Much more than Vikings declares the Swedish Government website! However, the Viking Age (c. 800 - 1050) is indeed a significant part of Swedish history. Swedish Vikings plundered and raided the Baltic coast and penetrated deep into Russia along the river systems as far as the Black and Caspian Seas. About AD 1000 the various provinces of Sweden were amalgamated into a single unit, but it was not until the late 13th century that a national monarchy and feudal aristocracy became dominant. Trading has always been important and Sweden participated in the Hanseatic League under the leadership of the German city of Lübeck. Sweden developed a Baltic 'empire' in the 17th Stockholm century and made significant cultural contributions to Europe during the Enlightenment. Mineral resources underpinned Sweden's economy into modern times, and in contrast to an earlier militaristic history, Sweden has officially remained non-aligned in peacetime and neutral in wartime for the past 200 years. In 1895 Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel endowed the Nobel prizes, presented each year in Stockholm, and the Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway.