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.[21]. [3], Charles was an exceptionally skilled military leader and tactician as well as an able politician, credited with introducing important tax and legal reforms. In this fascinating and scholarly biography Professor Hatton has tackled the basic problem which any modern study of Charles XII, King of Sweden from 1697 to 1718, poses: where does the truth lie between the vilification of one school of historians for whom an 'illiterate warrior-king' can do nothing right, and the boundless admiration of those who, in search of rational e Popular pages. [29] It has also been suspected that a plot to kill Charles may have been put in place by a group of wealthy Swedes who would benefit from the blocking of a 17% wealth tax that Charles intended to introduce. He belonged to the House of Palatinate-Zweibrücken, a branch line of the House of Wittelsbach. When did Charles XI of Sweden die? © Copyright 2021 History Today Ltd. Company no. (eds. [29] Suspects in this claim range from a nearby soldier tired of the siege and wanting to put an end to the war, to an assassin hired by Charles's own brother-in-law, who profited from the event by subsequently taking the throne himself as Frederick I of Sweden, that person being Frederick's aide-de-camp, André Sicre. Charles attacked under cover of a blizzard, effectively split the Russian army in two and won the battle. Russia occupied Finland (the Greater Wrath 1713–1721). [55][56][57], Charles XII figures quite prominently in Robert Massie's magnum opus Peter the Great.[58]. For Hatton, it was not Charles’ death in battle that saved Sweden from a destructive war, but his death ended any real chance of victory (521). [8], Russia had opened their part of the war by invading the Swedish-held territories of Livonia and Estonia. Charles's body has been exhumed on three occasions to ascertain the cause of death; in 1746, 1859 and 1917. It reads Was sorget Ihr doch? Charles XII, sometimes Carl (Swedish: Karl XII) or Latinized to Carolus Rex, was the King of Sweden from 1697 to 1718. [33] Charles himself suggested in conversation with Axel Löwen that he actively resisted any match until peace could be secured[34] and was in some sense "married" to the military life. By the time of the decisive Battle of Poltava, Charles had been wounded, one-third of his infantry was dead, and his supply train was destroyed. Robert Nisbet Bain. 2014-05-01 16:02:13. Most visited articles. [6] The non-mathematical numbering tradition continues with the current King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf, being counted as the equivalent of Charles XVI. He died instantaneously. The treaties dissatisfied pro-war party, supported by King Charles and Stanislaw Poniatowski who failed to reignite the conflict. [35][36] But that he was "chaste" occasioned speculation in his lifetime. [43] Throughout the 19th century's romantic nationalism Charles XII was viewed as a national hero. 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. Having forced Denmark–Norway to make peace within months, King Charles turned his attention upon the two other powerful neighbors, King August II (cousin to both Charles XII and Frederick IV of Denmark–Norway) and Peter the Great of Russia, who also had entered the war against him, ironically on the same day that Denmark came to terms. [11], While Charles won several decisive battles in the Commonwealth and ultimately secured the coronation of his ally Stanisław Leszczyński and the surrender of Saxony, the Russian Tsar Peter the Great embarked on a military reform plan that improved the Russian army, using the effectively organized Swedes and other European standards for role models. When Sweden was not taking part in a war he still did not want to give this power up, and he saw the high nobility as his main threat to his position as king because of … Charles XII, Karl XII or Carolus Rex, (June 17, 1682 – November 30, 1718), the Alexander of the North, nicknamed in Turkish as Demirbaş Şarl (Charles the Habitue), was a King of Sweden (1697 – 1718).He came to the throne at the age of fifteen and left the country three years later to embark on a series of battles overseas, that briefly made Sweden the predominant power in Northern Europe. Charles was most interested in his power within Sweden, and during the Scanian War he essentially took dictatorial power. Charles expected the support of a massive Cossack rebellion led by Mazepa in Ukraine, with estimates suggesting Mazepa of being able to muster some 40,000 troops, but the Russians subjugated the rebellion and destroyed its capital Baturin