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Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Law, Department of Law, The Swedish Law and Informatics Research Institute.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7194-9617
Stockholm University, Faculty of Law, Department of Law, Stockholm Centre for Commercial Law.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0582-3060
Stockholm University, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9002-4361
2022 (English)In: History and Taxation: The Dialectical Relationship between Taxation and the Political Balance of Power / [ed] Peter H.J. Essers, Amsterdam: International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation (IBFD), 2022, p. 633-656Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Sweden as a state emerged during the Middle Ages out of the chaos of tumultuous battles between rival clans. Around 1000 AD the different clans seem to have united under the reign of one king and gradually common institutions and central offices developed as well as a class structure consisting of the commoners, the priesthood, the aristocracy and the King. A parliament, the Riksdag, consisting of representatives of the different classes was formed. The Riksdag elected the kings and made decisions regarding war and taxation.

Sweden was an elective monarchy until the Riksdag of 1544, when Sweden was declared a hereditary monarchy. Kings were normally elected by the aristocracy and were usually of royal or aristocratic descent. Swedish kings were normally not as powerful as their European counterparts, being dependent on negotiations with the aristocracy in particular but also with the commoners. There were some rare exceptions involving periods of absolutism during the 17th Century  

The dialectical relationship between taxation and the political balance of power in Sweden has therefore mostly been formed by negotiations and the power relations of different classes. Here the commoners and the aristocracy played an important part.    

The development of taxation and democracy in Sweden can be attributed to many factors. Sweden did not become a more full-blown democracy until 1921. The road towards democracy in Sweden was not marked by war or revolution but occurred gradually over long periods of time. Although Sweden was a highly militarized state from the 16th Century to the 20th Century, Sweden has not endured any civil wars or revolutions.

Taxation and democracy have been closely tied, since the right to political influence and later the right to vote was linked to the individual’s status as taxpayer. In order to fully grasp this evolution, there are certain periods that stand out in Swedish history rather than particular iconic events. These will be described briefly below. Principles and traditions of taxation in medieval Sweden paved the way for the Swedish Empire between 1611-1721, which in turn left its marks on the constitutions of the Age of Liberty between 1719-1772 and in the Constitution of 1809, which was in force until 1975.  

In this chapter the tax history of Sweden is analyzed from the point of view of the dialectical relationship between taxation and the policical balance of power.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation (IBFD), 2022. p. 633-656
Series
EATLP International Tax Series ; Vol. 20
Keywords [en]
age of liberty, the Dacke Feud, effective monitoring, employee investment funds, the Engelbrekt Feud, estate tax, the great reduction, liberty letter, no taxation without representation, the pomperipossa debate, one off property tax, participation in tax legislation, the principle of consent, repressive taxes
Keywords [sv]
fjärdepartsräfsten
National Category
Law and Society
Research subject
Financial Law; Legal History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-207018ISBN: 978-90-8722-775-3 (print)ISBN: 978-90-8722-776-0 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-207018DiVA, id: diva2:1680112
Available from: 2022-07-03 Created: 2022-07-03 Last updated: 2023-06-12Bibliographically approved

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Fast Lappalainen, KatarinaMelz, PeterZamboni, Mauro

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