«Meire brenn’vin, Krogh». Alkohol og edruskap i Nord-Norge ca. 1850–1940
- Side: 151-161
- Publisert på Idunn: 2014-01-09
- Publisert: 2013-06-01
The expression “north of the moral circle” has been a popular saying when referring to Northern Norway. In literature and the media, the people of the north are presented as quite undiscriminating when it comes to marriage, sobriety or other affairs. The reality, however, is much more complex and nuanced. When it comes to sobriety, an investigation in the 1850s by clergyman and social science researcher Eilert Sundt showed that Troms and Nordland came out well. It was different with Finnmark; no other part of the country displayed so much drunkenness. This applied above all to the Sami population. But in the second half of the 1800s and up to 1920 there was a striking improvement. In the referendum of 1919, Finnmark, Troms and Nordland voted in favour of prohibition. The conservative Lutheran revival in the North Calotte, Laestadianism, which was against all alcohol consumption had great influence among the Sami people and those of Finnish descent. But abstinence-promoting organizations and other Christian organizations, key participants in community life and politics, also worked to reduce alcohol consumption during this period. And their efforts produced results. With the exception of the towns, it was almost impossible to buy alcohol in Northern Norway around 1920.