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Formuleringen «friheten i gave» er blikkfanget for en tolkning av 1814 som har tillagt fremmede stater avgjørende innflytelse på det som skjedde med Norge dette året. Kieltraktaten gjorde slutt på 434 års dansk dominans og 154 års enevelde. Men hvorfor frigjorde ikke nordmennene seg selv fra eneveldet? Flere historikere har forklart dette med at oppslutningen om kongemakten var stor. Det har vært liten interesse for å spørre om systemet selv skapte en samfunnssituasjon der det var svært vanskelig å gjøre noe med eneveldet. Denne artikkelen følger dette sporet, og den peker på viktige trekk ved systemet som forklarer hvorfor det ikke var nordmennene som forlot Fredrik 6., men kongen som forlot dem.
In recent years the revolutionary changes in Norway’s political system in 1814 have been characterized with the words «freedom as a gift» from foreign states, foremost among them Sweden, Russia and Great Britain. Historians have shown little interest in asking why there were no signs of open resistance or coup attempts in Denmark-Norway, when the Swedes carried out a coup against their king in 1809 despite Fredrik 6th’s war policy being just as unsuccessful as that of Gustav 4th Adolf’s. Some Norwegian historians have said that there was strong popular support for the Danish king. Neither has there been much interest in asking whether the system itself hindered opposition and regime change. This article does ask the question, and the answer is clearly ‘yes’: Danish -absolutism was Europe’s most consistent, which made it extremely difficult to imagine, let alone to carry through, a successful revolt against the king. Whether the king was genuinely popular is questionable, apart from the obvious fact that he was obligatorily praised in all public statements about him, i.e. in proclamations from the government itself, but also in all printed matter and in the press, which was strictly controlled. In Denmark-Norway there were no institutions independent of the monarchy, no meetings of estates, no judicial, municipal or ecclesiastical institution that could influence public opinion. Neither were there strong aristocratic milieus which could formulate corrective criticism with the capacity to make the king change his ways. Frederik 6th could pursue his foreign policy without a hint of public criticism; indeed it was said and written in public that his wisdom was unsurpassed. This was more than a fleeting discourse. It was regularly proclaimed and preached, most extensively in all churches. The royal Lutheran Church was overwhelmingly influential in indoctrinating a subservient attitude towards king and government. All ordinary Danes and Norwegians had to adhere to this state Church, which was strictly controlled by the authorities and bolstered by censorship that stifled all potentially dangerous opposition. It was just as important that people were used to decisions of the slightest importance being made in Royal departments in Copenhagen. This made the Norwegians dependent on men of authority. Especially the policy towards Norway contributed to this dependency. Absolutism fostered distrust in the subjects, and the king and leading officials in Copenhagen did not trust the Norwegians; they centralised as many functions of state as possible to the Danish capital. Another aspect of the distrust was all the more pleasing. Copenhagen took care not to offend the Norwegians too much with decisions the government knew would be unpopular, and the Norwegians were constantly flattered with declarations about how trustworthy they were. There was a grain of truth in this: The Norwegians shouldered an extensive military burden, and it was not they who left Fredrik 6th, but Fredrik who left them.
Forfattaren viser at grunnlaget for avgjerda i stormannsmøtet på Eidsvoll i februar 1814 om å kalle inn til riksforsamlinga var oppfatninga om at Kieltraktaten frå januar 1814 hadde gitt suvereniteten tilbake til det norske folk. Dette er i strid med det historieforskinga gjennomgåande har hevda: at grunnlaget var den moderne folkesuvereniteten i tråd med J.-J. Rousseaus teori frå 1762. Forfattaren viser at i den dansk-norske staten var det ei gjennomført statsrettsleg tenking om grunnlaget for eineveldemakta som i 1814 måtte føre til at kongen ikkje hadde rett til å avstå det norske riket utan samtykke frå det norske folket. Teorien har konsekvensar for korleis ein skal oppfatte handlingsalternativa og motiva for handlingane gjennom 1814.
