Konstantin Päts was the most influential politician of interwar Estonia, served five times as the country's head of government. He was one of the first Estonians to become active in politics and started an 40-year political rivalry with Jaan Tõnisson, first through journalism with his newspaper Teataja through politics, he was condemned to death during the 1905 Revolution, but managed to flee first to Switzerland to Finland, where he continued his literary work. He returned to Estonia, but had to spend time in prison in 1910–1911. In 1917, Päts headed the provincial government of the Autonomous Governorate of Estonia, but was forced to go underground after the October Revolution. On 19 February 1918, Päts became one of the three members of the Estonian Salvation Committee that issued the Estonian Declaration of Independence on 24 February. Konstantin Päts headed the Estonian Provisional Government, although he was imprisoned during the second half of the German Occupation. In the provisional government, Päts served as Minister of Internal Affairs and Minister of War that left him organizing Estonian troops for the War of Independence.
During the 1920s and early 1930s, Päts led the most right-wing party of the major political parties of the time – the conservative Farmers' Assemblies that merged with the Union of Settlers and Smallholders in 1932. Päts was the speaker of the Riigikogu and served five times as State Elder, a post equivalent to that of president in Estonia's radically parliamentarian system. During his last term as State Elder, he organized a coup d'etat to neutralise the right-wing populist Vaps Movement, he was supported by the parliament. During the authoritarian regime, many reforms were made and the economy grew, while he prolonged the return of constitutional order. Päts ruled as Prime Minister in duties of the State Elder and President-Regent until a new constitution was adopted in 1938, after which Päts became the first President of Estonia. During his presidency, the Soviet Union occupied Estonia in 1940; as President, he was forced to sign decrees for over a month, until he was arrested and deported to the Soviet Union, where he died in 1956.
The Päts family originates from Holstre near Viljandi in the Governorate of Livonia. The family name "Päts" means a "loaf" in Estonian and is thought to derive from their ancestors from the beginning of the 18th century, who distributed free bread from their mill during a famine; the mill was named the Päts Mill and "Päts" was adopted as an official surname. The father of Konstantin, Jakob Päts, was a housebuilder from Heimtali, near Viljandi. Konstantin's mother, Olga Päts, was from a mixed Estonian-Russian family and as an orphan grew up with foster parents in the Razumovsky family, where the father, her uncle, was the mayor of Valga, it is claimed that she grew up with the Krüdener family, where the father, Baron Krüdener, was his uncle. Jakob and Olga met. Konstantin had an older brother Nikolai, three younger brothers Paul and Peeter and a younger sister Marianne. Since their mother Olga was raised in a wealthy Russian family, their father Jakob converted from Lutheranism to Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
The children were all brought up in strong Orthodox traditions and were said to have a realistic mindset, just like their parents. The family lived in Viljandi. Jakob was among the peasant activists during the Estonian national awakening, who pleaded to Emperor Alexander II against the oppression by Baltic German nobility in 1865. After this, he came into conflict with the local nobility and was forced to move to Tahkuranna, near Pärnu, in 1873; as Konstantin's father was unable to find a job in Tahkuranna, the family moved to a rental apartment Pärnu in 1882. Three years Jakob bought himself land in Raeküla near Pärnu, where they lived in the roadside Petlema Tavern, but built a new house after the tavern burned down. Jakob divided his land into smaller lots and built half a dozen new houses to the site that grew into a borough and a district of Pärnu. Konstantin Päts was born on 23 February 1874 near Tahkuranna. According to locals, he was born in a barn of a roadside farm, since his mother couldn't reach a doctor in time.
