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Swedish Naval Administration: Scope, Complexity, And Structures

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Chapter Summary

The Swedish naval administration was an outgrowth of state power and dynastic ambitions, not an integration of powerful maritime interests with a territorial state. From ancient to early modern times, the naval efforts and policies of maritime cities and coastal regions in Europe and around the Mediterranean were more permanent than those of the territorial states. Swedish late medieval sea power had been administrated by aristocrats as an outgrowth of their control of the crown's castles and territories attached to these castles. The Vasa dynasty developed a double contractual relationship, one with the society (as protectors) and one with the crown (as military entrepreneurs). Naval administration in the last years of absolutism was run under the influence of Karl XII's extraordinary administrative and financial measures with one goal: to mobilise the remaining resources in a country which had lost a large part of its territory and population through enemy occupation.

Keywords: absolutism; aristocrats; Europe; military entrepreneurs; state power; Swedish naval administration; Vasa dynasty



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