Karl Hjalmar Branting
With the Labor movement for peace
In 1921, Sweden's Prime Minister Hjalmar Branting shared the Peace Prize with the Norwegian secretary-general of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Christian Lange. They were both staunch supporters of the new League of Nations and of international cooperation. In 1905 Branting had moreover pleaded Norway's cause to conservative Swedes who wanted to keep Norway in its union with Sweden by force.
Branting had an upper-middle-class Stockholm background. As a student he became politically radical. He became a journalist, and in 1889 helped to found Sweden's Social Democratic party. Branting became a leading figure in the struggle for equal rights and social justice in Sweden, a struggle to be conducted by peaceful means, not revolution. In 1920 Branting became Prime Minister, and at the same time a delegate to the new League of Nations in Geneva. He accepted the League resolution that the Åland Islands in the Baltic should fall to Finland rather than Sweden. In 1922 Branting became a member of the Council of the League of Nations and arbitrated in many international disputes.