Småland is a historical province in southern Sweden. Småland borders Blekinge, Halland, Västergötland, Östergötland and the island Öland in the Baltic Sea; the name Småland means Small Lands. The Latinized form Smolandia has been used in other languages; the highest point in Småland is at 377 metres. The traditional provinces of Sweden no longer serve any governmental purpose, but they do remain important and culturally; the province of Småland today is divided entirely into the three administrative counties of Jönköping and Kronoberg. Some few small portions of historic Småland are situated in Östergötland Counties; the current coat of arms, granted in 1569, displays a rampant red lion carrying a crossbow, all on a golden background. The arms may be surmounted by a ducal coronet; the blazon in English would be, "Or, a lion rampant gules and armed azure, holding in its front paws a crossbow of the second and stringed Sable with a bolt argent." The population of Småland was 754,535 as of 31 December 2016, distributed over five counties as follows: The land is dominated by a forested high plain in which the soil is mixed with sand and small boulders, making it barren in all but the coastal areas and unsuited for agriculture except in certain locations, most notably the Kalmar plains.
The province is rich in bogs. The coast is marked by cultivated flatlands in the south. In total, cultivated land covers 14%, meadows cover 7%, forests cover 50% of the surface of the province. Other than lacking deep valleys, the landscape is similar to the Norrland terrain found further north in Sweden; the largest towns are Jönköping in the north-west, Växjö in the south, Kalmar on the east coast near Öland Island. Småland comprises the central and southern parts of the South Swedish highlands. In detail, the topography of Småland is a series of flat surfaces built upon or deformed by a geological dome; the elevated terrain thought to be a buckle formed as result of far-away forces transmitted to Sweden. The main surfaces are the Sub-Cambrian peneplain, the South Småland peneplain and the "200 m peneplain"; these surfaces and others are arranged in a stepped sequence called a piedmonttreppen. In eastern Småland, the Sub-Cambrian peneplain dips to the sea. To the West, this part of the Sub-Cambrian peneplain terminates along a North-South escarpment that separates it from other flat surfaces.
Central and northwestern Småland contains strings of isolated hills. The lakes and rivers of Småland are associated to zones of weak rock, either fractured, weathered, or both; the many lakes in Småland owe their existence to the creation of basins through the stripping of an irregular mantle of weathered rock by glacial erosion. The Lagan and the Nissan drain western Småland, following for most of their courses zones of weak rock associated with the Protogine Zone. Rusken, Möckeln lakes are aligned with a more eastern branch of the Protogine Zone. Canyons cut into the bedrock are common in central and northern Småland, with the area near Mörlunda containing various narrow canyons; the climate of Småland is divided between the oceanic climate of coastal areas such as Kalmar and the humid continental climate of the interior higher areas such as Jönköping. Southern interior areas such as Växjö have similar oceanic climates such as the coastline. However, temperature average differences between areas are small, since Småland lies in the continental/oceanic transition zone.
Summer daytime averages are similar throughout the province, since according to Weatherbase all three major urban areas are on average around 21 °C with daytime winter temperatures hovering around the freezing point. The colder nights averaging −5 °C in Jönköping are rendering its continental classification; the locality of Målilla has the Swedish and Scandinavian all-time highest-measured temperature with 38 °C on June 1, 1947. The area was populated in the Stone Age from the south, by people moving along the coast up to Kalmar. Småland was populated by Stone Age peoples by at least 6000 BC, since the Alby People are known to have crossed the ice bridge across the Kalmar Strait at that time, it is named Småland because it was an aggrupation of a dozen little territories: Kinda, Vista, Tjust, Aspeland, Handbörd, Möre, Värend and Njudung. Each "small land" had its own law in the Viking age and early Middle Ages and could declare itself neutral in wars that Sweden was involved in -- at least if the King had no army present at the parliamentary debate.
