Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
(?-1899)
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First Pub. Date
1881
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New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
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1899
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Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
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SWEDEN.

III.236.1

SWEDEN. A kingdom situated in the north of Europe and in the east of Scandinavian peninsula, about three-fifths of which it occupies. Its area is 444,814 square kilometres, of which more than 37,000 are covered by lakes. The area of Norway (see NORWAY) is not comprised in these figures. The country is mountainous, but its mountains, situated mostly in the north, do not reach the height of those in Norway; the highest mountain in Sweden, Sulitelma, is only 6,342 Swedish feet above the sea level. In Norway more than half the country is 2,000 feet high, while not more than one-twelfth part of Swedish soil reaches this elevation; nearly one-third, especially in the south, does not exceed 300 feet.

III.236.2

—The population, which is of the Scandinavian race, except about 16,000 Finns, 6,000 Lapps and 1,100 Jews, was 4,204,177 in 1872; on Dec. 31, 1880, the population was 4,565,668. In 1867 the total population was 4,195,681; 3,673,828 inhabitants (87.51 per cent.) living in the country, and 521,853 (12.49 per cent.) in the city.

III.236.3

—I. Constitution. Four fundamental laws account for the present political constitution of Sweden: the law concerning the form of government (regerings-formen) dated June 6, 1809; the law on representation (riksdays-ordningen), June 22, 1866; the order of succession (successions-ordningen), Sept. 26, 1810; and the law on the liberty of the press (tryckfrihets-förordningen), July 16, 1812. The union with Norway in regulated by the act of union(riks-akten), Aug. 6, 1815.

III.236.4

—The government is a limited monarchy, hereditary in the agnatic line. The king governs alone, on condition of consulting on all affairs, before arriving at a decision, his responsible ministers, (statsraad, counselor of state) whom he chooses freely among Swedes by birth, members of the evangelical church, and whom he replaces whenever he sees fit; thus they are justly considered to have his confidence so long as they are retained in office. The council of ministers is composed of ten members, seven of whom are leads of departments (with the departments of justice and foreign affairs is connected the title of ministers of state; next in title come the ministers of war, of the navy, of the interior, of ecclesiastical affairs and of finance); three members of the council, without portfolios, have only a consultative vote. The king can not decide any affair on which the council must be heard, unless in presence of three ministers at least, besides the one who reports the affairs or calls attention to the matter. The entire council must be present when important questions are discussed. A protocol or record of all the questions brought before the council is drawn up. The members present are obliged to express and give the reason for their opinions in the protocol; and they are responsible for their opinions. Should the decision of the king happen to be contrary to the fundamental law of the kingdom, the ministers are obliged to protest. Should a minister not give a contrary opinion in the protocol, he becomes responsible for the decision taken. On the other hand, no royal ordinance is binding unless countersigned by the minister whom it concerns. The minister who refuses to countersign, by this fact alone, lays down his portfolio, retaining his salary. He can not resume office until after the chambers have examined and approved this conduct. The ministers are responsible for their advice or their silence; in no case can they make a decision; this always belongs to the king.

III.236.5

—The Swedish constitution does not, as we see, admit of a government of ministers in the modern sense. The royal authority is exercised, in foreign affairs, by this supreme direction of chief questions of diplomacy, and by his right of concluding treaties or alliances, and of declaring war or peace. The king can conclude treaties or alliances after having heard the advice, on the subject, of the minister of state and of foreign affairs, and of another member of the council summoned for this purpose. For war or peace he must assemble the whole council, explain the reasons and circumstances, and ask the opinions of all the ministers, which they give, each one separately, and which is embodied in the protocol, on their responsibility. The king alone can make a decision; but no tax can be laid or loan made without the consent of the diet. There is, it is true, a sum set aside for the requirements of war; but the king can dispose of it only after a special meeting of the diet. Besides, the army and navy of Norway can not be employed in aggressive warfare except with consent of the storthing. The king governs in the interior by officials who derive all their authority from him, but whose salaries depend upon the diet. He was legislative power; the general rule is, that the king and the diet together enact the laws, observing certain forms in enacting them. The king has judicial power. From time immemorial he has been the judge of all; but his right of judging is transferred to his supreme tribunal. The king has the right of pardon, but only after having heard his tribunal does he decide the case in a council of ministers. He can not dispense any one from the law, unless in cases fixed by the law itself. If the king leaves the kingdom to go to a war, or if he visits provinces distant from the centre, or visits Norway, he must appoint three of his ministers, presided over by 2 prince of the royal house or by another minister, to transact the business with which the intrusts them. Under such circumstances, the king reserves to himself certain affairs, and therefore take one or more of his ministers with him. But if he travels outside the kingdom, he can not exercise his authority while abroad. In such case, and also in that of sickness, power is intrusted to the prince nearest the throne, if he has reached the legal age, or if there is not such person, to a government ad interim, composed of the ten ministers of Sweden and the ten ministers of Norway. If this state of affairs does not cease within a year, the diet is summoned, and takes such measures as it finds necessary.

