Why didn't the Russians conquer Scandinavia after winning the Great Northern War?

What the title says. By Scandinavia, I mean Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and their colonies, mainly Greenland. Certainly the Russians did grab Finland but I want to know about the rest of Scandinavia.
 
What the title says. By Scandinavia, I mean Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and their colonies, mainly Greenland. Certainly the Russians did grab Finland but I want to know about the rest of Scandinavia.
Finland was grabbed during the Napoleonic Wars, not after the Great Northern War.

Why didn't Russia conquer Scandinavia?

Because it wasn't a war goal of Russia in the first place. The goal was a window to the Baltic, which it got by getting the Baltic possessions of Sweden.
 
Finland was grabbed during the Napoleonic Wars, not after the Great Northern War.

Why didn't Russia conquer Scandinavia?

Because it wasn't a war goal of Russia in the first place. The goal was a window to the Baltic, which it got by getting the Baltic possessions of Sweden.
My question is more along the lines of why, after defeating Sweden, didn't the Russians decide to conquer the rest of Scandinavia, not necessarily immediately but at least in the next century or so. They were militarily weak afterwards (though I'm most likely wrong here or at least overstating this) and the Russians would go on to annex Kazakhstan and Central Asia and even momentarily hold Alaska, not to mention Poland too. It simply seems weird to me that the Russians never decided to swallow the rest of Scandinavia when it is right there next to them and they conquered bigger territories with bigger populations in the next century and a half.
 
My question is more along the lines of why, after defeating Sweden, didn't the Russians decide to conquer the rest of Scandinavia, not necessarily immediately but at least in the next century or so. They were militarily weak afterwards (though I'm most likely wrong here or at least overstating this) and the Russians would go on to annex Kazakhstan and Central Asia and even momentarily hold Alaska, not to mention Poland too. It simply seems weird to me that the Russians never decided to swallow the rest of Scandinavia when it is right there next to them and they conquered bigger territories with bigger populations in the next century and a half.
Two reasons. First, while significantly weakened Sweden was still capable of putting up a stout defense against the Russians, particularly at sea in the Baltics. Conquering Sweden would've been a pain in the ass.

Which means that the second reason kicks in, which is that conquering Sweden doesn't really get the Russians anything they want. There was a reason Russia focused her expansive efforts in the Far East, the Balkans, and Central Asia: all of it was an effort to get warm-water ports and access to global markets. Sweden doesn't help with that. Norway does, but going after Norway means conquering and digesting Sweden and very likely pissing off the British. It just wasn't worth it.
 
They could’ve gone for the northern part of Norway and Sweden alongside all of Finland if it helps. At least it can get a warm-water part without having to drag itself into a serious insurgency.
 
They could’ve gone for the northern part of Norway and Sweden alongside all of Finland if it helps. At least it can get a warm-water part without having to drag itself into a serious insurgency.
I guess it depends on what you consider the northern part of Norway, but I get the impression that Narvik-as-an-all-year-ice-free-port didn't really develop
until the 1870s.
I've also been lead to believe that one of the points of getting an all-year-ice-free port is that you're able to use it, i.e. move things to and from it during
the periods when yourother ports are iced up... Which would be one reason why Narvik didn't really develop as one until the railroad.
 
I guess it depends on what you consider the northern part of Norway, but I get the impression that Narvik-as-an-all-year-ice-free-port didn't really develop
until the 1870s.
I've also been lead to believe that one of the points of getting an all-year-ice-free port is that you're able to use it, i.e. move things to and from it during
the periods when yourother ports are iced up... Which would be one reason why Narvik didn't really develop as one until the railroad.
Russia could always build one if it needs one.
 
What the title says. By Scandinavia, I mean Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and their colonies, mainly Greenland. Certainly the Russians did grab Finland but I want to know about the rest of Scandinavia.
Their navy sucked.

Marching through the Arctic to fight your opponent is not a good idea

And they were allied to Denmark.

But apart from that it's a fine idea.
 
Quite likely because Russia taking over all of Scandinavia was probably one of few things that would have seen Britain and France united in common cause during the 18th century.

Plus it would have been hard to take for the Russians, and likely impossible to hold.
 
Maybe if Russia and Denmark-Norway get into a personal union in the 18th century, they can swallow Sweden together and unite the Baltic sea under one dynasty
 
Maybe if Russia and Denmark-Norway get into a personal union in the 18th century, they can swallow Sweden together and unite the Baltic sea under one dynasty
Ironically in OTL personal union with Sweden was much closer thing:)
 
What every one else has said about conquering Scandinavia not being one of Russia's goals.

Also I imagine by the end of the war the Russians were pretty exhausted in terms of manpower, finances, and general military resources. And destroying the Swedish army in Russia leaves the Swedish navy intact and at the time Russia essentially didn't have so much as a rowboat with a BB gun in the Baltic.

