VI. The World Wars and the Interwar Period, 1914–1945 > C. Europe, 1919–1945 > 15. The Scandinavian States
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See Scandinavia)
15. The Scandinavian States
a. Overview
The Scandinavian states were all able to preserve neutrality during World War I, though they were obliged to accept various Allied regulations and restrictions made necessary by the Allied blockade of Germany. After 1918 they all took an active part in the development of collective security, in which obviously they had a great interest. For the rest they all became thoroughly democratic states and leaders in social reform. In politics the situation in most cases was rather unstable, due to the relative strength of conservative, liberal, agrarian, and social democratic parties and the difficulty of establishing majority government. In foreign policy efforts were made consistently to develop a program of close cooperation and solidarity, which became all the more necessary after the resurgence of Germany as a powerful military state.  1
1914, Dec. 18–19
Meeting of the kings of the three Scandinavian states at Malmö was the first such effort at collaboration. They discussed various problems of the war, neutrality, and so on.  2
1926, Jan. 14, 15, 30
Agreements were made among Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland providing for the pacific settlement of all disputes. These countries began to suffer severely from the world economic crisis in 1931.  3
1931, Sept. 6
Prime ministers of the Scandinavian states met for discussion of economic problems.  4
1932, Feb. 7
As a result, the Oslo convention came into force, by which the Scandinavian states joined with the Netherlands and Belgium in a scheme of economic cooperation, albeit on a modest scale.  5
1938, April 5–6
The four Scandinavian foreign ministers met for a discussion of the defense problem. In view of the unwillingness of Denmark to challenge Germany, the specific question of armament and defense had to be left to the individual governments.  6
July 1
The Oslo mutual trade agreements came to an end. Nevertheless, relations among the so-called Oslo powers continued to be cordial and even close.  7
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.