Kalmar Union

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The Kalmar Union (Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish: Kalmarunionen) is a historiographical term meaning a series of personal unions (1397–1523) that united the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway (with Iceland, Greenland, Faroe Islands, Shetland, and Orkney), and Sweden (including Finland) under a single monarch, though intermittently and with a population less than 3,000,000.[1]

The countries had not technically given up their sovereignty, nor their independence, but in practical terms, they were not autonomous, the common monarch holding the sovereignty and, particularly, leading foreign policy; diverging interests (especially the Swedish nobility's dissatisfaction over the dominant role played by Denmark and Holstein) gave rise to a conflict that would hamper the union in several intervals from the 1430s until the union's breakup in 1523 when Gustav Vasa became king of Sweden.

Norway and its overseas dependencies, however, continued to remain a part of the realm of Denmark–Norway under the Oldenburg dynasty for several centuries after the dissolution.

Contents

Inception

The union was the work of Queen Margaret I of Denmark (1353–1412), a daughter of King Valdemar IV of Denmark. At the age of ten, she married King Haakon VI of Norway and Sweden, who was the son of King Magnus IV of Sweden and Norway. Margaret succeeded in having her son Olav recognized as heir to the throne of Denmark. In 1376 Olav inherited the crown of Denmark from his maternal grandfather as King Oluf III, with his mother as guardian. When Haakon VI died in 1380, Olav also inherited the crown of Norway. The two kingdoms were united in a personal union under a child king, with the king's mother as his guardian. Olav also had designs on the throne of Sweden (in opposition to Albert of Mecklenburg) from 1385 until 1387.

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