Front Page Titles (by Subject) chapter xiv: The Interests of Denmark in relation to other Princes - An Account of Denmark, With Francogallia and Some Considerations for the Promoting of Agriculture and Employing the Poor
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chapter xiv: The Interests of Denmark in relation to other Princes - Robert Molesworth, An Account of Denmark, With Francogallia and Some Considerations for the Promoting of Agriculture and Employing the Poor 
An Account of Denmark, With Francogallia and Some Considerations for the Promoting of Agriculture and Employing the Poor, Edited and with an Introduction by Justin Champion (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2011).
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The Interests of Denmark in relation to other Princes
In treating of the Interests of the King of Denmark in relation to other Princes or States which do not confine upon his Dominions, and of his Affections towards them, it will not be necessary to observe strictly the order and rank which those Princes hold in the World, I shall therefore take them as they come indifferently.
With the Emperor the King of Denmark is obliged to keep always a good outward Correspondence, he being himself a Prince of the Empire, as Duke of Holstein; and the Emperor having it often in his Power to do him several Kindnesses or dis-kindnesses. The King has a great desire to establish a Toll at Glucstadt upon the River Elb; and although the Emperor’s consent would not absolutely secure the business for him, there being many other Princes, together with all those who are concerned in the Trade of Hamburg that would obstruct it: yet it would strike a great stroke, and must always be a necessary Preliminary. He keeps therefore very fair with his Imperial Majesty, and when pressed by the Ministers, sends (for valuable considerations) some Troops to serve in Hungary against the Turks; notwithstanding which he is inwardly troubled at the Power of the House of Austria, and the Increase of its Dominions; being jealous, as most of the other German Princes are, that the Greatness of that Family may one day turn to the detriment of the Liberty of Germany: and therefore is not displeased at the Successes of the French, or of the Turks. He has been heard to complain of the neglect which the Imperial Court shows of him, and its partiality for the Swedes; this occasioned the Emperour’s sending a Minister lately to Reside at Copenhagen, as well as at Stockholm; since which he seems to be better satisfied. But at the bottom it is to be supposed, that the Dane is no true Friend of the Emperor’s; because he thinks his Imperial Majesty favours some Interests opposite to his, in conniving at the Lunenburgers forcible possession of the Dukedom of Saxe-Lawenburg, and bestowing the Electoral Dignity on that Family; the confirmation of which the King of Denmark opposes with all his Power.
With Poland the King of Denmark has at present little occasion either of Friendship or Enmity; there being but small Correspondence between them; yet he will rather chuse to keep that Crown his Friend, than otherwise; because it may one day stand him in stead against the Swedes: And for this reason it is that the Elector of Brandenburg, whose Interest in that particular is much the same with Denmark’s, maintains a good Correspondence, and Entertains a constant Minister at Warsaw. Besides, the Port of Dantzick is convenient for all that Trade in the Baltick, and the Danes bring Corn, as well as other Merchandize from thence. They keep likewise good Amity with the other Hans Towns.
The King is upon fair terms with the Duke of Courland, who has permitted him to raise Men in his Country, the Commander of which, one Poteamer, is Brother to that Duke’s prime Minister; and the Soldiers are the best able to live hardily, and to endure Fatigue of any in the World.
It is the Interest of Denmark to be well with the Dutch above all other Princes in Europe, because of the great Revenue it receives from their Traffick, and the Toll which they pay in the Sound: Because also in case of a quarrel with Sweden, or any other extremity, the King of Denmark is certain of the Assistance of the Hollanders; which is always sufficient and ready to protect him, as has been experienced in the former Wars between the Northern Crowns: for the Dutch will never suffer the Balance of the North to lean too much to one side, their Interest in the Trade of the Baltick being so considerable; but will take care to assist the weaker with proportionable Succours; which the conveniency of their Situation, and their Naval Force permits them to do with greater ease than any other. Notwithstanding all which Considerations, there are frequent Occasions of Quarrel between the Dutch and Danes; and the Friendship which the latter have for the former (especially since this War with France, and the Convention made with England for the Interruption of all Commerce with that Kingdom) is very weak and unstable; for besides that an Absolute Monarchy, for other Reasons, can never thoroughly love a Republick, the Danes are envious at the great Trade of the Dutch; and count it a Disparagement that Merchants, as they call them, should have it in their Power to give Law to a Crowned Head. However, at the bottom, Denmark would not be pleased that Holland should sink under the Force of its Enemies, but would use its best Endeavours to prevent it, though possibly not before Matters were reduced to so great an Extremity, as it might be beyond the Ability of the Danes to afford a timely Remedy.
