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The Viking Age

Scandinavia is a historical and geographical region centered on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. It is most commonly defined as the three kingdoms that historically shared the Scandinavian Peninsula, namely Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

In linguistics and cultural studies, the definition of Scandinavia is expanded to include the areas where Old Norse was spoken and where the North Germanic languages are now dominant. As a linguistic and cultural concept, Scandinavia thus also includes Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

As a cultural and historical concept, Scandinavia can include Finland as well (of the larger region Fenno-Scandinavia), often with reference to the nation's long history as a part of Sweden. Although Finland is culturally closely related to the other Scandinavian countries, it also has a distinct Finno-Ugric identity shaped by both Eastern and Western European influences.<ref> Peltonen, Arvo (2002). Politics and Society: The Population in Finland, Virtual Finland, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Department for Communication and Culture, 21 November 2002, retrieved 14 Nov. 2006, paragraph 1: "The Finns form a distinct linguistic and ethnic group; the original Finno-Ugric population bearing features from both eastern and western Europe. Finland is an interface between east and west."</ref>

Since the rise of the Fennoman movement in the 1830s and the political movement Scandinavism in 1850s, the inclusion of Finland and Iceland divides opinions in the respective states.<ref>In response to Scandinavism, some Norwegian scholars of the 19th century resisted the idea that Scandinavia had a shared heritage and stressed the unique aspects that unit Iceland's cultural output exclusively with Norway and make it separate and unique. See for example Bothne, Gisle (1898). "The Language of Modern Norway". PMLA, Vol. 13, No. 3 (1898), p. 350: "[While it is true that] the old Norwegian literature was far behind the contemporaneous Icelandic literature [...], every Norwegian holds it to be equally true that the language of Norway and that of her colony Iceland [...] were substantially the same. Norroent mál, and the Norroen literature (created by conditions peculiar to Norway and Iceland alone) are the exclusive historical property of Norway and Iceland, while Denmark and Sweden have no part in them."</ref> Although it depends on context which countries are considered Scandinavian, the term the Nordic countries is used unambiguously for Norway, Sweden, Denmark (including the Faroe Islands and Greenland), Finland (including Åland) and Iceland.


[edit] Terminology and usage

Image:Scandinavia location map definitions.PNG
Red: the three monarchies that compose Scandinavia according to the strictest definition; Orange: the possible extended usage; Yellow: the maximal extended usage that takes Scandinavia as synonymous with The Nordic countries.
Scandinavia, Fennoscandia, and the Kola Peninsula.

Being a purely historical and cultural region, Scandinavia has no official political borders. The region is therefore often defined according to the conventions of different disciplines or according to the political and cultural aims of different communities of the area.<ref>Olwig, Kenneth R. "Introduction: The Nature of Cultural Heritage, and the Culture of Natural Heritage—Northern Perspectives on a Contested Patrimony". International Journal of Heritage Studies, Vol. 11, No. 1, March 2005, pp. 3–7.</ref> One example of the Scandinavian region as a political and cultural construct is the unique position of Finland, as described by the University of Jyväskylä based editorial board of the Finnish journal "Yearbook of Political Thought and Conceptual history"<ref>Editors and Board, Redescriptions, Yearbook of Political Thought and Conceptual History</ref>: "The construction of a specific Finnish polity is the result of successful decolonization. The location of Finland is a moving one. It has shifted from being a province in the Swedish Empire to an autonomous unit in Eastern Europe, then to an independent state in Northern Europe or Scandinavia. After joining the European Union, Finland has recently been included in Western Europe."<ref name="redescriptions" /> The creation of a Finnish identity is unique in the region in that it was forged in the decolonization struggles against two different imperial models, the Swedish<ref>"Finland and the Swedish Empire". Country Studies. U.S. Library of Congress. Retrieved 25 Nov. 2006. </ref> and the Russian.<ref name="redescriptions">"Introduction: Reflections on Political Thought in Finland." Editorial. Redescriptions, Yearbook of Political Thought and Conceptual History, 1997, Volume 1, University of Jyväskylä, p. 6-7: "[T]he populist opposition both to Sweden as a former imperial country and especially to Swedish as the language of the narrow Finnish establishment has also been strong, especially in the inter-war years. [...] Finland as a unitary and homogeneous nation-state was constructed [...] in opposition to the imperial models of Sweden and Russia."</ref><ref>"The Rise of Finnish Nationalism". Country Studies. U.S. Library of Congress. Retrieved 25 Nov. 2006: "The eighteenth century had witnessed the appearance of [...] a sense of national identity for the Finnish people, [...] an expression of the Finns' growing doubts about Swedish rule [...] The ethnic self-consciousness of Finnish speakers was given a considerable boost by the Russian conquest of Finland in 1809, because ending the connection with Sweden forced Finns to define themselves with respect to the Russians."</ref>

