Treaty of Speyer (1544)

The Treaty of Speyer or Peace of Speyer was signed on May 23, 1544 between Denmark and the Holy Roman Empire during an Imperial Diet of the Holy Roman Empire in Speyer, Germany. Danish king Christian III had imposed heavy tolls on the Sound and two other channels between the North Sea and the Baltic sea, in an effort to end the Dutch dominance of trade in the Baltic region. Under pressure from Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, he agreed to exempt the Dutch ships from these tolls and give them free and unfettered access to the Baltic. In the treaty, Charles V also recognized Christian III as the rightful king of Denmark, and promised not to provide military support to his rival Christian II. The Treaty of Speyer dictated Christian III's foreign policy for the rest of his life. He kept Denmark at peace, refusing to involve the country in Protestant-Catholic conflicts such as the Schmalkaldic War of 1546. The Dutch would continue to dominate Baltic trade for another two centuries.

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