Napoleonic Marshal on the Swedish throne: Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte History

The stranger, arrived in Sweden in a very respectable age, not familiar neither with the traditions of the Swedes, nor with their language, the Republican by their former beliefs, which became in the end an exemplary monarch and the actual father of the Swedish nation. All this about Jean-Baptiste-Bernadotte – the Marshal of France, Prince of Ponte-Corvo and later king Karl XIV Johan. “Nobody has made a career that matched my” – he said about himself.

From soldier to Marshal

Future king of Sweden, began his long and winding road to the crown with a small town located in Gascony. In his veins was not a drop of “blue” aristocratic blood there were no signs that someday his head will adorn the crown of the Swedish Vasa dynasty.

Bernadotte was born 26 January 1763. The fifth and last child of respectable lawyer Henri Bernadotte – Jean-Baptiste on the death of the father did not want to continue the family dynasty of lawyers. In August 1780 he enlisted in Bearnaise infantry regiment of His Majesty Louis XVI. The regiment, which served as Bernadotte, was intended for service in the overseas territories, Islands, sea ports, so it got the name “Marine”.

The early years service Bernadotte were in Corsica. His regiment was stationed in the town of Ajaccio, birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1784 Jean transferred to Grenoble. Bernadotte, enjoyed the location of commanders, as was a zealous campaigner. But the only prospect for him, not having aristocratic origin – was the rank of Sergeant. This title Bernadotte received only in 1788.

Whirlwind revolution praises to the glory of the people of bold and aggressive. Bernadotte was. With the beginning of the French revolution, his career went uphill. In 1790, Jean got his first officer rank of second Lieutenant and was sent to Strasbourg, at the disposal of the commander of the Rhine army General Kyustrin. In the composition of the Rhine army Bernadotte fought two years. In the summer of 1793 he is already a captain, and in the fall of Colonel. In April 1794 Bernadotte received a Brigadier General. Then he participated in the Italian campaign. It is in Italy, Jean Bernadotte met with Napoleon Bonaparte. It happened in 1797.

Initially their relationship was friendly. The generals even intermarried. Jean married the daughter of a silk merchant and shipowner Desiree Clary. Her sister married the brother of Napoleon – Joseph. In 1799 with Jean and desire was born a son, who was given a Scandinavian name Oscar. Whether it was a sign of destiny?

During the revolution of the eighteenth Brumaire Bernadotte took a neutral position. He did not support Napoleon, but did not protect the Directory. Since that time, in his relations with Napoleon, there has been a crack.

After the proclamation of the Emperor Napoleon in 1804, Bernadotte was awarded the rank of Marshal. For some time he was Governor of Hanover, where he proved himself a talented administrator. But not for long. She started another series of wars.

In the campaign of 1805 Bernadotte was corps commander. Marshall scored in Ulm battle, captured Ingolstadt, crossed the Danube, came to Munich and blocked the army of General Mack. Participated in the battle of Austerlitz. And Napoleon put his body in the center of the French troops. In 1806 Bernadotte received from the Emperor of the French title of the Prince of Ponte-Corvo.

In 1806, he successfully participated in the war with Prussia. Then an event occurred that eventually brought him to the Swedish crown. Captured by Bernadotte got Swedish squad General Merner. Although Marshal treated sympathetically, some of them were released than won the sympathy Swedes.  Going to Poland, January 25, Marshal Bernadotte defeated the Russian army at Morungen.

After Tilicho the world, in July 1807 he was appointed commander of the occupying French army in Denmark. 14 July 1807 Jean Bernadotte was acting Governor of the Hanseatic cities. Again fought with the Austrians lost at Wagram a third of its body. Has matched the power and with the British, reflecting their assault on the Dutch island Walcheren.

Of the marshals in Kronprinz

In 1809 the fate of Bernadotte changed. In Sweden, was in particular based on France, after the revolution the king was childless Charles XIII. The Swedish Parliament, with the consent of Bernadotte, asked Napoleon “select” in the heirs to the throne popular in Scandinavia French marshal.

If at first Carl Johan has supported the policy of Napoleon, and Sweden participated in the continental blockade of England, he soon came out of the submission. Sweden did not support the war with France, Russia, concluding with the last mutually beneficial agreement, which not a little contributed to personal meetings of the heir to the throne with a member of the Russian delegation Colonel Chernyshev, which Bernadotte sympathized. It is worth considering that Karl Johan had to overcome fierce opposition supporters returning Finland conquered by Russia in the war of 1808-1809.

The adventure of Napoleon’s campaign in Russia ended in failure, than immediately took advantage of Sweden, going into the anti-Napoleonic coalition. Under the command of Bernadotte, the Swedish army took part in the battle of the Nations at Leipzig, then blocked Denmark, forcing the Danish king ФредерикаVI, to give Norway to Sweden. Participated Swedes and the attack on Paris.

Soon Bernadotte was useful friendship with Russia, when some States refused to recognize its legitimacy, as the Swedish crown Prince. Thanks to the support of Russia in the area he stopped, though, and had to give Prussia Western Pomerania.

King of the Swedes, Goths and Wends

Napoleonic Marshal on the Swedish throne: Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte History
Monument Bernadotte in Stockholm.

5 February 1818 Bernadotte was proclaimed king of Sweden and Norway under the name of Karl XIV Johan. Edit he had more than 25 years, became Sweden years of rapid economic growth. Not to say that the reign of Charles XIV passed without problems. Former Napoleonic Marshal differed authoritarianism, order was restored with an iron hand, but the conflict with the opposition tried to solve it without repression. In international relations Karl XIV pursued a peaceful policy in order to maintain friendly relations with Russia and England. It was based on the principles of Swedish neutrality policy which the country should still

Karl XIV Johan died March 8, 1844 in Stockholm, aged 81 years. His throne was inherited by his son – Oscar I. the Dynasty of the Swedish kings of Bernadot, the founder of which was glorious Napoleonic Marshal, continues to reign in Sweden and today.