The Duchy of Estonia (Swedish: Hertigdömet Estland, Estonian: Eestimaa hertsogkond), also known as Swedish Estonia, (Swedish: Svenska Estland) was a dominion of the Swedish Empire from 1561 until 1721, when it was ceded to Russia in the Treaty of Nystad, following its capitulation in the Great Northern War. The dominion arose when the northern parts of present-day Estonia were united under Swedish rule in 1561. The city of Reval and the counties of Harjumaa, Western Virumaa, Raplamaa and Järvamaa surrendered in 1561, and Läänemaa was conquered in 1581. It is also colloquially known as the "good old Swedish times"  (Estonian: vana hea Rootsi aeg) by Estonians, but this expression was not used before the following Russian rule, in the beginning of which the situation of Estonian peasantry declined rapidly (to gain support of German nobility, Russia gave them more power over peasantry).
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