Kingdoms of Svealand, Gothenland and FinlandTimeline: The Once and Never Kings
OTL equivalent: Svealand, Götaland, Österland
Location of the Svealandic Realm in green.
|Official languages||Svealandic, Gothic, Finnish|
|Regional Languages||Sami, Karelian|
|-||Victory of Eric V at the Battle of Fyrisveller||970|
The Kingdoms of Svealand, Gothenland, and Finland, Svealand-Gothenland-Finland, Svealand, Sweden, the Three Kingdoms, is a large Federal Monarchy spanning much of southeastern Scandinavia and Finland. It is bordered by Denmark to the south and west, Novgorod to the east, and Lade to the north.
While the three entities maintain separate parliaments, there is a central parliament in Stockholm, which makes it the de facto capital.
There is a great deal of disdain from Gothic and Finnish citizens toward Svealand proper, and often see themselves as oppressed, conquered peoples.
Outsiders have adopted the term "Swede" or "Swedish" when privately referring to the state. When a Geat or Finn is in earshot, however, their terminology shifts to the more official "Three Kingdoms", or "Svealandic Crown". Ot is not uncommon in Europe for fights to break out because an oblivious speaker addressed a Geat or Finn as a "Swede".
Svealand and Gothenland were united during the campaigns of Eric the Victorious, uniting much of the eastern side of the Scandinavian Peninsula under his rule. Eric would clash with Sweyn Forkbeard during his life, purportedly seizing Skåne during his life. After his death, Svealand-Gothenland would aid Magnus of Norway in his invasion of Danish-held Norway, as well as support Olaf in the Norwegian Brothers War. That cooperation would create and secure a long-standing partnership with the newborn Kingdom of Lade.
Svealand would turn its attention to Finland during the crusades, and incorporated the land over three wars in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The lands would be an integral part of Svealand proper until it was broken off by inheritance in the fourteenth century. Finland and Gothenland would routinely become independent, coming under the rule of second and third male children. These would eventually revert back to Svealand itself when those cadet branches died off.
Succession wars became an integral part of Svealands history for 200 years following 1126, as the Svead House of Eric, the Gothic House of Sverker, and the Danish House of Estridsson all vied for the ever-growing Svealandic realm. The civil wars would come to a close when Vlademar I became king in 1250. He would marry Sofia of Denmark in 1260, and then use his new Danish allies to crush the remaining claimants still willing to fight.
But it would be through this marriage that Denmark would inherit both the Svealandic realm and Lade (who kept close marriage ties to Svealand) in 1425. The succession of both would be confirmed in the Gothic town of Kalmar, giving rise to the unofficial name of the Union.
Svealand would not come to like its time under Denmark's suzerainty: its coffers were drained to save expenses on Denmark's own, and its armies, having gained a reputation as among the best in Europe, would be thrown at those of the increasingly powerful and centralized Hanseatic League and those of the Luxembourg Emperors. Deciding they've had enough, Svealand and Lade refused the 1504 call to arms sent by the (quite possibly insane) Danish King Christian, instead rebelling as his understrength army marched against the Hanseatic cities again. Both Svealand and Lapland would be granted independence, and Denmark would lose Holstein to the newborn Hanseatic Republic.
Arguably one of the few benefits Svealand received out the Kalmar Union was the revelation that Denmark had been concealing the existence of a new landmass. Rumors had drifted into Svealand that there was land west of Greenland, some called it Vinland. It wouldn't be able to get beyond trading forts situated on the mid Atlantic coast of it (otl Delaware) a few decades, but it eventually muscled territory out of the native tribes, calling their dominion New Svealand.
Wholeheartedly embracing Lutheranism, Svealand would enthusiastically join its coreligionists in the Forty Years War. Under the command of King Gustav II, possibly the best commander of the war, Svealand would soundly crush the Danish armies in Denmark proper, leaving its Laddish allies to deal with the remnants in Danish Norway. Gustav would defeat Imperial and Francian armies at the Battles of Leipzig, Brunswick, and Metz. But as he was advancing on Mainz, whose Prince-Archbishop was the leader of the Holy Roman Empire's Catholic League, an outnumbering Imperial army engaged his. The resultant battle left Gustav dead and the Sveadlandic army in ruin, and it and Lade made peace with the Catholics in 1647.
Svealand would, however, able to acquire western Pomerania (Vorpommern) in a deal struck with Brandenburg-Prussia upon the House of Pomeranias extinction. Aside from that compensation, Svealand received nothing but a brief surge in national pride at their decisive victories over their former masters.
But the weak rule of Eric X lead to an new Danish invasion in 1728. The lackluster defense put up by the Svealandic defenders lead to Kalmar and Gotland falling to the Danes. The end peace would force Svealand to cede Gotland, Vorpommern, as well as lands bordering Skåne. To make matters worse, an equally disastrous war ten years against Novgorod saw the fortress of Viborg, and what coast Svealand (through Finland) held on Lake Ladoga.
The nineteenth century saw the Svealandic economy tick up as its first relatively peaceful time in centuries allowed money to flow in from its extra-European territories in the New World and India. In time, the Bank of Stockholm became one of the go-to places for countries needing loans, rivaling those in Zurich, Genoa, and London. Indeed, due to its proximity, the Bank of Stockholm would become the organization Lapland is indebted to. The strength of the economy is credited with stifling the independence movements in Gothenland and Finland.
The devolved regional parliaments in Göteborg, Helsinki, as well as Svealands own in Stockholm, hold great power and autonomy away from the central parliament. This is a compromise made by Svealand in an attempt to keep the territories together, fearing the collapse of their own position should Gothenland and Finland successfully secede.
While no politician, from any of the kingdoms, would be so rude to say so, it is a commonly held perception that Lade is subservient to the Svealandic kingdoms, thanks to its rather lack of discovered resources. Those in favor of annexing Lade have always been a fringe group, and often derided as expansionist, but they have seen a noticeable rise in support in recent years. But the Laddish discovery of oil shocked many in the country. While the prospect of more money flowing into Svealand (which it can tax) is appealing, some fear Lade becoming financially independent and challenging Svealand. As such, Svealand hasn't yet taken a side in Lades dispute with Denmark over who controls the oil reserves off the west coast of Scandinavia.
Flag and CoA
The flag and coat of arms were designed to reflect Sweden's status as "three kingdoms, United". The flag is a blue field with a Nordic Cross with alternating colors representing a different sub-kingdom with the colors taken from their regional flags. The blue field and outside golden layer is representative of Svealand proper, the green and slightly lighter gold is from the regional flag of Gothenland, follow by the inner red and darker gold layers for Finland. It should be noted that Finland's regional flag doesn't utilize a Nordic cross, and is instead a gold lion on a red field.
The coat of arms depicts three crowns, one for each kingdom, on a blue shield under a single, larger crown, indicative of their comman monarch, currently Gustav X.