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Marschen mot makten: Västra arméns revolt och väg till Stockholm 1809
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Arts, Department of History.
2005 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Marching on the powers that be : the Western Army´s revolt and march on Stockholm, 1809 (English)
Abstract [en]

In March 1809, when Sweden was yet again at war, part of its Western Army staged a revolt against Gustav IV Adolf that spelled the end of royal absolutism. The thesis shows how, in a turbulent period in European history marked by revolution and the Napoleonic wars, an army of several thousand men could successfully revolt and march from their positions in the county of Värmland clean across their own country to Stockholm, where they instigated a change of regime.

Even if war often offers a golden political opportunity for those who want overthrow a government, nothing is guaranteed. Resources, insight into the situation, and an ability to seize the moment dictate whether an action is embarked on. The thesis views events in 1809 as part of a political process, established in a collective action by an officers’ movement.

A chronological analysis of the military revolt is structured with reference to a mobilisation process. The officers had to define a shared problem, agree on a solution, and decide which means to use. This consensus was then disseminated outside their immediate circle to persuade others to participate in the revolt, or at least to remain neutral. The participants were then mobilised for action. When the important issues around which the movement had mobilised were addressed, demobilisation followed. The mobilisation process is analysed thematically using three categories – organisation, identity, and communication – to demonstrate how the officers drew on their resources, how they viewed themselves, and how they communicated this to others.

The King’s lack of legitimacy, combined with the officers’ initiative and their movement’s grasp of logistics, made possible both revolt and march. The war provided the political opportunity for a revolt; the mobilising structures to hand, in the form of communications and transport logistics, provided the means; and last but not least, the officer movement constructed an interpretative framework that defined both the country’s problems and the necessary solutions, and that was to prove itself well anchored in the prevailing political culture.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2005. , 295 p.
Studia Historica Upsaliensia, ISSN 0081-6531 ; 219
Keyword [en]
History, Sweden, 1809, royal absolutism, political legitimacy, revolt, army officer, movement, mobilisation, demobilisation, interpretative process, logistics, organisation, identity, communication
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-6162ISBN: 91-554-6368-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-6162DiVA: diva2:167379
Public defence
2005-12-02, sal X, Universitetshuset, Uppsala universitet, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2005-11-11 Created: 2005-11-11Bibliographically approved

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