Karl Johan time
Karl XIVThe Johan government (1818–44) initiated a long period of peaceful progress. Population growth, which began as early as the 18th century, was now taking off seriously. In 1815, the national population amounted to about 2.5 million, in 1850 3.5 and 1900 were 5.1 million. The population increase – with Esaias Tegnér’s formulation a result of “the peace, the vaccine and the potatoes” – took place within the framework of a society dominated by low-productive agriculture and where as early as 1850 about 90% of the population lived in the countryside. It was mainly the landless subclass of the country that expanded, with the result that the gap between the proletariat and the besieged peasant class widened. In the same direction also appeared the successive shifts, which admittedly favored the new cultivation and thereby increased the nutritional space, but also reduced the living opportunities of the poor through the division of the peoples.
The government’s economic policy was concentrated for a long time on the currency problems that were a legacy of the war years and which were solved in 1834 through a sharp devaluation. At the same time, efforts were made to expand a canal system for heavy transport, primarily the Göta Canal (1832), which was built by Baltzar von Platen with Karl Johan’s energetic support.
In the cultural field, Karl Johansepoken was characterized by a literary flourishing without previous counterparts with poets such as Stagnelius, Tegnér, Geijer and Almqvist. The 1842 primary school statute laid the foundation for general public education.
Politically, Karl Johan, like other monarchs in the Europe of the Holy Alliance, sought stability, inward and outward. In parallel with the active reform activities, he pursued in the constitutional area a strictly conservative policy, which led to constant conflicts with the stronger and more aggressive liberal opposition, whose main language was LJ Hierta’s 1830 newspaper Aftonbladet. His “sole rule” motivated Karl Johan with the word of government on the king’s right to “rule alone the kingdom”, while his liberal opponents invoked the restrictions on the king’s exercise of power which also existed in the constitution. Finally, the monarch must give way and in 1840 accept the so-called departmental reform, which meant that the minister became heads of each department and thus strengthened his and the government’s authority vis-à-vis the king.
According to thereligionfaqs, Karl XIV Johan’s son and successor Oscar I (1844–59) had, as a crown prince, made himself known for liberal views and was received with great expectations. As a regent, however, he was reluctant to relinquish any royal powers, especially after the bloody marching riots in Stockholm in 1848, an outflow of the pan-European revolutionary movement. However, during his reign the economic and social reform policy, later completed under Charles XV (1859-72), was continued with the help of, among others. Finance Minister JA Gripenstedt and Minister of Justice Louis De Geer. Step by step, the remaining restrictions on the individual’s freedom of movement and business development were removed.
Fundamental was the decision at the 1853-54 parliament on state pedigrees and the construction of state telegraph lines. The idea was, by public funds, largely borrowed abroad, to create an infrastructure that is as favorable as possible for the private sector. Similar aims served the introduction of the stamp and decimal system. The liberation of market forces was promoted by the 1846 factory and craft regulations and the 1864 Business Freedom Ordinance, which abolished the oblique duty and gave every citizen the right to exercise any business catch anywhere. This made it possible to freely locate factories in the countryside. This was used, among other things. by the Nordic sawmill industry, which underwent rapid development during the 1850s,
Growth promotion also seemed to be the trade treaty enforced by Gripenstedt with France in 1865, which joined Sweden into the international free trade system. The 1849 educational reform gave the natural sciences and modern languages an increased place on the school schedule, thus adapting higher education to the needs of business. Other reforms were aimed at humanizing the judiciary, strengthening the position of women and expanding religious freedom. Penal code reforms 1855–64 abolished torment and disgraceful punishment. Women and men were granted equal inheritance rights in 1845, and an unmarried woman became a citizen at the age of 25 in 1858. In 1860, the right to transition from the Swedish Church to another Christian community was granted.
An old liberal demand for a contemporary constitution was realized under De Geere’s leadership through the 1865-66 years of representational reform, thereby replacing the Fourth Kingdom Day with two equal-ranking chambers. The first chamber would be elected by the county council and the city council in the largest cities on the basis of the 1862 laws on municipal autonomy; for eligibility very good financial position was required. The second chamber was directly elected with terms of voting rights that excluded lower income earners but gave voting rights to most occupied farmers. The new parliamentary scheme, in a longer perspective, meant an adaptation of the constitutional regulations to the development from a state society to a class society that has taken place since the 18th century.
In foreign policy, Oscar I broke with his father’s Russian-friendly line and chose an activist and Western power-friendly course. Scandinavism was encouraged and utilized for expansive purposes. During the Schleswig-Holstein War of 1848–50, Swedish-Norwegian troops were placed on Funen to protect the Danish national territory. Through personal diplomacy, the king tried to maneuver Sweden into the Crimean War (1853–56) and for this purpose signed the November Treaty in 1855 with Britain and France. The gain became the Åland Servitude, a provision in the Paris Peace of 1856 that Russia would not be allowed to fortify Åland. Karl XV also had strong Scandinavian sympathies and pledged in 1863 to the Danish-German war Fredrik VIIhelp defend the Ejder border. However, the Swedish government, where it focused on peaceful progress Gripenstedt played a leading role, refused to fulfill the king’s promise. This meant a breakdown for Scandinavian foreign policy, while at the same time expressing the shift in power from the king to the government that took place.