Skog, makt och människor. En miljöhistoria om svensk skog 1800-1875.

Per Eliasson

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


The aim of this dissertation is to investigate how and why silviculture was introduced in Sweden in the nineteenth century and the consequences this introduction had during the same period. The term silviculture refers to the systematic cultivation of high forest, a method that spread from Germany at the end of the eighteenth century. The consequences referred to are the changes in nature and the social conflicts that silviculture brought with it, as well as the new values associated with forests and the utilisation of forests. Using an environmental historical investigation, I analyse the societal changes that were interconnected with changes in nature.

By looking at silviculture as forest cultivation in a broad sense, my dissertation connects to the international research that regards the competition over land usage between food production and forest production as a reason for substitution and specialisation. My investigation revolves around the increasing shortage of oak timber available to the Swedish navy and the ecological and political causes of this shortage. The significance the timber shortage had for the introduction of systematic silviculture is analysed, together with the conflicts surrounding the traditional rights of forest usage. The various silviculture methods and their relation to changes in nature and society are also investigated. In addition, I investigate societal values concerning trees and forests as well as the differing ideas as to what forest is and what importance it has. The large-scale exploitation of the boreal forests in northern Sweden is contrasted with the forest cultivation silviculture in southern Sweden.

The most significant conclusions are that the introduction of silviculture in Sweden had a clear association with the increasing natural resource problems of the agricultural society, which was magnified during the agricultural revolution; that it demanded far-reaching changes in the system of distribution via the abolishing of traditional rights of forest usage; and that older value systems regarding trees and forests were changed only very slowly through the introduction of silviculture.
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • History
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2002 Mar 9
ISBN (Print)91-89379-22-5
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2002-03-09
Time: 10:15
Place: Historiska institutionen. Sal 3.

External reviewer(s)

Name: Fritzböger, Bo
Title: [unknown]
Affiliation: [unknown]


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • History

Free keywords

  • forest commons
  • science of forestry
  • forest crimes
  • desiccation
  • silviculture
  • environmental history
  • forests
  • Silviculture
  • forestry
  • forestry technology
  • Skogsvetenskap
  • skogsbruk
  • skogsteknik

Cite this