Sweden: History & Timeline

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Updated: 2017-03-10.

Kingdom of Sweden | Konungariket Sverige

Here is a brief timeline of important events that have shaped Sweden; the focus here will be geared towards recent events (from 100 years ago or so), located towards the bottom, but we’ll begin with more ancient events first.

  • Sweden's First Inhabitants
    8000 BCE
    From around 8,000 BCE, Sweden’s first humans settled the land.
  • Viking Age Begins
    800 CE
    The end of Swedish prehistory was followed both with the “Viking Age” and then the Christianization of Scandinavia.
  • Birger Magnusson's Reign Begins
    1248
    Birger Magnusson, Jarl of Sweden, was a Swedish statesman who is today known most famously for being the founder of Stockholm, though many other notable accomplishments are attributed to him, such as the abolition of serfdom.
  • Kalmar Union
    1397 - 1523
    The Union of Kalmaris forms, uniting all of Scandinavia under one monarch. Finland is part of this, as it was a part of Sweden at the time, as well as Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and the Northern Isles, all being part of Norway.
  • Gustavus Vasa & Modern Sweden's Beginning
    1523
    Gustavus Vasa stopped the resurrection of the Kalmar Union from succeeding, opening up Sweden’s independence as a sovereign state; he becomes King Gustavus I in 1523.
  • The Great Northern War
    1700
  • Finland is lost to Russia in War
    1809
  • Sweden Remains Neutral During WWI
    1914
  • Sweden Joins League of Nations
    1920
  • Sweden Joins the United Nations
    1956
  • Powers of Monarch Removed
    1974
    Sweden officially removes all powers from the monarch, transferring the rights to the people; the monarchy remains, purely ceremonial in nature.
  • Prime Minister Assassinated
    1986
    Swedish prime minister Olof Palme is assassinated, and the killing still baffles investigators to this day; the murder stuns the country, who have been virtually free of political violence for two centuries.
  • Sweden Votes for EU Entry
    1994
    The Swedish vote in favor of membership into the European Union, officially becoming a member on the first day of 1995.
  • Malmö Tunnel Opens
    2000
    A new tunnel opens, connecting Sweden’s Malmö to Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Anna Lindh & No Euro
    2003
    Anna Lindh, the Swedish Foreign Minister, dies after being stabbed. Sweden votes not to join the euro monetary union.
  • World's First Synthetic Organ Transplant
    2011
    Surgeons at the Karolinska University Hospital perform the world’s first synthetic organ transplant; this was done with an artificial windpipe created and coated in the patient’s stem cells.
flag of Sweden

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