The Tradition Of Literacy In Swedish History Essay

The Swedes are fortunate because they have non been at war for two hundred old ages. The last war they were engaged in was the short war with Russia in 1808-09. The result of that war was the appropriation of Finland, once a portion of Sweden, into Russia ( — – & gt ; Finns ) . The Swedes had much bearing on European history, during the Viking Age and, subsequently, when the greater portion of the states around the Baltic Sea was under Swedish regulation. Culturally and politically, the Swedes have had close contacts with Germany.

There are wholly 9.1 million Swedes of whom 7.8 million live in Sweden. Another 0.29 million are citizens of Finland ( Finland-Swedes ) , numbering for 5.5 per cent of the countryA?s population. These are posterities of mediaeval Swedish migrators who settled on the Aland Islands, half manner between Sweden and Finland, and in the western and southern coastal strips of Finland. About 21,000 Swedes live in neighbouring Norway and there is a little Swedish minority in Estonia. Of the Swedes in abroad states most live in America, among them 0.6 million US-Americans of Swedish descent. Swedish settlers came to America already in the 17th century.

Swedish is a North Germanic linguistic communication which is a subdivision of the Indo-germanic household of linguistic communications. It is most closely affiliated with other Nordic linguistic communications such as Norse and Danish. Swedish has been written in two different composing systems, in runic book and in a version of the Latin alphabet. The earliest written paperss of Germanic in Scandinavia are letterings in the older version of the runic book, known as the senior futhark alphabet with 24 letters. The texts are letterings in Old Norse which is a pre-stage of the modern Nordic linguistic communications. In Sweden some 200 runic letterings ( frequently on metal objects and some on standing rocks ) , utilizing the senior futhark, have been found. They day of the month to a period from the 3rd to the nineth century c.e.

The tradition of literacy in Swedish proper starts around 800 and is divided into several periods:

– Runic Swedish ( to c. 1225 ) ; the text principal are some 3,500 letterings in the younger version of the runic book, the 16-letter futhark. Most of these letterings are found on standing rocks of which the best known is the Rok rock ( A-stergotland ) with some 850 runic letters, dating to the nineth century. Scratching rocks became most popular in Sweden where more than 2,000 specimens ( that is 90 per cent of all Norse rune-stones ) were erected.

– Classical Old Swedish ( c. 1225 – c. 1375 ) ; this assortment of mediaeval Swedish, written in a modified Latin alphabet, is known from texts of two different spheres. There are the voluminous digests of the provincial Torahs, the oldest being the Codex Holmiensis from the 1280s. The extended spiritual literature of that period is characterized by a specific manner which is credited to St Birgitta ( 1302 – 1373 ) . Her cloistered foundation at Vadstena marks the beginnings of that spiritual manner. BirgittaA?s philosophy was the accomplishment of a balance between an ascetic ( brooding ) and an active life in the community. Her thoughts were positively received and many new centres of Christian cloistered acquisition were founded, in Norse states and in western Europe. Through emigres one subdivision of the Birgittine Order was transferred to America in the 20th century. “ The success of the Birgittine Order can be explained against the background of the general diminution in cloistered criterions in the 15th century: in maintaining with BirgittaA?s aspirations, it was seen as a fresh beginning and hence attracted helpers who were willing to impart it their fiscal support in penchant to the more constituted orders ” ( Morris 1999: 171 f. ) .

– Subsequently Old Swedish ( c. 1375 – 1526 ) ; the texts of this period are largely official paperss whose linguistic communication, in clip, becomes more and more permeated with foreign elements of Latin and Low German beginning.

– Early Modern Swedish ( 1526 – 1732 ) ; the chief event of this period is the interlingual rendition of the Bible into Swedish. The New Testament appeared in 1526 and Gustav VasaA?s Bible in 1541. The manner of the interlingual rendition set criterions for the codification of the modern literary linguistic communication.

– Later Modern Swedish ( since 1732 ) ; 1732 is the day of the month of the visual aspect of the first newspaper, the “ Argus ” . An invention of this period is the beginning of scientific authorship. The most influential author of scientific texts in Swedish is the celebrated phytologist Carl von Linne ( 1707 – 1778 ) who demonstrated that his native lingua was disposed for scientific discipline. In 1786, the Swedish Academy ( Svenska Akademien ) was founded by king Gustav III. National literature flourished since the 1880s, with the plants of August Strindberg and Selma Lagerlof being the most widely known.

The Ice Age ended approximately 10,000 b.c.e. in southern Scandinavia, and human business of the part began non long after the thaw of the ice-sheet. Agriculture spread to southern Sweden in the 3rd millenary b.c.e. Neither the early hunter-gatherers nor the first agriculturists were Indo-Europeans or of Germanic stock ; alternatively they belonged to the pre-Indo-European population of Europe. Germanic tribes moved into Scandinavia during the first millenary b.c.e. and it is in those populations that Swedish ethnicity is rooted. The name of the state, Sweden ( Sverige in Swedish ) , is derived from the name of a Nordic folk in cardinal Sweden, the Svear.

