Artikkelen tar opp utfordringene som mobile grupper representerer for lokalhistorien. Den viser hvordan biografier kan skrives som «sammenkjedet lokalhistorie», der et transnasjonalt liv kan forbinde lokalsamfunn og lokalhistorie i ulike land og verdensdeler. Lokalhistorie kan utgjøre sentrale elementer i en personbiografi og belyse viktige sider ved hovedpersonen. Men lokalsamfunn har også blitt påvirket av mobile enkeltindivider og grupper. Transnasjonal historie kan åpne lokalhistorien mot globalhistorien og gjøre lokalhistorien relevant i globalhistorien. Og biografisjangeren kan brukes til å kartlegge forbindelser mellom lokalsamfunn på individnivå. Som eksempler omtales spesielt Martha Hodes bok The Sea Captains Wife og forfatterens kommende biografi om Peter Dahl.
This article seeks to demonstrate the potential of biography for combining local and global history by applying a transnational perspective to a life. Local history operating within fixed, usually administrative, borders has traditionally had problems with including mobile individuals and groups. In Norway, in particular, the time-honoured genre «farm and family history» is still a central part of most works of local history in rural districts, pre-supposing a stable and fixed connection between the two. Transnational history is offered as a perspective to encompass different spatial levels and scales, from the individual via the local to the global, with transnational lives as a prism through which the different arenas and networks of an individual can be seen. The article presents three examples of such biographies, Martha Hodes book The Sea Captains Wife, Alessandra Becuccis article on the mercenary soldier, diplomat and art collector Ottavio Piccolomini and the authors ongoing research on the Norwegian-born sailor, merchant and grand tourist Peter Dahl. It is obvious that local conditions have had an impact on individuals who lived in or visited a specific place or region, that local history should be an important input in the biography of any person and that place could be a structural element in the narration of a life. At the same time, however, mobile individuals and groups have contributed – for better or worse – to the local societies which they visited or resided in, however temporarily. Most of them made only marginal contributions as individuals, but as part of a group (soldiers, sailors, vagrants) they might put their mark on the life and atmosphere of at least certain parts of a local community, and be the direct cause of local measures against begging, drunkenness and epidemics. In some individual cases their impact has been much greater, as persons of power, innovators or artists. The main purpose of this article is to show the advantages of transnational history in «playing with scales», to move between different levels from individual and local to global history and thus to open up all to their mutual benefit.
Artikkelen argumenterer for et alternativ til det etablerte bildet av mellomkrigstidens norske sykehusvesen som anarkisk og kaotisk. Gjennom en analyse av distriktslegenes bruk av helseinstitusjoner i et avgrenset geografisk område – dagens Hordaland fylke – i 1920- og 1930-årene, skisseres et regionalt system som sørget for at de fleste pasienter fra Hordaland som hadde behov for det, fikk plass på eksisterende institusjoner. Systemets funksjonalitet bidro til at statlige planer om sterkere sentralisering av sykehusvesenet langt på vei ble avvist i Hordaland og store deler av landet for øvrig i midten av 1930-årene.
Norwegian hospitals expanded rapidly in the decades around the year 1900 – chiefly locally initiated, albeit assisted by a state self-help system. This article discusses the result of the uncoordinated growth, refuting the established notion of the interwar hospital system in Norway as anarchic and chaotic. Through an analysis of the state district medical officers use of health institutions in present-day Hordaland County in the interwar decades, the article shows how private and public hospitals in the region were used in a manner that gave most patients in need of a hospital bed relatively easy access to institutions. This regional system was functional from the perspective of district medical officers and representatives of the County assembly, but in the early 1930s the existing hospitals in Norway were increasingly criticised by the state medical bureaucracy as being ineffective and too costly. However, the proposed centralization of health institutions was by and large rejected in Hordaland and elsewhere due to the functionality of the established system.
Bygdefolkets krisehjelp vart grunnlagt på Østlandet høsten 1931 for å tvinge fram statlige tiltak mot gjeldsbyrden i jordbruket. Ett år seinere vart det stifta en liknende organisasjon i Nord-Innherred. Målsetting og arbeidsmåte var sammenfallende fra starten. Det var snakk om samarbeid og sammenslutning, men Innherred debitorlag trakk seg da Krisehjelpa utvikla seg i aksjonistisk retning og gikk i samarbeid med Nasjonal Samling. Krisehjelpa vart kritisert av Arbeiderpartiet, mens Debitorlaget fikk positiv oppmerksomhet, særlig fra den viktige regionavisa Arbeider-Avisen i Trondheim. Trass i betydelig mindre medlemsmasse og smalere geografisk utbredelse fikk Debitorlaget meir varig innflytelse på landbrukspolitikken enn Krisehjelpa, noe som understrekes av at en av tillitsmennene ble landbruksminister i Nygaardsvolds regjering.
During the interwar years, large parts of Norwegian agriculture, particularly in south central Norway and Trøndelag, were in severe debt following revaluation of the currency and an international finance crisis resulting in reduced trade in agriculture. Two organisations emerged pressing for government action to remedy the effects of the crisis: the larger, well-known Bygdefolkets krisehjelp based in south central Norway had between 8,000 and 12,000 members, while the smaller and less well-known Innherred debitorlag in Nord-Trøndelag had 600–700 members. Both organisations were founded by members of Bondepartiet (The Farmers Party), but also recruited farmers from Venstre (The Liberals) and Arbeiderpartiet (Labour). Statements from the founders, together with the statutes and laws of both organisations show that their aims and modes of operation were largely the same, i.e. to influence the government within the framework of democratic practice. A merger of the two organistations was discussed, but Innherred debitorlag withdrew early in 1933 when Bygdefolkets krisehjelp chose a more aggressive and activist mode of operation. During the summer of 1933, the latter joined forces with the newly established Nasjonal samling, the National Socialist party of Vidkun Quisling and thus lost support among the established parties. The labour press was particularly negative in accusing Bygdefolkets krisehjelp of having fascist sympathies and of being a Norwegian Lappo movement in the making. At the same time, increasing attention was being paid to the Innherred debitorlag, particularly by the regional labour newspaper Arbeider-Avisen in Trondheim. The paper referred the organisations decisions and inquiries to the government and printed texts by one of its leading trustees. In March 1935, Arbeiderpartiet formed a minority government in cooperation with Bondepartiet, precisely on the background of the economic problems in agriculture. At this point, both debtor organisations were falling apart. However, the smaller Innherred debitorlag in a way saw its life extended, when its Deputy Chairman became Minister of Agriculture in the new Labour government. By contrast, the larger activist Bygdefolkets krisehjelp had at the same time lost all its influence.