Scandinavian country bordering Norway and Finland. From 1397 to 1523, part of a united country made of what's now Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, with Denmark largely in control. After its independence it was a great power for much of the 17th century, after which it became more average in the ranks of the powers. During some famines in the latter half of the 19th century, many Swedes moved to America. The home country industrialized and by the time of the Great Depression in the 1930s, was on its way to becoming what is often called a "Welfare state" which is starting to cost more than the government can easily afford.