Northern Star, a timeline with a united Scandinavia

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Oddball, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. Oddball realy unknown

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Norway, western parts
    Well, since I managed to make an ass of myself yesterday in one of those unfortunate Middle East threads, I thought I should try to make amends by posting what I have written so far on my TL. As those interested will see below, I have not gotten farther than the initial POP, but I will get there. I have several ideas were to head, but my writing does hamper me…
    First of all I must state a few warnings to those of you that bother with my timeline. I will do so by quoting two members of this site:

    I will also refer to another member, Leej, and his concept of “Convergent AH.” My TL will probably partially fall under this category, but I do not agree that this makes it ASB.

    Second, I hope I will get some feedback about possible butterfly effect in the rest of Europe, as my focus mainly is Scandinavia.
    At last I must also warn you that I am slow, very slow (I have been a member for almost 2 years, and this is my first timeline!). So don’t expect regular updates.
     
  2. Oddball realy unknown

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Norway, western parts
    Our timeline

    In 1376 Olav Haakonsson, the son of the Norwegian King Haakon VI and Queen Margrethe, was elected as the new King of Denmark. At this point Olav was 6 years old, and his mother was appointed as his guardian. His royal name in Denmark was Olaf III.

    Then in 1380 King Haakon VI died, and as Norway was a hereditary monarchy, Olav at that point also became the Norwegian king Olav IV.
    Thus the personal union of Denmark-Norway was a fact. It was however his mother Margrethe that was his protector and the one that made the decisions.

    The first thing Margrethe did was to regain Scania with its fiefs and market, which previously had been pawned to the Hanseatic League. This was done in 1385. She also started an aggressive campaign to buy back all the other Danish fiefs that were pawned, something that she more or less had accomplished at her death in 1412.

    The second issue she tried to solve was the question about the Duchy of Slesvig. At the time Margrethe came to power, Slesvig was under heavy German influence. The wealthy aristocracy of Slesvig had economical interests both in Slesvig and Holstein. And the ruling Schauenburg family in Holstein had plans of also gaining Slesvig either as a part of the Duchy of Holstein or as a separate hereditary duchy. Margrethe on the other hand sought to abolish Slesvig as a duchy, and again make it an ordinary province of Denmark like it had been during the early middle age. In 1386 she had to make a compromise. Slesvig was formally given to Schauenburg family as a hereditary fief. Thus it were established that Slesvig were a Danish fief and not a Holstein fief, but at the same time the duke of Holstein remained in power.

    The third issue Margrethe pursued was her son’s claim on the throne of Sweden. The Swedes had in 1364 elected Albrekt of Mecklenburg after a revolt against Haakon VI and his father. Albrekt’s election was highly disputed and unpopular in Sweden, and in 1386 revolts started to flare.
    At this point disaster struck. 3. August 1387 Margrethe’s son, King of Denmark, King of Norway and claimholder to the Swedish throne, Olav IV died.

    But Margrethe did not waver. Merely a week after her son’s death (and before the funeral ceremony!), she managed to be proclaimed regent of Denmark. The year after she did the same in Norway, a nation that was supposed to be hereditary! Margrethe the continued the pursuit after the claim to Sweden, and in 1397 she had her nephew Erik of Pomerania crowned as King of Denmark, Sweden & Norway in the same ceremony in Kalmar, Sweden. Thus the Kalmar Union was created, and with it a Letter of Coronation were adopted that ensured Margrethe’s strive for “regime regale.”

    But the coronation of Erik did not imply that he ruled the Union. As long as Margrethe lived, he was merely a Crown Prince with the name of a king. Over the course of her reign Denmark, Norway and later Sweden were all three brought under the firm control of the ruling monarch. The succession were secured, the aristocracy lost power, the base income increased, ecclesiastical positions were appointed by the crown, new laws were enforced and foreign policy came from the royal court.

