Front Page Titles (by Subject) 116.: Absolutism in the North - Judgments on History and Historians
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116.: Absolutism in the North - Jacob Burckhardt, Judgments on History and Historians 
Judgments on History and Historians, ed. Alberto R. Coll (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1999).
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Absolutism in the North
Gustavus III’s task was to save the country through the overthrow of an oligarchy very similar to the one from which Charles XI in 1681 took the usurped crown lands and rights. Gustavus’ coup d’état was a genuine royal revolution in the name of the whole country against an insolently encroaching part.
In Denmark, on the other hand, there was royal rule in abundance, but a bureaucracy of kinsmen participated in the rule without outside support (here there were no parties of the Caps and Hats, as in Sweden), merely as a matter of custom. The arrogant, vain Struensee, a real professor, strikes into this nest of abuses in the name of Enlightenment and progress and then has to move forward step by step until he is heard panting and is overthrown. His entire story is only of pathological interest, as evidence of the prevailing fever of progress as being equal to rulership in a debased spirit. The monarchy remained about the same after him as it had been before him.