Privy Council of Sweden

The Imperial Council ( swedish riksråd ) was between about 1220 and 1789 one of the most important political institutions in Sweden.

In the 1220s an Imperial Council as a guardian of the underage King Erik Eriksson was mentioned for the first time. It was not until around 1280, the Imperial Council established itself as a political institution, which saw itself as a mediator between the king and the people. But persecuted the Imperial Council, the recruited about 1680 from the high nobility ( until the Reformation were the bishops in the Imperial Council members ), often the interests of the aristocracy. The relationship with the royal power was complicated. For one, many kings tried to limit the power of the Imperial Parliament, on the other hand almost all the kings of this period represented in the Imperial Council noble families came.

In the state reforms in the early 17th century, the Imperial Council developed more and more into a state organ, while asked the mediator between the people and the king in particular through the establishment of stands the Reichstag under Gustav II Adolf in question and eventually denied in 1680 by the stands. Subsequently, the Imperial Parliament took over the function of a government under the reign of King Charles XI. and its successor, Charles XII. The members of the Imperial Council were no longer recruited from the nobility, but from the civil service newly formed whose social background was quite heterogeneous.

With the advent of so-called freedom in Sweden in 1720 the Imperial Council was upgraded initially. The new constitution stipulated that the King was bound by the decisions of the Imperial Council. But the Imperial Council already soon fell under the control of the stands the Reichstag, which could appoint among other members of the Imperial Council and prevent the Imperial Parliament by a special process in the exercise of his activity.

The successful coup of King Gustav III. and the introduction of an absolutist political system weakened the position of the Imperial Parliament to the King, who was finally authorized in the association and Safety Act of 1789, set the number of the Imperial Council members themselves. Gustav III. lowered the number of zeros, the Imperial Council ceased to exist.