Monday, 14 September 2020

trykkefrihed or fourth estate

Though de facto liberation of newspapers occurred in Britain a few decades earlier with the abolishment of the mandate for publications to be licensed by Parliament in 1695, the first explicit guarantor of unfettered and inquisitive journalism came on this in 1770 for the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway under the regency of Prussian philosopher and reformer Johann Friedrich, Count Struensee (*1737 – †1772), who made dispatching with censorship of the press his second order of business after the abolition of torture.
Maître des requêtes and personal physician for the mentally-ill King Christian VII, Stuensee pushed forward a raft of legislation for the monarch to sign-off on including getting rid of noble privilege and state-sponsored revenues, subsidies for underperforming businesses, a ban on trade of enslaved persons in the colonies, criminalisation of bribery, reducing the size of the standing army, reallocating farm land for the peasant class and a tax on gambling. The public generally received Stuensee’s radical amendments well but halting censorship also opened up a tumult of pamphlets (mostly anonymous) critical of his regime and his dismissal of many government officials earned him many political enemies—leading to his execution after a palace coup two years later on the charge of lèse-majesté and presuming to rule in the king’s stead.