Geographically the Scandinavian Peninsula includes what is today mainland Sweden and mainland Norway. However, Denmark has historically included various regions of the Scandinavian Peninsula, such as Norway and the historic region of Scania. As a result, Denmark – Jutland on the Jutland peninsula, along with Zealand and the other islands in the Danish archipelago – is considered part of the Scandinavian region.

A wider definition of Scandinavia includes Finland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands.<ref>Scandinavia. MSN Encarta. Retrieved on 2006-08-22.</ref><ref>See also EU documents, such as the following report in Swedish (pfd file), report in Danish (pdf file) and bulletin in German.</ref> However, this larger region is officially known as the Nordic Countries, a political entity as well as cultural region where the ties between the countries are not merely historical and cultural, but based on official membership.

[edit] The Nordic Countries vs. Scandinavia

Main article: Nordic countries

While the term Scandinavia normally is used for Denmark, Norway and Sweden, the term the Nordic countries is used unambiguously for Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, including their associated territories (Greenland, the Faroes and Åland).

Scandinavia is thus a subset of the Nordic countries. All of the Nordic regions are occasionally listed as part of Scandinavia, especially outside the Nordic countries. More precisely, in addition to mainland Denmark, Norway and Sweden, the Nordic countries consist of


Estonia has applied for membership in the Nordic Council, referring to its cultural heritage and close linguistic links to Finland, although normally Estonia is regarded as one of the Baltic countries. All Baltic states have shared historical events with the Nordic countries, including Scandinavia, during the centuries.

The terms Fennoscandia and Fenno-Scandinavia are used to include the Scandinavian peninsula, the Kola peninsula, Karelia, Finland and (seldom) Denmark under the same term, alluding to the Fennoscandian Shield, even though Denmark is on the North European Plain.

[edit] Etymology

Image:Scandinavian Peninsula in Winter (February 19, 2003).jpg
Satellite photo of the Scandinavian Peninsula, February 2003, with political boundaries added

Scandinavia and Scania (Skåne) are considered to have the same etymology. The earliest identified source for the name Scandinavia is Pliny the Elder's "Natural History", dated to the 1st century AD. Various references to the region can also be found in Pytheas, Pomponius Mela, Tacitus, Ptolemy, Procopius and Jordanes. It is believed that the name used by Pliny may be of West Germanic origin, originally denoting Scania.<ref>Haugen, Einar (1976). The Scandinavian Languages: An Introduction to Their History. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1976.</ref> According to some leading scholars in the field, the Germanic stem can be reconstructed as *Skaðan- meaning "danger" or "damage" (English scathing, German Schaden).<ref name="Helle">Helle, Knut (2003). "Introduction". The Cambridge History of Scandinavia. Ed. E. I. Kouri et al. Cambridge University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-521-47299-7.</ref> The second segment of the name has been reconstructed as *awjo, meaning "land on the water" or "island". The name Scandinavia would then mean "dangerous island", which is considered to be a reference to the treacherous sandbanks surrounding Scania.<ref name="Helle" /> Skanör in Scania, with its long Falsterbo reef, has the same stem (skan) combined with -ör, which means "sandbanks".

