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16-Mar-2018 12:50 by 2 Comments

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Trade grew during the 14th century, especially with the German towns grouped under the leadership of Lübeck.By the mid-16th century, this group, known as the Hanseatic League, dominated Swedish trade, and many towns were founded as a result of lively commercial activity.

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The country even founded a short-lived colony in what is now Delaware in North America.

Since the dissolution of the Kalmar Union, Swedish foreign policy had been aimed at gaining dominion over the Baltic Sea, leading to repeated wars with Denmark from the 1560s onward.

After Sweden intervened in 1630 with great success in the Thirty Years’ War on the side of the German Protestants, and Gustav II Adolf became one of Europe’s most powerful monarchs, Sweden defeated Denmark in the two wars of 1643––58.

This union was peacefully dissolved in 1905 after many internal disputes.

After the death of the warrior king Karl XII in 1718 and Sweden’s defeat in the Great Northern War, the Swedish parliament (Riksdag) and council were strong enough to introduce a new constitution that abolished royal absolutism and put power in the hands of parliament.

However, the Black Death, which reached Sweden in 1350, led to a long period of economic and population decline.

In 1389, the crowns of Denmark, Norway and Sweden were united under the rule of the Danish Queen Margareta.

The various provinces of Sweden were absorbed around 1000 AD into a single unit, but the crown began to gain significant influence only during the late 13th century.

In 1280 King Magnus Ladulås (1275–90) issued a statute authorising the establishment of a nobility and the organisation of society on the feudal model.

After 500 BC, such artifacts become increasingly rare as iron came into more general use.

During the early Iron Age, the population of Sweden became settled, and agriculture came to form the basis of the economy and society.

From the mid-19th century to 1930, about 1.5 million Swedes emigrated, out of a population of 3.5 million in 1850 and slightly more than 6 million in 1930.