1st Edition

Scandinavia in the Age of Revolution Nordic Political Cultures, 1740–1820

    The 'Age of Revolution' is a term seldom used in Scandinavian historiography, despite the fact that Scandinavia was far from untouched by the late eighteenth-century revolutions in Europe and America. Scandinavia did experience its outbursts of radical thought, its assassinations and radical reforms, but these occurred within reasonably stable political structures, practices and ways of thinking. As recent research on the political cultures of the Nordic countries clearly demonstrates, the Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish experiences of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries offer a more differentiated look at what constitutes 'revolutionary' change in this period compared with other regions in Europe. They provide an alternative story of an incipient transition towards modernity, a 'Nordic model' in which radical change takes place within an apparent continuity of the established order. The long-term products of the processes of change that began in the Age of Revolution were some of the most progressive and stable political systems in the modern world. At the same time, the Scandinavian countries provide a number of instances which are directly relevant to comparisons particularly within the northwest European cultural area. Presenting the latest research on political culture in Scandinavia, this volume with twenty-seven contributions focuses on four key aspects: the crisis of monarchy; the transformation in political debate; the emerging influence of commercial interest in politics; and the shifting boundaries of political participation. Each section is preceded by an introduction that draws out the main themes of the chapters and how they contribute to the broader themes of the volume and to overall European history. Generously illustrated throughout, this book will introduce non-Scandinavian readers to developments in the Nordic countries during the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries and both complement and challenge research into the political cultures of Europe and America.

    Contents: Preface, Thomas Munck; General introduction, Pasi Ihalainen and Karen Sennefelt; Section I The Crisis and Renewal of Monarchy: The crisis and renewal of monarchy: introduction, Michael Bregnsbo; The monarchy in the Swedish age of liberty (1719-1772), Jonas Nordin; The image of kingship in Sweden 1772-1809, Henrika Tandefelt; Struensee and the political culture of absolutism, Michael Bregnsbo; The great, the pages and the end of 18th century Danish court culture, Ulrik Langen; Postal censorship and the control of public sentiment in late absolutist Denmark, Sune Christian Pedersen. Section II The Transformation of Political Debate: The transformation of political debate: introduction, Pasi Ihalainen; Gradual reconsiderations of Lutheran conceptions of politics, Michael Bregnsbo and Pasi Ihalainen; Aristocratic notions of liberty and patriotism in the age of liberty, Charlotta Wolff; Freedom of the press and social equality in Sweden, 1766-1772, Marie-Christine Skuncke; The politics of publishing: freedom of the press in Denmark, 1770-1773, Henrik Horstbøll; The transformation of Danish monarchism in the age of enlightenment, Jeppe Nevers; Continuity and change in the language of politics at the Swedish Diet, 1769-1810, Pasi Ihalainen and Anders Sundin; Marriage, family and gender in Swedish political language, 1750-1820, Karin Hassan Jansson. Section III Commercial Interests and Politics in Scandinavia, 1730-1815: Commercial interests and politics in Scandinavia, 1730-1815; introduction, Patrik Winton; The politics of commerce in Sweden, 1730-1770, Patrik Winton; The Swedish Diet as a forum for gathering commercial and political information, Petri Karonen; Political practices among merchants in Denmark and Norway in the period of absolutism, Bård Frydenlund; Iceland under British protection during the Napoleonic wars, Anna Agnarsdóttir. Section IV The Shifting Boundaries of Political Participation: The shifting boundaries of political p


    Pasi Ihalainen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland, Michael Bregnsbo, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark, Karin Sennefelt, Uppsala University, Sweden and Patrik Winton, Uppsala University, Sweden.

    'This work is an excellent summary of recent research on eighteenth-century Scandinavia, and its extensive bibliography is a useful blend of both Scandinavian and non-Scandinavian sources.' The Historian '... the authors of Scandinavia in the Age of Revolution provide to a wide audience a compounded set of exciting results from research inspired by methodological innovations in the last few decades within social history, the history of ideas and cultural history.' History of European Ideas