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France had been the foremost great power in Europe since the end of the sixteenth century, guaranteeing the French language its position as the shared language of the aristocracy and of European royal courts at least until the beginning of the twentieth century. In the case of Sweden this influence was enhanced by the fact that for considerable periods of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries France’s political interests were compatible with Sweden’s. Sveaborg exemplified this, of course, built as it was with the help of French money, but there were extensive networks of military and diplomatic contacts, the overall effect of which was that French culture was an indisputable norm for the Swedish nobility in the eighteenth century (bolds by me) A history of Finland by Henrik Meinander

What is the meaning "as it was" in the text above?

I think that it would me meaningful if the author wrote "as it was built...". But is there any special meaning in the saying "built as it was with help of French money"?

What is the author trying to tell?

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2 Answers 2

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As it was doesn't change the meaning of the passage. It's simply added for emphasis, to underscore that Sveaborg was built with the help of French money.

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If you would prefer, you can write the following:

  • "Sveaborg exemplified this, as Sveaborg was built with the help of French money."

  • "Sveaborg exemplified this, because Sveaborg was built with the help of French money.

  • "Sveaborg exemplified this, since Sveaborg was built with the help of French money.

I have no idea if any of those sentences are true. However, the sentences are all grammatically correct. Additionally, the sentences all share the same meaning.

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