gyllenborg (1731-1808) was a less accomplished poet, less delicate and touching, more rhetorical and artificial. His epic Tåget öfver Bält (“The Expedition across the Belt”) (1785) is an imitation, in twelve books, of Voltaire's Henriade, and deals with the prowess of Charles X. It is impossible to read it. He wrote fables, allegories, and satires. He outlived his chief contemporaries so long that the new generation addressed him as “Father Gyllenborg.” Anders Odel (1718-1773) wrote in 1739 the famous “Song of Malcolm Sinclair,” the Sinclairsvisa. The writers of verse in this period were exceedingly numerous, but it cannot be needful, in a sketch of this kind, to preserve the minor names.
In prose, as was to be expected, the first half of the 18th century was rich in Sweden as elsewhere. The first Swedish novelist was Jakob Henrik Mörk (1714-1763). His romances have some likeness to those of Richardson; they are moral, long-winded, and slow in evolution, but written in an exquisite style, and with much knowledge of human nature. Adalrik och Göthilda, which went on appearing from 1742 to 1745, is the best known; it was followed, between 1749 and 1758, by Thecla. Jakob Wallenberg (1746-1778) described a voyage he took to the East Indies and China under the very odd title of Min Son på Galejan (“My Son at the Galleys”), a work full of humour and originality. We have already indicated that Dalin's activity in prose was scarcely less abundant or less meritorious than that in verse. He wrote an important history of Sweden down to Charles IX. His contemporary Johan Ihre (1707-1780), a professor at Upsala, edited the Codex Argenteus of Ulfilas, and produced the first complete Swedish dictionary. In doing this he was assisted by the labours of two other grammarians, Sven Hof (d. 1786) and Abraham Sahlstedt (d. 1776). Karl Gustaf Tessin (1695-1770) wrote on politics and on æsthetics. Anders Johan von Höpken (1712-1789), the friend of Ulrica Eleonore, was a master of rhetorical compliment in addresses and funeral orations. In spite of all the encouragement of the court, drama did not flourish in Sweden. Among the tragedians of the age we may mention Dalin, Gyllenborg, and Erik Wrangel (d. 1765). In comedy Reinhold Gustaf Modée (d. 1752) wrote three good plays in rivalry of Holberg. In science Linnæus, or Karl von Linné (1707-1778), was the name of greatest genius in the whole century; but he wrote almost entirely in Latin. The two great Swedish chemists, Torbern Olof Bergman (1735-1784) and Karl Vilhelm Scheele (1742-1786), flourished at this time. In pathology a great name was left by Nils Rosén von Rosenstein (1706-1773), in navigation by Admiral Fredrik Henrik af Chapman (d. 1808), in philology by Karl Aurivillius (d. 1786). But these and other distinguished savants whose names might be enumerated scarcely belong to the history of Swedish literature. The same may be said about that marvellous and many-sided genius, Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), who, though the son of a Swedish poet, preferred to prophesy to the world in Latin (see Swedenborg).
What is called the Gustavian period is supposed to commence with the reign of Gustavus III. in 1771 and to close with the abdication of Gustavus IV. in 1809. This period of less than forty years was particularly rich in literary talent, and the taste of the people in literary matters widened to a remarkable extent. Journalism began to develop; the Swedish Academy was founded; the drama first learned to flourish in Stockholm; and literature began to take a characteristically national shape. This fruitful period naturally divides itself into two divisions, equivalent to the reigns of the two kings. The royal personages of Sweden have commonly been protectors of literature; they have strangely often been able men of letters themselves. Gustavus III. (1746-1792), the founder of the Swedish Academy and of the Swedish theatre, was himself a playwright of no mean ability. One of his prose dramas, Siri Brahe och Johan Gyllenstjerna, held the stage for many years. In 1773 the king opened the national theatre in Stockholm, and on that occasion an opera of Thetis och Pelée was performed, written by himself. In 1786 Gustavus created the Swedish Academy, on the lines of the French Academy, but with eighteen members instead of forty. The first list of immortals, which included the survivors of a previous age and such young celebrities as Kellgren and Leopold, embraced all that was most brilliant in the best society of Stockholm; the king himself presided, and won the first prize for an oration. The principal writers of the reign of Gustavus III. bear the name of the Academical school. But we must first consider a writer of genius who had nothing academical in his composition.
