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Realm of Sweden

The Realm of Sweden or Svenska väldet is a term that historically was used to comprise all the territories under the control of the Swedish monarchs.

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Lands of Sweden Main article: Lands of Sweden

The nucleus of the Swedish kingdom lay in unification of the ancient lands of Götaland and Svealand in the 11th and 12th century. As the kingdom expanded to the east, Österland (present-day Finland) and to the north Norrland these were in the 14th century also made proper parts of the kingdom. In the 17th century the kingdom expanded to the south. Skåneland (Terra Scania) and some other territories became incorporated.

Provinces of Sweden Main article: Provinces of Sweden

The four Swedish lands were in turn divided into separate Provinces or Landskap which were governed by their own laws under the rule of a Thing. The monarchs would gradually strengthen their authority at the expense of the provinces and in the 15th century the provincial laws were replaced by a single law for the entire kingdom.

Counties of Sweden Main article: Counties of Sweden

The Counties were established in 1634 to supersede the Provinces and to introduce a modern administration. The most significant change to the county system took place when Sweden was forced to cede the Finnish Counties to Russia in 1809. Despite this the county reform survived in Finland until 1997 and is still in force in Sweden today.

Dominions of Sweden Main article: Dominions of Sweden

The Counties and Provinces represent territories that were fully integrated into the Swedish kingdom. Apart from this there also existed dominions that were under Swedish rule, sometimes for centuries, that for various reasons weren't fully integrated.

Possesions of Sweden Main article: Possesions of Sweden[?]

The Swedish Crown also exercised control over different territories during shorter periods of time. These included time-limited fiefs, colonies and conquered territories under Swedish government.

Unions of Sweden Main article: Unions of Sweden[?]

Sweden has for political and dynastic reasons been in union with other kingdoms and princely states, ostensibly personal unions.

See also: History of Sweden, List of Swedish monarchs

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