Editor says, what if Prince Sigismund III Vasa of Sweden had been imprisoned by his uncle, Duke Charles? muses Jeff Provine on the This Day in Alternate History web site. Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s). This article is part of the Jeff Provine Blog thread.
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Editor says, in reality Duke Charles did not imprison Sigismund, only the nobles who advised him. Charles demanded that the ousted king attend the Riksens st?nder, but Sigismund instead chose to retreat to Poland-Lithiuania instead. There, Sigismund continually raised up armies in hopes of retaking the Swedish crown in the Polish-Swedish Wars. When Wladyslaw was elected tsar, Sigismund stepped in to usurp his son, sparking another series of wars between Poland and Muscovy. For centuries, war after war whittled away at strength in Northern Europe. The Commonwealth eventually was broken up by its powerful neighbors, Sweden, Prussia, Austro-Hungary, and, particularly, Russia. Editorial comments are entered in [light green] typeface.