before the arrival of the Swedish troops. [32] Instead he made it clear that he would marry only someone of his own choice, and for love rather than dynastic pressures. Life of Charles XII of Sweden Apr 5, 1697. Greatness and fall) 91-7263-092-2 (2000) Nordstedts förlag, Stockholm, R.M. Förflutenhetens landskap ("The Landscape of Times Past") (1991), collection of essays, pp. But did not Chance at length her error mend? In 2007, Oleg Ryaskov again portrayed Charles XII (Eduard Flerov) in the Russian drama The Sovereign's Servant. He left the name, at which the world grew pale, Conclusion. [29] There are two possibilities that are usually cited: that he was killed by a musket shot, or that he was killed by grapeshot from the nearby fortress. Two campaigns met with frustration and ultimate failure, concluding with his death at the Siege of Fredriksten in 1718. He was succeeded by his sister Ulrika Eleonora, who in turn was coerced to hand over all substantial powers to the Riksdag of the Estates and opted to surrender the throne to her husband, who became King Frederick I of Sweden.[4]. Charles had been incapacitated by a wound prior to the battle, rendering him unable to take command. However, Charles XII of Sweden was willing to aid the English Tories by sending troops to put the Pretender on the throne, in conjunction with an English rising. Meanwhile, the Swedish Council of State (government) and Estates/Diet (Parliament) tried to keep the beleaguered Sweden somehow organized and independent. Instead, he turned against Poland-Lithuania, which was formally neutral at this point, thereby disregarding Polish negotiation proposals supported by the Swedish parliament. Contemporaries report of his seemingly inhuman tolerance for pain and his utter lack of emotion. While ladies interpose, and slaves debate. Russia was now the sole remaining hostile power. [5], The fact that Charles was crowned as Charles XII does not mean that he was the 12th king of Sweden by that name. A petty fortress, and a dubious hand; To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive. Buy Online Access  Buy Print & Archive Subscription. He became king of the Swedish Empire in 1697 when he was 15 years of age. He belonged to the House of Palatinate-Zweibrücken, a branch line of the House of Wittelsbach. FANDOM. Charles' plan was to attack Denmark by striking at her possessions in Norway. He had tried to avoid battle, but once his enemies began it, he resolved to punish them. See Answer. Due to a lack of heavy siege cannons he was unable to dislodge the Norwegian forces inside. [8], Charles's first campaign was against Denmark–Norway, ruled by his cousin Frederick IV of Denmark, For this campaign Charles secured the support of England and the Netherlands, both maritime powers concerned with Denmark's threats to close the Sound. By 1706 Charles, now 24 years old, had forced all of his foes into submission including, in that year, a decisively devastating victory by Swedish forces under general Carl Gustav Rehnskiöld over a combined army of Saxony and Russia at the Battle of Fraustadt. How just his hopes let Swedish Charles decide; [51], In the 1930s, the Swedish Nazis held celebrations on the date of Charles XII's death, and shortly before the outbreak of World War II, Adolf Hitler received from Sweden a sculpture of the king at his birthday. In the 1983 comedy film Kalabaliken i Bender [sv], Charles XII is portrayed by Gösta Ekman. Russia also declared war (August 1700), but stopped short of an attack on Swedish Ingria until September 1700. By the close of the century a Livonian discontent, Joann Reinhold Patkul, had persuaded Frederick IV of Denmark, Augustus II of Poland-Saxony, and Peter the Great of Russia to make a joint attack on Sweden to despoil the young ruler of much of his inheritance. 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It had emerged as one of the real winners from the Thirty Years War. In 1917, his head was photographed. No joys to him pacific sceptres yield; His fall was destined to a barren strand, And shows his miseries in distant lands; [25], After five years away, Charles arrived in Sweden to find his homeland at war with Russia, Saxony, Hannover, Great Britain and Denmark. His lack of mistresses may have been due to a strong religious faith. In order for the Jewish and Muslim creditors to avoid this, Charles wrote a "free letter" so that they could practice their religions without being punished. And one capitulate, and one resign; I have no idea whether this version is true. ), A Small Giant (Compendium) of the Finnish History / Suomen historian