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Part of the bourgeoise community? Jewish entrepreneurs and their networks in early 19th century Gothenburg
The argument in favour of permitting Jewish immigration to Sweden in 1782 was that Jews were considered beneficial to economic development. During the 1800s, Jewish entrepreneurs in Gothenburg came to play a prominent economic role. In this article, we discuss the extent to which the Jewish minority became an integrated part of the bourgeoisie, based on empirical studies of its participation in associations and commercial networks. How did the availability of “useful” contacts differ depending on economic position and gender?
Even though there was some resistance to Jews, we could conclude that at least some of the Jews relatively quickly became part of the bourgeois community. In the voluntary sector, Jews became involved in organizations connected to trade, education and charity. However, it was not just ethnicity that was an obstacle to inclusion, but also economic position and gender. An elite within the Jewish group had more influence and wider networks than others. This elite consisted mainly of wealthy men, with both an economic and a social capital and with a solid reputation in the Jewish community. They were often relatives or companions. The barriers that ethnicity created for the Jews, were to some extent overcome by access to financial capital.
Norwegian historians have come to argue, with little empirical evidence, that the economic liberalisation of the 1800s had only a minor effect on women’s entrepreneurial activity. By using trade records and other historical material from Kristiania in the late 1800s, this article shows how the 19th Century economy provided women with new business opportunities. Women’s activity, either as hired labour or self-employed, increased in particular during the boom years of the 1880s and 1890s. As the population of the Norwegian capital reached new heights, demand for goods and services increased dramatically. The retail sector, followed by the service sector, thus attracted most of the female proprietors. According to the law of 1842, and also the handicraft law of 1866, only women without men to provide for them were entitled to engage in economic activities, while the export trade remained a male privilege. In this way, women’s business activities never challenged the position of wealthier businessmen. But in 1894 married women were also given the right to engage in buying and selling, providing a further spur to women-owned businesses until accounting and bookkeeping were made compulsory for all engaged in business in 1907. This strengthened the role of formalised business education, modelled on the rhetoric of gender difference.
After the Jewish paragraph in the Norwegian constitution was annulled in 1851, only a few Jews settled here. The majority were relatively poor peddlers, shopkeepers or craftsmen from eastern Europe. In Norway, most of the immigrants were peddlers during their first years, selling goods like Norwegian fabrics, knitwear and garments. The Jewish peddlers were among the first to sell these goods to peasants, fishermen, miners and construction workers. If they could afford it, they preferred to open shops in town. Here the Jews became pioneers in selling low-priced garments. Some of the shopkeepers and wholesalers also began manufacturing garments, which were mainly sold from their own shops. It was possible for new traders to get access and to achieve success in the commodity trade around 1900 . Later, increased competition, stricter requirements and legal regulations made it more difficult. Nevertheless, the Jews already established in trade and industry helped new immigrants to gain a foothold in the labour market. Within the Jewish community it was seen as important, not only to be personally successful, but to raise the whole group, in the hope of avoiding negative stigma towards Jews in general.
The article concerns Norwegian settlers on the East Coast of North America in the middle of the 17th century. From the first known Norwegian presence in 1626 Norwegian workers were sought after on Dutch Manhattan. Several Norwegian families were also present on the Rensselaerswijck estate up the Hudson River in the 1630s and 1640s. In a way, the article tells a story about local communities on both sides of the Atlantic, a story about a wider cultural community in a time of high mobility, where local history-sources can play an important role. But the article also introduces the Dutch colonial sources, including material about Norwegians in New Netherland. The Dutch sources show how the practice of changing names from Norwegian to Dutch complicates the identification of actors in a historical period when sources are scarce. The interpreter Claus Carstensen claims in 1657 to come from “Sant in Noorwegen”. His original name was probably Nils Kristensen and his home town could have been Sand in Ryfylke, Norway. Finally, a connection is drawn to the sloop “Restauration” in 1825, the first Norwegian emigrant ship, with people from Ryfylke, initiating the large-scale Norwegian emigration 150 years after the Dutch definitively lost the colony of New Netherland to the English in 1674.
In the post-war period, there were good prospects for a policy for sport that built on the ideas developed by the Workers Sports League (AIF). In keeping with AIFs ideology, public authorities were given a central role in the democratic distribution of sports facilities. As head of the new Office for Sport, Rolf Hofmo had considerable freedom of action, not least in connection with the creation of a national betting company, Norsk Tipping, in 1946. The article casts light on policy development in the interaction between the sports organisations and the state in the inter-war period. The central question was how sports facilities should be financed, managed and spread. The relations between sport organisations and the state changed in the period 1917–40. Sports organisations were drawn into the design and implementation of a system of management. The process is described from the starting point of the opposed interests of the two sports organisations, Arbeidernes Idrettsforbund (1924–1940) and Landsforbundet (1919–1940), and the role of the state in regard to this conflict. A corporative style of management was developed. The relative power of sports organisations and the state, and particularly the changes in this respect after the sports agreement of 1936, had great significance for the design of the management system which was in many ways continued after the war.