Axel Oxenstierna

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Oxenstierna, Axel


(count of Södermere). Born June 26, 1583, on the family estate in the län (county) of Uppsala; died Sept. 7, 1654, in Stockholm. Swedish statesman. Chancellor (1612–54) during the reigns of Gustavus II Adolphus and Christina.

Oxenstierna acted in the interests of the aristocratic oligarchy and successfully limited royal power through the formation of an aristocratic riksrâd (council of state). He helped carry out administrative and judicial reforms that extended the privileges of the nobility. He also assisted nobles in acquiring state lands. After the death of Gustavus II Adolphus in 1632, he virtually controlled Swedish politics until Christina came of age in 1644. The commander of the Swedish army on the Rhine, he created the League of Heilbronn to unite Protestant German princes (1633). After a series of Swedish defeats in the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48), he actively encouraged France to enter the war.

References in periodicals archive ?
Sellin begins Chapter 4 by detecting in Le Bon's Latin letter to Axel Oxenstierna a misreading.
One of these continuing projects is devoted to Axel Oxenstierna (1583-1654), who played a pivotal role in European politics and should undoubtedly be counted among the most influential people in Swedish history.
Finding out took me well beyond the confines of the school curriculum and I learned about Gustavus I who created a centralised state and was like Henry VII and Henry VIII rolled into one; about Erik XIV, who paid earnest court to Elizabeth Tudor; about Axel Oxenstierna, Gustavus' chief minister, who raised the money for his master's wars and held the country together after Gustavus' early death.