|King of Sweden|
|- 1721-1751||Frederick I|
|- 1751-1771||Adolph Frederick|
|- 1771-1792||Gustav III|
|- 1792-1809||Gustav IV Adolph|
|- 1809||Charles XIII|
|- 1792-1796||Duke Charles|
|Legislature||Riksdag of the Estates|
|- February 21, 1719||New Instrument of Government|
|- August 30, 1721||Treaty of Nystad|
|- August 20, 1772||New Instrument of Government|
|- February 16, 1789||Act of Union and Security|
|- March 13, 1809||Coup d'Etat|
|- June 6, 1809||New Instrument of Government|
|- September 17, 1809||Treaty of Fredrikshamn|
|- September 26, 1810||Bernadotte elected as successor|
|Kingdom of Sweden (Swedish Empire)||Sweden |
The Kingdom of Sweden (1721-1809) was a monarchy in Northern Europe.
Early in 1720 Charles XII.'s sister, Ulrica Leonora, who had been elected queen of Sweden immediately after the death of Charles XII, was permitted to abdicate in favour of her husband the prince of Hesse, who was elected king under the title of Frederick I.; and Sweden was, at the same time, converted into the most limited of monarchies. All power was vested in the people as represented by the Riksdag, consisting, as before, of four distinct estates, nobles, priests, burgesses and peasants, sitting and deliberating apart. The conflicting interests and mutual jealousies of these four independent assemblies made the work of legislation exceptionally difficult. No measure could now become law till it had obtained the assent of three at least of the four estates; but this provision, which seems to have been designed to protect the lower orders against the nobility, produced evils far greater than those which it professed to cure. Thus, measures might be passed by a bare majority in three estates, when a real and substantial majority of all four estates in congress might be actually against it. Or, again, a dominant action in any three of the estates might enact laws highly detrimental to the interests of the remaining estate - a danger the more to be apprehended as in no other country in Europe were class distinctions so sharply defined as in Sweden.
Each estate was ruled by its talman, or speaker, who was now elected at the beginning of each Diet, but the archbishop was, ex officio, the talman of the clergy. The landtConstitumarskalk, or speaker of the House of Nobles, presided tion of the when the estates met in congress, and also, by Estates. virtue of his office, in the hemliga utskott, or secret committee. This famous body, which consisted of 50 nobles, 25 priests, 25 burgesses, and, very exceptionally, 25 peasants, possessed during the session of the Riksdag not only the supreme executive but also the surpeme judicial and legislative functions. It prepared all bills for the Riksdag, created and deposed all ministries, controlled the foreign policy of the nation, and claimed and often exercised the right of superseding the ordinary courts of justice. During the parliamentary recess, however, the executive remained in the hands of the rad, or senate, which was responsible to the Riksdag alone.
It will be obvious that there was no room in this republican constitution for a constitutional monarch in the modern sense of the word. The crowned puppet who possessed a casting vote in the real, of which he was the nominal president, and who was allowed to create peers once in his life (at his coronation), was rather a state decoration than a sovereignty.
At first this cumbrous and complicated instrument of government worked tolerably well under the firm but cautious control of the chancellor, Count Arvid Beernhard Horn Political. In his anxiety to avoid embroiling his country Parties. abroad, Horn reversed the traditional policy of Hats and Sweden by keeping France at a distance and drawing near to Great Britain, for whose liberal institutions he professed the highest admiration. Thus a twenty years' war was succeeded by a twenty years' peace, during which the nation recovered so rapidly from its wounds that it began to forget them. A new race of politicians was springing up. Since 1719, when the influence of the few great territorial families had been merged in a multitude of needy gentlemen, the first estate had become the nursery and afterwards the stronghold of an opposition at once noble and democratic which found its natural leaders in such men as Count Carl Gyllenborg and Count Carl Gustaf Tessin. These men and their followers were never weary of ridiculing the timid caution of the aged statesman who sacrificed everything to perpetuate an inglorious peace and derisively nicknamed his adherents " Night-caps " (a term subsequently softened into " Caps "), themselves adopting the sobriquet " Hats," from the threecornered hat worn by officers and gentlemen, which was considered happily to hit off the manly self-assertion of the opposition. These epithets instantly caught the public fancy and had already become party badges when the estates met in 1738. This Riksdag was to mark another turning-point in Swedish the direst pressure. By the peace of Nystad Sweden ceded to Russia Ingria and Estonia, Livonia, the Finnish province of Kexholm and the fortress of Viborg. Finland west of Viborg and north of Kexholm was restored to Sweden. She also received an indemnity of two millions of thalers and a solemn undertaking of non-interference in her domestic affairs.