III.236.6

—The representation of the nation, since the law of June 22, 1866, rests not as formerly on the division of the nation into four orders but on election only. Two chambers, having equal authority, compose the diet. The members of the first chamber are elected for nine years by the landstingen (species of provincial assemblies) and by the stadsfullmäktige (municipal counselors) of cities which do not sit in the landsting. A member is elected by 30,000 inhabitants. Candidates are eligible, without reference to place of domicile, who have completed their thirty-fifth year, and who own or have owned for at least three years before the election, immovable property, estimated for taxation at 80,000 rixdalers, or such as have, during the same length of time, paid taxes on at least 4,000 rixdalers of an annual income, either from their capital or their labor. If, after the election, a member of the diet finds his fortune insufficient to render him eligible, he is obliged to resign. Members of the first chamber receive no salary. Members of the second chamber are elected for three years, a member for each jurisdiction (domsaga) of the country, if the population does not exceed 40,000 (if it does, it is divided into two districts); one member for every 10,000 inhabitants in the cities, those having less than 10,000 being grouped into electoral districts of at least 6,000 inhabitants, and at most 12,000. In cities populous enough to send one or more members to the diet, the election is direct; in the others and in the country, it is of two degrees, unless the electors themselves decide by a vote to make the election direct. No man is a voter for and eligible to the second chamber except in the commune where he is domiciled; whoever possesses, in his own right on in usufruct, immovable property in the country or the city, assessed for taxation purposes at 1,000 rixdalers at least, is eligible, or who rents for life, or for five years at least, an agricultural holding valued for taxation purposes at 6,000 rixdalers at least, or who pays taxes on a yearly income of at least 800 rixdalers. To be eligible to the second chamber a candidate must have completed his twenty-fifth year, and have possessed for at least one year the right of election in the commune or in one of the communes in which he is a candidate. The members of the second chamber receive a salary of 12,000 rixdalers per year. If a member resigns after having served some time, his successor is elected only to fix the unexpired part of the term; so that every three years there are general elections for the second chamber.

III.236.7

—The ordinary session of the diet begins each year on Jan. 15, and can not be dissolved, without its consent, before the expiration of four months. The king, however, may exercise his right of calling new elections to one of the two chambers, or to both simultaneously. The king may call and adjourn an extra session of the diet at his pleasure; such a diet can examine only the questions which it was summoned to consider. The presidents of both chambers are appointed by the king. No deliberation is had, and no resolution taken in presence of the king. The ministers may be members of the diet; those who are not members have the right of being present in both chambers and taking part in deliberations, but without a vote. The initiative in the diet belongs in part to the king, who makes propositions to the two chambers, and in part to the deputies, whose motions must be made within ten days after the opening of the diet, unless as to questions concerning constitutional changes, or those caused by facts which have arisen during the session.

III.236.8

—Business is prepared by committees, who give their views to the chambers. There are five permanent committees, which are formed at the opening of each ordinary diet: 1, the committee on the constitution, for all questions of change in the constitution—this committee examines the reports of the council of ministers, and gives its opinions on them; 2, the committee on finance(stats-utskott), which examines the public revenues and expenditures; 3, the committee on taxation, which proposes new taxes, and calculates the income therefrom; 4, the bank committee (bankutskott), which inspects the royal bank and directs its administration; 5, the committee on legislation (lag-utskott), which gives its opinion on everything relating to civil, criminal and ecclesiastical law. Special committees, for the discussion of questions connected with the permanent committees, may also be formed, if the diet thinks necessary. Finally, if a question arises outside the jurisdiction of the permanent committees, a special committee (tillfalligt-utskott) is appointed. The permanent and special committees are appointed half by one and half by the other chamber. Special mention must be made of the so-called secret committee (hemliga-utskott), which is appointed by the two chambers at the request of the king, for the purpose of giving its advice to the king himself on such questions as it shall please him to propose.

