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Massans röst: Upplopp och gatubråk i Stockholm 1719–1848
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History. (Stads- och kommunhistoriska institutet)
2009 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The voice of the masses : Riots and street violence in Stockholm 1719–1848 (English)
Abstract [en]

The thesis examines riots and street violence in Stockholm between 1719 and 1848. By studying open conflicts, the thesis explores changes in societal power structures which otherwise are hidden. The study shows how these levels of power and conflict structures interacted with one another and thereby contributed to the social development during the period; from a patriarchal society of privilege to a society based on a democratic view of the world. The thesis focuses on three collective actors; the people, the authorities and the press.

The investigation of the people in the crowds shows that the military element, as well as the lower strata of labourers and servants, was significant in the early events. However, in later phases, middle class groupings such as burghers and civil servants, dominated the masses. These changes in the social composition of the crowds are tightly connected to a similar change in the aims of the riots; from local issues to national policy matters.

Tactics of the authorities in their encounter with street disturbances also changed during the period, from passive observation by the police in the 18th century to an active military confrontational approach in the 19th century. The legal base was however strong throughout the period. The parties attached great importance to court proceedings, and knowledge of the legal system was surprisingly good among the common people.

During the second half of the period, the press became firmly established. At the turn of the century 1800, there were two short glimpses of free press in connection to the political turbulence in 1792 and 1809. But it was mainly from the 1830's that the newspaper editors became significant actors in the riots. The popular demands for international news and politics gradually grew stronger during the period. A bottom-up perspective thus shows that popular political involvement in a significant way helped to pave the way for the coming breakthrough of democracy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stads- och kommunhistoriska institutet, Stockholms universitet , 2009. , 460 p.
Studier i stads- och kommunhistoria, ISSN 0284-1193 ; 34
Keyword [en]
riots, street violence, pre-industrial era, stagnation, Stockholm, political culture, democratisation, urban history, newspapers, Södermalm Riot, Ebel tumult, killing of Axel von Fersen, Crusenstolpe Riots, March Revolt
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-27425ISBN: 978-91-8882-34-9OAI: diva2:214113
Public defence
2009-05-29, Hörsal 4, hus B, Universitetsvägen 10 B, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-05-07 Created: 2009-05-03 Last updated: 2009-05-07Bibliographically approved

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