V Christian V was the son of Frederik III and
Sophie Amalie of Braunschweig-Lüneburg. In 1670 he ascended the throne
of an absolute monarchy.
Christian was distrustful of the old Danish nobility, fearing that they would threaten his position as autocratic ruler. He therefore established a new aristocracy with counts and barons (in Norway this included the lands of counts Laurvigen and Jarlsberg and the barony of Rosendal). His sense of insecurity also drove his desire to act as his own first minister but the task exceeded his capabilities. Men such as Ahlenfeld and the kingís half-brother, Ulrik Frederick Gyldenløve, became his advisors and exercised great influence over the kingís policies. They initiated a period of reform in both nations. Gyldenløve became governor of Norway with significant influence over the kingís commercial policies for the country. Christian Vís Danish Law of 1683 and Norwegian Law of 1687 were exceptional for their time in their uncommonly humane legislation. The peasant laws were also important, providing as they did tenant farmers with legal recourse against abuses by the landlords.
Both Christian V and Gyldenløve laid great importance on the stateís military strength. Denmark-Norway had not been so militarised for 400 years. In 1675 the king led a campaign against Skåne, in southern Sweden, in an attempt to recapture territory previously lost to Sweden. However, the attempt was fruitless, as was a later attempt to muster a Danish-Saxon-Russian alliance against Sweden.
From this point onwards, the king spent less time on affairs
of state and more time on amusements. His health was severely affected
by a hunting accident in 1698 and he died the following year. His son,
Frederik IV, succeeded him.