France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
In political and social sciences, communism is the philosophical, social and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes and the state. Communism includes a variety of schools of thought, which broadly include Marxism and anarchism, as well as the political ideologies grouped around both. All of these share the analysis that the current order of society stems from its economic system, capitalism; the two classes are the working class—who must work to survive and who make up the majority within society—and the capitalist class—a minority who derives profit from employing the working class through private ownership of the means of production. The revolution will put the working class in power and in turn establish social ownership of the means of production, which according to this analysis is the primary element in the transformation of society towards communism.
Critics of communism can be divided into those concerning themselves with the practical aspects of 20th century communist states and those concerning themselves with communist principles and theory. Marxism-Leninism and democratic socialism were the two dominant forms of socialism in the 20th century; the term "communism" was first coined and defined in its modern definition by the French philosopher and writer Victor d'Hupay. In his 1777 book Projet de communauté philosophe, d'Hupay pushes the philosophy of the Enlightenment to principles which he lived up to during most of his life in his bastide of Fuveau; this book can be seen as the cornerstone of communist philosophy as d'Hupay defines this lifestyle as a "commune" and advises to "share all economic and material products between inhabitants of the commune, so that all may benefit from everybody's work". According to Richard Pipes, the idea of a classless, egalitarian society first emerged in Ancient Greece; the 5th-century Mazdak movement in Persia has been described as "communistic" for challenging the enormous privileges of the noble classes and the clergy, for criticizing the institution of private property and for striving to create an egalitarian society.
At one time or another, various small communist communities existed under the inspiration of Scripture. For example, in the medieval Christian Church some monastic communities and religious orders shared their land and their other property. Communist thought has been traced back to the works of the 16th-century English writer Thomas More. In his treatise Utopia, More portrayed a society based on common ownership of property, whose rulers administered it through the application of reason. In the 17th century, communist thought surfaced again in England, where a Puritan religious group known as the "Diggers" advocated the abolition of private ownership of land. In his 1895 Cromwell and Communism, Eduard Bernstein argued that several groups during the English Civil War espoused clear communistic, agrarian ideals and that Oliver Cromwell's attitude towards these groups was at best ambivalent and hostile. Criticism of the idea of private property continued into the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century through such thinkers as Jean Jacques Rousseau in France.
Following the upheaval of the French Revolution communism emerged as a political doctrine. In the early 19th century, various social reformers founded communities based on common ownership. However, unlike many previous communist communities they replaced the religious emphasis with a rational and philanthropic basis. Notable among them were Robert Owen, who founded New Harmony in Indiana, as well as Charles Fourier, whose followers organized other settlements in the United States such as Brook Farm. In its modern form, communism grew out of the socialist movement in 19th-century Europe; as the Industrial Revolution advanced, socialist critics blamed capitalism for the misery of the proletariat—a new class of urban factory workers who labored under often-hazardous conditions. Foremost among these critics were his associate Friedrich Engels. In 1848, Marx and Engels offered a new definition of communism and popularized the term in their famous pamphlet The Communist Manifesto; the 1917 October Revolution in Russia set the conditions for the rise to state power of Vladimir Lenin's Bolsheviks, the first time any avowedly communist party reached that position.
The revolution transferred power to the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, in which the Bolsheviks had a majority. The event generated a great deal of theoretical debate within the Marxist movement. Marx predicted that socialism and communism would be built upon foundations laid by the most advanced capitalist development. However, Russia was one of the poorest countries in Europe with an enormous illiterate peasantry and a minority of industrial workers. Marx had explicitly stated; the moderate Mensheviks opposed Lenin's Bolshevik plan for socialist revolution before capitalism was more developed. The Bolsheviks' successful rise to power was based upon the slogans such as "Peace and land" which tapp
Norrköping is a city in the province of Östergötland in eastern Sweden and the seat of Norrköping Municipality, Östergötland County, about 160 km southwest of the national capital Stockholm. The city has a population of 95,618 inhabitants in 2016, out of a municipal total of 130,050, making it Sweden's tenth largest city and eighth largest municipality; the city is situated by the mouth of the river Motala ström, at Bråviken, an inlet of the Baltic Sea. Water power from the Motala ström and the good harbour were factors that facilitated the rapid growth of this once industrial city, known for its textile industry, it has several nicknames such as: "Sweden's Manchester", "Peking" and "Surbullestan". The city has medieval foundations by settlers around the Norrköping twin city with Linköping Motala stream estuary, who used the falls and rapids to power their mills; the stream was full of fish such as salmon. Exact dates are uncertain, it was dedicated to Norway's patron. The first trace of the city's name is from 1283, when Sophia of Denmark donated her rights of salmon fishing to the Skänninge monastery.
