In the historiography describing the pan-Scandinavian movement that started gaining ground in the late 1830s, Scandinavianism has been widely employed as a historical category, usually without any discussion regarding the actual emergence of the concept itself. This article discusses when and why Scandinavianism entered into political language as a powerful new concept capable of setting a future-oriented agenda. After analyzing digitized newspaper material and other relevant publications in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark and after using a combination of distant and close reading, it concludes that Scandinavianism as a neologism only appeared as late as 1843. This article aims to contribute to a conceptual transnational history of Scandinavianism by examining its emergence, reception, and discursive context in the early 1840s.

The mid-nineteenth-century pan-Scandinavian movement echoed in different ways the contemporary German and Italian national struggles as well as the pan-Slavism of the time.1 As in other (pan-)national movements, the pan-Scandinavian sentiments among Scandinavian youth—foremost in Denmark and Sweden—were expressed through a new vocabulary. Established terms were reinterpreted and given new significance, while new concepts—neologisms—were invented. Terms such as Scandinavia/Scandinavian and the North/Nordic were consciously utilized as common denominators, replacing and embracing the national adjectives Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian. The most pregnant concept summed up the new transnational movement in one brave new ambiguous and ambitious ism: Scandinavianism.

Why and when Scandinavianism entered into the language will be discussed in more detail below. The changes in vocabulary relating to Scandinavia were the immediate consequence of the major changes in the Nordic countries in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. Out of two composite states—Denmark-Norway and Sweden including Finland—four nation-states gradually emerged.2 This profoundly changed political situation helped form the important geopolitical background for the development of a pan- Scandinavian movement among the new generation. This was the generation of 1814—the year Norway was handed over like a “herd of cattle,” as it was claimed, from the King of Denmark to the King of Sweden.3 The favorite geopolitical concept of the new Swedish Crown Prince Carl Johan, former French Marshal Jean Bernadotte, was that of the “Scandinavian Peninsula,” whose natural borders, it was alleged, would ensure peace in the North.4 The Swedish Scandinavian policy was a means to consolidate Sweden after the loss of Finland in 1809. Norway was presented as compensation as well as a reward for Swedish participation in the concluding wars against Napoleon. As part of his strategy, Bernadotte consciously tried to change the concepts of Scandinavia, Scandinavian, and even Nordic by narrowing their content. Being “Scandinavian” or “Nordic” referred—in Sweden—to this new union.5 This meant actively forgetting about Finland and leaving Denmark out of the picture.

In Norway, which was forced into this union in 1814 following four hundred years as a subordinated part of the dual monarchy with Denmark, there was a certain nationally based resistance against the Swedish use of concepts and ideas underlining the unity. A discussion in one of the main Norwegian newspapers at the time, Den Constitutionelle, in 1837, referring to the common Swedish usage of terms such as “Scandinavia,” “Scandinavians,” and “Scandinavian” is quite illuminating. In this editorial, these concepts were characterized as “disgusting” and “like worms” and depicted as highly contested when used in Swedish books and maps.6 The article was a response to the Swedish liberal newspaper Dagligt Allehanda, which, in a letter to the editor, complained of the Norwegian anxiety and ambiguity toward these concepts.7 The Norwegian reaction was not without reason—“Scandinavia” was, in Sweden, defined as Sweden and Norway exclusivel in a range of geographical textbooks, historical overviews, published statistics, and encyclopedias and the new maps being drawn and distributed at this time.8 In Norway, this was clearly understood as Swedish rhetorical uses of “Scandinavian” and related concepts in order to strengthen the common union.

