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Fellesskap, lederskap, utenforskap - Autoritet og fellesskapsnormer i kommunestyrene mellom 1837 og 1850

f. 1978, master i historie 2011, ph.d.-stipendiat ved Institutt for historiske studier, NTNU.

Artikkelen diskuterer endringer i normer for politisk deltagelse og autoritet med utgangspunkt i kommunestyrene som ble opprettet i 1837. Artikkelen har to hoveddeler. I den første diskuterer jeg ulike forestillinger om lokalfellesskap under eneveldet. Jeg drøfter hvordan disse forestillingene påvirket riksforsamlingsvalgene i 1814, og viser at Grunnlovens stemmerettsbestemmelser bygde på eldre forestillinger om allmuen som den økonomisk selvstendige delen av befolkningen. Denne diskusjonen danner utgangspunkt for artikkelens empiriske hoveddel. Her diskuterer jeg hvordan normer for deltagelse, lederskap og utenforskap kommer til uttrykk i virksomheten til fire kommunestyrer mellom 1837 og 1850. I samtiden ble formannskapslovene forstått som en komplettering av Grunnloven, og mange historikere har tolket dem i et demokratiseringsperspektiv. Jeg argumenterer likevel for at kommunestyrene tilpasset eldre normer til det nye politiske systemet, og at tilpasningen delvis var betinget av sosioøkonomiske interesser hos dominerende grupper i det stadig mer klassedelte bondesamfunnet.

Community, leadership, exclusion. Authority and community norms in the minicipal councils between 1837 and 1850.

This article is about changes in norms and attitudes to political authority and participation, as institutions of local self-rule were established in Norway in 1837. In the first of the two main parts, I discuss different notions of local community during the period of absolutism. An economic-juridical notion defined the community as comprising the male heads of tax-paying households, who met at the local assemblies (ting). A broader notion was the ecclesiastical idea of congregation, which in principle included all individuals – including women, children and others, normally under the authority of the head of the household. What they had in common was a notion of subordination under the absolute king. Versions of both of these notions were used as criteria for participation in elections to the constitutional assembly at Eidsvoll in 1814. However, the constitution ended up by reserving voting rights for tax-paying male citizens. Thus, in the new constitutional state, the political community was defined according to the economic-juridical notion of community, now expressed in modern terms such as «citizenship». In the second part, empirically the main one, I investigate how notions of community and political authority were expressed in the municipal councils established in 1837. At the time, these were seen as «completing» the constitution, and thus central to the development of an increasingly democratic Norwegian state after 1814. This has also been a dominant view among historians. However, I argue that in many respects the municipal councils perpetuated older norms of authority and participation. I try to show how the notions of community discussed in the first part of the article were adapted to the new political framework. I also discuss how the socio-economic make-up and political interests in different communities conditioned this adaptation.

Keywords: local community, political participation, early 19th century, Norway.
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