Prästval och politisk kultur 1650-1800
Sammanfattning: The present dissertation focuses on the appointment of clergy in the rural areas of Swedish province of Hälsingland during the period 1650-1800. The aim has been to analyse the practical process of clergy appointments as well as to discuss the development of the political culture of the said period in the way that it was reflected through the actions of the actors involved.The discussion concentrates on two aspects of the political culture, firstly on what kind of influence the parishes had in regard to the clergy appointments, secondly what the actions of the various actors in this context tell us about the local political culture. The study shows that the parishes did indeed assert their rights in connection with the clergy appointments. It is also shown that the parishes exerted a certain influence in terms of which clergyman to promote, but that this influence seems to have been limited to conditions dictated by the authorities.The clergy election reforms effected in the 1730's brought a significant change to the local political culture. Whereas the earlier legislation assumed that decisions were made unanimously, the elective reforms of the 1730's inaugurated the majority principle as election method, with the result that each voting parish member was now regarded as an independent actor. The investigation of the practice of clergy appointment in Hälsingland shows that the opinions reflected in the unanimous parish demands raised prior to the 1730's reforms primarily belonged to the most leading actors of the community. However, through the formalising of the decision-making procedure, the reforms made way for a broader participation in that process.All farm owners were entitled to vote in the clergy elections, which means that also women farm owners - primarily widows - had the right to vote. Nevertheless, as shown in the present study, the political culture was not as gender neutral as the legislation, seeing that, relatively speaking, the widows voted through proxies to a considerably larger extent than did the men.
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