Unions of Sweden

From Academic Kids

Sweden has for political and dynastic reasons been in union with other kingdoms and princely states, ostensibly personal unions.


Norway (I) and Terra Scania

In 1319 the infant Magnus Eriksson was crowned as king of both Sweden and Norway. In 1332 when the king of Denmark Christopher II died as a "king without a country" after he had pawned Denmark piece by piece, king Magnus took advantage of his neigbour's distress, redeeming the pawn for the eastern Danish provinces for a huge amount of silver, and thus also became king of Terra Scania. The union of these three countries lasted until 1343 when Magnus preemptively let his son Haakon, succeed him to the Norwegian throne. In 1360 the Danish king Valdemar Atterdag reconquered Terra Scania. The Swedish kingdom at this time included Sweden and Finland, while the Norwegian kingdom included Greenland, Iceland, and the Faroe, Shetland and Orkney Islands.

Kalmar Union

Main article: Kalmar Union

In 1397 the three Scandinavian kingdoms of Sweden, Norway and Denmark were united in the Kalmar Union, a personal union agreed upon in the Swedish city of Kalmar. After only a few decades the relationship between Sweden and the leading power Denmark had deteriorated into open conflict. The period until the dissolution in 1521 was marked by the constant strife between Sweden and Denmark. The union was sometimes made defunct by Sweden electing a monarch separate from the union king, and on one occasion Sweden and Norway were even de facto united in a personal union in opposition to the union monarch.


In 1592 Sigismund succeeded his father John III of Sweden to the Swedish throne, but in 1587 he had also been elected king of Poland-Lithuania making him the monarch of both nations. Sigismund, who was a Roman Catholic failed however to gain support in Lutheran Sweden, and was eventually deposed and succeeded by his uncle Charles IX in Sweden 1599.


In 1654 the reigning queen Christina of Sweden abdicated and was succeeded by her cousin Charles X, duke of Pfalz-Zweibrücken. Sweden and Zweibrücken were also united under Charles XI and Charles XII, until the death of the latter in 1718, at which point he was succeded by his sister Ulrike Eleonora on the Swedish throne, but not in his German Duchy.


Frederick I of Sweden had acceded to the Swedish throne when his wife, Ulrike Eleonora, abdicated in his favour in 1721. In 1730 he was also in line of succession to the duchy of Hesse-Kassel, which resulted in a personal union that lasted until his death in 1751.

Norway (II)

Main article: Sweden-Norway

By the Treaty of Kiel in 1814 Denmark ceded Norway to Sweden, an event which likely would have resulted in a full political union between Sweden and Norway. The treaty however never came into force, but Norway had as an indirect effect of it gained its independence from Denmark. Sweden, which would not accept this outcome was able to pressure Norway into accepting a personal union with Sweden. Norway had full inner autonomy, but depended on Swedish foreign policy and a Swedish monarch, even if the new Bernadotte dynasty could just as well be termed Norwegian, until the dissolution of the union in 1905.

European Union

Sweden has been a part of the European Union since 1995.


1319Norway24 years
134354 years
1397Denmark and Norway124 years
152171 years
1592Poland-Lithuania7 years
159955 years
1654Pfalz-Zweibrücken64 years
171812 years
1730Hesse-Kassel21 years
175163 years
1814Norway91 years
1905A century

See also


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