Sweden; key historical events
Page last modified 15/1/2021
See also Finland
9/9/2018, Swedish elections produced a deadlock. Of 349 seats (majority = 175), the Left coalition received 144 seats, down 15 (40.6% of vote). The Centre Right coalition received 143 seats, no change (40.0% of vote). The third largest party was the anti-immigrant Populist Right party, Swedish Democrats, with 63 seats, up 14 (17.6% of vote). However none of the other parties were prepared to form a coalition with the Swedish Democrats. The full results were; Left = Social Democrats, 101 seats, -12 (28.4% of vote), Green Party 15 seats, -10 (4.3% of vote), and Left Party, 28 seats, +7 (7.9% of vote). Right – Moderates, 70 seats, -14 (19.8% of vote), Centre Party, 31 seats, +9 (8.6% of vote), Liberal Party, 19 seats, n/c (5.5% of vote), and Christian Democrats, 23 seats, +7 (6.4% of vote). Had the Green Party failed to make 4% they would have received no seats under Swedish election law.
13/8/2018, Over 100 cars were burnt in co-ordinated attacks across several Swedish cities. The disorder was widely blamed on migrant gangs.
6/4/2017, An Islamist terrorist drove a lorry into crowds shopping in the centre of Stockholm; 4 people were killed.
25/5/2013, A sixth night of rioting in the Swedish capital, Stockholm; many cars were burnt, mainly in poorer areas.
14/9/2003, In a referendum, Sweden rejected joining the Euro.
10/9/2003, Anna Lindh, foreign minister of Sweden, was fatally stabbed whilst shopping.
1999, The Swedish cabinet became the first in the world to have a majority of women.
13/11/1994, In a referendum, Swedish voters chose to join the European Union. They joined in 1995.
13/2/1992, Carl Bildt announced the end of Sweden’s policy of neutrality.
28/2/1986. The Swedish Prime Minister, Olof Palme, was assassinated, and his wife Lisbeth wounded, in an ambush in central Stockholm.
19/9/1982, In Sweden, the Social Democrats under Olof Palme won the elections.
13/10/1978, A new Swedish Government, minority Liberal, took power under Ola Ullsten.
5/10/1978, The Swedish Centre-Right Government collapsed over the issue of nuclear power.
19/9/1976, Swedish general election ended 40 years of Social Democrat government led by Olof Palme. Thorbjorn Falldin, Conservative, became Prime Minister.
27/2/1974, New Constitution in Sweden stripped the monarchy of all remaining powers. The Riksdag (Parliament) became unicameral.
15/9/1973, Gustavus VI, King of Sweden since 1950, died aged 90. He was succeeded by his 23-year-old son, Carl Gustavus XVI.
10/1969, In Sweden, Olaf Palme was elected Party Leader and Prime Minister, succeeding Tage Erlander who had been in power since 1946.
1960, Sweden joined the European Free Trade Area (EFTA).
21/7/1957, Stefan Lofven, Swedish Prime Minister (2014-18), was born in Stockholm.
9/3/1957, Mona Sahlin, leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, was born in Sollefteå, Sweden.
29/10/1950, Gustav V, King of Sweden since 1907, died aged 92, after a 43-year reign. He was succeeded by his 61-year old son, Gustavus VI Adolf, who ruled until 1973.
26/1/1947, Prince Gustav of Sweden was killed in a air crash near Copenhagen
10/4/1940. Sweden insisted on its neutrality during World War Two; however it allowed German forces to transit its territory to invade Norway.
1932, In Sweden, the Social Democratic Party gained power in general elections, led by Per Albin Hansson. There was a severe recession in Sweden at this time.
12/3/1932, Ivar Kreuger, 52, Swedish civil engineer and industrialist committed suicide.
14/5/1931, In Sweden, soldiers shot and killed striking workers at Adalen.
1919, Universal adult suffrage in Sweden.
1917, A new Swedish Liberal Governmewnt limited exports that were helping the German war effort.
