Thirty Years' War and Norway

Thirty Years' War and Norway

The Thirty Years' War was a large conflict in early modern European history. The Thirty Years' War consisted of a series of declared and undeclared wars based on religious and economic objectives which raged through the years 1618-1648 throughout central and northern Europe. During the long course of the Thirty Years' War the Habsburgs were opposed by the Danish, Dutch and, most notably, France and Sweden.

Denmark-Norway actively participated in the Thirty Year War between 1625 and 1630. The French, English and Dutch had formed a league to oppose the Habsburgs. Because the Empire had attacked Danish possessions on the Baltic and in northern Germany, the league found their champion in Christian IV of Denmark. Christian invaded, but was crushingly defeated by the army of the Catholic League and the Imperial force under Wallenstein.

Concerned by growing Habsburg power along the Baltic, Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden then invaded northern Germany. When the Imperial forces moved against Saxony, John George I, Elector of Saxony threw in his lot with the Swedes. The Swedish army met the Imperials at Breitenfeld near Leipzig and annihilated them.

Despite subsequent difficulties and defeats, including the death of Gustavus Adolphus, the Swedes managed to hold their own during the remaining years of the wars, building a substantial military capability. In 1643, in the face of Danish refusal to lift the “Sound dues,” Sweden found the strength to prosecute a successful war against Denmark, attacking Denmark in both Skåne and Schleswig-Holstein. Swedish troops overran both Skåne and Jutland. Although there was some success in counterattacks in Norway, by 1644, Denmark was defeated and sued for peace. In the Peace of Brömsebro, negotiated in 1645, Sweden was exempted from the “Sound dues,” and Denmark ceded the Norwegian provinces of Jämtland and Härjedalen. Further, Sweden was to occupy the Danish province of Halland for 30 years as a guarantee of these provisions.

See also

*Thirty Years' War


* "History of the Norwegian People", by Knut Gjerset, The MacMillan Company, 1915, Volume II
* "Nordens Historie", ved Hiels Bache, Forslagsbureauet i Kjøbenhavn, 1884.
* "Sweden and the Baltic, 1523 - 1721", by Andrina Stiles, Hodder & Stoughton, 1992 ISBN 0-340-54644-1
* "The Struggle for Supremacy in the Baltic: 1600-1725", by Jill Lisk; Funk & Wagnalls, New York, 1967
* "The Northern Wars", 1558-1721 by Robert I. Frost; Longman, Harlow, England; 2000 ISBN 0-582-06429-5

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