The Netherlands: Treaty between Sweden and the Netherlands 1614
To mark the 400 years since the diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Sweden began we publish documents relating to this event. From the National Archives of Sweden we publish the appointment of the ambassador, and from the National Archives of the Netherlands we present the treaty and its ratification.
The 1614 treaty between our two countries was an immediate result of the Kalmar wars of 1611–1613 which resulted in a ban on all Dutch traffic to Sweden and a sudden increase of the Sound Toll duties. In order to secure free entrance to the Baltic, the Dutch entered into anti-Danish alliances with the Hanseatic League in 1613 and with Sweden in 1614. These alliances forced the Danish King Christian IV to pull back, while the Dutch also imposed some sort of Pax Neerlandica on the Baltic waters, obliging the surrounding powers to guarantee free and secure shipping in the region.
King Gustav II Adolf (1611–1632) lost the Kalmar wars and was obliged to pay the Danish an enormous tribute of one million rijksdaalders. If he did not or could not, the Danish King Christian IV would get the port of Elfsborg, a very strategic prize, as Elfsborg controlled the link between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The Swedish therefore decided to obtain credits abroad and to increase exports. As a result, the Swedish government obtained the monopoly on the export of copper which was so profitable that the war debt to the Danish could be paid.
Sweden's internal market depended very much on the investments of foreign capital and the services offered by the financial market in Amsterdam. Dutch entrepreneurs like De Geer and Trip made a fortune in the Swedish iron, copper and weapons industries and obtained pivotal positions in Sweden's export trade. In the 1640s, Sweden had become the Dutch Republic's number one trading partner in the Baltic. About 50% of Sweden's imports originated from Amsterdam's staple market whilst all copper exports and 40% of all iron exports went to the Low Countries as did 75% of Finnish tar production.
The Swedish market had also become the second pillar of the Low Countries' Baltic trade. The acquisition by Gustav II Adolf in 1632 of the northern German shores along the Baltic and the North Sea was followed by successful Swedish campaigns in 1643 and 1657 in Jutland. On both occasions, Denmark had to give up territories in the Baltic and several provinces along the eastern coast of the Kattegat and the Sound, thus losing its supreme strategic position at the entrance to the Baltic. It marked the beginning of Sweden's Age of Greatness which was to last until 1721.
The 1614 treaty was dated 5 April 1614 and was signed by the lawyer and envoy of the King of Sweden, the Dutchman Dr Jacob van Dijck and seven representatives of the States-General of the Netherlands. The ratification of the treaty by the King of Sweden took place on 28 July 1614. It was signed by King Gustav II Adolf and 'Johannes'. This Johan (1589–1618) must be the son of King Johann Ill of Sweden who died in 1592 and was succeeded in 1611 by Gustav II Adolf. His sister was Maria Elisabeth (1596–1618) who was married to the aforementioned Johan, her cousin, youngest son of Johan Ill of Sweden. To make it even more complex, in the ratification, Gustav Adolf calls this Johan his 'brueder' but he means to say, brother-in-law. The other signatures in the ratification must belong to high Swedish authorities.
The 1614 treaty was dated April 5th, 1614 and was signed by the lawyer and envoy of the King of Sweden, the Dutchman Dr. Jacob van Dijck and seven representatives of the States-General of the Netherlands.
The ratification of the treaty by the King of Sweden took place on July 28th, 1614. It was signed by king Gustav II Adolph and — as you can see - 'Johannes'. This Johan (1589-1618) must be the son of king Johan III of Sweden who died in 1592 and was succeeded in 1611 by Gustav Adolph II. His sister was Maria Elisabeth (1596-1618) who was married to the aforementioned Johan, her cousin, youngest son of Johan Ill of Sweden. To make it even more complex, in the ratification, Gustav Adolf calls this Johan his 'brueder' but he means to say, brother-in-law. The other signatures in the ratification must belong to high Swedish authorities.
Details of the signatures on the ratification.
Seal on the ratification of the treaty.
Seal on the ratification of the treaty.
Back of the ratification.