Development of a Nation
How Sweden became
and how the Swedes became Swedish.

the Swedish as a people, and the country of Sweden as a nation-state,
evolved and materialized into current form, in terms of ancestral
bloodlines, the Swedish language, borders, culture, and even how they
received their name.

Ancestral Background
Development of Language
Formation of Borders
Etymology (How Name Received)
Sweden in 2008

Distribution of Germanic peoples by 750 BC
Ancestral Background:

  1. Began with the Germanic people which originated in
    Scandinavia. Those that remain in the north after the Germanic
    migrations into mainland Europe (Scandinavia: modern Norway, Sweden,
    Denmark) comprise the North Germanic tribes. The North Germanic
    tribes splinter into the Swede and Geat tribes scattered throughout
    modern Norway and Sweden.
  2. By the 9th century, the homogenous
    Swede and Geat tribes throughout Scandinavia begin to subdivide into
    an eastern group (Norway) and western group (Sweden). The
    Scandinavian Mountains, which form the modern boundary between
    Norway and Sweden, served as a partition for the two groups. This would serve as
    the beginnings of distinct Norwegian and Swedish nationalities, homogenous
    but decentralized tribes that were largely subdivided by a mountain
    range running north-south, laying the
    groundwork for two separate “nations”.

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Norse and Swedes
of Swedish Language:

  1. Proto-Germanic (direct branch from
  2. Proto-Norse, a branch from Proto-Germanic,
    spoken in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark) in the 3rd
    – 7th centuries.
  3. Evolved into Old Norse, spoken in Scandinavia
    through 13th century.
  4. Old East Norse develops largely in Sweden and
    Denmark, while Old West Norse develops largely in Norway and
    Iceland. Danes and Swedes share common/similar language at this
  5. Even as Old Norse branches off from
    Proto-Norse, the Danish and Swedish languages begin diverging from
    one another in the 13th century, developing into the
    modern, distinct languages they are today. All Scandinavian
    languages (Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish) are mutually

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Formation of Swedish Borders:

  1. Sweden conquest of Finland
    North Germanics in Scandinavia (Norway and
    Sweden) are a largely homogenous, yet highly decentralized network of
    tribes throughout the region, known as Swedes and Geats.
  2. In the 9th century, the
    Scandinavian Mountains, which serve as the basis for the modern
    Norway-Sweden border, cause a barrier between Swedes on the east and
    west sides. Consequently, two distinct nationalities materialize,
    with the Norse on the west, and the Swedes on the east side of the
    mountain range. Those on the west side are more accessible to one
    another, developing a common interest in the fishing industry, while developing an
    offshoot language distinct from the Swedes from who they splintered
  3. Beginning in the 12th century and
    into the 13th century, the Christianized Swedish began to
    crusade into Finland, forcibly converting them to Christianity. By
    the 13th century, Sweden controlled parts of the
    southwest coastal region of Finland, expanding within Finland until
    the beginning of the Kalmar Union in 1397.
  4. Queen Margaret of Denmark marries the King of
    Norway, joining the two kingdoms under personal union in 1380. The
    kingdoms were autonomous, but combined their respective foreign
    policies. Sweden was mired by civil war, and the nobles sided with
    Queen Margaret (King of Norway husband had since died), in joining
    Sweden to the personal union as well, forming a pan-Nordic kingdom.
    This was finalized as the Kalmar Union in 1397. Each kingdom was
    autonomous, but foreign policy was dictated by the monarch. Norway
    included Iceland and Greenland, and Sweden included western Finland.
    The union was dominated by Denmark.

    Europe 1500 AD

  5. Sweden Expansion
    The Swedes grew unhappy with the
    Danish-dominated government, and the frequent wars they were dragged
    into, compelling them into an armed revolt. Independence of Sweden
    (and their territory in Finland) was achieved in 1523. Denmark and
    Norway remain under personal union, as the Kingdom of
  6. 1560 – Sweden conquered part of modern Estonia
    from the Livonian Order, which is in the process of collapse. Sweden
    also captured more Baltic territory from 1625 to 1629 during
    Polish-Sweden Wars.
  7. After siding with the victorious Protestant
    side during the 30 years war in Germany, Sweden gained parts of the
    German “Holy Roman Empire”. By now, it had expanded deeper within
    Finland as well.
  8. 1700 – As the preeminent power in the north,
    other northern powers combined against Sweden in the Great Northern
    War, defeating Sweden, after which (by 1721) it would lose its
    Baltic & Holy Roman Empire/Germanic territories.
  9. 1809: Finnish War with Russia. Russia captures
    all of Sweden’s Finnish territory.
  10. After Denmark-Norway was defeated by France in
    the Napoleonic Wars, Denmark was forced to cede Norway to Sweden in 1814. However,
    Denmark kept Iceland and Greenland, as they were considered property
    of the monarch of Denmark-Norway, the monarch being Danish, as had
    always been the case in the Danish-dominated union. Norway is now
    under Swedish rule.
  11. Norway
    remained under personal union with Sweden until the union was
    peacefully dissolved in 1905 as discontentment over the union had
    finally boiled over in Norway, which considered itself a sovereign
    nation. This finalized modern Swedish borders.

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Etymology (How Name Received):

Sweden is derived from “Swedes”, the North
Germanic, the forefathers to modern Swedish people, whose homeland was
modern Sweden. “Swedes” is a Proto-Germanic word thought to mean “one’s
own”, as in “one’s own tribe”.

Swedish Culture:

Very similar to Norway and Denmark. Like other Scandinavian countries,
Sweden has evolved into a neo-liberal society, with egalitarian ideals
such as equality, and acceptance of all cultures and lifestyles that do
not impose harm or oppression upon others. Unlike every other western
nation, Sweden avoided serfdom. As a result, its peasant class
traditionally had greater liberties and influence in Swedish affairs, a
tradition that is exhibited in modern Sweden, which is plagued by
elitism to a lesser extent than many nations.

Sweden in 2008:

service-oriented economy. Free-market, capitalistic economy intermixed
with welfare state policies. High tax burden as a result. Has lagged
behind Norway and Denmark in recent years, in part due to stricter
regulations, and lacking the natural energy resources of Norway and
Government: Constitutional monarchy (democracy with monarch still
in place).
Religion: Lutheran 87%, Lutheran Church of Sweden was state
religion until 2000. Survey: 23% believe in God, 53% believe in some
other form of intelligent design, 23% atheist/agnostic. Like most of
Europe, secularization trend.
Demographics: 80%+ Swedish
Foreign Policy: Armed neutrality. Has not fought a war in almost
two centuries.
Population: 9,045,389 (2008)

Formation of Nations (All European Nations)

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