The King of Denmark loves the Alliance of France, and keeps a stricter Correspondence with that Crown than with any other; though it be most certain that the Maxims which he has learnt from thence, and the Practices which followed those Maxims, have been the principal Occasion of that Kingdom’s present ill condition. But the King of France by fair Words, large Promises, and a little Money seasonably bestowed, has had the knack to amuse this Court, and to make it act as he pleases; notwithstanding the many Affronts, the ill Successes, and the universal Misery which through his means have attended it. The Emissaries of France are thick sown here; nothing pleases that is not according to the French Pattern, either in Dress, Military Discipline, or Politicks: and it is certain that a fitter could not be followed by any Arbitrary Prince, provided a due regard were had to the force and strength to perform in proportion to the Design undertaken. But the want of this Consideration has been fatal to Denmark; France had told this King, that Soldiers are the only true Riches of Princes, and this has made him raise more than he knows what to do with, unless he disturb his Neighbours; which generally he does for the Interests of France, though at last it turns to his loss. So that Denmark resembles in this point a Monster that is all Head and no Body, all Soldiers and no Subjects; and whenever a General Peace comes to be established in Europe, which shall set open Foreign Trade, and consequently spoil all the Advantages that his Country enjoys at present, I cannot see what will become of the Publick Affairs here; for the Soldiers when disbanded, being most of them Strangers, will return to their respective Homes; and the Revenues of these Kingdoms must sink extreamly through the want of People, and their Poverty. It seems therefore no less than madness for the least and poorest Kingdom of Europe to think of emulating with Success the richest, greatest, and the most populous, and to take its Measures from thence; as if there were no difference between King and King: So have I heard that the little Republick of St. Marino in Italy, which consists but of one small Town with the Mountain it stands upon, and is scarce taken notice of by Travellers, takes occasion to write to the Republick of Venice sometimes, and to stile it Our Sister, with as much Gravity and Pride, as if it equalled the other in Power. But the vanity of these poor Italians proceeds no farther than words, which does them no harm.
But the true Reasons which renders it the Interest of Denmark to keep well with France (and they are no weak ones) are first, because they look upon that Crown as the sole Balance against the Grandeur of the Emperour, and the House of Austria, whose Power, as I said before, is looked on by all the Princes of Germany with a very jealous Eye; the late Addition of the Crown of Hungary to it, with its other Conquests on that side from the Turks, the probability of the Spanish Dominions falling to some active Branch of it, and the remembrance what havock the Emperour Charles the Fifth, and his Successor, made among the German Princes, when possess’d of the like Advantages, makes the Danes as well as the others, reflect seriously upon what may happen hereafter, should France be reduced to too low an ebb: A second reason is, because they know no other Naval Force able to contest the intire Dominion of the Seas with the English and Dutch; and they are willing to keep the dispute about that Dominion undetermin’d between the French and us, that no Laws may be laid upon Traffick, but that they may reap their share of the Trade of the World; which they think would be but small, should that Point be once finally decided to our Advantage. A third Reason and the most forcible is, the Subsidies which the King of Denmark draws from time to time from France: a little ready money among a necessitous People, carrying irresistable Charms with it; And this has been the drift of the French Policy in advising that King to a greater Charge than he was able to bear, under pretence that they consulted his Honour and Grandeur, whereas they only consulted their own ends; being sure, after they had rendered him and his Country Poor, that they could buy him when they pleased. Yet whenever the French Treasure shall come so far to be exhausted, that a fairer bidder appears; this piece of Policy will not only fail the French, but turn to their disadvantage.
With the Kings of Spain and Portugal the Dane is in a state of indifferency. Their Dominions are so far asunder, and the business so little which they have with each other, that there happen few or no occasions, either of a Quarrel or Friendship between them. Yet the Danes have some small Trade for Salt and Wine with each of these Princes Subjects; and during this War make some benefit of their Neutrality, by transporting in their Ships the Effects of French, English, and Dutch from one Port to another. They have indeed some Pretensions on the Spaniard for Arrears of Subsidies owing to them ever since the Danes took the part of the Confederates against France in the former War; but they despair of obtaining them, unless some unforeseen Accident put them in a way of getting that Debt, the Accompts of which have hardly ever been adjusted between them.
With the late Elector of Saxony the King of Denmark kept a very good correspondence; the Elector having married one of the King’s Sisters, that Affinity produced as amicable effects as could be desired; inso-much that it begat a Resolution of a nearer Union of the two Families in a Match between the present Elector (then Prince) and the King’s only Daughter; this proceeded as far as a formal Contract, and the usual Marriage presents were Solemnly exchanged in order to Consummation; when on a sudden the old Elector died last year, as he was leading an Army towards the Rhine against the French, for the common cause of Europe; the Death of this Prince, among other Alterations, produced this, that his Successor the present Elector being thereby become at his own disposal, and having been formerly very much in love with another Lady, who is the present Electress; refused to compleat his Marriage with the Daughter of Denmark, and sent back the Presents which were given at the time of the Contract. This Action of his highly disgusted the King, Queen, and the whole Danish Court; however, there was no Remedy but patience; the Elector was too remote to fear any Effects of the Danes displeasure, and resolved to pursue his own Inclinations in the choice of a Wife, let the World say and do what it would. Accordingly he presently courted and married where he fancied; leaving the Danes to digest this Affront as well as they could; which they will scarce forget this great while. So that it is to be supposed the ancient Knot between the King and the Electoral Family of Saxe is hereby very much loosened; yet not so far as to proceed to any open Breach, the Elector’s Excuses for this Action having been received and accepted of as some sort of satisfaction.
With the Bishop of Munster, the King of Denmark lives in good Amity, by reason of his Neighbourhood to the Counties of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst; and for the most part has a Minister residing in that Court. The like Friendship is between him and the other Princes of Germany; particularly with the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel, who is Brother to his Queen, and extreamly beloved by her.
The King of Denmark has one Brother, viz. Prince George, born 1653 and married to her Royal Highness the Princess Ann, Sister to her Majesty of England: And four Sisters, viz. Anna Sophia, the Widow of the late Elector of Saxony. Frederica Emilia, the Wife of the Duke of Holstein. Guillimetta Ernestina, Widow of the Palatine of the Rhine. Ulrica Eleonora Sabina, the Queen of Sweden.