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Kungen är död, länge leve kungen: En undersökning av arvkungadömets utmaningar 1544–1796
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History.
2009 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Swedish hereditary kingship was not without its problems. In March 1792, Gustav III was assassinated leaving an immature heir to the throne. The direct succession of Gustav IV Adolf was impossible as he had not yet reached the age of majority. This example epitomises this study’s focal point –the hereditary kingship’s challenges.

This is a study of the hereditary kingship’s formation and practices. It sheds light on how the hereditary kingship dealt with challenges through constitutional law and how the transfer of power was portrayed ceremonially. Closely connected with the transfer of power, are the underlying concepts of kingship. Normally the succession occurs through one king’s funeral and the following king’s coronation, however it could also take place through abdication or coup d’état.

The study consists of two analytical parts. The first part aims to elucidate the formation and practices of the hereditary kingship with an exposé beginning in 1544: the establishment of the hereditary kingship. The second part focuses on the immaturity of Gustav IV Adolf up until he reached the age of majority in 1796.

The findings show that the formation of the hereditary kingship and its practices display certain themes when power is transferred and when challenges are overcome. These includethe notion of unity, to be chosen, legality, to fulfil one’s role as ruler, and continuity. The results also show that hereditary kingship adapts to meet its challenges and that these themes are omnipresent and part of a constantly ongoing process when power is transferred. In Gustav IV Adolf’s case, the constitutional law dictated how the regiment was to be organised. In addition, his guardian Charles was granted Royal Authority and acted as Regent. The saying which composes the title of this study illustrates the natural transfer of power; albeit that this transpired gradually. The conclusion is a deepened understanding of the words: The king is dead, long live the king.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 56 p.
Keyword [en]
Hereditary kingship, constitutional law, ceremony, transfer of power, authority, dignity
Keyword [sv]
Arvkungadöme, myndighet, värdighet, maktöverföring, statsrätt, ceremoni
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-271581OAI: diva2:892518
Available from: 2016-01-11 Created: 2016-01-11 Last updated: 2016-01-20Bibliographically approved

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