Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia, is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia, across the Baltic Sea lies Sweden in the west and Finland in the north. The territory of Estonia consists of a mainland and 2,222 islands and islets in the Baltic Sea, covering 45,339 km2 of land and water, and is influenced by a humid continental climate. The territory of Estonia has been inhabited since at least 6500 BC, in 1988, during the Singing Revolution, the Estonian Supreme Soviet issued the Estonian Sovereignty Declaration in defiance of Soviet rule, and independence was restored on 20 August 1991. Estonia is a parliamentary republic divided into fifteen counties. Its capital and largest city is Tallinn, with a population of 1.3 million, it is one of the least-populous member states of the European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, OECD and Schengen Area. Estonia is a country with an advanced, high-income economy that is among the fastest growing in the EU.
Its Human Development Index ranks very highly, and it performs favourably in measurements of economic freedom, civil liberties, the 2015 PISA test places Estonian high school students 3rd in the world, behind Singapore and Japan. Citizens of Estonia are provided with health care, free education. Since independence the country has developed its IT sector, becoming one of the worlds most digitally advanced societies. In 2005 Estonia became the first nation to hold elections over the Internet, in the Estonian language, the oldest known endonym of the Estonians was maarahvas, meaning country people or people of the land. The land inhabited by Estonians was called Maavald meaning Country Parish or Land Parish, one hypothesis regarding the modern name of Estonia is that it originated from the Aesti, a people described by the Roman historian Tacitus in his Germania. The historic Aesti were allegedly Baltic people, whereas the modern Estonians are Finno-Ugric, the geographical areas between Aesti and Estonia do not match, with Aesti being further down south.
Ancient Scandinavian sagas refer to a land called Eistland, as the country is called in Icelandic. Early Latin and other ancient versions of the name are Estia and Hestia, esthonia was a common alternative English spelling prior to 1921. Human settlement in Estonia became possible 13,000 to 11,000 years ago, the oldest known settlement in Estonia is the Pulli settlement, which was on the banks of the river Pärnu, near the town of Sindi, in south-western Estonia. According to radiocarbon dating it was settled around 11,000 years ago, the earliest human inhabitation during the Mesolithic period is connected to Kunda culture, which is named after the town of Kunda in northern Estonia. At that time the country was covered with forests, and people lived in communities near bodies of water
The cosmos in Norse mythology consists of Nine Worlds that flank a central cosmological tree, Yggdrasil. Units of time and elements of the cosmology are personified as deities or beings, various forms of a creation myth are recounted, where the world is created from the flesh of the primordial being Ymir, and the first two humans are Ask and Embla. These worlds are foretold to be reborn after the events of Ragnarök, there the surviving gods will meet, and the land will be fertile and green, and two humans will repopulate the world. Norse mythology has been the subject of scholarly discourse since the 17th century, by way of comparative mythology and historical linguistics, scholars have identified elements of Germanic mythology reaching as far back as Proto-Indo-European mythology. In the modern period, the Romanticist Viking revival re-awoke an interest in the subject matter, the myths have further been revived in a religious context among adherents of Germanic Neopaganism. The majority of these Old Norse texts were created in Iceland and this occurred primarily in the 13th century.
The Prose Edda was composed as a manual for producing skaldic poetry—traditional Old Norse poetry composed by skalds. Originally composed and transmitted orally, skaldic poetry utilizes alliterative verse, the Prose Edda presents numerous examples of works by various skalds from before and after the Christianization process and frequently refers back to the poems found in the Poetic Edda. The Poetic Edda consists almost entirely of poems, with some prose narrative added, in comparison to skaldic poetry, Eddic poetry is relatively unadorned. Numerous further texts, such as the sagas, provide further information, the saga corpus consists of thousands of tales recorded in Old Norse ranging from Icelandic family histories to Migration period tales mentioning historic figures such as Attila the Hun. By way of historical linguistics and comparative mythology, comparisons to other attested branches of Germanic mythology may lend insight, wider comparisons to the mythology of other Indo-European peoples by scholars has resulted in the potential reconstruction of far earlier myths.
