Even though there is not a lot of recorded history in Sweden prior to about 1000 AD, there are a lot of archaeological expeditions that have taken place in Sweden throughout the years. Based on the information recovered from these digs, it appears that people have been living in Sweden for the past 12,000 years. It also appears that Sweden played a major role in the Stone Age, which developed a short time after the earliest uncovered bones and tools in the area. Furthermore, there is a large gap in the history of Sweden and Swedish prehistory. Most people believe that there were people living in Sweden between 12,000 years ago and the first recorded texts of Swedish history.
While there were people living in Sweden 12,000 years ago, it is widely accepted that the history of Sweden began around the 14th century AD. That is when the first long recorded texts began to show up. Sweden played a major role in the development of the balance of power in Europe. It gained and lost territory to Norway, Russia, and Denmark throughout the next few hundred years. Following the role of Sweden in the 30 Years War, Sweden emerged as a major power in Europe, gaining its own overseas colonies and possessions as well. Sweden never had an empire that rivaled that of Britain or France, but it played a major role in the development of spheres of influence in Europe nonetheless.
No, Sweden is not a part of Norway today, but it did own Norway at one point. Following a war that took place at the beginning of the 19th century, Norway was ceded to Sweden by Denmark. Norway was forced into a unification with Sweden, where it remained for a short time. While Norway is an independent country today, Sweden was the dominant power in Scandinavia for a significant amount of time. Now, there is a balance of power in this part of the world between Sweden, Finland, and Norway.
In the preset environment, it is obvious that Sweden, Finland, and Norway are close allies. They work together on just about everything. Sweden has officially been at peace since 1804, remaining neutral in World War II. At the same time, Sweden was far more sympathetic to the cause of the Allies and not that of Germany or other Nazi sympathizers, despite the short war that Finland had with Russia. This approach has been put to the test recently, as Sweden and Finland are very close to Russia geographically but are more aligned with the United States politically. In the wake of Russia's brazen invasion of Ukraine, Sweden and Finland have both decided to apply to join NATO. Both countries are likely to be accepted, and it will change the balance of power in Europe. It will be interesting to see how Sweden's relations evolve in the near future.
The country of Sweden is 500 years old, founded in the year 1523.