III. The Postclassical Period, 500–1500 > F. Europe, 461–1500 > 6. Western Europe, 1300–1500 > g. Scandinavia
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1286–1319)
g. Scandinavia
1. Denmark
The active and on the whole successful reign of Eric Menved (1286–1319) was followed in Denmark by a period of weakness and decline, marked by the ascendancy of the nobility and the constant advance of German influence.  1
CHRISTOPHER II, elected king after a capitulation, the first in Danish history, limiting the royal power in the interest of the nobility and clergy. The towns of the Hanseatic League, having acquired a monopoly of trade in Denmark, soon became dominant in Danish politics.  2
A period of complete anarchy. Christopher was driven from the throne by Gerhard, count of Holstein, who parceled out the territories of the crown, established German nobles in all the important fortresses, and gave the German traders full rein. Gerhard was murdered in 1340.  3
WALDEMAR IV, the youngest son of Christopher and one of the greatest Danish kings. At home he did his utmost to break the German influence and to restrict the power of the nobility and the clergy. The Church was subordinated to the royal power and the nobles and towns obliged to perform their military obligations. Abroad, Waldemar devoted himself to the reconquest of the territories lost by his father. In wars with Sweden, Holstein, and Schleswig he regained Zeeland (1346), most of Fünen and Jutland (1348), and Scandinavia (1360). His seizure of Gothland (1361) brought him into direct conflict with the powerful Hansa towns, which were supported by Sweden.  4
First war against the Hansa. Copenhagen was sacked, but Waldemar defeated the Hansa fleets at Helsingborg (1362) and forced the Hansa to accept peace (1363), which greatly curtailed their privileges.  5
A revolt against heavy taxation led to Waldemar's flight. His return (1370) was purchased by tremendous concessions.  6
Meanwhile the second war with the Hansa had broken out. The German towns were supported by Sweden, Norway, Holstein, Mecklenburg, and even by some of the Danish nobles.  7
Waldemar, badly defeated, was obliged to accept the Peace of Stralsund, renewing the privileges of the German Hansa, turning over the larger part of the revenues of four places, and accepting interference in the royal succession. This treaty marked the ascendency of the Hansa in the Baltic.  8
Olaf, grandson of Waldemar, who, until his death, ruled with his mother, Margaret, as regent.  9
MARGARET, mother of Olaf, was queen, ruling, at the same time, Norway and Sweden and thus uniting Scandinavia. (See Scandinavia)  10
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.