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The Swedish Dynastic State And Its Navy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is a chronological survey of Swedish naval policy, which also serves as an introduction to the development of the Swedish navy up to 1721. The intention is to explain why the navy existed. It did not replace any important armed social institution in Sweden, and it was not an outgrowth of a flourishing maritime and mercantile economy. It appeared suddenly as an instrument of an ambitious power-seeker who founded a dynasty. The chapter seeks the reason why the decision-makers allocated resources to naval power and why did control of the sea matter, and which threats and opportunities impelled the creation of the navy. The chapter also explains the role did it have in different phases of the dynastic Swedish state: its foundation and stabilisation, its growing ambitions in Baltic power politics, its successful conquest of an empire and its defence of that empire.

Keywords: Baltic power politics; dynastic Swedish state; maritime economy; naval power; Swedish navy



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