He was baptized in the Tahkuranna Orthodox Church. Konstantin started his education in the Orthodox parish school of Tahkuranna. In Pärnu, Konstantin attended the Russian language Orthodox parish school, he attended the Riga Clerical Seminar in 1887–1892, but after deciding not to become a priest, he left for the high school in Pärnu. From 1894 to 1898, he attended the Faculty of Law of Tartu University, that he graduated as cand. jur. After graduation, Päts served in the Russian 96th Infantry Regiment of Omsk in Pskov and was promoted an ensign. After rejecting an academic career in Tartu, he moved to Tallinn in 1900, to start a political career. In Tallinn, Konstantin Päts started his career as an assistant at the advocacy of Jaan Poska, but the job wasn't satisfactory for Päts. In Tartu, Jaan Tõnisson had founded his nationalist newspaper Postimees in 1891, Päts was planning to found his own in Tallinn; the first inspiration came from writers Eduard Vilde and Anton Hansen Tammsaare, who could not get a licence from the
History of Estonia
The history of Estonia forms a part of the history of Europe. Humans settled in the region of Estonia near the end of the last glacial era, beginning from around 8500 BC. Before German crusaders invaded in the early 13th century, proto-Estonians of ancient Estonia worshipped spirits of nature. Starting with the Northern Crusades in the Middle Ages, Estonia became a battleground for centuries where Denmark, Russia and Poland fought their many wars over controlling the important geographical position of the country as a gateway between East and West. After Danes and Germans conquered the area in 1227, Estonia was ruled by Denmark in the north, by the Livonian Order, an autonomous part of the Monastic state of the Teutonic Knights and by Baltic German ecclesiastical states of the Holy Roman Empire. From 1418 to 1562 the whole of Estonia formed part of the Livonian Confederation. After the Livonian War of 1558-1583, Estonia became part of the Swedish Empire until 1710/1721, when Sweden ceded it to Russia as a result of the Great Northern War of 1700-1721.
Throughout this period the Baltic-German nobility enjoyed autonomy, German served as the language of administration and education. The Estophile Enlightenment Period led to the Estonian national awakening in the middle of the 19th century. In the aftermath of World War I and the Russian revolutions of 1917, Estonians declared their independence in February 1918; the Estonian War of Independence ensued on two fronts: the newly proclaimed state fought against Bolshevist Russia to the east and against the Baltic German forces to the south. The Tartu Peace Treaty marked the end of fighting and recognised Estonian independence in perpetuity. In 1940, in the wake of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of 1939, the Soviet Union occupied Estonia and illegally annexed the country. In the course of Operation Barbarossa, Nazi Germany occupied Estonia in 1941. Estonia regained independence in 1991 in the course of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and joined the European Union and NATO in 2004; the region has been populated since the end of the Late Pleistocene Ice Age, about 10,000 BC.
The earliest traces of human settlement in Estonia are connected with the Kunda culture. The early mesolithic Pulli settlement is located by the Pärnu River, it has been dated to the beginning of the 9th millennium BC. The Kunda culture received its name from the Lammasmäe settlement site in northern Estonia, which dates from earlier than 8500 BC. Bone and stone artifacts similar to those found at Kunda have been discovered elsewhere in Estonia, as well as in Latvia, northern Lithuania and southern Finland. Among minerals and quartz were used the most for making cutting tools; the beginning of the Neolithic Period is marked by the ceramics of the Narva culture, appear in Estonia at the beginning of the 5th millennium. The oldest finds date from around 4900 BC; the first pottery was made of thick clay mixed with shells or plants. The Narva-type ceramics are found throughout the entire Estonian coastal region and on the islands; the stone and bone tools of the era have a notable similarity with the artifacts of the Kunda culture.
Around the beginning of 4th millennium BC Comb Ceramic culture arrived in Estonia. Until the early 1980s the arrival of Finnic peoples, the ancestors of the Estonians and Livonians, on the shores of the Baltic Sea was associated with the Comb Ceramic Culture. However, such a linking of archaeologically defined cultural entities with linguistic ones cannot be proven, it has been suggested that the increase of settlement finds in the period is more to have been associated with an economic boom related to the warming of climate; some researchers have argued that a Uralic form of language may have been spoken in Estonia and Finland since the end of the last glaciation. The burial customs of the comb pottery people included additions of figures of animals, birds and men carved from bone and amber. Antiquities from comb pottery culture are found from Northern Finland to Eastern Prussia; the beginning of the Late Neolithic Period about 2200 BC is characterized by the appearance of the Corded Ware culture, pottery with corded decoration and well-polished stone axes.