It was not the least of Sweden's misfortunes after the Great Northern War that the new constitution, which was to compensate her for all her past sacrifices, should contain within it the elements of many of her future calamities. The policy of the Hats was a return to the traditional alliance between France and Sweden. When Sweden descended to her natural position as a second-rate power the French alliance became too costly a luxury.
Horn had clearly perceived this; and his cautious neutrality was therefore the soundest statesmanship. But the politicians who had ousted Horn thought differently. To them prosperity without glory was a worthless possession. They aimed at restoring Sweden to her former position as a great power. France, naturally, hailed with satisfaction the rise of a faction which was content to be her armourbearer in the north; and the golden streams which flowed from Versailles to Stockholm during the next two generations were the political life-blood of the Hat party.
The first blunder of the Hats was the hasty and ill-advised war with Russia. The European complications consequent War with upon the almost simultaneous deaths of the emperor Russia, Charles VI. and Anne, empress of Russia, seemed 1741 to favour their adventurous schemes; and, despite the frantic protests of the Caps, a project for the invasion of Russian Finland was rushed through the premature Riksdag of 1740. On the 20th of July 1741 war was formally declared against Russia; a month later the Diet was dissolved and the Hat landtmarskalk set off to Finland to take command of the army. The first blow was not struck till six months after the declaration of war; and it was struck by the enemy, who routed the Swedes at Villmanstrand and captured that frontier fortress. Nothing else was done on either side for six months more; and then the Swedish generals made a " tacit truce " with the Russians through the mediation of the French ambassador at St Petersburg. By the time that the " tacit truce " had come to an end the Swedish forces were so demoralized that the mere rumour of a hostile attack made them retire panic-stricken to Helsingfors; and before the end of the year all Finland was in the hands of the Russians. The fleet, disabled by an epidemic, was, throughout the war, little more than a floating hospital.
To face the Riksdag with such a war as this upon their consciences was a trial from which the Hats naturally shrank; but, to do them justice, they showed themselves better parliamentary than military strategists. A motion for an inquiry into the conduct of the war was skilfully evaded by obtaining precedence for the succession question (Queen Ulrica Leonora had lately died childless and King Frederick was old); and negotiations were thus opened with the new Russian empress, Elizabeth, who agreed to restore the greater part of Finland if her cousin, Adolphus Frederick of Holstein, were elected successor to the Swedish crown. The Hats eagerly caught at the opportunity of recovering the grand duchy and their own prestige along with it. By the peace of Abo (May 7, 1 743) the terms of the empress were accepted; and only that small part of Finland which lay beyond the Kymmene was retained by Russia.
In March 1751 old King Frederick died. His slender prerogatives had gradually dwindled down to vanishing point. Adolphus Adolphus Frederick (q.v.) would have given even less Frederick trouble than his predecessor but for the ambitious IL, 1751- promptings of his masterful consort Louisa Ulrica, 1771. Frederick the Great's sister, and the tyranny of the estates, who seemed bent upon driving the meekest of princes into rebellion. An attempted monarchical revolution, planned by the queen and a few devoted young nobles in 1756, was easily and remorselessly crushed; and, though the unhappy king did not, as he anticipated, share the fate of Charles Stuart, he was humiliated as never monarch was humiliated before.
