is a historical province (landskap) in southern Sweden. Småland borders Blekinge, Scania or Skåne, Halland, Västergötland, Östergötland and the island Öland in the Baltic Sea. The name Småland literally means Small lands.
The current coat of arms was granted in 1569 and pictures a rampant red lion on a golden shield carrying a crossbow. The arms is represented with a dukal coronet. Blazon: "Or a lion rampant Gules langued and armed Azure holding in front paws a Crossbow of the second bowed and stringed Sable with a bolt Argent."
|Jönköping County, largely||311,962|
|Kalmar County, largely||210,258|
|Kronoberg County, entirely||177,448|
|Halland County, peripherally||7,081|
|Östergötland County, peripherally||2,261|
The geography is dominated by a forested high plain where the soil is mixed with sand and small boulders, making it barren in all except the coastal areas, and unsuited for agriculture except in certain locations, notably the Kalmar Plains. The province is rich in lakes and bogs. The coast consists of an archipelago of islands and bays in the north and cultivated flatlands in the south. In total, cultivated land covers 14%, meadows 7% and forest 50%.
The name Småland ("small lands") comes from the fact that it was a combination of several independent lands, Ydre, Kinda, Tveta, Vista, Vedbo, Tjust, Sevede, Aspeland, Handbörd, Möre, Värend, Finnveden and Njudung. Every small land had its own law in the Viking age and early middle age and could declare themselves neutral in wars Sweden was involved in, at least if the King had no army present at the parliamentary debate. Around 1350, under the king Magnus Eriksson a national law was introduced in Sweden, and the historic provinces lost a lot of their old independence.
The city of Kalmar is one of the oldest cities of Sweden, and was in the medieval age the southernmost and the third largest city in Sweden, when it was a center for export of iron, which, in many cases, was handled by German merchants.
Småland was the center of several peasant rebellions, the most successful of which was Dackefejden led by Nils Dacke in 1542–1543. When officials of king Gustav Vasa were assaulted and murdered, the king sent small expeditions to pacify the area, but all failed. Dacke was in reality the ruler of large parts of Småland during the winter, though heavily troubled by a blockade of supplies, before finally being defeated by larger forces attacking from both Västergötland and Östergötland. Dacke held a famous battle defence at the (now ruined) Kronoberg Castle, and was shot while trying to escape to then Danish-ruled Blekinge.
In the 19th century, Småland was characterized by poverty, and had a substantial emigration to North America, which additionally hampered its development. The majority of emigrants ended up in Minnesota, with a geography resembling Sweden, combining arable land with forest and lakes.
Ikea was also founded in the Småland city of Älmhult.
Småland has three national parks:
In comparison with much of Sweden, Småland has a higher level of religious intensity and church participation.
Småland is also known for its free churches.
Politically Småland is the strongest province for Kristdemokraterna (the Swedish Christian Democratic Party), and both the current leader Göran Hägglund and his predecessor Alf Svensson live in Jönköping Municipality in northern Småland.
The Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus, sw. Carl von Linné, (1707-1778), often called the father of taxonomy or "The flower-king", was born in Älmhult in Småland. He gave the Twinflower its Latin name based on his own (Latin: Linnea borealis, because of his particular fondness of it. The flower has become Småland's provincial flower.
Children's book author Astrid Lindgren often portrayed scenes from her own childhood growing up on a farm in Småland, in her writing.
This is how the Swedish encyclopedia Nordisk familjebok described the people:
A running joke, or stereotype, in Sweden, is that of the Smalandian being very economical, or even cheap. Ingvar Kamprad said that the Smalandian are seen as the Scotsmen of Sweden
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