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Scandinavian colonialism

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Title: Scandinavian colonialism  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Former Swedish colonies, Former Norwegian colonies, Former Danish colonies, Colonialism, Scandinavia
Collection: Colonialism, Former Danish Colonies, Former Norwegian Colonies, Former Swedish Colonies, Scandinavian History
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Scandinavian colonialism

Scandinavian colonialism is a subdivision within broader colonial studies that discusses the role of Scandinavian nations in achieving economic benefits from outside of their own cultural sphere. The field ranges from studying the Sami in relation to the Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish states, to activities of the Danish Colonial Empire and Swedish Empire in Africa and on Caribbean islands such as St. Thomas and Saint-Barthélemy.


  • Overview 1
    • Iceland 1.1
    • Greenland 1.2
    • Norway 1.3
    • Sweden 1.4
    • Denmark 1.5
  • Education 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4



Some consider Norse Vikings to be the first Europeans to create colonies in the Americas. The arrival of Leif Ericson, of Iceland, in the Americas occurred 500 years before Christopher Columbus, and it was unintentional, as it was said that his ship was blown off-course on the way to Greenland. Ericson established settlements in what is now modern day Newfoundland, Canada as well as what is now Maine, US, USA, ), UA in the year 999 c. Ericson’s father, Erik the Red, was one of the first Europeans to establish colonies in Greenland. Iceland was considered the first European country to create colonies in North America and Greenland.


Greenland did not colonize, however, it was colonized by many different Scandinavian countries. Leif Ericson of Iceland was one of the most famous of the settlers of Greenland, and brought Christianity to the country. Greenland was also later colonized by Denmark and Norway.


The colonial holdings of Norway were seen mainly through Greenland, and the Viking expansion. While the main explorer of this time was Leif Ericson, Norway also used exploring vessels to trade with local North-Americans for fur, lumber, and living supplies.


Fort Batenstein (1649-1656), Fort Witsen, (1653-1658), and Carolusberg (1650-1663). Swedish countries in the America’s include: Guadeloupe (1813–1814), Saint-Barthélemy (1784–1878), New Sweden (1638–1655), and Tobago (1733). The colony of New Sweden can be seen as an example of Swedish colonization. Now called Delaware, New Sweden stood to make a considerable profit due to tobacco growth.


The Danes colonized many areas including holdings in Africa, the Americas, the Atlantic, and Asia. The medieval Norwegians colonized much of The Atlantic, including Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands, which were later inherited as colonies by the united kingdom of Denmark-Norway. However, both of these nations gradually gained independence and are now fully sovereign within the Danish Empire. In addition, Denmark also colonized parts of "The Americas", including the Danish West Indies, which was purchased by the United States in 1916, and is now a part of the modern-day U.S. Virgin Islands. Denmark also had trading posts along the gold coast of Africa and India, starting in the early 17th century, but these were sold to the United Kingdom in the mid 19th century


Some American universities offer courses concerning the developing field.[1]

See also


  1. ^ Pacific Lutheran University - Topics in Scandinavian Culture & Society: Nordic Colonialism
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