Modern and Nonaligned State

History of Sweden between 1906 - 2017

The parliament of Norway broke the personal union with Sweden under the House of Bernadotte on 7 June 1905. After some months of tension and fear of war between the two neighbouring nations, negotiations between the two governments led to Norway's recognition by Sweden as an independent constitutional monarchy on 26 October 1905.

Welfare state

Sweden created a successful model of democratic socialism because of the unique way in which Sweden's labor leaders, politicians, and classes cooperated during the early development period of Swedish social democracy. Because Sweden's socialist leaders chose a moderate, reformist political course with broad-based public support in the early stages of Swedish industrialization and prior to the full-blown development of Swedish interclass politics, Sweden escaped the severe extremist challenges and political and class divisions that plagued many European countries that attempted to develop social democratic systems after 1911. By dealing early, cooperatively, and effectively with the challenges of industrialization and its impact on Swedish social, political, and economic structures, Swedish social democrats were able to create one of the most successful social democratic systems in the world, including both a welfare state and extensive protections of civil liberties.

When the Social Democratic Party came into power in 1932, its leaders introduced a new political decision-making process, which later became known as "the Swedish model." The party took a central role, but tried as far as possible to base its policy on mutual understanding and compromise. Different interest groups were always involved in official committees that preceded government decisions.

Sweden between World War I & II

Sweden was neutral in World War I. During the war and the 1920s its industries expanded to meet the European demand for Swedish steel, ball bearings, wood pulp, and matches. Post-war prosperity provided the foundations for the social welfare policies characteristic of modern Sweden.

Foreign policy concerns in the 1930s centered on Soviet and German expansionism, which stimulated failed efforts at Nordic defense cooperation. Sweden followed a policy of armed neutrality during World War II (although thousands of Swedish volunteers fought in the Winter War against the Soviets); however, it did permit German troops to pass through its territory to and from occupation duties in its neighbour, Norway, and it supplied the Nazi regime with steel and much needed ball-bearings. Sweden remained neutral during World War II, despite the involvement of all its neighbors. Sweden provided assistance to both warring parties.

Post-war Sweden

Sweden was one of the first non-participants of World War II to join the United Nations (in 1946). Apart from this, the country tried to stay out of alliances and remain officially neutral during the entire Cold War; it never joined NATO.

The social democratic party held government for 44 years (1932–1976), they spent much of the 1950s and 1960s building Folkhemmet (The People's Home), the Swedish welfare state. Sweden's industry had not been damaged by the war and it was in a position to help re-build Northern Europe in the decades following 1945. This led to an economic upswing in the post-war era that made the welfare system feasible.

By the 1970s the economies of the rest of Western Europe, particularly that of West Germany were prosperous and growing rapidly, while the Swedish economy stagnated. Many economists blamed its large tax funded public sector. In 1976, the social democrats lost their majority. The 1976 parliamentary elections brought a liberal/right-wing coalition to power. Over the next six years, four governments ruled and fell, composed by all or some of the parties that had won in 1976. The fourth liberal government in these years came under fire by Social Democrats and trade unions and the Moderate Party, culminating in the Social Democrats regaining power in 1982.

During the Cold War Sweden maintained a dual approach, publicly the strict neutrality policy was forcefully maintained, but unofficially strong ties were kept with the U.S., Norway, Denmark, West Germany and other NATO countries. Swedes hoped that the U.S. would use conventional and nuclear weapons in case of a Soviet attack on Sweden. A strong ability to defend against an amphibious invasion was maintained, complete with Swedish-built warplanes, but there was no long-range bombing capability.

In the early 1960s U.S. nuclear submarines armed with mid-range nuclear missiles of type Polaris A-1 were deployed not far from the Swedish west coast. Range and safety considerations made this a good area from which to launch a retaliatory nuclear strike on Moscow. The U.S. secretly provided Sweden with a military security guarantee, promising to provide military force in aid of Sweden in case of Soviet aggression. As part of the military cooperation the U.S. provided much help in the development of the Saab 37 Viggen, as a strong Swedish air force was seen as necessary to keep Soviet anti-submarine aircraft from operating in the missile launch area. In return Swedish scientists at the Royal Institute of Technology made considerable contributions to enhancing the targeting performance of the Polaris missiles.

On February 28, 1986, the Social Democratic leader and Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was murdered; shocked Swedes worried whether the nation had "lost its innocence".

In the early 1990s there occurred once again an economic crisis with high unemployment and many banks and companies going bankrupt. A few years after the end of the Cold War Sweden became a member of the European Union in 1995, and the old term "policy of neutrality" fell out of use.

In a referendum held in 2003, voters decided not to adopt the Euro as the country's official currency.

