Sweden wins the Great Northern War

Mar 2016
1,207
Australia
#11
It would have needed to be an early victory since the Spanish war ended in 1713 while this war ended in 1721 in real life.
A Swedish victory at Poltava (1709) would have turned the tide of the war in Sweden's favour decisively. When the Russians won this battle, they, for all intents and purposes, won the war. The next 12 years were just finishing off the already beaten Swedes. The vast majority of the professional Russian army was present at Poltava; had they somehow been defeated, the way to Moscow would be open, and its capture would most probably result in a Russian capitulation. The war was extremely unpopular with the bulk of the lower classes, and there was a lot of resentment against Peter himself because of his constant and controversial "reforms" (I say in quotation marks because it wasn't seen as that by many at the time). There's the possibility that he would be overthrown following a defeat at Poltava and the destruction of his army, and any successor to him would inevitably be pro-peace. Peter was unusual in how unbending and iron-strong his determination to continue the war was; most people just wanted it to end no matter what.
 
Feb 2019
345
California
#12
A Swedish victory at Poltava (1709) would have turned the tide of the war in Sweden's favour decisively. When the Russians won this battle, they, for all intents and purposes, won the war. The next 12 years were just finishing off the already beaten Swedes. The vast majority of the professional Russian army was present at Poltava; had they somehow been defeated, the way to Moscow would be open, and its capture would most probably result in a Russian capitulation. The war was extremely unpopular with the bulk of the lower classes, and there was a lot of resentment against Peter himself because of his constant and controversial "reforms" (I say in quotation marks because it wasn't seen as that by many at the time). There's the possibility that he would be overthrown following a defeat at Poltava and the destruction of his army, and any successor to him would inevitably be pro-peace. Peter was unusual in how unbending and iron-strong his determination to continue the war was; most people just wanted it to end no matter what.
Indeed Peter dragged his country into the future kicking and screaming.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
20,049
SoCal
#13
A Swedish victory at Poltava (1709) would have turned the tide of the war in Sweden's favour decisively. When the Russians won this battle, they, for all intents and purposes, won the war. The next 12 years were just finishing off the already beaten Swedes. The vast majority of the professional Russian army was present at Poltava; had they somehow been defeated, the way to Moscow would be open, and its capture would most probably result in a Russian capitulation. The war was extremely unpopular with the bulk of the lower classes, and there was a lot of resentment against Peter himself because of his constant and controversial "reforms" (I say in quotation marks because it wasn't seen as that by many at the time). There's the possibility that he would be overthrown following a defeat at Poltava and the destruction of his army, and any successor to him would inevitably be pro-peace. Peter was unusual in how unbending and iron-strong his determination to continue the war was; most people just wanted it to end no matter what.
Wouldn't a Swedish attack on Moscow have created a huge Swedish salient, though?

Indeed Peter dragged his country into the future kicking and screaming.
So, Russia would be Eastern and Asiatic if it wasn't for Peter?
 
Jul 2009
9,923
#15
There was a common belief held by many Western Europeans during the Great Northern War that Sweden would be the decisive factor in the War of the Spanish Succession; whichever side they joined, that side would almost certainly be victorious. Traditionally Sweden had a more positive relationship with France, so it would be very interesting to see whether a victorious Sweden would indeed join the war on France's side. Depending on what stage of the war this occurred in, it could even result in a decisive French victory and thus the union of the thrones of France and Spain.
I doubt that the GNW had much real effect on that other great war of the time period. Sweden and France both reached their respective levels of exhaustion at around the same time. For the Swedes it was in military manpower; for France it was in terms of how much more the civilian population could take. The era when small powers (Sweden; Bavaria; the Netherlands) could be important military factors was over. Going forward, those countries became less and less important in the great power conflicts of the 18th century.

Sweden emerging successfully from its war against Russia/Denmark/Brandenburg/Saxony would probably not have prolonged the Swedish "empire" for more than a couple of decades. Even France began a slow decline after Louis XIV.
 
Feb 2019
345
California
#16
I doubt that the GNW had much real effect on that other great war of the time period. Sweden and France both reached their respective levels of exhaustion at around the same time. For the Swedes it was in military manpower; for France it was in terms of how much more the civilian population could take. The era when small powers (Sweden; Bavaria; the Netherlands) could be important military factors was over. Going forward, those countries became less and less important in the great power conflicts of the 18th century.

Sweden emerging successfully from its war against Russia/Denmark/Brandenburg/Saxony would probably not have prolonged the Swedish "empire" for more than a couple of decades. Even France began a slow decline after Louis XIV.
Yes the era of the "little big powers" was drawing to a close (see e.g. the United Provinces).
 
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Jul 2009
9,923
#17
Wouldn't a Swedish attack on Moscow have created a huge Swedish salient, though?


So, Russia would be Eastern and Asiatic if it wasn't for Peter?
Russia might have remained a disorganized Orthodox oriental despotism for a long time without Peter. With Peter, Russia redirected its energy and outlook westward. That was good for Russia; not so good for the rest of western Europe in the next several centuries. Regardless, Peter the Great may have been one of the greatest monarchs of all time.
 
Feb 2019
345
California
#18
Russia might have remained a disorganized Orthodox oriental despotism for a long time without Peter. With Peter, Russia redirected its energy and outlook westward. That was good for Russia; not so good for the rest of western Europe in the next several centuries. Regardless, Peter the Great may have been one of the greatest monarchs of all time.
The man was a mad genius. I mean seriously there was a touch of madness (well, more than a touch) to this guy and when you read about his childhood it's none-too suprising. And Driven. Relentless as hell once he set his mind on something. That's a good way to come out on top in the end.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
20,049
SoCal
#19
Russia might have remained a disorganized Orthodox oriental despotism for a long time without Peter. With Peter, Russia redirected its energy and outlook westward. That was good for Russia; not so good for the rest of western Europe in the next several centuries. Regardless, Peter the Great may have been one of the greatest monarchs of all time.
Russia's transformation was certainly extremely incomplete under Peter, though. For instance, serfdom remained for almost another 1.5 centuries after Peter's death.
 

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