Bellman). The riot of his dithyrambic hymns sounded a strange note of nature amid the conventional music of the Gustavians. Of the academical poets Johan Gabriel Oxenstjerna (1750-1818), the nephew of Gyllenborg, was a descriptive idyllist of grace. He translated Paradise Lost. A writer of far more power and versatility was Johan Henrik Kellgren (1751-1795), the leader of taste in his time (see Kellgren). He was the first writer of the end of the century in Sweden, and the second undoubtedly was Karl Gustaf af Leopold (1756-1829), “the blind seer Tiresias-Leopold,” who lived on to represent the old school in the midst of romantic times. Leopold was not equal to Kellgren in general poetical ability, but he is great in didactic and satiric writing. He wrote a satire, the Enebomiad, against a certain luckless Per Enebom, and a classic tragedy of Virginia. He is little read now. Gudmund Göran Adlerbeth (1751-1818) was a translator, and the author of a successful tragic opera, Cora och Alonzo (1782). Anna Maria Lenngren (1754-1817) was a very popular sentimental writer of graceful verse, chiefly between 1792 and 1798. She was less French and more national than most of her contemporaries; she is a Swedish Mrs Hemans.Karl Mikael Bellman (1740-1795), the most original and one of the most able of all Swedish writers, was an improvisatore of the first order (see
Two writers of the academic period, besides Bellman, and a generation later than he, kept apart, and served to lead up to the romantic revival. Bengt Lidner (1759-1793), a melancholy and professedly elegiacal writer, had analogies with such German sentimentalists as Novalis. He led a strange wandering life, and died, still young, in extreme poverty. His poems appeared in 1788. Tomas Thorild (1759-1808) was a much stronger nature, and led the revolt against prevailing taste with far more vigour. But he is an irregular and inartistic versifier, and it is mainly as a prose writer, and especially as a very original and courageous critic, that he is now mainly remembered. He settled in Germany, and died as a professor in Greifswald. Karl August Ehrensvärd (1745-1800) may be mentioned here as a critic whose aims somewhat resembled those of Thorild. The creation of the Academy led to a great production of æsthetic and philosophical writing. Among critics of taste may be mentioned Nils von Rosenstein (1752-1824); the rhetorical bishop of Linköping, Magnus Lehnberg (1758-1808); and Count Georg Adlersparre (1760-1809). Kellgren and Leopold were both of them important prose writers.
The excellent lyrical poet Frans Mikael Franzén (1772-1847) (see Franzén), and a belated academician Johan David Valerius (1776-1852), fill up the space between the Gustavian period and the domination of romantic ideas from Germany. It was Lorenzo Hammarsköld (1785-1827) who in 1803 introduced the views of Tieck and Schelling by founding the society in Upsala called “Vitterhetens Vänner” (see Hammarsköld). This passed away, but was succeeded in 1807 by the famous “Aurora förbundet,” founded by two youths of genius, Per Daniel Amadeus Atterbom (1790-1855) and Vilhelm Frederik Palmblad (1788-1852). These young men had at first to endure bitter opposition and ridicule from the academic writers then in power, but they supported this with cheerfulness, and answered back in their magazines, Polyfem and Fosforos (1810-1813). They were named “Fosforisterna” (Phosphorists) from the latter. The principal members of the school were the three writers last named (see Atterbom) and Karl Frederik Dahlgren (1791-1844), a humorist who owed much to the example of Bellman. Fru Julia Nyberg (1785-1854), under the title of Euphrosyne, was their tenth Muse, and wrote agreeable lyrics. Among the Phosphorists Atterbom was the man of most genius. On the side of the Academy they were vigorously attacked by Per Adam Wallmark (1777-1858). One of them, Atterbom, eventually forced the doors of the Academy itself.
