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Social omdaning i Millesviks socken 1750-1850 - en studie av framväxten av obesuttna jordbruksarbetare i en värmländsk socken under den agrara omvandlingen
2001 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the essay is to study the evolution and social development of landless farmlabourers in the parish of Millesvik during the agricultural revolution. This entails investigating the existence, growth development and possible consolidation as a social group of landless farmlabourers in the parish of Millesvik during the agricultural revolution. This concretised purpose also includes another dimension, where the driving forces behind the proletarianization of the population of Millesvik are distinguished and established. These driving forces are then used to form a theoretical model for explaining the process of proletarianization. This is a socio-historical attempt in which comprehensibility rests on a process and pattern perspective, as is apparent throughout the essay. A basic condition in the essay is that it attempts to grasp history using the landless farmlabourers as the point of inquiry. In the essay the methods of investigation range from the quantitative to the qualitative, giving it a broad base for theorising. This means that the material is investigated statistically, as well as by means of critical analysis. The material which the investigation is based upon is parish registers (kyrkoböcker) and tax registers (mantalslängder). In order to approach this material in a correct manner an operative concept, which is a tool of identification, is applied. This mode of procedure permeates the entire essay and is used to define the object of investigation. Furthermore, the operative concept is subdivided into two definitions, distinguishing between the wide and the narrow definition. This methodological measure is necessary due to the heterogeneity of the object of investigation. Consequently, different forms of landless farmlabourers are compatible with the operative concept in varying degrees. The results of the first part of the investigation, concerning existence and statistical growth development, show that the amount of landless farmlabourers increased significantly in Millesvik during the period investigation. Furthermore, the relative share of landless farmlabourers in the adult population also increased the period, which suggests that their growth development was stronger than that of the general adult population. It should also be noted that the growth trend of the object of investigation appears to have been quite closely connected to the general growth trend in the overall population, including not only adults but the whole of the population. However, this connection between growth trends occurs with a delay of approximately one generation, on part of the landless farmlabourers. As regards the results of the second part of the investigation, consolidation as a social group, it seems that the landless farmlabourers did not constitute a social group during the initial stages of the period of investigation. The consolidation of the landless farmlabourers as a social group appears to have occurred in the later stages of the agricultural revolution. Not until the second half of the period of investigation, did a permanent and landless layer of farmlabourers, whose reproduction rested on household forming within their own ranks, come into existence. The results from third part of the investigation, the proletarianization process, show that the proletarianization of the population of Millesvik can be divided into two stages, one initial and one principal. The initial stage stretches from 1750 to the turn of the century, roughly. The main driving force during this period was the strong increase in the overall population. It created pressure against the old, feudal production and social structures, which resulted in an increased need for new farms. This need was often supplied by splitting available farms, which led to smaller cultivating units. Among those not encompassed by this ”supply-by-splitting” strategy, a desire to escape the narrow confines of the agricultural society’s limited subsistence structures arose. During the principal stage, from the turn of the century and onwards, both driving forces, the increase in the overall population and the absorption of agriculture into the market economy, affected the development. While the increase in population continued to affect the development in Millesvik, the absorption of agriculture into the market economy gave rise to a new set of circumstances. It brought with it competitiveness and an aspiration among the farmers to concentrate land possession and thereby increase production. Concerning the proletarianization process, this resulted in the social stratification and sometimes ruin of farmers, along with the consolidation of the landless farmlabourers as a social group. The theoretical model for explaining the process of proletarianization can, significantly abbreviated, be summarised as follows: there arose in the agricultural society of Millesvik, due to the two driving forces, a push and pull situation, which resulted in the proletarianization of the population. The strong increase in overall population, which spanned the entire period of investigation, gave rise to push and pull effects by breaking the boundaries of the feudal production system, prevalent during the initial stages of the agricultural revolution. The absorption of agriculture into the market economy, mainly affecting the second half of the investigation period, gave rise to push and pull effects by competitiveness and an aspiration among the farmers to increase production.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. , 139 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-49803Local ID: HIS C-19BOAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-49803DiVA: diva2:1099430
Subject / course
History
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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