Monday, 4 May 2015

Episode 22: Administration and internal politics

After the death of Gustav Adolf Sweden was in effect run by chancellor Axel Oxenstierna, as head of the minority government for queen-to-be Kristina. Sweden could have been worse off than that. Axel Oxenstierna was hightly talented, a man of whom French politicial Mazarin said that if Europe was a ship he would like the Swedish chancellor to be the helmsman. It is not surprising then that Swedish administration - or beurocracy if you like - expands during this period. There is a new regulations on how parliament should work, we get departments and ministers - all told to have short and efficient meetings - a national postservice, a cartography board, a national system for inns and stages...

When the national post service celebrated its first 300 years in 1936, Axel Oxenstierna became the first non-royal Swede to be depicted on a stamp.