III.236.9

—If the two chambers agree in a decision, is becomes the decision of the diet. If they are opposed in opinion, it is for the competent committee to endeavor to bring them to an agreement; should it not succeed, the question is adjourned till another session. If, however, this question concerns the taxes, public expenditure, or the banks, the two chambers vote separately, and the opinion which has the majority of votes, without regard to the chambers, becomes the decision of the diet. In case of necessity, the diet elects the king, the successor to the throne, or the regent. Together with the king, it frames the laws, votes the taxes, fixes the budget, and exercised control over the government and its officials, through the agency of its procurator general (justitie-ombudsman) elected each year by forty-eight electors chosen for this purpose, twenty-four by each chamber. It is the duty of this procurator general of the diet to see that the laws are faithfully executed by all functionaries; he has access to all tribunals and central administrative bureaus; he may have all records or reports brought to him; he publishes each year a general statement, which is printed.—It has been stated that the committee on the constitution is obliged to report on the action of the ministers; if it accuses any one of them of negligence or incapacity, it informs the king of its desire to see such minister removed; or if it discovers an illegal act or a violation of the constitution committed by a minister it orders the procurator general of the diet of summon that minister before the court of the kingdom (risksratt), a tribunal appointed in advance for cases of this kind.

III.236.10

—The administration of financial affairs is controlled by the diet through deputy directors and deputy controllers appointed in the two chambers on the occasion of each diet. The diet, its committee and its members, are inviolable. No deputy can be brought to justice or deprived of his liberty for any of his acts, or for any of his words during the session, unless the chamber of which he is a member gives its consent by five-sixths of its votes.

III.236.11

—Two special establishments are entirely under the management of the diet: the national bank (riksbank), and the office of the public debt (riksgaldkontor). The bank is managed by seven delegates of the diet, elected at each session. The office of the public debt is an institution altogether peculiar to Sweden. It dates, with its present organization from 1789. Gustavus III. had allowed the public debt to increase; the diet, after it had regained something of the power which it wielded under the preceding reign, claimed this branch of the financial management. The duties of the office of the public debt since 1809 are, to see to the payment of the debt, with the taxes set aside for this purpose, to the expenditures and necessary loans made on the credit of the debt. Its revenues are: the contribution called allmanna bevillning, the stamps on newspapers and playing cards, a part of the profit of the bank, etc. It is needless to say that this financial administration of the diet greatly hampers that of the minister of finance, and that continual efforts are made to reconcile them.

III.236.12

—Every three years the diet appoints six members, distinguished for their knowledge and enlightenment, to watch over the liberty of the press, together with the procurator general, their president. These delegates, of whom two besides the procurator general must be jurists, are elected by ballot by twenty-four electors chosen by each of the chambers from its own body, twelve from each. If an author or a publisher sends them a manuscript, asking whether the publication of this writing would cause any prosecution, the procurator general of the diet, and at least three delegates, of whom one is a jurist, must give their opinion in writing. If they declare that the work may be printed, the author and the printer are free from all responsibility; it falls on the delegates entirely.

III.236.13

—Communal liberties, formerly very considerable in Sweden, have become weakened during recent centuries, especially outside the cities, to the advantage of centralization; but they have never become extinct. They are regulated at present by the royal ordinance of 1862, the chief provisions of which are as follows: Parish affairs, in which every tax-paying Swedish subject (except those of the lowest grade) of good moral character has a voice, are of two kinds: those relating to the church and its property, schools, and the salaries of the clergy and schoolmaster, are managed by the church assembly (kyrkostamma), composed of all inhabitants having the right of suffrage and belonging to the Swedish church. The pastor is president. All other affairs are managed by the communal assembly (kommunal-stamma), which chooses its own president, or by municipal delegates. Both councils can levy taxes for objects which concern them. The church assembly has two delegates, the council of the church and the council of the school (kyrkorad skolrad) elected for four years. The communal assembly appoints a communal jury (kommunal-namnd) of from three to elevem members, which exercises executive power in its name, manages the communal property, the income and expenditure. The communal assembly may delegate its right to the kommunalfullmaktige, that is to say, to the members of the communal jury, and to a number three times as great of persons specially elected for four years, by the assembly alone, which can not, however, without consent of the king, convey property of issue loans redeemable in more than two years. Every city (stad forms a commune of itself, its communal assembly takes the name of communal house (allman radstuga). In every city with more than 3,000 inhabitants the right of decision belongs to delegates of the city (stadsfullmaktige), who are elected by the assembly of the communal house for four years, to the number of from twenty to sixty, according to the population. The executive authority in each city, in the name of the commune and the state, is the magistrate (that is to say, a burgomaster, selected by the king from a list of three candidates chosen by the city, and councilors chosen by the city.) The communal property and finances are managed by a chamber of finance (dratselkammare) which appoints the delegates or the members of the city council.

