Timeline of Swedish history

This is a timeline of Swedish history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Sweden and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Sweden. See also the list of Swedish monarchs and list of Prime Ministers of Sweden.

1st century - 5th century

98First mention of tribe of the Swedes (Suiones) by Tacitus in his Germania
100Iron Age settlement at Uppåkra founded
ca 300Age of migrations begins

6th century - 9th century

530Posited date of possibly legendary Battle on the Ice of Lake Vänern
ca 551Getica of Jordanes, history of the Gothic people, written in Constantinople
750-790Trade center Birka, island on Lake Mälaren near present-day Stockholm, established
750sBeginnings of Scandinavian colonisation along Varangian trade routes (Baltic states to Black Sea)
ca 793Approximate beginning of Viking age
800Rök Runestone carved
829Ansgar's first mission to introduce Christianity to Sweden
850sOlof I campaigns in Courland (present day eastern Latvia)

10th century

960Settlement at Birka abandoned
980City of Sigtuna founded
984Battle of Fyrisvellir near present day Uppsala; Swedish and Geat tribes unite for first time under Eric the Victorious
990City of Lund founded
995Olof Skötkonung, first Swedish king of whom there is substantial historical knowledge, succeeds to throne

11th century

1000Gothi (pagan chieftain-priest) Þorgeirr Ljósvetningagoði endorses Christianity
1004Olof Skötkonung baptized; begins adoption of Christianity as official religion
1036Ingvar the Far-Travelled leads unsuccessful Viking attack against Persia
1085City of Helsingborg founded
1087Temple at Uppsala, the central place of worship within Ancient Norse paganism, destroyed at order of King Inge the Elder.

12th century

1100Vreta Abbey, first Christian convent in Sweden, established
1187Estonians, Curonians or/and Karelians invade and pillage Sigtuna killing archbishop Johannes[1]
City of Nyköping founded

13th century

1208Battle of Lena
ca 1215Eskil Magnusson, first historically attested lawspeaker of Thing of all Swedes (held in Tiundaland, present day Uppland)
ca 1220Gutalagen law book (also containing the Gutasaga)
1240Battle of the Neva
1252City of Stockholm founded
1280Ordinance of Alsnö gives birth to the frälse, a class of tax-exempt secular nobility

14th century

130629 SeptemberHåtuna games: coup against King Birger by his brothers, Eric and Valdemar Magnusson
1310Peace of Helsingborg settles conflicts between Sweden, Norway and Denmark[2][3]
131711 DecemberNyköping Banquet, Christmas celebration, after which King Birger imprisons his two brothers and starves them to death
1319Sweden and Norway first unite
1323Treaty of Nöteborg establishes peace between Sweden and the Novgorod Republic
1344Bridgettine Order founded by St. Bridget (Heliga Birgitta)
1350Black Death arrives in Sweden
1359Magnus IV summons first Riksdag (parliament of Sweden)[4]
1389February 24Battle of Åsle; King Albert deposed
1397Sweden, Denmark and Norway unite into the Kalmar Union (1397-1523)
1398Gotland conquered by Teutonic Knights

15th century

1409Teutonic Order sells Gotland to the Kalmar Union
1434Start of Engelbrekt rebellion against King Erik of Pomerania
1435Assembly of Swedish nobility at Arboga, considered first Riksdag of the Estates
1436Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson assassinated
1471Battle of Brunkeberg
1477Foundation of Uppsala University
1495Russo-Swedish War (1495-1497)

16th century

1505First Kalmar Bloodbath
1520Christina Gyllenstierna defends Stockholm but is defeated by the Danes under Christian II of Denmark; Christian is crowned king of Sweden and orders Stockholm bloodbath
1523Gustav Vasa liberates Stockholm, reasserting Sweden's independence from Denmark-Norway and initiating monarchical rule of the House of Vasa
1524Treaty of Malmö signed: Denmark-Norway recognizes independence of Sweden; Sweden in return renounces claims to Scania and Blekinge
1525First Dalecarlian Rebellion occurs in parallel with attempt by Christina Gyllenstierna and Sören Norby to take Swedish throne
1526First Swedish translation of New Testament published
1529Westrogothian Rebellion
1531Third Dalecarlian Rebellion, also known as the Bell Rebellion (Klockupproret) begins; suppressed two years later
1535War with Lübeck leads to expulsion of Hanseatic traders, ending previous Hanseatic League monopoly on foreign trade
1540First full Swedish translation of Bible, the Gustav Vasa Bible, published
1542Nils Dacke starts peasant uprising in Småland, defeated the following year
1554Border skirmishes between Sweden and Russia lead to outbreak of Russo-Swedish War (1554-1557)
1555A Description of the Northern Peoples (Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus) by Olaus Magnus published
1561Estonia becomes a Swedish dominion
1567Sture Murders carried out on the orders of Eric XIV
1577February 26Eric XIV dies in imprisonment
1584City of Karlstad founded
1592Poland and Sweden enter into a short-lived personal union following crowning of Sigismund III Vasa as King of Sweden
1598 Conflict between Duke Charles, later King Charles IX, and Sigismund, King of Sweden and Poland, leads to outbreak of the War against Sigismund
September 25Battle of Stångebro
1599War against Sigismund ends, resulting in deposition of King Sigismund; Sigismund's followers targeted in second Kalmar Bloodbath and the Åbo Bloodbath

