Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The Caps

The splendidly attired fellow above is one Arvid Horn born this day1664 in what is now Salo, Finland. However, at the time the town of his birth was under Swedish dominion, and Horn would rise high in Swedish politics. After finishing his studies at Abo, he joined the army severed several years in various locations under various commanders, until he eventually became one of Charles XII's leading generals during the first part of the Great Northern War against Russia. However, not even Horn's generalship could save Sweden from defeat at the hands of the Russian bear, and after Charles' death, Horn begin his rise in the political world. At Charles' death he had already been president of the Privy Council, and it was in that job that after the monarch's death he was to persuade his successor, Queen Ulrika Eleonora, to relinquish her hereditary claims, and submit to being the elected queen of Sweden. He eventually grew unhappy with the Queen's running of the ship of state, and resigned his post. He became the leader of the "Cap " party in the Swedish parliament. This party was pro-English, anti-French, and was more of a liberal/peace party. Upon the ascension of Fredrick of Hesse to the throne, Horn was renamed to the head of the Privy Council, and was to remain the dominant figure in Swedish politics for almost the next 20 years. He was such the dominant figure that this time in Swedish history has been called the "Horn period." Not a bad accomplishment to get a period (in time) named after you. Eventually though, his enemies, and what politician does not have enemies caught up to him, and he was forced to resign in 1738, being replaced by the "Hat party" which then led Sweden into two disastrous wars. He lived in life in retired until his death in 1742, but for bringing peace to a nation torn by war, and providing the ability to heal the nation's wounds, Arvid Horn (April 6th, 1664-April 17th, 1742, at the age of 78), you are my (225th), hero of the day.

No comments: