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Swedish great power accommodation and their enemies
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History.
2009 (English)In: Scandia, ISSN 0036-5483, Vol. 75, no 1, 9-28 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Swedish peasants were unique in a European perspective as they controlled and owned a third of Swedish land in the beginning of the seventeenth century. This was, as in most European countries, a time of war. The taxpaying farmers footed the bill for these wars and reaped none of the profits from it. This essay deals with the question: who was the taxpaying farmers' main adversary? It has been suggested that the king, normally the architect behind the war policy, was the peasants' main foe. The nobility have also been accused of trying to impoverish the taxpaying farmers. And, finally, one school of thought holds that focus should not be on conflict, but on the signs of cooperation. My investigation shows that farmers, from their point of view, had a very clear idea of who the enemy was. And it was not foreign soldiers in other countries. Neither was it the king, no matter how many wars he started. The main foe to Swedish taxpaying farmers was the nobility, and the vast group of entrepreneurs, called ""arrendatorerna"", who hired the right to tax the farmers from the government.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 75, no 1, 9-28 p.
Keyword [en]
early modern, state-building, social conflict, alliance, peasants, seventeenth century
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-59938ISI: 000267230600002OAI: diva2:432770
authorCount :1Available from: 2011-08-05 Created: 2011-08-02 Last updated: 2011-08-05Bibliographically approved

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