The same years which beheld this great domestic triumph of the Hats saw also the utter collapse of their foreign "system." At the instigation of France they plunged recklessly into the Seven Years' War; and the result was ruinous. The French subsidies, which might have sufficed for a six weeks' demonstration (it was generally assumed that the king of Prussia would give little trouble to a European coalition), proved quite inadequate; and, after five unsuccessful campaigns, the unhappy Hats were glad to make peace and ignomini- YearsThe Sevenar. ously withdraw from a little war which had cost the country 40,000 men and L2,50o,000. When the Riksdag met in 1760, the indignation against the Hat leaders was so violent that an impeachment seemed inevitable; but once more the superiority of their parliamentary tactics prevailed, and when, after a session of twenty months, the Riksdag was brought to a close by the mutual consent of both the exhausted factions, the Hat government was bolstered up for another four years. But the day of reckoning could not be postponed for ever; and when the estates met in 1765 it brought the Caps into power at last. Their leader, Ture Rudbeck, was elected marshal of the Diet over Frederick Axel von Fersen (q.v.), the Hat candidate, by a large majority; and, out of the hundred seats in the secret committee, the Hats succeeded in getting only ten.
The Caps struck at once at the weak point of their opponents by ordering a budget report to be made; and it was speedily found that the whole financial system of the Hats had been based upon reckless improvidence and c prof the wilful misrepresentation, and that the only fruit of their long rule was an enormous addition to the national debt and a depreciation of the note circulation to onethird of its face value. This revelation led to an all-round retrenchment, carried into effect with a drastic thoroughness which has earned for this parliament the name of the " Reduktion Riksdag." The Caps succeeded in transferring L250,000 from the pockets of the rich to the empty exchequer, reducing the national debt by L575,179, and establishing some sort of equilibrium between revenue and expenditure. They also introduced a few useful reforms, the most remarkable of which was the liberty of the press. But their most important political act was to throw their lot definitely in with Russia, so as to counterpoise the influence of France. Sweden was not then as now quite outside the European Concert. Alghough no longer a great power, she still had many of the responsibilities of a great power; and if the Swedish alliance had considerably depreciated in value, it was still a marketable commodity. Sweden's peculiar geographical position made her virtually invulnerable for six months out of the twelve, her Pomeranian possessions afforded her an easy ingress into the very heart of the moribund empire, while her Finnish frontier was not many leagues from the Russian capital.
A watchful neutrality, not venturing much beyond defensive alliances and commercial treaties with the maritime powers, was therefore Sweden's safest policy, and this the older Caps had always followed out. But when the Hats became the armourbearers of France in the north, a protector strong enough to counteract French influence became the cardinal exigency of their opponents, the younger Caps, who now flung themselves into the arms of Russia, overlooking the fact that even a pacific union with Russia was more to be feared than a martial alliance with France. For France was too distant to be dangerous. She sought an ally in Sweden and it was her endeavour to make that ally as strong as possible. But it was as a future prey, not as a possible ally, that Russia regarded her ancient rival in the north. In the treaty which partitioned Poland there was a secret clause which engaged the contracting powers to uphold the existing Swedish constitution as the swiftest means of subverting Swedish independence; and an alliance with the credulous Caps, " the Patriots " as they were called at St Petersburg, guaranteeing their constitution, was the corollary to this secret understanding. Thus, while the French alliance of the warlike Hats had destroyed the prestige of Sweden, the Russian alliance of the peaceful Caps threatened to destroy her very existence.
