Scandinavia, officially the Empire of Scandinavia, is a federated monarchy located in northern Europe. Scandinavia was formed in 1479 by John Jagiellon, King of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, who united his three kingdoms into a single empire. Over the next century, Scandinavia expanded to include Novgorod and the Baltic coast, as well as the island of Iceland and Greenland. Today, Scandinavia consists of the nine crowns - Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Novgorod, Estonia, Livonia, Courland, and Iceland. Scandinavia is governed by the Riksdag of Scandinavia, a bicameral legislature that is the result of the unification of the three assemblies of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Scandinavia is regarded as a champion of civil rights and ranks highly for its standard of living.
Olaf Bjelbo was the first person to be the monarch of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Olaf, as king of Denmark and Norway, invaded Sweden to displace the German Albert of Mecklenburg at the behest of the Swedish regency in 1389. Upon Albert's defeat, Olaf was recognized as the king of Sweden. Olaf was the first monarch to preside over an assembly of all three Councils of the Realm. Although he wanted to unite the three crowns into a single kingdom, the individual councils were insistent upon maintaing their autonomy. Olaf conceded on the condition that three councils met regularly. Olaf's son Valdemar succeeded him as the king of the three crowns. Pursuing the goal of union, Valdemar forced the three councils to form a single Riksråd in 1456, shortly before his death. He later stripped the Riksråd of the right to elect the heir in order to ensure the succession of his son Magnus and not his son-in-law, Casimir of Poland. Upon his father's death in 1462, Magnus was recognized by the Riksråd as king of the United Kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
Magnus, despite becoming king of the union, was not well loved in Scandinavia. His brother-in-law Casimir Jagiellon presented a serious threat. When Casimir and Magnus's sister had a son, John, many began considering deposing Magnus and making John king. However, Magnus kept his realm under control and even expanded it by gaining control of South Jutland (Schleswig). As the Constitutio Valdemaria meant Magnus could not be ruler of Denmark and Schleswig at once, Magnus gave Schleswig to his nephew as a conciliatory offer and sign of peace. Many interpreted this as Magnus recognizing John as his heir. However, John's position was threatened by the birth of Magnus's late in life son, Olaf. Upon Magnus's death, the Riksrad divided, with Denmark and Norway recognizing John and Sweden recognizing Olaf. John invaded Sweden in 1478 and captured Olaf. Olaf recognized Magnus as the king of Sweden and was then imprisoned. In 1479, John was proclaimed Emperor of Scandinavia. Olaf later died in prison.
John, the first emperor of Scandinavia, turned his focus outwards to the rest of Europe. He secured an alliance with England, sealed by the marriage of his daughter Hedwig to Henry, the Duke of York. John also fought to break the power of the Hanseatic League in northern European trade, a goal he shared with John V of England. John was succeeded by his daughter Hedwig as Empress of Scandinavia. Hedwig is most noted for converting to Lutheranism. When her brother-in-law, John VI of England also broke with Rome, the two discussed the formation of a united church. Thus, the Great Church of the North was proclaimed. The mutual link between England and Scandinavia, the Duke of York, became the first Supreme Governor of the Church of the North. This Northernist Church spread to many of the reforming princes and nobles of the Holy Roman Empire, further weakening the power of the Papacy. Scandinavia's key position in the Reformation established it as a major power in Europe, on par with nations such as France or England. Hedwig also made peace with Scandinavia's dangerous eastern neighbor, Russia, by marrying her daughter Anna to Tsar Ivan IV of Russia. This eventually led to Scandinavian involvement in the Russian Time of Troubles. Hedwig's rule is often seen as a lead in to the Golden Age of Scandinavia.