1914 - 1917, Sweden was nominally neutral during World War One, however they supplied Germany with war goods.
8/12/1907, King Oscar II of Sweden died, aged 78, after a 35-year reign; he also ruled Norway until 1905. His eldest son, Gustav V, 49, became King, and ruled until 1950.
29/7/1905, Dag Hammarskjold, Swedish
Secretary-General of the United Nations, was born in
26/10/1905. Norway and
13/8/1905, A referendum in
7/6/1905. Norway declared independence from
1900, In Sweden, the Liberal party was formed, to fight for an extended franchise. It first took power in 1905 under Karl Staaff.
1890, Exploitation of the great iron ore deposits at Kiruna began; see railways (Sweden) for transport development here.
11/11/1882, Gustav VI, King of Sweden, was born the eldest son of Gustav V.
18/9/1872, Charles IV of Sweden died at Malmo, aged 46. He was succeeded by his 43-year-old brother, as Oscar II.
1866, The Swedish Riksdag (Parliament) was made bicameral.
8/7/1859, King Oskar I of Sweden died aged 60 after a 15-year reign. He was succeeded by his 33-year-old son who reigned as Charles XV until 1872.
16/6/1858, Gustav V, King of Sweden from 1907 to 1950, was born the son of Oscar II.
18/10/1854, Salomon August Andree, Swedish engineer, was born in Grenna.
21/10/1853, Alfred Nobel was born in Stockholm.
22/12/1846, Oscar Josef Alin, Swedish politician, was born in Falun (died 31/12/1900 in Uppsala).
8/3/1844, Charles XIV, King of Sweden, died aged 81, after a 26-year reign. He was succeeded by his son, Oskar I, aged 44.
7/2/1837, Gustavus IV, King of Sweden, died. King of Sweden from 1792; he was born in 1778.
21/1/1829, Oscar II, King of Sweden and Norway, was born.
3/5/1826, Charles XV, King of Sweden, was born (died 18/9/1872).
5/2/1818, Charles XIII of Sweden died aged 69. He was succeeded by Crown Prince Jean Bernadotte (55), who now became Charles XIV.
1815, Congress of Vienna. Sweden ceded territory to Russia and Denmark. A long period of peace began.
4/11/1814, Norway united with Sweden, see 7/6/1905.
3/3/1813, Britain agreed with Sweden that it would not oppose a union of Sweden and Norway.
17/11/1810. Sweden declared war on Britain.
1/3/1810, The world’s first Ombudsman, Lars Mannerheim, was appointed in Sweden.
17/9/1809, In February 1808 Tsar Alexander invaded Finland, then part of Sweden, without a declaration of war. On this day the Treaty of Fredrikshamn ended the war; Sweden ceded Finland and the Aland Islands to Russia. Sweden was unable to secure an undertaking by Russia not to fortify the Aland Islands, which were close to Stockholm, but see 30/3/1856.
13/3/1809, Swedish Army officers seized King Gustavus IV of Sweden and put him under house arrest in the royal apartments. A provisional government was announced, led by the Duke of Sudermania. On 29/3/1809 Gustavus IV officially abdicated, and on 10/5/1809 the Swedish Government announced that the Gustavus family would not regain the throne.
29/3/1792, King Gustavus III of Sweden died, aged 46 (acceded 1771). He was succeeded by his son, 13-year old Gustavus IV.
16/3/1792, Gustavus III, King of Sweden, was shot at a masked ball; he died on 29/3/1792. King of Sweden from 1771, he was born in 1746.
1/11/1778, Gustavus IV, King of Sweden, was born.
19/8/1772, Gustavus III of Sweden re-established an absolute monarchy, as he removed the Riksdag’s power to legislate. However he also liberalised, abolishing torture and proclaiming the freedom of the press and of religious worship.
12/2/1771, King Adolphus Frederick of Sweden died, aged 60, in Stockholm. He was succeeded by his 25-year old son, Gustavus III.
26/1/1763, Charles XIV, King of Sweden, was born.
