This is a volume in a sequence of books which explores the history of the Baltic World and Northern Europe. In this period, Sweden was a major European power, occupying a central position in international politics. Her rise and decline are a central feature of the book. The author also describes the evolving social and political systems of the principal Baltic states of the time. It illustrates how the history of the Baltic people is one adaption to the impulses and pressures of the outside world and describes how the people were able to make the most out of their unpropitious surroundings. It also examines the evolving social and political systems of the principal Baltic states of the time.