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Farsældarríki Jóns Sigurðssonar: Ríkisvísindi og ríkisþróun frá endurreisn Alþingis til byltinganna árið 1848

Höfundur:
Birtist í
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Ártal:
2018
Bls:
bls. 51-82
DOI:
Fáir Íslendingar hafa fengið jafn mikið rúm í sagnfræðirannsóknum og Jón Sigurðsson. Hins vegar hafa markvissar rannsóknir á stjórnmálahugmyndum hans verið af skornum skammti og lítið verið fjallað um þær í samhengi við evrópska hugmyndasögu. Hér er sýnt fram á að hugmyndir Jóns hafi verið undir sterkum áhrifum frá Staatswissenschaften eða þýskum „ríkisvísindum“. Líkt og aðrir ríkisvísindamenn sem kenndu við háskóla í Þýskalandi, Skandinavíu og Eystrasaltslöndunum lagði Jón áherslu á að ríkisvaldið væri drifkraftur efnahags- og þjóðfélagsþróunar. Hann sótti háskólanám í ríkisvísindum, vann ötullega að rannsóknum og útgáfu á sviðinu og hvatti aðra Íslendinga til að tileinka sér fagið. Jón leit svo á að hugtök og kenningar ríkisvísinda væru best til þess fallin að greina þjóðfélagsvandamál á Íslandi og undirbyggja kröfur um aukna sjálfstjórn landsmönnum til handa. Hann hagnýtti því kenningar um skilvirka og farsæla stjórnun í gagnrýni sinni á konungsstjórn Dana, sem hann taldi hafa einkennst af vanrækslu og of litlum ríkisafskiptum, og lagði drög að sjálfstæðisbaráttu undir merkjum sterks ríkisvalds á Íslandi.
Jón Sigurðsson, the Sciences of the State, and the Making of Modern Icelandic Politics, 1840–1852 Although few topics in Icelandic historiography have attracted as much scholarly attention as Jón Sigurðsson, the political thought of Iceland's founding father has not been sufficiently explored. In the years preceding the end of absolutism in Denmark in 1848, Jón assumed the leadership of the Icelandic movement for increased self-government within the Danish composite state. It has long been assumed that Jón was a “national-liberal” who argued for increased national and individual liberty in a liberal language of rights. Focusing on his ideas about government in the period following the reestablishment of the Alþingi in 1843 to the revolutions of 1848, this article argues something different. It makes the case that Jón embraced the political theory of Staatswissenschaften, or the German Sciences of the State, because he believed that a strong Icelandic state was necessary to reverse the nation’s social and economic backwardness. Staatswissenschaften was an outgrowth of the eighteenth-century German cameralist tradition, which saw individual welfare and happiness as the essential end or purpose of good government, and flourished in the german states, Scandinavia and the Baltic in the decades following the Napoleonic Wars. Like contemporaries Friedrich Dahlmann and Lorenz von Stein in Schleswig-Holstein, another province agitating for autonomy within the danish state, Jón infused his nationalism with the academic language of Staatswissenschaften. Having studied the field at the University of Copenhagen in 1840–1842, he read widely before developing an account of the Icelandic past and a vision for the future. He assailed the Danish government in Iceland through the ages as a weak government that had neglected its obligations to promote domestic improvement. Governing Iceland from Copenhagen violated the maxims of good government. Thus, Jón argued that a domestic government located in Reykjavik was the prerequisite for carrying out an ambitious governing programme to advance Iceland's social and economic development. Jón envisaged a much more interventionist Icelandic state than is usually assumed, one that would play a key role in providing elementary and occupational education, furnishing transportation and communications infrastructure, regulating manners and morals, improving agriculture, fisheries and other industries, and helping Icelanders rediscover their public spirit.