unmerged(81979)

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A modern misconception says, that this statue was made to commemorate the defeat of the Danish, so I thought it would be fun to have it the other way around... And yes, Memel is the cornerstone of any proper empire

RIGHT! :rofl: And, just ask Germany about Memel... :D
 

Salik

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Iregularity of updates are a hallmark of this AAR, so here's another one. It spans a lot of time, as I seem to forget to take notes when I'm just playing. Also, I do have pictures, but I'm not sure if I'll post them anymore. If you want them I can upload them without a problem.

Chapter X: Hans the Cruel
100px-Wappen_Pommern_svg.png

The coat of arms of the house of Pomerania​

After the coronation of Hans as king of Sweden on the 11th of April 1448, masses were held throughout the Union to celebrate the glorius victory against the Turks and the final reunion of the three kingdoms. With the victory in the war against Lithuania and the reconquest of Memmel, Hans was the king of all lands around the Baltic Sea not inhabited by Germans. The Swedish nobles expected Hans to rule according to the treaty of Kalmar, treating Sweden as a seperate country, but Hans claimed, that since the Swedish rigsråd had in fact broken the treaty by electing the pretender Karl Sture as king, they could not expect to be treated according to the it. So in May of that year, the Swedish rigsråd was disbanded and Sweden and Finland declared as seperate provinces of the kingdom of Denmark. As such, they were to be ruled according to Danish law. The Danish nobles were given large estates in the new provinces, and were chosen to represent Sweden and Finland in the Danish rigsråd. All official proclamations were made in Danish, and the celebration of Swedish feasts was outlawed. Anybody speaking Swedish in public was sent to the stocks. The names of cities were respelled to fit Danish tradition. This regime of terror caused the people of Finland and Sweden to rise in revolts several times, but as the countries were worn out by the wars of Einar Prinz, there was never any serious treaths to Hans’ hegemony. The common punishment of impaling any caught rebels and their families without trial also helped to keep the number of rebels low.

In 1450 Ulrika Eleonora died while giving birth to her only son, Christian, and Hans married a daughter of the king of Poland, securing the alliance against Lithuania. This young woman, Anna, was the stepdaughter of Hans’ sister, legally making her his niece. Although it was frowned upon by many, nobody spoke out loud against it, as Hans was by then the ruler of the largest military power in Northern Europe.
Christian was the one who would suffer most from the death of his mother. Hans saw Christian as the one who had taken away Ulrika Eleonora and treated him with nothing but scorn. His stepmother Anna seems to have accepted him but not wholeheartedly. At the age of seven he was sent to live in Stockholm with the nobleman and general Christoffer Rantzau, who was the commander of the royal armies in Sweden. Christian thus grew up in exile from his father in the middle of Rantzau’s regime of terror. His well known animosity towards his father would gain him huge popularity with the general population, even if his upbringing made him a broken man.

The years between 1448 and 1470 are known througout the union as the damned years. Hans centralized the government and promoted the establishment of larger farms in the countryside, laying the foundations of the depopulation of Östergötland, Västergötland and Fyn that would follow in the decades to come. Many farmers gave up and moved to the cities of Copenhagen and Lund to get by as best they could. The burghers were strengthened by the trade policies of the king, which allowed them to trade more freely with far away countries, but this new wealth only allowed the merchants to grow fat without letting anything trickle down to the peasants and the artisans of the cities, who felt that their goods were being competed out by the large imports. Furthermore, Hans imposed hard taxes on liqour, which enraged the general population. Homebrewing was outlawed, but became more popular than ever. The power of Hans, however, was stable and no serious resistance was given in Denmark or Norway to his reign of terror.

