Sweden; key historical events
Page last modified 19 August 2023
See also Finland
9 September 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 August 2018, Over 100 cars were burnt in co-ordinated attacks across several Swedish cities. The disorder was widely blamed on migrant gangs.
6 April 2017, An Islamist terrorist drove a lorry into crowds shopping in the centre of Stockholm; 4 people were killed.
25 May 2013, A sixth night of rioting in the Swedish capital, Stockholm; many cars were burnt, mainly in poorer areas.
14 September 2003, In a referendum, Sweden rejected joining the Euro.
11 September 2003, Anna Lindh, Swedish Foreign Minister, died.
10 September 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.
27 August 1997, Norway and Sweden admitted that, between 1934 and 1967, they sterilised thousands of people deemed �substandard�, including the disabled.
13 November 1994, In a referendum, Swedish voters chose to join the European Union. They joined in 1995.
13 February 1992, Carl Bildt announced the end of Sweden�s policy of neutrality.
28 February 1986. The Swedish Prime Minister, Olof Palme, was assassinated, and his wife Lisbeth wounded, in an ambush in central Stockholm. Neither the perpetrator nor a motive were ever discovered.
19 September 1982, In Sweden, the Social Democrats under Olof Palme won the elections.
13 October 1978, A new Swedish Government, minority Liberal, took power under Ola Ullsten.
5 October 1978, The Swedish Centre-Right Government collapsed over the issue of nuclear power.
19 September 1976, Swedish general election ended 40 years of Social Democrat government led by Olof Palme. Thorbjorn Falldin, Conservative, became Prime Minister.
27 February 1974, New Constitution in Sweden stripped the monarchy of all remaining powers. The Riksdag (Parliament) became unicameral.
15 September 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 July 1957, Stefan Lofven, Swedish Prime Minister (2014-18), was born in Stockholm.
19 June 1957, Anna Lindh, Swedish politician, was born.
9 March 1957, Mona Sahlin, leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, was born in Sollefte�, Sweden.
29 October 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.
October 1948, The Swedish Parliament approved the creation of a National Health Service.
26 January 1947, Prince Gustav of Sweden was killed in a air crash near Copenhagen
30 April 1946, Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden since 1973, was born in Solna
10 April 1940. Sweden insisted on its neutrality during World War Two; however it allowed German forces to transit its territory to invade Norway.
20 September 1936, In Sweden, the Social Democrats won the General Election with 46% of the vote.
24 September 1932, In Sweden, Socialist Per Albin Hansson became Prime Minister. He retained this office until 1946, and his Socialist party remained in government until 1976. There was a severe recession in Sweden at this time.
12 March 1932, Ivar Kreuger, 52, Swedish civil engineer and industrialist committed suicide.
14 May 1931, In Sweden, soldiers shot and killed striking workers at Adalen.
1919, Universal adult suffrage in Sweden.
1917, A new Swedish Liberal Government 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 December 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 July 1905, Dag Hammarskjold, Swedish Secretary-General of
the United Nations, was born in
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 November 1882, Gustav VI, King of Sweden, was born the eldest son of Gustav V.
18 September 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 July 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 June 1858, Gustav V, King of Sweden from 1907 to 1950, was born the son of Oscar II.
18 October 1854, Salomon August Andree, Swedish engineer, was born in Grenna.
21 October 1853, Alfred Nobel was born in Stockholm.
22 December 1846, Oscar Josef Alin, Swedish politician, was born in Falun (died 31 December 1900 in Uppsala).
8 March 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 February 1837, Gustavus IV, King of Sweden, died. King of Sweden from 1792; he was born in 1778.
21 January 1829, Oscar II, King of Sweden and Norway, was born.
3 May 1826, Charles XV, King of Sweden, was born (died 18 September 1872).
5 February 1818, Charles XIII of Sweden died aged 69 after a 9-year reigh. He was succeeded by Crown Prince Jean Bernadotte (55), who now became Charles XIV. He ruled until 1844.
1815, Congress of Vienna. Sweden ceded territory to Russia and Denmark. A long period of peace began.
