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Back to Modern ReasonJohan Hjerpe and Other Petit Bourgeois in Stockholm in the Age of Enlightenment$
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Arne Jarrick

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780853235835

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846312632

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Johan Hjerpe and the artisan uprising in support of the king's war

Johan Hjerpe and the artisan uprising in support of the king's war

(p.21) Chapter 1 Johan Hjerpe and the artisan uprising in support of the king's war
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Liverpool University Press

Johan Hjerpe was a witness to the uprising staged by artisan journeymen of Stockholm in the Old Town on April 27, 1789. The peasants, clergy, nobility, and the middle class assembled in different places in the city. The king, the enlightened despot Gustavus III, was asking the parliament to approve his request for money to finance Sweden's war with Russia and Catherine II. The artisan journeymen were trying to frighten the nobles into granting the king's request. Hjerpe wrote an account of the event in a voluminous diary he kept between the years 1788 and 1792. This chapter examines the artisan uprising to determine what could have guided the participants morally and whether they acted with or without a strategy. It provides a step-by-step reconstruction of the course of events to explain what led Hjerpe and the artisan journeymen to take part in Gustavus III's showdown with the nobility. The chapter first considers some of the political, ideological, and social circumstances surrounding the riots before analysing the attitudes, motives, and reactions of Hjerpe and the artisan journeymen.

Keywords:   Johan Hjerpe, riots, artisan journeymen, uprising, war, Gustavus III, Russia, parliament, nobility, peasants

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