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Scandinavia

Coming from England, the potato reached Scandinavia in this century. (Ref. 8 )

Norway

Still under Danish rule, Norway was rapidly developing a sea trade and shipping industry, with particularly close commercial ties with England. Norway's chief contribution to the literature of the period was Ludvig Holberg, who wrote a number of comedies to be played in the first theater in Denmark.

Sweden

Since Sweden was occupied almost entirely in the early century with war, we shall first continue our special section on that war.

After termination of the Great Northern War, political power in Sweden shifted to the lower nobility and the rich merchants, who were prospering in trade and industry, exploiting the mineral resources of the country. The parliament became the center of political life, but it soon took on dishonest ways and fell in prestige so that Gustavus III became an absolute ruler once more in a golden interlude of intellectualism and art (1771-1792). In the meantime the Hats, a political party under French influence, had provoked another war against Russia, but after two years Sweden was again the loser and had lost still more territory in Finland.

Great men of Sweden in this century were Karl von Linn (Linnaeus), who established the modern binomial system of naming plants and animals and Anders Celsius, astronomer at the University of Uppsala. He also devised the centigrade scale thermometer.

Denmark

Some repetition of the material concerning the Great Northern War will be apparent, in this section. In 1699 Frederick IV, aged 28 years, had ascended to the throne of Denmark and with Peter the Great of Russia, aged 27 years and Augustus of Poland, 29, formed an alliance to obtain revenge for the actions of Sweden's 17 year old king, Karl XII. On the alliance's declaration of war, however, Karl immediately attacked Denmark, starting the Great Northern War. Sweden easily won those initial battles and continued conquering throughout eastern Europe for the next 10 years, as we have noted above.

After Karl was defeated at Poltava, however,-Frederick once more led Denmark and Norway into war on land and sea and the final peace did not come until 1721. The European powers at the peace table would not return both sides of the Sound to Denmark, because of the old grievance of the Sound Dues and they let Sweden keep Scania.

Frederick IV encouraged intellectual life, subsidizing the Norwegian poet and playwright, Ludvig Holberg. With budding intellectual life, industry also developed, including the still famous Royal Copenhagen Porcelain factory. After Frederick's death in 1728, a great fire swept Copenhagen in the reign of Christian VI. The latter was followed by Frederick V, who married the daughter of Britain's George II. Upon Frederick V's death in 1765 his mentally ill son became Christian VII, married to Caroline Matilda, sister of George III of England. Christian's physician, Struensee, became an all-powerful minister for a short period, but Andreas Peter Bernstorff replaced him as chief minister in 1773. After 1784 Christian's son and successor Frederick VI acted as regent and put through wide reforms, including the liberation of peasants from serfdom, clearing the way for the breaking up of large land-holdings and allowing improvements in farming methods. In 1792 Denmark became the first European country to prohibit the slave trade. Of interest is the fact that it was a Dane, Vitus Bering, who explored the northern seas and oceans for the Russian navy in the first half of the century. (Ref. 117 , 38 )

Questions & Answers

Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
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brayan
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Source:  OpenStax, A comprehensive outline of world history. OpenStax CNX. Nov 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10595/1.3
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