At the diet of 1789 Fersen marshalled the nobility around him for a combat d outrance against the throne and that, too, at a time when Sweden was involved in two dangerous foreign wars, and national unity was absolutely indispensable.
In 1797 Fersen was sent to the congress of Rastatt as the Swedish delegate, but in consequence of a protest from the French government, was not permitted to take part in it.
But indeed the whole of this intermediate period is full of dark subterranean plots and counterplots, still inexplicable, as, for instance, the hideous Fersen murder (June 20, 1 810) (see Fersen, Hans Axel Von) evidently intended to terrorize the Gustavians, whose loyalty to the ancient dynasty was notorious.
When the war with Russia broke out, in 1788, Fersen accompanied his regiment to Finland, but in the autumn of the same year was sent to France, where the political horizon was already darkening.
Ascended the throne in 1772, and attempted to reconcile the two factions by a composition which aimed at dividing all political power between them, Fersen said he despaired of bringing back, in a moment, to the path of virtue and patriotism a people who had been running riot for more than half a century in the wilderness of political licence and corruption.
Flach, Grefve Hans Axel von Fersen (Stockholm, 1896); E.
At the ensuing diet of 1769, when the Hats returned to power, Fersen was again elected marshal of the diet; but he made no attempt to redeem his pledges to the crown prince Gustavus, as to a very necessary reform of the constitution, which he had made before the elections, and thus involuntarily contributed to the subsequent establishment of absolutism.
Their leader, Ture Rudbeck, was elected marshal of the Diet over Frederick Axel von Fersen (q.v.), the Hat candidate, by a large majority; and, out of the hundred seats in the secret committee, the Hats succeeded in getting only ten.
There was a slight collision between them as early as the diet of 1778; but at the diet of 1786 Fersen boldly led the opposition against the king's financial measures (see GUSTAVUS III.) which were consequently rejected; while in private interviews, if his own account of them is to be trusted, he addressed his sovereign with outrageous insolence.
On the accession of the Caps to power in 1766, Fersen assisted the court in its struggle with them by refusing to employ the Guards to keep order in the capital when King Adolphus Frederick, driven to desperation by the demands of the Caps, publicly abdicated, and a seven days' interregnum ensued.