Warrior Kings of Sweden

The Rise of an Empire in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries


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About the Book

For a hundred years, Sweden was the international military power of Northern Europe, in control of the entire Baltic region and among the first to colonize in Africa and America. But the history of Sweden, Finland, the Baltic States, Poland, and Prussia is largely neglected in American classrooms and scholarship. This book fills a large void in European history as it is generally presented to the American student and reader. This narrative covers Sweden’s Age of Greatness (1632–1718) and the warrior-kings who governed that age. It chronologically describes the political and religious events of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and reveals how these events produced the climate for European global expansion, including the exploration and colonization of the New World. The story traces history through the reigns of Sweden’s ambitious rulers, beginning with the presumably Swedish Goths who ravaged the Roman Empire in the 2nd century CE and continuing through the end of the empire in the early eighteenth century. A thorough epilogue documents the cultural flowering in the arts and sciences that commenced in the Age of Greatness and continued to blossom in the centuries that followed. This final section of the book pays special attention to the personalities that drove Sweden’s far-reaching cultural progress.

About the Author(s)

Gary Dean Peterson is an independent scholar and writer whose published works include magazine articles and two books. He is a retired engineer living in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Bibliographic Details

Gary Dean Peterson

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 308
Bibliographic Info: photos, maps, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2007
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2873-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0411-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction      3

1. First Kings of a United Sweden      5
2. The Kalmar Union      15
3. Gustav Vasa’s Rise to Power and Swedish Independence      22
4. King Gustav I      33
5. War Debt and the Reformation      44
6. Succession and Civil War      53
7. Erik XIV and the First Northern War      63
8. King Johan III and the End of the First Northern War      77
9. A Swedish Prince on the Polish Throne and the Second Northern War      87
10. Sigismund III and Wars in the North      99
11. Karl IX and the Second Polish War      108
12. Gustav Adolf ’s Rise to Power      116
13. Gustav Builds His Army      122
14. Gustav Extends Swedish Power in Livonia and Prussia      138
15. Gustav Enters Germany and the Thirty Years’ War      151
16. Gustav’s Court on the Rhine and the Battle of Lützen      166
17. Oxenstierna Takes Control and Prosecutes the War in Germany      174
18. War with Denmark as the Thirty Years’ War Winds Down      184
19. Queen Christina and the Athens of the North      188
20. Karl X—The Swedish Empire at Its Height      200
21. Sweden’s Colonies and New Sweden in America      213
22. Karl XI and the Scanian War      233
23. Karl XII and the Great Northern War      242
24. Karl XII and War in Poland      251
25. Karl XII’s Russian Campaign      262
26. The End of Empire      270

Epilogue      278
Notes      283
Bibliography      285
Index      289