Neo-romanticism and Gothicism; Liberalism and Conservatism; the Rise of the Middle Class 1818-1844
The features peculiar to Swedish history clearly emerge if we compare the manner in which Sweden and France respectively applied, at the beginning of the nineteenth the social and political lessons of the preceding centuries. The summary treatment of feudal privileges under the French revolutionary régime is paralleled in Sweden by a process lasting nearly a century from 1719 to 1809; and the confiscation of land from the French nobility and Church corresponds to the reductions of Gustav Vasa and Charles XI. The uneven constitutional development in France, where a liberal constitution was not achieved until 1830, has its Swedish counterpart in a remarkable, almost unique, series of experiments through the centuries, which finally attained their equilibrium in the constitution of 1809. For several hundred years the right to be represented in a national assembly had been more widely extended and more firmly established in Sweden than in most other European countries, and the political tradition and life of Sweden had few parallels.
While Sweden was seeking the visible expression of her political life in constitutional documents and practice, Swedish letters and scholarship, prompted by a fundamental desire both for regeneration and for contemplation of the past, were entering an age of brilliance. The first representatives of modern Swedish intellectual life flourished between 1750 and 1790: Linnaeus, Bellman, Kellgren, and their contemporaries. They were followed in the 1810's and 1820's
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Publication information: Book title: A History of Sweden. Contributors: Ingvar Andersson - Author, Carolyn Hannay - Translator. Publisher: Praeger. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1956. Page number: 324.