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Back to Modern Reason: Johan Hjerpe and Other Petit by Arne Jarrick

By Arne Jarrick

A revised and translated variation of Mot det moderna förnuftet, released in 1992. making use of the diaries from the 1780s of Johan Hjerpe, the examine makes a speciality of the categorical international of Hjerpe by way of exchange, social stipulations and modern social existence in Stockholm.

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Extra resources for Back to Modern Reason: Johan Hjerpe and Other Petit Bourgeois in Stockholm in the Age of Enlightenment

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It is precisely this special mixture of force and £attery which is interesting as an indication of the fact that the powerful did not ^ and could not ^ know whether or not they had won over the journeymen. Everything went smoothly on the Monday, admittedly, but there had, on occasion, been worrying signs that the artisan journeymen were not the homogeneous mass the police liked to think. In Hjerpe’s writings, the tailor journeymen ¢gure as the leaders of the royalist crowd. They numbered approximately four hundred, according to his estimate.

Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotta’s diary relates that the king distributed ‘a half plÔt per man’ which, after the coin devaluation of the 1770s, amounted to the same thing. 101 It is di⁄cult to determine how many they were and who it was that made up the crowd. 102 Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotta put the ¢gure at 3,000,103 while Hamilton counted not less than ‘a 10,000-man rabble’ (‘10,000 man po«bel’). What are we to believe? In Stockholm at that time there cannot have been more than 3,000 artisan journeymen organised in guilds,104 but it is also certain that many apprentices and some masters joined in that day.

The nobility realised that the battle was lost and hurried ‘with ayes and cheering [to conclude] the Appropriation’ (‘med ja och hurrande [ingÔ] i Bewillningen’). 128 Of course he did not know what had been happening inside the hall of the House of the Nobility, but he knew how it ended, and on the basis of that knowledge he invented a black-and-white tale of an unequal struggle between the cowardly authorities and the brave people, led by their noble sovereign. For a di¡erent viewpoint, we must leave Hjerpe by the statue of Gustavus 40 b ac k t o m o d e r n r e a s o n Vasa and go into the House of the Nobility.

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