III.236.14

—The most remarkable of new communal institutions which revives under other forms an institution fallen into disuse for about two generations, is the landsting, a sort of general council. In the terms of the royal ordinance of March 21, 1862, every lan is to have a landsting composed of twenty members at least delegated by the cities (stader), by the harads and the tengslags (places inferior to cities) comprised in the lan. However, the cities having more than 25,000 inhabitants, Stockholm and Göteborg, are not included. The landsting examines and decides the communal affairs of the lan relative to general administration, agriculture, ways of communication, public health, education, public order, etc. It meets in regular sessions every year, in the month of September, for eight days, excluding holidays; but it may hold extraordinary sessions of its own motion or by order of the king. The presidents are appointed by the king; its deliberations are public; the initiative belongs both to the royal power and to every member of the landsting. The landshöfding, or perfect of the lan, assists and takes part in the deliberations. The landsting has the authority to fix, according to a budget agreed upon, the taxes or necessary loans. But it must have the royal approval for expenditures involving taxation for more than five years, or loans payable at a time longer than five years, or for the alienation of the domains.

III.236.15

—The relation established between the various communal authorities and the royal power is such that, though a certain number of their resolutions, to be valid, must obtain the consent of the king or of his representatives, a consent which may be refused, communal liberties at least can suffer no prejudice, it being impossible to make any provisions to their prejudice. The royal authority in case complaints are preferred to the king, may annul, administratively, communal decisions if they violate any private right. This new institution of the landsting has perhaps not been in operation long enough yet to be judged accurately. It is probable, however, that it affords an efficient intermediary between the central power and the local authorities.

III.236.16

—II. Finances. Each diet frames the budget of receipts and expenditures for the following year. The expenditures are ordinary or extraordinary, a division which is not expressed in the law regulating the form of government, but which was established by the force of things and has been practiced since 1841. The ordinary expenditures are included under nine principal heads: the civil list, the seven ministerial departments, the pensions, and the retired list.

III.236.17

—The following is a comparison between the budgets of 1869 and 1841: Civil list, in 1841, 1,079,550 rixdalers riksmynt (royal mint), (6.7 per cent. of all the expenditure); in 1869, 1,417,000 r. (3.7 per cent.); increase since 1841, 31 per cent. Justice, 1,034,355 r. (6.4 per cent.); 2,354,100 r. (6 per cent.); 12.7 per cent. Foreign affairs, 338,475 r. (2.1 per cent.); 457,950 r. (1.1 per cent), 32 per cent. War, 6,159,765 r. (38.2 per cent); 9,528,000 r. (24.9 per cent.); 54 per cent. Navy, 1,997,145 r. (12.3 per cent.); 3,963,800 r. (10.3 per cent.); 98 per cent. Interior, 1,268,550 r. (7.8 per cent.); 9,086,500 r. (21 per cent.); 53.7 per cent. Finances, 2,071,155 r, (12.8 per cent.); 6,359,200 r. (16.6 per cent.); 20.7 per cent. Public worship, 1,483,320 r. (9.2 per cent.); 4,714,700 r. (12.3 per cent.); 20.7 per cent. Pensions and retired list, 685,005 r. (4.2 per cent.); 1,321,373 r. (3.4 per cent.); 93 per cent. To sum up: in 1841, 16,114,320 riksdalers riksmynt; in 1869, 38,202,629 r.; increase, 137 per cent. The riksdaler riksmynt is worth 1 franc 429 m., for there are 100 ore in the riksdaler, and a franc is worth 70 ore. (The riksdaler is valued at 1 fr. 41½.) The considerable increase of expenditures for justice is explained, not by the number of crimes and misdemeanors, but by the erection of prisons of a new system. It will be remarked also that one of the principal items of increase was for public instruction. The increase of expenditures touching finances and the postal service is explained by the increase of commercial activity, which also naturally figures among the sources of income. The diet of 1856 marked one of the stages of this transformation by increasing the salaries of officials; the budget of ordinary expenditures was increased that year from 19,315,380 to 25,508,500 riksdalers riksmynt, that is to say, 32 per cent.

III.236.18

—Extraordinary expenditures are voted for one year, and must be paid partly by the office of the state, and partly by the office of the public debt (riksgaldskontor). In 1869 the first had to pay 5,496,371 riksdalers riksmynt for the artillery service and the railroads; the second, 1,187,999 r. for roads, canals, etc. All the expenditures for 1869 amounted, therefore, to 45,086,999 r. Two special credits in view of unforeseen expenditures should also be mentioned: the first of which can only be employed in case of war, the second may be used for other pressing needs. The public revenues, for the greater part, are paid to the office of the state. There is the ordinary income, which combines several varieties of ancient land tax, estimated, in 1869, at 4,693,800 r.; crown tithes, that is to say, that part of the tithes which, at the time of the reformation, was reserved to the crown, and which now amounts to 1,684,200 r.; the poll tax, a personal tax which has become insignificant, 600,000 r.; and the farming of royal domains, 410,000 r. Many of the ordinary taxes have been abolished in recent years, but the produce of those which remain (most of them are paid in kind) are increased by a more exact estimate of prices. The ordinary revenues increased notably in 1869, since that was the first year in which they included the product of the railroad traffic, 6,400,000 r., so that the sum total of receipts was 15,260,720 r.

