From Oxenstierna to Charles XII: Four Studies


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Augustus II regained the Polish throne. According to Mrs. Ragnhild Marie Hatton, a Norwegian-British historian, in some of those letters Charles expressed his desire for a peace treaty which would be defensible in the future Swedish generations' eyes. However, he emphasized that only a greater respect for Sweden in Europe would enable him to achieve such a peace treaty.

Histoire de Charles XII par voltaire

Eventually, in the autumn of , their warning letter reached him. In it, those executive and legislative bodies told the absentee King that unless he quickly returned to Sweden, they would independently conclude an achievable peace treaty with Russia, Poland and Denmark. This stark admonition prompted Charles to rush back to Sweden R. Helsinki, Finland, Charles agreed to leave Constantinople and returned to Swedish Pomerania. He made the journey on horseback, riding across Europe in just fifteen days. A medal with Charles on horseback, his long hair flying in the wind, was struck in to commemorate the speedy ride.

It reads Was sorget Ihr doch? Gott und Ich leben noch. What worries you so?

Charles XII

God and I live still. Sweden's western enemies attacked southern and western Sweden while Russian forces traveled across Finland to attack the Stockholm district. For the first time, Sweden found itself in a defensive war. Charles' plan was to attack Denmark by striking at her possessions in Norway. It was hoped that by cutting Denmark's Norwegian supply lines the Danes would be compelled to withdraw their forces from Swedish Scania.

Charles invaded Norway in with a combined force of 7, men. He occupied the capital of Christiania , modern Oslo , and laid siege to the Akershus fortress there. Due to a lack of heavy siege cannons he was unable to dislodge the Norwegian forces inside. After suffering significant losses of men and materiel, Charles was forced to retreat from the capital on 29 April. In the following mid-May, Charles invaded again, this time striking the border town of Fredrikshald , now Halden , in an attempt to capture the fortress of Fredriksten. The attacking Swedes came under heavy cannon fire from the fortress and were forced to withdraw when the Norwegians set the town of Fredrikshald on fire.

Swedish casualties in Fredrikshald were estimated at men. While the siege at Fredrikshald was underway, the Swedish supply fleet was attacked and defeated by Tordenskjold in the Battle of Dynekilen. In Charles once more invaded Norway. With a main force of 40, men, he again laid siege to the fortress of Fredriksten overlooking the town of Fredrikshald. Charles was shot in the head and killed during the siege, while he was inspecting trenches.

The invasion was abandoned, and Charles' body was returned to Sweden. A second force, under Carl Gustaf Armfeldt , marched against Trondheim with 10, men but was forced to retreat. In the march that ensued, many of the 5, remaining men perished in a severe winter storm. While in the trenches close to the perimeter of the fortress on 11 December 30 November Old Style , , Charles was struck in the head by a projectile and killed.

The shot struck the left side of his skull and exited from the right. The shock of the impact caused the king to grasp his sword with his right hand, and cover the wound with his left hand, leaving his gloves covered in blood. The definitive circumstances around Charles's death remain unclear. Despite multiple investigations of the battlefield, Charles's skull and his clothes, it is not known where and when he was hit, or whether the shot came from the ranks of the enemy or from his own men.

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Although there were many people around the king at the time of his death, there were no known witnesses to the actual moment he was struck. A likely explanation has been that Charles was killed by the Dano-Norwegians as he was within easy reach of their guns. More sinister theories claim he was assassinated: One is that the killer was a Swedish compatriot and asserts that enemy guns were not firing at the time Charles was struck.

Sicre confessed during what was claimed to be a state of delirium brought on by fever but later recanted. Another odd account of Charles' death comes from Finnish writer Carl Nordling, who states that the king's surgeon, Melchior Neumann, dreamed the king had told him that he was not shot from the fortress but from "one who came creeping". Charles's body has been exhumed on three occasions to ascertain the cause of death; in , and In , his head was photographed. Charles was succeeded to the Swedish throne by his sister, Ulrika Eleonora.

