The build-up to the Livonian War was the issue caused by the death of Queen Sophia of Prussia, which led to the succession crisis in Prussia nad Livonian independence in 1594. This changed the geopolitics of the eastern Baltic, and Pskov and the new Prussian government had to determine how to go about handling the creation of a unique and determined nation.
To further complicate matters, the Prussian colonial empire was greatly shifted by a series of raids by Spanish and Roman privateers. This allowed for Pskov, Prussia, and Livonia all to set up colonies in the Bahamas. Meanwhile, Livonia had created colonies in the Windward Islands that made it the largest colonizer of the three.
The final factor that caused the Livonian war was also economic, but had more to do with Baltic trade. The nation of Pskov had dominated eastern Baltic trade for many years without any real competition, but the desire of Duke Jaagup to advance Livonia as far as possible created economic tensions in the region, which would spill over into the war.
The war began as a small and localized conflict between Livonia and Pskov along their common border. Pskov's army marched and laid siege to the city of Narva, which is located at the Border of Pskov and Livonia. The army of Count Maunas Vaalgamaast then managed to defeat the Pskovian army and push them back to the border.
Lengthy decision-making ensued on the part of the Livonian government as to how to proceed. Many argued for a counter-offensive, and Hamburg almost withdrew, seeing their mission as complete. In 1611, however, as Pskov was negotiating peace, the Kingdom of Prussia decided to engage in combat along the southern border with Kuramo.
The army of Kuramo was raised quite promptly, and at the Battle of Skuodas (in 1611) the Livonian and Kuronian forces defeated the invading Prussian army. This prompted Duke Jaagup to allow his son, Count Maunas, to finish off the Republic of Pskov, while his forces waged war against Prussia. This, however, ended in failre, as it prompted the Pskovian armies, who were preparing to get into defensive positions during negotiations, to spring into action, and forced the Surrender of Narva as well as sent the Prussian army into retreat after the Second Siege of Narva (1612). Count Maunas Miscalculated, and after being pursued from Narva to Dorpat, was ready for a surprise ambush of the Pskovian army that sneaked across the border, and fled to Riga in shame as the Bishophric of Dorpat was captured.
After the Capture of Dorpat and Narva, the Main advances of the Pskovian armies went in two, one to pursue Wenden, and the other, to Pursue Reval.
A large naval battle fought between the Pskovian navy and the joint Livonian-Hamburger navies saw the surrender of most of the Livonian navy at the mouth of the Gulf of Finland. This Effectively ended any type of retaliation or direct invasion, with Pskov now having dominance of the seas. This allowed for the brutal bombardment and blockade of Riga, which saw the Arsenal of Riga burned to the ground.
The war in the colonies, however, was far swifter than anticipated. The Pskov Imperial Company began with small raids on the Livonian colonies, and even captured an island or two, afraid of what Livonia might do if they captured all the islands(i.e. send their entire fleet). However, when the Livonian relief fleet finally arrived in 1612, and after the Battle of the Gulf of Finland, everything changed. The Navy was decimated in the Battle of Novopskovsk, and this allowed the Pskov Imperial company to go ahead with their full invasion, with the capture or surrender of most Livonian Islands peacefully, who lowered their flags in promise that their customs would be respected. The Governor-General of the Livonian colonies was, in fact, appointed the Lieutenant-Governor of many of the Islands shortly afterwards, and retired comfortably under the PIC banner not long afterward.
The Livonian War almost became an extremely large invasion of Livonia on the parts of Scandinavia and Bavaria, but both nations were convinced to avoid war by the ongoing negotiations between Pskov and Livonia. These negotiations didn't prevent Prussia from joining, however, so there was need for two eventual peaces to be concluded.
The Livonians, thinking that they had won the war after a few years, proposed a couple of peace treaties that were eventually withdrawn due to the defeat of Livonia. These peace treaties were:
- Treaty of Räpina - This treaty would have made Pskov a vassal of Livonia and also changed the system of Pskovian government from a pure republic to a hereditary republic, bordering on monarchy. Pskov was also to be renamed Pleskava, and would be forced to give up land to new Livonian vassal, Lādogas, and Livonia proper.
- Treaty of Königsberg - This treaty would have placed the Kingdom of Prussia and the Duchy of Livonia into a Personal Union. Prussia would be renamed Prūsija, and would have made Livonian the official language. Additionally, two vassals were to be formed out of land previously held by Prussia - the counties of Kašubu and Galindi.