Denmark–Sweden relations

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Danish–Swedish relations
Map indicating locations of Denmark and Sweden



The relations between Denmark and Sweden[1] span a long history of interaction. The inhabitants of each speak related North Germanic languages, which have a degree of mutual intelligibility. Both countries formed part of the Kalmar Union between 1397 and 1523, but there exists an inherited cultural competition between Sweden and Denmark. From 1448 to 1790 the two kingdoms went to war against each other at nearly every opportunity; in more than one case a new king tried to prove his worth by waging war on the other country for little or no political reason. Eleven Dano-Swedish wars took place between 1521 and 1814.

Today, the countries are separated by the

Danish people
live in Sweden.

Since Gustav Vasa consolidated the Swedish nation-state after the Swedish War of Liberation in 1523, Sweden and Denmark have fought 11 wars from the Northern Seven Years' War to the Napoleonic Wars. Sweden has historically won the majority of the wars, 7 of the total 11. Even though not all of these wars resulted in territorial changes and some ended in status quo, Sweden is considered victorious in many of these wars because they were triggered by Denmark.[2][3] The Swedish Campaign against Norway in 1814 was Sweden’s last war with Denmark, unlike Denmark which was involved in the Schleswig wars.

Historic conflicts

Second Northern War

The Second Northern War (1655–60) was fought between Sweden and its adversaries the

1658–60). The Dutch Republic
often intervened against Sweden.

In 1655,

declared war on Sweden and pushed into Lithuania and Swedish Livonia

Charles X Gustav then granted Frederick William I


Dano-Swedish War (1658–60)

The Dano-Swedish War of 1658–60 was a war between

Charles X Gustav desired to add the province of Royal Prussia in Poland to the Swedish realm, but his position in the region was not strong enough with the opposition of Brandenburg and Austria.[4][full citation needed] However, the Danes stalled and prolonged the fulfillment of some provisions of the earlier peace; the Swedish king decided to use this as a pretext to attack with an ambitious goal: to vanquish Denmark as a sovereign state and raze the capital of Copenhagen
. A quick and decisive defeat of Denmark was however only seen as a means to a greater end. The long-term goal was to wage war in Europe without fearing Danish interference.

Scanian War

The Scanian War was a part of the

Brandenburg and Sweden. It was fought mainly on Scanian
soil, in the former Danish provinces along the border with Sweden and in Northern Germany. While the latter battles are regarded a theater of the Scanian war in English, Danish and Swedish historiography, they are seen as a separate war in German historiography, called the Swedish-Brandenburgian War.

The war was prompted by the Swedish involvement in the Franco-Dutch War. Sweden had allied with France against several European countries. The United Provinces, under attack by France, sought support from Denmark–Norway. After some hesitation, King Christian V started the invasion of the Scania (Skåneland) in 1675, while the Swedish were occupied with a war against Brandenburg. The invasion of Scania was combined with a simultaneous Norwegian front called the Gyldenløve Wae, forcing the defending Swedes to fight a two-front war in addition to their entanglements in the Holy Roman Empire.

Cultural links

There are extensive cultural links between Denmark and Sweden, which are often referred to as "brotherfolks" (Danish/Swedish: broderfolk).[citation needed] The southern part of Sweden, Scania, was a part of Denmark until 1658, and the Scanian landscapes still contain many references to the Danish rule, such as in the name of many towns and cities, including Kristianstad. The construction of the Øresund Bridge has rekindled those ties, with the creation of the Øresund Region as the transnational metropolitan area comprising Copenhagen and Malmö. In addition, many Swedes and Danes consider themselves culturally and historically linked, in large part because the languages are mutually intelligible especially in the border regions.

Even in modern times, there have been serious talks of a

Nordic Union, either within or in competition with the European Union, and a Nordic Passport Union
has been in existence since 1952, allowing all citizens of the Nordic countries to travel freely without documents.

Sweden has 16 honorary consulates (in Aabenraa, Aarhus, Aalborg, Esbjerg, Frederikshavn, Grenaa, Helsingør, Holbæk, Kolding, Nuuk, Nykøbing Falster, Odense, Rønne, Skagen, Tórshavn and Viborg).

See also


  1. ^ (Danish: Forholdet mellem Danmark og Sverige; Swedish: Relationer mellan Danmark och Sverige)
  2. .
  3. ^ Frost, p. 180.

External links