The power of politics takes shape
When Gustav II Adolf succeeded his father in 1611 during a fiery war, something of a political system change took place. Through a king’s assurance, he was bound to cooperate with councils and states. The National Council was given a clearly assigned role in the National Board. It became a rule that the decisions of the states were sought on issues of war, peace, taxation and discharge. As a result, the Riksdag became part of a political decision-making process, which nevertheless provided ample room for a personal royal power.
The Fourth Kingdom Day was a reflection of the standing society that took shape during the 13th century. By privileged privileges in 1612, further improved in 1644, the nobility received a number of economic favors and preference for all higher offices. However, significant deviations from privileges were made during the entire great power period (1611-1718). But numerous high-profile states could build great fortunes, manifested in magnificent castles, and play a prominent political role. At the same time, the number of nobles increased by new breeding from about 450 to 2,500 adult men. The clergy also played a growing role in a state ideology in which church and worldly power were strongly integrated. The dual loyalties of the priests, as spokesmen for their congregation and as a spokesman for a divinely sanctioned authority, gave them a key role in many contexts.
The bourgeoisie gained greater importance through the krona’s industrial policy initiatives. Numerous new cities were founded, Stockholm grew strongly and large merchants with a foreign background had wide international contacts. But the broad base of the booth was made up of retailers and artisans. The fact that the farmers were represented in a national body was unique in Europe. They could also act at the district council, and in matters of taxation and discharge, their district and parish committees played a major role. The existence of an orderly dialogue between the governed and the governed explains the absence of peasant uprisings during a period marked by the growing demands of the state power and numerous revolts in other countries.
The political system shift in Sweden in 1611 was also on a more personal level. The leader of the High Court, Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna, and Gustav IIAdolf both sought to modernize and transform Sweden into one of the world’s most respected and feared state. This superpower political vision was inspired by the Gothic history of tradition, conveyed through higher and lower education. Uppsala University flourished with active royal support, and three new universities were founded until 1668. Colleges were created in all diocesan cities, and literacy increased markedly among ordinary men. Administratively there was a fairly good foundation, which was purposefully expanded in a way that is evident from the form of government in 1634. At the central level, new government offices were created, while uniform and regional bodies for civil, judicial and military administration were created. The viability of the system is evident from the fact that it still exists partly.
The military armament applied to all parts of the armed forces. A focus on Swedish war people instead of foreign recruits had both cost and reliability aspects. But great losses of mankind severely affected the male population, which is why lego troops came to play a major role in the war until the 1670s.
Despite a continuous increase in tax collection, with the peak around 1630, and growing tax collection in cash, the krona’s financial base was rather weak. Therefore, a strong investment was made in a mercantilistic trade and business policy, with a sharp increase in exports as a result. This was based on both domestic capital, mainly from the high nobility, as well as technical innovations and capital from the outside, especially through German and Dutch immigrants. The new iron mills grew outside the old mining area and made Sweden a world leader as an exporter of iron bars and iron cannons. Copper exports also played a major role, as did the trade in tar, pitch, pot ash and other forest products. Even for the livelihood of the individual people, the importance of the forest land increased greatly; a strong population increase characterized the national forest areas.
However, the population potential was the weakest link in the Swedish superpower building. The population can be estimated to have increased to 1.1 million in 1625 (of which 0.3 in the Finnish national part). Until 1721 there was a certain increase, despite wars and deaths, to which were added the acquisitions of Danish and Norwegian landscapes. The population then stood at about 1.5 (1.12) million.
Active foreign policy was targeted by the Stolbova peace against Poland. Riga and all of Livland were conquered in 1621-26, after which the war transferred to Polish Prussia ended with the downturn in Altmark in 1629, which gave Sweden Livland and for six years Prussian ports with rich customs revenue. Meanwhile, the Great German War had brought the troops of the Emperor and the Catholic League up to the Baltic. The Swedish intervention in the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48) could therefore be portrayed as a preventive defense war before the Riksdag which gave its sanction. A number of interacting factors have certainly been behind Gustav II Adolf’s decision and also behind previous war companies; this applies to trade and power politics, religious and personal greed in the Gothic spirit.
At the ascent of Pomerania in 1630, Sweden lacked allies, but a subsidy treaty with France in 1631 improved the situation. The victory at Breitenfeld the same year, a result of Gustav IIAdolf’s innovative art of war meant a real turning point. The political objective grew with success, but the king’s death at Lützen in 1632 changed the situation completely. For Oxenstierna who took over the management, the goal became a reasonable “satisfaction” for Sweden’s efforts, which required an additional 16 years of war with major human and economic initiatives. The war in Germany was also used to inflict a severe blow on Denmark in 1643–45. The peace in Brömsebro gave Sweden Gotland, Ösel, Jämtland with Härjedalen and Halland (in 30 years), while the Westphalian peace in 1648 made, among other things. Bremen-World, Wismar, Western Pomerania and some of Hinterpommern Swedish. Frederna highlighted that Sweden was now one of Europe’s great powers.
By Gustav IIAdolf’s death was inherited by his six-year-old daughter Kristina. The guardian government, active during her reign of authority until 1644, was dominated by Axel Oxenstierna and his family group. The Queen then partially pushed this aside, favoring a number of “new men”. In the long term, the financial crisis that was growing through the wars was exacerbated by the extensive purchases of salvation and donations that were used to solve more acute problems. Together with the old estate of salvation, the nobility in 1654 had revenue from about 60% of the country’s farms, a tripling of 60 years. This created growing social tensions, culminating in the Riksdag in 1650. The nobility then pushed the nobility back, and Kristina was able to exploit the situation to have her cousin Karl Gustav recognized as a successor to the throne. He therefore became king in 1654 upon her abdication and transition to Catholicism.