The origins of the Great Northern War can be traced back to the Swedish involvement in the Thirty Years War and later in the the First Northern War of 1655-60 between Sweden and Poland. Outcomes of these conflicts made the Baltic Sweden’s “internal sea”. This antagonized Sweden’s neighbours. Russian interests were greatly affected as the access to the Baltic Sea and its trade routes were now under threat from the Swedish Navy.
Access to trade was vital for Russian interests for two main reasons: The construction of Tsar Peter the Great’s Northern capital of St. Petersburg was predicated on the sea trade allowing for import of construction materials and trade with the rest of the European powers. Therefore, conflict with Sweden proved to be an opportunity for the Russian Tsar to engage his reorganized and westernized army and navy in the European political affairs.
This episode was written by Matthew Gawelczyk.
Matthew holds a collaborative Bachelor of Arts in History from Mount Royal University and Athabasca University in Alberta Canada. History have been his passion since the earliest days. Born in Danzig Poland, Matthew moved with his family to the Mazurian Lakes of North Easter Poland where his passion for History grew among tales and ruins of former East Prussia. Currently Matthew resides in Calgary where he continues to pursue his passion.