Treaty of Nystad

Dafato Team | Dec 14, 2022

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The Peace of Nystad (Swedish: Freden i Nystad) is a peace treaty between the Russian kingdom and the Swedish Kingdom, which ended the Northern War of 1700-1721. It was signed on August 30th (Swedish: Nystad, Finnish: Uusikaupunki). It was signed on the Russian side by Jacob Bryus and Andrei Osterman, on the Swedish side by Johan Lillienstedt and Otto Strömfeld.

The treaty changed the Russian-Swedish border, previously fixed by the Stolbovsky peace treaty of 1617. Sweden recognized the annexation of Livonia, Estland, Ingermanland, part of Karelia (so-called Old Finland) and other territories to Russia. Russia undertook to return to Sweden the occupied Finland and to pay monetary compensation.

Ratified on September 9 (20). On September 10, 1721 in Moscow were arranged the celebrations on the occasion of the Peace of Nistadt. The victory in the Northern War promoted Russia to the ranks of the largest European states.

The victories of Russian arms at the end of the Great Northern War decided to take advantage of England, Hanover, the Netherlands and Denmark, who had made an alliance with Peter I against Sweden. In reality, England and the Netherlands did not want a complete defeat of Sweden and the strengthening of Russia in the Baltics. This led to the collapse of the coalition and the conclusion of the alliance treaty with France on August 4 (15), 1717: Paris promised to mediate in negotiations with Sweden, exhausted to the limit by a long war. 12 (23) May 1718 opened the Åland Congress - on one of the Åland Islands. On the Russian side the negotiations were headed by Jacob Bryus and Andrei Osterman. However, hoping for the help of England, the Swedes dragged out negotiations in every way. In addition, after the death of Charles XII in 1718 came to power in Sweden revanchist group of Queen Ulrika Eleanor, who advocated a rapprochement with England and the continuation of hostilities.

In 1719, under the influence of British diplomacy, a coalition of European states against Russia was organized. It included Austria, Saxony and Hanover. England promised military and financial aid to the Swedes. Negotiations at the Aland Congress were terminated. In 1719 the Russian fleet defeated the Swedes near the island of Ösel, and in 1720 - near the island of Grengam. England was forced to withdraw its squadron from the Baltic. In 1719-1720 were carried out three successful landing operations in Sweden. All this forced the Swedes to resume negotiations in Nystadt in May 1721.

The treaty consisted of a preamble and 24 articles. Under the treaty Russia secured its access to the Baltic Sea: it ceded a part of Karelia to the north of Lake Ladoga with Vyborg, Ingermanlandia from Ladoga to Narva, part of Estlandia with Revel, part of Livonia with Riga, the islands of Ösel and Dago.

It provided for an exchange of prisoners, an amnesty for "criminals and defectors" (except supporters of Ivan Mazepa). Finland was returned to Sweden, which also received the right to buy and export from Russia 50 thousand rubles worth of bread annually. The treaty confirmed all the privileges granted to the Baltic gentry by the Swedish government: it retained its self-government, class bodies, etc.

The main provisions of the contract:

The strange 5th clause of the treaty stipulated that the victorious party, i.e., Russia, in exquisite terms undertook to pay money to the defeated party, i.e., Sweden. The amount of the ransom was two million thalers (ethereums), to be paid at strictly defined times and through strictly defined banks in Hamburg, London and Amsterdam.

"Against this, His Majesty promises to return the Grand Duchy of Finland within four weeks after the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty, or before that, if possible, to His Majesty and the crown of Sweden. In addition to that, His Majesty is obliged and promises to pay the sum of two millions of Yefimk... and to give it back on such terms and in such coin, as it was stipulated in the separation article".

The word "against" in Article 5 of the treaty is equivalent to the word "instead of" in modern Russian. The word "paki" is equivalent to "as well as", and the word "to defecate" corresponds to the colloquial "to empty", i.e. in this case "to cleanse" (from the troops) and evacuate the territory of the Grand Duchy of Finland. In addition the tsar undertakes to pay the sum of 2 million efimks (jouahimstalers, equated at the time with the Russian ruble). The secession articulation stipulated that the payment was made in Prussian, Saxon or Brunswick "zweidritelstier" - 20 groschen coins, taking three zweidritelstier for two thalers (the acceptable banks and payment terms were also listed.

