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Johann Friedrich Struensee

Struensee, Johann Friedrich (yōˈhän frēˈdrĭkh shtrōˈənzā, strōˈ–) [key], 1737–72, Danish politician, b. Germany. As physician to Christian VII he gained complete mastery over the insane king and became the favorite of the young queen, Caroline Matilda. With her support he became (1771) minister of state, was created a count, and suppressed the privy council, which had limited the royal power. A virtual dictator, he accomplished industrial, commercial, and educational reforms; he attempted to free Denmark from Russian influence and to improve the condition of the peasantry. However, his ruthless methods provoked the enmity of the nobles, who terrorized the king into arresting him. He was accused of adultery with the queen and was executed.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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