Russo-Swedish War


Russo-Swedish War
(1808–1809)
   A secondary theater of the Napoleonic Wars brought on by the provisions of the 1807 Treaty of Tilsit, which made allies of France and Russia. After the treaty the two countries demanded that Sweden abandon the Fourth Coalition and declare war on Britain. Sweden’s quixotic King Gustavus IV refused, whereupon a Russian army invaded Finland, an integral part of the Swedish Empire since 1154. The decisive engagement was joined at the fortress of Sveaborg in Helsinki harbor, where a garrison of 7,000 Swedes and Finns held off the Russian invaders for three months before surrendering on May 3, 1808. The tsar declared Finland a grand duchy of Russia, and Gustavus was toppled in a coup d’état in March 1909. Swedish forces continued the fight until the following September, when the Treaty of Frederikshavn gave Finland and the Åland Islands to Russia.
   See also <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Rothenberg, Gunther E. The Napoleonic Wars. London: Cassell, 1999.
   CARL CAVANAGH HODGE

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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