Evidence of agriculture is provided by charred grains of wheat on the wall of a corded-ware vessel found in Iru settlement. Osteological analysis show. Specific burial customs were characterized by the dead being laid on their sides with their knees pressed against their breast, one hand under the head. Objects placed into the graves were made of the bones of domesticated animals; the beginning of the Bronze Age in Estonia is dated to 1800 BC. The development of the borders between the Finnic peoples and the Balts was under way; the first fortified settlements and Ridala on the island of Saaremaa and Iru in Northern Estonia, began to be built. The development of shipbuilding facilitated the spread of bronze. Changes took place in burial customs, a new type of burial ground spread from Germanic to Estonian areas, stone cist graves and cremation burials became common, alongside a small number of boat-shaped stone graves. About the 7th century BC, a large meteorite created the Kaali craters. About 325 BC, the Greek explorer Pytheas visited Estonia.
The Thule island he described has been identified as Saaremaa by Lennart Meri, though this identification is not considered probable, as Saaremaa lies far south of the Arctic Circle. The Pre-Roman Iron Age began i
Kaarel Eenpalu was an Estonian journalist and head of state, who served as 7th Prime Minister of Estonia. Eenpalu was educated at the Hugo Treffner Gymnasium in Tartu. Between 1909 and 1914 he studied law at Tartu University and graduated from Moscow University. From 1910 to 1912 and in 1915 he was member of the editorial board of the Postimees Daily in Tartu, in 1918 editor of Postimees, in 1920 editor-in-chief of Tallinna Teataja daily, in 1924 editor-in-chief of the Kaja newspaper. Eenpalu was active in World War I, serving as a battery commander in the First Estonian Artillery Regiment in 1917 and 1918. During the Estonian War of Independence in 1918–1919, he first commanded the Tartu High School students' battalion, a battery in the Second Estonian Artillery Regiment. Eenpalu was a member of the Estonian Constituent Assembly, member of National Assembly, member of the Chamber of Deputies and held a series of high government offices of the newly independent Estonian state. In 1919–1920 he was State Controller.
In 1920, 1921–1924, 1924–1926 he held the position of the Minister of Internal Affairs, can thus be considered a founder of the Estonian Police. From 22 June 1926 to 19 July 1932 and from 18 May 1933 to 29 August 1934 he was Speaker of the III, IV and V Riigikogu. From 19 July to 1 November 1932 he was the head of state. In 1934–1938 he was again Minister of Internal Affairs, in 1938–1939 he was the Prime Minister of Estonia. After the Soviet Union occupied Estonia on 17 June 1940, along with a number of other leading Estonian politicians, was arrested in July 1940 and subsequently deported to Russia, he died in 1942 in a Soviet prison camp in Kirov Oblast. 1927 – Order of the Estonian Red Cross I/II 1930 – Order of the Cross of the Eagle I 1935 – Order of the Estonian Red Cross I/I 1938 – Order of the White Star I 1939 – Order of the National Coat of Arms I Kaarel Eenpalu was married to women's activist Linda Eenpalu. They had three daughters: Helmi-Aino, Tiiu-Hilja and Mai-Linda. Politician Anne Eenpalu is Kaarel Eenpalu's granddaughter
Finland the Republic of Finland, is a country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, Russia to the east. Finland is situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia; the capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Tampere and Turku. Finland's population is 5.52 million, the majority of the population is concentrated in the southern region. 88.7% of the population is Finnish and speaks Finnish, a Uralic language unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. Finland is the eighth-largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union; the sovereign state is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in the capital city of Helsinki, local governments in 311 municipalities, one autonomous region, the Åland Islands. Over 1.4 million people live in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which produces one third of the country's GDP. Finland was inhabited when the last ice age ended 9000 BCE.
The first settlers left behind artefacts that present characteristics shared with those found in Estonia and Norway. The earliest people were hunter-gatherers; the first pottery appeared in 5200 BCE. The arrival of the Corded Ware culture in southern coastal Finland between 3000 and 2500 BCE may have coincided with the start of agriculture; the Bronze Age and Iron Age were characterised by extensive contacts with other cultures in the Fennoscandian and Baltic regions and the sedentary farming inhabitation increased towards the end of Iron Age. At the time Finland had three main cultural areas – Southwest Finland and Karelia – as reflected in contemporary jewellery. From the late 13th century, Finland became an integral part of Sweden through the Northern Crusades and the Swedish part-colonisation of coastal Finland, a legacy reflected in the prevalence of the Swedish language and its official status. In 1809, Finland was incorporated into the Russian Empire as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland.