Around 1350, during the reign of Magnus Eriksson, the first national law code was introduced in Sweden and the historic provinces lost much of their old autonomy. The city of Kalmar is one of the oldest cities of Sweden. In the medieval period it was the southernmost and the third largest city in Sweden, when it was a center for export of iron, which, in many cases, was handled by German merchants. At that time and Blekinge were not part of Sweden. Småland was the center of several peasant rebellions; the most nearly successful was the Dackefejden led by Nils Dacke in 1542 and 1543. When officials of king Gustav Vasa were assaulted and murdered, the king sent small expeditions to pacify the area. Dacke was the virtual ruler of large parts of Småland during that Winter, though much troubled by a blockade of supplies, before being defeated by larger forces attacking
Öland is the second largest Swedish island and the smallest of the traditional provinces of Sweden. Öland has an area of 1,342 square kilometres and is located in the Baltic Sea just off the coast of Småland. The island has 26,000 inhabitants, it is separated from the mainland by the Kalmar Strait and connected to it by the 6-kilometre Öland Bridge, which opened on 30 September 1972. The traditional provinces of Sweden no longer serve administrative or political purposes but still exist as historical and cultural entities. Öland is part of the administrative county of Kalmar County and consists of the two municipalities of Borgholm Municipality and Mörbylånga Municipality. There was an Öland County in the short period between 1819 and 1826. Öland was granted provincial arms in 1560, but it would not be until the 1940s that the province was assigned its proper ones. The arms granted to Öland had been mixed up with the arms granted to Åland and this was not discovered until the 20th century. While Öland changed its coat of arms, Åland, now a Finnish province, kept its established but unintended coat of arms.
The deer is meant to symbolize the status of Öland as a royal game park and the arms are topped by a ducal crown. Blazon: "Azure a Deer Or attired and gorged Gules." Archaeological evidence indicates the island of Öland was settled about 8000 BC, with excavations dating from the Paleolithic era showing the presence of hunter-gatherers. In the early Stone Age, settlers from the mainland migrated across the ice bridge that connected the island across the Kalmar Strait. Evidence of habitation of Öland occurred at least as early as 6000 BC, when there were stone age settlements at Alby and other locations on the island. Burial grounds from the Iron Age through the Viking Age are visible at Gettlinge and other places on the perimeter ridge including stone ships. There are nineteen Iron Age ringforts identified on the island, only one of which, has been excavated, yielding over 24,000 artifacts. Around 900 AD, Wulfstan of Hedeby called the island "Eowland", the land of the Eowans: Then, after the land of the Burgundians, we had on our left the lands that have been called from the earliest times Blekingey, Meore, Eowland, Gotland, all which territory is subject to the Sweons.
However, this is not the first mention of the Eowans. There is an earlier mention of the tribe in the Anglo-Saxon poem Widsith: Scholars such as Schütte and Kendrick have pointed out that there was an earlier mention of the people of Öland in 98 AD, by Tacitus, who called them the "Aviones": After the Langobardi come the Reudigni, Angli, Eudoses and Nuithones all well guarded by rivers and forests. There is nothing remarkable about any of these tribes unless the common worship of Nerthus, Earth Mother, is considered, they believed she walked among them. On an island in the ocean sea there is a sacred grove. In Swedish history, the island long served as a royal game park. Öland is the second largest of the islands of Sweden and was divided into one chartered city and five hundreds. Highest Hill: Högsrum, 55 m Largest lake: Hornsjön Length: 137 km Width: 16 km Öland has a semi-continental oceanic climate with vast temperature differences between summer and winter. There are two main weather stations, one located at the northern edge and the other at the southern edge.
In spite of the more northerly latitude, Öland's northern edge is far milder than its southern edge, since air warm over greater surrounding landmasses during days, whilst retaining heavy maritime features during night. It is more representative for the island's general climate, with only the deep south being much cooler down a narrow peninsula; the dominant environmental feature of the island is the Stora Alvaret, a limestone pavement, the habitat of numerous rare and endangered species. The first known scientific study of the biota of the Stora Alvaret occurred in the year 1741 with the visit of Linnaeus; the underlying bedrock layer is Cambrian sandstone and alum chert, Ordovician limestone that dates from an approximate range of 540 to 450 million years ago. The Cambrian trilobite Eccaparadoxides oelandicus is named after the island.Öland is served by a perimeter highway, Route 136. In 2011 the Gripen Gas company filed a request for test drilling on Öland for natural gas; the request was approved by Bergsstaten, the governmental agency responsible for handling geological issues regarding prospecting.
The approval has been met with criticism on the municipal and county administrative levels, citing that the many cracks in the limestone bedrock could cause the groundwater to become contaminated by the gas prospecting. The Borgholm Castle was built between 1669 and 1681 for Queen Hedvig Eleonora, designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Elder. In its vicinity sits the Solliden Palace, summer home to the royal family; the limestone pavement habitat of southern Öland, known as Stora Alvaret, has been entered as a site of the UNESCO World Heritage program. Features of this are the many rare species found.
