The beginning of the war. The role of Russia
The Great Northern War was waged between Sweden anda coalition of northern states. It lasted more than twenty years, from 1700 to 1721, and ended in the defeat of Sweden. The main role in the victory belongs to Russia. This provided her with a leading military position among European states.
The first year of the war
The outbreak of the war for Sweden was very successful. She had a strong navy and a first-class army. Initially, Sweden attacked its closest neighbors - Poland, Denmark, Russia. The troops managed to seize many lands, which caused a huge protest and discontent. All this led to the fact that the offended neighbors, having picked up a convenient moment, formed an alliance against Sweden. It is generally accepted that this is the beginning of the Northern War. The motives were extremely simple: to return the former territories, while Russia wanted to win back areas adjacent to the Baltic Sea.
The beginning of the war was supposed to be as follows. Taking advantage of the youth of King Charles XII, the Allies intended to attack Sweden from three sides. But, having learned about the danger that threatens him, Charles XII decided to break opponents one by one. As a result, the beginning of the war went completely different. The Swedish squadron bombed Copenhagen and forced the army to capitulate. It was Russia's only ally, who had a fleet, which greatly undermined the strength of the combined forces.
Russia was forced to do something urgently. Her army, numbering 35 thousand people, began the siege of Narva. However, on November 20, 1700, Charles XII with his army dealt a crushing blow. Russian troops suffered huge losses. This defeat seriously worsened the position of Russia in the international arena.
Thus, the beginning of the war for the Allies wasextremely unfavorable. Sweden too quickly wrote off Russia, believing that the only enemy in this war is Rzeczpospolita. Failure just tempered the character of Peter. He began a purposeful preparation for the battles. He builds defensive structures, recruits and trains soldiers.
A reliable ally in the fight against Sweden forRussia became Saxony. Peter actively supported the king. In gratitude, he promised to provide Saxony with a 20,000-strong army and a hundred thousand rubles annually.
Having been well prepared, the Allies beganfighting. A series of victories over Sweden. They were of great importance, since they raised morale and mood after the defeat at Narva. In addition, it helped to restrain the outbreak of civil war.
Regularly replenishing troops and preparing for battles,Peter tried to establish relations with Sweden and proposed a truce. However, Sweden did not want to recognize Russia's rights to the conquered access to the Baltic Sea. In addition, Russia was wary of England and its allies. They, in turn, feared that if the war ended, Sweden would intervene in the battles for the Spanish inheritance and take sides with France.
As a result, the Northern War continued for many more years and claimed thousands of lives. Unconditional victory was won by Russia. It not only regained its formerly lost territories, but also won new ones.