Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
According to my textbook in economics (Vår ekonomi by Klas Eklund, page 375 and forward) there were several reasons, mainly industrialisation which began in Sweden around 1870.

  • Growing agricultural productivity because of the skiftes reforms.

  • The Peoples School reform which improved general education.

  • Freedom of trade had been introduced and guilds were abolished. Pro-growth and pro-business institutions were established.

  • The igniting spark came from abroad as European industrialisation and urbanisation led to highly increased demand for Swedish exports like iron, wood anf farm produce.

  • During the 1890's three new dynamic industries surfaced: the pulp industry which was spurred by an explosive growth in the demand for newsprint and improved wood resource use technology. Iron and ore industry, where new technology had made the Lappland ore fields exploitable. At the same time ingenuity and development made Sweden a leader in high quality steels. Finally, from the 1890's to WW1 saw the rise of the manufacturing industry, based on many new inventions like the separator, turbine, ICE, ball bearing, of which many were Swedish. The telephone industry expaned strongly as well.

After that, it was just full speed ahead and here we are today.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Sep 11th, 2009 at 11:10:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I get where you're coming from, but attempting to write the economic history of any European country in the 19th century without mentioning colonialism is simply nonsense. It is comparable to writing the economic history of any European country in the 11th century without mentioning the Crusades - even those countries that never seriously participated first hand were deeply and broadly affected by these events.

We can argue about how and where to assign blame until we go blue in the face, but that does not detract from the fact that Sweden had a privileged position relative to Bangladesh. If for no other reason then because it had enough rifles and gunpowder to stop other European powers from bashing it over the head, dismantling its political structure and stealing its stuff.

Similarly, we can argue about the economic benefits (or not) of having colonies in general, or specific colonies in particular. But this does not detract from the fact that whatever hypothetical net burden upon European countries the colonies might have been, it does not compare - not even within an order of magnitude - to the burden imposed on the colonies by having their social, political and economic system deliberately demolished.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 13th, 2009 at 06:03:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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