Kalmar Union

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Kalmar Union

1397–1523
Kalmar Union ca. 1400.svg
The Kalmar Union, c. 1400
Status Personal union
Capital Roskilde (1397–1416)
Copenhagen (1416–1523)
Common languagesOfficial use: Middle Danish, Old Swedish, Middle Norwegian, Renaissance Latin
Also spoken: Middle Icelandic, Old Faroese, Norn, Greenlandic Norse, Middle Low German, Finnish, Sami, Greenlandic, Karelian
Religion
Roman Catholicism

Religious disturbances (Roman Catholic/Lutheran) towards the end of Christian II's reign
Government Personal union
Regent  
 1387–1412a
Margaret I (first)
 1513–23b
Christian II (last)
Legislature Riksråd and Herredag
(one in each kingdom)
Historical era Late Middle Ages
 Inception
17 June 1397
1434–1436
November 1520
  Gustav Vasa elected as
King of Sweden
6 June 1523
 Dissolution
1523
Currency Mark, Örtug, Norwegian penning, Swedish penning
Preceded by
Succeeded by
State Banner of Denmark (14th Century).svg Kingdom of Denmark
Flag of Norway (1370).svg Kingdom of Norway
Shield of arms of Sweden.svg Kingdom of Sweden
Denmark–Norway Flag of Denmark.svg
Kingdom of Sweden Sweden-Flag-1562.svg
Kingdom of Scotland Flag of Scotland (traditional).svg
  1. Margaret I ruled Denmark 1387–1412, Norway 1388–1389, and Sweden 1389–1412
  2. Christian II ruled Denmark and Norway 1513–1523; Sweden 1520–1521

The Kalmar Union (Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish : Kalmarunionen; Latin : Unio Calmariensis) was a personal union that from 1397 to 1523 [1] joined under a single monarch the three kingdoms of Denmark, Sweden (then including most of Finland's populated areas), and Norway, together with Norway's overseas dependencies (then including Iceland, Greenland, [N 1] the Faroe Islands, and the Northern Isles). The union was not quite continuous; there were several short interruptions. Legally, the countries remained separate sovereign states, but with their domestic and foreign policies being directed by a common monarch.

Danish language North Germanic language spoken in Denmark

Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in Denmark and in the region of Southern Schleswig in northern Germany, where it has minority language status. Also, minor Danish-speaking communities are found in Norway, Sweden, Spain, the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Argentina. Due to immigration and language shift in urban areas, around 15–20% of the population of Greenland speak Danish as their first language.

Norwegian language North Germanic language spoken in Norway

Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken mainly in Norway, where it is the official language. Along with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a dialect continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional varieties, and some Norwegian and Swedish dialects, in particular, are very close. These Scandinavian languages, together with Faroese and Icelandic as well as some extinct languages, constitute the North Germanic languages. Faroese and Icelandic are hardly mutually intelligible with Norwegian in their spoken form because continental Scandinavian has diverged from them. While the two Germanic languages with the greatest numbers of speakers, English and German, have close similarities with Norwegian, neither is mutually intelligible with it. Norwegian is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era.

Swedish language North Germanic language spoken in Sweden

Swedish is a North Germanic language spoken natively by 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden, and in parts of Finland, where it has equal legal standing with Finnish. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and to some extent with Danish, although the degree of mutual intelligibility is largely dependent on the dialect and accent of the speaker. Both Norwegian and Danish are generally easier for Swedish speakers to read than to listen to because of difference in accent and tone when speaking. Swedish is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era. It has the most speakers of the North Germanic languages.

Contents

One main impetus for its formation was to block German expansion northward into the Baltic region. The main reason for its failure to survive was the perpetual struggle between the monarch, who wanted a strong unified state, and the Swedish and Danish nobility, which did not. [2] Diverging interests (especially the Swedish nobility's dissatisfaction with the dominant role played by Denmark and Holstein) gave rise to a conflict that would hamper the union in several intervals from the 1430s until its definitive breakup in 1523, when Gustav Vasa was elected as king of Sweden. [3]

Baltic region geographic region

The terms Baltic region, Baltic Rim countries, and the Baltic Sea countries refer to slightly different combinations of countries in the general area surrounding the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe.

Swedish nobility socially privileged class in Sweden

The Swedish nobility has historically been a legally and/or socially privileged class in Sweden, and part of the so-called frälse. The archaic term for nobility, frälse, also included the clergy, a classification defined by tax exemptions and representation in the diet. Today the nobility does not maintain its former privileges although family names, titles and coats of arms are still protected. The Swedish nobility consists of both "introduced" and "unintroduced" nobility, where the latter has not been formally "introduced" at the House of Nobility (Riddarhuset). The House of Nobility still maintains a fee for male members over the age of 18 for upkeep on pertinent buildings in Stockholm.

