Görtz, Georg Heinrich von

Görtz, Georg Heinrich von gāˈôrk hīnˈrĭkh fən görts [key], 1668–1719, Swedish diplomat and financial expert, a German. While in the service of Frederick V, duke of Holstein-Gottorp, he helped create the duke's alliance with Sweden, which threatened Danish power in Schleswig-Holstein. He won the favor of Charles XII of Sweden and became his chief minister in 1714. He tried to improve the position of Sweden by conducting (1718) peace negotiations with Russia to end the Northern War, but Charles would make no concessions. The unpopular measures of the reign were blamed upon Görtz, who had financed Charles's wars by depreciating Swedish currency. After Charles's death the new queen had Görtz executed as a traitor because of his past acts and because he supported the duke of Holstein-Gottorp, who was her rival for the throne.

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