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Kingdom of Sweden

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The Riksdag of the Estates, or Ståndsriksdagen, was the name used for the Estates of the Swedish realm, or Rikets ständer, when they were assembled. Until its dissolution in 1866 the institution was the highest authority in Sweden next to the Swedish monarch. It was a Diet made up of the Four Estates, which historically were the lines of division in Swedish society:

Contents

Important assemblies

The House of Nobility, seat of the Nobility.

The meeting at Arboga in 1435 was usually considered to be the first Riksdag, but there is no indication that the fourth estate, the peasants, had been represented there.

Replaced by the new Riksdag

Representatives of the four estates on a commemorative coin (left).

In 1866 all the Estates voted in favor of dissolution and at the same time to found a new assembly, The Swedish Riksdag or Sveriges Riksdag. Out of the four estates, the corporation of the Swedish nobility, the House of Knights (Riddarhuset) remains as a quasi-official representation of the nobility. The modern Centre Party which grew out of the Swedish farmers' movement, sitting in the Parliament still today, could be construed as a modern representation with a traditional bond to the Estate of the Peasants.

The Instrument of Government from 1809 divided the powers of Government between the Bernadotte Monarch and the Riksdag of the Estates, and after 1866 with the new Riksdag.

Riksdag in Finland

In 1809 Sweden ceded Finland to Russia. Finland became a Grand Duchy under the Russian Czar, but the political institutions were kept practically intact. The Finnish estates assembled in 1809 at Porvoo to confirm the change in their allegiance. This Diet of Finland followed the forms of the Swedish riksdag, being the legislative body of the new autonomous region. However, during the reigns of Alexander I and Nicholas I it was not assembled and no new legislation was enacted. The diet was next assembled by Czar Alexander II in 1863, as the need for modernizing legislation became imminent. After this the Diet was in session quite regularly until 1905 when it passed an act forming a new unicameral parliament which has been the Finnish legislative body since then. The Finnish House of Knights (Ritarihuone/Riddarhuset) still carries the tradition of the Estate of Nobility, but no new families have been introduced since 1906.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Eriksson, Bo (2007) (in Swedish). Lützen 1632. Stockholm: Norstedts Pocket. pp. 47. ISBN 978-91-7263-790-0.  
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