Scandinavianism and Historiography

The fierce outburst in Den Constitutionelle in 1837 has been misrepresented in Norwegian historiography. It has been interpreted as an expression of opposition against Scandinavianism and pan-Scandinavian ideas.9 From the wording and the context, though, this was clearly directed against Swedish rhetoric, not Danish or pan-Scandinavian rhetoric. In the first Norwegian historical overview of Norway and the pan-Scandinavian movement, the term Scandinavia used in the newspaper article is even misleadingly rendered as “Scandinavianism.”10 This is not only a typing error but an illustration of an anachronistic use of a concept not yet in the contemporary vocabulary. And it is not the only example of its kind.11

Interestingly, there have been few, if any, scholarly contributions discussing in detail the emergence of this specific concept or, for that matter, the transnational conceptual history of Scandinavianism in general. Instead of discussing this ism as a historical phenomenon with a rhetorical potential and examining Scandinavianism in its different contexts of use, the literature has widely employed this term as a somewhat imprecise and anachronistic label. There is a dominant tendency within historical studies of different kinds to describe Scandinavianism as an idea and movement that developed from around the 1830s or even earlier. This is in line with an old historiographical tradition, which originally stems from the pan-Scandinavian activists themselves.12 Writing the history of Scandinavianism served—as in other national movements—to strengthen the legitimacy of the movement by underlining its old, if not ancient, historical roots.13 Frederik Helweg, one of the pan-Scandinavian activists, even dates Scandinavianism to the Old Norse era in his speech at the Nordic feast in Copenhagen on 13 January 1846.14

Earlier research on the pan-Scandinavian movement, following Julius Clausen’s historical overview from 1900, has had a predominantly national tendency. The pan-national movement has been studied from a Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian perspective, respectively, usually with an emphasis on its political dimensions and failures.15 Within a national context, the aim has been to explain the phenomenon rather than to discuss the contemporary, transnational discourse. Published in 2008 and inspired by conceptual and transnational history, my own PhD dissertation primarily explored the late pan-Scandinavian movement and its relationship to Scandinavian cooperation around 1900.16 Since then, there has been a renewed interest in the history of the pan-Scandinavian movement and Scandinavianism, which has resulted in several publications.17 A more entangled, transnational, and transmedial approach that combines cultural, political, and conceptual perspectives and that underlines the international context is apparent in recent research.

This article concentrates on the emergence of the concept of Scandinavianism in the early 1840s through a synchronic analysis of Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian newspapers and selected publications such as relevant journals, pamphlets, and books. Methods from the digital humanities will be applied and combined with close readings and perspectives inspired by conceptual history. Important in this regard is the need for conceptual clarity between contemporary concepts and analytical categories.

The mapping of the appearance of Scandinavianism and related concepts in different publications in three different countries has not previously been possible. By utilizing the developments and new opportunities within the field of digital humanities in recent years, with volumes of newspapers, journals, and books being digitized, research on the emergence of concepts such as Scandinavianism may be undertaken.18 In addition to the findings provided by distant reading and searching through relevant databases, including the use of N-gram viewers, close reading and scholarly domain expertise are necessary in order to understand the context for the concepts in use and to secure the inclusion of relevant source material that has not yet been digitized.19 There are also still technical challenges that limit the possible accuracy and completeness of searches for specific concepts, especially when it comes to the older printed material.

Digitized material provides new research opportunities, but it certainly presents new scholarly challenges as well. It may help us map the appearance of new concepts and phrases, but it does not easily separate concepts and categories when the term is identical. Reinhart Koselleck underscores the point that the concepts embodied in the sources and the scientific cognitive categories “must be distinguished.” It is often possible to “use the same word for past historical concept and historical category,” in which case, he emphasizes, “it is important to make the difference in their uses quite clear.”20

Scandinavianism or—as is sometimes preferred in describing its early stages—proto-Scandinavianism may adequately be used as an analytical category in describing certain historical developments. However, in addition to being somewhat anachronistically employed for the 1830s, the lack of semantic control may reduce our understanding of the semantic and discursive changes going on at the time and of how this concept was used in different political controversies.21 In this article, I will use the pan-Scandinavian movement as the main analytical category. In my view, it is of vital importance mapping more systematically the emergence of the concept of Scandinavianism in order to discuss and analyze the contemporary discourse surrounding this specific ism. It will improve our understanding of Scandinavianism to investigate and bear in mind the differences between and the convergence of the old concept and the modern category. When it is used as a broad analytical category, as is often the case, we are deprived of a more comprehensive understanding of its different and contested meanings, which are dependent on both time and place. We need to acknowledge the contested and inconsistent nature of this concept, and others like it, and to take into account the constitutive function of the language and concepts in use at the time. Concepts may serve as vehicles supporting and stimulating specific ideas and political goals and as rhetorical devices in argumentation, and they therefore ought to be studied in their proper discursive and political contexts.