4 November 1814, Norway united with Sweden, see 7 June 1905.
27 December 1813, Gustaf Adolf Reuterholm, Swedish statesman, died in Schleswig.
3 March 1813, Britain agreed with Sweden that it would not oppose a union of Sweden and Norway.
1 March 1810, The world�s first Ombudsman, Lars Mannerheim, was appointed in Sweden.
17 September 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 March 1856.
5 June 1809, Charles XIII became King of Sweden.
King Gustavus IV
29 March 1809, King Gustavus IV of Sweden officially abdicated. This followed military defeats in the war with Denmark.
13 March 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 March 1809 Gustavus IV officially abdicated, and on 10 May 1809 the Swedish Government announced that the Gustavus family would not regain the throne.
30 April 1800, Olaf Wallqvist, Swedish statesman, died (born 1755)
1 November 1778, Gustavus IV, King of Sweden, was born.
29 March 1772, Emanuel Swedenborg, Swedish mystic, died in London (born 29 January 1688 in Stockholm)
12 February 1771, King Adolphus Frederick of Sweden died, aged 60, in Stockholm. He was succeeded by his 25-year old son, Gustavus III.
26 January 1763, Charles XIV, King of Sweden, was born.
2 June 1761, Jonas Alstromer, Swedish industrialist, died (born 7 January 1685 in Alingsas, Vestergotland).
9 October 1757, Charles X, King of Sweden, was born.
7 October 1748, Charles XIII, King of Sweden, was born (died 5 February 1818).
17 April 1742, Arvid Horn, Swedish statesman, died (born 6 April 1664).
Great Northern War
23 January 1743, Russia and Sweden began negotiations to end their conflict.
1720, Ulrika Eleanora abdicated in favour of her husband Frederick of Hesse, aged 44. He ruled until 1751 as Frederick I, but the new Constitution had taken away much of the monarchy�s power.
11 December 1718, Charles XII, King of Sweden, was killed after a 21-year reign, aged 36, shot at the Fortress of Frederiksten as he peered across at the Norwegians. He was succeeded by his sister, Ulrika Eleanora, aged 30, who was made Queen on condition that she accept a new Constitution drafted by the Riksdag. She ended the Great Northern War.
24 December 1715, Swedish troops occupied Norway.
11 November 1714, Charles XII of Sweden arrived at Stralsund, having fled from virtual Tirkish house arrest.
6 August 1714, Naval Battle of Gangut, in the Baltic; Russia defeated Sweden.
14 May 1710, Frederick Adolphus, King of Sweden from 1743, was born (died 12 February 1771).
28 February 1710, Sweden defeated a force of 14,000 Danes at the Battle of Helsingborg.
8 July 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 October 1708, Battle of Lesnaya. 11,000 Swedes under Loewenhaupt were defeated by a larger Russian force just east of the River Dnieper.
9 September 1708, The Swedes forced a bried engagement with the Russians at Dobry. However the Russians were pursuing a scorched earth policy, retreating as winter loomed. The Swedish army began to run short of food and fodder for the horses. However Charles XII decided not to retreat, but to move to the Ukraine to join the Cossacks under Ivan Mezeppa, who had secretly agreed to mount an uposising against the Russians with 30,000 men. However this was a military blunder by Charles, who should have consolidated his position and supplies before marching deeper into Russia.
Winter looms: the war turns against Sweden
8 July 1708, Charles XII now advanced to the River Dnieper at Mogilev.
4 July 1708, Battle of Holovsin; Sweden defeated Russia.
29 June 1708, Charles XII crossed the River Berezina at Borisov.
26 January 1708, Charles XII of Sweden took Grodno, which had bgeen abandoned by Peter.
1 January 1708, Charles XII of Sweden invaded Russia, crossing the now-frozen River Vistula with 45,000 men.
3 February 1706, The Swedes under Karl G Rehnskold routed a laerger Polish army under Augustus.
4 July 1704, Peter recaptured Dorpat.
13 April 1703, Battle of Pultusk; Sweden defeated Russia, and then laid siege to Thorn.
18 July 1702, Battle of Hummelsdorf; Russia defeated Sweden.
2 July 1702, Battle of Kliszow. Charles XII routed a larger Saxon-Polish army, then marched through hostile territory to seize Cracow.
