Alternate History

Eric II of Finland (The Kalmar Union)

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Eric II
Eric II Fin (The Kalmar Union).png
Eric II
King of Finland
Reign 14th August, 1282 - 1307
Predecessor Eric I
Successor n/a - Finland reabsorbed by Svealand
Spouse Sigrid of Köyliö
Issue Richeza


Full name
Eric Ericsson
House Eric
Father Eric I
Mother Ingrid
Born 1270
Åbo (Turku), Finland
Died 14th August, 1282
Pyhäranta, Finland

Eric II was the last king of the first kingdom of Finland, which affected independence from 1267 to 1307.

Eric would inherit Finland from his father Eric VII/I, the deposed king of Svealand, at the age of 11 or 12 in 1282. At that time Finland was small and sparsely populated but Eric I had expanded it to the north and east with 'crusades' against the pagan Karelians and Tavastians. This had fostered a united nobility, a far cry from Svealand's eternally squabbling lords. He had also sealed alliances with Saaremaa and Novgorod, who were both eager to stymie Svealandic ambitions on the Eastern Baltic coasts.

Eric II therefore took on a relatively peaceful kingdom, which had papal recognition, and was expanding not only its borders but the borders of Christianity in the Finnish and Karelian forests. There is little evidence of the deeds of his rule other than expeditions into the north and unsuccessful attempts to secure a Vikene alliance. This failure to secure wider ties to the rest of Europe would ultimately seal his kingdom's fate.

By 1305 Svealand had finally disentangled its domestic issues, especially with the defeat of Eric VIII and the resumption of Magnus III's reign. This coincided with Saaremaa's toeing of Denmark's line alongside Vikene and Gothenlandic merchants clearing much of the Novgorodian piracy out of the Baltic. 1307 saw Magnus III launch a campaign against Finland which Eric and his smaller army would not be able to resist. Quickly seizing Åbo the Svealandic-Finnish lords soon abandoned Eric to protect their rights and estates. Eric would make a last stand at Pyhäranta and was reportedly cut down by his own previously loyal men. His wife and children would go into exile in Novgorod. His son Eric would make attempt to oppose Olaf III/II's seizure of Svealand in the 1330's while his daughter Richeza features in the genealogies for the Vasa family.

Finland would therefore end its brief experiment of independence on the battlefield. Magnus III took its crown and melted it down, donating the gold to Uppsala Cathedral, a small offer to help salve church relations. Finland itself returned to being a mere duchy which would be extended by its Svealandic, Vikene and Danish rulers as Svealand itself was absorbed into successively larger polities before regaining its independence at the dawn of the 19th century.

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