So Russia would be forced to build a fleet larger then the Swedes and then man it with raw serf recruits (and probably expensive foreign naval officers and experts). Then train it up in the basics of naval operations and then the more advanced ops. All of this would likely take years in which time the Swedes can rebuild an army for self defense. And if Russia is ostensibly publicly intending to conquer all of Scandinavia (meaning not just Sweden but also Denmark/Norway) the other powers of Europe are going to be seing their interests endangered and get pissed. Which on the low end means foreign financing and arming of the Swedes. And on the high end means outright foreign intervention which means naval forces that the Russians would need decades to compete with.
 
Ironically in OTL personal union with Sweden was much closer thing:)
Well thats even better and makes everything easier. Denmark and Norway have no chance at all against a Russian Swedish union, the Baltic sea is theirs and they have a huge advantage on land.
 
Well thats even better and makes everything easier. Denmark and Norway have no chance at all against a Russian Swedish union, the Baltic sea is theirs and they have a huge advantage on land.
Well, there was a tiny problem: requirements to the ruler’s religion in Russia and Sweden were mutually exclusive, which means that the Swedes would have to make serious adjustments. It was much easier to make them to accept the Russian candidate (and to get Finland back after the lost war).

As for the rest, the obvious problem with the potential advantage (control of the Baltic Sea) was that it was absolutely useless for Russia of that period: it did not have any merchant marine worth mentioning and the Baltic Fleet was rarely sailing outside the Gulf of Finland. All naval trade had been done by the foreign ships, mostly British, and Denmark was an ally. So why bother?
 
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There was a period where the Swedes suddenly realised that the Russians MIGHT try and annex them soon and it spurred them onto reforms

It is certainly a possible thing that might have happened. It happened to Poland so nobody can say it wasn't possible to happen to Sweden, and as I say it suddenly appeared in the consciousness of the Swedes and led to them sorting things out somewhat

I'll have to find the references at home, if people can't find them online
 
As much as I love them the world isn't a paradox game. Conquest for the point of continued conquest will often just lead to administrative collapse and a big part of any conquering empire's reason for doing so is opening new and sometimes better avenue of resources in terms of capital, labour land etc.

To conquer all of Scandinavia even with relatively weakened opponents would be a hard ask that almost certainly will divert Russia's attention from a number of far more possibly appetising targets and the integration of the conquered lands themselves would probably constitute a net drain for the Russians especially considering their administration and military recruitment methods. All of this in addition to the games of the other powers and the dangerous fact that a Russian conquest of Scandinavia turns the Baltic into a closed sea.
 
There was a period where the Swedes suddenly realised that the Russians MIGHT try and annex them soon and it spurred them onto reforms

It is certainly a possible thing that might have happened. It happened to Poland so nobody can say it wasn't possible to happen to Sweden, and as I say it suddenly appeared in the consciousness of the Swedes and led to them sorting things out somewhat

I'll have to find the references at home, if people can't find them online
Physical possibility is not always the same as “makes sense”. Practical sense in Russian conquest of Sweden was absent with the exception of Finland, which was occupied by the Russians more than once to be returned to Sweden after the ongoing war was over (Elizabeth even created Kingdom of Finland with Peter Ulrich as a king but then opted for just setting Peter’s uncle as the King of Sweden). Finland made sense exclusively as a buffer against the further Swedish attacks and Alexander needed to show some gains after Tilsit Treaty.

Strange as it may sound, 2 post-GNW wars of the XVIII had been fought by the Swedish initiative. 🤪

Now, as far as the parallels with the PLC are involved, I’m not sure that analogy really works. Poland was in a seriously different situation and at least the 1st Partition happened by the Prussian-Austrian initiative. Unlike the PLC Sweden never (even at the times when Russia exercised a considerable political influence there) was Russian de-facto vassal with the Russia troops stationed on its territory and the Russian ambassador openly dictating country’s policies. Then, from the perspective of the OTL Russian foreign policy of the XVIII post-GNW Sweden was pretty much irrelevant while the PLC was geographically important for conducting the wars against Ottomans (it still held a big part of Ukraine and this was logistically important for operations in Moldavia). Strictly speaking, the accommodating PLC was vitally important for the Russian involvement in the 7YW. Anyway, there was more than one interested party in all 3 Partitions.