Lappland anglicised as Lapland, is a province in northernmost Sweden. It borders Jämtland, Ångermanland, Västerbotten, Norrbotten and Finland. Nearly a quarter of Sweden's land area is in Lappland. Lappland extended eastward. However, in 1809 the Russian Empire annexed the eastern part of the Swedish realm, created the Grand Duchy of Finland, which in effect split Lappland into a Swedish part and a Finnish part, both of which still exist today; the history of Lappland is in many ways connected to the history of Norrbotten County and Västerbotten County, since Lappland is a historic region connected to these counties. During the Middle Ages, Norrbotten/Lappland was considered a no man's land; the area was in fact populated by nomadic Sami people, but the region became settled by Swedish and Norwegian settlers - along the coasts and large rivers. From the Middle Ages on, the Swedish kings tried to colonise and Christianise the area using settlers from what is now Finland and southern Sweden. Today, despite large-scale assimilation into the dominant Swedish culture and Sami minorities continue to maintain their cultures and identities.
In religion, nonetheless, in the 17th and 18th centuries the Lapplanders left their original shamanism and converted to Lutheranism. Since the 19th century, Lappland has been characterised by Laestadian Lutheranism. During the industrialization of Sweden in the late-19th century, natural resources from Lappland and surrounding provinces played a key role. Still, mining and hydroelectric power are the backbone of the local economy, together with municipal services; the unemployment has however been high for several decades and many young people leave for the larger cities by the coast or in southern Sweden. Located in Sweden. Lapland is known for containing the Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve, one of the largest nature reserves in Sweden. Other parts of Lappland have been named a UNESCO World heritage site, the Laponian area, the province contains some of the oldest and most spectacular national parks of northern Europe, e.g. Sarek National Park, established in 1909. Lappland has an area of 109,702 square km, larger than Austria and equal to Portugal.
Abisko Björnlandet Muddus Padjelanta Sarek Stora Sjöfallet Vadvetjåkka The traditional provinces of Sweden serve no administrative or political purposes but are cultural and historical entities. Administratively, Lappland constitutes the western part of two counties of Sweden, Norrbotten County in the north and Västerbotten County in the south. In contrast to most other areas of Sweden, there is more of an identification with the counties rather than to provinces. Thus, most people in these counties refer to the entire county, including the areas in Lappland, when they say'Norrbotten' or'Västerbotten'. Citizens of Sami descent are eligible to stand and vote in elections for the Swedish Sami Parliament, the case with Sami people elsewhere in Sweden as well. Sami language has an official minority status in Kiruna Municipality, Gällivare Municipality, Jokkmokk Municipality and Arjeplog Municipality; as of 31 December 2017, the population of Swedish Lappland is 91,333. Together with the rest of historical Lapland, the sum of the population is 250,000.
The largest cities are Kiruna with 23,178 inhabitants, Gällivare with 18,123 inhabitants and Lycksele with 12,177 inhabitants. In Norrbotten County: Kiruna Gällivare Jokkmokk Arjeplog Arvidsjaur In Västerbotten County: Lycksele Vilhelmina Storuman Malå Åsele Dorotea Sorsele Lappland itself was never considered a duchy but on 18 January 1884 the Privy Council gave all Provinces the right of use to a ducal coronet for their arms. Blazon Swedish version: "Argent, a Wildman statant Gules wrapped with birch leaves Vert on the head and around the waist holding a Club Or in dexter over the shoulder." The wildman used to be depicted with more features, impressively drawn muscles and a dour expression on his face. The wildman wielding a club as heraldic symbol of Lappland first appeared at the coronation of Charles IX of Sweden in 1607 at the same king's burial in 1611; the colour red of his skin was decided only in 1949. The wildman, though unusual in heraldry, is an old symbol of the uncivilised north and appeared in books and woodcuts of the 16th century.