Fortunately, the domination of the Caps was not for long. The general distress occasioned by their drastic reforms had found expression in swarms of pamphlets which bit and stung the Cap government, under the protection of the new press laws. The senate retaliated by an order in council (which the French Alliance. Peace of Abo, 1743. Russian Alliance. king refused to sign) declaring that all complaints against the measures of the last Riksdag should be punished with fine and imprisonment. The king, at the suggestion of the crown prince (see GUSTAVUS III.), thereupon urged the senate to summon an extraordinary Riksdag as the speediest method of relieving the national distress, and, on their refusing to comply with his wishes, abdicated. From the 15th of December to the 21st of December 1768 Sweden was without a regular government. Then the Cap senate gave way and the estates were convoked for the 19th of April 1769.
On the eve of the contest there was a general assembly of the Hats at the French embassy, where the Comte de Modene furnished them with 6,000,000 livres, but not till they had signed in his presence an undertaking to reform the constitution in a monarchical sense. Still more energetic on the other side, the Russian minister, Ivan Osterman, became the treasurer as well as the counsellor of the Caps, and scattered the largesse of the Russian empress with a lavish hand; and so lost to all feeling of patriotism were the Caps that they openly threatened all who ventured to vote against them with the Muscovite vengeance, and fixed Norrkoping, instead of Stockholm, as the place of meeting for the Riksdag as being more accessible to the Russian fleet. But it soon became evident that the Caps were playing a losing game; and, when the Riksdag met at Norrkoping on the 19th of April, they found themselves in a minority in all four estates. In the contest for the marshalate of the Diet the leaders of the two parties were again pitted against each other, when the verdict of the last Riksdag was exactly reversed, Fersen defeating Rudbeck by 234, though Russia spent no less a sum than £11,50o to secure the election of the latter.
The Caps had short shrift, and the joint note which the Russian, Prussian and Danish ministers presented to the estates protesting, in menacing terms, against any " reprisals " on the part of the triumphant faction, only hastened the fall of the government. The Cap senate resigned en masse to escape impeachment, and an exclusively Hat ministry took its place. The On the 1st of June the Reaction Riksdag, as it was generally called, removed to the capital; and it was now that the French ambassador and the crown prince Gustavus called upon the new senators to redeem their promise as to a reform of the constitution which they had made before the elections. But when, at the fag-end of the session, they half-heartedly brought the matter forward, the Riksdag suddenly seemed to be stricken with paralysis. Impediments multiplied at every step; the cry was raised: " The constitution is in danger "; and on the 30th of January 1770 the Reaction Riksdag, after a barren ten months' session, rose amidst chaotic confusion without accomplishing anything.
Adolphus Frederick died on the 12th of February 1771. The elections held on the demise of the Crown resulted in a partial victory for the Caps, especially among the 1771- lower orders; but in the estate of the peasants 1792. their majority was merely nominal, while the mass of the nobility was dead against them. Nothing could be done, however, till the arrival of the new king (then at Paris), and every one felt that with Gustavus III. an entirely incalculable factor had entered into Swedish politics. Unknown to the party leaders, he had already renewed the Swedish alliance with France and had received solemn assurances of assistance from Louis XV. in case he succeeded in re-establishing monarchical rule in Sweden. France undertook, moreover, to pay the outstanding subsidies to Sweden, amounting to one and a half millions of livres annually, beginning from January 1772; and Vergennes, one of the great names of French diplomacy, was to be sent to circumvent the designs of Russia at Stockholm as he had previously circumvented them at Constantinople. Immediately after his return to Stockholm, Gustavus endeavoured to reconcile the jarring factions by inducing the leaders to form a composition committee to adjust their differences. In thus mediating he was sincere enough, but all his pacific efforts were frustrated by their jealousy of him and of each other. Still worse, the factions now intrenched still further on the prerogative. The new coronation oath contained three revolutionary clauses. The first aimed at making abdications in the future impossible by binding the king to reign uninterruptedly. The second obliged him to abide, not by the decision of all the estates together, as heretofore, but by that of the majority only, with the view of enabling the actually dominant lower estates (in which was a large Cap majority) to rule without, and even in spite of, the nobility. The third clause required him, in all cases of preferment, to be guided not " principally," as heretofore, but " solely " by merit,, thus striking at the very root of aristocratic privilege. It was clear that the ancient strife of Hats and Caps had become merged in a conflict of classes; the situation was still further complicated by the ominous fact that the non-noble majority was also the Russian faction.
