Northern Wars

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"Northern Wars" is a term used for a series of wars fought in northern and northeastern Europe in the 16th and 17th century. An internationally agreed nomenclature for these wars has not yet been devised. [1] While the Great Northern War is generally considered to be the last of the Northern Wars, there are different scholarly opinions on which war constitutes the First Northern War. [2]


Depending upon what date is chosen for the starting point, the Northern Wars comprise:

See also


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Truce/Treaty of Vilna or Truce/Treaty of Niemieża was a treaty signed at Niemieża near Vilnius on 3 November 1656 between Tsardom of Russia and Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, introducing a truce during the Russo-Polish War (1654–67) and an anti-Swedish alliance in the contemporaneous Second Northern War. In return for ceasing hostilities and fighting Sweden alongside Poland–Lithuania, the treaty promised Alexis of Russia succession in Poland after John II Casimir Vasa's death. The cossacks under Bohdan Khmelnytsky were excluded from the negotiations, and subsequently supported the Transylvanian invasion on the Swedish side.

Robert I. Frost is a British historian and academic. His interests are in the history of Eastern and Northern Europe of 14th-19th centuries, with primary focus on Poland-Lithuania and the history of warfare of the period.

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Capitulation of Estonia and Livonia peace treaty

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The treaty of Vienna, concluded on 1 December 1656, was an Austro–Polish alliance during the Second Northern War. Habsburg emperor Ferdinand III agreed to enter the war on the anti-Swedish side and support the Polish king John II Casimir with 4,000 troops. The treaty was, however, dissatisfying for John II Casimir, who had hoped for more substantial aid, and further ineffective as Ferdinand III died three days after giving his signature. A similar, but more effective alliance was concluded by Ferdinand III's successor Leopold I in the Treaty of Vienna (1657).

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The Treaty of Vienna, concluded on 27 May 1657, was an Austro–Polish alliance during the Second Northern War. After Habsburg emperor Ferdinand III had agreed to

The Treaty of Kėdainiai or Kiejdany, signed on 17 August 1655, was a Swedish–Lithuanian agreement during the Second Northern War. After the Polish forces had been decisively defeated in the Battle of Ujście, whereupon the Poznań and Kalisz palatines surrendered to Sweden, Lithuanian hetman Janusz Radziwiłł decided to discontinue the war. In Kėdainiai, he accepted Swedish protection. The treaty further specified that the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was not dissolved and Lithuanian forces would not fight Polish forces, although the text of the treaty included protests against the lack of Polish support. On 20 October, the treaty was superseded by the Union of Kėdainiai, which united the Grand Duchy of Lithuania with the Swedish Empire.

The Battle of Koniecpol was an encounter in November 1708 during the Great Northern War. Near Koniecpol in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, pro-Swedish forces under Stanisław Leszczyński met with anti-Swedish forces of the Sandomierz Confederation, loyal to Augustus the Strong and allied with Russia. Both armies had a strength of about 10,000 men. Leszczyński was defeated, and thus unable to aid Charles XII of Sweden in his unfortunate Russian campaign.

The Treaty of Narva was concluded on 19 August (O.S.) / 30 August 1704 during the Great Northern War. The faction of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth loyal to Augustus the Strong joined the anti-Swedish alliance between the Saxon electorate and the Tsardom of Russia.

The Treaty of Warsaw was concluded on 18 November (O.S.) / 28 November 1705 during the Great Northern War. It was a peace treaty and an alliance between the Swedish Empire and the faction of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth loyal to Stanisław Leszczyński.

The Treaty or Peace of Pozvol, Pasvalys or Pozwol was a peace treaty and an alliance concluded on 5 and 14 September 1557 between the Livonian Confederation and the Polish-Lithuanian union, whereby the former put its territories under Polish-Lithuanian protection. The treaty was preceded by disputes between the members of the Livonian Confederation and military pressure by Sigismund II Augustus, king of Poland and Grand duke of Lithuania, and provoked Russian tsar Ivan IV "the Terrible" to start the Livonian War.

The civil war in Poland (1704–1706) was a part of a larger European conflict, the Great Northern War. It focused on the struggle for the Polish throne between King Stanisław I supported by his Warsaw Confederation and Sweden, and the Russian-backed Sandomierz Confederation of Augustus II the Strong. The war ended with Stanisław's victory and the Treaty of Altranstädt in 1706 in which August II renounced his claims to the Polish throne. Stanisław's triumph would be short-lived, however, as by 1709 he would be forced to give up the throne to Augustus II once again.


  1. Frost (2000), pp. 12–13
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Frost (2000), p. 13
  3. "Second Northern War". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 23 October 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2014.