Of the mythical tales and poems that are presumed to have existed during the Middle Ages, Viking Age, Migration Period, numerous gods are mentioned in the source texts. In the mythology, Thor lays waste to numerous jötnar who are foes to the gods or humanity, the god Odin is frequently mentioned in surviving texts. One-eyed and raven-flanked, and spear in hand, Odin pursues knowledge throughout the worlds, Odin has a strong association with death, Odin is portrayed as the ruler of Valhalla, where valkyries carry half of those slain in battle. Odins wife is the powerful goddess Frigg who can see the future but tells no one, and together they have a beloved son, Baldr. After a series of dreams had by Baldr of his death, his death is engineered by Loki, and Baldr thereafter resides in Hel. Odin must share half of his share of the dead with a powerful goddess and she is beautiful, wears a feathered cloak, and practices seiðr. She rides to battle to choose among the slain, and brings her chosen to her afterlife field Fólkvangr, Freyja weeps for her missing husband Óðr, and seeks after him in far away lands
The North Sea is a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean located between Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and France. An epeiric sea on the European continental shelf, it connects to the ocean through the English Channel in the south and it is more than 970 kilometres long and 580 kilometres wide, with an area of around 570,000 square kilometres. The North Sea has long been the site of important European shipping lanes as well as a major fishery, the North Sea was the centre of the Vikings rise. Subsequently, the Hanseatic League, the Netherlands, and the British each sought to dominate the North Sea and thus the access to the markets, as Germanys only outlet to the ocean, the North Sea continued to be strategically important through both World Wars. The coast of the North Sea presents a diversity of geological and geographical features, in the north, deep fjords and sheer cliffs mark the Norwegian and Scottish coastlines, whereas in the south it consists primarily of sandy beaches and wide mudflats.
Due to the population, heavy industrialization, and intense use of the sea and area surrounding it. In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean, in the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively. In the north it is bordered by the Shetland Islands, and connects with the Norwegian Sea, the North Sea is more than 970 kilometres long and 580 kilometres wide, with an area of 570,000 square kilometres and a volume of 54,000 cubic kilometres. Around the edges of the North Sea are sizeable islands and archipelagos, including Shetland, the North Sea receives freshwater from a number of European continental watersheds, as well as the British Isles. A large part of the European drainage basin empties into the North Sea including water from the Baltic Sea, the largest and most important rivers flowing into the North Sea are the Elbe and the Rhine – Meuse watershed.
Around 185 million people live in the catchment area of the rivers discharging into the North Sea encompassing some highly industrialized areas, for the most part, the sea lies on the European continental shelf with a mean depth of 90 metres. The only exception is the Norwegian trench, which extends parallel to the Norwegian shoreline from Oslo to a north of Bergen. It is between 20 and 30 kilometres wide and has a depth of 725 metres. The Dogger Bank, a vast moraine, or accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris and this feature has produced the finest fishing location of the North Sea. The Long Forties and the Broad Fourteens are large areas with uniform depth in fathoms. These great banks and others make the North Sea particularly hazardous to navigate, the Devils Hole lies 200 miles east of Dundee, Scotland. The feature is a series of trenches between 20 and 30 kilometres long,1 and 2 kilometres wide and up to 230 metres deep. Other areas which are less deep are Cleaver Bank, Fisher Bank, the International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the North Sea as follows, On the Southwest
Scandinavian Airlines, often shortened to SAS is the flag carrier of Sweden and Denmark, and the largest airline in Scandinavia. Part of the SAS Group and headquartered at the SAS Frösundavik Office Building in Solna, the airlines main hub is at Copenhagen-Kastrup Airport, with connections to over 50 cities in Europe. Stockholm-Arlanda Airport and Oslo Airport, Gardermoen are the major hubs. Minor hubs exist at Bergen Airport, Flesland, Göteborg Landvetter Airport, Stavanger Airport and Trondheim Airport, SAS Cargo is an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of Scandinavian Airlines and its main office is at Copenhagen Airport. In 2012, SAS carried 25.9 million passengers, achieving revenues of SEK36 billion and this makes it the eighth-largest airline in Europe. The SAS fleet consists of Airbus A319, A320, A321, A330 and A340, Boeing 737 Next Generation, in addition, SAS wetleases ATR72, Saab 2000 and Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft. The airline was founded in 1946 as a consortium to pool the operations of Svensk Interkontinental Lufttrafik, Det Norske Luftfartselskap.
