Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Beginning in the thirteenth century the Swedes attempted to continue their expansion to the east into the territory of the Lapp people and the Orthodox Russians of Novgorod. They harnessed the rhetoric of Crusade as they expanded to the east to gain more control of the Lapp people and exploited the fur trade, hunting, and fishing of the indigenous people.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â It was not just economic concerns that animated the Swedes and Norwegians to expand to control the far-northern trade, religion played a role. The Catholic Swedes sought to extend the Latin Churchâ€™s influence to the east and north while the Orthodox Russians sought to do the same with their brand of Christianity. Prior to the thirteenth century this impulse had went hand in hand with normal expansion, religious affiliation went hand in hand with political control, indeed religion facilitated control of subject peoples.Â Religious uniformity helped mask the differences among the various ethnicities that occupied the far north.