Portrait of Adolf Frederick (1710-1771), King of Sweden (1751-1771), Prince-Bishop of Lübeck (1727-1750)
Adolf Frederick (Swedish: Adolf Fredrik, German: Adolf Friedrich; 14 May 1710 – 12 February 1771) was King of Sweden from 1751 until his death. He was the son of Christian August of Holstein-Gottorp, Prince of Eutin, and Albertina Frederica of Baden-Durlach. The first king from the House of Holstein-Gottorp, Adolf Frederick was a weak monarch, instated as first in line of the throne following the parliamentary government's failure to reconquer the Baltic provinces in 1741–43. Aside from a few attempts, supported by pro-absolutist factions among the nobility, to reclaim the absolute monarchy held by previous monarchs, he remained a mere constitutional figurehead until his death. His reign saw an extended period of internal peace, although the finances stagnated following failed mercantilist doctrines pursued by the Hats (Swedish: Hattarna) administration. The Hats administration ended only in the 1765–1766 parliament, where the Caps (Swedish: Mössorna) opposition overtook the government and enacted reforms towards greater economic liberalism as well as a Freedom of Press Act almost unique at the time for its curtailing of all censorship, retaining punitive measures only for libeling the monarch or the Lutheran state church. Following his death, his son Gustav III seized power in 1772 in a military coup d'état, reinstating absolute rule. His father was Christian Augustus (1673–1726) duke and a younger prince of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp, prince-bishop of Lübeck, and administrator, during the Great Northern War, of the duchies of Holstein-Gottorp for his relative Charles Frederick. His mother was Albertina Frederica of Baden-Durlach. On his mother's side, Adolf Frederick descended from King Gustav Vasa and from Christina Magdalena, a sister of Charles X of Sweden. From both his parents he was descended from Holstein-Gottorp, a house with a number of medieval Scandinavian royal dynasties among its ancestors. From 1727 to 1750 prince Adolf Frederick was prince-bishop of Lübeck, which meant the rulership of a fief around and including Eutin. In 1743, Adolf Frederick was elected heir to the throne of Sweden by the Hats faction. He succeeded as King Adolf Frederick twelve years later, on 25 March 1751.
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