The consortium was extended to cover European and domestic cooperation two years later, in 1951, all the airlines were merged to create SAS. SAS is one of the members of the worlds largest alliance. Operations started on 17 September 1946, in 1948 the Swedish flag carrier AB Aerotransport joined SAS and the companies coordinated European operations and finally merged to form the SAS Consortium in 1951. When established, the airline was divided between SAS Danmark, SAS Norge and SAS Sverige, all owned 50% by private investors, in 1954 SAS was the first airline to start scheduled flights on a polar route. The DC-6B flew from Copenhagen to Los Angeles, United States with stops in Søndre Strømfjord, Greenland, by summer 1956 frequency had increased to three flights per week. It was popular with Hollywood celebrities and film people. Thanks to a structure that allowed free transit to other European destinations via Copenhagen. In 1957 SAS started a second polar route when a DC-7C flew from Copenhagen to Tokyo, Japan, SAS publicized this service as round-the-world service over the North Pole.
SAS entered the jet age in 1959 when the Caravelle entered service, in 1971, SAS put its first Boeing 747 jumbo jet into service. In 1989, SAS acquired 18. 4% of Texas Air Corporation, parent company of Continental Airlines, during the 1990s, SAS bought a 20% stake in British Midland. SAS bought 95% of Spanair, the second largest airline in Spain, in May 1997 SAS formed the global Star Alliance network with Air Canada, Thai Airways International and United Airlines
Great Northern War
The Great Northern War was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia successfully contested the supremacy of the Swedish Empire in Central and Eastern Europe. The initial leaders of the alliance were Peter I of Russia, Frederick IV of Denmark–Norway. George I of Great Britain and of Brunswick-Lüneburg joined the coalition in 1714 for and for Hanover in 1717, Charles XII led the Swedish army. Swedish allies included Holstein-Gottorp, several Polish magnates under Stanisław I Leszczyński, the Ottoman Empire temporarily hosted Charles XII of Sweden and intervened against Peter I. The treaty secured the extradition and execution of Johann Reinhold Patkul, the Ottoman Empire defeated the Russian-Moldavian army in the Pruth River Campaign, but that peace treaty was in the end without great consequence to Russias position. After Poltava, the anti-Swedish coalition revived and subsequently Hanover and Prussia joined it, the remaining Swedish forces in plague-stricken areas south and east of the Baltic Sea were evicted, with the last city, falling in 1710.
The coalition members partitioned most of the Swedish dominions among themselves, Sweden proper was invaded from the west by Denmark–Norway and from the east by Russia, which had occupied Finland by 1714. Sweden defeated the Danish invaders at the Battle of Helsingborg, Charles XII opened up a Norwegian front, but was killed in Fredriksten in 1718. The war ended with Swedens defeat, leaving Russia as the new dominant power in the Baltic region, by these treaties Sweden ceded her exemption from the Sound Dues, and lost the Baltic provinces and the southern part of Swedish Pomerania. The peace treaties ended her alliance with Holstein-Gottorp, Hanover gained Bremen-Verden, Brandenburg-Prussia incorporated the Oder estuary, Russia secured the Baltic Provinces, and Denmark strengthened her position in Schleswig-Holstein. In Sweden, the monarchy had come to an end with the death of Charles XII. Between the years of 1560 and 1658, Sweden created a Baltic empire centred on the Gulf of Finland and comprising the provinces of Karelia, Ingria and Livonia.