Culturally and linguistically, the Swedes began to separate themselves from other Nordic peoples in the early stage of the Viking Age ( c. 800 – c. 1050 c.e. ) . During the Middle Ages, the Vikings from Sweden built up a web of trade dealingss with the South and East. They sailed down the Dnieper which was the “ path to Byzantium ” to make the Black Sea and Constantinople, and they frequented the Volga which was the “ path to the Arabs ” . Along the trade paths, the Swedish Vikings, called Varyagi ( A?VarangiansA? ) in the Old Russian histories, established trade-posts and colonies, among them the communities in western and southern Finland. They were besides involved in the initiation of the princedoms of Kiev and Novgorod in the land of the ( — – & gt ; ) Russians which was named after the place state of the Northmen ( Rus via Finnish Ruotsi which is the name for Sweden ) .

The first activities of missionaries to convey Christianity to Sweden day of the month to the 10th century but this faith did non become widespread before the 13th century. Kingship in Sweden is related to the coming of Christianity and was established toward the terminal of the first millenary c.e. The first Christian male monarch, Olav Skotkonung, is recognized as the laminitis of the Swedish land. The consolidation of the land was a drawn-out procedure and one can talk of a incorporate state merely with the constitution of royal authorization for law-giving in all states. This tradition of the kingA?s blessing of regional digests of Torahs was resumed with the Uppland Law in 1296.

By that clip, Swedish society was thriving and more than 20 towns had been founded, among them Stockholm in 1250. The economic system experienced considerable growing in the Malar vale part with its natural resources of Fe and Cu that were exploited and exported to cardinal Europe. The gap of Sweden to international trade made the state attractive for foreign powers to take influence. In the class of the 14th century, the German Hanseatic League gained of all time more control of the commercialism in the states around the Baltic Sea. German influence on Swedish society besides had a permanent impact on the development of the Swedish linguistic communication. “ Domination of trade by the Hanseatic League and the in-migration of German bargainers and craftsmen who helped organize the growing of trade clubs and Swedish urban life along German lines led to a immense inflow of Low German words and word-formation elements into Swedish ” ( Holmes 2008: 526 ) .

This foreign laterality of trade and economic system is seen as the ground why Sweden agreed to fall in a dynastic brotherhood with Norway and Denmark, the Union of Kalmar ( 1397 ) , with the purpose to equilibrate power dealingss. Denmark was the ruling portion in this brotherhood. Danish regulation turned out non to be favourable either and the Swedes tried to free themselves of Danish backing in several rebellions during the 15th century. Although Sweden tried difficult to liberate itself from foreign domination it was German merchandisers from Lubeck in northern Germany who financed the rebellion of Gustav Vasa against Danish domination and paved the manner for him to go male monarch of Sweden. A status was attached to the support of the German merchandisers, and this was the transition of Gustav Vasa to the Protestant religion. Gustav Vasa ascended the throne in 1523 and he reigned his state until 1560. The reformation of the Swedish church was effected in 1527. Otherwise, this Swedish male monarch continued mediaeval traditions, “ but through his witting organizing of resources and conditions, he laid the foundation of a modern society, structured in a new manner under forceful royal leading ” ( Dahlback 1993: 633 ) .

Sweden rose to its tallness as a political power during the 17th century. The Thirty YearsA? War ( 1618-48 ) was a presentation of the brotherhood of faith and province authorization and its use in the political power drama. Decisive was the battle of Sweden for the Protestant cause, and the soldier-king Gustav II Adolf ( reigned 1611 – 1632 ) achieved Swedish military domination in cardinal Europe. Under AdolfA?s replacements, Sweden gained control over most of the parts around the Baltic Sea and, by 1660, once Danish- and Norwegian-held districts on the fringe of Sweden had been reintegrated into the land. Outside Sweden the presence of Swedish political authorization and civilization was most vigorous in Finland which was ruled by a Finland-Swedish blue elite. Swedish was the linguistic communication of disposal, refering the personal businesss both of the province and the church. It was besides the linguistic communication of acquisition and it shared this map with Latin. Similar conditions of disposal were besides true for Estonia and Latvia although, in those parts, there was an extra medium viing with Swedish as a linguistic communication of larning which was German.

The 17th century was non merely the epoch of Sweden as a great political power but besides a period of economic and cultural prosperity. Many new agricultural communities were established, beef uping the economic foundation of Swedish society. Several new establishments were founded, among them two universities. Up until the 17th century, Sweden had merely one university, Uppsala, which had been founded, in 1477, as the first centre of larning in Scandinavia. Those universities that were founded outside the Swedish heartland were Tartu ( 1632 ) in southern Estonia and Turku ( Abo in Swedish ; 1640 ) in the Southwest of Finland.

