Decisive Dates In Scandinavia

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During the most recent glacial period the entire Scandinavian peninsula was under a sheet of ice. As the ice cap began to withdraw, about 12,000 years ago, hunter-gatherers moved north in pursuit of reindeer. Here are some decisive dates in Scandinavian history.

Early history:
10,000 BC – AD 800

Hunter-gatherer tribes follow the melting ice northwards, establishing settlements in Southern Scandinavia.

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1500 BC
Trade routes are forged through the rivers of Eastern Europe to the Danube.

500 BC – AD 800
Iron Age Grauballe Man and Trollund Man are buried in peat bogs in Denmark.

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AD 100
The historian Tacitus mentions the Fenni (The Sami) in his Germania and describes the Sveas who inhabit what is now called central Sweden.

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AD 400
Sweden’s influence over its “eastern province” begins.

The Viking Age
800 – 1060
Vikings earn a reputation as sea warriors. Swedish Vikings (Varangians) soon control trade routes to Byzantium.

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830
A Bebedictine monk, Ansgar (801-65), lands on Björklö in Sweden and founds a church.

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861
Vikings sack Paris

866
Vikings raid and plunder, eventually controlling most of England and Normandy.

940-95
Harald Bluetooth brings Christianity to Denmark; Olav Trygvason uses force in his attempt to convert the Norwegian Vikings.

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1001
Leifur Eriksson discovers Vinland (America).

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1050
Harald Hardrada of Norway found Oslo.

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1066
Defeat in England brings the Viking Age to an end.

Middle Ages , 1100 – 1500
1070
Building of Nidaros Cathedral begins in Norway

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1155
King Erik of Sweden launches a crusade into Finland: further Swedish invasions take place in 1239 and 1293.

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1319-43
Inter-Scandinavian royal marriages produce a joint Norwegian-Swedish monarchy.

1362
Finland becomes a province of Sweden.

1397
The Kalmar Union unites the kingdoms of Norway, Denmark and Sweden.

1417
Eric VII of Denmark makes Copenhagen his capital and builds a palace at Helingoer.

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Wars and reformation
1520
Kristian II of Denmark invades Sweden and massacres the nobility in the “Stockholm Bloodbath”. Gustav Vasa drives him out and the Kalmar Union is disbanded.

1523
In Sweden, Gustav Vasa ascends the throne, marking the start of the Vasa dynasty (1523-1720), which also holds power in Finland.

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1530
The Reformation; the Lutheran faith is introduced.

1536
Norway ceases to be an independent kingdom as the Danes take control.

1588-1648
Denmark flourishes under Kristian IV (1577-1648)

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1625-57
The Thirty Years War launched by the Danish king, Kristian IV, to check Swedish expansion ends in defeat for Denmark.

1714-41
Russia and Sweden battle over Finland. Under the Treaty of Turku (1743) Russia moves its border westwards.

Nineteenth Century
1801-14
During the Napoleonic Wars, English fleets twice bombard Copenhagen. Denmark sides with Napoleon and suffers defeat. Norway is ceded to Sweden.

1814
The Constitution of Norway was signed at Eidsvoll on May 17 this year. The constitution declared Norway to be an independent kingdom in an attempt to avoid being ceded to Sweden after Denmark–Norway‘s devastating defeat in the Napoleonic Wars.

1815-1907
In Sweden, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, French marshal of Napoleon, succeeds to the throne as Karl XIV Johan (1818-44). The great exodus to the United States takes place.

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1864
Denmark and Prussia at war. Denmark loses Schlesvig-Holstein.

Modern Times
1905
Referendum in Norway leads to the end of the union with Sweden. The Danish prince Haakon VII is King of Norway.

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1930s
Denmark and Sweden establish welfare states.

1939-48
Sweden remains neutral in World Wars I and II. Norway proclaims neutrality in World War II, but is attacked by the Germans, who also occupy Denmark.

1949
Denmark becomes a founding member of NATO.

1960s
Norway begins oil exploration.

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1973
Denmark joins the EEC (EU).

1986
Olof Palme, Swedish prime minister and international peacemaker, is assassinated.

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1995
Sweden join the EU. Norway votes against joining (1972 and 1994).

2000
Oeresund bridge opens between Denmark and Sweden.

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2009
UN climate change conference held in Copenhagen.

2011
A bomb in Oslo and shooting on Utoya island kill 76 people. The gunman, a right-wing Christian extremist, accuses Norway’s Labour government of failing on immigration.

2013
September 24, first article in Daily Scandinavian  published.

The dates above are our selected decisive dates in Scandinavia.