The Tullberg Movement: The Conflict over Property Rights and Aristocratic Estates in Scania, 1867-1869

Project: Dissertation

Layman's description

This thesis is a study of landownership that took place in Scania in the 1860s. It was a conflict between tenant farmers and rural poor against estate owners in a time of agrarian change. The participants of the movement claimed that the tenant farms of many estates were not rightfully owned by the nobility but belonged to them. In the thesis the cultural framework of the partipants is analyzed.

My thesis studies a struggle over landownership between tenant farmers and rural poor on one side and estate owners on the other that took place in southern Sweden in the 1860s. The participants of the movement, led by the self-taught lawyer Samuel Tullberg, claimed that the tenant farms should belong to them, not the nobility. Their attempt to win landownership ended in failure.

Through an analysis of the participants in the movement, the thesis aims to reconstruct their culture. The status of the tenant farms was central to them. They envisioned a peasant right, a natural right to landownership. All land was rightfully owned by peasants. The manors, they claimed, had been abolished and the nobility gained ownership of their farms through manipulations and use of violence.

In many ways, the culture of the participants was a traditional one. The king and nobility had obligations to protect the commonweal and uphold the law. In the olden days they had done so, but not any longer. Since they had failed in their obligations the social order was under threat and the struggle for landownership legitimate.

Thus, the culture of the participants included cultural elements known since medieval times. Yet it can not be called traditional. Phenomena as custom and religion had little place in it. And the participants were influenced by contemporary radicalism. The popular culture of the 1860s was in a state of state of change, mixing old and new cultural matererial.
Effective start/end date2003/09/012008/12/31