In 1906, Finland became the first European state to grant all adult citizens the right to vote, the first in the world to give all adult citizens the right to run for public office. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Finland declared itself independent. In 1918, the fledgling state was divided by civil war, with the Bolshevik-leaning Red Guard supported by the new Soviet Russia, fighting the White Guard, supported by the German Empire. After a brief attempt to establish a kingdom, the country became a republic. During World War II, the Soviet Union sought to occupy Finland, with Finland losing parts of Karelia, Kuusamo and some islands, but retaining their independence. Finland established an official policy of neutrality; the Finno-Soviet Treaty of 1948 gave the Soviet Union some leverage in Finnish domestic politics during the Cold War era. Finland joined the OECD in 1969, the NATO Partnership for Peace in 1994, the European Union in 1995, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997, the Eurozone at its inception, in 1999.
Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialisation, remaining a agrarian country until the 1950s. After World War II, the Soviet Union demanded war reparations from Finland not only in money but in material, such as ships and machinery; this forced Finland to industrialise. It developed an advanced economy while building an extensive welfare state based on the Nordic model, resulting in widespread prosperity and one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. Finland is a top performer in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, human development. In 2015, Finland was ranked first in the World Human Capital and the Press Freedom Index and as the most stable country in the world during 2011–2016 in the Fragile States Index, second in the Global Gender Gap Report, it ranked first on the World Happiness Report report for 2018 and 2019. A large majority of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, freedom of religion is guaranteed under the Finnish Constitution.
The earliest written appearance of the name Finland is thought to be on three runestones. Two have the inscription finlonti; the third was found in Gotland. It dates back to the 13th century; the name can be assumed to be related to the tribe name Finns, mentioned at first known time AD 98. The name Suomi has uncertain origins, but a candidate for a source is the Proto-Baltic word *źemē, meaning "land". In addition to the close relatives of Finnish, this name is used in the Baltic languages Latvian and Lithuanian. Alternatively, the Indo-European word * gʰm-on "man" has been suggested; the word referred only to the province of Finland Proper, to the northern coast of Gulf of Finland, with northern regions such as Ostrobothnia still sometimes being excluded until later. Earlier theories suggested derivation from suomaa or suoniemi, but these are now considered outdated; some have suggested common etymology with saame and Häme, but that theory is uncertain
Chud or Chude is a term applied in the early Russian annals to several Finnic peoples in the area of what is now Estonia and Northwestern Russia. The earliest written use of the term "Chudes" to describe proto-Estonians was c. 1100, by the monk Nestor, in the earliest Russian chronicles. According to Nestor, Yaroslav I the Wise invaded the country of the Chuds in 1030 and laid the foundations of Yuryev. Sources used Chud to describe other Baltic Finns called volok, thought to refer to the Karelians. According to Old East Slavic chronicles. There are a number of hypotheses as to the origin of the term. Chude could be derived from the Slavic word tjudjo which in turn is derived from the Gothic word meaning'folk'. Another hypothesis is that the term was derived from a transformation of the Finno-Ugric name for the wood grouse, yet another hypothesis contends that it is derived from the Sami word tshudde or čuđđe, meaning an enemy or adversary. This however would have required prominent Sami presence in trading centers around Lake Ladoga.
Chudes have traditionally been believed to belong to the group of Baltic-Finnish peoples, though there have been some debate as to which specific group. After the first encounter with the Chudes, Slavic people tended to call other Finnic-speaking peoples Chudes, thus became a collective name for the Finno-Ugric neighbours in Russian cultural tradition. Many writers contend that the Chudes were Vepsians, Fasmer posits them in Karelia while Smirnov suggests the Setos are descendants of the Chudes. In recent research on toponymy of the Luga and Volkhov river catchment areas Finnish fennougrist Pauli Rahkonen has come to the conclusion, that the language spoken in the area has been Finnic only in the vicinity of the southern coasts of Lake Ladoga and the Gulf of Finland, but more upstream of the two rivers, the language, as based on the evidence of hydronyms in the area, has represented other Fenno-Ugric languages than Finnic. However, the Zavoloshka Chudes in the White Sea catchment area seem to have spoken Finnic languages based on the evidence of substrate toponymy in Northern Russia carried out by Finnish fennougrist Janne Saarikivi.
