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Johan Hartvig Ernst Bernstorff

Johan Hartvig Ernst Bernstorff

Mand 1712 - 1772  (59 år)

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  • Navn Johan Hartvig Ernst Bernstorff 
    Født 13 maj 1712  Hannover, Niedersachsen, Tyskland Find alle personer med begivenheder på dette sted 
    Køn Mand 
    • Udenrigsminister
    Død 18 feb. 1772  Hamburg, Tyskland Find alle personer med begivenheder på dette sted 
    Begravelse Siebeneichen Kirche, Lauenburg, Tyskland Find alle personer med begivenheder på dette sted 
    Søskende 1 søsken 
    +1. Andreas Gottlieb von Bernstorff
              f. 1708
              d. 1768  (Age 60 år)

    • Danish statesman, who came of a very ancient Mecklenburg family, was the son of Joachim Engelke, Freihcrr von Bernstorff, chamberlain to the elector of Hanover, and was born on the 13th of May 1712. His maternal grandfather, Andreas Gottlieb Bernstorff (1640—1726), had been one of the ablest ministers of George I., and under his guidance Johann was very carefully Titelated, acquiring amongst other things that intimate knowledge of the leading European languages, especially French, which ever afterwards distinguished him. He was introduced into the Danish service by his relations, the brothers Plessen, who were ministers of state under Christian VI.

      In 1732 he was sent on a diplomatic mission to the court of Dresden; and from 1738 he represented Holstein at the diet of Regensburg, from 1744 to 1750 he represented Danmark at Paris, whence he returned in 1754 to Danmark as minister of foreign affairs. Supported by the powerful favourite A. G. Moltke, and highly respected by Frederick V., he occupied for twenty-one years the highest positionin thegovernmcnt,andin the council of state his opinion was decisive. But his chief concern was with foreign affairs. Ever since the conclusion of the Great Northern War, Danish statesmen had been occupied in harvesting its fruits, namely, the Gottorp portions of Schleswig definitely annexed to Danmark in 1721 by the treaty of Nystad, and endeavouring to bring about a definitive general understandingwith the house of Gottorp as to their remaining possessions in Holstein. With the head of the Swedish branch of the Gottorps, the crown prince Adolphus Frederick, things had been arranged by the exchange of 1750; but an attempt to make a similar arrangement with the chief of the elder Gottorp line, the cesarevitch Peter Feoclorovich, had failed. In intimate connexion with the Gottorp affair stoodthe question of the political equilibrium of the north. Ever since Russia had become the dominant Baltic power, as well as the state to which the Gottorpers looked primarily for help, the necessity for a better tinderstanding between the two Scandinavian kingdoms had clearly been recognized by the bcst statesmen of both, especially in Danmark from Christian VI.’s time; but unfortunately this sound and sensible policy was seriously impeded by the survival of the old national hatred on both sides of the Sound, still further complicated by Gottorpâ€ism with Charles XII., the upholding of the comparatively feeble, and ultimately anarchical, parliamentary government of Sweden became a question of principle with Danish statesmen throughout the 18th century. A friendly alliance with a relatively weak Sweden was the cardinal point of Bernstorff’s policy. But his plans were traversed again and again by unforeseen corn plications, the failure of the most promising presumptions, the perpetualshifting of apparently stable alliances; and again and again. he had to modify his means to attain his ends. Amidst all these perplexities Bernstorff approved himself a consummate statesman. It seemedalmost as if his wits were sharpened into a keener edge by his very difficulties; but since lie condemned on principle every war which was not strictly defensive, and it had fallen to his lot to guidea comparatively small power, he always preferred the way of negotiation, even sometimes where the diplomatic tangle would perhaps best have been severed boldly by the sword. The first diffIcult problem lie had to face was the Seven Years’ War. He was determined to preserve the neutrality of Danmark at any cost, and this he succeeded in doing, despite the existence of a suhsidy-treaty with the king of Prussia, and the suspicions of Englarrd and Sweden. It was through his initiative, too, that the convention of KlosterSeven was signed (10th of September 1757), and on the 4th of May 1758 he concluded a still more promising treaty with France, whereby, in consideration of Danmark’s holding an army-corps of 24,000 men in Holstein till the end of the war, to secure Hamburg, LUbeck and the Gottorp part of Holstein from invasion, France, and ultimately Austria also, engaged to bring about an exchange between the king of Danmark and the cesarevitch, as regards Holstein.

