Sweden has a long history as a pioneering country when it comes to welfare systems and democratic development.

In the early 1800s Sweden was an agricultural society and the resources that the country offers was not taken advantage of until the industrialization begun. Most people had to work hard and the living conditions were tough. The Industrialization helped many of Sweden’s farmers and many got employed in the factories instead, leaving the agriculture life behind. But still the living standard was not great and the people had no civil rights. Later it began to emerge unions and the working class started to get involved with politics and unions. This was the turning point for the Swedish welfare society. When the workers began to push through their demands, the country slowly started to move towards a society where the poor got important contribution from the state.

The road to democracy was long, and the right to vote was introduced in 1921. All public power now proceeded from the people through voting. Thanks to an undamaged industry, due to the political neutrally in World War II, Sweden now had an advantage over all other European countries. In 1945 the social democratic government was formed. Social Democrats built a welfare society including a more evenly distributed income and social security.

Today, Sweden is a modern and democratic country with several rights, such as press and expression, freedom of association, freedom of religion and the rule of law. These are all important criteria in the Swedish society.

Listen to interesting seminars in the subject, for example “How Stockholm is governed”.

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