The belief that Scandinavia was an island became widespread among classical authors during the first century. This idea, along with the name "Scandiae" which was used by Pliny for a group of Nordic islands, dominated descriptions of Scandinavia in classical texts during the centuries that followed. Pliny's "Scadinavia" may have been one of the "Scandiae" islands. This idea was picked up by Ptolemy (c.90 – c.168 AD), a mathematician, geographer and astrologer of Roman Egypt. He used the name "Skandia" for the biggest, most easterly of the three "Scandiai" islands, which according to him were all located east of Jutland.<ref name="Helle" /> Scandia was used for the entire "island" of Scandinavia by Ptolemy, including areas far north of today's Scania, but neither Pliny's nor Ptolemy's lists of Scandinavian tribes include the Suiones mentioned by Tacitus. Some early Swedish scholars proceeded to insert them, arguing that they must have been referred to in the original texts and obscured over time by mistake.<ref>Malone,Kemp (1924). "Ptolemy's Skandia". The American Journal of Philology, Vol. 45, No. 4. (1924), pp. 362-370.</ref>

[edit] Pliny the Elder's descriptions

Pliny the Elder, who was an admiral, wrote that there were 23 islands "Romanis armis cognitae", "known to Roman arms", in the Kattegat. His descriptions were not always easy to decipher, even though his writing of geography was what he considered a "clarior fama", "a clearer story."

Pliny begins (4.96) with the mountain of Saevo (mons Saevo ibi), which forms the Codanian Bay (Codanus sinus) surrounding the Cimbrian promontory. These features are thought to be the mountainous coasts of Norway and Sweden, the Skagerrak and Skagen. Saevo is most likely an early form of Zealand, which Pliny applied to southern Scandinavia. The "Cod-" in Codanus is a form of the second element in Kattegat, (Latin coda, "the tail of animals", Latin ănus, "anus" or "old wife, also of feminine animals"). Danish katte (cat) is possibly a reference to the group Felis, especially Lynx; and Danish gat as in gatfinn ("analfin of a fish"). Thus Kattegat is "tail of a cat" or a "cat's hole". This may be related to the myth about Freyja, Norse goddess of love, fertility and beauty, who travelled in a chariot drawn by huge cats). According to Pliny, the most famous (clarissima) of the islands in the Codanian Bay is Scatinavia, of unknown size. There live the Hilleviones, who can possibly be identified with what is now Halland. As described, Saevo and Scatinavia appear to be the same place.

Pliny mentions Scandinavia one more time: in 8.39 he says that the animal called achlis (given in the accusative, achlin), was born on the island of Scandinavia. Achlis is not Latin. As well as having some mythical attributes, the animal grazes and has a big upper lip. Pliny also uses the name Scandiae, presumably to mean the Danish islands, but perhaps some islands of Britain.

[edit] Germanic reconstruction

The Latin names in Pliny's text gave rise to different forms in Germanic languages, often transliterated by non-Germanic scribes. Ptolemy uses the form Scandia, showing that the n had appeared by then. In Beowulf we meet the forms Scedenigge and Scedeland. Pomponius Mela used Codanovia, based on the ancient name of the Kattegat. This usage appears to support the "sealand" idea. The form Scadinavia, the original home of the Langobards, appears in Paulus Diaconus' Historia Langobardorum<ref>Paulus Diaconus, Historia Langobardorum, BIBLIOTHECA AUGUSTANA</ref>, but in other versions of Historia Langobardorum appear the forms Scadan, Scandanan, Scadanan and Scatenauge<ref>History of the Langobards, Northvegr Foundation</ref>. In Jordanes' history of the Goths (AD 551) we meet the form Scandza their original home, separated by sea from the land of Europe (chapter 1, 4)<ref>Jordanes (translated by Charles C. Mierow), THE ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS, April 22, 1997</ref>. If the -za represents an early form of zed, then it may replace *awia. On the other hand, Jordanes' spelling may just be an attempt to capture the late Latin palatalization of the d by a following i.

