Republicanism in Sweden

Last updated
Old logo of the Swedish Republican Association Krona 200.gif
Old logo of the Swedish Republican Association

Republicanism in Sweden (Swedish : Republikanism) is the collective term for the movement in Sweden that seeks to establish a republic and abolish the Swedish constitutional monarchy.

Swedish language North Germanic language spoken in Sweden

Swedish is a North Germanic language spoken natively by 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden, and in parts of Finland, where it has equal legal standing with Finnish. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and to some extent with Danish, although the degree of mutual intelligibility is largely dependent on the dialect and accent of the speaker. Both Norwegian and Danish are generally easier for Swedish speakers to read than to listen to because of difference in accent and tone when speaking. Swedish is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era. It has the most speakers of the North Germanic languages.

Sweden constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Sweden, formal name: the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million of which 2.5 million have a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the southern half of the country.

A republic is a form of government in which the country is considered a “public matter”, not the private concern or property of the rulers. The primary positions of power within a republic are not inherited, but are attained through democracy, oligarchy or autocracy. It is a form of government under which the head of state is not a hereditary monarch.

Contents

Overview

A large part of the arguments for proclaiming a Swedish Republic are based on an ideological rejection of the monarchy, not necessarily on rejecting the individuals who actually exercise kingship. The effort towards a republic has been included in the party platforms of the Social Democratic Party, the Left Party and the Green Party. [1] [2] [3] Outside of the usual party lines, there is also the Swedish Republican Association.

Monarchy system of government where the head of state position is inherited within family

A monarchy is a form of government in which a single person holds supreme authority in ruling a country, also performing ceremonial duties and embodying the country's national identity. Although some monarchs are elected, in most cases, the monarch's position is inherited and lasts until death or abdication. In these cases, the royal family or members of the dynasty usually serve in official capacities as well. The governing power of the monarch may vary from purely symbolic, to partial and restricted, to completely autocratic.

A political party platform or program is a formal set of principal goals which are supported by a political party or individual candidate, in order to appeal to the general public, for the ultimate purpose of garnering the general public's support and votes about complicated topics or issues. "Plank" is the term often given to the components of the political platform – the opinions and viewpoints about individual topics, as held by a party, person, or organization. The word "plank" depicts a component of an overall political platform, as a metaphorical reference to a basic stage made out of boards or planks of wood. The metaphor can return to its literal origin when public speaking or debates are actually held upon a physical platform.

Swedish Social Democratic Party political party

The Swedish Social Democratic Party, contesting elections as the Arbetarepartiet–Socialdemokraterna and usually referred to just as the Social Democrats (Socialdemokraterna), is the oldest and largest political party in Sweden. The current party leader since 2012 is Stefan Löfven, who has also been Prime Minister of Sweden since 2014.

History

A revolutionary republican hand-written bill from the Stockholm riots during the Revolutions of 1848, reading: "Dethrone Oscar he is not fit to be a king - rather the Republic! Reform! Down with the Royal house - long live the Aftonbladet! Death to the king - Republic! Republic! - the people! Brunkeberg this evening." The writer's identity is unknown. Upprop for republik 1848.jpg
A revolutionary republican hand-written bill from the Stockholm riots during the Revolutions of 1848, reading: "Dethrone Oscar he is not fit to be a king – rather the Republic! Reform! Down with the Royal house – long live the Aftonbladet ! Death to the king – Republic! Republic! – the people! Brunkeberg this evening." The writer's identity is unknown.

Because of their trade with, for example, the Dutch Republic, the Swedes were not entirely unfamiliar with the phenomenon of a republic, but the first attempt to developing a republican Sweden came during the French Revolution. In the early 19th century, this was still a marginal movement. In 1830, it was for the first time that a prominent Swedish politician, Lars Johan Hierta, advocated for a republic, though without using the word "republic": in the newspaper Aftonbladet , that he himself had founded that same year, he pleaded for ousting king Charles XIV John of Sweden.

Dutch Republic Republican predecessor state of the Netherlands from 1581 to 1795

The Dutch Republic was a confederal republic formally established from the formal creation of a confederacy in 1581 by several Dutch provinces—seceded from Spanish rule—until the Batavian Revolution of 1795. It was a predecessor state of the Netherlands and the first Dutch nation state.

