Instrument of Government (1809)
The Instrument of Government adopted on 6 June 1809 by the Riksdag of the Estates and King Charles XIII was one of the fundamental laws that made up the constitution of Sweden from 1809 to the end of 1974. It came about after the Coup of 1809, when the disastrous outcome in the Finnish War led Swedish nobles and parts of the Army to revolt, forcing King Gustav IV Adolf to involuntarily abdicate and go into exile. For half a century, starting with the Instrument of Government referred to as the Age of Liberty, Sweden had enjoyed parliamentary rule under the Riksdag of the Estates, but in 1772, ended by a coup d'état perpetrated by Gustav III: the Revolution of 1772; the coup enabled Gustav III to rule as an enlightened despot. Gustav III's son, Gustav IV Adolf, succeeded him but proved a less charismatic ruler, the change of sides of Russia in the Napoleonic wars prompted the disastrous Finnish War and the loss of Finland, settled in the Treaty of Fredrikshamn; this provided momentum for the Swedish nobility and other forces to depose the king and restore political power to the Estates.
The aged and childless brother of Gustav III, Charles XIII was made king in 1809, but he was a mere puppet in the hands of the Estates and the question of his successor had to be solved. The election, by the Riksdag of the Estates, of the French Marshal and Prince of Pontecorvo Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte in 1810, provided not only a successor, but a vital regent and a new dynasty; the rights of Bernadotte's successors to accede to the Swedish throne were codified in an amendment to the constitution in the form of the Act of Succession. The Instrument of Government of 1809 replaced the Instrument of Government of 1772, it established a separation of powers between the legislative branch. The King and Riksdag possessed joint power over legislation, while the Riksdag had sole power over the budget and state incomes and expenses including military burdens. While the king's power was somewhat reduced compared to the enlightened absolutism of Gustav III, the new document enabled the king to take a more active role in politics than during the Age of Liberty.
Ministers were politically responsible to the king, who appointed and dismissed them. However, they were responsible to the Riksdag and a special court according to a special statute and to law in general if they committed legal offences; as the Riksdag's authority grew, it became difficult for a government to stay in office with the Crown's support. This culminated in 1907, when a government was chosen, dependent more on the confidence of the Riksdag than on that of the king. However, in 1914, when Gustaf V made a speech opposing the program of the incumbent liberal government, it resigned, the king appointed a conservative government of civil servants responsible to him; the liberals won a decisive victory in 1917, but Gustaf tried to appoint another conservative ministry. However, it could not garner nearly enough support in the Riksdag, it was now obvious that the king could no longer pick a government of his choosing, nor could he keep it in office against the will of the Riksdag. Gustaf yielded and appointed a liberal-social democratic coalition that arrogated most of the crown's political powers to itself.
At that time, it was definitively established that ministers were politically responsible to the Riksdag. From on, while ministers were still formally appointed by the king, convention required him to ensure they had the support of a majority in the Riksdag and to act on his ministers' advice. Although the Instrument's statement that "the King alone shall govern the realm" remained unchanged, it was understood that he was to exercise his powers through the ministers, who did most of the actual work of governing. During the period when it was in force several important reforms took place without affecting its status. In 1866 the Four Estates were replaced by a bicameral parliament, in 1876 the office of the Prime Minister of Sweden was introduced. In the early 20th century universal suffrage was introduced and the country became a de facto parliamentary monarchy. In 1970 the parliament was transformed from a bicameral legislature to a unicameral one. In 1975, it was replaced by a new Instrument of Government, which stripped the king of nominal political power and made Sweden a de facto crowned republic.
History of Sweden Politics of Sweden Constitution of Sweden King in Council Privy Council of Sweden Gustavian Party Regeringsform 1809 - at Wikisource Historiska dokument - at Wikisource
Scania known as Skåne, is the southernmost province of Sweden. Within Scania, there are 33 municipalities. Scania's largest city is Malmö, the third largest in Sweden, as well as the fifth largest in Scandinavia. To the north, Scania borders the provinces of Halland and Småland, to the northeast Blekinge, to the east and south the Baltic Sea, to the west Öresund. Since 2000, a road and railway bridge, the Øresund Bridge, bridges the sound to Denmark. Scania is part of the transnational Øresund Region. From north to south Scania covers less than 3 % of Sweden's total area; the population of over 1,320,000 represents 13% of the country's population. With 121 inh/km2 Scania is the second most densely populated province of Sweden. Scania was part of the kingdom of Denmark, up until the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658. Denmark regained control of the province during the Scanian War 1676-1679 and again in 1711. Scania was formally included in Sweden in 1720; the endonym used in Swedish and other North Germanic languages is Skåne.