III.236.19

—Extraordinary resources consist in taxes voted by the diet each year: 1, the customs, which produced, in 1861, 14,857,508 r., and in 1871, 19,116,601 r. 2, the tax on the manufacture of spirits; in 1861, 8,002,669 r., and in 1871, 11,719,493 r.; this tax has become important only since the diet of 1854 provided that this manufacture should pay 50 öre on a measure called kanna, and the diet of 1857 raised this figure to 60 öre. 3, the postal service, the produce of which (serving simply to maintain and extend it) was, in 1861, 1,675,446 r.; in 1871, 2,271,306 r. 4, stamps; in 1861, 1,551,408 r.; and in 1870, 1,347,215 r. The whole amount of extraordinary receipts was, in 1841, 7,006,500 r.; in 1869, 26,350,000 r.; in 1872, about 49,400,000 r., including the communal tax (allmanna-berillning); in 1871, 2,887,400 r. was paid to the office of the public debt. This office has to meet the public debt with this and its other resources, under the direction, control and administration of the diet. The budget of 1874 reached 60,000,000 riksdalers of ordinary and extraordinary expenditures.

III.236.20

—Till 1854 Sweden had only an insignificant debt; but in that year the diet decided that railroads should be built by the state, and the necessary capital be obtained by loans. The years immediately following gave receipts sufficiently good to redeem a number of these loans; but at the end of 1867 there were 91,148,235 r. of Swedish bonds; to which, in 1868, a foreign loan of 18,000,000 riksdalers was added. [The national income at present (1883) is derived, to the extent of one-third, from direct taxes and national property, including railways; and the rest, mainly from indirect taxation, customs and excise duties, and an impost on spirits. The sources of revenue and branches of expenditure of the kingdom for the year 1882-3 were established as follows, in the budget estimates passed in the session of 1882 by the diet:

Sources of Revenue for 1882-3.

 Kroner.
Domains, railway, land taxes, etc.... 20,590,000
Customs... 27,500,000
Post... 5,100,000
Stamps... 3,000,000
Impost on spirits, etc.... 17,070,000
Impost on income... 4,100,000
Net profit of the state bank... 1,600,000
Surplus from previous years... 2,789,137
Total revenue... 78,749,137

III.236.21

Branches of Expenditure for 1882-3.

III.236.22

Ordinary:
Royal household... 1,338,000
Justice... 3,753,000
Foreign affairs... 613,800
Army... 17,205,000
Navy... 5,375,000
Interior... 4,396,300
Education and ecclesiastical affairs... 10,132,551
Finance... 13,293,000
Pensions... 2,480,000
  58,536,711
Extraordinary...  7,827,589
Expenditure through the riksgaldskontor:
Paying of loans... 9,522,132
Miscellaneous... 665,800
  10,187,932
Carried to floating capital...  2,196,905
Total expenditure...  78,749,137

III.236.23

—The expenditure for the army, church, and for certain civil offices, is in part defrayed out of the revenue of landed estates belonging to the crown, and the amounts do not appear in the budget estimates. To the expenditure for foreign affairs Norway contributes annually 304,700 kroner, a sum not entered in the estimates. The expenses for public instruction are in great part defrayed by the parishes and the provincial assemblies (landsting).

III.236.24

—To the riksgaldskontor, the supervision of which is exclusively exercised by the diet, belongs the administration of the public debt—exclusively incurred for the construction of railways—and the right to contract any loans which the diet may vote.

III.236.25

—On Jan. 1, 1881, the public liabilities of the kingdom were as follows, according to reports laid before the diet:

 Kroner.
Railway loan of 1858, at 4½ per cent.... 13,942,400
Railway loan of 1860, at 4½ per cent.... 14,270,133
Railway loan of 1861, at 4½ per cent.... 1,802,800
Railway loan of 1864, at 4½ per cent.... 8,853,000
Railway loan of 1866, at 5 per cent.... 25,263,467
Railway loan of 1868, at 5 per cent.... 20,052,272
Railway loan of 1870, at 5 per cent.... 14,150,700
Railway loan of 1872, at 4 per cent.... 18,356,300
Railway loan of 1875, at 4½ per cent.... 36,309,333
Railway loan of 1876, at 4½ per cent.... 35,539,120
Railway loan of 1878, at 4 per cent.... 26,232,000
Unfunded obligations repayable by Nov. 1, 1885... 9,000,000
Total... 226,399,102

III.236.26

In 1880-81 a further loan of $22,000,000 was issued at 4 per cent., mainly to redeem previous issues bearing higher rates of interest. All the loans are paid off gradually by means of sinking funds.