pikkujättiläinen. CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, Learn how and when to remove this template message, Princess Maria Elisabeth of Holstein-Gottorp, Maximilian Emanuel of Württemberg-Winnental, John Casimir, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken-Kleeburg, Joachim Frederick, Elector of Brandenburg, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, "Sweden and Finland. Charles XII and the Collapse of the Swedish Empire, 1682-1719. Did rival monarchs give the fatal wound? However, the sultan Ahmed III's subjects in the empire eventually got tired of Charles' scheming. The soldiers chose to remain in Sweden instead of difficult trips home. Charles XII, sometimes Carl XII (Swedish: Karl XII) or Carolus Rex (17 June 1682 – 30 November 1718 O.S. Peace courts his hand, but spreads her charms in vain; [34][38] Some historians suggest that he resisted a marriage with Denmark which could have caused a family rift between those who dynastically favoured Holstein-Gottorp. 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 1716. Great Britain, an adversary of Sweden, defected from its alliance obligations while Prussia attacked Swedish holdings in Germany. 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. Charles, like all kings, was styled by a royal title, which combined all his titles into one single phrase. [14] Peter the Great managed, however, to ambush Lewenhaupt's army at Lesnaya before Charles could combine his forces, thus losing valuable supplies, artillery and half of Lewenhaupt's men. [37], In his conversations with Löwen, he also stated that he did not lack taste for beautiful women, but that he held in his sexual desires for fear that they would get out of control if unchecked, and that if he committed to something like that, it would be forever. Gott und Ich leben noch. Charles XII - Charles XII - Years in Turkey, 1709–14: Turkey’s desire to reconquer Azov from Peter the Great augured well for its cooperation with Charles XII, but—in spite of four Turkish declarations of war against Russia—as the army expected from Sweden never arrived, the Swedish king was unable to pursue his plans vigorously. Eventually, "crowds" of townspeople attacked the Swedish colony at Bender and Charles had to defend himself against the mobs and the Ottoman Janissaries involved. God and I live still.). (History of Sweden. The Swedish defeat at Poltava in 1709 marks the downfall of the Swedish Empire,[17] as well as the founding of the Russian Empire.[18]. Apart from being a monarch, the King's interests included mathematics, and anything that would be beneficial to his warlike purposes. G.P. This uprising was called "kalabalık" (Turkish for crowd) which afterwards found a place in Swedish lexicon referring to a ruckus. During his semi-imprisonment the King played chess and studied the Ottoman Navy and the naval architecture of the Ottoman galleons. [48] In the so-called Strindberg feud (1910–1912), his response to the "Swedish cult of Charles XII" (Steene)[49] was that Charles had been "Sweden's ruin, the great offender, a ruffian, the rowdies' idol, a counterfeiter. The definitive circumstances around Charles's death remain unclear. Add new page. O'er love, o'er fear, extends his wide domain, England and the Netherlands supported him and his armies won over the Danes during a sea battle.He also beat Peter I Russian Tsar. Charles XII of Sweden (17 June 1682 – 30 November 1718) was King of Sweden from 5 April 1697 to 30 November 1718, succeeding Charles XI of Sweden and preceding Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden.King Charles was known as an exceptionally skilled military leader and tactician and an able politician, proving himself during the Great Northern War against the Russian Empire. 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".[29]. The shot struck the left side of his skull and exited from the right. 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. He took part in the Nordic War (1700-1721), in which his enemies were Denmark, Poland and Russia. Sweden's western enemies attacked southern and western Sweden while Russian forces traveled across Finland to attack the Stockholm district. Charles XII was king of Sweden from 1697 to 1718. [46] The date of Charles' death was chosen by a student association in Lund for annual torch marches beginning in 1853. In the meantime, Charles sent Stanislaw Poniatowski and Thomas Funck [sv] as his messengers to Constantinople. This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia.The original content was at Category:Charles XII of Sweden.The list of authors can be seen in the page history.As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License. 