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The Treaty of Roskilde was concluded on 26 February (OS) or 8 March 1658 (NS) during the Second Northern War between Frederick III of Denmark-Norway and Charles X Gustav of Sweden in the Danishmarker city of Roskildemarker. After a devastating defeat, Denmark-Norway was forced to give up nearly half her territory to save the rest, namely Blekingemarker, Bornholmmarker, Bohuslän marker, Scania and Trøndelag, as well as her claims to Hallandmarker. After the treaty entered into force, Swedish forces continued to campaign in the remainder of Denmark-Norway, but had to withdraw from the Danish isles and Trøndelag in face of a Danish-Norwegian-Dutchmarker alliance. The Treaty of Copenhagen restored Bornholm to Denmark and Trøndelag to Norway in 1660, while the other provinces transferred in Roskilde remained with Sweden.


As the Northern Wars progressed, Charles X Gustav of Sweden crossed the frozen straits from Jutland and occupied the Danish island of Zealandmarker, with the invasion beginning on 11 February 1658. A preliminary treaty, the Treaty of Taastrup, was signed on 18 February 1658 with the final treaty, the Treaty of Roskilde, signed on 26 February 1658.

Although Sweden also invaded Romsdalmarker in Western Norway, the local farmers defied the Swedish taxes and military conscription vigorously, and the Swedish governor was forced to send a full company of soldiers, and 50 cavalry besides, to collect taxes. The occupation was not successful.


The treaty's conditions included:
  • The immediate cession of the Danish province Scania to Swedenmarker.
  • The immediate cession of the Danish province Blekingemarker to Sweden.
  • The immediate cession of the Danish province Hallandmarker, which under the terms of the Peace of Brömsebro, negotiated in 1645 was then occupied by Sweden for a term of 30 years, to Sweden.
  • The immediate cession of the Danish province of Bornholmmarker to Swedenmarker.
  • The immediate cession of the Norwegian province of Bohuslän marker to Swedenmarker. This effectively secured for Sweden unrestricted access to western trade.
  • The immediate cession of the Norwegian provinces of Trøndelag to Swedenmarker.
  • Danish renunciation of all anti-Swedish alliances.
  • Danish prevention of any warships hostile to Sweden passing through the straits into the Balticmarker.
  • Restoration of the Duke of Holstein-Gottorp to his estates.
  • Danish payment for Swedish occupation forces costs.
  • Danish provision of troops to serve Charles in his broader wars.



The Swedish king was not content with his stunning victory, and at the Swedish Council held at Gottorpmarker on 7 July, Charles X Gustav resolved to wipe his inconvenient rival from the map of Europe. Without any warning, in defiance of international treaty, he ordered his troops to attack Denmark-Norway a second time. There followed an attack on the capital Copenhagenmarker, whose residents successfully defended themselves with help from the Dutchmarker, who honored their 1649 treaty to defend Denmark against unprovoked invasion by sending an expeditionary fleet and army, defeating the Swedish fleet in the Battle of the Sound and relieving the capital. His army partly trapped at Landskronamarker and partly isolated on the Danish islands by superior Danish and Dutch forces under Vice-Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, Charles was in 1659 forced to withdraw.

Bornholm and Trøndelag

Meanwhile Norwegian forces succeeded in expelling the Swedish occupiers from Trøndelag. Eventually, the resulting Treaty of Copenhagen in 1660 restored Trøndelag to Norway, and also the island of Bornholmmarker to Denmark.

The relinquishment of Trøndelag by the Treaty of Copenhagen reflects strong local resistance to the Swedish occupation. Although the Swedish invasion was initially welcomed, or at least not resisted, the Swedes issued conscription orders in Trøndelag and forced 2000 men and young boys down to 15 years of age to join the Swedish armies fighting in Poland and Brandenburg. King Karl X Gustav was afraid that the Trønders would rise against their Swedish occupiers, and thought it wise to keep a large part of the men away. Only about one third of the men ever returned to their homes. Some of them were forced to settle in the Swedish province of Estoniamarker, as the Swedes thought it would be easier to rule the Trønders there. Divide and rule. Trøndelag already had a major part of its men in the Dano-Norwegian army and navy, so the Swedish forced conscription nearly emptied Trøndelag of males. The result was devastating, as the farms now were left without enough hands to harvest the fields, and famine struck the region. Some local historians of Trøndelag have termed this the genocide of the Trønders.

The few months of experience with Swedish taxation and conscription left such bitter sentiments that it strengthened Dano-Norwegian unity and patriotism, making resistance to Swedish invasions of Denmark-Norway stronger over the next 80 years.


According to the ninth article of the Treaty of Roskilde, which ceded Scania (Skåne), the inhabitants of the Scanian lands were assured of their privileges, old laws and customs. However the territories were gradually integrated in the Swedish realm. The nobility was soon amalgamated with the Swedish nobility and introduced into the Swedish House of Lordsmarker with the same rights and privilegies as the original Swedish noble families. The provincial Scanian Law was substituted by the national Swedish law in 1683. In the same year the national Danish law came into force in Denmark, also replacing provincial laws there. The Swedish Church Ordinance was introduced in 1686.

See also


  3. Bogren, Yngve, Den kyrkliga försvenskningen av Skånelandskapen och Bohuslän. Studier till den s.k. uniformitetens genomförande 1645- omkring 1750, Stockholm 1937

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