Kampen om Asea : lokal stat och industrialisering – Arboga och Västerås 1875–1900
Sammanfattning: The main purpose of this thesis is to study the role of local government in the process of industrialization and to analyze the decision-making processes which led to developments of water-supply, sewerage and electrification in Sweden in late 19th century. Its’ main focus is centred on the agents involved in this process and primarily on which of their interests infl uenced and limited the introduction of new technology. In the middle of the 1870’s the Swedish towns experienced external pressure for change by central government issuing the so-called ’towns-charters’. These charters were meant to create better living-conditions for the citizens and to make urbanization possible. As a result of this pressure for change, several Swedish towns and cities used their own initiatives in developing industrial infra-structure. By using two centrally located Swedish towns – Arboga and Västerås – the study shows how their investment in industrial infrastructure contributed to the late 19th century industrial development. The study also show that establishment of large technological processes are not easy to introduce just because the necessary techniques are present. Instead, establishment of necessary infrastructure is much easier if all partners involved have a common vision as to future development, a unified view of the potential of new technology as well as a will and ability to work towards a common goal. The mapping-out of the industrial infrastructure in Arboga and Västerås shows how a row of social facts contributed to the different development of the two towns.In Arboga, the clashing interests of the partners involved came to hinder the establishment of new ideas. The fact that they could not agree on a unified vision of future developments meant that they could not cooperate. It also made financing of projects difficult. In Västerås, however, there were contributors with great interest in establishing new technical development. Above all, these were happy to collaborate.The thesis shows that in their openness to innovations, in their attitudes to financing these, in their capacity to cooperate towards great projects and in their ability to reach decisions swiftly, one finds a great part of the explanation to why Västerås in the 20th century developed into the industrial centre of the Lake Mälaren Valley and left Arboga in an industrial back-water.Finally, the thesis show that the industrial development at the end of the 19th century was to a great degree dependent on lone initiatives taken at local level. Thelocal government actively influenced an industrialization through the creation of the conditions necessary for it to grow.
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