Svenska Pommern : kulturmöten och identifikation 1720–1815

Translated title of the contribution: Swedish Pomerania : Cultural Encounters and Identification 1720–1815

Andreas Önnerfors

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)

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Between 1648 and 1815, Swedish-Pomerania, at the Baltic shore, belonged to the crown of Sweden. It was both a part of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation and the Swedish realm. The port town of Stralsund played a key roll in the Swedish economy at the Baltic Sea, whereas the university town of Greifswald was the intellectual centre. On a cultural level, this situation opened up for a double inspiration. This study examines cultural encounters between Sweden and Pomerania and Pomeranian identification towards Sweden in the last century of Swedish reign in the province, 1720-1815. In this mental process, conceptions of history play a key roll. We can distinguish between three different phases of identification, rejection, agreement and idealisation. In the first phase (1720-1740), the ideology of the Swedish Great Power, Gothicism and protestant orthodoxy is represented by the professor of law, Christian Nettelbladt (1696-1775). He fought against what he himself regarded as misconceptions about Swedish history and climate and argued instead in favour of its superiority. Nettelbladt tried to convince the Pomeranians that they belonged to the Nordic culture. But his efforts were rejected. When Nettelbladt left the province, a new generation took its place at the university and a phase of agreement (1740-1780) started. What they had in common with their Swedish colleagues was the admiration for the philosophy of Christian Wolff. By sharing common values, former conflicts were overcome. Through educated journals and societies, areas of contact were created. The press communicated Swedish news, societies on each side of the Baltic Sea elected Swedish and Pomeranian members. Especially the Swedish Order of Freemasons succeeded in building up Lodges in Swedish Pomerania. In literature and historiography, a certain motive of relationship between Pomerania and Sweden was developed. The connection between motherland and province was constitutive for its “happiness”, a common faith was the origin of common fortune. This message was repeated throughout the decades and was a prerequisite of idealisation (1780-1815). A whole generation of writers, artist and historiographers now independently formulated their view upon Sweden and the North. This was a result of a new aesthetics and the severe political development throughout Europe. Especially in the years of the Napoleonic wars, German intellectuals were forced to formulate answers about their identity. Suddenly the Nordic motive became an integral part of the German self-definition. Here, Pomeranian Romanticist played an active roll. After the Vienna Congress, 1815, the last Swedish province became Prussian.
Translated title of the contributionSwedish Pomerania : Cultural Encounters and Identification 1720–1815
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Division of History of Ideas and Sciences
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2003 Jun 6
ISBN (Print)91-974153-5-9
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2003-06-06
Time: 10:00
Place: Biskopsgatan 7, 223 63 LUND

External reviewer(s)

Name: Olesen, Jens E.
Title: [unknown]
Affiliation: University of Greifswald, Germany


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • History of Ideas


  • identification
  • press history
  • Freemasonry
  • educated societies
  • Tidig modern historia (till ca. 1800)
  • theories of climate
  • 18th century
  • Swedish Pomerania
  • cultural encounters
  • German Romanticism
  • Enlightenment
  • intellectual history
  • Modern history (up to circa 1800)


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