During the Thirty Years War Sweden gained tracts in Germany as well, including Western Pomerania, the Duchy of Bremen, during the same period Sweden conquered Danish and Norwegian provinces north of the Sound. However, the Swedish state ultimately proved unable to support and maintain its army in a prolonged war. The cost of the proved to be much higher than the occupied countries could fund, and Swedens coffers. The foreign interventions in Russia during the Time of Troubles resulted in Swedish gains in the Treaty of Stolbovo, the treaty deprived Russia of direct access to the Baltic Sea. In the late 1690s, the adventurer Johann Patkul managed to ally Russia with Denmark and Saxony by the secret Treaty of Preobrazhenskoye, Charles XII of Sweden succeeded Charles XI of Sweden in 1697, aged 14. From his predecessor, he took over the Swedish Empire as an absolute monarch, Charles XI had tried to keep the empire out of wars, and concentrated on inner reforms such as reduction and allotment, which had strengthened the monarchs status and the empires military abilities
Pomerania is a region on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea in Central Europe, split between Germany and Poland. The name derives from the Slavic po more, meaning by the sea, Pomerania stretches roughly from the Recknitz river in the west to the Vistula river in the east. The largest Pomeranian islands are Rügen, Usedom/Uznam and Wolin, the largest Pomeranian city is Gdańsk, or, when using a narrower definition of the region, Szczecin. Outside its urban areas, Pomerania is characterized by farmland, dotted with lakes, forests. The region was affected by post–World War I and II border and population shifts. Pomerania is the area along the Bay of Pomerania of the Baltic Sea between the rivers Recknitz in the west and Vistula in the east and it formerly reached perhaps as far south as the Noteć river, but since the 13th century its southern boundary has been placed further north. Most of the region is coastal lowland, being part of the North European Plain, but its southern, hilly parts belong to the Baltic Ridge, within this ridge, a chain of moraine-dammed lakes constitutes the Pomeranian Lake District.
The soil is rather poor, sometimes sandy or marshy. The western coastline is jagged, with many peninsulas and islands enclosing numerous bays, Łebsko and several other lakes were formerly bays, but have been cut off from the sea. The easternmost coastline along the Gdańsk Bay and Vistula Lagoon, has the Hel peninsula, the Pomeranian region has the following administrative divisions, Hither Pomerania in northeastern Germany, stretching from the Recknitz river to the Oder–Neisse line. This region is part of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The southernmost part of historical Vorpommern is now in Brandenburg, while its eastern parts are now in Poland. Vorpommern comprises the regions inhabited by Slavic tribes Rugians and Volinians, otherwise the Principality of Rügen. The West Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland, stretching from the Oder–Neisse line to the Wieprza river, the Pomeranian Voivodeship, with similar borders to Pomerelia, stretching from the Wieprza river to the Vistula delta in the vicinity of Gdańsk.
The northern half of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, comprising most of Chełmno Land, the bulk of Farther Pomerania is included within the modern West Pomeranian Voivodeship, but its easternmost parts now constitute the northwest of Pomeranian Voivodeship. Parts of Pomerania and surrounding regions have constituted a euroregion since 1995, the Pomerania euroregion comprises Hither Pomerania and Uckermark in Germany, West Pomerania in Poland, and Scania in Sweden. Pomerania was first mentioned in a document of 1046, referring to a Zemuzil dux Bomeranorum. Pomerania is mentioned repeatedly in the chronicles of Adam of Bremen, the term West Pomerania is ambiguous, since it may refer to either Hither Pomerania or to the West Pomeranian Voivodeship
The Viking Age is the period from the late 8th century to the mid-11th century in European history, especially Northern European and Scandinavian history, following the Germanic Iron Age. It is the period of history when Scandinavian Norsemen explored Europe by its seas and rivers for trade, raids and conquest. Three Viking ships had beached in Weymouth Bay four years earlier, the Viking devastation of Northumbrias Holy Island was reported by the Northumbrian scholar Alcuin of York, who wrote, Never before in Britain has such a terror appeared. Vikings were portrayed as violent and bloodthirsty by their enemies. The chronicles of medieval England portrayed them as rapacious wolves among sheep, the first challenges to the many anti-Viking images in Britain emerged in the 17th century. Pioneering scholarly works on the Viking Age reached a readership in Britain. Archaeologists began to dig up Britains Viking past, linguistics traced the Viking-Age origins of rural idioms and proverbs. New dictionaries of the Old Norse language enabled more Victorians to read the Icelandic Sagas, the Vikings who invaded western and eastern Europe were chiefly pagans from Denmark and Sweden.