French Revolution Revolution in France, 1789 to 1798

The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.

Lars Johan Hierta Newspaper publisher, social critic, businessman and politician

Lars Johan Hierta was a Swedish newspaper publisher, social critic, businessman and politician. He is best known as the founder of the newspaper Aftonbladet in 1830. Hierta was a leading agitator for political and social reform in Sweden during the 19th century. He is sometimes credited as the "father of the free press" in Sweden.

The next opportunity that a republic was discussed came during the European Revolutions of 1848. Sweden went through a short period of upheaval, the Marsoroligheterna ("March Disturbances"). On 18 and 19 March, riots broke out in Stockholm, during which about thirty people were killed by the army. During this time, controversial posters carrying the word "republic" were hung in several places in Stockholm and the surrounding region. Moreover, activists demanded equal and universal suffrage.

Revolutions of 1848 Series of political upheavals throughout Europe in 1848

The Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Spring of Nations, People's Spring, Springtime of the Peoples, or the Year of Revolution, were a series of political upheavals throughout Europe in 1848. It remains the most widespread revolutionary wave in European history.

Stockholm Capital city in Södermanland and Uppland, Sweden

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the most populous urban area in the Nordic countries; 965,232 people live in the municipality, approximately 1.6 million in the urban area, and 2.4 million in the metropolitan area. The city stretches across fourteen islands where Lake Mälaren flows into the Baltic Sea. Outside the city to the east, and along the coast, is the island chain of the Stockholm archipelago. The area has been settled since the Stone Age, in the 6th millennium BC, and was founded as a city in 1252 by Swedish statesman Birger Jarl. It is also the county seat of Stockholm County.

Universal suffrage Political concept

The concept of universal suffrage, also known as general suffrage or common suffrage, consists of the right to vote of all adult citizens, regardless of property ownership, wealth, income, race, or ethnicity, subject only to minor exceptions. In its original 19th-century usage by political reformers, universal suffrage was understood to mean only universal manhood suffrage; the vote was extended to women later, during the women's suffrage movement.

The Social Democratic Party had stated its intention to establish a republic in its party platform ever since its foundation in 1889. However, when it came into power in 1920, the desire had somewhat worn off. This is attributed to the pragmatism of the then leader, Hjalmar Branting.

Hjalmar Branting Prime Minister of Sweden

Karl Hjalmar Branting was a Swedish politician who was the leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party (1907–1925) and Prime Minister during three separate periods. When Branting came to power in 1920, he was the first Social Democratic Prime Minister of Sweden. When taking office for a second term after the general election of 1921, he became the first socialist politician in Europe to do so following elections with universal suffrage. In 1921, Branting shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the Norwegian secretary-general of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Christian Lous Lange.

In 1997, the Swedish Republican Association was founded. In 2010, the umbrella Alliance of European Republican Movements (AERM) was founded in Stockholm, in which Swedish republicans cooperate with other European republican groups.

Alliance of European Republican Movements

The Alliance of European Republican Movements (AERM) is a grouping of republican movements from across Europe. It was established in Stockholm in June 2010, after the wedding of Swedish Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling. The aim of the AERM is to provide a network for cross-party republican movements in all the countries of Europe that have a monarch as their head of state, in order to share information, resources and ideas and provide mutual assistance. Each member organisation will retain their autonomous national campaigns however, in recognition of their particular political and constitutional circumstances.

Literature

Related Research Articles

Republicanism is a representative form of government organization. It is a political ideology centered on citizenship in a state organized as a republic. Historically, it ranges from the rule of a representative minority or oligarchy to popular sovereignty. It has had different definitions and interpretations which vary significantly based on historical context and methodological approach.

Republicanism in the United Kingdom is the political movement that seeks to replace the United Kingdom's monarchy with a republic. For those who want a non-hereditary head of state, the method by which one should be chosen is not agreed upon, with some favouring an elected president, some an appointed head of state with little power. Others support something akin to the Swiss model, with a directorate functioning as a collective head of state.

Radical Party (France) liberal and centrist political party in France

The Radical-Socialist and Radical Republican Party was a liberal and formerly social-liberal political party in France. It was also often referred to simply as the Radical Party, or to prevent confusion with other French Radical parties as the Parti radical valoisien, abbreviated to Rad, PR, or PRV.

