Denmark Under Frederick V

By | January 4, 2022

Even at the time of Frederick IV, the policy of internal accommodation was continued: schools were built, a territorial militia (Landmilits) was created (1701), serfdom was abolished (1702). In addition to this, despite the expensive constructions made and the great fire that had almost reduced Copenhagen to ashes (1728), it was possible to restore order in the finances, in the period following the war. But under the reign of Crestian VI (1736-46), if the action in favor of popular education was continued, the condition of the peasants was instead worsened again: since they were forbidden, for military reasons, to leave their birthplace between 14 and 36 years. Christian VI and his successor, EdericV (1746-66), followed a mercantilist policy; but if commerce benefited considerably, industry on the other hand, however artificially promoted and aided, was not profitable. Even the position of the peasants continued to worsen, and due to the restrictions on their freedom of residence and the common management of the land that did not allow the more capable peasants to sow or reap before the others and to introduce new methods of cultivation. Added to this are the many taxes and compulsory services in the properties of the lords (Hoveri), which generally fell in the period when the peasants’ lands were in greatest need of work. The problem of the peasantry ended up becoming the central problem of Danish life. Private individuals were the first to enter the field of reforms; but a complete reform did not come either then or during the reign of CrestianVII (1766-1808), also marked by the reforming work of the German JH Struensee, who succeeded in supplanting Count JHE Bernstorff, master of the king’s soul from 1750 to 1770, in the effective direction of public life. He introduced the freedom of the press, abolished torture, ordered the administration, reformed finances and economic life, abandoning the systems of mercantilism. All this however gave rise to a violent opposition between the conservative elements, an opposition further exacerbated by the position of Struensee, the queen’s lover: he conspired against him, and he was arrested and executed in 1772. From that year until 1784, the true reigning was the tutor of the crown prince, H√łegh-Guldberg, who abolished a series of reforms of the Struensee and did nothing for the peasants,

In foreign policy, according to topschoolsintheusa, the period of Frederick V and Christian VII was peaceful. Only in 1762, the advent to the throne of Russia of Peter III, son of the Duke of Gottorp, seemed to threaten Denmark, whose ruin the tsar intended. But his death removed the clouds from the horizon. And instead, Count Bernstoff was able, between 1750 and 1770, to follow a successful policy, which kept Denmark out of the great European disputes and which led to a rapprochement with the house of Holstein-Gottorp. In fact, this recognized the incorporation of Schleswig to Denmark and renounced its claims on Holstein, receiving in compensation Oldenburg and Delmenhorst. Even after 1772, AP Bernstorff, the new head of Danish foreign policy, was able to maintain a peaceful approach to the activity of his country. In 1780, during the North American Secession War, Denmark, which saw its ships exposed to British searches and confiscations, made an alliance with Russia and Sweden in defense of armed neutrality (1780). At the end of the century the great reform in favor of the peasants could begin. Taken power, in 1784, by the hereditary prince, friend of Bernstorff, who had been expelled in 1780 by the queen mother, the two started the agrarian reform.

In 1786, the great agricultural commission was thus established, whose works led first of all to the “Order on the juridical position of the tenant farmer” (1787). With it it was established that a rented farm had to be put in good condition before the farmer took it over; that a peasant was not to be rented out on a farm against his will; that the landowner was to be prohibited from inflicting corporal punishment on peasants. On June 20, 1788, the work was crowned with the law abolishing serfdom. Other steps forward were made in the following years. The number of days for the work was fixed, which in many cases were actually replaced by a monetary tribute. The cultivation of common land gradually disappeared; and the farmer, full of initiatives, began to introduce new methods of cultivation. Thus, the basis was laid for the subsequent resurgence of Danish agriculture. But the reform work was not limited to the agrarian question: the Negro trade in the colonies was abolished; equal rights were granted to Jews, and freedom of the press; with the customs law of 1797 the mercantilist system was put to an end, to the advantage of Danish trade which reached a great development, while the Napoleonic wars were raging in Europe. equal rights were granted to Jews, and freedom of the press; with the customs law of 1797 the mercantilist system was put to an end, to the advantage of Danish trade which reached a great development, while the Napoleonic wars were raging in Europe. equal rights were granted to Jews, and freedom of the press; with the customs law of 1797 the mercantilist system was put to an end, to the advantage of Danish trade which reached a great development, while the Napoleonic wars were raging in Europe.

Denmark Under Frederick V