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
Fashion is a popular style in clothing, lifestyle, makeup and body. Fashion is a distinctive and constant trend in the style in which people present themselves. A fashion can become the prevailing style in behaviour or manifest the newest creations of designers, technologists and design managers; because the more technical term costume is linked to the term "fashion", the use of the former has been relegated to special senses like fancy-dress or masquerade wear, while the word "fashion" refers to clothing, including the study of clothing. Although aspects of fashion can be feminine or masculine, some trends are androgynous. High-flying trendsetters in fashion can aspire to the label haute couture. Early Western travelers, traveling whether to India, Turkey or China, would remark on the absence of change in fashion in those countries; the Japanese shōgun's secretary bragged to a Spanish visitor in 1609 that Japanese clothing had not changed in over a thousand years. However, there is considerable evidence in Ming China of changing fashions in Chinese clothing.
Changes in costume took place at times of economic or social change, as occurred in ancient Rome and the medieval Caliphate, followed by a long period without major changes. In 8th-century Moorish Spain, the musician Ziryab introduced to Córdoba sophisticated clothing-styles based on seasonal and daily fashions from his native Baghdad, modified by his own inspiration. Similar changes in fashion occurred in the 11th century in the Middle East following the arrival of the Turks, who introduced clothing styles from Central Asia and the Far East. Additionally, there is a long history of fashion in West Africa. Cloth was used as a form of currency in trade with the Portuguese and Dutch as early as the 16th Century. Locally produced cloth and cheaper European imports were assembled into new styles to accommodate the growing elite class of West Africans and resident gold and slave traders. There was an strong tradition of cloth-weaving in Oyo and the areas inhabited by the Igbo people; the beginning in Europe of continual and rapid change in clothing styles can be reliably dated.
Historians, including James Laver and Fernand Braudel, date the start of Western fashion in clothing to the middle of the 14th century, though they tend to rely on contemporary imagery and illuminated manuscripts were not common before the fourteenth century. The most dramatic early change in fashion was a sudden drastic shortening and tightening of the male over-garment from calf-length to covering the buttocks, sometimes accompanied with stuffing in the chest to make it look bigger; this created the distinctive Western outline of a tailored top worn over trousers. The pace of change accelerated in the following century, women and men's fashion in the dressing and adorning of the hair, became complex. Art historians are therefore able to use fashion with confidence and precision to date images to within five years in the case of images from the 15th century. Changes in fashion led to a fragmentation across the upper classes of Europe of what had been a similar style of dressing and the subsequent development of distinctive national styles.
These national styles remained different until a counter-movement in the 17th to 18th centuries imposed similar styles once again originating from Ancien Régime France. Though the rich led fashion, the increasing affluence of early modern Europe led to the bourgeoisie and peasants following trends at a distance, but still uncomfortably close for the elites – a factor that Fernand Braudel regards as one of the main motors of changing fashion. In the 16th century, national differences were at their most pronounced. Ten 16th century portraits of German or Italian gentlemen may show ten different hats. Albrecht Dürer illustrated the differences in his actual contrast of Nuremberg and Venetian fashions at the close of the 15th century; the "Spanish style" of the late 16th century began the move back to synchronicity among upper-class Europeans, after a struggle in the mid-17th century, French styles decisively took over leadership, a process completed in the 18th century. Though different textile colors and patterns changed from year to year, the cut of a gentleman's coat and the length of his waistcoat, or the pattern to which a lady's dress was cut, changed more slowly.
