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The growth of political instability and the royal coup in Sweden, c. 1760-1780
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9050-164x
2022 (English)In: Parliamentarism in Northern and East-Central Europe in the Long Eighteenth Century: Volume I: Representative Institutions and Political Motivation / [ed] István M. Szijártó; Wim Blockmans; László Kontler, London: Routledge, 2022, p. 261-290Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This chapter discusses how leading noblemen in Sweden in the early 1770s no longer supported the parliamentary system that had been in place since 1719, and asks why they thought that strengthening the political role of the king could be a plausible solution to the challenges facing the Swedish realm. After all, during parliamentary rule, it was aristocrats, not royals, who were able to influence decisions on crucial issues such as government spending, the operations of the Bank of the Estates, foreign policy, and military affairs. By examining the role of credit and its function as a distributor of resources among politically important groups in society, and looking at how the credit crisis in the 1760s changed the way this distribution system worked, it is possible to shed new light on the changing ties between credit and politics in Sweden in the middle of the eighteenth century. The analysis shows that the financial problems after the Seven Years’ War, when the expansion of credit had to be halted, led to widespread criticism of the existing system of patronage and oligarchy. Financial difficulties thus decreased the effectiveness of political tools, such as the distribution of resources through the Bank of the Estates and the Debt Office, thereby making it more difficult for aristocrats to control events and to set the political agenda. Concurrently, lower-ranking groups within the estates demanded a greater say in political affairs, especially concerning fiscal issues. Tensions started to run deep between the estates, and it became increasingly difficult to find common ground. This lack of common ground made it very difficult to find compromises between the estates in order to solve financial difficulties. Privileged groups therefore looked to the king for solutions and for stability. For many aristocrats, parliamentary rule no longer brought any benefits, a situation that ultimately resulted in a lack of trust in the system and in the overthrow of the regime.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 2022. p. 261-290
Series
Routledge Research in Early Modern History
National Category
History
Research subject
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-101665DOI: 10.4324/9781003205555-14ISBN: 9781003205555 (electronic)ISBN: 9781032071411 (print)ISBN: 9781003205562 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-101665DiVA, id: diva2:1701253
Funder
The Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation, P18-0160Available from: 2022-10-05 Created: 2022-10-05 Last updated: 2022-10-05Bibliographically approved

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