Why did the Swedish Empire Collapse?


in this article, we will talk about that why did the Swedish Empire Collapse? in northern Europe here in the 12th century the kingdom of Sweden was still struggling with its dynastic problems plans fought for power and in the final part of this period Guilbeau dynasty was founded this was an important step and will be the base of what will happen with Sweden in the future this dynasty consolidated a pre Kalmar Union to a strong state king Magnus the fourth also ruled over.

Why did the Swedish Empire Collapse

Norway in Scania following the Black Death this union was severely weakened and Scania was lost to Denmark during the early Middle Ages the Swedish state also expanded to control Norland and Finland this expansion created awareness and tensions.

in the Russian States starting an era of rivalry which will continue through the next centuries after the black death and internal power struggles Queen Margaret the first of Denmark United the Nordic countries in the Union of Kalmar at the end of the 14th century in 1397 with the approval of the Swedish nobility this was a personal union and existed here from 1397 to 1523.

this union joined under a single monarch and the three northern kingdoms of Denmark Sweden and Norway having also territories in today’s Finland and overseas dependencies like Iceland Greenland or the furrow and northern islands.

however as in other cases of unions due to continual tension and issues about power and disagreements within the countries and within the union gradually led to open conflict between the Swedes and the Danes in the 15th century it was clear that this structure can not exist anymore and it disintegrated in the early 16th century.

this was the beginning of a long lived rivalry between Denmark and Sweden in the 16th century a guy named Gustav Vasa fought for Sweden independence because the Catholic Bishops had supported the Danish King Christian the second Gustavus used the Protestant Reformation movement to curb the power of the church and become King Gustavus.

the first in 1523 after he overthrown the Danish king here in the north lived few people compared to the rest of Europe mainly due to harsher conditions it’s believed that in the 17th century despite having around 1 million inhabitants Sweden emerged to have greater foreign influence.

in the region and it became stronger and stronger after winning wars against Denmark Norway the Holy Roman Empire Russia and the Commonwealth of Poland Lithuania its contributions during the 30 Years War Gustavus Adolphus helped determine the political and the religious balance of power.

The Swedish Empire Collapse


in Europe in this time the swedish kingdom emerged as a european great power before the emergence of the swedish empire sweden was a poor and scarcely populated country on the fringe of european civilization with no significant power or reputation Sweden rose to prominence on a continental scale during the tenure of King Gustavus Adolphus seizing territories from Russia and Poland Lithuania.

in multiple conflicts including the 30 Years War the expansion was visible and at that time it was the greatest power of the north but they expanded elsewhere too not many know that Sweden had their colonies outside Europe as many countries at that time they tried to create trade posts and finally establish a colony.

in North America at the lower reaches of the Delaware River during the 30 Years War another colony was founded in 1650 on the Gulf of Guinea this was their attempt but the colonies will be lost mainly seized and taken by the Dutch Shore Denmark at the end of the 30 Years War.

Sweden was at its biggest extent during this time under the rule of Charles Gustav at this time the Swedish Empire had the largest influenced in the Baltic Sea this was their peak the extravagance of gustavus adolphus is too immediate successors Cristina and Charles Gustav caused great difficulties for the new Empire bad in administration Cristina’s financial extravagance brought the state almost to bankruptcy.

the financial difficulties caused public unrest and revolts and this led to our abdication the success in previous Wars came at a cost a financial one the Swedish people looked to a new king to address the problem of too much power vested in the nobility even if there wasn’t like in previous years if we speak about leadership the Empire will have great success in the next years still having a professional army in 1655.

in the second northern war Charles Gustav of Sweden invaded and occupied Western Poland Lithuania the eastern half of which was already occupied by Russia this was a huge victory for Sweden once more showing that despite their problems they can still be a major actor but this wasn’t for long Sweden didn’t focus on wars afterwards but more to internal problems on making reforms and modernize.

even if small conflicts existed by the end of the century no major land losses existed the following period of peace allowed Charles the 11th of Sweden to reform and stabilize the realm he consolidated the finances of the crown by the great reduction of 1680 further changes were made in finance commerce church government education and other areas.

because in the past Sweden managed to win wars against its neighbours despite their successes those neighbours became enemies after Charles xi death the throne was inherited by his underage son Charles the 12th after a brief Regency he was declared to be of age to rule three years later in 1700.

Denmark Poland and Russia the countries that had lost most territory to Sweden jointly declared war this will be known as the great northern war 1700 to 1721 because Sweden was in a weak position a coalition led by the Sarda move Russia successfully contested the supremacy of the Swedish Empire.


in northern Central and Eastern Europe the initial leaders of the anti Swedish alliance were Peter the first of Russia Frederick the fourth of Denmark Norway and Augustus the second the strong of Saxony Poland Lithuania the war began when an alliance sensing an opportunity as Sweden was ruled by the young Charles.

the twelfth declared war on the Swedish Empire and launched a three-fold attack on Swedish Holstein goat or Swedish Lavanya and Swedish ingria Sweden parried the Danish and Russian attacks at Trevon Dahl August 17 hundred and Narva November 1700 respectively and in a counter-offensive pushed Augustus the seconds forces.

through the polish-lithuanian Commonwealth to Saxony again despite their difficulties Frederick the sixth and Augustus the second were defeated by Sweden under Charles the twelfth and forced out of the Alliance in 1700 and 1706 respectively but rejoined it in 1709.

after the defeat of Charles the 12th at the Battle of Poltava after Poltava the anti Swedish coalition revived and subsequently Hanover and Prussia joined it the remaining Swedish forces and plague stricken areas south and east of the Baltic Sea were evicted with the last city Sweden proper was invaded from the west by Denmark Norway and from the east by Russia.

which sought to have access to the Gulf of Finland despite these setbacks Charles twice tried to invade Norway to force Denmark Norway out of the war again on November 30th 1718 King Charles the 12th was mortally wounded during a siege with his death Swedish war efforts.

mostly came to a halt and peace was signed in 1721 Sweden would remain a regional power of varying success until the 19th century but the great northern war put an end to Sweden’s time as a great power Finland was lost to Russia in 1809 after a war and this was followed by a union with Norway that will last for almost a hundred years.


but this is a topic for another video Sweden managed to conquer important territories and to rule the northern regions of the continent and with reforms no major revolts and instabilities happened but their collapse was mainly due to external conflicts. a low man power compared to other states a large Russia looking to expand more and other neighbors seeking revenge combined with a moment of weakness created the scenario of their collapse if in those periods to protect yourself you would have needed guns manpower strong tactics and smart diplomacy and a Europe full of challenges and dangers.

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