Bernstorff, Johann Hartwig Ernst (yōhänˈ härtˈvĭkh bĕrnsˈtôrf) [key], 1712–72, Danish politician, of German (Hanoverian) origin. As minister of foreign affairs (1751–70) under Frederick V and Christian VII, he successfully kept Denmark at peace. In 1767 he negotiated with Russia a provisional treaty by which the Danish crown was to cede Oldenburg to Catherine II of Russia in exchange for ducal Holstein. In 1770, Christian VII, under the influence of Struensee, dismissed Bernstorff.
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