They settled in the Faroe Islands, Iceland, peripheral Scotland and their North Germanic language, Old Norse, became the mother-tongue of present-day Scandinavian languages. By 801, a central authority appears to have been established in Jutland. In Norway, mountainous terrain and fjords formed strong natural boundaries, communities there remained independent of each other, unlike the situation in Denmark which is lowland. By 800, some 30 small kingdoms existed in Norway, the sea was the easiest way of communication between the Norwegian kingdoms and the outside world. It was in the 8th century that Scandinavians began to build ships of war, the North Sea rovers were traders and explorers as well as plunderers. There are various theories concerning the causes of the Viking invasions, for people living along the coast, it would seem natural to seek new land by the sea. Another reason was that during this period England and Ireland, the Franks, had well-defended coasts and heavily fortified ports and harbours.
Pure thirst for adventure may have been a factor, a reason for the raids is believed by some to be over-population caused by technological advances, such as the use of iron, or a shortage of women due to selective female infanticide. Although another cause could well have been caused by the Frankish expansion to the south of Scandinavia. Consequently, these Vikings became raiders, in search of subsistence, There is ongoing debate among scholars as to why the Scandinavians began to expand during the 8th through 11th centuries
The Baltic Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Scandinavia, the Baltic countries, and the North European Plain. It includes the Gulf of Bothnia, the Bay of Bothnia, the Gulf of Finland, the Gulf of Riga, the sea stretches from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 10°E to 30°E longitude. The Baltic Sea is connected by waterways to the White Sea via the White Sea Canal. Traffic history Historically, the Kingdom of Denmark collected Sound Dues from ships at the border between the ocean and the land-locked Baltic Sea and they were collected in the Øresund at Kronborg castle near Helsingør, in the Great Belt at Nyborg. In the Little Belt, the site of intake was moved to Fredericia, the narrowest part of Little Belt is the Middelfart Sund near Middelfart. Oceanography Geographers widely agree that the physical border of the Baltic is a line drawn through the southern Danish islands, Drogden-Sill. The Drogden Sill is situated north of Køge Bugt and connects Dragør in the south of Copenhagen to Malmö, it is used by the Øresund Bridge, including the Drogden Tunnel.
By this definition, the Danish Straits are part of the entrance, but the Bay of Mecklenburg, another usual border is the line between Falsterbo and Stevns Klint, Denmark, as this is the southern border of Øresund. Its the border between the shallow southern Øresund and notably deeper water and biology Drogden Sill sets a limit to Øresund and Darss Sill, and a limit to the Belt Sea. The shallow sills are obstacles to the flow of salt water from the Kattegat into the basins around Bornholm. The Kattegat and the southwestern Baltic Sea are well oxygenated and have a rich biology, the remainder of the Sea is brackish, poor in oxygen and in species. While Tacitus called it Mare Suebicum after the Germanic people called the Suebi, the origin of the latter name is speculative. Adam of Bremen himself compared the sea with a belt, stating that it is so named because it stretches through the land as a belt and he might have been influenced by the name of a legendary island mentioned in the Natural History of Pliny the Elder.