Men's fashions were derived from military models, changes in a European male silhouette were galvanized in theaters of European war where gentleman officers had opportunities to make notes of foreign styles such as the "Steinkirk" cravat or necktie. Though there had been distribution of dressed dolls from France since the 16th century and Abraham Bosse had produced engravings of fashion in the 1620s, the pace of change picked up in the 1780s with increased publication of French engravings illustrating the latest Paris styles. By 1800, all Western Europeans were dressing alike. Although tailors and dressmakers were no doubt responsible for many innovations, the textile industry led many trends, the history of fashion design is understood to date from 1858 when the English-born Charles Frederick Worth opened the first true haute couture house in Paris; the Haute house was the name established by government for the fashion houses that met the standards of industry. These fashion houses have to adhere to standards such as keeping at least twenty employees
Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe, with strong historical and linguistic ties. The term Scandinavia in local usage covers the three kingdoms of Denmark and Sweden; the majority national languages of these three, belong to the Scandinavian dialect continuum, are mutually intelligible North Germanic languages. In English usage, Scandinavia sometimes refers to the Scandinavian Peninsula, or to the broader region including Finland and Iceland, always known locally as the Nordic countries. While part of the Nordic countries, the remote Norwegian islands of Svalbard and Jan Mayen are not in Scandinavia, nor is Greenland, a constituent country within the Kingdom of Denmark; the Faroe Islands are sometimes included. The name Scandinavia referred to the former Danish, now Swedish, region of Scania. Scandinavia and Scandinavian entered usage in the late 18th century, being introduced by the early linguistic and cultural Scandinavist movement; the majority of the population of Scandinavia are descended from several North Germanic tribes who inhabited the southern part of Scandinavia and spoke a Germanic language that evolved into Old Norse.
Icelanders and the Faroese are to a significant extent descended from the Norse and are therefore seen as Scandinavian. Finland is populated by Finns, with a minority of 5% of Swedish speakers. A small minority of Sami people live in the extreme north of Scandinavia; the Danish and Swedish languages form a dialect continuum and are known as the Scandinavian languages—all of which are considered mutually intelligible with one another. Faroese and Icelandic, sometimes referred to as insular Scandinavian languages, are intelligible in continental Scandinavian languages only to a limited extent. Finnish and Meänkieli are related to each other and more distantly to the Sami languages, but are unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. Apart from these, German and Romani are recognized minority languages in parts of Scandinavia. "Scandinavia" refers to Denmark and Sweden. Some sources argue for the inclusion of the Faroe Islands and Iceland, though that broader region is known by the countries concerned as Norden, or the Nordic countries.
The use of "Scandinavia" as a convenient general term for Denmark and Sweden is recent. According to some historians, it was adopted and introduced in the eighteenth century, at a time when the ideas about a common heritage started to appear and develop into early literary and linguistic Scandinavism. Before this time, the term "Scandinavia" was familiar to classical scholars through Pliny the Elder's writings and was used vaguely for Scania and the southern region of the peninsula; as a political term, Scandinavia was first used by students agitating for pan-Scandinavianism in the 1830s. The popular usage of the term in Sweden and Norway as a unifying concept became established in the nineteenth century through poems such as Hans Christian Andersen's "I am a Scandinavian" of 1839. After a visit to Sweden, Andersen became a supporter of early political Scandinavism. In a letter describing the poem to a friend, he wrote: "All at once I understood how related the Swedes, the Danes and the Norwegians are, with this feeling I wrote the poem after my return:'We are one people, we are called Scandinavians!'".
The clearest example of the use of Scandinavia is Finland, based on the fact that most of modern-day Finland was part of the Swedish kingdom for hundreds of years, thus to much of the world associating Finland with all of Scandinavia. However, the creation of a Finnish identity is unique in the region in that it was formed in relation to two different imperial models, the Swedish and the Russian, as described by the University of Jyväskylä based editorial board of the Finnish journal Yearbook of Political Thought and Conceptual History. Various promotional agencies of the Nordic countries in the United States serve to promote market and tourism interests in the region. Today, the five Nordic heads of state act as the organization's patrons and according to the official statement by the organization its mission is "to promote the Nordic region as a whole while increasing the visibility of Denmark, Iceland and Sweden in New York City and the United States"; the official tourist boards of Scandinavia sometimes cooperate under one umbrella, such as the Scandinavian Tourist Board.
The cooperation was introduced for the Asian market in 1986, when the Swedish national tourist board joined the Danish national tourist board to coordinate intergovernmental promotion of the two countries. Norway's government entered one year later. All five Nordic governments participate in the joint promotional efforts in the United States through the Scandinavian Tourist Board of North America. While the term "Scandinavia" is used for Denmark and Sweden, the term "Nordic countries" is used unambiguously for Denmark, Sweden and Iceland, including their associated territories. Scandinavia can thus be considered a subset of the Nordic countries. Furthermore, the term Fennoscandia refers to Scandinavia and Karelia, excluding Denmark and overseas territories, but the usage of this term is restricted to geology when speaking of the Fennoscandian Shield. In addition to the mainland Scandinavian countries of: Denmark Norway (constitutional monarchy with a parliament