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Pirates are best known for their impact in southern seas, such as the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas around the time known as the Golden Age of Piracy from 1690–1730. This article focuses on an area further north, where the history of piracy is less known. In the 1600s, Northern Norway and the northern trading routes to Russia were frequently (or sometimes not) exposed to the threats of pirates and privateers. The trade along the Northern Sea Route must have been tempting for pirates and privateers, especially the long distance trading routes to Arkhangelsk, where merchants traded luxury goods from inland Russia. Through some examples of piratical attacks on local and international merchant shipping outside Vardø and the Russian coast around Kola, the White Sea and Arkhangelsk, the article explores what drew the pirates, where the pirates and/or privateers came from, and how the government dealt with the matter. One important measure to reduce the pirate threat was the use of the Danish-Norwegian navy. The navy had frequent orders to patrol Danish-Norwegian waters to look for possible threats to the Danish crown, such as pirates, merchants without authorization to trade and whale hunters without permission. This is a new research field, where there is still a lot of research to be done before it is possible to say much about the extent to which the pirates attacked these areas and how important the government’s dealings with them were.
This article discusses early evidences of Enlightenment-inspired thinking among the clergy of six neighbouring parishes on the northwestern coast of Norway. My focus has been on «Syvstjernen», a society of seven vicars active around 1720. «Syvstjernen» is well known for the role it played in the early history of pietism in Norway, but in this article, the objective has been to shed light on the members’ intellectual interests. The main source of this study has been the book collections left by four of the seven vicars. These are catalogued in the clerical probate records of the Trondheim, Nordmøre and Romsdal deaneries. A number of non-theological works have been identified in the vicars’ book collections, indicating knowledge among the deceased book owners of the ideas leading to the introduction of the Enlightenment in Norway. Nine of the sons of these well-educated vicars also became prominent representatives of the Enlightenment, which demonstrates the impact of their intellectual environment on their later endeavours.
This article examines the causes of school absence and the decrease in school absence in the inner parts of Vest-Agder between 1850 and 1890. The study’s point of departure is the implementation of the School Law of 1860 in these hardscrabble and egalitarian rural societies. The study finds that the school absence decreased by 67 percent between 1850 and 1890, and that the reduction mainly took place in two periods: Between 1860 and 1864 and from 1874 to 1878. Diseases, child labor and a lack of interest in school stand out as the main causes of school absence in the period 1850–1890. Living conditions and diseases were root causes that were inelastic, and which changed slowly during the period. The article explains the two main decreases in school absence in the period by changes in attitude among the common people. Causes for these changes seem to be social pressure, a better and more useful school and new communities, where the common people could put to use the skills and knowledge that the school increasingly gave them. Finally, the article places this local development in the context of the broader modernizing processes in the period, and argues that the common people actively contributed to the development and modernization of their own communities.
The damming up of Røsvatnet Lake undoubtedly brought about a number of adverse effects for biodiversity, the landscape, traditional industries, recreation and cultural heritage. Changes in the ecological basis of the lake were entirely of human origin. Erosion, stagnant water, forest destruction and decimation of fish stocks were direct consequences of the dam, which was part of the government's efforts to modernize the country after World War II. Residents around Røsvatnet Lake experienced modernization largely negatively and it was difficult for informants to point to significant progress in the wake of the procedure. Roads, electricity and machining technology would have come anyway, even if they had been subject to delay. A lot of extra effort without financial compensation had to be carried out to save material assets in 1957, as a result of the forced damming up. It appears as not only one of the largest in northern Europe, but also as one of the very worst. Like the large hydropower regulations in settled areas elsewhere in Europe, the official view was that one had to accept deterioration to achieve improvements.