Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hello Again!

Today’s topic takes us to Northern Europe- a region that brings to mind in most people fierce Vikings and frigid weather. The Kalmar Union describes the various unions between the Nordic territories, including Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands. 

From 1397 to 1523, they were all one entity. But the Swedish powers, then encompassing Finland, were unhappy with the Danish rulers’ threat to Swedish exports and self-government. Many conflicts erupted, beginning in 1430 and culminating in a break of the Kalmar Union into the kingdoms Sweden-Finland and Denmark-Norway. However, the conflicts did not end there. In 1809, Sweden’s war with Russia led to Sweden ceding the Finnish territories to Russia, thereby creating an independent principality of Finland within the Russian empire. Just a few years later in 1814, the Treaty of Kiel ending Danish-Swedish hostility in the Napoleonic Wars forced the Kingdom of Denmark to cede most Norwegian territory to Sweden. This led to a union known as Sweden-Norway, which broke up not only Denmark-Norway but Norway itself, as Norway formerly included Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands. However, these former Norwegian territories remained as dependencies of Denmark. Finally, today, Finland, Norway, and Iceland are independent nations. Faroe Islands remains within the Kingdom of Denmark while Greenland sees self-government within the Kingdom of Denmark.

As territories with such long history, the Scandinavian region has certainly seen its share of conflict and union. The neighboring countries have had long, hostility-wrought relations which have culminated in pleasant and diplomatic relations between the nations today. A Scandinavian Monetary Union and other amicable interactions suggest the improved relationships between the Nordic nations today.

Join me this Friday for the first Presidential Friday and this Monday for the first Monthly Micronation Monday! 

Sources: Wikipedia, Wacra, University of Washington

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