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The End of the Great Northern War, 1721 – a Turn in the Baltic Sea Region, but where to? 10th International Conference on History and Culture in North Eastern Europe | Call for Papers

Ausschreibende Einrichtung

Tallinn City Archives, Tallinn – Academia Baltica, Lübeck – Aue-Stiftung, Helsinki – Nordeuropa-Institut, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin – International Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Uniwersytet Szczeciński, Szczecin (Tallinn City Archives)


Anthropologie Kulturwissenschaft Geschichtswissenschaft Internationale Beziehungen


10th International Conference on History and Culture in North Eastern Europe, Tallinn, September, 8-10, 2022

When reflecting on the Baltic Sea area as a historical region, the end of the Great Northern War in 1721 represents an epochal turning point with significant changes in politics, society, culture and economy, which have shaped the following centuries. Of central relevance is the Peace of Nystad (Finnish: Uusikaupunki) between Sweden and Russia of September 12, 1721, which will be the starting point of the conference. The consequences of the end of the war and the conclusion of the peace differed significantly for the affected states, regions and their inhabitants, and in addition the respective (national) memories are quite heterogeneous, too. Both points underline the importance of the upheaval of 1721 also in a long-term perspective: In Sweden, the cession of territories to the tsarist empire marked the beginning of its decline as a great political power, which after initial plans for revenge was then followed by a withdrawal from European power politics. In Russia, on the contrary, the Peace of Nystad was celebrated as a triumphant rise to a great power and the beginning of a new (European) era. For the German nobility in Estonia and Livonia, the transition to the tsarist empire offered them an opportunity to secure their legal and social privileges, whereas for the Estonians and Latvians the new situation resulted in an aggravation of their serfdom. In Finland, the peace enabled – as a result of the cession of Wiborg and Kexholm – the first beginnings of autonomy under Russian rule. For Poland-Lithuania, the outcome of the Northern War initially meant the failure of its attempts to revindicate Livonia. Moreover, the fact that the Polish king was not included in the peace settlement with Sweden indicated the beginning of the sovereignty crisis of the Rzeczpospolita, which then developed into an external control by Austria, Prussia and Russia, and eventually resulted in the partitions of Poland-Lithuania at the end of the 18th century. Finally, Prussia was able to annex Szczecin through the peace treaty of Stockholm in 1720. The conference intends on the one hand to examine the long-term consequences of the Peace of Nystad for North Eastern and East-Central Europe from different thematic perspectives (political history, cultural history, art history, economic history, social history) and from the national perspectives of collective memory on the other hand, asking which significance these consequences and perceptions have up to the present: They include, for example, the shaping of the region by the rise of Russia, traditions of Nordic neutrality after the end of the Swedish great power period, the formation of the “Baltic Germans”, and the rise of small nations.

The International Symposia on History and Culture of North Eastern Europe have been held in Tallinn at irregular intervals since 1995. Their topics focus on the relations of the Baltic region in the narrower sense with the German-speaking area as well as with Northern Europe and Northwest Russia.

Conference languages are German and English.Abstracts in German or English (max. 300 words) with a short bio are requested by March 31, 2022 to, or

Accommodation for presenters at the conference will be provided by the City of Tallinn, travel expenses will be covered by the Aue Foundation and the Böckler-Mare-Balticum Foundation.

Weitere Angaben

Joerg Hackmann


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