The Latinized form Scania occurs in British English as an exonym. However, sometimes the endonym Skåne is used in English text, such as in tourist information sometimes as Skane with the diacritic omitted, wrong both in Swedish and English. Scania is the only Swedish province for which exonyms are still used in many languages, e.g. French Scanie and German Schonen, Polish Skania, Spanish Escania, Italian Scania, etc. For the province's modern administrative counterpart, Skåne län, the endonym Skåne is used in English. In the Alfredian translation of Orosius's and Wulfstan's travel accounts, the Old English form Sconeg appears. Frankish sources mention; the names Scania and Scandinavia are considered to have the same etymology and the southernmost tip of what is today Sweden was called Scania by the Romans and thought to be an island. The actual etymology of the word remains dubious and has long been a matter of debate among scholars; the name is derived from the Germanic root *Skaðin-awjã, which appears in Old Norse as Skáney.
According to some scholars, the Germanic stem can be reconstructed as *Skaðan- meaning "danger" or "damage". Skanör in Scania, with its long Falsterbo reef, has the same stem combined with -ör, which means "sandbanks". Between 1719 and 1996, the province was subdivided in two administrative counties, Kristianstad County and Malmöhus County, each under a governor appointed by the central government of Sweden; when the first local government acts took effect in 1863, each county got an elected county council. The counties were further divided into municipalities; the local government reform of 1952 reduced the number of municipalities, a second subdivision reform, carried out between 1968 and 1974, established today's 33 municipalities in Scania. The municipalities have municipal governments, similar to city commissions, are further divided into parishes; the parishes are entities of the Church of Sweden, but they serve as a divisioning measure for the Swedish population registration and other statistical uses.
In 1999, the county council areas were amalgamated, forming Skåne Regional Council, responsible for public healthcare, public transport and regional planning and culture. During the Danish era, the province had no coat of arms. In Sweden, every province had been represented by heraldic arms since 1560; when Charles X Gustav of Sweden died in 1660 a coat of arms had to be created for the newly acquired province, as each province was to be represented by its arms at his royal funeral. After an initiative from Baron Gustaf Bonde, the Lord High Treasurer of Sweden, the coat of arms of the City of Malmö was used as a base for the new provincial arms; the Malmö coat of arms had been granted in 1437, during the Kalmar Union, by Eric of Pomerania and contains a Pomeranian griffin's head. To distinguish it from the city's coat of arms the tinctures were changed and the official blazon for the provincial arms is, in English: Or, a griffin's head erased gules, crowned azure and armed azure, when it should be armed.
The province was divided in two administrative counties 1719–1996. Coats of arms were created for these entities using the griffin motif; the new Skåne County, operative from 1 January 1997, got a coat of arms, the same as the province's, but with reversed tinctures. When the county arms is shown with a Swedish royal crown, it represents the County Administrative Board, the regional presence of central government authority. In 1999 the two county councils were amalgamated forming Region Skåne, it is the only one of its kind using a heraldic coat of arms. It is the same as the province's and the county's, but with a golden griffin's head on a blue shield; the 33 municipalities within the county have coats of arms. The Scania Griffin has become a well-known symbol for the province and is used by commercial enterprises, it is, for instance, included in the logotypes of the automotive manufacturer Scania AB and the airline Malmö Aviation. Coat of arms: Scania was first mentioned in written texts in the 9th century.
It came under Danish king Harald Bluetooth in the middle of the 10th century. It was a region that included Blekinge and Halland, situated on the
The Swedish nobility has been a and/or privileged class in Sweden, part of the so-called frälse. The archaic term for nobility, frälse included the clergy, a classification defined by tax exemptions and representation in the diet. Today the nobility does not maintain its former privileges although family names and coats of arms are still protected; the Swedish nobility consists of both "introduced" and "unintroduced" nobility, where the latter has not been formally "introduced" at the House of Nobility. The House of Nobility still maintains a fee for male members over the age of 18 for upkeep on pertinent buildings in Stockholm. Belonging to the nobility in present-day Sweden may still carry some informal social privileges, be of certain social and historical significance among some groups. Sweden has, long been a modern democratic society and meritocratic practices are supposed to govern all appointments to state offices by law. No special privileges, in taxation or otherwise, are therefore given to any Swedish citizen based on family origins, the one exception being the Royal family and the position as head of state held by the monarch of Sweden.
