Christian II.'s Expedition to Norway 1532

A.) Prehistory

In 1523 King Christian II. of Denmark was expelled from Denmark, while Sweden reestablished her independence. Søren Norby, King Christian's Captain on Gotland, held his position until 1525 when he even attempted to start a rebellion in Skåne (Scania), but failed. With him, Christian lost his last supporter of rank in the Kalmar Union kingdoms.
Christian II. went to the court of Charles V. and gained his favour. In 1531 he went to the Netherlands (King Christian II. had a Dutch mistress, the mother of which was one of his principle advisers) and prepared an expedition against Norway. Norway was the most neglected of Scandinavia's three kingdoms; while Denmark and Sweden had expelled King Christian, Norway had not formally revoked her loyalty to the king.

B.) The Expedition

A first expedition to Norway in October 1531 was foiled by a violent storm. In May 1532 King Christian II., with an armed force, landed in Norway, meeting little resistance. Soon most of the country was under his control. On July 1st, Christian II. surrendered to his uncle Frederik I. (Convention of Oslo). Later that year, trusting in safe passage granted to him by King Frederik I. of Denmark, King Christian II. travelled there, only to be arrested and incarcerated at Sønderborg Castle, later at Kalundborg Castle.

C.) The Legacy

King Frederik I. removed his rival without a sword being drawn; Danish rule in Norway would soon be restored, the Lutheran Reformation introduced in both countries (1536, 1537).
King Christian II.'s expedition had a side effect : the Netherlands depended on grain imports, the grain originating from Poland and being shipped through the Øresund (Sound), which again was controlled by Denmark. King Frederik I. interpreted Dutch support for King Christian II. as a hostile act, and, together with Lübeck, blocked the Sound for Dutch ships, causing a famine in the Netherlands.

King Frederik I., from Danish Kings
Christian II., from EB 1911, from Wikipedia
Norway's Kings, by Christine Juul

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on February 22nd 2004, last revised on November 17th 2004

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