Gustavus Adolphus Documentary
Gustavus Adolphus, the hero general of the Reformation, was born at the royal palace at Stockholm, Sweden, December 9th, 1594, a little more than one hundred years after the birth of Luther, nearly fifty years after his death, and five years before the birth of Cromwell. Washington and Lincoln, as to date of birth, were only seventy-seven years apart; had Washington lived but nine years more, they would have been contemporary. Washington may, in a sense, be said to have made this country, and Lincoln to have preserved it a united people.
Just so Luther brought about the movement known as Protestantism, but it was given to this great king of Sweden, known as the Lion of the North, to preserve Protestantism from extinction on the continent of Europe, even as a little later it was given Cromwell to stop that curious movement toward Romanism which is even yet the puzzle of the historian. Gustavus II. was the son of Charles, Duke of Sudermania, youngest son of Gustavus Vasa, who may be considered the founder of the Vasa family. During the entire sixteenth century Sweden was torn by external wars and internal dissensions. Sweden, by the contract of Calmar, in 1397, had become a dependency of Denmark. A trade among rulers had made a brave people the reluctant subjects of an alien power. Gustavus Vasa conceived the project of freeing his country from Denmark.