However this role is today, according to the instrument of government, ceremonial. In 1902 Sven Hedin became the last person to be ennobled in Sweden. From 1974 the monarch can not confer nobility; as of 2004 there were with about 28,000 members. They are classified as counts and untitled nobility; until 2003 the nobility was regulated by a government statute, but in that year the statute was lifted so that governmental sanction and legal regulation of the nobility was discontinued. The House of Nobility is now a private institution, run as any private corporation under civil commercial law, is owned by its members. Today, the only privilege of the nobility is the right to use a helm with an open visor in their coats of arms, this according to a 1762 royal act; when an association called Ofrälse och löske mäns samfund för bruk af öppne hjälmar petitioned the Swedish government for amnesty in regards to violations of the 1762 act, the petition was not tried nor granted. The Supreme Administrative Court of Sweden ruled, in 2013, since no one has the right to amnesty, the government's decision did not concern anyone's civil rights according to the European Convention on Human Rights, could thus not be examined by the court.
Swedish nobility is organized into three classes according to a scheme introduced in riddarhusordningen 1626 the Class of Lords, comprising counts and barons, two titles introduced in 1561 by Erik XIV. The two last classes contains the so-called untitled nobility; the division into classes has roots in the Middle Ages when the nobility frälse was divided into lords in the Privy Council and esquires. Until 1719 the three classes voted separately, but in the Age of Liberty all classes were voting together with one vote for each family head; this made the vast majority of the untitled nobility in power, for example officers and civil servants were represented. In 1778 Gustav III restored the classes and class voting and at the same time he reformed the Class of Knights; this class only contained family descendants of Privy Councillors and was the smallest class of the three classes. But Gustav III introduced in this class the 300 oldest families in the Class of Esquire and the "commander families", who are of the descendants of commanders of the Order of the Northern Star and the Order of the Sword.
No more commander families were introduced in the House of Knights after 1809, thereafter the class voting was abolished and the nobility was voting as during the Age of Liberty. A Swedish duke has always been of royal status and counted as such. An exception in medieval times was Duke of Halland. Two men were created princes in the 18th century: Fredrik Vilhelm von Hessenstein and Vilhelm Putbus but neither were introduced. Following the elevation of a commoner into nobility by the Swedish monarch, the new nobleman had to seek introduction in order to be a recognised member of the House of Nobility, a term that refers to its function as a chamber in the Riksdag of the Estates, the Swedish Parliament. In 1866 the Nobility was formally separated from government and incorporated as a separate institution, governed by statutes handed down by the monarch; this last link to the government and state was abolished in 2003. The Palace of the Nobility served as official representation for the nobility and was regulated by the Swedish government, but this regulation ceased in 2003, as have the privileges.
The membership roster is published every three years. The institution of Swedish nobility dates back to 1280, when it was stated by King Magnus III in the Decree of Alsnö that magnates who could afford to contribute a mounted soldier to the cavalry were to be exempted from tax - at
House of Nobility (Sweden)
The House of Nobility in Stockholm, Sweden is a corporation and a building, that maintains records and acts as an interest group on behalf of the Swedish nobility. The name is translated as House of Knights, as the knights belong to the higher ranks of the Swedish nobility, sometimes together with titles as count and baron. All esquires are represented in the corporation; this is a tradition from the Middle Ages when Sweden during the Kalmar Union only had one knight: Sten Sture. Between the 17th and the 19th century the House of Nobility was a chamber in the Riksdag of the Estates, as such, a Swedish equivalent to the British House of Lords. In the 18th century, the building was used for public concerts. From 1731, public concerts were performed here by Kungliga Hovkapellet. Elisabeth Olin is believed to have debuted here in the 1750s, foreign artists performed such as Elisabetta Almerighi, Giovanni Ansani and Rosa Scarlatti. After 1866, when the old Parliament of the Estates was replaced by the new Parliament of Sweden, the Swedish House of Nobility served as a quasi-official representative body for the Swedish nobility, regulated by the Swedish government.
Since 2003, it has been a private institution which maintains records and acts as an interest group on behalf of the Swedish nobility, its main purpose being to maintain old traditions and culture. The Riddarhuset is the name of the building maintained by the corporation in Stockholm old town; the French-born architect Simon De la Vallée started the planning of the building, but was killed by a Swedish nobleman in 1642. The plans were finished by his son, Jean De la Vallée, in 1660; the south end of the building carries the Latin inscription CLARIS MAIORUM EXEMPLIS, after the clear example of the forefathers, holds a statue of Gustav Vasa. North of the building is a park in, a statue of Axel Oxenstierna; the architecture of the old main library in Turku, Finland was influenced by the Swedish House of Nobility. List of Swedish noble families Finnish House of Nobility Riddarhustorget Riddarholmen Ointroducerad Adels Förening Official Riddarhuset website Riddarhuset.se: Archives