Attempts to create a land militia

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09. January 1701

On January 9, 1701, king Charles XII gave the order to the Governor-Generals of Estonia and Livonia to form a unit of land militia. Overall, some 8000 men were recruited but their military efficiency remained low.

Still, the land militia acted as a considerable force in the defense of Tartu and Narva in 1704. The Swedish plan to create an overall land defense force failed.

The local peasants were often used in town fortification works and of course the they had to pay contributions to the military in grains, linen, various foods but also in clothing. The same was demanded of the town folk, only in currency.

Also, they had to provide transport and were obliged to offer housing.
In the years 1700 - 1704 people were eagerly and sometimes forcefully recruited. Around 10,000 men were conscripted from Estonia and Livonia, most of them, Estonians.

Source: Eesti ajalugu. IV, Põhjasõjast pärisorjuse kaotamiseni. Tartu: Ilmamaa. 2003
Eesti ajaloo atlas. Tallinn: Avita, 2006.                                                                                                 Allikas (pilt): A. Mäesalu, T. Lukas, M. Laur, T. Tannberg Eesti ajalugu I Avita 1997. lk 39


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