Stockholm Bloodbath

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The Stockholm Bloodbath, or the Stockholm Massacre (Swedish: Stockholms blodbad, Danish: det stockholmske blodbad), took place as the result of a successful invasion of Sweden by Danish forces under the command of Christian II. The bloodbath itself was a series of events taking place between November 7 and November 9 in 1520, climaxing on the 8th, when around 80-90 people (mostly nobility and clergy supporting the Sture party) were executed, despite a promise by Christian for general amnesty.

Contents

Background

Political factions in Sweden

The Stockholm Bloodbath was a consequence of conflict between Swedish pro-unionists (in favour of the Kalmar Union, then dominated by Denmark) and anti-unionists (supporters of Swedish independence), and also between the anti-unionists and the Danish aristocracy, which in other aspects was opposed to King Christian.[citation needed] The anti-unionist party was headed by Sten Sture the Younger, and the pro-unionist party by archbishop Gustavus Trolle.

Military interventions of King Christian

King Christian, who had already taken measures to isolate Sweden politically, intervened to help archbishop Trolle, who was under siege in his fortress at Stäket, but he was defeated by Sture and his peasant soldiers at Vedila, and forced to return to Denmark. A second attempt to bring Sweden back under his control in 1518 was also countered by Sture's victory at Brännkyrka. Eventually, a third attempt made in 1520 with a large army of French, German and Scottish mercenaries proved successful.

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