In the reconstruction *Skaðin-awjo (without the n, which can be seen as a later assimilation to the second n, and with the thorn, which might be represented in Latin by t or d), the first segment is sometimes consider more uncertain than the second segment, which is thought to be "island". The American Heritage Dictionary<ref>"Island". Bartleby, American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, 2000.</ref> derives the second segment from Proto-Indo-European *akwa-, "water", in the sense of "watery land". Saevo is probably a synonym, as it resembles Gothic saiws, "lake", which is one of the Germanic groups of words including English sea, German See[citation needed]. The group does not have an Indo-European derivation and is not believed to be Indo-European. However, the word "saevo" in Latin means "raging, mad, furious, fell, fierce, savage, ferocious". <ref>Lewis, Charlton T. and Charles Short (1879). A Latin Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1879. ISBN 0198642016. Available online through The Perseus Digital Library</ref>

[edit] Other etymologies

Scadin- can be segmented various ways to obtain various Indo-European meanings: scand- or scad-in-, scan- or sca-din, scandin or scadin-. These segmentations have resulted in a number of possible etymologies, such as "climbing island" (*scand-), "island of the Scythian people", "island of the woodland of *sca-". Another possibility is that all or part of scadin- came from the indigenes along with achlis and sea.

The designation of Scandinavia as an island may have preceded the Indo-Europeans there, and the words for island and sea may come from the indigenes in the region. Today Scandinavia is not an island, but the indigenous Mesolithic people inhabiting the region may have remembered Ancylus Lake and preceding times, when water exited the Baltic through what is now Stockholm and the lakes called saiws by the Goths.[citation needed]

Alternatively, the first element is sometimes attributed to the Scandinavian giantess Skaði from Norse mythology. If it is she, it is even less likely to be Indo-European, as a people moving in among another people typically take on their gods and goddesses (not quite daring to reject them).

Some Basque intellectuals thought the sk was connected to Euzko peoples, akin to Basques, that populated Paleolithic Europe. According to some of these intellectuals, the Scandinavians share some genetic markers with the Basques.<ref>J. F. del Giorgio (2006). The Oldest Europeans: Who Are We? Where Do We Come From? What Made European Women Different?. A. J. Place, 2006. ISBN 9-806-89800-1.</ref>

The name of the Scandinavian mountain range, Skanderna in Swedish, was artificially derived from Skandinavien in the 19th century, in analogy with Alperna for the Alps. The commonly used names are bergen or fjällen; both names meaning "the mountains".

[edit] Geography

Map of Scandinavia and Northern Europe.
See also: Geography of Denmark, Geography of Norway, and Geography of Sweden

The geography of Scandinavia is extremely varied. Notable are the Norwegian fjords, the Scandinavian Mountains, the flat, low areas in Denmark, and the archipelagos of Sweden. When Finland is included, the moraines (ice age remnants) and lake areas are also notable.

The climate varies from north to south and from west to east; a marine west coast climate (Cfb) typical of western Europe dominates in Denmark, southernmost part of Sweden and along the west coast of Norway reaching north to 65°N, with orographic lift giving more than 2000 mm/year precipitation (max 3500 mm) in some areas in western Norway. The central part - from Oslo to Stockholm - has a humid continental climate (Dfb), which gradually gives way to subarctic climate (Dfc) further north and cool marine west coast climate (Cfc) along the northwestern coast. A small area along the northern coast east of North Cape has tundra climate (Et) due to lack of summer warmth. The Scandinavian Mountains block the mild and moist air coming from the southwest, thus northern Sweden and Finnmarksvidda plateau in Norway receive little precipitation and have cold winters. Large areas in the Scandinavian mountains have alpine tundra climate.

[edit] Scandinavian languages

Main articles: North Germanic languages

The codified standard languages of Scandinavia are often classified as belonging to either an East Scandinavian branch (Danish and Swedish) or a West Scandinavian branch (Norwegian, Icelandic, and Faroese).

