Stockholm, Sweden, March 2009. 
Bob Strong / reuters

IN order to understand Sweden's foreign policy and, generally speaking, its attitude towards the world at large, one must bear in mind two facts--its long period of peace and neutrality, and its exceptionally calm internal political development. Since 1814 Sweden has not participated in any war, nor has it entered into any alliance.

It is true that on a few occasions Sweden has either been threatened by war or has manifested a marked inclination to take part in one. This was the case during the Crimean War, when many leading Swedes were disposed to join forces with England and France for the purpose of regaining Finland from Russia; however, the war ended before these plans matured. When Prussia and Austria invaded Denmark in 1864, a pan-Scandinavian movement urged that Sweden come to the aid of that country; but due to the strength of the attacking powers and the rapid course of the

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