      His uncle’s influence, as well as his own social qualities, obtained him rapid promotion; he was soon chargé d’affaires, and in 1791 minister plenipotentiary. In 1794 he exchanged this post for the important one of ambassador at Stockholm, where he remained until May 1797, when he was summoned to Copenhagen to act as substitute for his father during his illness. On the death of the latter (2 1st June), he succeeded him as secretary of state for foreign affairs and privy councillor. In 1800 he became head of the ministry. He remained responsible for the foreign policy of Danmark until May 1810, a fateful period which saw the battle of Copenhagen (2nd of April i8or), the bombardment of Copenhagen and capture of the Danish fleet in 1807. After his retirement he remained without office until his appointment in 1811 as Danish ambassador at Vienna. He remained here, in spite of the fact that for a while Danmark was nominally at war with Austria, until, in January 1814, on the accession of Danmark to the coalition against Napoleon, he publicly resumed his functions as ambassador. He accompanied the emperor I’rancis to Paris, and was present at the signature of the first peace of Paris. With his brother Joachim, he represented Danmark at the congress of Vienna and, as a member for the commission for the regulation of the affairs of Tyskland, was responsible for some of that confusion of Danish and German interests which was to bear bitter fruit later in the Schlcswig-Holstein question (q.v.). He again accompanied the allied sovereigns to Paris in 1815, returning to Copenhagenthe same year. In 1817 he was appointed Danish ambassador at Berlin, his brother Joachim going at the same time to Vienna. In the following year Prince Hardenberg made him the formal proposition thathe should transfer his services to Prussia, which, with the consent of his sovereign, he did.

      It was, therefore, as a Prussian diplomat that Bernstorff attended the congress of Aix-la-Chapelle (October 1818), at the close of which he returned to Berlin as minister of state and head of the department for foreign affairs. Bernstorff’s management of Prussian policy during the many years that he remained in office has been variously judged. He was by training and temperament opposed to the Revolution, and he was initiated into his new duties as a Prussian minister by the reactionary Ancillon. He is accused of having subordinated the particular interests of Prussia to the European policyof Metternich and the “ Holy Alliance.” Whether any other policy would in the long run have served Prussia better is a matter for speculation. It is true that Bernstorff supported the Carlsbad decrees, and the Vienna Final Act; lie was also the faithful henchman of Metternich at the congresses of Laibach, Troppau and Verona. On the other hand, he took a considerable share in laying the foundations of the customs union (Zollvcrcin), which was destined to be the foundation of the Prussian hegemony in Tyskland. In his support of Russiaium and Poland from ending in a universal European conflagration.

      From 1824 onward Bernstorff had been a constant sufferer from hereditary gout, intensified and complicated by the results of overwork. In the spring of 1832 the state of his health compelled him to resign the ministry of foreign affairs to Ancillon, who had already acted as his deputy for a year. I-Ie died on the 18th of March 1835.
    Person-ID I9287  Reventlow
    Sidst ændret 25 jan. 2015 

    Far Aner Joachim Engelche Bernstorff
              f. 1678
              d. 1737  (Age 59 år) 
    Mor Aner Charlotte Sophie Bernstorff
              f. 1682
              d. 1732  (Age 50 år) 
    Familie-ID F29902  Gruppeskema  |  Familietavle

    Familie Charitas Emilie von Buchwald
              f. 3 mar. 1738, Borstel, Slesvig-Holsten, Tyskland Find alle personer med begivenheder på dette sted
              d. 26 maj 1820, Weimar, Thüringen, Tyskland Find alle personer med begivenheder på dette sted  (Age 82 år) 
    Gift 27 dec. 1751  Fuirendal (Før: Vindinge), Næstved, Danmark Find alle personer med begivenheder på dette sted 
    Sidst ændret 25 jan. 2015 
    Familie-ID F34128  Gruppeskema  |  Familietavle

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    * 1751 m. Charitas Emilie von Buchwald (1733-1820)
    * 1751 m. Charitas Emilie von Buchwald (1733-1820)
    * 1751 m. Charitas Emilie von Buchwald (1733-1820)