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Christian V

CHRISTIAN V. (1646-1699), king of Denmark and Norway, the son of Frederick III. of Denmark and Sophia Amelia of Brunswick-Lüneburg, was born on the 15th of April 1646 at Flensberg, and ascended the throne on the 9th of February 1670. He was a weak despot with an exaggerated opinion of his dignity and his prerogatives. Almost his first act on ascending the throne was publicly to insult his consort, the amiable Charlotte Amelia of Hesse-Cassel, by introducing into court, as his officially recognized mistress, Amelia Moth, a girl of sixteen, the daughter of his former tutor, whom he made countess of Samsö. His personal courage and extreme affability made him highly popular among the lower orders, but he showed himself quite incapable of taking advantage permanently of the revival of the national energy, and the extraordinary overflow of native middle-class talent, which were the immediate consequences of the revolution of 1660. Under the guidance of his great chancellor Griffenfeldt, Denmark seemed for a brief period to have a chance of regaining her former position as a great power. But in sacrificing Griffenfeldt to the clamour of his adversaries, Christian did serious injury to the monarchy. He frittered away the resources of the kingdom in the unremunerative Swedish war of 1675-79, and did nothing for internal progress in the twenty years of peace which followed. He died in a hunting accident on the 25th of August 1699.

See Peter Edvard Holm, Danmarks indre Historie under Enevaelden (Copenhagen, 1881-1886); Adolf Ditleva Jörgensen, Peter Griffenfeldt (Copenhagen, 1893); Robert Nisbet Bain, Scandinavia cap. x., xi. (Cambridge, 1905).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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