The town is estimated to have received city status in the early 14th century, although no written documents exist prior to a document from 1384. This document, signed by Albrekt of Sweden is stored in the city archive today. Köping means there was a market there, while Nörr or Norr means "north". There is a smaller town nearby named Söderköping, or "South market"; the city was the location of several battles in the ensuing centuries. As a consequence, nothing of the medieval Norrköping remains today. During the Northern Seven Years' War, the entire southern part of Norrköping was burnt, it was rebuilt by John III of Sweden. In 1618, a weapon industry was established by supervision of Gustavus Adolphus; the harbour attracted ships due to its proximity to the industries of Finspång. In addition to the weapon industry, a large scale industry of textile was initiated. An important benefactor was the industrial man Louis De Geer. At De Geer's death, Norrköping was Sweden's second largest city; the city again burnt in 1655, again in 1719 during the Russian Pillage of 1719-21 when the Russians burnt it to the ground.
Stones from the Johannisborg castle were used to build new houses, today only a few stones remain. During the 18th century it was rebuilt and several industries soon got a stronghold: In the 1740s, Norrköping boasted three sugar refineries. From this time stems the city churches of Saint Olof and Saint Hedvig, several other old houses. In 1762, the first theater in Sweden outside of Stockholm was established in the city, the Egges Teater. Norrköping's importance again flourished. In 1769 the Swedish Riksdag assembled there. In 1800 King Gustav IV of Sweden was crowned in the Church of Saint Olof. In the 18th and early 19th Centuries, Norrköping was one of the three Swedish cities where Jews were allowed to live; the city again suffered fires in 1822 and 1826. Thereafter wooden houses were banned. In 1841 a ship industry was initiated as a branch of Motala Verkstad in Motala. In 1850 the industry had over 600 employees making it Sweden's largest ship industry at the time. During the remaining 19th century, the industries kept expanding.
The area by the Motala Stream was developed further with the construction of a cotton refinery, a paper mill was constructed in 1854, specializing in newspaper, is still today exporting to customers around the world. The industry, including textile manufacturers expanded into the 20th century. In 1950 a total of 54 factories had 6,600 employees in town. By 1956, however, 18 of them had been closed due to competition from countries abroad with lower wages, such as Italy and Japan. In 1970 only 10 factories and 1,200 employees remained. In that year, the renowned Holmen paper mill, with its 350 years long history, announced closure, another 900 people were let go. To counter the effects, several governmental authorities were relocated to Norrköping from Stockholm. See Braviken Paper Mill; as of 2002, Norrköping is now seeing a revival, as a center of education. The Norrköping symbol represents the "new" Norrköping; the Motala ström river flows through the city. In connection to the latter is the industrial landscape where the old textile industries once were situated.
In the summer, there is a cactus plantation in Carl Johans Park. 25,000 cacti planted there every summer. Kolmårdens Djurpark is a zoo located 30 km north of Norrköping. In connection to the large outdoor zoo, there is Tropicariet, an aquarium, where for example snakes and sharks can be seen; the archipelagos 50 km away from Norrköping are called St Gryt. A campus of Linköping University, its own symphonic orchestra, an airport called Kungsängen with 170,000 traveling, a high-tech industry park called Norrköping Science Park, Petroglyphs from the Nordic Bronze Age. Norrköping had a humid continental climate for the reference period of 1961–1990, but it was borderline four-season oceanic during that period and has since more resembled the latter, with somewhat warmer temperatures year-round. In spite of it being located near the Baltic Sea, Norrköping has a dry climate with precipitation levels averaging 508.2 millimetres between 1961 and 1990. That would in turn be low for a mar
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion and the arts; the City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €681 billion in 2016, accounting for 31 percent of the GDP of France, was the 5th largest region by GDP in the world. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong-Kong, in 2018; the city is a major rail and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly.
Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, the first located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015. Paris is known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre was the most visited art museum in the world in 2018, with 10.2 million visitors. The Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie are noted for their collections of French Impressionist art, the Pompidou Centre Musée National d'Art Moderne has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe; the historical district along the Seine in the city centre is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Popular landmarks in the centre of the city include the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris and the Gothic royal chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, both on the Île de la Cité. Paris received 23 million visitors in 2017, measured by hotel stays, with the largest numbers of foreign visitors coming from the United States, the UK, Germany and China.
