Front Page Titles (by Subject) 62.: Gustavus Vasa - Judgments on History and Historians
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62.: Gustavus Vasa - Jacob Burckhardt, Judgments on History and Historians 
Judgments on History and Historians, ed. Alberto R. Coll (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1999).
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Gustavus Vasa, unlike Henry VIII, did not inherit a paternal, well-mastered empire and a treasury.
He was simply on hand when the Swedes needed a leader in order to throw off the Danes. And when the pressure of the moment determined that such a man should most appropriately appear as a king, he knew how to act. It was very useful to him that Christian II was expelled by the Danes, which meant that he was spared a war with Denmark, and that Frederick I of Denmark recognized the identity of his interests with those of Gustavus. It was not necessary to wage war for the three crowns.
One conclusion a posteriori about his very extraordinary personality is permissible. Above all, he did everything himself and had no Wolsey and no Thomas Cromwell.
Suddenly he is all of Sweden. And then Sweden suddenly has a will and experiences her military and political day in world history, although the question remains whether, on the whole, this was to her fortune. But what Sweden has done since that time quite obviously goes back to Gustavus Vasa, without whom it would be unthinkable.
He must have been the prototype of a Swede, so that his nation was able to recognize itself in him.
His dreadful side is displayed only in connection with expediency and is not entangled with murderous matrimonial matters, as with Henry VIII.