> And of the government getting caught up in "popular passions" and overreacting to things that people briefly got very fired up about.
Well, the US government still does this to devastating effect (e.g. "war on terror", patriot act, etc.).
 population ~ 9M. NYC alone has nearly 8M people and is much more diverse.
Sounds like a lesser Minnesota.
Lots of things work with populations of Swedes.