Holstein Region of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

Holstein is the region between the rivers Elbe and Eider. It is the southern half of Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost state of Germany.

Norway continued to remain a part of the realm of Denmark–Norway under the Oldenburg dynasty for nearly three centuries, until its dissolution in 1814. The ensuing loose union between Sweden and Norway lasted until 1905, when a grandson of the incumbent king of Denmark was elected as king of Norway; his direct descendants still reign in Norway.

Denmark–Norway personal union in Northern Europe between 1524-1814

Denmark–Norway, also known as the Dano–Norwegian Realm, the Oldenburg Monarchy or the Oldenburg realms, was an early modern multi-national and multi-lingual real union consisting of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Kingdom of Norway, the Duchy of Schleswig, and the Duchy of Holstein. The state also claimed sovereignty over two historical peoples: Wends and Goths. Denmark–Norway had several colonies, namely the Danish Gold Coast, the Nicobar Islands, Serampore, Tharangambadi, and the Danish West Indies.

House of Oldenburg dynasty

The House of Oldenburg is a European dynasty of North German origin. It is one of Europe's most influential royal houses, with branches that rule or have ruled in Denmark, Iceland, Greece, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Schleswig, Holstein, and Oldenburg. The current Queen of Denmark and King of Norway, the former King of Greece, the consort of the monarch of the United Kingdom, as well as the first fourteen persons in the line of succession to the British throne, are all patrilineal members of the Glücksburg branch of this house.

Union between Sweden and Norway Personal union between Sweden and Norway 1814–1905

Sweden and Norway or Sweden–Norway, officially the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway, or as the United Kingdoms, was a personal union of the separate kingdoms of Sweden and Norway under a common monarch and common foreign policy that lasted from 1814 until its peaceful dissolution in 1905.

Inception

The union was the work of Scandinavian aristocracy wishing to counter the influence of the Hanseatic League. Margaret (1353–1412), a daughter of King Valdemar IV of Denmark, married King Haakon VI of Norway and Sweden, who was the son of King Magnus IV of Sweden, Norway and Scania. Margaret succeeded in having her son Olaf recognized as heir to the throne of Denmark. In 1376 Olaf inherited the crown of Denmark from his maternal grandfather as King Olaf II, with his mother as guardian; when Haakon VI died in 1380, Olaf also inherited the crown of Norway. [4]

Hanseatic League Confederation in Northern Europe

The Hanseatic League was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and market towns in Northwestern and Central Europe. Growing from a few North German towns in the late 1100s, the league came to dominate Baltic maritime trade for three centuries along the coasts of Northern Europe. Hansa territories stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland during the Late Middle Ages, and diminished slowly after 1450.

Margaret I of Denmark Queen regnant of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden

Margaret I was queen consort of Norway (1363–1380) and Sweden (1363–1364) and later ruler in her own right of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, from which later period there are ambiguities regarding her specific titles. She was the founder of the Kalmar Union, which spanned Scandinavia for over a century. Margaret was known as a wise, energetic and capable leader, who governed with "farsighted tact and caution," earning the nickname "Semiramis of the North". She was derisively called "King Breechless", one of several mean nicknames invented by her rival Albert of Mecklenburg, but was also known by her subjects as "the Lady King", which became widely used in recognition of her capabilities. Knut Gjerset calls her "the first great ruling queen in European history."

Valdemar IV of Denmark King of Denmark

Valdemar IV Atterdag, or Waldemar, was King of Denmark from 1340 to 1375.

Margaret became regent of Denmark and Norway when Olaf died in 1387, leaving her without an heir. [5] She adopted her great-nephew Erik the same year. [6] The following year, 1388, Swedish nobles called upon her help against King Albert of Mecklenburg. [7] After Margaret defeated Albert in 1389, her heir Erik was proclaimed King of Norway. [5] Erik was subsequently elected King of Denmark and Sweden in 1396. [5] Erik's coronation was held in Kalmar on 17 June 1397. [8]

Eric of Pomerania King of Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Kalmar Union

Eric of Pomerania was the ruler of the Kalmar Union from 1396 until 1439, succeeding his grandaunt, Queen Margaret I. He is numbered Eric III as King of Norway (1389–1442), Eric VII as King of Denmark (1396–1439) and Eric XIII as King of Sweden. Today, in all three countries he is more commonly known as Erik av Pommern. Eric was ultimately deposed from all three kingdoms of the union, but in 1449 he inherited one of the partitions of the Duchy of Pomerania and ruled it as duke until his death.

