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I fyrkens tid: Politisk kultur i två ångermanländska landskommuner
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities.
2010 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
I fyrkens tid : Politisk kultur i två ångermanländska landskommuner (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Abstract

 

Nydahl, Erik; I fyrkens tid. Politisk kultur i två ångermanländska landskommuner 1860-1930

[Voting by income: The political culture of two Swedish municipalities, 1860–1930]

Department of Humanities, Mid Sweden University, SE-871 88 Härnösand, Sweden

ISBN: 978-91-86694-05-0, ISSN 1652-893X, Doctoral thesis nr: 100 (2010).

Swedish text with a summary in English

 

This dissertation analyses the development of political culture in two Swedish municipalities between the 1860s and the 1930s – a period during which Swedish society underwent major changes. The purpose is to examine the direct and indirect consequences of an evolving industrial society's economic, social and political structures on political culture at local levels.

The following factors are the base of the study. At the start of the 1860s, a long-standing Swedish tradition of local self-government was reinforced through a major reform, the Local Government Ordinance of 1862 (1862 års kommunalförfattningar). From this point, each parish formed its own municipality. The new municipalities were given the right to levy taxes and made responsible for welfare and schools, thereby becoming a prominent arena for the exercise of power at local levels. The municipal reform of 1862 was carried out at a time when Swedish society was transitioning as the industrialisation process accelerated during the latter part of the 1800s. Gradually, the old structure of an agricultural society was cast aside in favour of a new, modern industrial society. Naturally, also the municipalities changed – directly and indirectly. For some municipalities, adjustments were significant; for others, less so. Part of this process was the reformation of voting rights from plutocratic to public and equal. Another part was the reorganisation of municipal government from direct government via municipal meetings to representative government via municipal councils.

Two main issues are formulated and answered in the dissertation. The one addresses who or which had the power over local politics and how the situation changed over time. The second addresses in what way municipal representation changed form with the modernisation of the municipalities.

The empirical survey comprises a comparative case study between two municipalities in the northern part of Sweden. The one municipality, Ytterlännäs, was early the site for large-scale sawmill industry. The second municipality, Stigsjö, retained its agricultural structure throughout the entire period in question. The comparison makes it possible to analyse the impending industrial society from two different poles.

In the 1800s, local politics was considered to be a completely different sort than politics at a national level. The difference was that local politics, referred to as “the municipal”, was seen as non-political and unaffiliated with those conflicts addressed at national levels, referred to as “the political”. The dissertation demonstrates two different models of how modern municipal politics evolved from the municipal meetings of the 1800s. While the starting point was the same in both municipalities, the paths diverged in the early 1870s. In the agricultural municipality of Stigsjö, it was “business as usual”. In the industrial municipality of Ytterlännäs, however, confrontation arose between enterprises and farmers and eventually, a labour movement emerged demanding the right of participation. The dissertation shows that the distinction between “municipal” and “political” was obliterated in the beginning of the 1900s, paving the way for a new concept – municipal politics. This process occurred in a very palpable way in Ytterlännäs but eventually, Stigsjö was forced to conform. The new municipal politics was, so to speak, the final station in both municipalities. In conjunction with party politicisation of local politics, the criteria and seats for the municipal representatives changed. When party affiliation became an important criterion, professional affiliation became less relevant. Party bloc seats replaced the independent seats, and representatives were eventually paid remuneration.

 

 

Keywords: Political culture, politics, voting right, municipal politics, industrial society, industrialisation, elected representatives, representation, temperance movement, labour movement, popular movements, political parties, modernisation

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mittuniversitetet , 2010.
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 100
Keywords [sv]
kommunalhistoria, modernisering, politisk kultur, arbetarrörelsen, folkrörelser, industrisamhälle, kommunalpolitik, Ytterlännäs, Stigsjö, Ångermanland
National Category
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-12221ISBN: 978-91-86694-05-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-12221DiVA, id: diva2:361001
Public defence
2010-11-27, Olof Högbergsalen, Sambiblioteket, Härnösand, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-11-08 Created: 2010-11-06 Last updated: 2010-11-08Bibliographically approved

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