Gustav II
Gustav II and Sophia Jagiellon
King of Svealand
Reign 1st May, 1599 - 16th September, 1616
Predecessor Gustav I
Successor Gustav III
Born 8th January, 1562
Stockholm, Svealand
Died 16th September, 1616
Stockholm, Svealand
Spouse Katrin Gyllenstierna

Sophia Jagiellon

Issue Margareta

Elisabeth
Gustav III
Christina
Karl

Full name
Gustav Leijonhufvud
House Leijonhufvud
Father Gustav I Leijonhufvud
Mother Ebba Jönsdotter Roos

Gustav II was king of Svealand at the beginning of the 17th century.

Most of his rule was dedicated to reforming Svealand and its army. At home he was often unpopular with his dogged attempts to raise taxes and remove the powers and privileges of the nobles but a close alliance with the clergy allowed him to see off most opposition. He faced three separate plots to remove him but the defeat of each one allowed him to increase his grip on the Rikstag and remove some of the more troublesome nobles.

On military matters he expanded upon his father's reforms. Whilst the local recruitment spearheaded by the church was delivering a good base, Gustav ramped up the level of drilling and discipline. He refused to simply promote nobility to officers, again angering his lords, and instead demanded meritocratic advancement. This went some way to creating a standing professional army. Indeed, it did not melt away for the harvests like the largely mercenary armies of the continent were prone to do. It was also more than adept at tackling much larger forces, as at Jelgava in 1605, when it routed an undisciplined Novgorodian force three times its size. That war expanded Svealandic Finland slightly, but also led to the building of several fortresses in Livonia; imposing direct Svealandic presence in the faltering state.

All this continued his father's attempts to build a strong Svealand which could defy any Danish attempts to reconquer it. By 1610 however Gustav had come to the conclusion it was folly and unsustainable to continue to oppose a Denmark which was not interested in reconquest anyway. The alliance with Luxembourg was dropped, much to Charles III's deep disappointment though the Polish and Scottish alliances were kept. Gustav instead made a pact with Eric XII, allying Svealand to the Schmalkaldic Empire. Pacts and borders with Lade to the north and Gothenland to the south were reaffirmed.

Gustav died in 1616 and was succeeded by his eldest son Gustav who would put Svealand's decades of domestic and military reforms to a real test.

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