7 January 1702, Battle of Errestfer; Russia defeated Sweden.
10 June 1701, Swedish forces under King Charles XII relieved Riga, which had been under siege by Saxony troops (Great Northern War). Charles XII then went on to invade Poland.
20 November 1700, Sweden defeated the Russians at Narva.
13 November 1700, Charles XII, with 8,000 men, advanced on Narva. Peter of Russia chose discretion over valour and fled.
6 October 1700, Charles XII landed at Livonia with a small force, intending to relieve Riga. Awaiting reinforcements, he decided to relieve Narva instead.
4 August 1700, Charles XII attacked Zealand across supposedly un-navigable waters against the advice of his Admiral, and advanced on Copenhagen. Denmark immediately sued for peace.
1699, Drottingholm Palace, near Stockholm, was completed.
14 December 1697, Charles XII was crowned King of Sweden, aged 15.
7 May 1697, The Royal Castle, Tree Kronor (Three Crowns) in Sweden burnt down, destroying a large part of the Royal Library.
28 August 1654, Swedish Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna died (born 1583).
16 June 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 (July 1654) was a relief to Denmark.
7 April 1651, Lennart Torstensson, Swedish soldier, died in Stockholm (born 1603)
29 July 1647, Carl Piper, Swedish statesman, was born in Stockholm (died 29 May 1716 in Schlusselburg)
1645, Sweden acquired Gotland from Denmark.
13 October 1644, Naval Battle of Fehmarn. In the Fehmarn Strait, Baltic, the Swedish navy under Karl Gustav Wrangel defeated the Danes under Pros Mund. The Danes lost 1200 men to the Swedes 100.
10 May 1641, Johan Baner, Swedish soldier during the Thirty Years War, died in Halberstadt (born in Djursholm Castle 23 June 1596).
10 August 1628, The Swedish flagship Vasa sank on her maiden voyage at Stockholm.
8 December 1626, Queen Christina of Sweden was born.
8 November 1622, Charles X, King of Sweden, was born.
1621, Sweden seized Riga.
27 February 1617, The Treaty of Stolbovo ended the Ingrian War between Sweden and Russia.� Sweden gained Ingermanland and Karelia.
20 January 1613, The Peace of Knared. Sweden paid a large ransom for the return of the fortress of Alvsborg, on the frontier with Denmark.
Charles IX died (1604-11)
30 October 1611, Charles IX of Sweden died aged 61, having ruled since 1604. He was succeeded by his 16-year old son, Gustavus II.
4 April 1611, The Kalmar War began when Denmark declared war on Sweden.Danish troops took the Swedish port of Kalmar, hoping to conquer the whole country.
12 March 1610, Swedish troops under Jacob de la Gardie took Moscow.
15 March 1607, Duke Charles of Sodermalmland was crowned King of Sweden, a title he had held since 1604.
27 September 1604, Battle of Kircholm. Newly-crowned Swedish King Charles IX landed in Estonia with an army of 14,000 men and marched on Riga. Chodkiewicz, with 8,000 me, two-thirds cavalry, charged and routed the swedes. Charles was almost captured, and 9,000 Swedes killed.
20 March 1604, The Lutheran Duke Charles of Sodermalmland assumed the title of King Charles IX of Sweden.
Charles IX acceded
18 February 1602, Per Brahe, Swedish statesman, was born near Stockholm (died in Visingborg 2 September 1680).
23 June 1596, Johan Baner, Swedish soldier during the Thirty Years War, was born in Djursholm Castle (died in Halberstadt 10 May 1641).
9 December 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 January 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 June 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.
24 June 1526, Religious reform began in Sweden, under King Gustavus I Vasa. The Swedish Diet accepted the King�s demand for Royal control of the Swedish Church and all its assets.
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.
23 July 1373, St Bridget, patron saint of Sweden, and founder of the Briggitine order, died.
30 November 1363, The Swedish nobles forced the abdication of Magnus II Eriksson at age 47 after a weak 44-year reign. He was freplaced by their puppet, Albert of Mecklenburg, who became Albert II, and ruled until 1387.
8 July 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.
18 December 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.
21 October 1266, Binger Jarl, who founded the city of Stockholm, died.
1255, The city of Stockholm was founded, on an island in a fjord, by Binger Jarl.
15 July 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.