Riksdag of the Estates

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Riksdag of the Estates (

King. It was a Diet made up of the Four Estates
, which historically were the lines of division in Swedish society:

The inclusion of a fourth estate, Bondeståndet, is a peculiarity of the Swedish realm, with few parallells in Europe. The English word peasant is however an inexact translation, as it did not include the entire peasantry, as it is usually defined in an English context. It did not include unlanded or semi-landed groups such as crofters, lodgers and seasonal labourers and of the three categories of Swedish bönder, that is peasants, it included only two. Those were the skattebönder ("tax peasants"), yeomen who owned their own land and were taxed, as well as the kronobönder ("Crown farmers" or "farmers of the Crown"), who farmed land owned by the Crown. The third group, the frälsebönder ("farmers of the nobility/gentry"), who farmed land owned by the nobility, were not represented.

Important assemblies

House of Nobility, seat of the Swedish nobility

The meeting at Arboga in 1435 is usually considered to be the first Riksdag, but there is no indication that the fourth estate, the farmers, were represented there.[citation needed]

Replaced by the new Riksdag


House of Nobility (Swedish: Riddarhuset) remained as a quasi-official representation of the Swedish nobility until 2003. Although the Nobility remains as a legal entity it is no longer an entity of public law but merely a private association. All Noble privileges have been abolished. However, a number of entailed properties (fidekomisser) remain to be commuted (that is, turned into limited liability companies). The modern Centre Party
, which grew out of the Swedish farmers' movement, could be construed as a modern representation with a traditional bond to the Estate of the Farmers.

Riksdag in Finland

Following the

Finnish House of Nobility (Finnish: Ritarihuone; Swedish
: Riddarhuset) carries on the tradition of the Estate of Nobility, but no new families have been ennobled since 1906.

See also


  • Stig Hadenius, The Riksdag in Focus: Swedish History in a Parliamentary Perspective, Coronet Books Incorporated, 1997.


  1. SELIBR 10478413