Rättvisans och allmogens beskyddare : Den absoluta staten, kommissionerna och tjänstemännen, ca 1680-1730 : the Swedish absolute state, the commissions and the civil servants, 1680-1730
Sammanfattning: In Sweden the state, like other European states, changed radically during the 16th and 17th centuries. The central power increased its influence, which led to a more intensified exercise of power and to higher demands for total control over society. In the thesis the actions of the absolute state to legitimise and strengthen its power is in focus. It deals with one method for the state to exercise its power: commissions that were appointed to make investigations about local civil servants. The basis of the analysis is the ideology that permeated early modern society. In this ideology the king was given a symbolically very important position where the role as supreme judge and protector of law and peace was central among his duties. For the commissions these ideological notions were central; by the actions of the commissions the king could prove that justice was maintained and that he upheld a fatherly care for his people.The commissions were used by the state as a tool for control, aimed at county governors andlocal civil servants. A large number of these were sentenced to severe punishments by thecommissions or the king. In this way, even though the investigations very often were cut short, the commissions could be used to set examples, in order to discourage others. Their function as a channel for communication was very essential. In this manner they worked in two directions. Firstly, the state could use them to spread ideological messages to the people, which was especially important during the Great Northern War, when the need to legitimise the politics of the state increased. Secondly, the state also used the commissions to gather information about local society. In this way, knowledge could be obtained of not only corruption but also of the level of social unrest in different parts of the country.
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