King Stanislovas of Lithuania rose to the throne in 1456, reestablishing his claim to the Danish throne, but was severely beaten in the wars of 1457 and 1467, when the provinces of Wenden and Pskov were conquered by the Danish armies. On the 14th of September, following the death of Odds son, duke Philip of Hamburg, Hans assumed the title of Duke for himself, making Hamburg a province under the Danish crown.
The effort to further centralize power in Copenhagen made a small group of Danish nobles in Finland reject Hans and elect a man named Henrik Thomsen king. Henrik Thomsen vowed to march on Stockholm and oust the new commandant Jens Scholten, but was beaten in the battle of Tammerkoski on the 13th of June 1469 and beheaded on the spot.

In October of 1470, the nobles behind the Thomsen rebellion were sentenced to death for treason. As noblemen they were entitled to be beheaded by sword, but the king stripped them of their titles and endowments and had their backs broken on a large stone in Stockholm. This stone can be seen to this day and is known as the “Traitor Stone”. Hans had travelled to Stockholm to witness the execution. He was 58 and to surpres any doubt that he was still vigourous, he stod with only a thin cape to cover from the fierce winds. Eight days later he died from pneumonia, and a month of national mourning was ordered. Secretly, however, the houses of farmers as well as of nobles were sounding with the whispered jubilations of the death of a tyrant and the sound of cups filled with ilegally homebrewed brændevin and mjød being used to toast to the new king, Christian I.
 
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Tjena Med Laxen

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That king... I want a swedish war for independence! :mad:
 

King_Richard_XI

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Yes, 22 years seems enough time for a map of your exploits!
 

stnylan

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Almost turned the Baltic into a proper Mare Nostrum.
 

Salik

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So Ulrika didn't help Hans to become a good ruler even after the marriage! That is the price of a broken heart :D BTW, how are the other countries doing?

I'll be making an update on Europe in general soon... And Hans was probably just a jerk from the start...

Almost turned the Baltic into a proper Mare Nostrum.

You mean the Danish sea?

Remember if you conquer Lübeck you will loose the sound toll. Its the last COT not owned by you in the entire Baltic. The bonus from taxing the traders is greater than havin a new non-core COT IMO.

And a nice almost historical empire :)

Pommerania also build one in Hinterpommern, so I will eventually take one of them and disband it to make Sjælland grow. Both of them are in HRE capitals, though
 

Salik

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Fact box: Europe at the ascension of Christian I


Before we turn to the war of independence, it would be fruitful to take a look at the larger states of Europe at the ascension of Christian I to the two thrones.

Southeast of the Union lay Lithuania and Poland. Though the two nations had long been allies, in 1470 they were bitter enemies. They had fought together against Vilhelm in the Vladislovian war of succession, when Memmel was first lost, and later against Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and the Golden Horde. Lithuania had large succes in these wars, expanding to the Black Sea, while Poland had expanded into Hungary. The Polish gains, however, had been lost to internal strife and nationalism. Twice, Ukranian princes proclaimed an independent nation, and one of them, Ivan, controled most of Poland at one point, before he was defeated and his kingdom brought back into Polish sovereignty. Since the 1450’ies, Poland had alligned itself with Denmark through marriage and pacts of mutual military assistance, despite Polish claims on Danzig. These pacts had never been honoured, though. Still, Christian saw the Polish as a powerful ally. King Stanislovas of Lithuania had great plans for a Baltic Empire, which was cut short by Hans’ reconquest of Memmel. For this loss, he was eager for revenge.

To the far East, the kingdom of Muscovy and the republic of Novgorod were fierce enemies, but equally strong. Novgorod had been an ally of Denmark durring the reigns of Erik and Frederik, but had later sided with the pretender Karl Sture, and was now an enemy of the Danish kings. Still, Danish traders flourished in Novgorod. Novgorod had no real allies, as it had estranged itself from all its neighbours through embargoes and futile wars. Muscovy was eager to take advantage of this weakness, but suffered from bad kings and bad alliances. In 1470, Muscovy was part of the tripple alliance with Poland and Denmark, mainly aimed against Lithuanian aggression.