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. It has not been involved in a war since the Napoleonic era. [59][60], The Swedish power metal band Sabaton wrote an album named after him, which includes several songs about his life. He made the journey on horseback, riding across Europe in just fifteen days. A second force, under Carl Gustaf Armfeldt, marched against Trondheim with 10,000 men but was forced to retreat. A popular but unproven theory is that the murder was an act of conspiracy made by his sister's (Ulrika Eleonora) husband, Fredrik, who was crowned Fredrik I.It is believed that the murder was committed by Fredrik’s aide-de-camp, André Sicre, who confe… 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. 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. Another interesting point in Charles XII's history is the fact that France, Sweden's ally since the Thirty Years War was herself embroiled in yet another losing war against another great coalition, and also due to reasons similar to those of Charles XII, as Louis XIV of France was another monarch unable to acknowledge any limits to his ambitions. Charles XII turned from sham battles and mock heroics to real war. Later on, the Ottomans and Russians signed the Treaty of the Pruth and Treaty of Adrianople to end the hostilities between them. Peter Englund asserted in his essay "On the death of Charles XII and other murders[31]" that the mortal wound sustained by the King, with a smaller exit wound than entry wound, would be consistent with being hit by a bullet with a speed not exceeding 150 m/s, concluding that Charles was killed by stray grapeshot from the nearby fortress. The remainder of the army surrendered days later at Perevolochna under Lewenhaupt's command, most of them (including Lewenhaupt himself) spending the rest of their days in Russian captivity. This situation was later formalized, albeit moderated in the subsequent Treaty of Nystad. And Winter barricades the realms of Frost; Sicre confessed during what was claimed to be a state of delirium brought on by fever but later recanted. However, in the Early Modern Period the Kingdom of Sweden was one of the powerhouses of Europe and the greatest power in Northern Europe. After the deposition of Augustus as king of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Charles XII put Stanisław Leszczyński as his puppet on the Polish throne (1704). Tories (British political party)-Wikipedia. The size of the invading Swedish army was peeled off as Charles left Leszczyński with some 24,000 German and Polish troops, departing eastwards from Saxony in late 1707 with some 35,000 men, adding a further 12,500 under Adam Ludwig Lewenhaupt marching from Livonia. 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". ", Herman Lindquist (in Swedish): Historian om Sverige. 251,257 Pages. [47], In 1901, August Strindberg in his play Karl XII broke with the heroization practice, showing an introverted Charles XII in conflict with his impoverished subjects. [40][41] Certainly a letter from Reuterholm suggested that Charles had indicated a closeness to the Elector Prince of Saxony, Maximilian Emanuel of Württemberg-Winnental, whom Charles described as "very pretty". He traveled across the Habsburg Kingdom of Hungary to Vienna and arrived at Stralsund. [citation needed], 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. A Saxon army simultaneously invaded Swedish Livonia and in February 1700 surrounded Riga, the most populous city of the Swedish Empire. His time as king was dominated by the Great Northern War. Did he succumb to a stray bullet, or was he assassinated? Swedish kings Erik XIV (1560–1568) and Charles IX (1604–1611) gave themselves numerals after studying a mythological history of Sweden. Georg Heinrich von Görtz, Charles' minister, was beheaded in 1719. Let op: om deze website goed te kunnen gebruiken is het noodzakelijk om Cookies aan te zetten. While the siege at Fredrikshald was underway, the Swedish supply fleet was attacked and defeated by Tordenskjold in the Battle of Dynekilen.[26]. Swedish casualties in Fredrikshald were estimated at 500 men. The shot struck the left side of his skull and exited from the right. A medal with Charles on horseback, his long hair flying in the wind, was struck in 1714 to commemorate the speedy ride. After suffering significant losses of men and materiel, Charles was forced to retreat from the capital on 29 April. Less well-known is invasion of Russia by the Swedes under their most famous king, Charles XII. Afterwards, he settled in Bender at the invitation of its governor, Yusuf Pasha.