III.236.27

—F. M.]

A. GEOFFROY.

III.236.28

—III. Religion. Religious liberty has been, till within recent years, entirely unknown in Sweden. Two laws of 1860 gave, in this regard, very incomplete satisfaction to public sentiment. The following is, according to the terms of this new legislation, the actual condition of dissenting Christians living in Sweden. Dissenters, who wish to meet and form a religious association in a given place, must present a request to the king, in order to obtain the necessary permission for the exercise of their religion. Every authorized association must choose a head, and have its choice approved by the civil authority of the place. The elected head must furnish all information demanded of him by the government relative to his coreligionists. No religious order is permitted. Associations or religious communities can not, unless by special authorization of the king, own real estate, except for churches and cemeteries. Celebration of mixed marriage belongs to the clergy of the Swedish church. Legitimate children born of dissenting parents may be freely educated in the doctrines professed by their parents. In case of a mixed marriage, if the father belongs to the national church, the children must be educated in the Evangelical doctrine. If the father is a dissident, the agreement written at the time of marriage must be followed, or, in default of agreement, the father is at complete liberty to educate his children in the dissenting community. But he must inform the pastor of the parish of his determination, and undergo the remonstrances of this pastor, together with those of the chapter. Sweden has an archbishop, at Upsala, and eleven bishops, who are appointed by the king from a list of candidates drawn up by the clergy. The pastors of cities are also appointed by the king. The ministers of rural parishes are elected by the people. The mass of the population adhere to the Lutheran-Protestant church, recognized as the state religion. At the census of 1870 the number of "Evangelical Lutherans" was returned at 4,162,087, the Protestant dissenters, Baptists, Methodists, and others, numbering 3,999. Of other creeds, there were 573 Roman Catholics, 30 Greek Catholics, and 1,836 Jews.

III.236.29

—IV. Public Instruction. Sweden has long been one of the countries of Europe in which primary instruction is most disseminated. Education is not free except for the poor, but it is obligatory, in this sense, that children can not be admitted to their first communion until they are able to read and write. In each parish there is a school directed by a teacher and supervised by the pastor. The teacher is generally appointed by the bishop of the diocese. The programme of primary instruction includes reading, writing, Swedish grammer, the catechism, sacred history, sacred music, swimming, gymnastics, an abridgement of national history, and a brief study of the physical and political constitution of the two united kingdoms. In certain districts there are traveling teachers, who go from farm to farm and place themselves, for a certain time at the disposal of parents who are unable to send their children to the parish school. Establishments for intermediate instruction, called Latin schools, or learned schools, are under the almost exclusive control of the bishops. The study of the German, English and French languages is the object of particular care. Several large cities contain also gymnasia, or day college, and free institutions founded and managed by private persons. Higher instruction is given in the two universities of Upsala and Lund. The university of Upsala is one of the oldest and richest in Europe. Its foundation goes back to the year 1476. It is placed under the direction of a chancellor (who is generally one of the great personages of the state, sometimes even a prince of the blood), and is managed in fact by a rector aided by a consistory. The ordinary fellows, or tutors, are not clothed with any official title, but they are authorized to teach freely in the halls of the university. The university is divided into four faculties: theology, law, medicine, and philosophy. The university of Lund is organized on the same plan. Both universities are under the same chancellor. In the year 1878 nearly 98 per cent. of all the children between eight and fifteen years visited the public schools. There were 5,031 male and 5,183 female teachers in the primary schools in 1878. The university at Upsala is frequented by 1,500, and that at Lund by 650, students per annum.

III.236.30

—V. Army and Navy. The Swedish army is composed of four distinct classes of troops. 1. The varfrade, or enlisted troops, to which belong the royal life-guards, one regiment of hussars, the artillery, and the engineers. 2. The indelta, or national militia, the privates of which are paid and kept by the land owners. Every soldier of the indelta has, besides a small annual pay, his torp, or cottage, with a piece of ground attached, which remains his own during the whole period of service, often extending over thirty years, or even longer. In time of peace the infantry of the indelta are called up for a month's annual practice, and the cavalry for thirty-six days. In time of war, an extraordinary indelta has to be raised, partly by land owners, who, on this account, enjoy certain privileges, including non-contribution to the cost of the peace establishment. 3. The militia of Gothland, consisting of thirty companies of infantry, and three batteries of artillery. They are not compelled by law to serve beyond the confines of the isle of Gothland, and have a separate command. 4. The bevaring, or conscription troops, drawn by annual levy, from the male population, between the ages of twenty and twenty-five years. The law of conscription was introduced into Sweden in 1812, but the right of purchasing substitutes, which formerly existed, was abolished by the diet in 1872.