The Russian Primary Chronicle describes Chudes as cofounders of the Rus' Khaganate state along with Krivichs, Ilmen Slavs and Vikings. In other ancient East Slavic chronicles, the term "Chudes" refers to several Finnic tribes, proto-Estonian groups in particular. In 1030 Prince Yaroslav the Wise of Kiev won a military campaign against the Chuds and established a fort in Yuryev. Kievan rulers collected tribute from the Chudes of the surrounding ancient Estonian county of Ugaunia until 1061, according to chronicles, Yuryev was burned down by Estonian tribe called Sosols. Most of the raids against Chudes described in ancient Russian chronicles occur in present-day Estonia; the border lake between Estonia and Russia is still called Chudskoye in Russian. However, many ancient references to Chudes talk of peoples far from Estonia, like Zavoloshka Chudes between Mordovians and Komis. In Russian folk legends, the Chudes were described as beautiful. One characteristic of the Chudes was'white-eyed', which means colored eyes.
Sorrowful Russian folk songs reminisce about the destruction of the Chudes when the Slavs were occupying their territories. When a Chude township was attacked, Chude women made themselves drown into the river with their jewels and children, in order not to be subjected to robbery or despoiling. In the chronicles which narrate about the founding of Russia, the Chudes are mentioned as one of the founder races, with the Slav and the Varyags. Folk etymology derives the word from Old East Slavic language, or alternatively from chudnyi, miraculous, attractive. Chudes are traditional generic villains in some Sami legends, as well as in the Sami-language movie Pathfinder from 1987, loosely based on such legends. Other sources suggest; the word Chudes was more used for more eastern Finnic peoples and Votes in particular, while some derivatives of chud like chukhna or chukhonets were applied to more western Finns and Estonians. Following the Russian conquests of Finland 1714–1809, increasing contacts between Finns and Saint Petersburg, Finns perceived the word Chud to be disparaging and hinting at the serfdom that the Russians were believed to find fit for the Finns.
However, as a disparaging word, it was rather chukhna, applied to Finns as late as during the Winter War, 1939–1940, between the Soviet Union and Finland. In present-day Russian vernacular the word chukhna is used to denote Veps; the name Chudes has been used for Veps people by some anthropologists. In the mytho-poetical tradition of the Komi, the word chud can designate Komi heroes and heathens. In fact, the legends about Chudes cover a large area in northern Europe from Scandinavia to the Urals, bounded by Lake Ladoga in the south, the northern and eastern districts of the Vologda province, passing by the Kirov region, further into Komi-Permyak Okrug, it has from this area spread to Trans-Ural region through mediation of
Duchy of Estonia (1219–1346)
The Duchy of Estonia known as Danish Estonia, was a direct dominion of the King of Denmark from 1219 until 1346 when it was sold to the Teutonic Order and became part of the Ordensstaat. Denmark rose as a great mercantile power in the 12th century, it had an interest to end the frequent Estonian attacks. Danish fleets attacked Estonia in 1170, 1194, 1197. In 1206, King Valdemar II and archbishop Andreas Sunonis led a raid on Ösel island; the Kings of Denmark laid a claim on Estonia as their possession, recognised by the pope. In 1219 the Danish fleet landed in the major harbor of Estonia and defeated the Estonians in the Battle of Lindanise that brought Northern Estonia under Danish reign until the Estonian uprising in 1343, when the territories were taken over by the Teutonic Order and sold by Denmark in 1346. During the Livonian crusade in 1218, Pope Honorius III gave Valdemar II a free hand to annex as much land as he could conquer in Estonia. In addition, Albert of Riga, the leader of the Teutonic crusaders fighting the Estonians from the south, visited the king and asked him to attack the Estonians from the North.
