What would a united Scandinavia look like?

What is the most likely version of a united Scandinavia?

  • Swedish military conquest in the 1600s

    Votes: 2 28.6%
  • Kalmar Union remains

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Some kind of dynastic union and larger confederacy emerges at some point

    Votes: 1 14.3%
  • A modern pan-Scandinavist Union

    Votes: 2 28.6%
  • It wouldn't have worked

    Votes: 1 14.3%
  • Other

    Votes: 1 14.3%

  • Total voters
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Apr 2018
Upland, Sweden
So, the topic is really quite simple: what would a plausible united Scandinavia have looked like?

So, I will start with throwing some thoughts out there:

Most of these proposals I've seen take their grounding in the Kalmar Union not falling. I have several problems with that proposal. To begin with (and I will admit to a certain national bias here, being from the country which largely killed it) it was plagued by severe political infighting not just once, but almost continously in the course of the 1400s. There was the Engelbrekt rebellion (named so after the mine owner and low-noble Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson) in the 1430s, and there were similar uprisings by the Sture family. Of course the most famous uprising of all is the one in the early 1500s by Gustav Eriksson (Vasa), who went on to found the Vasa-dynasty, essentially re-constituting Sweden as an independent state once more.

To summarize: the Kalmar union had serious problems, the political systems as well as the economic circumstances of Sweden and Denmark/ Norway clashed. Denmark was more feudal, more centralized: Sweden was an elective monarchy, and the high nobility of the Mälardalen region as well as the richer peasants, miners and woodsmen like Engelbrekt never really got onboard with the whole notion of union with Denmark - Copenhagen was far away, and lacked legitimacy as well as the effective means to enforce its will. It also didn't help that for much of the early Middle Ages Sweden had essentially operated more like a confederacy than anything else, and so never really had a heritage like that of Denmark enabling easy centralized governance. Denmark also seems to have been rather richer and more commercial than Sweden for a very long time.

The problem of course is that the obvious alternative scenario to the Kalmar Union being made workable is that Sweden, at some point in time conquers Denmark and subdues it more permanently - probably sometime during the 1600s. While not impossible, this is much more difficult than one can imagine for a number of reasons. While Norway and Sweden would be geographically continuous, there are a lot of mountains and deep forests between the two countries making communication difficult - and Denmark is even more troublesome. The sounds of Skagerak are not that wide, but they are nonetheless there. Denmark had a larger navy than Sweden for most of its history, and the heartland of the Danish kingdom is quite far away from the heartland of the Swedish one.

For any party that would try to unite Scandinavia the huge distances and largely discontinous routes of communication involved are obviously bound to be a problem.

So, anyway - this is the topic! What are your ideas? Should the Icelandic really be the ones to do it? Should we expect the Finns to man up and do so instead? Should it be solved during the early middle ages perhaps - or perhaps during the 1800s, as pan-Scandinavism was actually a major movement? Should it be a partial uniting? Debate! :cool:
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