In this dissertation I investigate how two parts of the Danish liberal movement, the national liberals (NL) and The Society of the Friends of Peasants (SFP), position themselves politically in their main newspapers, Fædrelandet and Almuevennen respectively, during the discussions leading up to the establishment of the Danish constitution on the 5th of June 1849, and to what extent the activities of the newspapers can be said to resemble the workings of modern political parties. The focus of the investigation is on two major points of contention: a discussion of whether ¼ of the gathering deciding the make-up of the constitution should be picked by the king (in practice by the ministry) and a discussion of representation, which concerned the composition of the parliament and what parts of the population were to be given voting rights and qualify as candidates. Using the methods of conceptual history I approach the first part of the question, the question of political positioning, by analysing two core concepts of the liberal movement, popular spirit (folkelighed) and liberty (frihed), and the concept of democracy that, during the period of focus, was thoroughly discussed. The analysis reveals substantial differences in the meaning ascribed to the concepts by the NL and the SFP, leading to two different understandings of what political direction Denmark ought to follow. While the SFP, representing the country’s enormous group of peasants, first and foremost focused on equality, and wanted voting rights and eligibility as candidates for all independent men of age, the NL, largely made up of people from the intelligentsia, were heavily focused on the importance of enlightenment and put this before demands of equality, a concept which, however, was a declared future goal. The second part of the question, to what extent the activities of the newspapers can be said to resemble the workings of modern political parties, is answered by comparing the activities to modern politological definitions of such groups. This reveals a number of similarities: both newspapers fought for distinct political principles and felt especially connected to specific parts of the population, both newspapers supported politicians in elections and in day-to-day politics and both newspapers fought political opponents. In a time when political parties were not the norm, the newspapers performed many of the activities today conducted hereof.
|Uddannelser||Historie, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat|
|Udgivelsesdato||16 feb. 2013|
- Hansen, J.A.
- Den Grundlovgivende Rigsforsamling
- Ploug, Carl