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of his subjects perished in a contest with the duke of Schleswig and his allies over the possession of the crown, followed by further controversy with the church over the right to control appointments to clerical offices, and was at last murdered in his chamber (1287). During his reign the nobles extorted from him a charter defining their privileges and the limits of royal authority, which thereafter was renewed by succeeding monarchs. He also granted charters to several towns and made general regulations for municipal bodies. Eric VIII warred with Norway, where the murderer of his father received protection, and the controversy with the papal power was renewed. Then followed a barbarous warfare with his younger brother over his right to certain fiefs.
Christopher II on his election by the diet in 1319 was required to sign a declaration; That the bishops and all other members of the Holy Church should freely enjoy their rights and liberties, property and vassals, as formerly, and should be entirely exempted from taxes and the secular jurisdiction: That no ecclesiastical person should be arrested, exiled or deprived of his goods, without the Pope's bull, if a bishop, and if an inferior clerk, only by the regular sentence of his canonical judge: That the chiefs should have feudal jurisdiction over their estates to the extent of amercing in 'small penalties according to the custom of each province, and that the king should not make war without the advice and consent of the prelate and principal men of the kingdom: That the burghers should enjoy their freedom and not be subject to any new toll or tax without consent of the diet: That the merchants should be repaid the sums borrowed from them by the king or his bailiffs: That no impost should be laid on the free peasantry contrary to the established laws and customs : That a parliament should be held annually at Viborg: That no man should be imprisoned or deprived of life or property without public trial and conviction before the proper courts and with the right of appeal to the highest tribunal: That plundering shipwrecked vessels should be punished: That no law should be enacted except by parliament, and that the king alone, with the advice of the nobles and pre
lates, should have power to change the above rules. Christopher lavished grants of lands on his favorites.
He was rewarded for his generosity with revolts and driven from his kingdom, which he vainly fought to recover and died after fourteen years of turmoil. The king had lost his power. The turbulent feudal lords and the rising towns of the Hanseatic league dominated the country. His death was followed by a period of turmoil. Valdemar IV, who after some delay was elected king, had both civil and foreign wars which brought misery on the people.
During the period we have just considered the course of events in Norway was far from peaceful. Sverre in 1202 after a long struggle took the throne from the youthful Magnus V. Having gained the crown by the sword, he had to fight to keep it. Having incurred the displeasure of the Pope, his kingdom was laid under an interdict. He died after twenty-five years of strife. After three brief reigns came that of Hakon, who also had to fight to maintain his authority. His last important undertaking was a disastrous expedition to Scotland. Magnus VI became king in 1263. He granted charters to Bergen and Trondheim and made regulations for their municipal affairs, trade guilds and fraternities. He also compiled a general code of civil and criminal laws, which was accepted by the people assembled in the Gula Ting in 1274. It provided for an annual Law Ting at each chief town of the kingdom, presided over by a judge and attended by a panel of jurors. Trial by battle and ordeal had already been abolished, and two witnesses were required to establish a crime. Compurgators were still allowed. The kingdom was again divided, as formerly, into marine districts, each of which was required to furnish its quota of men and ships. Beacon stations were established on the heights, by which signals could be passed from point to point in case of invasion. Erik married the daughter of Alex III of Scotland, and involved his country in a fierce and profitless war with the Danes in defense of the murderers of Eric Grippling. Hakon made war on the king of Sweden to avenge the murder of his son-in-law. As a result Magnus Senek was placed on the Swedish throne and afterward succeeded to that of Norway also.
In Sweden slavery was abolished by King Magnus in 1335. Margaret was chosen their first queen by the Danes and Norwegians. War followed with Albert of Sweden, and he was taken prisoner. In 1397 there was assembled at Calmar delegates from the diets of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, who joined in choosing Eric king of the three countries. Articles of union were agreed on, by which the three countries became united under the same sovereign and his male issue, choice of sons to be made by the representatives of the kingdoms, but each kingdom was to be governed by its own laws. The Hanseatic league, then flourishing, was confirmed in its privileges in the towns of the three kingdoms. Eric entered into war over Schleswig, which at length involved the German emperor and the intervention of the Pope. He made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, leaving his wife as regent. He had wars with the Hanse towns, which wasted the country and finally resulted in a treaty confirming the commercial privileges of the league. The Swedes rebelled against Eric's misrule and civil war followed, which was terminated through the intercession of the bishops, who this time were peacemakers. Eric provoked revolt and war again ensued, followed by another congress at Calmar, at which the election of a successor to the throne was confided to a college of one hundred and twenty delegates, forty from each state, to include representatives of the prelates, judges, burgomasters and free peasants. Complaints against Eric's rule finally resulted in the choice of Christopher as his successor, and Eric became a pirate.