And Sweden was important in which context? Peter I wanted to get a dominant position on the Baltic Sea (nobody ever bothered to explain to which end) by arranging the “strategic marriages” but he never tried to overthrow the Swedish government and, anyway, as soon as his troops became successful in Swedish Pomerania, attitudes of his allies noticeably changed. Eventually, Britain even declared a war on Russia (due to the fact that this was most.y a royal initiative damaging to the mutual trade interests, both sides carefully avoided contact🤪). Unlike the PLC, Sweden was important for Britain as a major supplier of iron and timber (Russian export of the strategic materials only began and, anyway, it did not make sense for the Brits to put all eggs in the same basket). As a result, the ambitious Baltic schema was abandoned even during Peter’s time and his successors did not consider it seriously beyond arranging “family matters”. The galleys remained the most important part of the Baltic Fleet and when during the reign of CII Baltic squadron sailed into the Mediterranean even passing through the Danish Straits was a major problem in which few ships had been lost (at least one was falling apart when reached Britain and most of the rest needed serious repairs and hiring the experienced personnel).
Active ocean sailing started only by the end of the XVIII with many Russian naval officers serving in the Royal Navy to get experience and the British seamen serving in the Russian Navy on a temporary or permanent basis.
 
Well, there was a tiny problem: requirements to the ruler’s religion in Russia and Sweden were mutually exclusive, which means that the Swedes would have to make serious adjustments. It was much easier to make them to accept the Russian candidate (and to get Finland back after the lost war).

As for the rest, the obvious problem with the potential advantage (control of the Baltic Sea) was that it was absolutely useless for Russia of that period: it did not have any merchant marine worth mentioning and the Baltic Fleet was rarely sailing outside the Gulf of Finland. All naval trade had been done by the foreign ships, mostly British, and Denmark was an ally. So why bother?
Having the Baltic ports does mean the Russians no longer have to pay yet another middleman for the privilege of having Russian goods loaded in the Baltic ports and having foreign goods come in via the same ports. That inevitably would save a lot of money on import/export tariffs and adds a pretty large revenue source for the Russian government. It also means the Russians are less dependent on the goodwill of foreign powers for foreign trade. A lot more countries have merchant ships then a single power (Sweden) controlling the relevant ports.
 
Having the Baltic ports does mean the Russians no longer have to pay yet another middleman for the privilege of having Russian goods loaded in the Baltic ports and having foreign goods come in via the same ports. That inevitably would save a lot of money on import/export tariffs and adds a pretty large revenue source for the Russian government. It also means the Russians are less dependent on the goodwill of foreign powers for foreign trade. A lot more countries have merchant ships then a single power (Sweden) controlling the relevant ports.
Even by the end of the XVIII Russia did not conduct any serious foreign trade of its own and it not even try to create it. The necessary credit institutions had been lacking and so was the interest: the merchant class was too weak and owners of the good (the nobility) simply were not interested in putting their money into the naval adventures. The Brits, AFAIK, did not pay for passage of the Straits so everybody was happy and “goodwill” was not a factor because both sides had been interested: the Brits needed Russian materials to such a degree that at the time of CII they were OK with having a negative trade balance. As for divertisification of the foreign merchants, the Brits got on the top of the list more or less natural way. The French, for example, demonstrated almost a complete absence of interest in a direct trade and at the time of CII their good had been routinely carried by the British ships (see memoirs of Count Segur, French ambassador at Catherine’s court).

The only practical thing in having the Baltic ports was, as you noticed, in an absence of need to pay tariffs to Sweden but for the practical purposes only the ports on the Eastern Coast of the Baltic Sea mattered and not all of them but only those with the convenient links to the Russian interior, aka, initially Riga, Revel and to a lesser degree Narva and then St. Petersburg (to which during the reign of PI all trade had been channeled including even one that was traditionally going through the White Sea). This task being accomplished during the GNW, the further acquisitions would not make practical sense. The same goes about control of the Baltic Sea: why bother if secure passage was British problem?
 
Even by the end of the XVIII Russia did not conduct any serious foreign trade of its own and it not even try to create it. The necessary credit institutions had been lacking and so was the interest: the merchant class was too weak and owners of the good (the nobility) simply were not interested in putting their money into the naval adventures. The Brits, AFAIK, did not pay for passage of the Straits so everybody was happy and “goodwill” was not a factor because both sides had been interested: the Brits needed Russian materials to such a degree that at the time of CII they were OK with having a negative trade balance. As for divertisification of the foreign merchants, the Brits got on the top of the list more or less natural way. The French, for example, demonstrated almost a complete absence of interest in a direct trade and at the time of CII their good had been routinely carried by the British ships (see memoirs of Count Segur, French ambassador at Catherine’s court).

The only practical thing in having the Baltic ports was, as you noticed, in an absence of need to pay tariffs to Sweden but for the practical purposes only the ports on the Eastern Coast of the Baltic Sea mattered and not all of them but only those with the convenient links to the Russian interior, aka, initially Riga, Revel and to a lesser degree Narva and then St. Petersburg (to which during the reign of PI all trade had been channeled including even one that was traditionally going through the White Sea). This task being accomplished during the GNW, the further acquisitions would not make practical sense. The same goes about control of the Baltic Sea: why bother if secure passage was British problem?
I was referring to the value of acquiring the ports you mentioned (Riga, Revel, St. Petersburg). I wasn't saying it was worthwhile to try and conquer Sweden.
 
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