Swedish political domination crumbled during the Great Northern War ( 1700 – 1721 ) when Sweden had to confront an anti-Swedish confederation of several provinces, including Denmark, Poland and Russia. Although winning against his Danish and Russian antagonists in the beginning, the Swedish male monarch Charles XII ( reigned 1697 – 1718 ) did non pull off to interrupt up the confederation of its enemies. The modernised Russian ground forces defeated the Swedes in the conflict at Poltava ( 1709 ) and Swedish military operations after that event were doomed to failure. As a consequence of the war Sweden lost political control over most of the districts it had occupied around the Baltic Sea. The lone part that remained under Swedish regulation was Finland. The victor of the Great Northern War was tsar Peter the Great under whose regulation Russia rose to take the topographic point of Sweden as a great political power.

A hundred old ages subsequently, Sweden found itself at war once more, this clip involved in the Napoleonic Wars. The battle was foremost with the anti-Napoleonic confederation which cost Sweden the loss of its ownerships South of the Baltic Sea to Prussia, in 1805, and of the eastern portion of the land, Finland, to Russia in 1809. During the epoch of the kingdomA?s greatest enlargement the capital Stockholm was located in the centre of the imperium, with the terminal of the Napoleonic wars, its location was on the eastern fringe. Sweden had shifted sides so that, in the Treaty of Kiel in 1814, Denmark had to yield Norway to Sweden. For about a century, Norway was politically bound to Sweden in a dynastic brotherhood although it retained its parliament and authorities. The twelvemonth 1905 saw NorwayA?s sezession from the brotherhood and its independency. By the beginning of the 20th century Swedish political power had been reduced to the confines of its present boundary lines.

During the past century major alterations have occurred, in Swedish society, economic system and interior political relations. In 1900, Sweden was an agricultural province, and some 80 per cent of its population were husbandmans. In 2000, Sweden was a post-industrial province with more than 80 per cent urbanised dwellers. As a reaction to the planetary economic crisis that started in 1929 and whose negative effects were strongly felt across western Europe Swedish society and its substructure every bit good as the economic system were reshuffled by authoritiess in sequence led by societal Democrats. Inventions of the societal system became effectual to organize what has been known as the Swedish theoretical account of “ humanist capitalist economy ” . The basic thought underlying this theoretical account is the grasp of the value of the construct lagom ( A?just the right amountA? ) which is oriented at equilibrating the involvements of persons vis-a-vis those of the community. “ This was to be achieved by a aggressively progressive revenue enhancement system to level inequalities in income and to pay for first-class wellness, instruction, pension and public assistance installations ” ( Fernandez-Armesto 1994: 303 ) . This system, though, has produced jobs as to the fight of Swedish economic system in planetary trade dealingss.

Sweden became a member province of the European Union in 1995 and Swedish is one of the official linguistic communications of its political organic structures. Unlike neighbouring Finland, Sweden did non fall in the first group of states that shifted to the Euro as their currency in 2002 although the Euro is accepted as a 2nd currency alongside the Swedish Crown. A passage to the Euro is pending.

Harald Haarmann

Further Reading

Dahlback, Goran. “ Sweden. ” In Medieval Scandinavia – An Encyclopedia, erectile dysfunction. Phillip Pulsiano, 629-633. New York & A ; London: Garland Publishing, 1993.

Daun, Ake. Swedish Mentality. A Comparative Perspective ( in Swedish ) . Capital of sweden: Raben & A ; Sjogren, 1989.

Fernandez-Armesto, Felipe ( ed. ) . The Times Guide to the Peoples of Europe. London: Timess Books, 1994 ( Swedes: pp. 297-303 ; Finland-Swedes: pp. 303-304 ) .

Holmes, Phil. “ Swedish. ” In Wieser Encyclopaedia – Western European Languages, eds. Ulrich Ammon and Harald Haarmann, vol. 2, 525-541. Klagenfurt, Wien & A ; Ljubljana: Wieser, 2008.

Morris, Bridget. St Birgitta of Sweden. Woodbridge, Suffolk ( UK ) & A ; Rochester, NY: The Boydell Press, 1999.

Nordstrom, Byron J. The History of Sweden. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2002.

Ostern, Anna. “ Swedish in Finland. ” In The Other Languages of Europe, eds. Guus Extra and Durk Gorter, 159-173. Clevedon, Buffalo, Toronto & A ; Sydney: Multilingual Matters, 2001.

Tagil, Sven ( ed. ) . Ethnicity and Nation Building in the Nordic World. London: Hurst & A ; Company, 1995.