    Queen Margrethe passed away 12.October 1412, 59 years old. Sadly, her great skills in statesmanship were not to again be seen in the following line of union or Danish-Norwegian kings.

    europe_1400.jpg
     
  3. Oddball realy unknown

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Norway, western parts
    POD

    So what if Olav IV had lived to old age continuing in his mother’s tradition and even established a vibrant royal line?

    Olav died at an age of 17 in 1387. We know little about him (or at least I have been unable to find much), but when he died his position was remarkable. He is said to be nobler than any living king at the time. This was because he from both his mother and father descended from ancient kings. Besides this, we must look to his mother to be able to get a glimpse of what Olav IV could have become had he lived to old age.

    Margrethe I Queen of Denmark and Norway, Regent of Sweden (1353 – 28 October 1412) was born in Vordingborg Castle, the daughter of Valdemar IV of Denmark and Helvig of Southern Jutland. She married, at the age of ten, King Haakon VI of Norway, who was the younger and only surviving son to Magnus VII of Norway, Magnus II of Sweden. Her first act after her father's death in (1375) was to procure the election of her infant son Olav as king of Denmark, despite the claims of the husband of her elder sister and her son (the husband was duke Henry of Mecklenburg).

    Queen Margrethe is in most historical references described in very positive phrases. From her first moment in “office” she tried to strengthen the royal influence and likewise curb the influence of others on the crown. When she was so successful it is partial because of the general development in this part of history, but also because of her excellent capabilities:

    She had the will to pursue long-term goals, but also the wisdom and restrain in the way she executed her plans. Margrethe was much like Bismarck in his understanding of politics as the art of the possible. She took one step at the time and rarely put all efforts into just one plan or course of action. In addition she had the capability of gaining people for her cause.

    Margrethe had realistic goals. With the Kalmar Union the largest state in area in Europe was created, but in population and resources it was not comparable to states like Germany, England, France or even Poland-Lithuania. The Queen never let herself get involved in the alliances of the Hundred Years War or in resurrection of Denmark’s Baltic Sea Empire.
     
  4. Oddball realy unknown

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Norway, western parts
    First of all I need a little help:

    Who should I marry Olav away too?

    Historicaly Margaret choce a english princess for her heir. She also tried to marry into the HRE.

    Im tempted to marry him with a Swedish noble family, but Im unsure.

    Most off all a Novgorian family would suit my plans, but they were both orthodox and republican, so Im unsure about that...
     
  5. AuroraBorealis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005

    while a foreign marriage may have its appeal... I think the Swedish noble family is your best bet....to try and strengthen ties and support within that part of the realm.....

    btw... I wait with bated breath to hear more...as KU is a favourite of mine and one of the best opportunities, if not lost, to move at least in the direction of a united kingdom.

    Tough that Erik was such a hothead and had no legitimate heirs. Olav surviving though isalso an excellent POD if he shares his mother's skills and demeanor for the most part.
     
  6. Oddball realy unknown

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Norway, western parts
    Yepp, Iv decided to go with a Swedish bride. My plan is to have the KU staying out of continental matters for a while anywhay...

    And the choice have fallen on Margareta Karlsdotter Sparre of Tofta, daughter of Karl Ulfsson Sparre of Tofta, a leading member of the Swedish Privy council (this will nicely destroy many OTL "rebellious" leaders :p :D )

    Ill probably try to have the first real part of this TL online before the end of next week
     
  7. AuroraBorealis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    An excellent choice, but is she actually available at this point....
    It's going to change the dynastic lineages somewhat with in Sweden...
     
  8. Oddball realy unknown

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Norway, western parts
    Yes she is available...:D

    Born in 1381 and OTL did not marry before 1408
     
  9. arctic warrior Scandinavian die-hard

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Red.
    Like your appetizer for the TL.
    I would have suggested a Polish bride, but that would draw the KU into European matters early on. I find your choice of a Swedish bride good as it will, hopefully, strenghten the Union of Denmark and Sweden. The Novgorod choice is also tempting in regards to later events, but so I figure could Poland be.
    Go on. Looking forward to the first installment.

