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Arvid Lindman
12th Prime Minister of Sweden

In office
29 May 1906 – 7 October 1911
(70005000000000000005 years, 7002131000000000000131 days)
Monarch Oscar II
Gustaf V
Preceded by Karl Staaff
Succeeded by Karl Staaff

In office
2 October 1928 – 7 June 1930
(70001000000000000001 year, 7002248000000000000248 days)
Monarch Gustaf V
Preceded by Carl Gustaf Ekman
Succeeded by Carl Gustaf Ekman
Personal details
Born (1862-09-19)19 September 1862
Uppsala, Uppsala County
Died 9 December 1936(1936-12-09) (aged 74)
Purley, London, England
Political party General Electoral Union

Salomon Arvid Achates Lindman (19 September 1862 – 9 December 1936) was a Swedish Rear Admiral, Industrialist and conservative politician. He was the leader of the right-wing General Electoral Union (Allmänna valmansförbundet) between 1912 and 1935 and leader of Lantmanna- och borgarepartiet (a member party of the General Electoral Union) from 1913 to 1935, except for a short while during 1917 when he served as Minister for Foreign Affairs. He also served twice as Prime Minister of Sweden, from 1906 to 1911 and from 1928 to 1930; before and after the breakthrough of parliamentarianism and universal suffrage.

Lindman married Annie Almström in 1888, with whom he had three children. He was a cousin of Alex Lindman.


Arvid Lindman was born in Uppsala, Sweden as the son of managing director Achates Lindman and Ebba Dahlgren. His career as a naval officer 1882-92 reached its peak in 1907 when he was appointed as Rear Admiral in the naval reserve. During his political career following this he became known primarily as "the Admiral". Lindman was CEO of Iggesunds Bruk from 1892 to 1903 and of Strömbacka bruks AB between 1903 and 1923. In 1904 he also became Director-general of Televerket. He had in 1902 declined the post as Minister of Finance in Boström's second cabinet but started a political career in 1905 when he became both Minister for Sea Defence ( for the Navy and the Coastal Artillery ) in Lundeberg's broad-based cabinet and a member of the Riksdag's first chamber.

When Staaff's liberal cabinet fell on the question of universal suffrage. Staaff had hoped to instate complete suffrage for all draft-abiding male citizens under the first past the post system, with implicit support for women's suffrage as well; the proposal Lindman was appointed Prime Minister at head of a moderate-conservative government. Through great political skill Lindman managed to enact universal suffrage for male citizens according to the principle of "double proportionality" - in both chambers of parliament - in 1907-09. His six year government he oversaw a number of reforms in the areas of industry, schools and social politics. A defence committee was appointed, decisions was made to build up the navy and the international position of Sweden was confirmed in the Nordic- and Baltic Sea agreements. Political and economic opposition resulted in the general strike of 1909. But the strike failed, and Lindman's government was allowed to remain in power, ostensibly supported by the king.

Extended suffrage and proportional representation (under the d'Hondt method) had managed to preserve the right as a parliamentary force but contributed to a success for the left-wing coalition, the Liberals and the Social Democrats in the election for the second chamber in 1911. Lindman transferred to the second chamber where he was chairman for the second-chamber right 1912-35, with an interruption in 1917 when he became Minister for Foreign Affairs in Swartz's cabinet. As a leading right-wing politician he had given advice to the King about the creation of the Hammarskjöld and Swartz cabinets, with the goal of blocking the more hard-edged conservative leader of the first-chamber right, Ernst Trygger.

During the years 1913-35 Lindman was chairman for the national organisation of right-wing parties, the General Electoral Union - tbe predecessor of the present Moderate Party - and as such was a driving force in the work to modernize the party organisation, especially after the constitutional change in 1918 which instituted universal male suffrage. Among other things he hired an airplane to take him on speaking tours of the country and introduced the political poster. The GEU lost its status as largest party in 1917 to the Social Democrats, which has retained it since (with near-equal support for the parties in the general election of 2010). Proportional representation, however, managed to sustain a considerable support though surpassed by both Liberals and Social Democrats; with the single-member constituencies advanced by Staaff's Liberals had likey diminished all influence.

After a hard-fought electoral campaign in 1928, when the Social Democrats had controversially formed a coalition with some Communists and suffered great losses in the election, Lindman formed a right-wing government in minority, after the liberals and the freeminded had turned down the King's request for a broader center-right majority government. Among the things this government did, the calling of the conference on peace in the workplace (a move to try to end frequent strikes and lock-outs) in 1928 is worth mentioning. The government resigned in 1930 after the Freeminded (pro-Prohibition liberals) and the Social Democrats had blocked the proposition for raised customs duty on grain, the goal of which was the strengthening of the agrarian sector. No party or union commanded a majority, which made the 1920s and early 1930s notoriously turbulent.

Arvid Lindman (left) at the courtyard of Stockholm Palace as his second cabinet takes office in 1928.

Lindman was a modern kind of party leader, who with involvement and eloquence turned directly to the voters. Both as an industrialist and as a politician he was very energetic and goal oriented. He was a pragmatic conservative without losing his principles. He was a good political peace-broker, who could sought a policy of compromise with his political adversaries. During the growth of the anti-democratic movements in Europe he acted as a guardian for the principles of government by the people, and he spoke out strongly against nazism and fascism[verification needed]. When his party's youth organisation started organising uniformed fascist action groups in the 1930s, he saw to it that they were expelled from the party[verification needed]. The "honest thanks over the battle lines" from the social democratic leader Per Albin Hansson when Lindman resigned as party leader in favor of the younger academic and professor Gösta Bagge in 1935 was an expression of the wide ranging respect that he had.

Lindman died in an aircraft crash on 9 December 1936, when the Douglas DC-2 in which he was travelling crashed into houses near Croydon Airport just after taking off in thick fog.[1]


Political offices
Preceded by
Karl Staaff
Prime Minister of Sweden
Succeeded by
Karl Staaff
Preceded by
Knut Wallenberg
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Johannes Hellner
Preceded by
Carl Gustaf Ekman
Prime Minister of Sweden
Succeeded by
Carl Gustaf Ekman

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