To the South, Hungary was an old ally of the Union. Though it had seemed weak at a time, when all of its Northern provinces were lost to Poland, Hungary was by 1470 a Balkan powerhouse, ruling over the entire Adriatic coastline, but cut in half by the two minor kingdoms of Bosnia and Serbia. In the 60’ies, durring the confusion of a Ukrainian breakaway, Hungary even managed to regain its lost Northern provinces and expand into Poland. To its East, however, the great Muslim Ottoman Empire was gaining strenght against an East Roman Empire torn by constant civil war and breakaway states. The Ottoman Empire was a constant enemy of the Hungarian, Polish and Lithuanian princes, but was treathened from the South by the Mamluks who had monoplized the entire Middle Eastern trade through the city of Aleppo.

To the West, king Charles of France had been Holy Roman Emperor for decades. Except for Brittany, which was on English hands, Charles had managed to gather all the small duchies of France under his crown, and expanded his rule to the Southern part of Ireland.
The English held the other part of that island, along with the entirity of England and Scotland. The only other part of the British Isles not under English rule was the Orkney Islands, which had a populations of Norse migrants and were lands of the Norwegian crown.

On the Iberian Peninsula, Castille ruled all except two Western provinces belonging to the king of Portugal, but separated from each other, and the coast of Barcelona, which belonged to the king of Aragon, along with the Baleares. The Castilians had even expanded South into Northern Africa, where they held most of what had previously been the kingdom of Morocco. This kingdom had now moved East, on the cost of the kingdom of Algiers.

In Germany the many small princes were quarreling and fighting amongst each other. As usual.
 
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Salik

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Chapter XI: The Independence War
100px-Wappen_Pommern_svg.png

The coat of arms of the house of Pomerania​

In 1470, when Christian I rose to the two thrones, he was 20 years old. His father Hans had led a regime of terror, which had nonetheless been succesful in conquering new lands for the Union. Because of this success, many people had an axe to grind with the Danish. This, however did not worry the young king too much. Christian was the son of Ulrika Eleonora, the daughter of the pretender Karl Sture, and had grown up in Sweden himself. Although he was under the influence of Christoffer Rantzau, Christian seems to have been sympathetic towards the Swedes. On the 5th of June 1471, the 50th anniversary of his uncle Vilhelms first succesful war on his grandfather Karl Sture, Christian announced that the bans on Swedish customs and language were lifted, and that Swedes and Danes were to be seen as one people with the freedom to speak and act as they pleased. It was around the same time that Christian decided to let new ideas flourish in the realm. Christian was well on his way to becoming a king remembered as emancipator of the oppressed when the country was drawn into the great Independence War.

What is now known as the Independence War was in fact several wars that occured around the same time. The first of these may have sparked the other two, but each war was in fact a conflict of its own, each with its own causes and with very different outcomes. Furthermore, apart from small skirmishes in the Baltic region and in Jutland late in the war, and of course the occupations of Orkney and Iceland, no foreign troops ever set foot on Scandinavian soil durring the war. However, the perception of the one great struggle for independence is so well established that we shall stick to the conventions, even where they are wrong.

The trade in Lübeck and Hinterpommern had been a constant nuisance to the Danish crown for years, drawing away traders from Sjælland, and Hans had waited for years to be able to put the Germans back where they belonged. However, an opportune moment had never arisen. As Charles of France was Holy Roman Emperor, a war on any memberstate would be a serious undertaking, and would need full support from the nobles and the common people, and problems with trade was not enough to gain this support. But when Christian inherrited the title of Duke of Hamburg along with the crowns of Denmark-Sweden and Norway, the Archbishop of Bremen claimed that no sovereign should command a free archbishop of the Empire, and that he was the rightful owner of that land which had been occupied by the vile king Hans. Vilhelm would propably have worked a way around this great insult, gaining from the situation, and Hans would have taken his anger out on his Eastern neighbours in order to show the Archbishop the power of the Union King without risking war with France, but Christian was neither of these. Given a chance to declare war on an ally of Lübeck, and very insulted by the remarks of the Archbishop about his royal dignity, Christian declared war in the 18th of April 1473. Some have suggested that he had been fed to many stories about Vilhelms war on the emperor Johann of Cleves, without realizing that Charles was a much more formidable enemy.
Neither Hungary nor Poland had any desire to fight the Emperor, so Christian quickly found himself alone with his vassal Münster in war against most of the Holy Roman Empire. The first stages of the war went well with Danish troops occupying Bremen and placing a duke on the throne in much the same fascion as Vilhelm had done in Hamburg, before moving on to Lübeck. It was at that time that the French forces reached Münster which was already being sieged by Brunswickian armies. The king of Spain then used his cloes ties to the papal curria to have Christian excommunicated on the grounds of attacking an Archbishop.

