Danish-Swedish Wars (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: Dominance of the Baltic region. Result: Sweden becomes a principal Scandinavian power.
In 1397, under the able guidance of Queen Margaret of Denmark, the Scandinavian kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden were united in the Union of Kalmar. Although each kingdom retained a certain amount of autonomy, Sweden resented Denmark’s predominance. After the death of King Christopher III in 1448, the Danish nobility chose Christian of Oldenburg to succeed to the throne. The Swedes, however, chose Karl Knutsson, and a lengthy struggle ensued, during which both Christian and Karl contended for control of Sweden. Karl died in 1470, and the leadership of the Swedish cause was taken up by Sten Sture, who defeated Christian’s forces at the Battle of Brunkeberg (1471), after which Sture became Sweden’s de facto ruler.
Christian’s successor, John, resumed the struggle with Sten, and, in 1497, managed to drive him from the country. The conflict continued under their successors, Christian II and Sten Sture the Younger. Christian defeated Sture’s army at Lake Äsunden (1520), and Sture died of his wounds shortly thereafter. Sweden was within Christian’s grasp, but his brutal reprisals against the Swedish leadership prompted further resistance, led by Gustavus I Vasa. In 1523, facing revolts in both Sweden and Denmark, Christian fled; Gustavus I Vasa...
(The entire section is 922 words.)
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