Carl XV 1859-1872

Above: Species taler from Carl XV 

Oscar I and Queen Josephine of Leuchtenberg had five children. The oldest son, Carl XV, succeeded his father on the throne when Oscar I died in 1859.

In the course of his reign, Carl XV suffered several defeats on political issues in which he had invested considerable prestige. These concerned relations with Norway and foreign policies. The so-called "governor issue" had brought him into conflict with the Norwegians. Carl had promised that the office of governor should be abolished. The office had not been filled for some time, but it was nonetheless very unpopular in Norway. However, the abolition of the office triggered furious protests in Sweden, and Carl was forced to go back on his promises to Norway. This was a personal defeat for the king, undermining the trustworthiness of his promises and bringing into question his strength when he came under pressure.

Like his father before him, Carl was a supporter of "Scandinavianism", a scheme under which all the Nordic nations would be united under one king from the house of Bernadotte. When Denmark once again came under threat of attack from Germany in 1863, he promised to help the Danish by sending troops in their support and signing a defence treaty with them. However, when this help was actually called upon, he found that neither the Swedish nor the Norwegian authorities were willing to offer assistance unless it was backed up by the Western powers. The Western powers remained neutral, and Denmark came out as the loser. This led to a reduction of the king's influence on Swedish foreign policies.

Carl did not leave any son to succeed him, so his brother, Oscar II, was made king when Carl died in 1872.

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