    Regards
    Arctic Warrior
     
  10. Mr.Bluenote Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Location:
    Ringsted, Denmark
    Ah, it's good to finally see this one emerge from your creative hideaways, Red! :)

    As said before, I do like it - the premise is sound and the period damned interesting!

    The language and phrasing is good too btw!

    And yup, go with a Swedish bride. For the Union to work those damn Swedes has to be brought aboard, unless of course we can ship them all off to Greenland or some such! :D

    I'm looking forward to see where this PoD will take us!

    So, get writing!!! :)

    My regards!

    - Hr. Blåtone.
     
  11. Redbeard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Location:
    Copenhagen , Denmark
    Excellent - can't wait to see more!

    I think the Swedish bride is a good choice. If the ATL shall have long lasting consequences you need an early consolidation. But the Swedish nobles will not be the only opposition, just see what happened to Christian II, his slayers were not the Swedish nobles but the Danish ditto.

    The growing class of merchants and citizens might soon provide some interesting opportunities for alliances between the Royal power and that of money (citizens) against Nobility. I think the Danish Civil war in early 16th century held an opportunity for this, but was ill pursuited by Christian II.

    Regards

    Steffen Redbeard
     
  12. Mr.Bluenote Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Location:
    Ringsted, Denmark
    What do you say, Steffen, do you think we have to whip him to get writing? :)

    Regards and all that!

    - Bluenote the Impatient.
     
  13. Oddball realy unknown

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Norway, western parts
    For christ's sake! Look how long it took me to post the prelude, imagine how long before a real contribution... :eek: :D

    Anyhow, I just got home from my summer holliday and like I said somwere up there, Im aiming for the first smal installment towards the end of the week/weekend :)
     
  14. Oddball realy unknown

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Norway, western parts
    First act

    Okay people, be nice :)

    1388:
    In March an agreement between Queen Margrethe I and various Swedish noblemen is reached. According to “the Treaty of Dalaborg,” the heirs of Bo Jonsson is obliged to take King Olav IV as king of Sweden, and not make any kind of separate peace with king Albrecht. Queen Margrethe I on the other hand have to accept only Swedish dignitaries in Swedish fiefs and King Olav IV is to marry a suitable Swedish noblewoman.

    1389:
    In February the forces of Queen Margrethe I and King Albrecht meets Västergötland. Albrecht personally leads his forces of 1 000 battle hardened German mercenaries against a Swedish-Danish force of 1 500 men. “The battle of Axvall ” ends with a decisive defeat for king Albrecht, and both he and his son are captured and imprisoned at Bohus Castle.

    With Albrecht imprisoned, his support falters throughout Sweden, and fief after fief changes side and joins Queen Margrethe I. When October comes, she is in control of all off Sweden except Stockholm and the island of Gotland.

    In late October the betrothal of Margareta Karlsdotter to King Olav IV is announced. She is the daughter of Karl Ulfsson Sparre of Tofta, a prominent member of the Swedish Privy Council. The future Queen (at the time aged 8) is left in the responsibility of Queen Margrethe I.

    1390-93:
    Even tough in captivity at Bohus castle with his son, Albrecht will not concede his title. Consequently his allies in the Duchy of Mecklenburg are preparing to continue the war. A companionship of Baltic Sea pirates is hired to fight Albrecht’s cause. At first the Victual Brothers launches a campaign of piracy and costal cities are raided throughout King Olav IV’s realm. The besieged city of Stockholm is supplied from the sea and the island of Gotland is turned into a stronghold for the Victual Brothers. All this is done in the name of Albrecht.

    The Hanseatic League is split about the issue, but most cities outside of Mecklenburg favours peace. Lübeck supports Queen Margrethe I.