The terms of peace were:

2 million yefimkova with the weight of the coin in 1721 28 grams - it is 56 tons of silver. For comparison, we can say that the firstborn of the Russian battleship fleet 52-cannon battleship "Poltava" cost sovereign treasury in 35 thousand ethenimks, and that includes the cost of cannons. Thus, Peter I sent to Sweden the amount sufficient to equip a mighty fleet of 56 battleships. The annual budget of Russia in those years was about 4-5 million rubles (or Yefimkova, silver ruble was minted from Joachimsthaler), so the king sent the Swedes half the entire budget of the country. At the same time, "Financial Statistics of Sweden in the period 1719-2003," says that in 1721 the budget of the country was about 6 million Swedish dalleurs, or 2 million ethenimks. Thus, the Swedes received from Russia an amount equivalent to their annual budget.

The money was paid in full, as in February 1727 the new Swedish King Frederick I gave the Russian ambassador in Stockholm, Prince Vasily Dolgorukov, a receipt for the acceptance of Sweden two million thalers - in full.

A possible reason for this is Peter I's relations with the Polish King Augustus the Strong, with whom he had originally entered into war with Sweden as an ally and undertook to give him Livonia in case of victory, as it bordered on one side with the Polish Influenza and on the other with the vassal duchy of Courland to the Polish crown. The ransom was in part a bribe for the appearance of the phrase "in perpetuity" in the Treaty of Nystadt, as the Russian historian Prince Mikhail Mikhailovich Scherbatov confirms: "Peter I in a treaty with the king of Poland obliged that in case Livonia was conquered this province remained in Poland and before the Treaty of Nystadt the emperor intended to cede it to Sweden. And this would have happened if Baron Ostermann, then Russian minister, had not bribed the Swedish ministers at the Congress of Nystad.

Even before the conclusion of peace with the Swedes Peter himself instructed his ambassadors how to obtain the favor of influential England: "If they will not agree to it either, offer money to a minister, but proceed with caution, having investigated whether those ministers are inclined to bribe... I do not expect to bribe Malbrook, as he is very rich; however, to promise 200 thousand or more". "In this context the tsar refers to the British general Duke of Marlborough as a bribe. Apparently, secret diplomacy and bribery played a role: the British squadron on the Baltic did not help the Swedish allies in the fight against the Russian punitive landings in Finland, and then left the Baltic Sea altogether.

Russia gained access to the Baltic Sea and thus began to play a more important role in the international arena. On October 22 (November 2), 1721 it was proclaimed an empire, and Peter I "on the petition of senators" received the title of the Father of the Fatherland, the Emperor of All Russia.

In St. Petersburg in the Summer Garden in 1726 was installed a white marble sculptural group "Peace and Victory. The Peace of Nistadt" by the Italian sculptor P. Baratta. A nude female figure with a horn of plenty and an overturned burning torch represents Russia. At her feet are a shield, a cannon and a drum, symbolizing vigilance. Russia is crowned with a laurel wreath by the goddess of victory, Nika, who holds a palm branch, the symbol of peace, and with her feet she tramples a defeated lion, the heraldic symbol of Sweden. At the goddess's feet a Polish eagle flutters. The lion holds with his paw a cartouche with the inscription in Latin: ''Magnus est qui dat et qui accipit sed maximus qui ambe haec dare potest'' ("Great is he who gives and he who receives. But the greatest is he who can do both.)

The central figure of the Peterhof cascade of fountains - Samson, tearing up the jaws of a lion, also marks the victory of Russian arms in the Northern War.


  1. Treaty of Nystad
  2. Ништадтский мирный договор
  3. Большая Советская Энциклопедия. Гл. ред. Б. А. Введенский, 2-е изд. Т. 30. Николаев — Олонки. 1954. 656 стр., илл. и карты; 52 л. илл. и карт.
  4. Балязин В. Н. Неофициальная история России. — М.: Олма Медиа Групп, 2007. — ISBN 978-5-373-01229-4
  5. 1. П. Баратта (неопр.). Летний сад, проект санкт-петербургской гимназии №196. Дата обращения: 3 сентября 2019. Архивировано 30 октября 2020 года.
  6. a b c d e Paloposki, Toivo J.: Suurvallan loppu, s. 291–295. Teoksessa Suomen historia osa 3: Suurvalta-aika. Espoo: Weilin & Göös, 1985. ISBN 951-35-2492-2.
  8. ^ [a b c d e f g] Sundberg (2002), s. 316–318
  9. ^ [a b] Villstrand (2011), s. 228
  10. ^ Sundberg (2002), s. 320–321
  11. ^ Russian: РГАДА. Рукописный отдел библиотеки Московской Синодальной типографии. Фонд 381, ед.хр.805. Л.6. Original handwritten text of the Treaty of Nystad in Russian
  12. ^ Ragsdale, Hugh; V. N. Ponomarev (1993). Imperial Russian foreign policy. Cambridge University Press. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-521-44229-9.
  13. ^ Лев Успенский. Записки старого петербуржца. (Lev Uspenskii. Zapiski starogo peterburjca.) Any edition.

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