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Last modified: 2014-05-31 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: scandinavia | denmark | sweden | norway | iceland | denmark | finland | russia | duchy of finland |
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Scandinavia proper consists of Sweden and Norway, but at times the term is applied to Scandinavian peninsula, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland.

Sweden was home of the Vikings in the 9th century A.D. and conquered the Finns in the 12th century. From 1397 to 1523 Sweden was united with Norway and Denmark. Under the house of Vasa, Sweden took possession of Reval and Estonia in 1561; East Karelia and Ingria in 1617 and Livonia in 1629; and acquired Jämtland, Horjedalen and the islands of Gotland and Sarema in 1645. After the Thirty Years War it acquired territory on the German mainland, becoming the leading Baltic power by the 17th century. In 1616 Denmark ceded southern Scandinavian territories to Sweden. After defeat in the Great Northern War, Sweden lost most of the German territories, Estonia, Livonia, Ingria and Karelia. Finland and the Åland Islands were lost to Russia between 1743-1809. In 1809 it gave up Swedish Pomerania to acquire Norway, with which a personal union was established that lasted until 1905.

Norway became a part of the Kalmar Union in 1397 which consisted of Norway, Sweden and Denmark. In 1814 Norway was ceded to Sweden and became a part of a personal union that lasted until 1905.

Finland. The Finnish region was settled in the 8th century. In the 12th century it was conquered by Sweden. Karelia was ceded to Russia in 1721 and the rest of Finland given to Russia in 1809 after Sweden lost the War of Third Coalition in 1809 and was in personal union with Russia as a Grand Duchy. Finland declared independence from Russia in 1917. In 1922 the Finland was awarded the Åland Islands. The Karelian Isthmus was ceded to Russia following defeat in war (1939-1940).

The northern portion of these countries, as well as the Kola peninsula in Russia is the home of the Sami people and known as Lapland (Norwegian), Lappland (Swedish) and Lappi (Finnish).

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