Most dialects of Danish, Norwegian and Swedish (including the Finland Swedish dialects), are mutually intelligible, and Scandinavians can easily understand each other's standard languages as they appear in print and are heard on radio and television. The reason why Danish, Swedish and Norwegian are traditionally viewed as different languages, rather than dialects of one common language, is that they each are well established standard languages in their respective countries. They are related to, but not mutually intelligible with, the other North Germanic languages, Icelandic and Faroese, which are descended from Old West Norse. Danish, Swedish and Norwegian have, since medieval times, been influenced to varying degrees by Middle Low German and standard German. A substantial amount of that influence was a by-product of the economic activity generated by the Hanseatic League.

Norwegians are accustomed to variation, and may perceive Danish and Swedish only as slightly more distant dialects. This is because they have two official written standards, in addition to the habit of strongly holding on to local dialects. The people of Stockholm, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark, have the greatest difficulty in understanding other Nordic languages.<ref>"Urban misunderstandings". Norden This Week - Monday 01.17.2005, Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers, Copenhagen.</ref> In the Faroe Islands Danish is mandatory, and since Faroese people this way become bilingual in two very distinct Nordic languages, they find it relatively easy to understand the other two Mainland Scandinavian languages.<ref>Internordisk språkförståelse, Nordisk Sprogråd, November 2002.</ref>

The Scandinavian languages are (as a language family) entirely unrelated to Finnish, Estonian and Sami languages which as Finno-Ugric languages are distantly related to Hungarian. Due to the close proximity, there is still a great deal of borrowing from the Swedish and Norwegian languages in both the Finnish, Estonian and Sami languages.

[edit] Swedish language domination in Finland

In Finland, Swedish speakers constitute a small, but influential, minority. The ethnic nationalist Fennoman movement in Finland began to fight for equal language rights for Finnish-speakers from the Swedish-speaking elite in the 1830s. Its motto, "Swedes we are no longer, Russians we will never become, so let us be Finns" was popular among Finns. The movement's goal was to promote the equal legal status of the Finnish language in a country where the official language of government was Swedish or Russian, despite the large majority of the population being Finnish-speakers.<ref>See "Introduction: Reflections on Political Thought in Finland", p. 9: "Fennoman cultural nationalism put an emphasis on the education and elevation of the people, and it became the leading force in the university sphere and in the bureaucracy. In the late 19th century Fennoman politics were more exclusively concentrated on the language question, trying to replace Swedish with Finnish."</ref> The revival of the language spoken by the majority was symbolized by the creation of the national epos Kalevala and by a new reverence for the Finno-Ugric folk culture. The Fennomans protested against Finnish participation in the Scandinavian exhibition in Stockholm 1866, arguing that it would "enforce the impression that Finland belonged culturally to the Scandinavian realm" and imply that Finland did not have its own history before 1809 but was "first and foremost a periphery of western civilisation".<ref name="meinander" /> The Fennoman movement met with resistance from the Svecoman movement and the Swedish elite.<ref>Kolehmainen, John Ilmari (1943). "Antti Jalava and Hungarian-Finnish Rapprochement". Slavonic and East European Review. American Series, Vol. 2, No. 2 (Nov. 1943), pp. 167-174.</ref> Finland Swedish author Zacharias Topelius joined in the criticism of the Fennoman movement in 1872, when a rhetorical question was posed by a peasant member of the Finnish parliament. The peasant parliamentarian referred to the often-mentioned claim that Finland was in debt to Sweden for its western civilization and he asked if anyone could show him the original promissory note of this debt. According to Dr. Henrik Meinander, Professor, Department of History, University of Helsinki, Finland, the rhetorical question was meant to emphasize that "Finns already stood on their own two feet and had bowed enough to the domestic Swedish-speaking elite." In response, Topelius wrote a poem arguing that the entire Finnish society was part of this promissory note.<ref name="meinander">Meinander, Henrik. (2002). "On the Brink or Between? The conception of Europe in Finnish identity". The Meaning of Europe. Ed. Mikael af Malmborg and Bo Stråth. Oxford: Berg, 2002. ISBN 1859735762</ref> Finland's struggles and success in establishing a unique identity has been followed by scholars and journalists around the world.<ref>See for example: Agrawal, Subhash. Finland: A Turnaround Success Story, The Financial Express, net edition, Mumbai, India, 1 Jul. 2004.</ref>