All through 1771 the estates were wrangling over the clauses of the coronation oath. A second attempt of the king to mediate between them foundered on the suspicions of the estate of burgesses; and, on the 24th of February 1772, the nobility yielded from sheer weariness. The non-noble Cap majority now proceeded to attack the senate, the last stronghold of the Hats, and, on the 25th of April, succeeded in ousting their opponents. It was now, for the first time, that Gustavus, reduced to the condition of a roi faineant, began seriously to consider the possibility of a revolution; of its necessity there could be no doubt. Under the sway of the now dominant faction, Sweden, already the vassal, could not fail speedily to become the victim of Russia. She was on the point of being absorbed in that Northern System, the invention of the Russian minister of foreign affairs, Nikita Panin, which that patient statesman had made it the ambition of his life to realize. Only a swift and sudden coup d'etat could save the independence of a country isolated from the rest of Europe by a hostile league. The details of the of famous revolution of the r9th of August 1772 are elsewhere set forth. Here we can only dwell upon its political importance and consequences. The new constitution of the 10th of August 1772, which Gustavus imposed upon the terrified estates at the bayonet's point, converted a weak and disunited republic into a strong but limited monarchy, in which the balance of power inclined,. on the whole, to the side of the monarch. The estates could only assemble when summoned by him; he could dismiss them whenever he thought fit; and their deliberations were to be confined exclusively to the propositions which he might think fit to lay before them. But these very extensive powers. were subjected to many important checks. Thus, without the previous consent of the estates, no new law could be imposed, rio old law abolished, no offensive war undertaken, no extraordinary war subsidy levied. The estates alone could tax themselves; they had the absolute control of the Bank of Sweden, and the inalienable right of controlling the national expenditure. Thus the parliament held the purse; and this seemed a sufficient guarantee both of its independence and its frequent convention. The senate, not the Riksdag, was the chief loser by the change; and, inasmuch as henceforth the senators were appointed by the king, and were to be responsible to him alone, a senate in opposition to the Crown was barely conceivable.
Abroad the Swedish revolution made a great sensation. Catherine II. of Russia saw in it the triumph of her arch-enemy France, with the prolongation of the costly Turkish War as its. immediate result. But the absence of troops on the Finnish border, and the bad condition of the frontier fortresses, constrained the empress to listen to Gustavus's pacific assurances, and stay her hand. She took the precaution, however, of concluding a fresh secret alliance with Denmark, in which the Swedish revolution was significantly described as " an act of violence " constituting a casus foederis, and justifying both powers in seizing the first favourable opportunity for intervention to restore the Swedish constitution of 1720.
In Sweden itself the change was, at first, most popular. But Gustavus's first Riksdag, that of 1778, opened the eyes of the deputies to the fact that their political supremacy had departed. The king was now their sovereign lord; and, for all his courtesy and gentleness, the jealousy with which he guarded and the vigour with which he enforced the prerogative plainly showed that he meant to remain so. But it was not till after eight years more had elapsed that actual trouble began. The Riksdag of 1778 had been obsequious; the Riksdag of 1786 was mutinous. It rejected nearly all the royal measures outright, or so modified them that Gustavus himself withdrew them. When he dismissed the estates, the speech from the throne held out no prospect of their speedy revocation.