It was then that king Stanislovas of Lithuania once again sought to regain some prestige for his kingdom, and launched an attack on Memmel. The Danish forces in Kurland moved in to siege the capital at Vilna, but the siege was broken, and the main fled to Wenden, were they were intercepted and surrendered their arms. The remaining forces fled to the monastic state of Riga, which was friendly towards Christian. Meanwhile, other Lithuanian forces were moving in on the Baltic possessions.
Charles had appointed the king of Würzburg chief negotiator for his alliance, and Christian decided to launch a desperate attack on the capital of Würzburg to enforce a quick peace, but was repelled. In the spring of 1474 a minor victory was won, as Lübeck and Mecklenburg both fell and king Johann V acknowledged Christian as his overlord, but this was soon overshadowed as the king of England sent his troops from Scotland into the Orkney Islands. The three front war was now a fact, and the people sensed that the survival of the Union was at stake. Although Christian was not without responsibility for the war, the people rallied around him in the face of an outside enemy.

With his armies decimated and stranded in the neutral kingdom of Brandenburg, Christian decided to give up the northernmost province of Münster to the king of Brunswick in exchange for peace with the empire. This peace, the first defeat for the Danish in decades, was signed in December of 1474, and left a black mark on the prestige of Christian, who had been unable to defend his vassal.

This was of minor concern, though, as Lithuanian armies were rampant in the Baltic and an English fleet set sail for Iceland. Christian ordered new regiments to be raised in Sweden, and sent the large garrison of Stockholm westward. A new alliance was forged with Poland, and the troops in Brandenburg were allow passage to Danzig, where they would reinforce before going to Lithuania. For now, Christian expected England to be the minor threath of the two remaining enemies, so more most of the newly recruited regiments were sent to fight in Lithuania, where they managed to break the siege of Pskov in the Spring of 1475. Throughout the year, the armies fought over the Baltic region, the Danish forces slowly gaining the upper hand. By October all Lithuanian forces were out of the Danish Baltic possessions, and the general Kurt Akeleye was sieging Vilna with 5000 men.
But the English quickly showed, that they were not to be underestimated. In April of 1475, an English fleet landed an army on Gotland. The Danish fleet was inferior to the Royal Navy, and fled to Ösel. Soon, however, the Royal Navy left the Baltic Region again to prevent a Norwegian fleet from reaching the Orkneys, and the Danish fleet could once again set sail, eliminating the British transport ships that kept sending reinforcements. The siege of Gotland was lifted, only to be replaced by another one in Danzig when a small fleet of transports managed to get througg before the Danish fleet could move from Gotland. Throughout the Winter, the English troops froze to death in the harsh Baltic weather, while the main Danish armies retreated to coast, leaving only small contingents sieging the Lithuanian strongholds in the cold inland.