The Russian Emperor Alexander II, Grand Duke of Finland, had issued a decree already in 1863 that would secure equal status for Finnish in public affairs within the following two decades, but only in 1902 did Finnish language finally receive an equal official status with Swedish and Russian. In Finland today, the only exception to the equality between Finnish and Swedish languages is made on the Åland islands, in favour of the Swedish language. According to the county legislation<ref>Act on the Autonomy of Åland. Published by the Parliament of Åland.</ref>, the region is unilingually Swedish-speaking.

Finnish speakers constitute a minority in Sweden and Norway of similar relative size to the minority of Swedish speakers in Finland. The different Finnish languages are known as Meänkieli in Sweden and Kven in Norway. The linguistic distance between the language families has often been seen by native speakers of each of these languages as indicative of a cultural distance, as well as a reason to consider the Finns as a people separate from the Scandinavian culture group.

[edit] History

During a period of Christianization and state formation in the 10th-13th centuries, three consolidated kingdoms emerged in Scandinavia:

In the 1645 Treaty of Brömsebro, Denmark ceded the Norwegian provinces of Jämtland, Härjedalen and Idre & Särna, as well as the Baltic Sea islands of Gotland and Ösel (in Estonia) to Sweden. Treaty of Roskilde, signed in 1658, forced Denmark to cede the provinces Scania, Blekinge, Halland, Bornholm and the Trøndelag region of central Norway to Sweden. The 1660 Treaty of Copenhagen forced Sweden to return Bornholm and Trøndelag to Denmark, and to give up its recent claims to the island Funen.<ref>"Treaty of Copenhagen" (2006). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved November 9, 2006, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online.</ref>

[edit] Scandinavian unions

Image:Denmark-Norway in 1780.PNG
Denmark-Norway until 1814.

The three Scandinavian kingdoms were united in 1397 in the Kalmar Union by Queen Margrete I of Denmark. Sweden left the union in 1523 under King Gustav Vasa and the Union's final dissolution came in 1536, when Norway's status was transformed into that of a Danish province.<ref>"Kalmar Union" (2006). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved November 9, 2006, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online.]</ref> In the aftermath of Sweden's secession from the Kalmar Union, civil war broke out in Denmark and Norway. Protestant Reformation followed. When things had settled down, the Norwegian Privy Council was abolished—it assembled for the last time in 1537. A personal union, entered into by the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway in 1536, lasted until 1814. Three sovereign successor states have subsequently emerged from this unequal union: Denmark, Norway and Iceland.

Denmark-Norway is the historiographical name for the former political union consisting of the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway, including the Norwegian dependencies of Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The corresponding adjective and demonym is Dano-Norwegian. During Danish rule, Norway kept its separate laws, coinage and army, as well as some institutions such as a royal chancellor. Norway's old royal line had died out with the death of Olav IV,<ref>The Monarchy: Historical Background. The Royal House of Norway. Official site, retrieved 9 Nov. 2006.</ref> but Norway's remaining a hereditary kingdom was an important factor to the Denmark-Norway royal dynasty in its struggles to win elections as kings of Denmark. In 1814, the governor of Norway, crown prince Christian Frederick (later Christian VIII of Denmark), called a constituent assembly in Christiania, Norway. The constituent drew up a constitution and elected him to the throne of Norway, but after 14 days on the throne, Christian resigned. Before the end of 1814, the territory of Norway proper was ceded to the King of Sweden. The Dano-Norwegian union was formally dissolved at the 1814 Treaty of Kiel, but Norway's overseas possessions were kept by Denmark. The union between Sweden and Norway was dissolved in 1905, after which Prince Charles of Denmark was elected king of Norway under the name of Haakon VII.

[edit] Politics: Scandinavism

Scandinavia as a 19th century political vision (Scandinavism)
See also Politics of Denmark, Politics of Norway and Politics of Sweden.

