Hovedtesen i denne artikkelen er at norske historikere for å forklare utbruddet av de norske borgerkrigene (ca. 1130–1240) har fokusert for mye på indre, dypereliggende årsaker – i form av en gradvis eskalerende samfunnsmessig krise. Mot dette argumenteres det at det førstatlige samfunnet fungerte tilfredsstillende, også på det tidspunktet da borgerkrigene startet, og at man derfor må fokusere mer på ytre impulser i forklaringen av denne overgangen. I siste del av artikkelen trekkes to ytre årsaker fram for å forklare endringene rundt 1160: innflytelse fra den reformerte kirken og økt press fra et revitalisert dansk kongedømme.
Norwegian historians have traditionally focused on internal, long-term causes when explaining the outbreak of the “civil wars” in Norway which lasted from c. 1130 to c. 1240. The widespread view is that population growth without a corresponding increase in resources resulted in society on the verge of collapse in the 12th century. Against this view, the present author argues that there are few signs of growing tensions in society until the later 12th century. An analysis of the king’s saga Morkinskinna shows that conflicts in Norwegian society prior to 1157 had limited repercussions and seldom interrupted the sociopolitical order. Moreover, from existing evidence it is difficult to confirm the alleged causes of increasing unrest – an aristocratic resource crisis due to the end of Viking raids and royal donations to the church. If Norwegian society was fairly well functioning around the middle of the 12th century, the causes of the «civil wars» must be sought in factors other than long-term internal causes. It is the argument of the author that short-term external causes must be granted more importance in this shift, two of which are discussed in this paper. First, the reformed Church furnished the kings with an ideological weapon with which traditional rulership based on reciprocal and personal bonds could be confronted. Second, a revitalized Danish monarchy put Norwegian kings under increased pressure in the later 12th century, inducing them to strengthen central power in order not to fall victim to Danish ambitions at dominating Scandinavian politics.
This paper examines the distinct customs for guardianship of minor inheritors under Norse and Scots law in the Late Middle Ages. Focusing on a controversial case from the frontier community of Orkney, investigation reveals that the Scots custom of testamentary tutorship, which granted fathers the exclusive right to arrange for their children’s care upon their death, contradicted Norse tradition, which placed authority with a network of this child’s kinsmen. Furthermore, discussion underscores the differing rules for how children’s estates were to be managed, and how and when adolescents were regarded as reaching full legal majority.
Due primarily to a lack of sources, few studies have looked at the laws and practices of guardianship in late medieval Norse societies. While normative sources from the thirteenth century provide an ideal model for guardianship, historians know very little about how children were cared for in practice. This paper examines a controversial case from fifteenth-century Orkney in which a Scottish nobleman, David Menzies of Weem, acted as guardian to the heir to the Earldom of Orkney, William Sinclair. At the heart of the discussion is a previously unstudied document from 1416 which outlines the parameters for his office as ‘tutor testamentary’. Based on Scottish legal principles, the tutor testamentary arrangement for guardianship differed in several key respects from the model presented in the Norse legislation. By comparing stipulations of Norse law (Gulating, Frostating and National Laws) to those of Scottish legal custom, this paper sheds light on the origin and content of several of the main controversies in that case. Two principal points of contention are highlighted: First, the authority of kinsmen in determining the guardianship of minors and, second, the age and procedures by which a minor was to attain majority and free himself from the guardianship arrangement. This paper also considers the actions of the parties involved and determines whether contentions stemmed from contradictions between Norse and Scottish traditions, or from the corruption of individuals.
Målsettingen for denne undersøkelsen er tredelt. For det første blir det ved hjelp av «proxy» (indirekte) data forsøkt å finne klimatiske avvik på 1600- og 1700-tallet som førte til uår og avlingssvikt. Spesiell interesse knyttes til sekvenser med to eller flere uår på rad. I alt ble det funnet ti slike perioder. Dernest studeres bispelister, kirkebøker og berettende kilder for å se hva samtidige kilder kan fortelle om mortalitet og sykdom. Til slutt diskuteres problematikken knyttet til sult eller sykdom som årsaksforklaring til de høye dødsratene. Konklusjonen er at det gir liten mening å tale om sult eller sykdom som forklaring på befolkningsdesimeringen. De verste uårssyklusene følges gjerne av utbrudd av epidemiske sykdommer. Direkte eller indirekte påvirket uår og matmangel uten tvil dødsratene i alvorlige demografiske kriseår som 1742, 1773, 1765 og 1785.
The empirical objective of this study is twofold. Using proxy data, climatic anomalies in the 1600 and 1700s are identified by means of written sources and dendroclimatological evidence. The main written sources are accounts of annual tithe receipts from the various shires in Trøndelag and the official pricing of grain that took place in the diocese every year. Farmers' diaries from the 1700s are also investigated because sowing and harvesting dates reflect climatic conditions. In analysing the dendrochronological material to hand, ten sequences of potential crop failures were found, each lasting approximately three years. Some of these periods were undoubtedly triggered by volcanic eruptions. The effects of hunger and malnutrition are studied on the basis of contemporary sources. Figures on births, deaths and marriages were drawn from parish registers and episcopal lists. Some parish records originate from the 1600s, but the majority are from the 1700s. From 1735 on we have episcopal lists summarizing reports from the local priests on demographic conditions in their parishes and some reports from government officials describing catastrophic conditions when crops failed in several consecutive years. In extreme cases, crop failure led to excess mortality through inadequate and improper nutrition, but first and foremost famine brought outbreaks of infectious disease. It makes no sense to talk about a dichotomy hunger–disease. Excess mortality in the famines of the 18th century was not due to either hunger or disease alone; in most cases the inadequate supply of food created the optimal conditions for violent epidemics to break out and spread.
Artikkelen ser på framveksten av den norske protesten mot general Pinochets militærkupp i Chile i 1973 og byggjer primært på kjelder frå solidaritetsorganisasjonanes arkiv. Solidaritetsarbeidet varte fram til 1990 og endra seg sterkt undervegs. Mens Chile-rørsla kjenneteiknast av tidstypiske trekk for «68»-rørslene, gjekk det føre seg ei ideologisk nyorientering mot menneskerettar. Meir tradisjonelle, altruistiske handlingar som flyktninghjelp fekk dermed større plass i solidaritetsaktivitetane. Chile-rørsla var også banebrytande organisatorisk og var med og innførte ein ny, etterindustriell mobiliseringsstruktur, det transnasjonale støttenettverket. Aktivistane i rørsla tok til å samarbeide meir med statsmaktene, og nettverksorganiseringa kom til å avløyse den klassiske protestrørsla der massemobilisering og organisasjonar utgjorde grunnelementa.
The military coup in Chile in 1973 was met by strong protests in Norway, especially among political youth activists. The solidarity movement for Chile followed in the footsteps of previous 1960s’ protest movements and was ideologically grounded in the trendy anti-imperialism of the times. The activists built an umbrella organization with local branches and shared the same protest repertoire of information campaigns and street demonstrations. Although the Chile movement was plagued by internal rivalry and leftist sectarianism, it may be argued that something new occurred. Human rights, especially the concern for political refugees, came to influence the movement’s thinking and praxis. Solidarity work connected to “establishment” institutions and fell in line with official foreign policy. The profile of the protest as a contentious movement waned. Instead, a new organizational form for solidarity work emerged, the transnational advocacy network, which came to replace the classical protest movement previously characteristic of solidarity movements.