Biography Of Jean Baptiste Bernadotte

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Jean Baptiste Bernadotte was born in Pau, in the foothills of the French Pyrenees, on 26 January 1763. Raised locally in a family of modest income, Baptiste choose to join the French Army at the age of 17, enlisting in the “Régiment de Royal-Marine” in September 1780. Bernadotte was initially stationed on the island of Corsica and later in Collioure, near the Spanish border. After spending eight years based in Collioure, he was promoted to sergeant. “He became known for his courage and leadership and during the French revolution he rose rapidly through the ranks” (Norway, 2011), receiving a lieutenant’s commission in 1791. He distinguished himself as an officer and was again promoted in 1792 to colonel, and by 1794, was a brigade…show more content…
During the Battle of Wagram against the Austrians that July, Bernadotte performed poorly. Having lost a third of his men, Bernadotte ordered the Corps to retreat against Napoleon’s orders. He gave the French command no warning and compromised the whole left front of the French offensive. While attempting to rally the French forces, the Emperor stripped Marshal Bernadotte of his command in the middle of the battle, which the French eventually won. Bernadotte returned to Paris in deep disfavour and was placed in charge of organising the defence of a British invasion of the Netherlands. Bernadotte performed well and the invasion was repelled. When Bernadotte returned to Paris, his position was uncertain. He was appointed as ambassador to Rome but before he could take up his new position he received a completely unexpected offer from Sweden. The current King of Sweden was the elderly and childless Charles XIII. The initial choice of…show more content…
This triggered a frantic search for a new heir. A Swedish courtier, Baron Karl Otto Mörner, approached Bernadotte on his own initiative. He believed that Bernadotte was an ideal candidate due to “his military ability, his skilful and humane administration of Hannover and the Hanseatic towns and his charitable treatment of Swedish prisoners in Germany.” (Carlsson, 2013) Bernadotte informed Napoleon about the offer. The Emperor believed it to be absurd and stayed neutral on the matter. Bernadotte communicated to Mörner that he would accept the honour if elected. “Bernadotte’s son, his contacts and not least his personal wealth had made him the most favoured candidate” (Norway, 2011) and he was elected Crown Prince of Sweden by the Riksdag of Estates in Örebo Arriving in Stockholm on 2 November, Bernadotte fully embraced his new position. He converted to Lutheranism, was appointed Generalissimus of the Swedish Armed Forces, was formally adopted by King Charles and changed his name to Charles John (Karl Johan). He quickly became the most powerful and popular man in Sweden, acting officially as regent during

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