Prosten och sockenstämman. Kontroll, konflikt och konsekvens i en mellansvensk landsbygd 1776 -1794
The objective of this study has been to investigate the interaction in the Sköllersta parish self-govern board in the middle of Sweden during the Provost Fredric Åhrbergs years of service 1776-1794. The investigation emanates from the perspective of the vicar in his own written board protocols.The chairman of the local self-government in the Swedish countryside before the Local Government Act 1862 was always the parish pastor by law. In previous research considered the parishioners self-governing role at the local level, it is still unclear how decisions were made and who participated at the parish meetings, apart from the voting land-owning men in the board, who were only a small part of the population. Making use of the theoretical framework of Peter Blickles theory of communalism contra feudalism issues from the perspective of the vicar is investigated. This investigation focuses on the exercised control, the conflicts that arose in the parish self-govern board and the consequences it led to. What interests were behind the taken actions, what were the arguments in the conflicts and was the course of events due to consolidation in an egalitarian communal or in a feudal hierarchical principle? The result uncovers the later loss of control of the vicar, due to the collaboration of land-owing farmers and a military officer in following lawsuits. This can be seen as an expression of the communal principle against the feudal principle of the vicar and surprisingly of the officer himself, and it led to a clash between unanimity and majority decision-making. As an in-depth study of the activities of a pastor in the parish board are unusual, this study provides increased knowledge of the interactions in a parish self-govern board and the ability of self-conscious land-owning farmers in late 18th century in Sweden.