Oscar II of Sweden
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King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway, born Oscar Frederik in Stockholm on January 21, 1829, ruled Norway from 1872-1905 and Sweden from 1872 until his death on December 8, 1907. Third son of King Oscar I of Sweden and Josephine of Leuchtenberg, he was a descendant of Gustav I of Sweden through his mother and of Charles X of Sweden through his sister. He was also titularly the 2nd Duke of Galliera.
 Early life
At his birth in Stockholm, Oscar Frederik was created Duke of Östergötland. He entered the navy at the age of eleven, and was appointed junior lieutenant in July 1845. Later he studied at Uppsala University, where he distinguished himself in mathematics. On June 6, 1857 he married Princess Sophia Wilhelmina, youngest daughter of Duke William of Nassau.
He succeeded his brother Charles XV, on September 18, 1872, and was crowned as king of Norway in the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim on July 18, 1873. At the accession he adopted as his motto Brödrafolkens väl ("The Welfare of the Brother Peoples"). While the King and the Royal Court resided mostly in Sweden, Oscar made the effort of learning to be fluent in Norwegian and from the very beginning he realized the essential difficulties in the maintenance of the union between the two countries. The political events which led up to the peaceful separation of Norway from Sweden in 1905 could hardly have been attained but for the tact and patience of the king himself. He declined, indeed, to permit any prince of his house to become king of Norway, but better relations between the two countries were restored before his death, which occurred at Stockholm on the December 8, 1907.
His acute intelligence and his aloofness from the dynastic considerations affecting most European sovereigns gave the king considerable weight as an arbitrator in international questions. At the request of the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States in 1889 he appointed the chief justice of Samoa, and he was again called in to arbitrate in Samoan affairs in 1899. In 1897 he was empowered to appoint a fifth arbitrator if necessary in the Venezuelan dispute, and he was called in to act as umpire in the Anglo-American arbitration treaty that was quashed by the United States Senate. He won many friends in England by his outspoken and generous support of Britain at the time of the Second Boer War (1899-1902), expressed in a declaration printed in The Times of the May 2, 1900, when continental opinion was almost universally hostile.
 Science and arts
Himself a distinguished writer and musical amateur, King Oscar proved a generous friend of learning, and did much to encourage the development of education throughout his dominions. In 1858 a collection of his lyrical and narrative poems, Memorials of the Swedish Fleet, published anonymously, obtained the second prize of the Swedish Academy. His "Contributions to the Military History of Sweden in the Years 1711, 1712, 1713," originally appeared in the Annals of the Academy, and were printed separately in 1865. His works, which included his speeches, translations of Herder's Cid and Goethe's Torquato Tasso, and a play, Castle Cronberg, were collected in two volumes in 1875-1876, and a larger edition, in three volumes, appeared in 1885-1888. His Easter hymn and some other of his poems are familiar throughout the Scandinavian countries. His Memoirs of Charles XII of Sweden were translated into English in 1879. In 1881 he founded the World's first open-air museum at his summer residence near Christiania, now Oslo. In 1885 he published his Address to the Academy of Music, and a translation of one of his essays on music appeared in Literature in May of 1900. He had a valuable collection of printed and MS. music, which was readily accessible to the historical student of music.
King Oscar II was married to Sophia of Nassau. Their children were:
- King Gustaf V (1858-1950)
- Prince Oscar, Duke of Gotland, later Count Oscar Bernadotte af Wisborg (1859-1953)
- Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland (1861-1951)
- Prince Eugén, Duke of Närke (1865-1947)
His eldest son, Oscar Gustaf Adolf, duke of Värmland, succeeded him as King Gustaf V of Sweden. His second son, Oscar, resigned his royal rights on his marriage in 1888 with a lady-in-waiting, Miss Ebba Munck, when he assumed the title of Prince Bernadotte and from 1892 he was known as Count Wisborg. The king's other sons were Charles, duke of Västergötland, who married Princess Ingeborg of Denmark; and Eugén, duke of Närke well known as an artist.
As King of Norway, he was after the events of 1905 succeeded by his great-nephew Prince Carl of Denmark, grandson of his late elder brother King Charles, who ascended the Norwegian throne in 1905 with reign name Haakon VII.
Harald V of Norway, the great-grandson of Oscar II (grandson of his third son duke of Västergötland), succeeded in 1991 to the throne of Norway once held by his great-grandfather, Oscar himself.
 External links
|King of Sweden|
|King of Norway|
- This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.ca:Òscar II de Suècia
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