In 1219, Valdemar gathered his fleet, joined forces with the Rugian navy led by prince Wizlav of Rügen, landed on the northern coast of Estonia in the Lindanise harbor in the Estonian province of Revala. According to the legend, the national flag of Denmark Dannebrog was born at this time, falling from the sky during a critical moment in the fight and helping the Danes to win the Battle of Lindanise against the Estonians; the date of the battle, June 15, is still celebrated as Valdemarsdag in present-day Denmark. The order of Livonian Brothers of the Sword had conquered Southern Estonia whilst Denmark had taken the North, the two agreed to divide Estonia, but quarreled over the exact borders. In 1220 the King of Denmark gave up his claim on the southern Estonian provinces of Sakala and Ugaunia, conquered by Brothers of the Sword. Bishop Albert ceded to Denmark the Estonian provinces of Harria and Jerwia. In 1227 the Livonian Brothers of the Sword conquered all Danish territories in Northern Estonia.
After their defeat in the Battle of Saule, the surviving members of the order merged into the Teutonic Order of Prussia in 1237. On June 7, 1238, the Teutonic Order concluded the Treaty of Stensby at a royal fortress in the south of Zealand with the Danish king, Valdemar II. Under the treaty, Jerwia stayed part of the Ordenstaat, while Harria and Vironia were ceded back to King of Denmark as his direct dominion, the Duchy of Estonia; the first Duke of Estonia had been appointed by Valdemar II in 1220, the title was now resumed by the kings of Denmark starting in 1269. Due to its status as the king's personal possession, the Duchy of Estonia was included in a nationwide Danish taxation list Liber Census Daniæ, an important geographic and historic document; the list contains the names of 114 local vassals. The capital of Danish Estonia was Reval, founded at the place of Lindanise after the invasion of 1219; the Danes built the fortress of Castrum Danorum at Toompea Hill. Estonians still call their capital "Tallinn", according to an urban legend, derives from Taani linna.
Reval joined the Hanseatic League. Today, Danish influence can be seen in heraldic symbols: the city of Tallinn's coat of arms features the Danish cross, while Estonia's coat of arms depicts a similar three lions to the Danish coat of arms. In 1240 Valdemar II created the Bishopric of Reval but, contrary to canon law, reserved the right to appoint the bishops of Reval to himself and his successors as king of Denmark; the decision to nominate the See of Reval was unique in the whole Catholic Church at the time and was disputed by bishops and the Pope. During this period, the election of bishops was never established in Reval, royal rights over the bishopric and to nominate the bishops were included in the treaty when the territories were sold to Teutonic Order in 1346. First mentioned in 1240, the duchy was locally governed by a viceroy appointed by the king and functioning as his plenipotentiary; the viceroy had administrative powers, he collected the taxes, he commanded the vassals and the troops in case of war.
Most of the viceroys were either of Danish-Estonian nationality. In Vironia, the main power centers were Wesenberg and Narva, built on the site of the old Estonian fortresses of Rakovor and Rugodiv. Wesenberg was granted Lübeck city rights in 1302 by King Erik Menved. Narva received these rights in 1345; the vassals of the Danish king received fiefs per dominum utile in exchange for military and court services. The vassals' oath to a new king had to be sworn for a "year and a day". Of the vassals, 80% were Germans from Westphalia, 18% were Danes, 2% were Estonians; the chronicler Ditleb Alnpeke complained that the king of Denmark was accepting Estonians as his vassals. Danish rule was more liberal in this respect than that of the Brothers of the Sword, in whose territories no natives were allowed to become lords of fiefs. In 1248, the vassals and burgers of Reval had a local legislative body or ritterschaft; the Danish army only visited the province occasionally. In 1240–42, Denmark went to war against Novgorod and tried to extend its rule to the land of Votians.
King Valdemar sent his sons Abel and Canute to support his vassals' campaign, but they did not win any new territo
Great Northern War
The Great Northern War was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia contested the supremacy of the Swedish Empire in Northern and Eastern Europe. The initial leaders of the anti-Swedish alliance were Peter I of Russia, Frederick IV of Denmark–Norway and Augustus II the Strong of Saxony–Poland–Lithuania. Frederick IV and Augustus II were defeated by Sweden, under Charles XII, forced out of the alliance in 1700 and 1706 but rejoined it in 1709 after the defeat of Charles XII at the Battle of Poltava. George I of Great Britain and of Brunswick-Lüneburg joined the coalition in 1714 for Hanover and in 1717 for Britain, Frederick William I of Brandenburg-Prussia joined it in 1715. Charles XII led the Swedish army. Swedish allies included Holstein-Gottorp, several Polish magnates under Stanisław I Leszczyński and Cossacks under the Ukrainian Hetman Ivan Mazepa; the Ottoman Empire temporarily hosted Charles XII of Sweden and intervened against Peter I. The war began when an alliance of Denmark–Norway, Saxony and Russia, sensing an opportunity as Sweden was ruled by the young Charles XII, declared war on the Swedish Empire and launched a threefold attack on Swedish Holstein-Gottorp, Swedish Livonia, Swedish Ingria.