17th century

1600March 20Linköping Bloodbath
1610Ingrian War between Russia and Sweden begins
1611Denmark declares war on Sweden, initiating Kalmar War
1613Treaty of Knäred ends Kalmar War: Sweden obligated to pay Älvsborg Ransom of one million rixdollars for return of fortress of Älvsborg
1614City of Kristianstad founded
1617February 27Treaty of Stolbovo ends Ingrian War: Russia cedes province and fortress of Kexholm, southwestern Karelia and province of Ingria to Sweden, laying foundation for Sweden's rise as a Great Power
1621City of Gothenburg founded
1628August 10Sinking of the Swedish warship Vasa
1630Sweden enters the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648)
1631 April 13 Battle of Frankfurt an der Oder
September 7Battle of Breitenfeld
1632November 6Battle of Lützen: King Gustav II Adolf killed
1638Colony of New Sweden established along the Delaware River in North America
1648Thirty Years' War ends, with Sweden among the winners; Peace of Westphalia grants Sweden the provinces of Western Pomerania, Wismar, and the bishoprics of Bremen-Verden
1650Colony of Swedish Gold Coast established on Gulf of Guinea in present-day Ghana
1654Queen Christina abdicates throne and converts to Roman Catholicism, creating major scandal
1658February 26Treaty of Roskilde: Denmark-Norway cedes provinces of Blekinge, Bornholm, Bohuslän, Scania, Trøndelag and Halland to Sweden
1663Colony of the Swedish Gold Coast seized by Denmark, and integrated into Danish Gold Coast
1666Foundation of Lund University
1668Foundation of Sweden's central bank, Sveriges Riksbank
1674December 24Sweden invades Brandenburg, triggering Swedish-Brandenburg War
1675Denmark invades Scania, triggering Scanian War
1676 June 1 Battle of Öland
August 17 Battle of Halmstad
December 4Battle of Lund
1677 June 26 Siege of Malmö
July 14Battle of Landskrona
1678Invasion of Rügen
1679August 23Treaty of Fontainebleau signed, restoring all Danish conquests during the Scanian War to Sweden
1680City of Karlskrona founded
Great Reduction of 1680 enacted, returning to the Swedish Crown lands that had earlier been granted to the nobility
1697May 7Castle of Tre Kronor burns down, destroying a significant portion of Sweden's national library and royal archives

18th century

1700Alliance consisting of Denmark-Norway, Saxony, Poland and Russia declares war on Sweden, initiating Great Northern War
Battle of Narva
1702July 8Battle of Kliszów
1706February 3Battle of Fraustadt ends in slaughter of captured prisoners by victorious Swedish army
1706October 13Invasion of Poland by Sweden results in Treaty of Altranstädt forcing King Augustus the Strong to renounce claim to Polish throne and break Treaty of Narva, his alliance with Russia
1708January 1Charles XII crosses Vistula, opening attempted Swedish invasion of Russia
1709June 27Battle of Poltava: destruction of Charles XII's invading Swedish army by defending Russian forces of Peter the Great marks beginning of Sweden's decline as a great power
1710February 28Battle of Helsingborg: final failed attempt by Denmark to regain Scania
1713February 1Skirmish at Bender, battle to remove Charles XII and the remnants of his army from the Ottoman Empire
1718November 30Charles XII killed at Frederikshald
1719Treaties of Stockholm, requiring Sweden to cede parts of Swedish Pomerania to Prussia and Bremen-Verden to Hanover
1720Treaty of Frederiksborg, requiring Sweden to cede Schleswig to Denmark-Norway
1721Treaty of Nystad, requiring Sweden to cede Estonia, Livonia and Ingria to Russia
1731Foundation of Swedish East India Company
1732Carl Linnaeus departs on his Expedition to Lapland
1732Civil Code of 1734 establishes unified code of law for Sweden
1735First edition of Linnaeus' Systema Naturae
1737Swedish language Theater of Bollhuset founded
1739June 2Foundation of Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
1741August 23Battle of Villmanstrand
1742Anders Celsius proposes Celsius temperature scale
1743Fourth Dalecarlian Rebellion breaks out
1747Olof von Dalin begins publication of his Swedish history, Svea Rikes Historia
1749Storskifte Enclosure Act begins long period of major land reform in Sweden
1756Quelling of attempted coup d'état by Queen Louisa Ulrika and a few devoted nobles to reinstate absolute monarchy in Sweden
1757Sweden enters Seven Years' War (1756-1763)
1762May 22Treaty of Hamburg concludes Sweden's involvement in Seven Years' War
1766Freedom of the Press Act enacted: censorship abolished apart from limitations on vocal opposition to the king and the Church of Sweden
1768December Crisis (1768) fails to increase royal power
1772Absolute monarchy reintroduced through the Revolution of 1772
1773 Discovery of oxygen by Carl Wilhelm Scheele
Royal Swedish Opera founded
1782Sweden purchases Caribbean island of Saint Barthélemy from France
1786March 20Foundation of Swedish Academy
1787First secondary education school in Sweden for girls, Societetsskolan, founded in Gothenburg
1788Sweden declares war against Russia, initiating Russo-Swedish War (1788-90)
1790Treaty of Värälä concludes Russo-Swedish War, confirming status quo ante bellum with respect to borders
1792March 16King Gustav III assassinated at a masked ball