It was ranked as the third most visited travel destination in the world in 2017, after Bangkok and London. The football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris; the 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros. Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics; the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the 1960, 1984, 2016 UEFA European Championships were held in the city and, every July, the Tour de France bicycle race finishes there. The name "Paris" is derived from the Celtic Parisii tribe; the city's name is not related to the Paris of Greek mythology. Paris is referred to as the City of Light, both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment and more because Paris was one of the first large European cities to use gas street lighting on a grand scale on its boulevards and monuments.
Gas lights were installed on the Place du Carousel, Rue de Rivoli and Place Vendome in 1829. By 1857, the Grand boulevards were lit. By the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps. Since the late 19th century, Paris has been known as Panam in French slang. Inhabitants are known in French as Parisiens, they are pejoratively called Parigots. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the Paris area from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the area's major north–south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité; the Parisii minted their own coins for that purpose. The Romans began their settlement on Paris' Left Bank; the Roman town was called Lutetia. It became a prosperous city with a forum, temples, an amphitheatre. By the end of the Western Roman Empire, the town was known as Parisius, a Latin name that would become Paris in French. Christianity was introduced in the middle of the 3rd century AD by Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris: according to legend, when he refused to renounce his faith before the Roman occupiers, he was beheaded on the hill which became known as Mons Martyrum "Montmartre", from where he walked headless to the north of the city.
Clovis the Frank, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508. As the Frankish domination of Gaul began, there was a gradual immigration by the Franks to Paris and the Parisian Francien dialects were born. Fortification of the Île-de-la-Citie failed to avert sacking by Vikings in 845, but Paris' strategic importance—with its bridges prevent
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Sweden the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres, Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre; the highest concentration is in the southern half of the country. Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats and Swedes and constituting the sea peoples known as the Norsemen. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is forested. Sweden is part of the geographical area of Fennoscandia; the climate is in general mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence, that in spite of this still retains warm continental summers.
Today, the sovereign state of Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a monarch as head of state, like its neighbour Norway. The capital city is Stockholm, the most populous city in the country. Legislative power is vested in the 349-member unicameral Riksdag. Executive power is exercised by the government chaired by the prime minister. Sweden is a unitary state divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities. An independent Swedish state emerged during the early 12th century. After the Black Death in the middle of the 14th century killed about a third of the Scandinavian population, the Hanseatic League threatened Scandinavia's culture and languages; this led to the forming of the Scandinavian Kalmar Union in 1397, which Sweden left in 1523. When Sweden became involved in the Thirty Years War on the Reformist side, an expansion of its territories began and the Swedish Empire was formed; this became one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century. Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, ending with the annexation of present-day Finland by Russia in 1809.
The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Norway was militarily forced into personal union. Since Sweden has been at peace, maintaining an official policy of neutrality in foreign affairs; the union with Norway was peacefully dissolved in 1905. Sweden was formally neutral through both world wars and the Cold War, albeit Sweden has since 2009 moved towards cooperation with NATO. After the end of the Cold War, Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995, but declined NATO membership, as well as Eurozone membership following a referendum, it is a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens, it has the world's eleventh-highest per capita income and ranks in numerous metrics of national performance, including quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic competitiveness, equality and human development.
The name Sweden was loaned from Dutch in the 17th century to refer to Sweden as an emerging great power. Before Sweden's imperial expansion, Early Modern English used Swedeland. Sweden is derived through back-formation from Old English Swēoþēod, which meant "people of the Swedes"; this word is derived from Sweon/Sweonas. The Swedish name Sverige means "realm of the Swedes", excluding the Geats in Götaland. Variations of the name Sweden are used in most languages, with the exception of Danish and Norwegian using Sverige, Faroese Svøríki, Icelandic Svíþjóð, the more notable exception of some Finnic languages where Ruotsi and Rootsi are used, names considered as referring to the people from the coastal areas of Roslagen, who were known as the Rus', through them etymologically related to the English name for Russia; the etymology of Swedes, thus Sweden, is not agreed upon but may derive from Proto-Germanic Swihoniz meaning "one's own", referring to one's own Germanic tribe. Sweden's prehistory begins in the Allerød oscillation, a warm period around 12,000 BC, with Late Palaeolithic reindeer-hunting camps of the Bromme culture at the edge of the ice in what is now the country's southernmost province, Scania.
