Parliamentary Reform in Sweden, 1866-1921

Parliamentary Reform in Sweden, 1866-1921

Parliamentary Reform in Sweden, 1866-1921

Parliamentary Reform in Sweden, 1866-1921

Excerpt

Sweden is well known to foreigners as a social democracy. The Social Democratic party was the largest parliamentary group as long ago as 1914; the first Socialist Government took office in 1920; and, since 1932, the party has dominated both Government and Parliament. Shortly before the outbreak of war in 1939 considerable interest was being shown abroad in Swedish social and political life, and among the books published at this time were the Fabians' Democratic Sweden edited by Margaret Cole and Sweden, The Middle Way written by Marquis Childs. There is still, however, no detailed survey in English of the operation of Swedish political institutions. The present account deals with the historical development of the machinery of government in modern Sweden, with particular reference to the reform of Parliament.

The period chosen for study is chiefly that from 1866 to 1921, the fifty-five years which form the great period of Swedish parliamentary reform. The Parliament Act of 1866, introduced by Louis De Geer, abolished the four Estates of Nobles, Clergy, Burghers, and Farmers and established in their place a bicameral legislature. It is from this time that the Swedish Parliament begins to develop as a modern legislative body. A second reform bill in 1907, coming into force in 1909, introduced general manhood suffrage in Second Chamber elections and modified some of the qualifications for election and membership of the senatorial First Chamber. (It may be noted that in Sweden the more popular chamber is the second.) In 1918 a third reform, coming into force by 1921, extended the franchise for both chambers to women and abolished plural voting for the First Chamber.

The three reform bills are important not only in themselves but in the wider context of the country's social, political, and constitutional development. For this reason, the book begins with an account of the Swedish Constitution, coming into force . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.