Nevertheless, within three years, the king was obliged to summon another Riksdag, which met at Stockholm on the 26th of January 1789. His attempt in the interval to rule without a parliament had been disastrous. It was only by a breach of his own constitution that he had been able to declare war against Russia (April 1788); the conspiracy of Anjala (July) had paralysed all military operations at the very opening of the campaign; and the sudden invasion of his western provinces by the Danes, almost simultaneously (September), seemed to bring him to the verge of ruin. But the contrast, at this crisis, between his self-sacrificing patriotism and the treachery of the Russophil aristocracy was so striking that, when the Riksdag assembled, Gustavus found that the three lower estates were ultra-royalist, and with their aid he succeeded, not without running great risks (see GUSTAVUS III.; Nordin, Gustaf; Wallqvist, Olaf), in crushing the opposition of the nobility by a second coup d'etat (Feb. 16, 1789), and passing the The Act of famous Act of Union and Security which gave the Union and king an absolutely free hand as regards foreign Security, affairs and the command of the army, and made 1789. further treason impossible. For this the nobility never forgave him. It was impossible, indeed, to resist openly so highly gifted and so popular a sovereign; it was only by the despicable expedient of assassination that the last great monarch of Sweden was finally removed, to the infinite detriment of his country.
The ensuing period was a melancholy one. The aristocratic classes loudly complained that the young king, Gustavus IV., Gustavus still a minor, was being brought up among crypto IV., 1792- Jacobins; while the middle classes, deprived of 1809. the stimulating leadership of the anti-aristocratic " Prince Charming," and becoming more and more inoculated with French political ideas, drifted into an antagonism not merely to hereditary nobility, but to hereditary monarchy likewise. Everything was vacillating and uncertain; and the general instability was reflected even in foreign affairs, now that the master-hand of Gustavus III. was withdrawn. Sweden and The renewed efforts of Catherine II. to interfere Revolu- in Sweden's domestic affairs were, indeed, vigorously tionary repulsed, but without tact or discretion, so that the France. good understanding between the two countries was seriously impaired, especially when the proclivities of Gustaf Reuterholm, who then virtually ruled Sweden, induced him to adopt what was generally considered an indecently friendly attitude towards the government at Paris. Despite the execution of Louis XVI. (Jan. 21, 1793), Sweden, in the hope of obtaining considerable subsidies, recognized the new French republic; and secret negotiations for contracting an alliance were actually begun in May of the same year, till the menacing protests of Catherine, supported as they were by all the other European powers, finally induced Sweden to suspend them.
The negotiations with the French Jacobins exacerbated the hatred which the Gustavians already felt for the Jacobin councillors of the duke-regent (see CHARLES XIII., king of Sweden). Smarting beneath their grievances and seriously believing that not only the young king's crown but his very life was in danger, they formed a conspiracy, the soul of which was Gustaf Mauritz Armfelt, to overthrow the government, with the aid of a Russian fleet, supported by a rising of the Dalecarlians. The conspiracy was discovered and vigorously suppressed.
The one bright side of this gloomy and sordid period was the rapprochement between the Scandinavian kingdoms during the revolutionary wars. Thus, on the 27th of March Alliance 1 794, a neutrality compact was formed between with Denmark and Sweden; and their united squadrons Denmark. patrolled the North Sea to protect their merchantmen from the British cruisers. This approximation between the two governments was happily followed by friendly feelings between the two nations, under the pressure of a common danger. Presently Reuterholm renewed his coquetry with the French republic, which was officially recognized by the Swedish government on the 23rd of April 1795. In return, Sweden received a subsidy of 56,000; and a treaty between the two powers was signed on the 14th of September 1795. On the other hand, an attempt to regain the friendship of Russia, which had broken off diplomatic relations with Sweden, was frustrated by the refusal of the king to accept the bride, the grand duchess Alexandra, Catherine II.'s granddaughter, whom Reuterholm had provided for him. This was Reuterholm's last official act. On the 1st of November 1796, in accordance with the will of his father, Gustavus IV., now in his eighteenth year, took the government into his own hands.