    Queen Margrethe I try to charter ships from the English and the Dutch to fight the Victual Brothers. But they, just as the Hanseatic League, demands trade privileges as a compensation for their support. Queen Margrethe I refuses to grant such privilege, and King Olav IV comes to realize the importance of a national controlled merchant fleet combined with a navy. The Scandinavian suppliers enjoy a period of prosperity as traders from several nations compete over the trade. The Victual Brothers continues their regime of terror.

    Over time, the Victual Brothers becomes less selective on whom they attack, and soon all maritime trade in the Baltic becomes prey to their activities. This leads to the Hanseatic League to turn against them.

    1394:
    Eager to end the exhausting stalemate in the Baltic, the Hanseatic League comes forward with a wish for a compromise. At the castle of Bohus, Albrecht who have had enough of his captivity and Queen Margrethe I who have come to the conclusion that prolonged imprisonment will get her nowhere, agrees.

    In February the Treaty of Bohus is signed, and Albrecht is released for a hefty ransom. As a guarantee for the ransom, the Hanseatic League is left in control of Stockholm. If Albrecht cannot pay within two years, Stockholm will be surrendered to King Olav IV. Albrecht does not waver his title, but retreats anyhow to Mecklenburg. Ignoring this fact, the Swedish Privy council acknowledges the Treaty of Dalaborg, making King Olav IV de facto king of Sweden. Also the question regarding trade privileges is resolved. The Hanseatic League finally retains their old exclusive trade privileges, but an important exception is the right for local merchants to compete. The League is not pleased, but the deal at least shuts out the English and Dutch merchants and local competition at this time is more or less negligible.

    With the ending of hostilities, the Victual Brothers becomes open prey to everyone. In August an army from the Teutonic Knights lands at Gotland and evicts the pirates from the island. They do not leave. Even tough the coherence of the brotherhood after this is broken, piracy will continue to threat maritime trade in the Baltic for years.

    1395:
    In June “the Uppsala Wedding” takes place. As Margareta Karlsdotter turns 14, the wedding with King Olav IV takes place. The wedding is held in Uppsala, the city where Sweden’s archbishop is located. The wedding is held with the presence of nobility from all the three kingdoms.

    Later this year King Olav IV institutes a new maritime law called “the New Leidang.” Depending on its size all trading cities has to equip and maintain a number of ships. In peacetime they should be deployed as merchant vessels, but in wartime they are to be at the kings disposal. Failure to follow this law will result in a loss of trading rights. This actually forces the Hanseatic League to support the cities in following the law, or else the city will not be eligible for trading.

    The king also establishes his own private trading company. Two ships are acquired and will serve like the Leidang ships.

    1396:
    In February the time limit for Albrecht’s ransom is reached. He is unable to comply and King Olav IV quickly demands the control of Stockholm. Initially the Hanseatic League tries to tie this to changes in the trading privilege. But King Olav IV does not budge. By referring to the Treaty of Bohus and threatening to ask the Holy Roman Emperor for meditation, the Hanseatic League reluctantly yields the city in late May.

    Even tough King Olav IV already have achieved the status as de facto king in all the three kingdoms, a formal coronation have yet not taken place. With the last missing piece of land (besides Gotland) now secured, the time has come.
     
  15. arctic warrior Scandinavian die-hard

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Nice first installment. So Margrethe I is still holding the reins, but letting Olav into the light. Quite wisely so that he doesn't turn out a hot-head. Any heir soon?
     
  16. Swede Tech-priest

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Location:
    Övra Tör, Södermanland, Sviþjod
    That'd be Bo Jonsson Grip, right?
     
  17. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Location:
    The Chaos TL
    Only 1000 / 1500 men respectively? That's not really a big army...
     
  18. Oddball realy unknown

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Norway, western parts
    Yepp it would
     
  19. Oddball realy unknown

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Norway, western parts
    No, but this is late 14th century and scandinavia was neither populous nor rich.

    Anyhow its a clean copy of OTL battle of Åsle. I just changed the location for some flavour :)
     
  20. AuroraBorealis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    okay you got my support....
    liking this TL alot....
    Now for Margareta and Olav to get on with more practical family matters...