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Sir Edmond Stark

Edmondstark

Minister of State
11 August 1748 – 27 June 1749

Predecessor: Sir Sebastian Spark
Successor: Sir Giovanni de' Medici
King: Alexander I of Switzerland

Personal Details

Born: 17 November 1707 (aged 44)
Nationality: Swiss
Political party: Swiss People's Party
Spouse: Lady Juliet Stark
Alma mater: University of Vienna
Profession: Statesman, diplomat
Religion: Protestant Calvinist
Edmond Stark (17 November 1707) was the Minister of State and Vice Advisor of Switzerland from August 1748 to June 1749. His status as the most senior government official after the Prime Minister, Lord Jozef Kohleschmied, made him imensely influential within the political landscape over the course of those two years. 

Stark's main initiatives were rapprochement with France, which was still bankrupt after the devastation of the Anglo-Spanish wars of the first half of the 18th Century, as well as encouraging policies independent of Great Britain, which had largerly excerted unproporsional influence on Swiss governance for several years. He ran against Lord Kohleschmied in the 1749 Elections, representing the Swiss Progressives Assembly (SPA), but was defeated by the popular incumbent. He subsequently retained his job as Minister of State for several months, till June of 1749, when he was sacked by the King. 

Early Life and CareerEdit

Edmond Stark was born in Calais, France, the son of an English diplomat and a German mother. His father moved the family to Berne, Switzerland when Edmond was only a year old, serving as legal attaché to the British garrison there. Edmond's father would attain a significant reputation in the canton and nearby communes for being a steadfast lawyer, and the Stark's soon became a wealthy family. 

Due to his father's increasing wealth, Edmond was able to be sent to the prestigious University of Vienna, where he studied alongside important politicians and individuals of the time, including studying under Lord Jozef Kohleschmied, who served as a professor of political studies there. 

Upon completion of his baccalaureate in 1729, Edmond returned home to Berne, where he would wed and enter into the legal practice, like his father before him. In 1731, after the conquest of King Ryan, Edmond would be tapped by the incoming government of Lord Tyler Kroshbon to serve as legal attaché to the Swiss Embassy in Vienna, citing his father's experience in the position, and Edmond's personal knowledge of Austrian politics. 

Government workEdit

AmbassadorshipEdit

In 1739, after 8 years of serving as legal attaché in Vienna, Edmond was recalled to Switzerland where he was given a new task, to serve as Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. The Swiss, who were at odds with the Kingdom of Romania, wished to seek closer ties with the Romanian's historical rivals, the Turks, to place their enemies in an even tighter position. 

Edmond's work in Istanbul would ultimately reward the Swiss with a bilateral trade treaty with the Ottomans in 1740, that would infuriate the Romanians to a breaking point, which would later come in December 1741, when Romania declared war in the so-called "War of Romanian Aggression". 

Edmond would continue as Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire until early 1742, when he would be transferred to Coppenhagen and become Ambassador to Denmark-Norway. 

Foreign MinistryEdit

In 1746, he was recalled to Berne, where he would be appointed Principal Secretary for the Minister of State, effectively the Minister's chief of staff. Stark would remain Principal Secretary until August of 1748, when then Minister of State, Sir Sebastian Spark, would be arrested and later executed for treason, propelling Edmond to the Ministership. 

Emboldened by his recent rise, Edmond sought the Swiss Progressive Assembly's nomination on the 1749 ticket for Prime Minister. The election was hard fought, and Stark was successful in gaining the majority vote from the Kanton of Berne in the primaries. As the election continued on, however, his campaign was attacked by the British special interests, who were very influential in the Swiss political sphere at the time. Losing his majority to Lord Kohleschmied, Edmond fought to defeat his successor as Ambassador to Denmark-Norway, Sir William Keelspinner. After Danish interests publicly backed Keelspinner's campaign, Stark formally conceded the race to his successor. When Lord Kohleschmied defeated Keelspinner in the General Election, he sought to keep Stark on as Foreign Minister.

Edmond's most important achievement as Minister was regarded as his work alongside the Prime Minister, Lord Kohleschmied, in negotiating the Franco-Swiss Defensive Pact of 1749, which propelled France to Switzerland's most important ally, a treaty that would be severed only one year later, when a palace coup ousted King Louis XV from the throne and gave it to Louis Phillipe I, a former admiral of King Phillip V of Spain. France would be unrecognized by Switzerland, and tensions between the two would rise in the following years. 

Edmond would later be blamed for not containing the outbreak of the War of the Sardinian Succession, and being unable to solve the dispute with King Ishmael Emmanuel Decksteel, who had named himself King of Italy and claimed the lands of multiple regional powers, including the Swiss. 

Due to his failure is containing the war, Edmond would be sacked six days after the war's outbreak by King Alexander. Edmond would remain in Berne, where he would return to the legal practice following his ouster. 

LegacyEdit

Edmond Stark was seen as a valuable career bureaucrat and civil servant, able to help tone relations in several states during his work in numerous embassies. His ability to act as a purveyor of Swiss foreign policy, however, was seen as inept, and he was oftentimes seen as one of the more weaker Ministers of State.