Reference: Wikipedia

Popular sites founded between 1906 and 2017 in Sweden

Vasa Museum

The Vasa Museum (Vasamuseet) is a maritime museum displaying the only almost fully intact 17th century ship that has ever been salvaged, the 64-gun warship Vasa that sank on her maiden voyage in 1628. Opened in 1990, the Vasa Museum is one of the most visited museums in Scandinavia. The main hall contains the ship itself and various exhibits related to the archaeological findings of the ships and early 17th century Swede ...
Founded: 1990 | Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm City Museum

The Stockholm City Museum documents and exhibits the history of Stockholm. It was opened to the public in 1942 and located in the palace completed in 1685. The museum is the largest municipal museum in Sweden, and houses collections which include 300,000 items of historical interest; 20,000 works of art and 3 million photographs. The museum has two permanent exhibitions, one called "The Stockholm Exhibition - Based on a ...
Founded: 1942 | Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Gothenburg Museum of Art

The Göteborg Museum of Art at Götaplatsen, Gothenburg, is renowned for its collection of Nordic art from around the close of the 19th century. A must see is the lavishly decorated Fürstenberg Gallery, named after a leading Gothenburg art donor, Pontus Fürstenberg and his wife Göthilda. Among the artists showcased one can mention Carl Larsson, Anders Zorn, and P.S. Kröyer. The museum also hou ...
Founded: 1923 | Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

Vasa Church

Opened in 1909, Vasa Church is a monumental building in the new romantic style with decorative detail in the Jugendstil. The church is built of granite from the nearby Bohus county and was designed by Yngve Rasmussen. The interior is dominated by a huge mural painting in the chancel portraying the ascension of Christ. It was painted by Albert Eldh in the 1920s. The other end of the church is dominated by the original o ...
Founded: 1909 | Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

Strindberg Museum

The Strindberg Museum (Strindbergsmuseet) is dedicated to the writer August Strindberg and located in his last dwelling, in the house he nicknamed the "Blå tornet" (The Blue Tower). The Museum is owned by the Strindberg Society of Sweden and was inaugurated in 1973. Strindberg moved to the house in 1908 and lived there until his death in 1912. The Museum consists of Strindberg's flat and library, as well as an area ...
Founded: 1973 | Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Swedish Army Museum

The Swedish Army Museum, was awarded the title of the best museum of Stockholm in 2005. Its displays illustrate the military history of Sweden, including its modern policy of neutrality, and of the Swedish Army. The building was erected in the 17th century as an arsenal for the production and storage of artillery weapons. The exhibition includes life-size figures of soldiers of past centuries, as well as scenes of the gr ...
Founded: 2002 | Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Sofia Church

Sofia Church, named after Sofia of Nassau 1836-1913 (Queen of Sweden 1872-1907), is one of the major churches in Stockholm. It was designed during an architectural contest in 1899, and was inaugurated in 1906.
Founded: 1906 | Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Masthugget Church

Masthugget Church was built in 1914. Its position on a high hill (Masthugget) close to the city and near the Göta älv (Göta river) makes it a striking sight – the church tower is 60 meters high in itself. The church represents the national romantic style in Nordic architecture and was drawn by Sigfrid Ericson. The church, which has become one of the symbols of Gothenburg, is a popular tourist attrac ...
Founded: 1914 | Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

Sigtuna Museum

Sigtuna Museum exhibits the history of Sigtuna, Sweden's oldest medieval city. The museum is located on the site where the first royal palace was built in the late 900’s AD. The museum dates back to 1916 and the current museum has been built in the 1960s with new showrooms, reception and storage. The permanent exhibition displays Sigtuna's earliest history. Although the museum is active in many areas the archaeologi ...
Founded: 1916 | Location: Sigtuna, Sweden

Wadköping Open Air Museum

Wadköping open-air museum with its wooden buildings and courtyards gives an idea of what Örebro's buildings and city environment used to look like. Wadköping has been located here since its opening in 1965 and comprises buildings and courtyards moved here from central Örebro. A town street runs through the middle of Wadköping with buildings on either side. One side, with its low-proportioned, red- ...
Founded: 1965 | Location: Örebro, Sweden

Skogskyrkogården

Skogskyrkogården (“The Woodland Cemetery”) is a cemetery founded in 1917. Its design reflects the development of architecture from national romantic style to mature functionalism. Skogskyrkogården came about following an international competition in 1915 for the design of a new cemetery in Enskede. The design of the young architects Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz was selected. Work began in 19 ...
Founded: 1917 | Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Bunge Museum

