Monday, 1 June 2015

Episode 26: Ruling a larger Sweden

Sweden's conquests from the 16th century to 1660.

From 1560 Sweden had gradually grown - more and more territories had to be governed. This was done in different ways in different areas depending on such thins as the social composition of the area (any elites the new government could ally with?), how it became part of Sweden (voluntarily or by conquest?) and the previous status of the area ni question (the German possesions gained after the Thirty years war were part of the German empire and continued to be so). But the Swedish government also had different ambitions for different areas. The provinces conquered by Denmark that are nowadays part of Sweden - Gotland, Jämtland, Härjedalen, Bohuslän, Halland, Skåne and Blekinge - were from the start ment to be Swedish, that is to be fully integrated with adoption of Swedish laws and with representation in parliament. That also ment that the population there had to become "Swedish", at least in such a way that their loyalty lay with Sweden, not with Denmark.