Pliny mentions an island named Baltia with reference to accounts of Pytheas and it is possible that Pliny refers to an island named Basilia in On the Ocean by Pytheas. Baltia might be derived from belt and mean near belt of sea, others have suggested that the name of the island originates from the Proto-Indo-European root *bhel meaning white, fair. This root and its meaning were retained in both Lithuanian and Latvian. On this basis, a related hypothesis holds that the name originated from this Indo-European root via a Baltic language such as Lithuanian, yet another explanation is that the name originally meant enclosed sea, bay as opposed to open sea. Some Swedish historians believe the name derives from the god Balder of Nordic mythology, in the Middle Ages the sea was known by variety of names
History of Sweden
During the 11th and 12th centuries, Sweden gradually became a unified Christian kingdom that included what is today Finland. During the early Middle Ages, the Swedish state expanded to control Norrland and Finland, Modern Sweden started out of the Kalmar Union formed in 1397 and by the unification of the country by King Gustav Vasa in the 16th century. Vasa fought for an independent Sweden and broke with the papacy, in the 17th century Sweden expanded its territories to form the Swedish empire. Most of these territories had to be given up during the 18th century. During the 17th century, after winning wars against Denmark, Swedens role in the Thirty Years War determined the political as well as the religious balance of power in Europe. The Russians won a war against Sweden in 1709, capturing much of the Swedish army, Sweden joined in the Enlightenment culture of the day in the arts, architecture and learning. Between 1570 and 1800 Sweden experienced two periods of urban expansion, Finland was lost to Russia in a war in 1808–1809.
In the early 19th century Finland and the territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were lost. After its last war in 1814, Sweden entered into a union with Norway which lasted until 1905. Since 1814, Sweden has been at peace, adopting a foreign policy in peacetime. Sweden was neutral in World War I, post-war prosperity provided the foundations for the social welfare policies characteristic of modern Sweden. Sweden created a model of social democracy. Sweden remained neutral during World War II, avoiding the fate of occupied Norway, Sweden was one of the first non-participants of World War II to join the United Nations. Apart from this, the tried to stay out of alliances and remain officially neutral during the entire Cold War. The social democratic party held government for 44 years, the 1976 parliamentary elections brought a liberal/right-wing coalition to power. During the Cold War, Sweden was suspicious of the superpowers, with the end of the Cold War, that suspicion has lessened somewhat, although Sweden still chooses to remain nonaligned.
The earliest images can, however, be found in the province of Jämtland and they depict wild animals such as elk, reindeer and seals. The period 2300–500 BC was the most intensive carving period, with carvings of agriculture, ships, domesticated animals, petroglyphs with themes have been found in Bohuslän, these are dated from 800–500 BC
The Nordic countries or Nordics are a geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic, where they are most commonly known as Norden. They consist of Denmark, Iceland and Sweden, the population of the Nordic countries are mainly Scandinavian or Finnish, with Greenlandic Inuit and the Sami people as minorities. Of todays native languages, Danish, Icelandic, the non-Germanic languages spoken are Finnish and several Sami languages. The main religion is Lutheran Christianity, the Nordic countries have much in common in their way of life, their use of Scandinavian languages and social structure. Politically, Nordic countries do not form an entity. Especially in English, Scandinavia is sometimes used as a synonym for the Nordic countries, Scandinavian Peninsula on the other hand covers mainland Norway and Sweden as well as the northernmost part of Finland. At 3,425,804 square kilometers, the area of the Nordic countries would form the 7th-largest country in the world. Uninhabitable icecaps and glaciers comprise about half of area, mostly in Greenland.
In January 2013, the region had a population of around 26 million people, the Nordic countries cluster near the top in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, and human development. Although the area is linguistically heterogeneous, with three unrelated groups, the common linguistic heritage is one of the factors making up the Nordic identity. The North Germanic languages Danish and Swedish are considered mutually intelligible and these languages are taught in school throughout the Nordic countries. Swedish, for example, is a subject in Finnish schools. Danish is mandatory in Faroese and Greenlandic schools, as these states are a part of the Danish Realm. Iceland teaches Danish, since Iceland too was a part of the Danish Realm until 1918, there is a high degree of income redistribution and little social unrest. The Nordic countries consists of historical territories of the Scandinavian countries, areas that share a common history and it is meant unambiguously to refer to this larger group, since the term Scandinavia is narrower and sometimes ambiguous.
