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Gustav IV Adolf og Norge

f. 1981, master i historie 2005, stipendiat ved Institutt for arkeologi, konservering og historie, Universitetet i Oslo.

m.n.ottosen@iakh.uio.no

  • Side: 221-250
  • Publisert på Idunn: 2012-07-04
  • Publisert: 2012-07-04

Mens den svenske politikken overfor Norge under Gustav III og Carl Johan er nøye studert, har det vært skrevet mindre om Gustav IV Adolf. Denne artikkelen undersøker politikken overfor Norge i hans regjeringstid fra 1796 til 1809. Hovedargumentene er at den var opportunistisk og pragmatisk, men ikke konstant, og at den kan deles inn i to faser: først diplomatiske intriger i 1797–1801, og deretter forsøk på å skape en folkelig stemning i Norge for en forening. Dette siste var målet også i 1808 og derfor var ikke invasjonen dette året ment som et regelrett erobringsforsøk. På mange måter peker således Gustav IV Adolfs norgespolitikk frem mot den Carl Johan førte frem mot 1814, og viser med det at Carl Johan var mindre nyskapende enn han ofte blir fremstilt som.

Gustavus IV Adolph and Norway

While policies towards Norway during the regimes of King Gustavus III (1772–92) and Crown Prince Regent Charles John (1810-14/18) have been thoroughly examined by Scandinavian historians, less focus has been devoted to policies during the reign of King Gustavus IV Adolph (1796–09). Yet historians have tended to hold him as having been more preoccupied with Norway than were his predecessor and even Charles John. He also gained a reputation, especially internationally, for being mentally unbalanced. This article offers an account of the aims and strategies towards Norway throughout Gustavus IV Adolph’s reign, arguing that his policies were characterised by opportunism and pragmatism, and usually conceived and advanced by his closest circles. The policies towards Norway can be divided into two distinct phases. The first, stretching from 1797 to 1801, comprised a number of failed attempts at diplomatic plots. A favoured scheme was to exchange Swedish Pomerania for Norway, preferably by way of Prussia, while France and Russia were also approached. Nonetheless, Norway was a secondary concern compared with Sweden’s quest for subsidies, which were vital to her exhausted finances. The years 1801–03 marked a shift in the strategies towards Norway as diplomatic plots were abandoned in favour of attempts to drum up popular pro-Swedish sentiments within Norway. Gustav Lagerbjelke, one of the King’s closest advisors, was a key figure in this second phase, which also failed. The King then lost interest in Norway and turned his attention to Germany instead. Not until 1808 were his eyes again set on Norway, but only after Sweden had most reluctantly been drawn into a war against Denmark-Norway, France and Russia. Again key figures in the King’s closest circles, particularly Gustav Mauritz Armfelt, were prime movers, and talked the reluctant King into launching an invasion of Norway. Yet the invasion was not one bent on military conquest, but was rather intended to show the Norwegians how much they would actually benefit from Swedish rule. Perhaps unsurprisingly, military occupation turned out to be a futile way of winning their devotion, however. The war of 1808-09 turned out to be a vast failure for which the King was blamed and consequently deposed.

Keywords: Diplomatic history, popular resistance, propaganda, Scandinavia in the revolutionary and Napoleonic wars.
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