2/6/1761, Jonas Alstromer, Swedish industrialist, died (born 7/1/1685 in Alingsas, Vestergotland).
9/10/1757, Charles X, King of Sweden, was born.
7/10/1748, Charles XIII, King of Sweden, was born (died 5/2/1818).
24/1/1746, Gustavus III, King of Sweden, was born.
23/1/1743, Russia and Sweden began negotiations to end their conflict.
17/4/1742, Arvid Horn, Swedish statesman, died (born 6/4/1664).
11/12/1718, Charles XII, King of Sweden, was killed.
24/12/1715, Swedish troops occupied Norway.
6/8/1714, Naval Battle of Gangut, in the Baltic; Russia defeated Sweden.
14/5/1710, Frederick Adolphus, King of Sweden from 1743, was born (died 12/2/1771).
28/2/1710, Sweden defeated a force of 14,000 Danes at the Battle of Helsingborg.
8/7/1709, The Battle of Poltava (in modern day eastern Ukraine). Peter the Great of Russia destroyed the Swedish army. Hanover and Denmark joined with Russia in attacking the Swedish Empire.
9/10/1708, Battle of Lesnaya; Russia beat Sweden.
4/7/1708, Battle of Holovsin; Sweden beat Russia.
2/7/1708, Battle of Kliszow; Sweden beat Russia.
13/4/1703, Battle of Pultusk; Sweden beat Russia.
18/7/1702, Battle of Hummelsdorf; Russia beat Sweden.
7/1/1702, Battle of Errestfer; Russia beat Sweden.
20/11/1700, Sweden defeated the Russians at Narva.
1699, Drottingholm Palace, near Stockholm, was completed.
14/12/1697, Charles XII was crowned King of Sweden, aged 15.
7/5/1697, The Royal Castle, Tree Kronor (Three Crowns) in Sweden burnt down, destroying a large part of the Royal Library.
28/8/1654, Swedish Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna died (born 1583).
16/6/1654, Queen Christina of Sweden abdicated in favour of her cousin, Charles Gustavus (Charles X). There had been discontent at her luxurious lifestyle and failure to produce an heir. She had sold off large amounts of Crown Property to support the 500 nobles she had created . She fled disguised in men’s clothes as ‘Count Dohna’, to settle in Rome.Meanwhile Denmark felt uneasy at the accession of Charles X, fearing his aggressive expansionist attitude. The invasion of Poland by Sweden (7/1654) was a relief to Denmark.
1645, Sweden acquired Gotland from Denmark.
10/5/1641, Johan Baner, Swedish soldier during the Thirty Years War, died in Halberstadt (born in Djursholm Castle 23/6/1596).
6/9/1634, Battle of Nordlingen, Germany. Hapsburg forces defeated Sweden.
16/11/1632, Gustavus II, King of Sweden from 1611 (born 1594), was killed as his army gained victory in the Battle of Lutzen (Thirty Years War) near Leipzig. He was succeeded by his 6-year old daughter, Christina; in the interim, Sweden was governed by Count Axel Oxenstierna.
15/4/1632, Battle of Rain, Bavaria. Swedish forces destroyed the Bavarian army, which had been allied to the Hapsburgs.
23/12/1631, The Swedes captured Mainz, Germany.
17/9/1631, During the Thirty Years War, a battle was fought between Gustavus II, King of Sweden (1594-1632) and the Holy Roman Empire forces under Tilly at Brietenfeld, Germany. (see 4/7/1630). The Swedes overwhelmingly won. Gustavus II had extended the Kingdom of Sweden right around the eastern Baltic, turning it into a ‘Swedish lake’. Gustavus now began to conquer the wealthy lands of the rivers Main and Rhine.
4/7/1630, During the Thirty Years War, Gustavus Adolphus, Protestant King of Sweden, landed at Peenemunde with an army of 13,000 men, in an attempt to bring the entire Baltic under Swedish control. See 17/9/1631.