The Nordic countries are considered to unambiguously refer to Denmark, Iceland and Sweden. The term is derived indirectly from the local term Norden, used in the Scandinavian languages, unlike the Nordic countries, the term Norden is in the singular. The demonym is nordbo, literally meaning northern dweller, especially outside of the Nordic region the term Scandinavia is often used incorrectly as a synonym for the Nordic countries
Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and Finland to the east, at 450,295 square kilometres, Sweden is the third-largest country in the European Union by area, with a total population of 10.0 million. Sweden consequently has a low density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre. Approximately 85% of the lives in urban areas. Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats/Götar and Swedes/Svear, Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is heavily forested. Sweden is part of the area of Fennoscandia. The climate is in very mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence. Today, Sweden is a monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a monarch as head of state. The capital city is Stockholm, which is 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, currently divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities.
Sweden emerged as an independent and unified country during the Middle Ages, in the 17th century, it expanded its territories to form the Swedish Empire, which became one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century. Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were gradually lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, the last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Norway was militarily forced into personal union. Since then, Sweden has been at peace, maintaining a policy of neutrality in foreign affairs. The union with Norway was peacefully dissolved in 1905, leading to Swedens current borders, though Sweden was formally neutral through both world wars, Sweden engaged in humanitarian efforts, such as taking in refugees from German-occupied Europe. After the end of the Cold War, Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995 and it is a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, 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 health care. The modern name Sweden is derived through back-formation from Old English Swēoþēod and this word is derived from Sweon/Sweonas. The Swedish name Sverige literally means Realm of the Swedes, excluding the Geats in Götaland, the etymology of Swedes, and thus Sweden, is generally not agreed upon but may derive from Proto-Germanic Swihoniz meaning ones own, referring to ones own Germanic tribe
Central Europe lies between Eastern Europe and Western Europe. The concept of Central Europe is based on a historical and cultural identity. Central Europe is going through a phase of strategic awakening, with such as the CEI, Centrope. While the regions economy shows high disparities with regard to income, elements of unity for Western and Central Europe were Roman Catholicism and Latin. According to Hungarian historian Jenő Szűcs, foundations of Central European history at the first millennium were in connection with Western European development. The keyword of Western social development after millennium was the spread of liberties and autonomies in Western Europe and these phenomena appeared in the middle of the 13th century in Central European countries. There were self-governments of towns and parliaments, in 1335 under the rule of the King Charles I of Hungary, the castle of Visegrád, the seat of the Hungarian monarchs was the scene of the royal summit of the Kings of Poland and Hungary.
They agreed to cooperate closely in the field of politics and commerce, in the Middle Ages, countries in Central Europe adopted Magdeburg rights. Before 1870, the industrialization that had developed in Western and Central Europe, even in Eastern Europe, industrialization lagged far behind. Russia, for example, remained rural and agricultural. The concept of Central Europe was already known at the beginning of the 19th century, an example of that-time vision of Central Europe may be seen in J. Partsch’s book of 1903. On 21 January 1904, Mitteleuropäischer Wirtschaftsverein was established in Berlin with economic integration of Germany, another time, the term Central Europe became connected to the German plans of political and cultural domination. The bible of the concept was Friedrich Naumann’s book Mitteleuropa in which he called for a federation to be established after the war. The concept failed after the German defeat in World War I, the revival of the idea may be observed during the Hitler era.
According to Emmanuel de Martonne, in 1927 the Central European countries included, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia are not considered by the author to be Central European because they are located mostly outside Central Europe. The author use both Human and Physical Geographical features to define Central Europe, the interwar period brought new geopolitical system and economic and political problems, and the concept of Central Europe took a different character. The centre of interest was moved to its eastern part – the countries that have appeared on the map of Europe, Hungary, the conflict of interests was too big and neither Little Entente nor Intermarium ideas succeeded. The interwar period brought new elements to the concept of Central Europe, after the war, the Eastern part of Central Europe was placed at the centre of the concept