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I rikets tjänst: Krig, stat och samhälle i Sverige 1450-1550
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History.
2018 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
In service of the Realm : War, state and society in Sweden 1450-1550 (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines the military institutions in late medieval Sweden, the military-political transition during the reign of Gustav Vasa and what consequences the military transformation had for the process of state formation. In previous research, the period after 1560 is often emphasized as the most important phase of military and political change. However, this study also considers the interconnections between warfare and political power during the preceding century, 1450–1550. This period was characterized by recurring military crises and an increasing geopolitical pressure in the Baltic Sea area, which incited military and institutional change.

The primary objects of analysis are the military institutions of late medieval society, which are categorized according to a socio-economic division of nobility, bishops, burghers and peasants. Additionally, the rulers’ own retinues and the new companies of enlisted foot soldiers – and eventually also conscripted units – organized during the reign of Gustav Vasa, are also studied.

The changing character of the state – from a coordinating to an organizing state – is central to the argument. The coordinating state organized the defence of the realm with resources borrowed from established institutions within local society, by reference to legal duties and by offering tax exemption in a continuous bargain process. Gustav Vasa (1521–1560), in contrast, persuaded the subjects to pay a tax in lieu of military service. He organized military units directly through the evolving state administration and dismantled or incorporated the military institutions of local society into one dominant military hierarchy. Thus, this is a study of the transition from one military-political system to another.

The centralization of the military institutions also meant a consolidation of political power. The interconnections between warfare and state building, becomes clear through the argument of synchrony – the consolidation of political power occurred in concert with military institutional change. Furthermore, the process was directly preceded by a period of intensive and near constant defensive warfare. From an international perspective, arguably, the late medieval coordinating state transformed into an organizing state more rapidly in Sweden than in other comparable countries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Bokförlaget Augusti , 2018. , p. 584
Keywords [en]
Sweden, 15th Century, 16th Century, Early modern history, Military history, War, Warfare, Military enterprise, State formation, Realm, Politics and government, Politics and war, Gustav Vasa
National Category
History
Research subject
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-152369ISBN: 978-91-85301-19-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-152369DiVA, id: diva2:1179447
Public defence
2018-03-23, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-02-28 Created: 2018-02-01 Last updated: 2018-02-01Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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