25/9/1629, The Treaty of Altmark ended the Polish-Swedish war, for six years. Gustavus of Sweden was now, summer 1627, to start a campaign in northern Germany.
10/8/1628, The Swedish flagship Vasa sank on her maiden voyage at Stockholm.
8/12/1626, Queen Christina of Sweden was born.
8/11/1622, Charles X, King of Sweden, was born.
1621, Sweden seized Riga.
27/2/1617, The Treaty of Stolbovo ended the Ingrian War between Sweden and Russia. Sweden gained Ingermanland and Karelia.
20/1/1613, The Peace of Knared. Sweden paid a large ransom for the return of the fortress of Alvsborg, on the frontier with Denmark.
30/10/1611, Charles IX of Sweden died aged 61, having ruled since 1604. He was succeeded by his 16-year old son, Gustavus II.
12/3/1610, Swedish troops under Jacob de la Gardie took Moscow.
18/2/1602, Per Brahe, Swedish statesman, was born near Stockholm (died in Visingborg 2/9/1680).
23/6/1596, Johan Baner, Swedish soldier during the Thirty Years War, was born in Djursholm Castle (died in Halberstadt 10/5/1641).
9/12/1594, Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, was born.
1592, Swedish King John III died aged 55, having failed to Romanise the country. He was succeeded by his 28-year-old son Sigismund, who had been King of Poland since 1587. Sigismund married the Austrian Archduchess Anne.
15/1/1582, Ivan IV, The Terrible, of Russia ceded, at the Peace of Zapoli, Livonia and Polotsk to Stephen Bathory of Poland. He also ceded this day, by the Truce of Ilyusa, Ingria to Sweden. Muscovy lost the Baltic seaboard for over a century.
25/6/1560, Gustavus I of Sweden abdicated, aged 64. King of Sweden from 1523, he was born in 1496. He was succeeded by his son, Charles IX.
1533, Eric XIV, King of Sweden 1561-68, was born (died 1577).
1527, Evangelical Lutheranism was established as the State Religion.
1380, Hakon, King of Norway, died. His surviving wife was Queen Margaret (born 1353, married 1363, and daughter of Waldemar III, King of Denmark). Her son Olaf died in 1387, which meant she became ruler of Denmark also. She defeated Albert, King of Sweden, thereby gaining that country too. Margaret then instituted the Union of Kalmar, 1397, to permanently unite these three countries. Margaret died in 1412.
1363, King Magnus II of Sweden was forced to abdicate at age 47 after a weak 44-year reign. He was succeeded by Albert of Mecklenburg, a puppet of the Swedish aristocracy, who ruled until 1387.
8/7/1319, Three-year-old Magnus Eriksson was elected king of Sweden, thus uniting it with Norway. His mother Ingeborg of Norway was given a place in the regency in both Sweden and Norway.
1290, Sweden’s King Magnus Ladulos died aged 50 after an 11-year reign. He was succeeded by his 10-year-old son who was crowned Birger III in 1302; he ruled until his exile in 1318.
1255, The city of Stockholm was founded, on an island in a fjord, by Binger Jarl.
15/7/1240. Alexander Nevski defeated the Swedish army, led by General Briger Jarl, on the banks of the Neva.
1150, King Sverker of Sweden was deposed after a 16-year reign that has amalgamated the Swedes and Goths. He was succeeded by Eric IX, who ruled until 1160.
1090, King Ingo of Sweden acceded (died 1112).
1016 – 1035, Under King Canute the Great, all of Scandinavia and England were united.
993, Sweden’s first Christian ruler, Olaf Skutkonung, acceded. Son of Eric the Conqueror, he ruled until his death in 1024.
517, The first documented Viking raid on Gaul. The Viking King Hygelac was killed and his fleet defeated.
600s, The Svear, from which the name ‘Sweden’ derives’, extended their control across much of central Sweden.
500, Danes from Scania (southern Sweden) settled in Jutland (Denmark).
8,000 BCE, Start of hunter-gatherer peoples in Scandinavia, as the climate warmed.