Sweden Modern History

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Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden. Scandinavian country in Northern Europe that is part of the European Union (EU). It is bordered to the north by Norway and Finland, to the east by Finland and the Gulf of Bothnia, to the south by the Baltic Sea and to the west by the North Sea and Norway. It has land borders with Norway and Finland, and is connected to Denmark by the Oresund Bridge. The capital is Stockholm.

Between 1750 and 1850 the Swedish population doubled. According to some specialists, mass emigration to the United States became the only way to avoid starvation and rebellion; More than 1% of the population emigrated annually during the 1880s.

Most of the Swedish immigrants settled in the American Midwest, reaching a high incidence in the population of Minnesota. As secondary destinations, other Swedish flows went to Delaware, Canada, Chile and to a lesser extent Argentina.

During the second half of the 19th century, there were strong social and union movements, as well as independent abstinent and religious groups, which began to press for a democratic state. In 1889 the Swedish Social Democratic Party was founded. These movements led the country towards a modern parliamentary democracy, achieved at the time of the First World War. As the Industrial Revolution progressed during the 20th century, the rural population began to migrate to the cities to work in the factories and began to be included in unions. In 1917 a socialist revolution failed.

World wars

According to Topschoolsintheusa, Sweden was officially neutral during both world wars, although its neutrality in World War II has been debated many times; it was under German influence for most of the war, and they were cut off from the rest of the world by blockades. Initially, the Swedish government considered that it was not in a position to oppose Germany, and later it collaborated with Hitler. Swedish volunteers in Nazi SS units were among the first to invade the Soviet Union during Operation Barbarossa. Sweden also supplied steel, bearings, and machinery to Germany during the war. Towards the end of the war, when German defeat seemed imminent, Sweden began to play a role in humanitarian efforts and host refugees, including the many Jews from Nazi-occupied Europe who were saved, in part because Sweden participated in missions. rescue in concentration camps, and because Sweden was the main refugee center from Scandinavia and the Baltic countries. However, internal and external critics claim that Sweden could have done more to resist the threats of the Nazis, even risking an occupation.

From about 1934 to 1975, Sweden sterilized more than 62,000 people by putting into practice barbaric eugenic theories that assume there is a relationship between ethnicity and race with mental and physical health. In 1996 the Social Democrats rejected the payment of compensation to the victims. In 1999 the Swedish government began to compensate the victims and their families.

Recent history

During the Cold War Sweden publicly adopted a position of neutrality, but unofficially the Swedish leaders maintained close connections with the United States. In the early 1960s, Sweden and the United States agreed to deploy nuclear submarines off the Swedish east coast and that same year both countries made a secret defense pact that was released in 1994.

Like other countries in the world, he entered a period of economic decline after the oil embargoes of 1973 -74 and 1978 -79. In the 1980s the pillars of Swedish industry were heavily restructured. Shipbuilding was discontinued, logging was integrated into modern paper production, the steel industry was concentrated and specialized, and mechanical engineering was robotized.

Between 1970 and 1990 almost all taxes were raised by more than 10%, and growth was very slow compared to most Western European countries. The income limit tax for workers reached more than 80% and public spending exceeded half of the national GDP, while its economic policy was questioned by classical economists.

In the early 1990s Sweden fell into a fiscal crisis. The government’s response was to cut spending and institute a series of reforms to boost Sweden’s competitiveness, including downsizing the Swedish welfare state and privatizing public goods and services. The reforms allowed it to enter the European Union, to which Sweden has belonged since January 1, 1995, although without adopting the euro, having decided to keep the Swedish crown as its national currency.

Currently Sweden is one of the countries with the highest Human Development Index, among the twenty largest economies in the world. Sweden is also often involved in international military operations, including Afghanistan, where Swedish troops are under NATO command ; and in the European Union supporting “peacekeeping” operations in countries such as Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cyprus. In addition, several Swedish companies export weapons that are used by the US military in Iraq.

Sweden Modern History

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