The peasants of Jutland revolted against the high taxes and oppression of the nobles, but their resistance was overcome in the usual manner. Christopher made unsuccessful war on the Hanse towns. Christian was chosen king by the Danish nobles and then by the Norwegians, but Knutson was named by the Swedes, each acting separately. War followed; Knutson was defeated and driven out and Christian recognized as king of Sweden. Another revolt headed by the archbishop of Upsala again placed Knutson on the throne, from which he was again deposed. On his death Sten Sture received the support of the national diet of Sweden and defeated the Danes in a great battle. In 1478 the university of Copenhagen was founded and that of Upsala in Sweden soon afterward.
John, having been chosen by the Danes and Norwegians, invaded Sweden to enforce submission there and finally obtained their recognition. In an attempt to subjugate Dethmarschen he met with a signal defeat by the free peasants, in which great numbers of the Danish nobles were killed. Revolts again occurred in Sweden, and his authority was resisted during the balance of his reign. Norway also rebelled but was reduced to submission. In his contests with the Swedes and their allies, the Hanse towns, the war degenerated into pillaging expeditions. The barbarity exhibited was extreme. Christian II came to the throne in 1573. The Swedes resisted his authority, and he called to his aid the clergy and the soldiers. Under the name of authority and religion the grossest barbarities were committed. Having overcome the opposition, partly by force and partly by promise, he was crowned at Stockholm. At the close of the court festivals he seized the leaders who had opposed him, and to whom he had solemnly promised amnesty, and on the demand of a churchman for justice against his enemies he turned them over to an ecclesiastical court for trial. They were condemned the next day, and on the pretense that he as king could not shield them from punishment for heresy, on Nov. 8th, 1520 a great number of the leading men of the kingdom were butchered. The Pope's agent was encouraged in his trade of selling indulgences, from which he realized large sums from all factions.
Gustavus Vasa, son of one of the murdered men, after wandering from place to place took refuge with the poor but free Dalecarlian mountaineers, whom he incited to a revolt which gained in force till with the aid of the Hanseatic League the Danes were driven from Sweden. In Denmark Christian excited the hostility of the nobles by forbidding the sale of serfs and allowing them to change their masters, by prohibiting wreckers from seizing shipwrecked goods and in lieu appointing bailiffs to save and return them to the owners on payment of salvage. The nobles revolted and Christian left the kingdom. Gustavus Vasa was then elected to the throne of Sweden by the diet and became the founder of a famous dynasty.
Frederick succeeded to the thrones of Denmark and Norway. After a time the dethroned Christian succeeded in raising a revolt in Norway and involving the people in war, but he was taken prisoner and spent the next twelve years of his life in a dungeon of the castle of Sonderborg, and then was removed to that of Kallundborg. Christian III came to the Danish and Norweigan throne in 1533. The reformation took early hold in Denmark, and religious strife, revolts of the peasantry and many other internal disorders occurred. Christian adopted the reformed faith, took away all temporal power from the clergy and confiscated the church property. The blow at the clergy was accompanied by a confirmation of the privileges of the lay nobility. Sweden also threw off its submission to the sway of the clergy and took side with Luther. Under Gustavus Vasa Sweden enjoyed a degree of peace and prosperity it had not known for many generations. He died in 1560 and was succeeded by Eric his son. His rule was in striking contrast to that of his father. He was fickle, wasteful and plunged into needless wars at home and abroad, from which the people suffered more than the usual miseries. At last they rose, deposed him and elected John in his place in 1568, who had war with Denmark and with Russia, from which no good resulted. Frederick II of Denmark made cruel war on the valiant Dithmarschen peasants, whom he attacked with an overwhelming force and ruthlessly slaughtered. Then followed long and wasting war with Sweden, the pretext for which was the wearing by the Danish monarch in his coat of arms of the triple crown, implying sovereignty over Sweden, the independence of which had been established. The war ended with the loss of his crown by Eric of Sweden. The peace negotiated with King John did not last and more fighting followed till, weary of war, a new treaty was made. Frederick was a Lutheran and persecuted all of other faiths with the zeal and intolerance which characterized the times. Sigmund, son of John of Sweden, having been chosen King of Poland, succeeded on the death of his father to that of Sweden. He was a Catholic and his subjects Protestants. Duke Charles, son of Gustavus Vasa, was made regent. Religious