III.236.31

—The total strength of the armed forces of Sweden in 1882 was as follows:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.

III.236.32

There are also volunteers, first organized in the year 1861, by the spontaneous desire of the population of the kingdom. In time of peace the volunteers are individually free, and bound by no other rules and regulations than their own, but in time of war they may be compelled to place themselves under the command of the military authorities. However, they can be required only to serve within the limits of their own districts. At the end of 1882 the volunteers numbered 11,065 men. In 1882 the total army of Sweden, officers and men, numbered 195,901, with 258 guns and 6,646 horses.

III.236.33

—In the parliamentary session of 1862, and again in the sessions of 1865, 1869, 1871 and 1875, the government brought bills before the diet for a reorganization of the whole of the army, but none of them were adopted by the representatives of the people.

III.236.34

—The navy of the kingdom is divided into three classes, namely, first, the royal navy; secondly, the royal naval reserve; and thirdly, the naval bevaring. The fleet in 1882 consisted of 15 ironclads, 29 unarmed steamers, 10 sailing vessels, and 105 galleys; with a total: horse power, 20,060; guns, 373; crew, 5,204.

III.236.35

—VI. Resources. Agriculture, long developed in Sweden, has attained proportions truly remarkable. The southern provinces, whose soil is very fertile by nature, have at present the smiling and fruitful aspect of the richest plains of central Europe. In 1825 the production of cereals did not suffice for the consumption of the inhabitants, and the annual importation varied from 200,000 to 300,000 tons. Toward 1834 Sweden commenced to export wheat and flour. From 1840 to 1845 exportation rose to an average of 116,000 tons; in 1849 it rose to 377,000 tons (165 litres), and in 1855 it reached 1,739,000 tons. In 1869 the harvest consisted of 582,019 tons of wheat, 3,738,917 of rye, 2,798,634 of barley: 7,322,652 of oats, and 7,671,492 of potatoes. In the same year the live stock of Sweden numbered 420,859 horses, 1,874,360 head of horned cattle, 1,539,079 sheep, 121,911 goats, 339,248 hogs, and 140,000 domesticated reindeer. The exportation of timber has increased at a still greater rate, if possible.

III.236.36

—The mineral wealth of Sweden is recognized, and it is universally known how much the iron of Dalecarlia is sought for in the different markets of Europe. Since 1830 the iron industry has acquired new vigor. In 1833 the manufacture of bar iron was 452,000 skepounds (the skeppund is 135 kilogrammes), in 1856 it rose to 840,000 skeppunds, in 1860 to 3,219,660 quintals, and in 1870 to 4,559,331. The production of copper is as follows: in 1833, 5,519 skeppunds; in 1856, 13,402 skeppunds; in 1860, 37,251 quintals; in 1870, 43,853 quintals. There is but little coal in Sweden, for only 1,754,083 cubic feet were taken out in 1870.

III.236.37

—Swedish manufactures extend to almost every branch of industry: woolen cloth, silk, cotton, cotton woven and spun, refined sugar, tobacco, paper, leather and oil. The value of all the products of industry in the country, which in 1830 was a little more than 13,000,000 riksdalers, rose in 1850 to about 37,000,000, in 1870 to 92,281,084, and in 1871 to 105,000,000 of riksdalers (of 1 fr. 41½c.), or more than 148,000,000 francs.

III.236.38

—The increase of commerce in Sweden was the natural consequence of the growth of population and the progress of industry. Importation has, since 1852, progressed at the following rate: In 1852, 43,573,000 riksdalers riksmynt; in 1861, 106,570,000; in 1871, 169,179,000. Exports have increased in the following proportion; in 1852, 41,487,000 riksdalers rm.; in 1861, 81,084,000; in 1871, 161,023,000 rd. In 1836 the merchant marine numbered 1,809 vessels, carrying 63,874 lasts. (The last is equal to two English tons.) In 1856 it rose to 3,020 vessels, carrying 138,793 lasts; in 1861 to 3,313 vessels carrying 153,426 lasts; in 1871, to 3,495 vessels, carrying 113,112 nylasts (of about 3¼ tons). In 1861 Sweden possessed, besides, 219 merchant steamers, having 8,970 horse power; and in 1871, 406 steamers, of 12,450 horse power.

