V was the son of Christian VI. Despite his pietistic
upbringing, he never shared his father's seriousness and pietistic ways.
Frederick took little interest in exercising his duties as king, choosing
instead to indulge himself in life's pleasures.
Frederick married the English princess Louise, daughter of George II. Together, they made radical changes to daily routines of the royal court. The new way of life was more light-hearted and open. Since the lifestyle of the royal household set the trend for the rest of society, this led to a significant cultural change. Theatres were reopened and the newly established scientific academies could pursue their agenda without risking censorship.
The King eventually fell victim to the effects of dissolute living, having ruined his health through excessive drinking. However, he never had the aptitude, the knowledge or the interest for governing his nation. This task was delegated to capable men such as A.G. Moltke and J.H.E. Bernstorff. These two men managed to keep Denmark-Norway out of the mid-century's continental wars while promoting business and industry in both nations. The Danish-Norwegian neutrality was a major advantage to its shipping and foreign trade. Norwegian lumber and fish were sold in increasing quantities and for better prices in the foreign markets, and a growing number of Norwegian merchant vessels were transporting the exports to foreign ports.
Frederick died in 1766. Despite his self-indulgence, he
left his son, Christian VII, a nation that was
wealthier and more strongly consolidated as a state than it was at the
time of his own ascent to the throne after Christian VI.