Political colour

Political colours are colours used to represent a political ideology, movement or party, either officially or unofficially. Parties in different countries with similar ideologies sometimes use similar colours. For example, the colour red symbolises left-wing ideologies in many countries while the colour yellow is most commonly associated with liberalism and right-libertarianism. However, the political associations of a given colour vary from country to country: red is also the colour associated with the conservative Republican Party in the United States. Politicians making public appearances will often identify themselves by wearing rosettes, flowers or ties in the colour of their political party.

Czech Social Democratic Party Czech political party

The Czech Social Democratic Party is a social-democratic political party in the Czech Republic. It holds 15 seats in the Chamber of Deputies following the 2017 legislative election in which the party lost 35 seats. The party has been led by Jan Hamáček since 2018. It has been a junior coalition party within a minority cabinet since June 2018, and was a senior coalition party from 1998 to 2006 and from 2013 to 2017.

Pro-Europeanism political ideology

Pro-Europeanism, sometimes called European Unionism, is a political position that favours European integration and membership of the European Union (EU). It includes the more radical European federalists, who seek to create a single superstate known informally as a United States of Europe. A related term is ’Europhile’.

Irish republicanism is the political movement for the unity and independence of Ireland. The development of nationalist and democratic sentiment throughout Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was reflected in Ireland in the emergence of republicanism, in opposition to British rule. This followed hundreds of years of British conquest and Irish resistance through rebellion. Discrimination against Catholics and nonconformists, attempts by the British administration to suppress Irish culture, and the belief that Ireland was economically disadvantaged as a result of the Acts of Union were among the specific factors leading to such opposition.

This article gives information on liberalism worldwide. It is an overview of parties that adhere to some form of liberalism and is therefore a list of liberal parties around the world.

Liberalism and radicalism in France refer to different movements and ideologies.

This article gives an overview of liberal parties in Brazil. It is limited to liberal parties with substantial support, mainly proved by having had a representation in parliament. The sign ⇒ means a reference to another party in that scheme. For inclusion in this scheme it isn't necessary so that parties labeled themselves as a liberal party.

The term "Radical", during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, identified proponents of democratic reform, in what subsequently became the parliamentary Radical Movement.

The Progressive Party was a political party in the Republic of China from 1913 to 1916.

Criticism of monarchy can be targeted against the general form of government—monarchy—or more specifically, to particular monarchical governments as controlled by hereditary royal families. In some cases, this criticism can be curtailed by legal restrictions and be considered criminal speech, as in lèse-majesté. Monarchies in Europe and their underlying concepts, such as the Divine Right of Kings, were often criticized during the Age of Enlightenment, which notably paved the way to the French Revolution and the proclamation of the abolition of the monarchy in France. Earlier, the American Revolution had seen the Patriots suppress the Loyalists and expel all royal officials. In this century, monarchies are present in the world in many forms with different degrees of royal power and involvement in civil affairs:

French Left

The Left in France was represented at the beginning of the 20th century by two main political parties: the Republican, Radical and Radical-Socialist Party and the French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO), created in 1905 as a merger of various Marxist parties. But in 1914, after the assassination of the leader of the SFIO, Jean Jaurès, who had upheld an internationalist and anti-militarist line, the SFIO accepted to join the Union sacrée national front. In the aftermaths of the Russian Revolution and the Spartacist uprising in Germany, the French Left divided itself in reformists and revolutionaries during the 1920 Tours Congress, which saw the majority of the SFIO spin-out to form the French Section of the Communist International (SFIC). The early French Left was often alienated into the Republican movements.

Left Party (Sweden) socialist and feminist political party in Sweden

The Left Party is a socialist political party in Sweden. The party originated as a split from the Swedish Social Democratic Party in 1917, as the Swedish Social Democratic Left Party, and became the Communist Party of Sweden in 1921. In 1967, the party was renamed Left Party - the Communists; it adopted its current name in 1990. The party has never been part of a government at the national level.

References

  1. 2001 party platform of the Social Democrats, p. 11
  2. 2004 party platform of the Left Party, p. 6
  3. "Democracy Questions". Green Party website. Retrieved 17 October 2015.