In 1811 certain young men in Stockholm founded a society for the elevation of society by means of the study Geijer and Tegnér). Even more enthusiastic than either in pushing to its last extreme the worship of ancient myths and manners was Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839), now better remembered as the father of gymnastic science than as a poet. The Gothic Society eventually included certain younger men than these—Arvid August Afzelius (1785-1871), the first editor of the Swedish folk-songs; Gustaf Vilhelm Gumælius (1789-1877), who has been somewhat pretentiously styled “The Swedish Walter Scott,” author of the historical novel of Tord Bonde; Baron Bernhard von Beskow (1796-1868), lyrist and dramatist; and Karl August Nicander (1799-1839), a poet who approached the Phosphorists in manner. The two great lights of the Gothic school are Geijer, mainly in prose, and Tegnér, in his splendid and copious verse. Johan Olof Wallin (1779-1839) may be mentioned in the same category, although he is really distinct from all the schools. He was archbishop of Upsala, and in 1819 he published the national hymn-book of Sweden, now officially used in all churches; of the hymns in this collection, one hundred and twenty-six are written by Wallin himself.of Scandinavian antiquity. This was the Gothic Society, which began to issue the magazine called Iduna as its organ. Of its patriotic editors the most prominent was Erik Gustaf Geijer (1783-1847), but he was presently joined by a young man slightly older than himself, Esaias Tegnér (1782-1846), afterwards bishop of Vexio, the greatest of Swedish writers (see
From 1810 to 1840 was the blossoming-time in Swedish poetry, and there were several writers of distinguished merit who could not be included in either of the groups enumerated above. Second only to Tegnér in genius, the brief life and mysterious death of Erik JohanStagnelius (1793-1823) have given a romantic interest to all that is connected with his name. His first publication was the epic of Vladimir the Great (1817); to this succeeded the romantic poem Blanda. His singular dramas, The Bacchantes (1822), Sigurd Ring, which was posthumous, and The Martyrs (1821), are esteemed by many critics to be his most original productions. His mystical lyrics, entitled Liljor i Saron (“Lilies in Sharon”), and his sonnets, which are the best in Swedish, may be recommended as among the most delicate products of the Scandinavian mind. Stagnelius has been compared, and not improperly, to Shelley. Erik Sjöberg, who called himself “Vitalis” (1794-1828), was another gifted writer whose career was short and wretched. A volume of his poems appeared in 1820; they are few in number and all brief. His work divides itself into two classes—the one profoundly melancholy, the other witty or boisterous. Two humorous poets of the same period who deserve mention are Johan Anders Wadman (1777-1837), an improvisatore of the same class as Bellman, and Kristian Erik Fahlcrantz (1790-1866), bishop of Vesterås, whose humorous polemical poem of Noah's Ark (1825) is a masterpiece.
Among the poets who have been mentioned above, the majority distinguished themselves also in prose. But the period was not one in which Swedish prose shone with any special lustre. The first prosaist of the time was, Almqvist). He was encyclopædic in his range, although his stories preserve most charm; on whatever subject he wrote his style was always exquisite. Frederik Cederborgh (1784-1835) revived the comic novel in his Uno von Trasenberg and Ottar Tralling. The historical novels of Gumælius have already been alluded to. Swedish history supplied themes for the romances of Count Per Georg Sparre (1790-1871) and of Gustaf Henrik Mellin (1803-1876). But all these writers sink before the sustained popularity of the Finnish poetess Fredrika Bremer (1801-1865), whose stories have reached farther into the distant provinces of the world of letters than the writings of any other Swede except Tegnér (see Bremer). She was preceded by Sofia Zelow, afterwards Baroness von Knorring (1797-1848), who wrote a long series of aristocratic novels.without question, the novelist Karl Jonas Ludvig Almqvist (1793-1866), around whose extraordinary personal character and career a mythical romance has already collected (see
At the beginning of the romantic period a high position was taken as an independent thinker by Benjamin Höijer (1767-1812), who owed much at the outset to Kant and Fichte. Geijer also distinguished himself in philosophical writing, but the most original of Swedish philosophers has been Kristofer Jakob Boström (1797-1866), a peripatetic talker, who wrote little, but whose system has been reduced to literature by K. Claëson (1827-1859), Professor Axel Nyblæus (b. 1821), and other disciples. A polemical writer of great talent was Magnus Jakob Crusenstolpe (1795-1865), of whose work it has been said that “it is not history and it is not fiction, but something brilliant between the one and the other.” As an historian of Swedish literature Per Wieselgren (1800-1877) has composed a valuable work, and he has made other valuable contributions to history and bibliography. In history we meet again with the great name of Geijer, with that of Jonas Hallenberg (1748-1834), and with that of Anders Magnus Strinnholm (1786-1862), whose labours in the field of Swedish history were extremely valuable. Geijer and Strinnholm prepared the way for the most popular and perhaps the greatest of all Swedish historians, Anders Fryxell (1795-1881), whose famous Berättelser ur Svenska Historien appeared in parts during a space of nearly sixty years, an extraordinary example of persistent and uninterrupted work. As a legal historian the first place is easily maintained by Karl Johan Schlyter (b. 1795). Hans Järta (1774-1847) was a statesman who wrote with vigour on economical subjects. In science it is only possible to mention the celebrated names of Jöns Jakob Berzelius (1779-1848) the chemist, Elias Fries (1794-1878) the botanist, Karl Adolf Agardh (1785-1859) the physiologist, and Sven Nilsson (1787-1883) the palæontologist.
