Magnus Jernkrok

Doctoral Student

Department of Historical
Visiting address
Renströmsgatan 6
41255 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 200
40530 Göteborg

About Magnus Jernkrok

Born 1989. Master in Early Modern Studies at Uppsala university in 2013. Besides political history, I have studied English, German, and the history of ideas and learning. Previously, my interest has been captured by the history of 19th-century philosophy and colonial meetings in China and India. I was accepted to the PhD programme in Autumn of 2016.

Dissertation project: The Swedish experience of the French revolution

The French revolution was a watershed moment in world history. The ideological and political landscape was forever altered after the abolition of absolute monarchy in France and the establishment of popular sovereignty. It was the advent of the downfall of a society where kingship was divine and individuals were given fixed roles until the Last Judgment.

As is written in the Instrument of Government of 1772, lawfulness, concord, and perpetuity were among the chief principles of society. From that perspective, the radicality of the French revolution was absolute. The revolutionaries seemed willing to break the laws of God, sacrifice societal unity for their ideals, and view volatility as an opportunity. Would these dangers spread to Sweden? Had they not already done so, when the king was shot at the opera and the students of Uppsala arranged secret meetings where the Marseillaise was sung? My dissertation topic concerns the experience of the French revolution in Sweden and how that experience shaped the political scene, shook its foundations and laid the foundation for the reforms of the nineteenth century. The revolution traumatised the individuals and transformed the conditions held in common.

Specifically, I have begun to examine how Swedish bishops coped with the experience of the revolution. They were positioned at the centre of Swedish politics and could stay informed about the events on continent. In other words, they risked the most if the revolution would spread and were aware of it.

Keywords: Experience, space of experience/horizon of expectation, Reinhart Koselleck, die Sattelzeit, political history, bishops, Sweden, 1789, French revolution, Jacobinism, Immanuel Kant, neology, the coup d’état of 1809.