Hunter Starr POSC 409

Hunter Starr POSC 409 - Hunter Starr POSC 409-011 Professor...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Hunter Starr POSC 409-011 Professor Green April 11, 2008 Gustav II: Adolphus The Great Gustavus Adolphus is one of the most interesting and complicated people relegated to the annals of history. He lived during a period where Europe itself was inherently complicated, a time when new ideas were being spread across the continent in an open and unapologetic fashion. During the Protestant reformation against the Catholic Church, claims that Catholicism had lost touch with its original dictums as well as with the populace of its faithful initiated a change of European international society that left no corner of the continent untouched. Gustavus Adolphus is a complicated person to study because it is nearly impossible to discern his real intentions behind the decisions he made during his short but illustrious reign as King of Sweden. What is certain is that he was an enlightened Protestant ruler who claimed to be the champion of the movement. But because he was effectively able to advance the interests of his country at the same time, it seems naïve to take his claims of religious piety as fact. Through constant contact and struggle with neighboring countries, Gustavus was able to develop a greater military capacity with an unyielding readiness to innovate and learn from experience, turning his “marcher” state into a candidate for hegemony over the European system (Watson 1992:194). He transformed warfare in Europe in the age of the gunpowder revolution using new tactics that had never been seen before, combining them with tactics from antiquity not seen for hundreds of years. He used his military effectively, causing disarray amongst the enemy ranks. A question then arises, but to
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Starr what ends? Was it in defense of his religion, was it in the interest of his state, was it a combination of both, or was it for something else, creating a new Swedish hegemony not only in the Baltic but across Europe and possibly farther? This is especially difficult to ascertain because many studies of Gustavus do not agree on his intentions and overall goals. Those writing during or shortly after the time of his reign view him as the champion of the Protestant cause. Those writing over one hundred years later saw him as a practical leader who cared only for the national interests of his native country, while still others characterize him as an aggressive opportunist who used any means necessary to achieve his desired goals. The King of Sweden was a man with powerful motives and an equally strong will; courageous by nature he possessed a healthy self-reliance that drove him to alter the political and religious landscape of the European continent. I. An Army Fit for “The Father of Modern Warfare” On December 17, 1611 the seventeen-year-old Prince Gustavus Adolphus ascended the throne of Sweden. He came to the throne at a critical point in Sweden’s history. Sweden’s economy was questionable at best, and the country was at war with Denmark, Poland, and Russia. Few monarchs have faced such dismal circumstances
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course POSC 409 taught by Professor Green during the Spring '08 term at University of Delaware.

Page1 / 15

Hunter Starr POSC 409 - Hunter Starr POSC 409-011 Professor...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online