Herrskapen och den lokala politiken : Eds socken, ca 1650–1900
Sammanfattning: This thesis focuses on the local gentry (herrskapen) in a rural parish, just north of the Swedish capital of Stockholm, in the years 1650–1900. During this period, Sweden was transformed from a traditional agrarian society into an industrial state. The aim of the study is to analyse how the composition of the local gentry changed, as new groups emerged in society, and how the politics and policies of the gentry changed during this period.Undeniably, the gentry were powerful in the local community. In the thesis I investigate how, when and for what purposes that power was wielded. The gentry’s activities on two public arenas in the parish; the church and the parish assemblies (sockenstämman and, after 1862, kommunalstämman and kyrkostämman) are studied. These arenas existed during the entire period and were of outmost importance to the local community.Research regarding the actions of the local gentry in Sweden has been scarce. Most studies have focused on the politics of the peasants, dealing with the gentry only when they interfered with the interests of the peasants. Therefore, this coherent study of 250 years of local politics, from the perspective of the local gentry, gives important information and new insights into the transformation of society on a local level. The study charts in detail how the old patriarchal gentry, drawn from the leading aristocratic families of Sweden, gradually were replaced by a new gentry of agrarian capitalists, who transformed the local estates into commercial agricultural enterprises. The new gentry also employed new ways of conducting politics in the local community.
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