Lappland has a subarctic climate in its lower areas, whereas a polar variety can be found in Tarfala, where the average high for the warmest month of the year is lower than 10 °C in mean temperatures. The southern parts of the province are milder than the northern, due to the vast geographical differences. However, since Lappland is all made up of inland areas, maritime moderation is less significant than in the counties' coastal areas and in neighbouring Norway, resulting in harsh winters. Southern areas at a lower elevation such as Lycksele have warm summers. Due to the arctic circle, the northern areas of the province experience midnight sun and a moderate polar night with some civil twilight during opposite sides of the year; the culture of the Sami people, the conservative Lutheran Laestadian movement is prominent in the region. Football in the province is administered by Norrbottens Fotbollförbund and Västerbottens Fotbollförbund. An EU-subsidised government tourism marketing organisation aiming to promote tourism in Northern Sweden has taken the
Monarchy of Sweden
The Monarchy of Sweden concerns the monarchical head of state of Sweden, a constitutional and hereditary monarchy with a parliamentary system. The Kingdom of Sweden has been a monarchy since time immemorial. An elective monarchy, it became an hereditary monarchy in the 16th century during the reign of Gustav Vasa, though all monarchs before that belonged to a limited and small number of families which are considered to be the royal dynasties of Sweden. Sweden in the present day is a representative democracy in a parliamentary system based on popular sovereignty, as defined in the current Instrument of Government; the monarch and the members of the Royal Family undertake a variety of official and other representational duties within Sweden and abroad. Carl XVI Gustaf became King on 15 September 1973 on the death of Gustaf VI Adolf. Scandinavian peoples have had kings since prehistoric times; as early as the 1st century CE, Tacitus wrote that the Suiones had a king, but the order of Swedish regnal succession up until King Eric the Victorious, is known exclusively through accounts in controversial Norse sagas.
The Swedish king had combined powers limited to that of a war chief, a judge and a priest at the Temple at Uppsala. However, there are thousands of runestones commemorating commoners, but no known chronicle about the Swedish kings prior to the 14th century, there is a small number of runestones that are thought to mention kings: Gs 11, U 11 and U 861. About 1000 A. D. the first king known to rule both Svealand and Götaland was Olof Skötkonung, but further history for the next two centuries is obscure, with many kings whose tenures and actual influence/power remains unclear. The Royal Court of Sweden, does count Olof's father, Eric the Victorious, as Sweden's first king; the power of the king was strengthened by the introduction of Christianity during the 11th century, the following centuries saw a process of consolidation of power into the hands of the king. The Swedes traditionally elected a king from a favored dynasty at the Stones of Mora, the people had the right to elect the king as well as to depose him.
The ceremonial stones were destroyed around 1515. In the 12th century, the consolidation of Sweden was still affected by dynastic struggles between the Erik and Sverker clans, which ended when a third clan married into the Erik clan and the House of Bjelbo was established on the throne; that dynasty formed pre-Kalmar Union Sweden into a strong state, king Magnus IV ruled Norway and Scania. Following the Black Death, the union weakened, Scania reunited with Denmark. In 1397, after the Black Death and domestic power struggles, Queen Margaret I of Denmark united Sweden and Norway in the Union of Kalmar with the approval of the Swedish nobility. Continual tension within each country and the union led to open conflict between the Swedes and the Danes in the 15th century; the union's final disintegration in the early 16th century led to prolonged rivalry between Denmark-Norway and Sweden for centuries to come. Catholic bishops had supported the King of Denmark, Christian II, but he was overthrown in a rebellion led by nobleman Gustav Vasa, whose father had been executed at the Stockholm bloodbath.
Gustav Vasa was elected King of Sweden by the Estates of the Realm, assembled in Strängnäs on 6 June 1523. Inspired by the teachings of Martin Luther, Gustav I used the Protestant Reformation to curb the power of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1527 he persuaded the Estates of the Realm, assembled in the city of Västerås, to confiscate church lands, which comprised 21% of the country's farmland. At the same time, he broke with the papacy and established a reformed state church: the Church of Sweden. Throughout his reign, Gustav I suppressed both aristocratic and peasant opposition to his ecclesiastical policies and efforts at centralisation, which to some extent laid the foundation for the modern Swedish unitary state. Sweden has only been a hereditary monarchy since 1544 when the Riksdag of the Estates, through Västerås arvförening, designated the sons of King Gustav I as the heirs to the Throne. Tax reforms took place in 1538 and 1558, whereby multiple complex taxes on independent farmers were simplified and standardised throughout the district and tax assessments per farm were adjusted to reflect ability to pay.
Crown tax revenues increased, but more the new system was perceived as fairer. A war with Lübeck in 1535 resulted in the expulsion of the Hanseatic traders, who had had a monopoly on foreign trade. With its own burghers in charge, Sweden's economic strength grew and by 1544 Gustav controlled 60% of the farmlands in all of Sweden. Sweden now built the first modern army in Europe, supported by a sophisticated tax system and an efficient bureaucracy. At the death of King Gustav I in 1560, he was succeeded by his oldest son Eric XIV, his reign was marked by Sweden's entrance into the Northern Seven Years' War. The combination of Eric's developing mental disorder and his opposition to the aristocracy led to the Sture Murders in 1567 and the imprisonment of his brother John, married to Catherine Jagiellon, sister of King Sigismund II of Poland