This period was characterised by small bands of hunter-gatherer-fishers using flint technology. Sweden is first described in a written source in Germania by Tacitus in 98 AD. In Germania 44 and 45 he mentions the Swedes as a powerful tribe with ships that had a prow at each end. Which kings ruled these Suiones is unknown, but Norse mythology presents a long line of legendary and semi-legendary kings going back to the last centuries BC; as for literacy in Sweden itself, the runic script was in use among the south Scandinavian elite by at least the 2nd century AD, but all that has come down to the present from the Roman Period is curt inscriptions on artefacts of male names, demonstrating th
Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf was a Swedish author and teacher. She published her first novel, Gösta Berling's Saga, at the age of 33, she was the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, which she was awarded in 1909. Additionally, she was the first female to be granted a membership in The Swedish Academy in 1914. Born at Mårbacka an estate in Värmland in western Sweden, Lagerlöf was the daughter of Erik Gustaf Lagerlöf, a lieutenant in the Royal Värmland Regiment, Louise Lagerlöf née Wallroth, whose father was a well-to-do merchant and a foundry owner. Lagerlöf was the couple's fifth child out of six, she was born with a hip injury, caused by detachment in the hip joint. At the age of three and a half, a sickness left her lame in both legs, although she recovered, she was a quiet child, more serious than others her age, with a deep love for reading. She was writing poetry as a child, but did not publish anything until in life, her grandmother helped raise her telling stories of fairytales and fantasy.
Growing up, she was plain and lame, an account stated that the cross-country wanderings of the majoress and Elisabet in The Saga of Gosta Berling could be the author's compensatory fantasies. As many other children of the upper class, the children of the family received their education at home, since the Volksschule system, compulsory education system, was not developed yet, their teacher thus came to Mårbacka and the children received education in English, as well as French. Selma finished reading her first novel at the age of seven; the novel was Osceola by Thomas Mayne Reid. After completing the novel, Selma is said to have decided on becoming an author. At the age of 10, 1868, Selma completed reading the Bible. At this time her father was ill, she hoped that God would heal her father if she read the Bible from cover to cover, her father lived for another 17 years. In this manner, Selma Lagerlöf became accustomed to the language of Scripture from an early age; the sale of Mårbacka following her father's illness in 1884 had a serious impact on her development.
Selma's father is said to have been an alcoholic, something she discussed. Her father did not want Selma to continue an education, or remain involved with the women's movement. In life, she would buy back her father's estate with the money she received for her Nobel Prize. Lagerlöf lived there for the rest of her life, she completed her studies at the Royal Seminary to become a teacher the same year as her father passed away. Lagerlöf was educated at the Högre lärarinneseminariet in Stockholm from 1882 to 1885, she worked as a country schoolteacher at a high school for girls in Landskrona from 1885 to 1895, while honing her story-telling skills, with particular focus on the legends she had learned as a child. She appreciated her students, she had a talent for capturing the children's attention through telling them stories about the different countries about which they were studying or stories about Jesus and his disciples. During this period of her life, Selma lived with her aunt Lovisa Lagerlöf.
Through her studies at the Royal Women's Superior Training Academy in Stockholm, Lagerlöf reacted against the realism of contemporary Swedish-language writers such as August Strindberg. She began Gösta Berling's Saga, while working as a teacher in Landskrona, her first break as a writer came when she submitted the first chapters to a literary contest in the magazine Idun, won a publishing contract for the whole book. At first, her writing only received mild reviews from critics. Once a popular male critic, George Brandes, gave her positive reviews of the Danish translation, her popularity soared, she received financial support of Fredrika Limnell, who wished to enable her to concentrate on her writing. In 1894, she met the Swedish writer Sophie Elkan, who became her friend and companion.. Over many years and Lagerlöf critiqued each other's work. Lagerlöf wrote that Elkan influenced her work and that she disagreed with the direction Lagerlöf wanted to take in her books. Selma's letters to Sophie were published in 1993, titled Du lär mig att bli fri.
A visit in 1900 to the American Colony in Jerusalem became the inspiration for Lagerlöf's book by that name. The royal family and the Swedish Academy gave her substantial financial support to continue her passion. Jerusalem was acclaimed by critics, who began comparing her to Homer and Shakespeare, so that she became a popular figure both in Sweden and abroad. By 1895, she gave up her teaching to devote herself to her writing. With the help of proceeds from Gösta Berlings Saga and a scholarship and grant, she made two journals, which were instrumental in providing material for her next novel. With Elkan, she traveled to Italy, she traveled to Palestine and other parts of the East. In Italy, a legend of a Christ Child figure, replaced with a false version inspired Lagerlöf's novel Antikrists mirakler. Set in Sicily, the novel explores the interplay between socialist moral systems. However, most of Lagerlöf's stories were set in Värmland. In 1902, Lagerlöf was asked by the National Teacher's Association to write a geography book for children.
She wrote Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige, a novel about a boy from the southernmost part of Sweden, shrunk to the size of a thumb and who travelled on the back of a goose across the country. Lagerlöf mixed historical and geographical facts about the p