The government of Gustavus IV. (q.v.) was almost a pure autocracy. At his very first Riksdag, held at Norrkoping in March 1800, the nobility were compelled, at last, to ratify Gustavus III.'s detested Act of Union and Security, which hitherto they had steadily refused to do. Shortly after this Riksdag rose, a notable change took place in Sweden's foreign policy. In December 1800 Denmark Sweden and Russia acceded to a second Armed Neutrality of the North, directed against Great Britain; and the arsenal of Karlskrona, in all probability, was only saved from the fate of Copenhagen by the assassination of the emperor Paul, which was followed by another change of system in the north. Hitherto Sweden had kept aloof from continental complications; but the arrest Gustavus IV. and execution of the duc d'Enghien in 1804 inspired joins the Gustavus IV. with such a hatred of Napoleon that European when a general coalition was formed against the Coalition, French emperor he was one of the first to join it 1804 (Dec. 3, 1804), pledging himself to send an army corps to cooperate with the English and Russians in driving the enemy out of Holland and Hanover. But his senseless quarrel with Frederick William III. of Prussia detained him in Pomerania; and when at last (December 1805) he led his 6000 men towards the Elbe district the third coalition had already been dissipated by the victories of Ulm and Austerlitz. In 1806 a rupture between Sweden and Prussia was only prevented by Napoleon's assault upon the latter power. After Jena Napoleon attempted to win over Sweden, but Gustavus rejected every overture. The result was the total loss of Pomerania, and the Swedish army itself was only saved from destruction by the ingenuity of J. K. Toll. At Tilsit the emperor Alexander I. had undertaken to compel " Russia's geographical enemy," as Napoleon designated Sweden, to accede to the newly established Continental Russian System. Gustavus IV. naturally rejected all the Conquest of proposals of Alexander to close the Baltic against Finland, the English; but took no measures to defend Finland 1808. against Russia, though, during the autumn of 1807, it was notorious that the tsar was preparing to attack the grand duchy. On the 21st of February 1808 a Russian army crossed the Finnish border without any previous declaration of war. On the 2nd of April the king ordered a general levy of 30,000 men; but while two army corps, under Armfelt and Toll, together with a British contingent of Io,000 men under Moore, were stationed in Scania and on the Norwegian border in anticipation of an attack from Denmark, which, at the instigation of Napoleon, had simultaneously declared war against Sweden, the little Finnish army was left altogether unsupported. The conquest of Finland, after an heroic struggle against overwhelming odds, is elsewhere recorded (see Finland: History). Its immediate consequence in Sweden proper was the deposition of Gustavus of Gustavus IV. (March 13, 1809), who was clearly incapable of IV., governing. The nobility took advantage of this opportunity to pay off old scores against Gustavus III. by excluding not only his unhappy son but also that son's whole family from the succession - an act of injustice which has never been adequately defended. But indeed the whole of this intermediate period is full of dark subterranean plots and counterplots, still inexplicable, as, for instance, the hideous Fersen murder (June 20, 1 810) (see Fersen, Hans Axel Von) evidently intended to terrorize the Gustavians, whose loyalty to the ancient dynasty was notorious. As early as the 5th of June 1809 the duke regent was proclaimed king, under the title of Charles XIII., after accepting 1819. the new liberal constitution, which was ratified by the Riksdag the same day.
King of Sweden
- Frederick I (₩) (August 30, 1721 - April 5, 1751)
- Adolph Frederick (₩) (April 5, 1751 - February 12, 1771)
- Gustav III (₩) (February 12, 1771 - March 29, 1792)
- Gustav IV Adolph (₩) (March 29, 1792 - March 13, 1809)
- Charles XIII (₩) (March 13, 1809 - September 17, 1809)
- Duke Charles (₩) (March 29, 1792 - November 1, 1796)
- Kalmar Union
- Swedish Empire
- United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway: Kingdom of Sweden (1809-1905)
- Kingdom of Sweden (From 1905)