Runeberg). The other leading verse-writers were Karl Vilhelm Böttiger (1807-1878), the son-in-law and biographer of Tegnér; Johan Borjesson (1790-1866), the last of the Phosphorists, author of various romantic dramas; Vilhelm August von Braun (1813-1860), a humorous lyrist; “Talis Qualis,” whose real name was Karl Vilhelm August Strandberg (1818-1877); and August Teodor Blanche (1811-1868), the popular dramatist. But Runeberg is the only great poetic name of this period. In prose there was not even a Runeberg. Novel-writing was sustained at no very high level by Karl Anton Wetterbergh (b. 1804), who called himself “Onkel Adam,” by Emilie Carlén (b. 1807), whose autobiography has lately appeared, by Oskar Patrick Sturzen-Becker, “Orvar Odd,” (1811-1869), by August Blanche, and by Marie Sofia Schwartz (b. 1819). Lars Johan Hierta (1801-1872) was the leading journalist, Johan Henrik Thomander, bishop of Lund (1798-1865), the greatest orator, Matthias Alexander Castrén (1813-1852) a prominent man of science, and Karl Gustaf af Forsell (1783-1848) the principal statistician of this not very brilliant period. Elias Lönnrot (1802-1884) is distinguished as the Finnish professor who discovered and edited the Kalevala. It is impossible to give an exhaustive list of names in so short a sketch as this.In the generation which has just passed away, the first poet of Sweden, without a rival, was Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804-1877), who divides with Tegnér the highest honour in Swedish literature (see
Swedish literature is not in a very lively condition at the present time. The most popular living poet is the Finn, Zakris Topelius (b. 1818). Of a higher artistic merit are the finished lyrics of Count Karl Snoilsky (b. 1841). King Oscar II. (b. 1829) is a genuine poet of the second order, as his father Charles XV. was of the third. Karl David af Wirsén (b. 1842) is an active writer on the conservative side. The best living author of Sweden is undoubtedly Viktor Rydberg (b. 1829), who has written masterly novels and historical works. The latest influences from Denmark and France are beginning to be represented by Strindberg the novelist, and by Fru A. Ch. Edgren, the most successful Swedish dramatist of the moment. The revival of literature which has been so marked in the other two Scandinavian countries has not yet spread into Sweden.
Authorities.—P. Hanselli, Samlade Vitterhetsarbeten från Stjernhjelm till Dalin; B. E. Malmstrom, Grunddragen af Svenska Vitterhetens Historia; P. Wieselgren, Sveriges Sköna Literatur; Warburg, Svensk Litteraturhistoria i Sammandrag. (E. W. G.)
- The word for “lake,” which is sjö or träsk in Swedish, is jaur in Lapponian, and järvi in Finnish. “River” is elf in Swedish.
- Not to be confounded with the town of Malmö in Skåne.
- The geology of Sweden has been worked out principally by Hisinger, Forselles, Erdmann, Törnebohm, and others. A systematic geological survey of Sweden was set on foot by the Government in 1858. The geology of the fossiliferous strata of Sweden has been elaborated chiefly by Nilsson, Angelin, Linnarsson, Lindström, Nathorst, and others, and that of the Glacial and Post-Glacial periods by Sefström, Von Post, Torell, and others.
- For the Swedish language, see Scandinavian Languages, vol. xxi. pp. 370-372.