Joseph Francis Oscar I., king of Sweden and Norway, born in Paris, July 4, 1799, died in Stockholm, July 8, 1859. He was a son of the French general Bernadotte, afterward king of Sweden, his mother being Désirée Clary, the sister of Mine. Joseph Bonaparte. He began his education at the Louis le Grand college, and was but 11 years old when his father was elected by the Riksdag of Sweden crown prince, as future successor of Charles XIII. He soon acquired a perfect command of the Swedish language, and showed remarkable proficiency in literature, science, and the fine arts, especially music. Some of his songs, hymns, and marches are still performed in Sweden. He gave particular attention to politics and the military art, and in 1818 entered the university of Upsal, on which occasion he was elected its chancellor, He had renounced Roman Catholicism to embrace the national or Lutheran creed. He published, besides various essays, a work " On Penal Laws and Establishments" (1841), which had a large circulation throughout Europe. On his accession to the throne, March 8, 1844, he adopted liberal measures, and caused bills to be presented to the Riksdag for the removal of the civil disabilities of the Jews, the freedom of manufactures and commerce, and parliamentary reform.
The latter project led to violent and repeated discussions, and was baffled by the opposition of the nobility. He was more successful in his exertions for religious and temperance reforms and the improvement of the social condition of women. On the outbreak of the eastern war, in concert with the king of Denmark, he issued a declaration of armed neutrality; and on Nov. 21, 1855, he concluded a defensive treaty with France and England. Constitutional disease, increased by grief for the death of his second son Gustavus in 1852, led him, on Sept. 25, 1857, to resign his authority into the hands of his eldest son, Charles, as regent. Oscar married in 1823 Josephine Maximilienne Eugenie, daughter of Eugene Beauharnais, the son of the empress Josephine. Besides Charles XV., who succeeded him, he left two sons, Oscar Frederick, duke of Ostro-gothia, and Augustus, duke of Dalecarlia, and two grandsons.