Charles XII

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Charles XII

, king of Sweden
Charles XII, 1682–1718, king of Sweden (1697–1718), son and successor of Charles XI. The regency under which he succeeded was abolished in 1697 at the request of the Riksdag. At the coronation he omitted the usual oath and crowned himself. Charles's youth and inexperience invited the coalition (1699) of Peter I of Russia, Augustus II of Poland and Saxony, and Frederick IV of Denmark that challenged Swedish supremacy in the Baltics. The resulting Northern War quickly revealed Charles's abilities. In one of the most brilliant campaigns in history, Charles forced Denmark to make peace (Aug., 1700), defeated Peter I at Narva (Nov., 1700), subjugated Courland (1701), invaded Poland and, declaring Augustus II dethroned, secured the election (1704) of Stanislaus I as king of Poland. In 1706 he invaded Saxony and forced Augustus to recognize Stanislaus as king, end his alliance with Russia, and surrender his adviser, Johann Reinhold von Patkul, whom Charles then had broken on the wheel. Charles then concentrated on his chief enemy, Peter I. He secured the alliance of the Cossack leader Mazepa and invaded Russia in 1708. The Swedish army was outnumbered, weakened by long marches and a cold winter, and without the active leadership of Charles, who was wounded; it suffered a disastrous defeat by the Russians at Poltava. Much of the army was captured, and Charles fled to Turkey, where he persuaded Sultan Ahmed III to declare war (1710) on Russia. After the Peace of the Pruth (1711) between Russia and Turkey, Charles, who had taken residence near Bender in Bessarabia, became an increasingly unwelcome guest. He was requested to leave Turkey but obstinately refused. A whole Turkish army was sent (1713) to dislodge him from his house; Charles defended it with a handful of men for several hours until he was forced by fire to make a sortie. Taken prisoner and detained near Adrianople, he feigned sickness for over a year. Late in 1714 he unexpectedly arrived at Swedish-occupied Stralsund and defended it against the Prussians and the Danes until Dec., 1715. When it fell he escaped to Sweden and proceeded to invade (1716) Norway. He was killed in the Swedish trenches while besieging the fortress of Fredrikssten. He was succeeded by his sister, Ulrica Leonora, who was forced to recognize a new constitution that gave most of the power to the nobles and clergy. During her reign the Northern War ended (1721) with substantial Swedish losses. His final failure cost Sweden its rank as a great power. The classic biography is Voltaire's History of Charles XII.


See also biographies by R. N. Bain (1895, repr. 1969), J. A. Gade (1916), F. G. Bengtsson (tr. 1960), and R. M. Hatton (1968).

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References in periodicals archive ?
This history, which was one of Voltaire's last historical works, differed in both form and substance from his earlier work on Charles XII. While the earlier work concentrated upon the magnetic personality of Charles XII and described in detail his personal bravery, his wars, and his spectacular march across central and eastern Europe, and thus, despite a somewhat innovative "novelistic" style, more or less fell into the traditional category of "drum and trumpet" history, the latter work treated military history less enthusiastically and concentrated upon how Peter transformed the old Tsardom of Muscovy into the new "Russian Empire" through economic, social, and legal reforms.
Bielke died at the eve of the reign of Charles XII. The library was moved by the heirs to Skokloster; the paintings were forcibly dismantled from the walls and sent with the books to the same castle.
HE'S camp, sings songs about Charles XII of Sweden and looks like he shops at Lidl for clothes.
For instance, Chandler compellingly describes Pushkin's synthesis of archival research and first-hand, oral accounts of events in composing A History of the Pugachev Rebellion, but his readers might also appreciate knowing that in so doing Pushkin was in part responding to and improving upon the historiographical techniques employed by Voltaire in L'Histoire de Charles XII and Histoire de l'Empire de Russie as well as Russian historians such as Nikolai Karamzin and Dmitrii Bantysh-Kamenskii.
Themodern notion of Ombudsmen was derived from the example of the second Muslim Caliph, Umar (634-644 AD) and the concept of Qadi al-Qadat, which influenced the Swedish King Charles XII. In 1713, after a period of self-exile in Turkey, Charles XII created the office of Supreme Ombudsman.
Part 4, "Johnson and Politics," pours down a torrent of erudite hot lava on the belief that Johnson refused as an Oxford student to swear allegiance to the new Hanoverian dynasty or that he meant the portrait of Charles XII of Sweden in The Vanity of Human Wishes as a coded eulogy for Charles Edward Stuart and his Jacobite invasion of England.
Based on a poem by Pushkin, the opera, which had its premiere in 1884 at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, details the quest for Ukrainian independence from Russia in the early 18th century, ending in the defeat of the ambitious Cossack leader, Mazeppa, and his cohort in the grand scheme, Charles XII of Sweden, by Peter the Great at Poltava.
At the dawn of the 18th century Sweden was a European superpower until King Charles XII came a cropper on the endless steppe.
Matthew Davis unearths some scattered 'Stuart sympathies' among Johnson's notes to Richard II; Niall Mackenzie labours for thirty pages to convince 'waverers'--for we are clearly being asked to sign up to something--that the phrase 'While ladies interpose' in Johnson's Vanity of Human Wishes continues an alleged Jacobite comparison between Charles XII of Sweden and Charles Stuart.
The Shooting Stars beauty left the church, named after another Ulrika - Swedish King Charles XII's sister Ulrika Eleonora - clutching a sheaf of notes for the real ceremony with 50 guests on the island of Varmdo, west of Stockholm.
He also became a protege of the dynamic young king of Sweden, Charles XII. An appointment as assessor to the royal Board of Mines provided him with the funds to pursue his scholarship, with virtually no official duties expected of him.