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Swedish colonization of the Americas

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Title: Swedish colonization of the Americas  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Sweden–United States relations, European colonization of the Americas, Swedish emigration to the United States, Dutch colonization of the Americas, German colonization of the Americas
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Swedish colonization of the Americas

European colonization
of the Americas
First colonization
Colonization of Canada
Colonization of the U.S.

The Swedish colonization of the Americas included a 17th-century colony on the Delaware River in what is now Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, as well as two possessions in the Caribbean during the 18th and 19th century.

Until 1809, Finland was part of Sweden, and some of the settlers of Sweden's colonies came from present-day Finland or were Finnish-speaking.[1] Finns came to America particularly from the outlying regions of Savonia and Kainuu, where slash and burn agriculture was a way of life for many, and people were used to life as wilderness pioneers.

The Swedes and Finns brought their log house design to America, where it became the typical log cabin of pioneers.

North America

The colony of New Sweden (1638–1655) was located along the Delaware River with settlements in modern Delaware (e.g., Wilmington), Pennsylvania (e.g., Philadelphia) and New Jersey (e.g., New Stockholm and Swedesboro). The colony was conquered by the Dutch, who perceived the presence of Swedish colonists in North America as a threat to their interests in the New Netherland colony.


Saint Barthélemy (1785–1878) was operated as a porto franco (free port). The capital city of Gustavia retains its Swedish name.

Guadeloupe (1813–1814) came into Swedish possession as a consequence of the Napoleonic Wars. It gave rise to the Guadeloupe Fund.

Other settlement

Swedish immigrants continued to come to the Americas to settle within other countries or colonies. The mid-19th and early 20th centuries saw a large Swedish emigration to the United States. Approximately 1.3 million Swedes settled in the United States during that period, and there are currently 3,998,310 Swedish Americans.

Thanks to Dom Pedro II, the second Emperor of Brazil, who encouraged immigration, a large number of Swedes entered Brazil, settling mainly in the cities of Joinville and Ijuí. In the late 19th century, Misiones Province in Argentina was a major centre for Swedish emigration, and laid the foundations of a population of Swedish-Argentines.

See also


  1. ^ A. R. Dunlap & E. J. Moyne. The Finnish Language on the Delaware. American Speech, Vol. 27, No. 2 (May, 1952), pp. 81-90

External links

  • The New Sweden Centre, museum tours and reenactors.
  • Mémoire St Barth | History of St Barthélemy (archives & history of slavery, slave trade and their abolition), Comité de Liaison et d'Application des Sources Historiques.
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