III.236.39

—Norwithstanding the decrease in duties the product of the customs increased five-fold in twenty-five years. It reached 16,500,000 riksdalers in 1874.

III.236.40

—The railway system of the state covers more than 1,250 kilometres, and that of private companies, 660 kilometres. The number of travelers was 1,593,141 in 1870; merchandise transported amounted to 16,764,820 quintals (10,829,419 in 1867); the gross receipts were 6,791,193 riksdalers, and the expenditures absorbed 53 per cent. of the receipts. The traveler now reaches Stockholm from Malmö in twenty hours. Göteborg from Stockholm in twelve hours, and Christiania from Stockholm in fifteen hours (since June 16, 1872).

III.236.41

—The telegraphic lines were (1874) 7,057 kilometres long; there were 306 offices, which dispatched, in 1871, 418,161 telegrams in the interior, and which received from abroad or sent abroad 190,853 telegrams.

III.236.42

—The circulation of letters for the same year was nearly twelve and a half millions.*122

B. AND T.


Notes for this chapter


The commercial intercourse of Sweden is chiefly with Great Britain, as regards exports, and, next to it, with France and Denmark. As regards imports, the commercial intercourse is largest with Great Britain, Germany, Denmark, Russia, Norway and the United States, in the order here indicated. The imports consist mainly of textile manufactures, coal, and colonial merchandise, the last largely on the increase, while the staple exports are timber, bar iron and corn. Both the imports and exports more than doubled in the ten years from 1870 to 1880, the total imports rising from £7,500,000 to over £16,000,000, and the total exports from £5,000,000 to £12,500,000.

—The commercial navy of Sweden, at the end of 1880, numbered 4,385 vessels, of a burden of 560,693 tons, of which total 3,613 vessels, of 474,095 tons burden, were sailing vessels, and 772 vessels of 86,598 tons burden, were steamers. The port of Göteborg had the largest shipping in 1879, namely, 277 vessels, of 87,674 tons, and next to it came Stockholm, possessing 253 vessels, of a total burden of 31,668 tons. In 1864 Stockholm had 110 vessels, of 28,216 tons, registered for foreign trade, and Göteborg 124, of 35,626 tons: so that the shipping of the latter port showed the largest increase in the course of the fourteen years.

—Mining is one of the most important departments of Swedish industry, and the working of the iron mines in particular is making constant progress by the introduction of new machinery. These were raised in the year 1878, throughout the kingdom, 15,821,520 cwt. of iron ore from mines, besides 115,585 cwt. from lake and bog. The pig iron produced amounted to 7,845,578 cwt., the cast goods to 489,454 cwt., the bar iron to 4,657,060 cwt., and the steel to 1,476,061 cwt. There were also raised in the same year, 2,983 lbs. of silver, 25,565 cwt. of copper, and 947,635 cwt. of zinc ore. There are not inconsiderable veins of coal in the southern parts of Sweden, giving 4,429,889 Swedish cubic feet of coal in 1878.

—Within recent years a network of railways, very important for the trade and industry of Sweden, has been constructed in the country, partly at the cost of the state. The state railways include all the main or trunk lines, the chief of which are the North Western, connecting the capitals of Sweden and of Norway; the Western, between Stockholm and Göteborg; the Southern, terminating at Malmö, opposite Copenhagen; the Eastern, from Stockholm to Malmö; and the Northern, passing from Stockholm, and connecting the capital with the north of the kingdom. The following table gives particulars concerning the length and cost of construction of all the Swedish railways open for traffic on Jan. 1. 1880, distinguishing the railways belonging to the state and the private railways:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.

In the end of 1881 the total length of the railways of Sweden opened for traffic had increased to 3,830 English miles, of which 1,365 miles belonged to the state.

—All the telegraphs in Sweden, with the exception of those of private railway companies, belong to the state. The total length of all the telegraph lines at the end of 1881 was 11,598 kilometres, or 7,210 English miles, and the total length of telegraph wires 29,575 kilometres, or 18,380 English miles. The number of telegraphic dispatches sent in the year 1881 was 1,118,081, of which number 591,576 were from and for Sweden, 398,531 from and for other countries, and 128,271 in transit.

—The Swedish postoffice carried 68,731,121 letters, postcards, journals, etc., in the year 1881. The number of postoffices at the end of the year was 1,835. The total receipts of the postoffice in 1880 amounted to 5,132,211 kroner, or £285,122, and the total expenditure to 4,463,283 kroner, or £247,960, leaving a surplus of 668,928 kroner, or £37,162.

Footnotes for SWITZERLAND

End of Notes


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