De värjde sin rätt : senmedeltida bondemotstånd i Skåne och Småland
Sammanfattning: "They defended their Right: late medieval Peasant Resistance in Scania and Småland."
The aim of this thesis is to explore in what ways peasants could resist and protest against authorities during the final decades of the Nordic late middle ages, the years 1490-1525. It consists of a comparison between the Danish province of (Scania) Skåne and the Swedish province of Småland. The study is performed in three stages. First I do a survey of what conflicts took place between peasants and the different forms of authorities; the Crown and its officials, the Church, and the landlords. This survey also shed lights on what resources were more or less systematically disputed during the period. Important questions were for example the costs of the Kalmar union wars, and the peasants rights to armament or protection, but also ? especially in Scania ? rights to woods and other resources, which were very contested during the period. Then follows an analysis of which forms of protest and interaction, and which arenas, the peasants could use in these conflicts. Finally there is a survey over which political arguments, norms and values, the peasants used in their written communications as well as in meetings and in other forms of practice. These arguments are also analyzed in relation to the surrounding political culture of the society in large.
The study makes use of several approaches in recent research regarding peasant protests. Important is the research concept of political culture, which is discussed and elaborated in the study, and which supports the aim of the study to show the variety of means of protest, resistance and political action the peasants actually had. We meet forms of action as supplications, local negotiations, legal action, feuds, collective oath-making and uprisings. The analysis also benefits from recent focus on different types of alliances between peasants and lords and other social groups, which often made conflicts multi-levelled and complicated. I stress how the turbulent conditions in the society had the function of reproducing several of the most important norms and values in the political culture. Concepts and social functions which had an important role in the political culture but which also were disputed and contested, were peace and protection, reciprocity, liberty, law/justice and customary law, public good, reasonable subsistence, harmony/concord and consent, right of resistance.
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