Sweden parried the Danish and Russian attacks at Travendal and Narva and in a counter-offensive pushed Augustus II's forces through the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth to Saxony, dethroning Augustus on the way and forcing him to acknowledge defeat in the Treaty of Altranstädt. The treaty secured the extradition and execution of Johann Reinhold Patkul, architect of the alliance seven years earlier. Meanwhile, the forces of Peter I had recovered from defeat at Narva and gained ground in Sweden's Baltic provinces, where they cemented Russian access to the Baltic Sea by founding Saint Petersburg in 1703. Charles XII moved from Saxony into Russia to confront Peter, but the campaign ended in 1709 with the destruction of the main Swedish army at the decisive Battle of Poltava and Charles' exile in the Ottoman town of Bender; the Ottoman Empire defeated the Russian-Moldavian army in the Pruth River Campaign, but that peace treaty was in the end without great consequence to Russia's position. After Poltava, the anti-Swedish coalition revived and subsequently Hanover and Prussia joined it.
The remaining Swedish forces in plague-stricken areas south and east of the Baltic Sea were evicted, with the last city, falling in 1710. The coalition members partitioned most of the Swedish dominions among themselves, destroying the Swedish dominium maris baltici. Sweden proper was invaded from the west by Denmark–Norway and from the east by Russia, which had occupied Finland by 1714. Sweden defeated the Danish invaders at the Battle of Helsingborg. Charles XII opened up a Norwegian front but was killed in Fredriksten in 1718; the war ended with the defeat of Sweden, leaving Russia as the new dominant power in the Baltic region and as a new major force in European politics. The Western powers, Great Britain and France, became caught up in the separate War of the Spanish Succession, which broke out over the Bourbon Philip of Anjou's succession to the Spanish throne and a possible joining of France and Spain; the formal conclusion of the Great Northern War came with the Swedish-Hanoverian and Swedish-Prussian Treaties of Stockholm, the Dano-Swedish Treaty of Frederiksborg, the Russo-Swedish Treaty of Nystad.
By these treaties Sweden ceded her exemption from the Sound Dues and lost the Baltic provinces and the southern part of Swedish Pomerania. The peace treaties ended her alliance with Holstein-Gottorp. Hanover gained Bremen-Verden, Brandenburg-Prussia incorporated the Oder estuary, Russia secured the Baltic Provinces, Denmark strengthened her position in Schleswig-Holstein. In Sweden, the absolute monarchy had come to an end with the death of Charles XII, Sweden's Age of Liberty began. Between the years of 1560 and 1658, Sweden created a Baltic empire centred on the Gulf of Finland and comprising the provinces of Karelia, Ingria and Livonia. During the Thirty Years' War Sweden gained tracts in Germany as well, including Western Pomerania, the Duchy of Bremen, Verden. During the same period Sweden conquered Norwegian provinces north of the Sound; these victories may be ascribed to a well-trained army, which despite its comparatively small size, was far more professional than most continental armies, to a modernization of administration in the course of the 17th century, which enabled the monarchy to harness the resources of the country and its empire in an effective way.
Fighting in the field, the Swedish army was able, in particular, to make quick, sustained marches across large tracts of land and to maintain a high rate of small arms fire due to proficient military drill. However, the Swedish state proved unable to support and maintain its army in a prolonged war. Campaigns on the continent had been proposed on the basis that the army would be financially self-supporting through plunder and taxation of newly gained land, a concept shared by most major powers of the period; the cost of the warfare proved to be much higher than the occupied countries could fund, Sweden's coffers, resources in manpower, were drained in the course of long conflicts. The foreign interventions in Russia during the Time of Troubles resulted in Swedish gains in the Treaty of