Gustavus I


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Gustavus I

(gəstā`vəs), 1496–1560, king of Sweden (1523–60), founder of the modern Swedish state and the VasaVasa
, Pol. Waza, royal dynasty of Sweden (1523–1654) and Poland (1587–1668). Gustavus I, founder of the dynasty in Sweden, was succeeded by his sons Eric XIV (reigned 1560–68) and John III (reigned 1568–92).
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 dynasty. Known as Gustavus Eriksson before his coronation, he was the son of Erik Johansson, a Swedish senator and follower of the StureSture
, noble family that played a leading role in Sweden in the 15th and 16th cent. Sten Sture, the elder, c.1440–1503, was chosen regent in 1470. In the battle of Brunkeberg (1471) he defeated a Danish force sent by King Christian I.
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 family. Gustavus was treacherously imprisoned by Christian IIChristian II,
1481–1559, king of Denmark and Norway (1513–23) and Sweden (1520–23), son and successor of King John. After several unsuccessful attempts, he asserted claim to Sweden by force.
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, the Danish king who was attempting to assert his control over Sweden under the Kalmar UnionKalmar Union,
combination of the three crowns of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, effected at Kalmar, Sweden, by Queen Margaret I in 1397. Because the kingship was elective in all three countries, the union could not be maintained by inheritance.
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. In 1520 his father was one of the nationalist leaders killed in the massacre Christian ordered at Stockholm after he had defeated Sweden. Having escaped from prison, Gustavus led the peasants of Dalarna to victory over the Danes and was elected (1521) protector of Sweden. In 1523 the Riksdag at Strangnas elected him king, ending the Kalmar Union. In 1527, Gustavus convinced the Riksdag at Vasteras to establish a national Protestant Church. To help create a strong monarchy, he wanted the revenue controlled by the Roman Catholic Church and a state Church subservient to his needs. Gustavus organized a national army of Swedish volunteers and built an efficient navy. Because the German city of LübeckLübeck
, city (1994 pop. 217,270), Schleswig-Holstein, central Germany, on the Trave River near its mouth on the Baltic Sea. It is a major port and a commercial and industrial center; the port is the city's primary employer.
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 had supported Gustavus against Christian, it had gained extensive trading privileges in Sweden. A temporary Danish-Swedish alliance led to victory over Lübeck in 1537 and freedom for the Swedish economy to grow; native industries were developed and foreign trade expanded. Gustavus firmly established royal authority, crushed several peasant and clerical revolts, limited the power of the nobility, and in 1544, by the Pact of Succession, made the throne hereditary in the Vasa family, thereby ending the practice of electing Swedish kings. At his death his eldest son succeeded him as Eric XIV, while his other three sons were named royal dukes with wide powers.

Gustavus I

called Gustavus Vasa. ?1496--1560, king of Sweden (1523--60). He was elected king after driving the Danes from Sweden (1520--23)