”Kampagnen med Blæk i stedet for Blod”: Håndskrifter, trykk og opinionskamp i skandinavisk offentlighet, 1801–1814

Ruth Hemstad

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7557/4.4158

Keywords

Pamfletter; mangfoldiggjorte håndskrifter; propaganda; offentlighet; 1812-års politikk; Norge; Sverige; skandinavisk politikk; Carl Johan

Abstract

“The campaign with ink instead of blood”: Manuscripts, print and the war of opinion in the Scandinavian public sphere, 1801–1814

Handwritten pamphlets circulated to a high extend as part of the war of opinion which went on in the Norwegian-Swedish borderland around 1814. This ‘campaign with ink instead of blood’, as Danish writers soon characterized this detested activity, was a vital part of the Swedish policy of conquering Norway from Denmark through the means of propaganda. This ‘secret war of opinion’, as it was described in 1803, culminated around 1814, when Sweden accomplished its long-term goal of forming a union with Norway. In this article I am concerned with the role and scope of handwritten letters, actively distributed as pamphlets as part of the Swedish monitoring activities in the borderland, especially in the period 1812 to 1813. These manuscripts were integrated parts of the manifold of publications circulating within a common, although conflict oriented Scandinavian public sphere in the making at this time. The duplication and distribution of handwritten pamphlets, and the interaction with printed material, as Danish counter pamphlets quoting and discussing these manuscripts, illustrates that manuscripts remained important at the beginning of the nineteenth century. They coexisted and interacted with printed material of different kinds, and have to be taken into consideration when studying the public sphere and the print culture in this period.

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