Albert, King of Sweden King of Sweden, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Albert was King of Sweden from 1364 to 1389 and Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin from 1384 to 1412 as Albert III.

Kalmar Place in Småland, Sweden

Kalmar is a city in the southeast of Sweden, situated by the Baltic Sea. It had 36,392 inhabitants in 2010 and is the seat of Kalmar Municipality. It is also the capital of Kalmar County, which comprises 12 municipalities with a total of 236,399 inhabitants (2015).

Dissolution

The Union lost territory when the Northern Isles were pledged by Christian I in his capacity as King of Norway, as security against the payment of the dowry of his daughter Margaret, betrothed to James III of Scotland in 1468. However the money was never paid, and in 1472 the islands were annexed by the Kingdom of Scotland. [9]

The Kalmar union was dissolved when Sweden rebelled and became independent on 6 June 1523. [8]

One of the last structures of the Union, or, rather, medieval separateness, remained until 1536 when the Danish Privy Council, in the aftermath of the Count's Feud, unilaterally declared Norway to be a Danish province, [10] without consulting their Norwegian colleagues.

Although the Norwegian council never recognized the declaration formally, and Norway kept some separate institutions and its legal system, [10] this had the practical effect that the Norwegian possessions of Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands came under direct control of the crown. In principle this meant that the Norwegian crown, under the Danish union (the monarch lived in Copenhagen), was henceforth controlled from Denmark and not from Norway. And it had the effect that, while Norway passed to Swedish rule in 1814 and became independent in 1905, these territories were retained by Denmark (up to the present, in the case of Greenland and the Faroe Islands).

See also

Notes

  1. Nominal possession, there was no European contact with the island during the Kalmar Union period

Related Research Articles

Scandinavia Region in Northern Europe

Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. The term Scandinavia in local usage covers the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The majority national languages of these three, belong to the Scandinavian dialect continuum, and are mutually intelligible North Germanic languages. In English usage, Scandinavia also sometimes refers to the Scandinavian Peninsula, or to the broader region including Finland and Iceland, which is always known locally as the Nordic countries.

History of Sweden (1523–1611) Kingdom of Sweden period

The Early Vasa era is a period that in Swedish and Finnish history lasted between 1523–1611. It began with the reconquest of Stockholm by Gustav Vasa and his men from the Danes in 1523, Which was triggered by the event known as the Stockholm Bloodbath in 1520, and then was followed up by Sweden's secession from the Kalmar Union, and continued with the reign of Gustav's sons Eric XIV, John III, John's son Sigismund, and finally Gustav's youngest son Charles IX. The era was followed by a period commonly referred to as the Swedish Empire, or Stormaktstiden in Swedish, which means "Era Of Great Power".

Flag of the Faroe Islands national flag

The flag of the Faroe Islands is an offset cross, representing Christianity. It is similar in design to other Nordic flags – a tradition set by the Dannebrog of Denmark, of which the Faroe Islands are an autonomous country.

Danish overseas colonies

Danish overseas colonies and pre Dano-Norwegian colonies are the colonies that Denmark-Norway possessed from 1536 until 1953. At its apex the colonies spanned four continents. The period of colonial expansion marked a rise in the status and power of Danes and Norwegians in the union. Being the hegemon of Denmark-Norway or the Statsfædrelandet, Denmark is where the union's monumental palaces are now located and Copenhagen, today the capital of Denmark, was the city which both Norway and Denmark came to establish as their capital. Much of the Norwegian population moved to find work in Copenhagen, attend university, or join the Royal Fleet.

Northern Seven Years War war (1563–1570) between Sweden and a coalition of Denmark–Norway, Lübeck and Poland, causd by Denmarks dissatisfaction with the dissolution of the Kalmar Union and Swedens wanting to break Denmarks dominance; ended in stalemate

The Northern Seven Years' War was fought between the Kingdom of Sweden and a coalition of Denmark–Norway, Lübeck and Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth between 1563 and 1570. The war was motivated by the dissatisfaction of King Frederick II of Denmark with the dissolution of the Kalmar Union, and the will of King Eric XIV of Sweden to break Denmark's dominating position. The fighting continued until both armies had been exhausted, and many men died. The resulting Treaty of Stettin was a stalemate, with neither party gaining any new territory.

Nordic cross flag flag bearing the design of the Nordic or Scandinavian cross

The Nordic cross flag is any of certain flags bearing the design of the Nordic or Scandinavian cross, a cross symbol in a rectangular field, with the center of the cross shifted towards the hoist.

