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.
Timeline of Swedish History & Important Historical Events
8000 BCE – From around 8,000 BCE, Sweden’s first humans settled the land.
800 CE – Viking Age Begins, The end of Swedish prehistory was followed both with the “Viking Age” and then the Christianization of Scandinavia.
1248 – Birger Magnusson’s Reign Begins, 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.
1397-1523 – Kalmar Union, 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.
1523 – Gustavus Vasa & Modern Sweden’s Beginning, 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.
1700 – The Great Northern War
1914 – Sweden Remains Neutral During WWI
1920 – Sweden Joins League of Nations
1956 – Sweden Joins the United Nations (read more: What is the United Nations?)
1974 – Powers of Monarch Removed. Sweden officially removes all powers from the monarch, transferring the rights to the people; the monarchy remains, purely ceremonial in nature.
1986 – Prime Minister Assassinated. 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.
1994 – Sweden Votes for EU Entry. The Swedish vote in favor of membership into the European Union, officially becoming a member on the first day of 1995.
2000 – Malmö Tunnel Opens. A new tunnel opens, connecting Sweden’s Malmö to Copenhagen, Denmark.
2003 – Anna Lindh & No Euro. Anna Lindh, the Swedish Foreign Minister, dies after being stabbed. Sweden votes not to join the euro monetary union.
2011 – World’s First Synthetic Organ Transplant. 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.
For even more on Sweden, check these articles out:
- Swedish Holidays: Important Events & Days Off for Sweden
- 5 Swedish Cultural Concepts to Understand Sweden
- A Gazillion Reasons Why Sweden Is Better
- The Vasa Museum & the Warship’s History, Stockholm, Sweden
- Touring Stockholm’s Drottninggatan
- Julbord – The Traditional Swedish “Christmas Table” Meal
- Djurgården in a Day: Stockholm’s Central Island of History
- Riding the Overnight Tallink Ferry, Riga to Stockholm