The modern usage of the term Scandinavia has been influenced by Scandinavism (the Scandinavist political movement), which was active in the middle of the 19th century, mainly between the First war of Schleswig (1848-1850), in which Sweden and Norway contributed with considerable military force, and the Second war of Schleswig (1864). In 1864, the Swedish parliament denounced the promises of military support made to Denmark by Charles XV of Sweden. The members of the Swedish parliament were wary of joining an alliance against the rising German power.

The Swedish king also proposed a unification of Denmark, Norway and Sweden into a single United Kingdom. The background for the proposal was the tumultuous events during the Napoleonic wars in the beginning of the century. This war resulted in Finland (formerly under Swedish rule) becoming the Russian Grand Duchy of Finland in 1809 and Norway (de jure in union with Denmark since 1387, although de facto treated as a province) becoming independent in 1814, but thereafter swiftly forced to accept a personal union with Sweden. The dependent territories Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, historically part of Norway, remained with Denmark in accordance with the Treaty of Kiel. Sweden and Norway were thus united under the Swedish monarch, but Finland's inclusion in the Russian Empire excluded any possibility for a political union between Finland and any of the other Nordic countries.

The end of the Scandinavian political movement came when Denmark was denied the military support promised from Sweden and Norway to annex the (Danish) Duchy of Schleswig, which together with the (German) Duchy of Holstein had been in personal union with Denmark. The Second war of Schleswig followed in 1864, a brief but disastrous war between Denmark and Prussia (supported by Austria). Schleswig-Holstein was conquered by Prussia, and after Prussia's success in the Franco-Prussian War a Prussian-led German Empire was created, and a new power-balance of the Baltic sea countries was established.

Even if a Scandinavian political union never came about at this point, there was a Scandinavian Monetary Union established in 1873, lasting until World War I, with the Krona/Krone as the common currency.

[edit] Historical political structure

CenturyScandinavia and the Nordic Countries
21st Denmark (EU) Faroes Iceland Norway Sweden (EU) Finland (EU)
20th Denmark Sweden Finland
19th Denmark Sweden and Norway GD of Finland
18th Denmark-Norway Sweden-Finland
15th Kalmar Union
14th Denmark Norway Sweden-Finland
12th Faroes Icelandic CW Norway

1/ The original settlers of the Faroes and Iceland were of Nordic (mainly Norwegian) origin, with a considerable element of Celtic or Pictish origin (from Scotland and Ireland) .

[edit] Population of the Nordic region

Image:Norden pop density.gif
Population density in the Nordic region (excluding Svalbard).
The largest municipalities in Nordic countries
# Municipality Population
1 Image:Flag of Sweden.svg Stockholm 774,411
2 Image:Flag of Finland (bordered).svg Helsinki 562,570
3 Image:Flag of Norway.svg Oslo 541,822
4 Image:Flag of Denmark.svg Copenhagen 501,158
5 Image:Flag of Sweden.svg Gothenburg 487,627
6 Image:Flag of Denmark.svg Århus 295,513
7 Image:Flag of Sweden.svg Malmö 272,634
8 Image:Flag of Norway.svg Bergen 242,854
9 Image:Flag of Finland (bordered).svg Espoo 229,443
10 Image:Flag of Finland (bordered).svg Tampere 204,385

<center>Largest metropolitan areas in the Nordic countries
# Metropolitan area Population
1 Image:Flag of Sweden.svg Stockholm 1,823,210
2 Image:Flag of Denmark.svg Copenhagen 1,806,667
3 Image:Flag of Finland (bordered).svg Helsinki 1,225,000
4 Image:Flag of Norway.svg Oslo 1,090,012
5 Image:Flag of Sweden.svg Gothenburg 884,401
6 Image:Flag of Denmark.svg Århus 661,013
7 Image:Flag of Sweden.svg Malmö 597,232
8 Image:Flag of Norway.svg Bergen 369,099
9 Image:Flag of Finland (bordered).svg Tampere 300,000
10 Image:Flag of Norway.svg Trondheim 246,751

[edit] See also

[edit] Footnotes


[edit] External links


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