History Once home to fierce Vikings Raided Europe and Mediterranean in Middle Ages Used longboats to attack villages along coasts and rivers Conquered British Isles, Finland, part of France, Germany, and Russia 800s & 900s Vikings est. settlements in Iceland and Greenland 1st Europeans to reach North America; led by Leif Eriksson 1100s Raids ended Scandinavian chiefs strengthened kingdoms Norway, Sweden, & Denmark were most powerful 1300s Denmark ruled a union of Scandinavian kingdoms and territories Eventually power challenged by Sweden 1900s Scandinavian countries wanted their independence Today all but Greenland are independent countries Greenland remains part of Denmark as a self-ruling territory
Scandinavia Today Countries are similar Same political views, language, and religion Wealthy cities, strong economies, and well educated workers High standards of living & health care All peaceful, stable, and prosperous nations
Sweden Largest & most populous Most live in cities & towns For 200 years has been neutral country Play active role in U.N. and E.U.
Denmark Once most powerful & smallest Most densely populated 50% of land used for farming Meat & dairy products are important exports Modern industrial economy Food processing, machinery, furniture, & electronics
Greenland Part of North America Territory of Denmark 80% covered by thick ice Interior of country is uninhabitable Live mostly along southwestern coast in tundra climate Recent movement for independence Economic problems make it unlikely
Norway Long, narrow, & rugged country Valuable resources Oil & natural gas Major fishing & shipping country Fjords shelter harbors Citizens have refused to gain E.U.
Finland Lies between Sweden and Russia Trade is important Produces paper products & forest products Ship building and electronics
Iceland Greener than name implies Fertile farmland Produce potatoes and vegetables Supports cattle and sheep 70% of exports are fish Hot water from geysers heats homes & greenhouses