Kalmar Wars (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: Swedish independence. Result: Sweden achieves independence.
In 1388, Queen Margaret of Denmark succeeded to the throne of Norway, and in the same year, the Swedish nobility, after enduring decades of domestic instability and a series of weak rulers, elected Margaret as queen of Sweden. This personal union of the three kingdoms was transformed into a formal federation in 1397 by the Union of Kalmar. Although each kingdom retained a great deal of control over internal matters, Copenhagen would remain the center of power for the union, and Sweden became increasingly disaffected under Danish rule.
The first major challenge to the Union of Kalmar came in the 1430’s. King Erik of Pomerania had engaged in a costly and ultimately unsuccessful war with the dukes of Holstein and the Hanseatic League (1422-1435). Erik’s attempts to raise taxes in order to finance his aggressive foreign policy led to a revolt in Sweden. The revolt, begun in 1434, spread quickly to Norway and eventually to Denmark. In 1439, the nobles of the three kingdoms deposed Erik and chose his nephew, Christopher of Bavaria, as ruler.
Christopher died in 1448, leaving no heirs, and the Danish nobility chose Christian of Oldenburg to succeed to the throne. In Sweden and Norway, however, Karl Knutsson was crowned king as Charles VIII, and a period followed in which both...
(The entire section is 958 words.)
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