Denmark 1525-1660 Sweden, 1523-1560.




War over the Danish Throne, 1534-1536



A.) Prehistory of the War

In 1523, King Christian II. lost both his Swedish and Danish kingdoms. While in Sweden King Gustavus I. Vasa established a strong monarchy (1521-1523) and a Lutheran state church (1527), in Denmark the new king, Frederick I. (1523-1533) found himself in a much less secure position; the Lutheran Reformation made progress, but no decision was made, and ousted King Christian II. made preparations to return. When King Frederick I. died in 1533, the question of his succession was open - Denmark was an elective monarchy. There were three candidates, Frederick's son Christian (of Holstein); (ex-) King Christian II., who had been forced to abdicate in 1523, and Count Christian of Oldenburg, the latter supported by the city of Lübeck. King Christian II. was supported by the cities of Amsterdam and Danzig (his wife was the daughter of an Amsterdam regent).



B.) The War

Lübeck intended to have the Dutch merchants barred from traf\ding in the Baltic Sea; this ran counter to Swedish interests, so Sweden chose to both support Christian of Oldenburg and fight the city of Lübeck. A Danish-Swedish fleet defeated the Lübeck fleet in a naval battle June 9th 1535. The party supporting Christian of Oldenburg prevailed, and he was crowned King Christian III.; the loser of the war was the city of Lübeck, for she not only failed in her aspiration to exclude competition from the Baltic Sea trade, but also saw the Swedish debt to Lübeck declared as 'settled'.


C.) The Legacy

In Denmark, the Oldenburg Dynasty was established, which still holds the Danish crown today. The Lutheran Reformation was introduced in Denmark and Norway. The power of Lübeck was broken; she was no longer able to exert dominating influence on trade policy and on political events in the Scandinavian kingdoms; Denmark and Sweden instead rose to become the dominating powers in the region.




EXTERNAL
FILES
Controversy of the Count (Grevefejden), from Many Swedish Wars, by Hans Högman
Grevefejden, from Skånelands Historia, in Swedish (Danish also available); from Svea Rike, in Swedish
Kong Christian III.'s Historie, from Olifanten, in Danish
Grevens Fejde, from Gladsaxegymnasium, in Danish, by Jakob Østergaard, in Danish
Krig med Lübeck og Grevens Fejde, 1534-1536, from Dansk Militær Historie, in Danish, scroll down; has military details
DOCUMENTS Poul Helgesen: Formaning om enighed i landet under "Grevens fejde" (1534) (P.H., A Call for the Country's Unity during the Grevefejden), from Skræp, in Danish
REFERENCE



This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on May 31st 2003, last revised on November 17th 2004

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