Treaty of Nystadt

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The Treaty of Nystadt was signed on August 30 (September 10, O.S.), 1721, in the Finnish town of Nystadt. It ended the twenty-one year Great Northern War between Russia and Sweden. The treaty was the result of several years of negotiations between the warring parties. The clauses were:

  1. "Eternal peace" was established on land and sea
  2. All hostilities were committed to oblivion, except for the crimes of the Russian Cossacks who had aided the Swedes
  3. All military action ceased
  4. Sweden agreed to cede to Russia Livonia (Lifliandia), Estonia (Estliandia), Ingermanland (Ingria), part of Karelia with Vyborg district, with the towns of Riga, Dünamünde, Pernau, Reval (Tallinn), Dorpat, Narva, Vyborg, Kex-holm, and the islands of Oesel, Dago, and Meno
  5. Russia agreed to evacuate Finland (invaded in 17131714) and to pay Sweden two million thalers compensation
  6. Sweden was granted entitlement to trade in Riga, Reval, and Arensburg, and to purchase grain duty-free
  7. Russia agreed not to interfere in Swedish domestic affairs
  8. The border was defined in detail
  9. The former Swedish provinces annexed to Russia were to retain all their privileges and rights unwaveringly
  10. The Protestant faith was to enjoy the same freedoms as Orthodoxy
  11. Claims to landed estates in Livonia and Estonia were to be settled, and
  12. Swedish citizens with claims to land could retain their estates only if they swore allegiance to the Russian crown
  13. Russian troops still in Livonia were to be provisioned, but they were required to take all their weapons and supplies when they left, and to return archives and documents
  14. Prisoners of war were to be returned (unless they wished to stay)
  15. The kingdom of Poland, as an ally of both signatories, was included in the treaty, but Sweden was free to conclude a separate treaty with Poland
  16. There was to be free trade between Sweden and Russia
  17. Swedish merchants were allowed to maintain warehouses in Russian towns and ports
  18. The parties agreed to help each other in case of shipwrecks and
  19. To greet ships of both nations with the usual friendly shots
  20. Ambassadors and envoys were to pay their own expenses, but the host power would provide escorts
  21. Other European powers were given the option to enter the treaty within three months
  22. Quarrels and disputes were to be settled equitably, without breaching the peace
  23. Traitors, murderers, and criminals would be extradited
  24. The treaty was to be ratified in three weeks in Nystadt

The treaty was published in Russian in large print runs of five thousand copies in 1721 and twenty thousand copies in 1723, following the authorization of the map showing the new borders. It sealed both Russia's rising status as a leading player in European politics and Sweden's decline as a major military power, marking its disappearance from the southern shores of the Baltic, to the advantage of Denmark, Prussia, and Russia. It also underlined Poland's status as a client state. At the official celebrations in St. Petersburg in October 1721, Peter accepted the titles Great, Emperor, and Father of the Fatherland from the Senate, further arousing the belief in some European countries that Russian influence was to be feared "more than the Turks." Except for the changes related to Finland, the treaty defined Russia's Baltic presence for the rest of the imperial era. The acquisition of ports brought Russia both economic and strategic advantages as well as an influx of highly educated Baltic German personnel to work in the imperial civil service.

See also: great northern war; peter i; sweden, relations with


Bagger, H. (1993). "The Role of the Baltic in Russian Foreign Policy 17211773." In Imperial Russian Foreign Policy, ed. Hugh Ragsdale. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Hughes, Lindsey. (1990). Russia in the Age of Peter the Great. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Lindsey Hughes