Charles never married and fathered no children of whom historians are aware. In his youth he was particularly encouraged to find a suitable spouse in order to secure the succession, but he would frequently avoid the subject of sex and marriage. Possible candidates included Princess Sophia Hedwig of Denmark and Princess Maria Elisabeth of Holstein-Gottorp — but of the latter he pleaded that he could never wed someone "as ugly as Satan and with such a devilish big mouth".

His lack of mistresses may have been due to a strong religious faith. Rumours that he was a hermaphrodite were quelled in when his coffin was opened and he was shown to have suffered no physical irregularities. But writing in the s, Hatton argues that Wurttemberg was very much heterosexual and the relationship is just as likely to have been that of teacher-pupil — suggesting instead that Charles simply had an interest in the opposite sex never consummated. Exceptional for abstaining from alcohol and sex, he felt most comfortable during warfare.


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Contemporaries report of his seemingly inhuman tolerance for pain and his utter lack of emotion. His brilliant campaigning and startling victories brought his country to the pinnacle of her prestige and power, although the Great Northern War resulted in Sweden's defeat and the end of her empire within years of his own death. Charles' death marked the end of autocratic kingship in Sweden, and the subsequent Age of Liberty saw a shift of power from the monarch to the parliament of the estates. He was idealized as a heroic, virtuous young warrior king, and his fight against Peter the Great was associated with the contemporary Swedish-Russian enmity.

Sultan Ahmet III , as a gesture to the King, had bought some of the Swedish women and children put up for sale by the Russians and turned them over to the Swedes, thus further strengthening the growing community of Caroleans. His entourage also accumulated huge amounts of debts with Bender merchants. Eventually "crowds" of townspeople attacked the Swedish colony at Bender and Charles had to defend himself against the mobs and the Ottoman Janissaries involved.

This uprising was called "kalabalik" crowd which afterwards found a place in Swedish lexicon referring to a ruckus. The Janissaries did not shoot Charles during the skirmish at Bender , but captured him and put him under house-arrest at Dimetoka nowadays Didimoticho and Constantinople.


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During his semi-imprisonment the King played chess and studied the Ottoman Navy and the naval architecture of the Ottoman galleons. Meanwhile, Russia and Poland regained and expanded their borders. Great Britain, an adversary of Sweden, defected from its alliance obligations while Prussia attacked Swedish holdings in Germany. Russia occupied Finland the Greater Wrath — Alt-Ranstad - Skoklosters slott - Charles agreed to leave Constantinople and returned to Swedish Pomerania. He made the journey on horseback, riding across Europe in just fifteen days.

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A medal with Charles on horseback, his long hair flying in the wind, was struck in to commemorate the speedy ride. It reads Was sorget Ihr doch? Gott und Ich leben noch. What worries you so? God and I live still.

Sweden's western enemies attacked southern and western Sweden while Russian forces traveled across Finland to attack the Stockholm district. For the first time, Sweden found itself in a defensive war. Charles' plan was to attack Denmark by striking at her possessions in Norway. It was hoped that by cutting Denmark's Norwegian supply lines the Danes would be compelled to withdraw their forces from Swedish Scania.

Charles invaded Norway in with a combined force of 7, men. He occupied the capital of Christiania , modern Oslo , and laid siege to the Akershus fortress there. Due to a lack of heavy siege cannons he was unable to dislodge the Norwegian forces inside. After suffering significant losses of men and material, Charles was forced to retreat from the capital on 29 April. In the following mid-May, Charles invaded again, this time striking the border town of Fredrikshald , now Halden , in an attempt to capture the fortress of Fredriksten.

The attacking Swedes came under heavy cannon fire from the fortress and were forced to withdraw when the Norwegians set the town of Fredrikshald on fire.

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Swedish casualties in Fredrikshald were estimated at men. While the siege at Fredrikshald was underway, the Swedish supply fleet was attacked and defeated by Tordenskjold in the Battle of Dynekilen. In Charles once more invaded Norway. With a main force of 40, men, he again laid siege to the fortress of Fredriksten overlooking the town of Fredrikshald. Charles was shot and killed during the siege.

