Sweden was geographically established as a Great Power during a period of 100 years. This development can be divided into three sequences; in the 1560´s the northern Baltic Region was incorporated; in the first half of the 17th century parts of northern Germany and more of the Baltic region came under Swedish rule; and then during the 1650´s the southern most landscapes of Sweden proper were obtained from the Danish Kingdom.
The future of Sweden as a Great Power depended on external financing. To achieve this Sweden strived to gain control over the Baltic Sea in order to dominate trade. In this context a strong navy was of fundamental importance.