Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Episode 32: War, succession, rebellion 1738-1771

sauerkraut, meat, turnips, lobster, caviar, smoked fish, shrovetide bun and champagne In1738 the party - or proto-party - "The hats", gained power in parliament. They wished to reclaime territories lost to Russia and in 1741, when the Russians succession was a bit messy, they saw a good chance by supporting one of the claimants to the throne. This woman, Elisabeth, daughter of Peter the great, did however manage to become empress by herself and the war that Sweden had begun thus wasn't of any use to her at all. And Sweden lost humilatingly. The peace however was rather kind to Sweden. Some more territories were lost, but not as much as could have been expected since the Russians instead took the opportunity to demand that Adolf Fredrik, a prince of Holstein-Gottorp, should be elected heir to the Swedish throne. Instead of gaining lost territories and managing Russian succession, the result thus was the reverse. In parts of Sweden this was an unpopular choice. Together with widespread dissatisfaction with the war, the election of Adolf Fredrik led to the last Swedish farmers rebellion, in Dalecarlia in 1743.

Adolf Fredrik became Swedish king in 1751 after the death of the childless Ulrika Eleonora and Fredrik I. He was married to Lovisa Ulrika, sister of Fredrik the great of Preussia - and the couple
was not at all satisfied with the weak position of the royal family, fighting parliament and council to gain more power. A failed attempt at a coup de etat in 1756 is really like something out of a film, he queen secretly removing diamonds from a crown and trying to sell them to finance the revolt. Adolf Fredrik died in 1771, according to tradition from eating to much - but really from a stroke that I suppose he might well have suffered without just having had a dinner of sauerkraut, meat, turnips, lobster, caviar, smoked fish, shrovetide bun and champagne.

The nice crown queen Lovisa Ulrika tried to pawn, or at least the large diamonds, to finance the coup de etat in 1756. The diamonds were eventually returned from a jeweller in Hamburg and restored to the crown.