Union and Security Act

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The Union and Security Act (Swedish: Förenings- och säkerhetsakten, Finnish: Yhdistys- ja vakuuskirja), alternately Act of Union and Security was proposed by king Gustav III of Sweden to the assembled Estates of the Realm during the Riksdag of 1789. It was a document, adding to the Swedish Constitution of 1772 new provisions. The King strengthened his grip on power, while at the same time riding on a popular wave that also meant the decrease in aristocratic power. It has been described as "fundamentally conservative".[1]

Passage[edit]

After the ending of the Theater War, in February 1789 Gustav summoned the Riksdag of the Estates and placed an Act of Union and Security before them. Three of the four estates accepted it, but the Nobles rejected it. However Gustav proclaimed that it was constitutional law anyway.[1]

The act[edit]

The Act of Union of Security gave the king the sole power to declare war and make peace instead of sharing this power with the estates and the Privy Council.[2] The estates would lose the ability to initiate legislation,[3] however they would keep the ability to vote on new taxes.[1]

Another provision was that the King was enabled to determine the number of Privy Councillors and this also enabled him to abolish the Council altogether as he determined the number of them to zero. The judicial branch of the Privy Council (in Swedish: Justitierevisionen) was then transferred to a newly established Supreme Court.[4]

Most noble privileges were abolished with the Act, with most offices now available to all regardless of rank. It also made noble lands purchasable by anyone instead of just by nobles.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Byron J. Nordstrom (2000). Scandinavia since 1500. U of Minnesota Press. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-8166-2098-2. Retrieved 21 December 2011. 
  2. ^ Koch, Christophe; Cogswell, Joseph Green (1837). History of the revolutions in Europe, from the subversion of the Roman empire in the west, to the Congress of Vienna. S. Babcock & Co. p. 197. 
  3. ^ a b Crawley, Charles William; Clark, George (1965). The New Cambridge Modern History. Cambridge University Press. p. 483. ISBN 0-521-04547-9. 
  4. ^ An article about the Privy Council of Sweden (Riksrådet in Swedish). The relevant information is at the bottom of column 388, Nordisk Familjebok (Swedish)