Concepts reflect, in Koselleck’s terminology, shifting political conditions and “space of experience” (Erfahrungsraum).22 As a future-oriented concept, Scandinavianism served as a cultural and political mobilizing concept, a concept of movement (Bewegungsbegriff).23 However, the anticipations of and hopes for the future, the “horizon of expectation,” varied considerably, as they were dependent on place and time.

A transnational conceptual history analysis of the concept of Scandinavianism remains a huge task. A way to open up this analysis is to start with the emergence of the concept. By examining the emergence, reception, and discursive context of Scandinavianism in the 1840s, this article aims to contribute to a broader conceptual history of this underrated key concept of nineteenth-century Scandinavian history. Questions to be addressed and further examined are the following: When did Scandinavianism enter into the language as an ism and an ideological concept, and why did it appear at precisely that time? In what respect did the idea and movement that has been described as Scandinavianism exist before the concept of Scandinavianism? What did the discursive context consist of, that is, the cluster of concepts and phrases that paved the way for the new ism? This article will also touch upon the question of international inspirations and examine what sort of reception and opposition the neologism had in the different Scandinavian countries.

Before Scandinavianism

In what respect did the idea and movement that has been described as Scandinavianism exist before the concept of Scandinavianism? It is reasonable to state that a pan-Scandinavian movement with expressed ideas, underlining the importance of closer fraternal feelings and cooperation between the three Scandinavian countries, and with some sort of organizational structure and access to the public sphere through common networks, publications, periodicals, meetings, and societies was in the making from the late 1830s. The first meeting of Danish and Swedish students was actually on the frozen Öresund Sound during the winter of 1838. In 1839, the first Scandinavian Meeting of Natural Scientists was held in Gothenburg, and the same year the first Nordic journal with an explicit pan-Scandinavian agenda, Fredrik Barfod’s Brage og Idun, was published and circulated to Scandinavian subscribers.

The pan-Scandinavian movement had a Danish liberal and national origin. The growing liberal opposition toward the Danish absolutist monarchy was not content with provincial assemblies without real political influence, which were established in the early 1830s, and they were clearly disappointed in 1839 when the new king, Christian VIII, did not give the country a constitution—as he had done during his short reign as King of Norway in the summer of 1814. The increasing national conflict regarding the Duchy of Schleswig, with its mixed Danish and German population, is also of vital importance for the development of the pan-Scandinavian movement and its political aspirations. From the early 1840s, saving the old Danish territory of Schleswig was at the core of the pan-Scandinavian movement in Denmark. As Henrik Becker-Christensen underlines, from the early 1840s “Scandinavianism was dominated by the concern that Sweden and Norway should support Denmark in maintaining its possession of Slesvig.”24

The Danish leaders of the pan-Scandinavian movement strongly underlined the necessity of stronger solidarity and more widespread cooperation in order to strengthen the Scandinavian countries, culturally as well as politically, in a world of expanding great powers. Pan-movements, Louis Snyder points out, “postulate the nation writ large in the world’s community of nations.”25 Eric Hobsbawm underlines the threshold principle—the idea of the necessity of stronger political units in order to survive—as a sort of guideline in nineteenth-century Europe.26 Hobsbawm’s approach has been recently applied to the pan-Scandinavian movement by Rasmus Glenthøj.27 There could be adequate reasons for this line of thinking, especially in Denmark, because of the rising German national movement in the country’s immediate neighborhood. In general, the German and Italian national movements, as well as pan-nationalisms such as pan-Slavism, were frequently referred to by the pan-Scandinavian activists in Denmark and in Sweden, as we will see below.

In Sweden, the pan-Scandinavian movement was clearly stimulated by the fear of Russian aggression and the anger after the loss of Finland in 1809, as well as by liberal aspirations. A growing liberal opposition toward the regime of Carl Johan giving, it was claimed, Russia too much influence in Swedish society is an important part of the picture.28 Established in 1814, the union with Norway did not quite fulfill Swedish expectations. Pan- Scandinavian ideas and sentiments could represent new possibilities for strengthening Sweden within a Scandinavian framework.

