In the Middle Ages, the historical provinces were independent legal areas with their own laws (landskapslag) and political and administrative tasks. With the creation of a feudal system at the end of the 13th century, the historical provinces lost their political and administrative functions and, with the introduction of a land law valid throughout the empire in the middle of the 14th century, gradually lost their independence as areas of law.
Although the historical provinces no longer have any political significance since the 14th century and have been replaced by the fiefdoms (Swedish län ), they are still of great importance in everyday linguistic usage. Many Swedes still identify strongly with their “landscape” today. To this day, the dialects of the Swedish language, costumes and customs are tied to the individual landscapes. The landscape names are also used in tourism advertising. Many other classifications (telephone book regions, regional newspapers, etc.) are also based on the landscapes.
The historic provinces of Sweden and Finland
The historical Swedish provinces were / are assigned to the three, until 1809 four parts of the country , Swedish landsdelar :
- Blekinge , belonged to Denmark before 1658
- Bohuslän , belonged to Norway before 1658
- Gotland belonged to Denmark before 1645
- Halland , belonged to Denmark before 1645/1658
- Schonen (Swedish Skåne ) belonged to Denmark before 1658
- Härjedalen , belonged to Norway before 1645
- Jämtland , belonged to Norway before 1645
- Norrbotten (was counted under Västerbotten until the 20th century)
Until 1809 today's Finland belonged to Sweden as the fourth realm ( Österland ) and was also divided into landskap . These goods:
- Egentliga Finland (Finnish Varsinais-Suomi )
- Ingermanland (Finnish Inkeri , Russian Izjorskaja zemlja ) Russian since 1721.
- Karelia (Swedish Karelen , Finnish Karjala , Russian Karelija ) belonged to Russia from 1721 to 1811, the eastern part was again Russian since 1940.
- Nyland (Finnish Uusimaa )
- Satakunda (Finnish Satakunta )
- Savolax (Finnish Savo )
- Tavastland (Finnish: Häme )
Svealand - until 1809
- Åland (Finnish: Ahvenanmaa )
Norrland - until 1809
- Lapland (Finnish: Lappi ) was administratively part of Norrland until 1809 .
- Österbotten (Finnish: Pohjanmaa ) belonged administratively to Norrland until 1809 .