The invasion was abandoned, and Charles' body was returned to Sweden. A second force, under Carl Gustaf Armfeldt , marched against Trondheim with 10, men but was forced to retreat. In the march that ensued, many of the 5, remaining men perished in a severe winter storm. While inspecting trenches close to the perimeter of the fortress on 11 December 30 November Old Style , , Charles was struck in the head by a projectile and killed.

The shot struck the left side of his skull and exited from the right. Despite multiple investigations of the battlefield, Charles' skull and his clothes, it is not known where he was hit exactly, and whether the shot came from the ranks of the enemy or from his own men. Although there were many people around the king at the time of his death, there were no witnesses to the actual moment he was struck. The most likely theory is that Charles was killed by the Danes as he was within easy reach of the Danish guns.

More sinister theories claim he was murdered: One claim is that the killer was a Swedish compatriot and asserts that enemy guns were not firing at the time Charles was struck. Another odd account of Charles' death comes from Finnish writer Carl Nordling, who states that the king's surgeon, Melchior Neumann, dreamed the king had told him that he was not shot from the fortress but from "one who came creeping".

The body has been exhumed on three occasions to ascertain the cause of death; in , and Charles was succeeded to the Swedish throne by his sister, Ulrika Eleonora. Exceptional for abstaining from alcohol and women, he felt most comfortable during warfare. Contemporaries report of his seemingly inhuman tolerance for pain and his utter lack of emotion. His brilliant campaigning and startling victories brought his country to the pinnacle of her prestige and power, posthumously earning him the epithet "last of the Vikings," although the Great Northern War resulted in Sweden's defeat and the end of her empire within years of his own death.

Charles' death marked the end of autocratic kingship in Sweden, and the subsequent Age of Liberty saw a shift of power from the monarch to the parliament of the estates. He was idealized as a heroic, virtuous young warrior king, and his fight against Peter the Great was associated with the contemporary Swedish-Russian enmity.

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A number of Russian writers for the state coupled Charles XII with Napoleon and Hitler as foreign invaders who all came to grief when trying to invade the Russian heartland. Apart from being a monarch, the King's interests included mathematics, and anything that would be beneficial to his warlike purposes. He is credited with having invented an octal numeral system , which he considered more suitable for war purposes because all the boxes used for materials such as gunpowder were cubic.

According to a report by contemporary scientist Emanuel Swedenborg , the King had sketched a model of his thoughts on a piece of paper and handed it to him at their meeting in Lund in The paper was reportedly still in existence a hundred years later, but has since been lost. Several historians of science suspect that either the multi-talented Emanuel Swedenborg or the brilliant inventor Christopher Polhem — also present at the meeting in Lund — may have been the true inventor behind this feat, or at least a significant contributor.

Charles fascinated many in his time. Voltaire , who could be very sardonic, stopped in front of Charles and took off his hat. Author Roberts, Michael, Physical Description ix, p. Subjects Oxenstierna, Axel, greve, Charles, King of Sweden X Gustav, Charles X Gustav, King of Sweden, Politieke geschiedenis. Sweden -- History -- Charles X Gustav, Sweden -- History -- Charles XI, Oxenstierna in Germany, 2.

Charles X and his council: 'dualism' or co-operation? Charles X and the great parenthesis: a reconstruction 4. The Dubious hand: the history of a controversy. Notes Includes bibliographical references. View online Borrow Buy Freely available Show 0 more links Set up My libraries How do I set up "My libraries"?

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From Oxenstierna to Charles XII: Four Studies From Oxenstierna to Charles XII: Four Studies
From Oxenstierna to Charles XII: Four Studies From Oxenstierna to Charles XII: Four Studies
From Oxenstierna to Charles XII: Four Studies From Oxenstierna to Charles XII: Four Studies
From Oxenstierna to Charles XII: Four Studies From Oxenstierna to Charles XII: Four Studies
From Oxenstierna to Charles XII: Four Studies From Oxenstierna to Charles XII: Four Studies
From Oxenstierna to Charles XII: Four Studies From Oxenstierna to Charles XII: Four Studies
From Oxenstierna to Charles XII: Four Studies From Oxenstierna to Charles XII: Four Studies
From Oxenstierna to Charles XII: Four Studies From Oxenstierna to Charles XII: Four Studies

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