The end of the Swedish rule - the Great Northen War in Estonia


By 1700, Sweden was in a political tight spot, and its neighbours took advantage of it. They declared war, and initially, Sweden was successful. Even though Russians had started to besiege Narva on September 12, Swedish king, Karl XII, was able to destroy the enemy troops. He spent the winter of 1701 in Estonia, in Laiuse, from where the whole Swedish Empire was governed. However, after he had proceeded to Poland, Russia got its chance to resume its actions in the Baltic region. In 1704, Russians took Narva and Tartu, and pillaging troops came near Pärnu and Tallinn. In 1708, when Russians feared that Karl XII will return to reconquer Estonia, they blew Tartu up, and deported all its citizens to Russia.

After Karl XII was defeated in the Battle of Poltava, Russian forces started their overall attack in the Baltic States. In September 1710, they captured Tallinn, and the Noble Corporations of Estonia, Livonia and Oesel capitulated to the Russian czar; with their capitulation they kept their privileges. Compared to the end of the Swedish era, it can be said that they even gained some benefits.

Source: A.Mäesalu, T. Lukas, M. Laur, T. Tannberg "Eesti ajalugu I" 1997 "Avita"