The open-air museum at Bunge is a folk museum which shows how the Gotlandic peasants of the past lived. The museum's creator, schoolteacher Th. Erlandsson (1869-1953), moved to Bunge from central Gotland at the end of the 19th century. At that time most of Gotland's old buildings had already disappeared and he decided to try to save those that remained. Many local people also became interested in this idea and a piece of ...
Founded: 1908 | Location: Fårösund, Sweden

Picasso Sculpture

One of Pablo Picasso’s largest sculptures stands atop a rocky cape overlooking Vålösund just outside the town of Kristinehamn. The 15 metre tall concrete sculpture is part of the artist’s Les dames de Mougins series of paintings and sculptures themed on his wife Jacueline. The sculpture can be reached by a boat trip from Kristinehamn.
Founded: 1965 | Location: Kristinehamn, Sweden

Eslöv Museum

Eslöv Museum lies in the heart of the town. It was established in 2000 and is contained within a former merchant’s house from the late nineteenth century. The museum’s permanent exhibition traces the development of the settlement from a small farming village to a thriving commercial centre as the railways arrived. The museum also hosts changing temporary exhibitions on themes with some relevance to the ...
Founded: 2000 | Location: Eslöv, Sweden

Solliden Palace

Solliden Palace was completed in 1906. The Italian-style country house was designed by Torben Grut. Today it is owned by King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden and used as the royal summer residence. Solliden palace is open to the public from May to September.
Founded: 1906 | Location: Borgholm, Öland, Sweden

Eksjö Museum

Eksjö Museum was established in 1960 when Albert Engström donated a significant collection of historical equipments to the city of Eksjö. The museum exhibits this collection, the history of Eksjö and the war history of Småland. The museum is located to the site of old leather factory.
Founded: 1960 | Location: Eksjö, Sweden

Kloster Church

Eskilstuna's history dates back to medieval times when English monk Saint Eskil made "Tuna" his base and diocese of the South coast of Lake Mälaren. Saint Eskil was stoned to death by the pagan vikings of neighbouring town Strängnäs, trying to convert them to Christianity. Saint Eskil was buried in his monastery church in Tuna. Later the pagan city of Strängnäs was Christianised and was given th ...
Founded: 1929 | Location: Eskilstuna, Sweden

Fröderyd Church

The oldest known church on the site was built in the 13th century. The medieval church was demolished in 1854 and replaced with a new one designed by Sven Sjöholm and J. A. Hawerman. This church was destroyed by lightning in 1943. The present church was built in 1946-1947. The medieval font and altarpiece (painted in the mid-19th century) have survived. The other interior date from 1940s.
Founded: 1946-1947 | Location: Vetlanda, Sweden

Museum of Norrbotten

Norrbotten County Museum exhibits the history of Norrbotten and Samish culture.
Founded: 1936 | Location: Luleå, Sweden

Orenäs Castle

Örenäs Castle is German Baroque style castle was raised in 1914-1918. It's now a hotel and conference centre with a public restaurant. During WWII Danish and Estonian refugees were hosted here. It's known to be the youngest castle in both Scania and Sweden.
Founded: 1914-1918 | Location: Landskrona, Sweden

Norrköping Art Museum

The Norrköping Art Museum history began with a generous donation by Swedish industrialist Pehr Swartz at the beginning of the 20th century. The collection was exhibited in Villa Swartz, where the first public museum and library in Norrköping opened in 1913. In the autumn of 1946 Norrköping Museum was inaugurated at Kristinaplatsen. This modernistic building was designed by architect Kurt von Schmalensee. A ...
Founded: 1913 | Location: Norrköping, Sweden

Bror Hjorths Hus

Bror Hjorths Hus, (Bror Hjorth's House) is a museum of the artist Bror Hjorth (1894-1968). The museum has a large collection of Hjorth's work. The house which was built in 1943 was for 25 years the home and studio of Bror Hjorth. It became a museum in 1978.
Founded: 1978 | Location: Uppsala, Sweden

Ammarnäs Chapel

The chapel of Ammarnäs was built in 1910-1912 by the design of Torben Grut. The earlier one, made in 1858, was demolished when the new chapel was completed. There are couple of small, 300 years old market cottages surrounding the church. This church town was called as Lapplatsen and had been purposed for people who came to worships from long distances.
Founded: 1910-1912 | Location: Ammarnäs, Sorsele, Sweden

Parsetjärn Fortifications

During the Second World War many forts and defense walls were raised to protect Sweden from the invasion of German troops. Parsetjärn Fortification is one of these historical structures. The fort was restored by Dals-Ed Municipality and is frequented by tourists, historians and researchers to gain insight into the defense strategies and plan of the bygone era.
Founded: 1940 | Location: Dals-Ed, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Church of the Savior on Blood

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.

Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.

In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.

In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.