In January 1814, the Danish-Norwegian king, who had been allied with France in the Napoleonic wars, was forced to enter into a peace treaty with Sweden, an ally of the great powers Russia, Great Britain, Prussia and Austria. The main article of the treaty declared that the king ceded all rights to the mainland part of the Kingdom of Norway to the King of Sweden. As part of this cession, he absolved the inhabitants of Norway of their oath of allegiance to him and the royal house. In Norway, this cession was not accepted and independence was sought under the leadership of Prince Christian Frederik, who intended to declare himself King of Norway based on his rights as heir to the throne. The prince’s plan changed at a meeting at Eidsvoll on 16/17 February when it was decided to call a constitutional assembly which later met and adopted the Norwegian Constitution of 17 May 1814. In this article, I argue that the prince’s decision not to establish himself as king based on hereditary rights was founded on the old absolutist constitutional law of Denmark-Norway. It followed from this law, which was strongly inspired by natural law thinkers such as Hugo Grotius and Samuel Pufendorf, that sovereignty ultimately rested with the people who had transferred it to the king – the sovereign. But under no circumstances could the king cede it to other monarchs; if he wanted to give up sovereignty he could only return it to the people. This explanation of the reasoning in 1814 is contrary to the general opinion in historical scholarship, which is that the decision at Eidsvoll in February was based on modern popular sovereignty in line with the theory of Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his Social Contract of 1762. This new theory has consequences for the understanding of the political and constitutional development of Norway in 1814.
De 112 representantene som møttes på Eidsvoll var enige om at ytringsfrihet skulle være en av de sentrale byggestene for en fri forfatning. Oppfatningen var grundig etablert gjennom opplysningstidens mange diskusjoner rundt begrepet, og også gjennom tider av praktisert ytringsfrihet i det eneveldige Danmark-Norge. Slike opplysningstidstemaer hadde et bredere nedslag i den norske befolkningen enn tidligere forskning har tatt høyde for. Noe av årsaken til det store nedslaget er hvordan opplysningstidens ideer hadde spredt seg gjennom tidsskriftene, som ble lest og formidlet til en langt større leser- og lytterskare enn for eksempel bokproduksjonen ble.
This work is about Article 100 – on freedom of print (speech) – in the Norwegian Constitution of 1814. I argue that broad segments of Norwegian subjects were well acquainted with the idea of free speech, not just as a principle, but also as practice. However, the meaning of free speech was in no way fixed. There was a strong tendency to interpret free speech as a means by which to communicate directly with governmental power than would be the case in the principle eventually formulated in the constitution. Constitutionally protected freedom of speech therefore became a more liberal than politically defined right, and the founding fathers ignored central elements of the notions of the principle as many of the actors in 1814 had understood them. These understandings had been informed by enlightenment ideas, and it is further argued that the broad awareness of the enlightenment conception of free speech was due to the central position it held as a theme of the public sphere of the 17th century spread among Norwegian subjects through the many periodicals of the century.
Artikkelen undersøker eidsvollsadressene som eksempler på revolusjonær retorikk, og analyserer noen sentrale retoriske elementer som preger adressene. Den norske revolusjonen i 1814 skiller seg fra den franske i 1789 ved å rettferdiggjøre seg selv gjennom tradisjonalistiske ideer. Revolusjonen ble begrunnet i et forsvar for den gamle orden. Samtidig ga den nye historiske konteksten adressene er skrevet i, de tradisjonelle ideene nytt innhold.
Eidsvollsadressene har tradisjonelt blitt sett på enten som kilder til «stemningen i folket» i Norge i 1814, eller som propagandaredskap for prins Christian Frederik. Uten å se bort fra propagandaaspektet, forsøker artikkelen å forstå adressene som et resultat av møtet mellom pålegg ovenfra og ulike aktørers forståelse av påleggene og den situasjonen landet befant seg i våren 1814.