History of Scandinavia aspect of history

The history of Scandinavia is the history of the geographical region of Scandinavia and its peoples. The region is in northern Europe, and consists of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Finland and Iceland are at times, especially in English-speaking contexts, considered part of Scandinavia.

Riksrådet, Rigsrådet or is the name of the councils of the Scandinavian countries that ruled the countries together with the kings from late Middle Ages to the 17th century. Norway had a Council of the Realm (Riksrådet) that was de facto abolished by the Danish-Norwegian king in 1536/1537. In Sweden the parallel Council gradually came under the influence of the king during the 17th century.

Coat of arms of Denmark national insignia of Denmark

The coat of arms of the Kingdom of Denmark has a lesser and a greater version.

Calmar can refer to:

Visborg

Visborg (Wisborg) refers to a fortress in the town of Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland. Successive fortresses were built in Visby, though Visborg is usually in reference to the castle built here by King Eric of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Events in the year 1814 in Norway.

Denmark–Norway relations Diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Denmark and the Kingdom of Norway

Denmark–Norway relations are foreign relations between Denmark and Norway. The countries have a very long history together: they were both part of the Kalmar Union between 1397 and 1523, and Norway was in Union with Denmark between 1524 and 1814.

Nordic countries Geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic

The Nordic countries or the Nordics are a geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic, where they are most commonly known as Norden. The term includes Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, as well as Greenland and the Faroe Islands—which are both part of the Kingdom of Denmark—and the Åland Islands and Svalbard and Jan Mayen archipelagos that belong to Finland and Norway respectively, whereas the Norwegian Antarctic territories are often not considered a part of the Nordic countries, due to their geographical location. Several regions in Europe, such as the Northern Isles of Scotland, share cultural or ethnic ties with Nordic nations, but are not considered to be Nordic countries. Scandinavians, who comprise over three quarters of the region's population, are the largest group, followed by Finns, who comprise the majority in Finland; other ethnic groups are the Greenlandic Inuit, the Sami people, and recent immigrants and their descendants. The native languages Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic, and Faroese are all North Germanic languages rooted in Old Norse. Native non-Germanic languages are Finnish, Greenlandic and several Sami languages. The main religion is Lutheran Christianity. The Nordic countries have much in common in their way of life, history, religion, their use of Scandinavian languages and social structure. The Nordic countries have a long history of political unions and other close relations, but do not form a separate entity today. The Scandinavist movement sought to unite Denmark, Norway and Sweden into one country in the 19th century, with the indepedence of Finland in the early 20th century, and Iceland in the mid 20th century, this movement expanded into the modern organised Nordic cooperation which includes the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers. Especially in English, Scandinavia is sometimes used as a synonym for the Nordic countries, but that term more properly refers to the three monarchies of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Geologically, the Scandinavian Peninsula comprises the mainland of Norway and Sweden as well as the northernmost part of Finland.

Kingdom of Norway (872–1397)

The term Norwegian Realm and the Old Kingdom of Norway, refer to the Kingdom of Norway's peak of power at the 13th century after a long period of civil war before 1240. The kingdom was a loosely unified nation including the territory of modern-day Norway, modern-day Swedish territory of Jämtland, Herjedalen, Ranrike and Idre and Särna, as well as Norway's overseas possessions which had been settled by Norwegian seafarers for centuries before being annexed or incorporated into the kingdom as 'tax territories'. To the North, Norway also bordered extensive tax territories on the mainland. Norway, whose expansionalism starts from the very foundation of the Kingdom in 872, reached the peak of its power in the years between 1240 and 1319.

References

  1. Harald Gustafsson, "A State that Failed?" Scandinavian Journal of History (2006) 32#3 pp 205–220
  2. For a somewhat different view see Steinar Imsen, "The Union of Calmar: Northern Great Power or Northern German Outpost?" in Christopher Ocker, ed. Politics and Reformations: Communities, Polities, Nations, and Empires (BRILL, 2007) pp 471–72
  3. Michael Roberts, The Early Vasas. A History of Sweden 1523–1611 (1968) ch 1
  4. Karlsson, Gunnar (2000). The History of Iceland. p. 102.
  5. 1 2 3 "Margaret I | queen of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  6. "Erik VII | king of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  7. "Sweden – Code of law | history – geography". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  8. 1 2 "Kalmar Union | Scandinavian history". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  9. Nicolson (1972) p. 45
  10. 1 2 Nordstrom, Byron (2000). Scandinavia since 1500. University of Minnesota Press. p. 147. ISBN   0-8166-2098-9.

Further reading

Coordinates: 55°40′N12°34′E / 55.667°N 12.567°E / 55.667; 12.567