The History of Scandinavian-Americans (October 9th Special)

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Just kidding, this is more serious than the intro suggests.  Last time, I wrote a history essay about Scandinavia. I wrote this too because Inga, the Finnish-American (on Kidztalk), asked me for an Essay on Scandinavian Americans.

Here it is, Inga. I sacrificed all my brain cells and time that was supposed to be spent on my Math Homework. I used about 25 different resources and spent 2 hours researching and writing this.

It all started in the 1800s. The United Kingdoms of Norway and Sweden were brand new, and a lot of people were pretty excited. The Norwegians wanted to stop being controlled by Denmark, and the Swedes wanted to expand their horizons with colonization.


Because of this, people were happy, And everything could be absolutely perfect and could be as nice as modern Scandinavia… right?

You are wrong. It went very wrong. The population was higher by 60%  (a little bit higher than the population that Scandinavia is currently in), which was a big deal back in the 1800s.

There was also a very unbalanced socioeconomic status barrier. There were more poor than middle-class and rich people.

If you had a job, the minimum wage would be your payment, and if you worked as a farmer, It would be hard unless you lived in Denmark or in certain cities in Norway and Sweden.

*cue dramatic music*

Because of this, The Scandinavians were like, “You know what, Norden (Norway+Sweden) Union, We hate you. You are a big scam. We are going to America.” and then they left.

Sweden-Norway Union Flag

They did not want to deal with the absolute scamming the Norden Union was. (I am all in for the Kalmar Union, but because I don’t support what the government of Norden did, I am not supporting them.)

Then they came. They came. They came to….. Midwestern USA, which might not sound as exciting because I wanted to add some suspense, but anyway.

They first went on the boat, then on the train, and then on the Boat again (as Inga said, It is a rite of passage knowing how Scandinavians got to the US anyways). So yeah.

And in case you are wondering what in the Emigrants novels in real life, they did the same things they did back with Norden… Just in a different continent. Pretty underwhelming and boring. They just stood there.

The Emigrants

But before you click off this super ultra extra mega boring essay, there is more.

Flashback to 130 years later, and some Norwegian-American dude who lived in the Norwegian Settlement of Duluth, Minnesota, submitted an idea for a holiday.

Leif Eriksson Day (also known as October 9th and Scandinavian-American Heritage Day) became legal in 15 states and 1 Canadian province, and thus, Scandinavian-American history was made.

Leif Eriksson

Today, Scandinavian heritage in the US is… welp. Depressing to say this, L O S T.

Depending on your location, there might be extremely strong connections between themselves and their Scandinavian ancestry, while in other places, the opposite. But sadly, most of it is the terrible L word… Lost

However, THERE IS HOPE. There are multiple websites and programs to protect Nordic culture.

For example, one called Daughters of Norway was created to help Young Women and Girls show their love for Norwegian culture, and I might join once I get the chance.

There are also Museums and Heritage centers that you could visit. And I visited 3 of them this summer, and they were amazing.

Vista Viking Festival

There are also festivals (Like The Vista Viking Festival, Nordicfest, and Norsk Høst) that you could go to as well (I am going to Nordicfest next year for my 14th birthday, so I am so excited)

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