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Eighteenth-century Sweden was characterised by rapid cultural development, partly through close contact with France.
Overseas trade was hard hit by the Napoleonic Wars, which led to general stagnation and economic crisis in Sweden during the early 19th century.
Fourteen thousand years ago, Sweden was still covered by a thick ice cap. Ale’s stones pictured here are from the Iron Age – before Vikings, war-hungry kings, peace and the race into modernity.
From 8,000 BC to 6,000 BC, Sweden as a whole became populated by people who lived by hunting, gathering and fishing, and who used simple stone tools.
The various provinces of Sweden were absorbed around 1000 AD into a single unit, but the crown began to gain significant influence only during the late 13th century.
In 1280 King Magnus Ladulås (1275–90) issued a statute authorising the establishment of a nobility and the organisation of society on the feudal model.
One consequence was emigration, mainly to North America.
However, the Black Death, which reached Sweden in 1350, led to a long period of economic and population decline.