On 19 February 1814, the governor of Norway, Christian Frederik, declared himself regent of the country and summoned a constitutional assembly to commence at Eidsvoll on 10 April that year. As conformation of the election of representatives to the assembly, addresses were drawn up from every parish, district, town and military regiment in the country and presented to the regent at the commencement of the constitutional assembly. The addresses contain declarations of gratitude to the regent, as well as reflections on the precarious situation of the nation and the coming constitutional assembly.
The article analyses these addresses as examples of revolutionary rhetoric. 1814 can be seen as a year of revolution in Norway in that it marks a break with absolutism and the implementation of a constitution based on the principle of sovereignty of the people, and because Christian Frederik led a rebellion against a newly established order represented by the Kiel treaty. Contrary to the French revolution of 1789, however, the Norwegian revolution of 1814 was justified through extensive references to the national past. The rhetoric of the addresses amounted to a large extent to a defence of the old order. At the same time, the historical context the addresses appeared in gave the traditional ideas new content, a content pointing towards a discourse of nationalism that would come to dominate nineteenth-century culture and politics.
Traditionally, the Eidsvoll addresses have been seen by historians either as evidence of «the mood of the people» in 1814 or as propaganda tools for Christian Frederik. With a mind to the propaganda aspect, this article views the addresses as the result of the meeting between declarations from above and different actors’ understanding of these declarations and the situation of the country in the spring of 1814. The different actors are defined by their socio-cultural background, such as the patriotic bourgeoisie of the cities, paternalistic ministers of the rural parishes and enlightened civil servants.
I desember 1812 ble hver soldatlegd i Sør–Norge pålagt å levere 10 alen vadmel til hæren innen 1. juni 1813. Artikkelen har to siktemål. For det første å vise hva som ble resultatet av denne tvangsutskrivningen. For det andre å klargjøre hvilken betydning bondekvinnenes tekstiler hadde for militæret i krigsår. Artikkelen har et kjønnsperspektiv. Bondekvinnene hadde ikke ull, og søknader til myndighetene førte til at leveringen ble utsatt ett år. Artikkelen setter søkelys på allmuens situasjon i nødsåret 1813 og på relasjonen mellom den aktive allmue og myndighetene i søknadsprosessen. Til sist blir det vist at det militære uniformssystem var basert på at bondekvinnene bidro med klær og tekstiler. Kvinnenes roller i krigstider har vært lite behandlet i norsk historieforskning i tidlig nytid. Det konkluderes med at militæret var avhengig av bondekvinnene for krigføring, og at de derfor bør være en del av militærhistorien.
The Norwegian army once got its uniforms from Copenhagen, but during the Napoleonic Wars 1807-1814 this became difficult with Great Britain implementing a trade embargo of the Norwegian coast. Ensuing shortages meant that the army had to demand contributions from the farming population. In 1813, peasants in Southern Norway were directed to weave and deliver frieze to the army for payment. It was to be made into coats for the soldiers. The present article has a twofold purpose: First, I aim to show what the results of the decree-ordering contributions actually were, and, second, I clarify how important the fabrics made by peasant women were to the military in wartime. The article is written from a gender perspective. The peasant women had no wool, and applications to the authorities for deferment led to year-long delays in delivery. I focus on the difficult living conditions for the peasants in the hunger year of 1813 and on the relationship between active commoners and the local, regional and central authorities as illustrated by the application process. Lastly, I demonstrate that equipping the army with uniforms was based on the contributions of fabrics and finished clothes by peasant women, partly for payment and partly without. It was cheaper for the military to have the women produce frieze than to buy it on the open market. The role of women in wartime has received very little attention in Norwegian historiography dealing with the early modern period. I conclude that the military’s capacity to wage war was dependent on the contributions of the peasant women, and that they should therefore be included in military history.