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Att stoppa munnen till på bespottare och underrätta andra. Den akademiska undervisningen i svensk statsrätt under frihetstiden.

To shut the mouth of mockers and educate others. The academic education in Swedish constitutional law during the Age of Liberty
Publiceringsår: 2001
Språk: Svenska
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Rättshistoriskt bibliotek
Volym: LIX
Dokumenttyp: Doktorsavhandling
Förlag: Institutet för rättshistorisk forskning


The aim of this dissertation is to study the education in constitutional law during the period 1719-1772, a period known as the Age of Liberty. According to the Instruments of Government 1719/1720, the actual power in the state was vested in the Diet, consisting of the four estates, all equal in voting matters. The royal will was bound to the majority in the State Council, its members beeing responsible to the Diet. Due to royal opposition and the singular construction of the constitution, it was early felt necessary to educate university students in the fundamental laws. Theocratic views were condemned and natural law with its social contract was, more or less, adopted as a state ideology. Ordinances prescribing and regulating this education were issued in 1723, 1747, 1755 and 1757. The education is studied from three aspects: 1. Decision-making and control, 2. Function, 3. Contents. It is shown, that the education in Swedish constitutional law was mainly a mean of the ruling majority in the Diet to influence the training of future loyal civil servants. In the 1750s an extensive propaganda programme was launched by the parliamentary majority in order to influence the public opinion outside the universities. It was said, that the knowledge of the fundamental laws was the right of every citizen. In 1766, censorship was abolished and a political discussion was made possible. The ideas presented in the education were mainly of German origin, although Locke's "Two Treatises of Government" had partly been translated in 1726. Because of the peculiarity of the Swedish constitution , foreign ideas - especially those advocating a strong royal authority - were looked upon with suspicion. Contrary to the University statutes, the education was placed in the law faculites, since the law professors were believed to be less inclined to philosophical speculations than their colleagues at the faculties of philosophy. The only exception was the University of Greifswald where the services of the loyal university librarian were used in order to give the Pomeranian youth a politically correct view of the Swedish constitution. Thanks to his officially approved translations, the Swedish fundamental laws were made obtainable to the German speaking readers.


Carolinasalen, Kungshuset, Lundagård, Lund
  • Lars Björne (Professor)


  • Law
  • history of law
  • fundamental law
  • constitutional law
  • university education
  • law education
  • legal history
  • natural law
  • jus publicum
  • theocracy
  • Sweden
  • Roman law
  • Swedish Pomerania
  • Germany
  • rättshistoria
  • age of liberty
  • enlightenment


  • Kjell Å Modéer
  • ISBN: 91-851-9064-0
  • ISRN: LUJUDV/JURH-00/1001-SE385

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