He was born by the name Jean Bernadotte in France, and later in life became the ruler of Sweden. Here is how the history unfolded…..
Napoleon I – On The French Front
In May of 1804, the French people voted to change the consulate to an empire and to make Napoléon the Emperor of France.
In 1805, Austria, England, Russia and Sweden became united in a new Third Coalition to move against France. It was in September of 1805, when Austria attacked the French controlled Bavaria. Napoléon moved his army into Germany in September, and by October, Napoleon captured the Austrians at Ulm and occupied Vienna. It didn’t stop there, in December, Napoléon won his most brilliant victory which decimated the Austro-Russo armies at Austerlitz.
In June of the following year, Napoléon named his brother Louis as King of Holland, and within each following each victory, Napoléon enlarged the French Empire.
On the other front, Prussia and Russia joined together to mount a new campaign against France. In October, of 1806, Napoléon’s army decimated the Prussian army at Jena and at nearby Auerstadt. Napoléon was interested in preventing his enemies, especially the British, from trading with continental Europe. In November, he declared a new administrative law, which banned English ships from all ports under French control.
Napoléon was on a roll, in June of 1807, Napoléon eliminated the Russian armies at Friedland, which resulted in the signing of the Treaty of Tilsit, by Napoléon and Tsar Alexander. Under the treaty, King Frederick William III, of Prussia, became a vassal to France and lost half of his territories. Russia was forced to recognize the yet-to-be-created Grand Duchy of Warsaw which was to be carved out of Prussian Poland. Russia was also forced to make other territorial changes. Napoléon then turned to defeating Sweden, which he did with the help of Russia, in 1808.
The Start Of Things Falling Apart For Napoleon
The Peninsular War began in 1808 when Spanish and Portuguese forces rebelled against French rule. Tens of thousands of French soldiers died in the war, and the loss of Spain and Portugal greatly damaged Napoléon’s prestige.
Napoléon divorces Josephine, aged 46 years old in 1809, because she had not produced an heir. Worried about the continuity of the empire, he had the senate pronounce his divorce from Josephine in December of 1809. It was because of this that Pope Pius VII excommunicated Napoléon. Retaliating, Napoléon had the Pope arrested on July 6. On February 17, 1810, the Papal States were annexed to France. The pope was then forced to sign an additional concordat and to annul Napoléon’s marriage to Josephine. It wasn’t too long after that that Napoléon married Marie Louise, in April, 1810, the 18 year old daughter of Emperor Francis I of Austria.
On July 9, 1810, Napoléon again increased the size of the Empire by annexing Holland and much of Germany to the Empire.
Jean Bernadotte – On The Swedish Front….
Bernadotte joined the French army and after the French Revolution, he advanced quickly and was in 1804 appointed as a Marshal of France by Napoleon I, even though the pair had a tumultuous relationship. When his service to France ended in 1810, he was voted the heir to the Swedish throne.
In August of 1810 Swedish Parliament had their eye on him for the Swedish throne. In October the same year, Bernadotte arrived in Sweden, and quickly took over as the real head of state, as the reigning King Karl XIII was in poor health. The Swedish royal family was dying out with King Charles XIII, so Baron Carl Otto Mörner (a Swedish courtier), advocated for his position for leadership.
Karl Johan had good relations with France however, Swedish foreign policy led Sweden into alliance with Russia and Britain against France. Sweden was then promised to Norway, which meant going against Napoleon. In 1813 led Karl Johan Swedish troops in the sixth coalition war , which was successful against France. After the victory against French, he forced Denmark to cede Norway by the Treaty of Kiel . Norway declared its independence after having hosted a national assembly at Eidsvoll, but after a short war in late summer 1814 the Norwegians surrendered, and entered into a union with Sweden.
A few facts about Karl Johan:
- He was originally named Jean Bernadotte, but was also named Jean Baptiste after John the Baptist
- He converted the royal court from Roman Catholicism to the Lutheranism, and never learned to speak Swedish or Norwegian. French was widely spoken by the Swedish aristocracy.
- He married in 1798 with Désirée Clary , who had previously been engaged to Napoleon Bonaparte .
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“Rosersberg Palace – enfilade from Princess Hedvig Elisabet Charlotta’s Bedchamber” The Oxenstierna family built the palace in the 1630s. It became a royal palace in 1762, when the state gave Rosersberg to Gustav III’s younger brother Karl XIII. The rooms remain almost untouched from the 1795-1825 period, with well-preserved interiors and collections. Found on abebooks.com
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Johann Jacob de Lose:Portrait of Marshal Charles Jean Bernadotte 1763-1844 1805 www.1st-art-gallery.com
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19th Century Swedish Empire Mirror- D.LARSSON
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Swedish Empire Chairs- D.LARSSON
Pair of Early Swedish Empire Stools , Circa 1820. Found on dlarssoninterior.tumblr.com
Pair of side chairs, Sweden circa 1880, with rounded form and saber legs. Found on cupboardsandroses.com
Pair of Swedish armchairs from the empire period, circa 1860, with upholstered seats and backs. Found on cupboardsandroses.com
Pair of Swedish armchairs, circa 1910, in the style of the late Gustavian or early empire period and showing the fascination with Pompeian antiquities that began in the 1780s. Curved back rail, turned front legs and backward-curving back legs. Found on cupboardsandroses.com
Pair of Carved Armchairs in the Empire Style, Pair of Swedish armchairs, circa 1910, in the Empire or Carl Johan style. The open backs show a central wheat sheaf with reeded column and a laurel swag on either side. Found on cupboardsandroses.com
Pair of armchairs, Sweden circa 1860, with swan carved splats and gracefully curving arms with swan heads at the top. Found on cupboardsandroses.com
Swedish Empire Giltwood Mirror, Gothenburg circa 1820 Lundgrens Antikhandel
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Biedermeier pieces are found throughout this house- featured on traditionalhome.com
An antique Biedermeier cabinet (c. 1850) topped with antique marble Found on traditionalhome.com
Biedermeier Secretaire Found on deringhall.com
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