Gustav Vasa

Article

December 6, 2021

Gustav Vasa or Gustav I, originally Gustav Eriksson, according to several sources born 12 May 1496, died 29 September 1560 at Tre Kronor in Stockholm, was King of Sweden 1523–1560 and head of state 1521–1523, during the ongoing war of liberation. His accession to power, initiated as a revolt against Union King Christian II after the Stockholm massacre, marked the end of the Kalmar Union. Gustav belonged to the Vasa family, which through him became the first monarchical dynasty to rule a united Swedish kingdom as a hereditary kingdom. His government is characterized by the introduction of a strong central government throughout the kingdom with an efficient bureaucracy and an evangelical state church based on Luther's teachings. Gustav's role in the introduction of a Swedish heritage monarchy is today seen as the founding of the modern nation-state Sweden, and it is June 6 - the date when he was elected king by the Riksdag in Strängnäs in 1523 - which is Sweden's national day. He has later, especially from the late 19th century, been elevated to the father of the country and has thus become an important national symbol. In the modern view of history, Gustav I has been subjected to a more critical analysis in which he emphasized how he consolidated his power with brutal methods and intensive propaganda and cleared opponents out of the way. The historian Lars-Olof Larsson has pointed out that Gustav with ruthlessness and lust for power in combination with political skill in many ways behaved in accordance with the Italian political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli's principles for a prince's consolidation of his power, something that Swedish historiography often ruled out.

Growing up

Pedigree

Gustav was the son of the knight and councilor Erik Johansson (Vaasa) to Rydboholm and Cecilia Månsdotter (Eka). The father belonged to the father of a Riksråd family which was later named the Vasa family. Both grandfather and great-grandfather were knights and councilors. The family can be traced back to the 14th century Uppland low savior and it was relatively late that the family gained entry into the high savior with Gustav's paternal grandfather, the drot Kristiern Nilsson, and his brother. In the description of Erik Johansson in various 16th century sources with varying tendency a shimmer of ridicule over him. Despite his exalted social status, the preserved evidence shows "that he must have been an unusually weak number in his brilliant family", as the personal historian Hans Gillingstam puts it. Even Erik Johansson's own niece Birgitta Kristiernsdotter characterized him as "a simple and simple man". ). In addition, through his marriage to Cecilia Månsdotter, daughter of the Riksråd Måns Karlsson (Eka), Erik Johansson became a brother-in-law to the director general Sten Sture the younger; this was married to Cecilia's half-sister Kristina Nilsdotter (Gyllenstierna). This family connection was probably a guide for the demarcation of the young Gustav's career. Through his grandmother, Birgitta Gustavsdotter (Sture), Gustav descended from King Sverker the younger; he thus had royal blood in his veins, albeit from a long distance. Of Gustav's seven siblings, four died at a young age and two died in Danish captivity. Sister Margareta Eriksdotter married in 1516 Joachim Bragde (Brahe), who was executed at the Stockholm massacre on November 8, 1520. In this marriage, the son Per Brahe the Elder, later councilor and count, was born. Margareta then remarried in 1525 to Count Johan of Hoya and Bruchhausen.

The first years

Gustav was probably born on 12 May 1496 on Lindholmen's farm in Orkesta parish. Rydboholm Castle, which was owned by his father Erik Johansson (Vaasa) and where Gustav grew up, is also sometimes mentioned as his birthplace. According to information, however, the family must at the time of Gustav's birth have v

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