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The Kalmar Union
Kalmar Union
or Union of Kalmaris (Danish, Norwegian and Swedish: Kalmarunionen; Latin: Unio Calmariensis) was a personal union that from 1397 to 1523[1] joined under a single monarch the three kingdoms of Denmark, Sweden
Sweden
(then including most of Finland's populated areas), and Norway, together with Norway's overseas dependencies (then including Iceland, Greenland,[N 1] the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
and the Northern Isles). The union was not quite continuous; there were several short interruptions. Legally the countries remained separate sovereign states, but with their domestic and foreign policies being directed by a common monarch. One main impetus for its formation was to block German expansion northward into the Baltic region. The main reason for its failure to survive was the perpetual struggle between the monarch, who wanted a strong unified state, and the Swedish and Danish nobility which did not.[2] Diverging interests (especially the Swedish nobility's dissatisfaction with the dominant role played by Denmark
Denmark
and Holstein) gave rise to a conflict that would hamper the union in several intervals from the 1430s until its definitive breakup in 1523
1523
when Gustav Vasa
Gustav Vasa
became king of Sweden.[3] Norway
Norway
continued to remain a part of the realm of Denmark–Norway under the Oldenburg dynasty for nearly three centuries until its dissolution in 1814. Then Union between Sweden
Sweden
and Norway
Norway
lasted until 1905, when a grandson of the incumbent king of Denmark
Denmark
was elected its king, whose direct descendants still reign in Norway.

Contents

1 Inception 2 Dissolution 3 See also 4 Notes 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External links

Inception[edit] The union was the work of Scandinavian aristocracy wishing to counter the influence of the Hanseatic League. Margaret (1353–1412), a daughter of King Valdemar IV of Denmark, married King Haakon VI of Norway
Norway
and Sweden, who was the son of King Magnus IV of Sweden, Norway and Scania. Margaret succeeded in having her son Olav recognized as heir to the throne of Denmark. In 1376 Olav inherited the crown of Denmark
Denmark
from his maternal grandfather as King Oluf III, with his mother as guardian; when Haakon VI died in 1380, Olaf also inherited the crown of Norway.[4] Margaret became regent of Denmark
Denmark
and Norway
Norway
when Olaf died in 1387, leaving her without an heir.[5] She adopted her great-nephew Erik the same year.[6] The following year, 1388, Swedish nobles called upon her help against King Albert of Mecklenburg.[7] After Margaret defeated Albert in 1389, her heir Erik was proclaimed King of Norway.[5] Erik was subsequently elected King of Denmark
Denmark
and Sweden
Sweden
in 1396.[5] Erik's coronation was held in Kalmar on 17 June 1397.[8] Dissolution[edit] The Union lost territory when the Northern Isles
Northern Isles
were pledged by Christian I in his capacity as King of Norway, as security against the payment of the dowry of his daughter Margaret, betrothed to James III of Scotland in 1468. However the money was never paid, and in 1472 the islands were annexed by the Kingdom of Scotland.[9] The Kalmar union was dissolved when Sweden
Sweden
rebelled and became independent on 6 June 1523.[8] One of the last structures of the Union, or, rather, medieval separateness, remained until 1536 when the Danish Privy Council, in the aftermath of a civil war, unilaterally declared Norway
Norway
to be a Danish province,[10] without consulting their Norwegian colleagues. Although the Norwegian council never recognized the declaration formally, and Norway
Norway
kept some separate institutions and its legal system,[10] this had the practical effect that the Norwegian possessions of Iceland, Greenland
Greenland
and the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
came under direct control of the crown. In principle this meant that the Norwegian crown, under the Danish union (the monarch lived in Denmark), was henceforth controlled from Denmark
Denmark
and not from Norway. And it had the effect that, while Norway
Norway
passed to Swedish rule in 1814 and became independent in 1905, these territories were retained by Denmark
Denmark
(up to the present, in the case of Greenland
Greenland
and the Faroe Islands). See also[edit]

List of Kalmar Union
Kalmar Union
monarchs Scandinavian royal lineage chart for the time around the founding of the Kalmar Union

Notes[edit]

^ Nominal possession, there was no European contact with the island during the Kalmar Union
Kalmar Union
period

References[edit]

^ Harald Gustafsson, "A State that Failed?" Scandinavian Journal of History (2006) 32#3 pp 205-220 ^ For a somewhat different view see Steinar Imsen, "The Union of Calmar: Northern Great Power or Northern German Outpost?" in Christopher Ocker, ed. Politics and Reformations: Communities, Polities, Nations, and Empires (BRILL, 2007) pp 471-72 ^ Michael Roberts, The Early Vasas. A History of Sweden
Sweden
1523–1611 (1968) ch 1 ^ Karlsson, Gunnar (2000). The History of Iceland. p. 102.  ^ a b c "Margaret I queen of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-06-05.  ^ "Erik VII king of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-06-05.  ^ " Sweden
Sweden
- Code of law history - geography". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-06-05.  ^ a b " Kalmar Union
Kalmar Union
Scandinavian history". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-06-05.  ^ Nicolson (1972) p. 45 ^ a b Nordstrom, Byron (2000). Scandinavia since 1500. University of Minnesota Press. p. 147. ISBN 0-8166-2098-9. 

Further reading[edit]

Gustafsson, Harald. "A State that Failed?" Scandinavian Journal of History (2006) 32#3 pp 205–220 online; general overview of the Union Helle, Knut, ed. The Cambridge History of Scandinavia, Volume 1: Prehistory to 1520 (2003) excerpt and text search Imsen, Steinar. "The Union of Calmar: Northern Great Power or Northern German Outpost?" in Christopher Ocker, ed. Politics and Reformations: Communities, Polities, Nations, and Empires (BRILL, 2007) pp 471–90 online Kirby, David. Northern Europe in the Early Modern Period. The Baltic World 1492–1772 (1990) Roberts, Michael. The Early Vasas: A History of Sweden
Sweden
1523–1611 (1968)

External links[edit]

The Kalmar Union
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Coordinates: 55°40′N 12°34′E / 55.667°N 12.567°E / 55

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