With Spring came the first direct threath to Scandinavia, as the English launched a Spring offensive on Jutland. In March 1476 5000 English soldiers landed in Slesvig. Christian sent orders for the army in Lithuania to hurry the sieges, and simultaneous assaults on four castles were commenced. Three of the four succeeded, including the siege of Vilna, and Stanislovas was forced to give up Samogitia for peace in August of 1476.
The armies then marched along the Baltic coast, lifting the siege of Danzig and arriving to defeat the English at Slesvig. The haste of the armies took the English by surprise as they had not expected to see any Danish troops so soon. With its transporting capacity heavily decimated, the Royal Navy could not land enough troops to defeat the Danish armies in Jutland, and though several landings where made both in Sweden and on Fyn, the English did not have the manpower to win a decisive victory. In August of 1477, an attack was launched on Copenhagen, but as the Royal Navy was busy in the North Atlantic, the Danish fleet easilly defeated the transport ships, while the army quickly crossed to Sjælland and defeated the 7000 Englishmen, who, having way to escape, were all captured. In November of that same year, a peace was signed, the English receiving a token indemnity of 25 ducats.

With peace regained after more than four years of war, and with a minor victory, Christian would have to show the world what kind of king he was. And with the lacking upbringing he had, it was not at all certain that it would be a good one.
 
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Salik

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Chapter XII: A troubled peace
100px-Wappen_Pommern_svg.png

The coat of arms of the house of Pomerania​

When peace was signed with England in 1477, the entire Union rejoiced. After four years of war and several assaults on the Danish mainland, peace and prosperity would once again rule, as it had before the rule of Hans. Much faith was put on Christian to right the wrongs that had been committed against the people by his father. This faith was spured by the acceptance of Swedish culture and the new, more openminded approach to new ideas and fascions, that had been the major policies of Christians first years as a regent.
The war, however, had put a serious strain on the royal authority and prestige. With the surrender of Münster, the vassal dukes of Bremen and Mecklenburg feared, that their lands might also be used as a ransom for the Danish crown, and in most of Europe, the excommunicated king of Denmark-Sweden and Norway was seen as weak compared to his father and uncle. Meanwhile, Norwegian nobles were angry that the king spent most of his time reorganizing the joint kingdom of Denmark-Sweden rather than tending to his Norwegian possessions. Though Christian had fought a war against the English over Orkney, he had in fact proven himself to be uncapable of protecting the islands. With the royal fleet no match against the English, another war in the West could well lead to the loss of Orkney and possibly Iceland.

Had Christian been a better ruler, this would have been only minor difficulties. But he was not. His poor upbringing had left its mark on his ability to rule. He had little understanding of how the lifes of ordinary people were led, and was thus unable to understand how his kingdom as a whole worked. This poor government led to severe losses for the royal treasury, losses which Christian tried to regain by minting. This minting, however, caused severe inflation, and by 1479, Christian was forced to install a complete new system of coinage in order to get the inflation under control. The annulment of royaly issued coins was a severe blow to Christians already tarnished prestige abroad.

But other problems were imminent as well. In Halland, a heretic movement spread like wildfire. The followers of this movement, who called themselves Socirians, refused the holy trinity, and the belief that Christ was divine. They claimed that he was nothing but a mortal man, who had a divine inspiration. Although Christian was excommunicated, he was no less a devout Catholic. He outlawed the beliefs of the Socirians, which caused a revolt to break out amongst the peasants in Halland. This rebellion was quickly broken down, but others soon emerged all over Sweden. In 1480, the Nobles of Slesvig even rose in open revolt under the leadership of one Oluf Piil. Though none of the revolts, not even the nobles in Slesvig, possed any serious treath to the integrity of Denmark-Sweden or its Baltic possessions, they were still cause of disturbance and unrest that was not very welcome with all of the other problems that burdened the king.

In an attempt to further the prestige of the realm, the Greenland expedition of Oluf Schlentz, which will be dealth with in greater detail later, was launched in 1481, but more pressing matters would soon take the attention of the king, as the tripple alliance of Denmark, Muscovy and Poland would face several enemies in the second great war of Christians reign.
 
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Salik

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My, that seems like a dangerous alliance... :eek: :D

Well... it's more dangerous to be in than out, both are incredibly weak, but also incredibly agressive

Yea - But as long as your'e a part of it all should be fine. Norway is Danish!

We'll see about that... and no, Norway is still just in a PU