Offentlege krisetiltak i Jostedalen 1742–43
- Side: 65-83
- Publisert på Idunn: 2014-01-09
In the 1740s, glaciers reached their maximum extent during the worsening climate of the Little Ice Age. In the valley Jostedalen in Inner Sogn one farm was completely destroyed while others suffered the loss of parts of their grazing land and their meadows. At the same time the whole country suffered from poor harvests and a subsistence crisis reaching maximum in 1742. During an inspection of five damaged farms in August 1742, the bailiff of Outer and Inner Sogn gained a first hand impression of the condition of the area. At the same time, prominent members of the local population worked to draw the attention of the authorities to the miserable state of the community. This resulted, in the spring of 1743, in an emergency measure taken by the regional governor in Bergen, under which 200 barrels of corn and some monies were sent for distribution among the people, the vicar and the sexton in the valley, making this community an exception in the region as regards emergency measures. These events are well documented. The article analyses the background for and the implementation of the emergency measures in Jostedalen. In addition, particular attention is given to the ways in which officials understood the experience and to the interaction between officials and the public. The question of whether the need was as great as officials claimed or was exaggerated in comparison with other needy communities in the west of Norway is also considered.