Scandinavia 1789 CE

Sweden has experienced decline as a European power.

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What is happening in Scandinavia in 1789CE

Sweden’s Baltic empire aroused the envy of her neighbours, who joined forces to take it off her in the Great Northern War (1700-21). The high quality of the Swedish army and the brilliant generalship of her king, Charles XII (reigned 1697-1718), was not enough to make up for her lack of resources. She lost all her overseas possessions except Finland.

Having abandoned her expansionist policies after 1721, Sweden also abandoned the absolutist form of government which underpinned them. She became a constitutional monarchy, governed by the Estates (Parliament). This ushered in a period of commercial and industrial expansion, but a period of political instability led to the seizure of power by the king, Gustavus III (1771).

After humiliation at the hands of Sweden in the war of 1658-60, Denmark became an absolute monarchy under Frederick III (reigned 1648-1670) and his successors. The early 18th century saw a period of enlightened rule by Frederick IV, (reigned 1699-1730) and a group of reform-minded ministers. This was a period of widespread land reform and increased freedom for the peasantry. Since then, Denmark and Norway have been efficiently governed by capable ministers and an effective bureaucracy, even though several of the kings have been incapable rulers.

Next map, Scandinavia in 1837

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