19th century

1807General Enclosure Act of 1807 intensifies land reform measures
1808Outbreak of Finnish War
1809Conclusion of Finnish War: Sweden cedes Finland to Russia
Deposition of King Gustav IV Adolf in coup of 1809
1810Foundation of Karolinska Institutet
1814Sweden and Norway unite (1814-1905)
1832Completion of Göta Canal, providing route from Gothenburg (west coast) to Söderköping (east coast)
1848Series of riots, the Marsoroligheterna, in Stockholm
1855Construction begins on Sweden's first railway line
1864Daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter established
1867Telecommunications company, Ericsson, founded by Lars Magnus Ericsson
Alfred Nobel invents dynamite
1873Sweden and Denmark form Scandinavian Monetary Union
Swedish krona replaces Swedish riksdaler as national currency
1876Office of prime minister (statsminister) instituted
1878Island of Saint Barthélemy sold back to France
1884Daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet established
Fredrika Bremer Association, Sweden's oldest women's rights organization, founded
1889Swedish Social Democratic Party founded
1897Arctic balloon expedition of Salomon August Andrée
1898Formation of the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO)[5]

20th century

1901First Nobel Prizes awarded
1903Foundation of Swedish Employers' Association (SAF)[6]
1904Moderate Party (Moderaterna) founded
1905Personal union between Sweden and Norway peacefully dissolved
1906Official spelling reform of Swedish language, simplifying previous forms
1909Stockholm School of Economics (Handelshögskolan i Stockholm) founded
General Strike of 1909
1919AB Svensk Filmindustri established
1921June 30Capital punishment abolished for all crimes committed in peacetime
1934Crisis in the Population Question (Kris i befolkningsfrågan) by Alva and Gunnar Myrdal published and plays major role in design of Sweden's welfare policy
1938Saltsjöbaden Agreement establishes rules for collective bargaining and trade relations
1943Food packaging company, Tetra Pak, founded by Ruben Rausing
1945January 17Raoul Wallenberg detained by Soviet authorities in Budapest and subsequently disappears
1947Furniture company, IKEA, founded by Ingvar Kamprad
1954October 29Sweden conducts its first television broadcast
1957Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal (Det sjunde inseglet)
1967September 3Right-hand traffic introduced
1971The Riksdag becomes unicameral
1973Norrmalmstorg bank robbery and hostage crisis
1974April 6ABBA song, Waterloo, becomes the group's first global hit
1976January 30Swedish authorities arrest internationally acclaimed film-maker Ingmar Bergman for alleged tax evasion and Bergman suffers nervous breakdown; charges declared unfounded and dropped, 23 March
1986February 28Murder of Prime Minister and Social Democratic leader, Olof Palme
1994MS Estonia sinks en route from Tallinn to Stockholm; 852 people on board lose their lives
1995Sweden becomes a member of the European Union
1999Church of Sweden separates from state and becomes independent organization

21st century

2000July 1Øresund Bridge opened, creating road and railway connection between Sweden and mainland Europe
2003Voters decide not to adopt euro as the country's official currency
2009May 1Same-sex marriage legalized in Sweden
2010Military conscription abolished

See also

Cities in Sweden


  1. Enn Tarvel (2007). Sigtuna hukkumine. Haridus, 2007 (7-8), p 38–41
  2. ES Ol&sig=ACfU3U26Khx WrE932NT-ME5khWBSHp92w&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjsvd2Uw6rgAhUGShUIHfztBL4Q6AEwCnoECAEQAQ#v=onepage&q=treaty%20of%20helsingborg%201310&f=false Lester B Orfield, The Growth of Scandinavian Law (2002), p.140
  3. Sanderson Beck, Scandinavia, 1250-1400
  4. Elizabeth Elgán, Iren Scobbie: Historical Dictionary of Sweden (2015), p.236
  5. Schön, Lennart (2012). An economic history of modern Sweden. London: Routledge. ISBN 9780415671309.
  6. Schön, Lennart (2012). An economic history of modern Sweden. London: Routledge. ISBN 9780415671309.

Further reading

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