To some extent, the pan-Scandinavian ideas also reached Norway, where they were increasingly discussed from the late 1840s.29 However, the political situation in Norway was clearly different from that of Denmark and that of Sweden. Norway did not lose any territory after the Napoleonic Wars, as Sweden and Denmark did. Instead, it gained a liberal constitution and was reestablished as a state with an autonomous position within the forced union with Sweden. Building the new state and securing national independence in the struggle for power within the union seemed for many Norwegians far more important than supporting Danish and Swedish Scandinavian ideas, and anti-Swedish and anti-Danish sentiments existed in parts of the population.30

Alongside the alarming agitation underlining the strategic political need to stand up to Prussia and Russia, the pan-Scandinavian movement focused on a common Scandinavian identity and nationality. As in other (pan-)national movements, the same historical traditions and common, or at least kindred, languages together with cultural similarities, geographical proximity, and a similar religion and mentality served to underpin the formation of a pan-Scandinavian ideology.31

In pan-Scandinavian rhetoric, a main concept was that of Nordens Enhed (Nordic unity). The meaning of this concept was, however, not obvious, neither historically nor in a contemporary perspective. A common Scandinavian identity therefore had to be constructed. A vital part of this was the development of a pan-Scandinavian vocabulary, a cultural and political language, which was at the same time backward-looking and future-oriented with a certain way of conceptualizing the world—the Scandinavian or Nordic world. A Scandinavian political language therefore evolved gradually from the late 1830s.

Scandinavian and Nordic

The significance of being “Scandinavian” or “Nordic”—at that time more or less interchangeable concepts—changed remarkably during the first part of the nineteenth century. The term Scandinavian underwent significant semantic changes at this time. Far from being straightforward geographical terms, Norden (the North), Scandinavia, and the Scandinavian Peninsula in many instances implied a pan-national ambition. Terms such as Scandinavian and Nordic were often used to highlight common denominators, and they replaced the national adjectives Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian. This dimension added to their ambiguous and contested character.

The description of the inhabitants of the area, “the Scandinavians,” was also a term utilized in this rhetorical struggle. To be a “Scandinavian” could mean that you belonged to the Swedish and Norwegian peoples or to the Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian peoples. Increasingly, during the 1840s and 1850s, it would primarily come to characterize Danes, Swedes, and Norwegians as being part of, or sympathetic toward, the pan-Scandinavian movement. The new, more political and future-oriented meaning of Scandinavian formed the root of the new ideological ism Scandinavianism. This conceptual development in turn gradually led to a corresponding and slightly more critical description of the followers of Scandinavianism as “Scandinavianists,” and the policy or attitude connected to this ism as “Scandinavianistic.”32

“Scandinavian” delimited to Sweden and Norway was the current usage in Sweden until around 1840. This is also confirmed by the Danish author Christian Molbech—later characterized as one of the “eldest Scandinavians”—in his book published in Denmark and Sweden in 1844.33 In this travel account after his visit to Sweden in 1842, he added an almost forty-page highly critical appendix regarding what he called “the Scandinavian idea.” He especially turned against the political aspirations directed at some sort of union between the three Scandinavian countries.

The chosen title of the extensive appendix, “[Considerations] on ‘the Scandinavian Unity,’” can be explained by its reference to the frequent verbal and written use of this specific expression.34 In the article, Molbech points out that this idea had been understood and interpreted quite differently. Molbech refers to the article “The Scandinavian Unity” in Dansk Ugeskrift (Danish weekly journal) in August 1843. Published anonymously, but written by the editor, J. F. Schouw, it is one of the first articles to explicitly discuss this matter.35

In his book, Molbech scrutinizes the article and the upcoming ideas presented there. The concept of Scandinavianism is strikingly absent. Instead, a range of related concepts and phrases are mentioned, among them “a Scandinavian connection,” “the Scandinavian North,” and “the Scandinavian idea of unity.” This last expression, as Molbech points out, is “sometimes referred to as ‘the Scandinavian idea,’” which is a phrase lately articulated and developed in Denmark.36 Further on, he refers to “the three Scandinavian nations,” “a spiritual connection,” a “new Scandinavian-ness,”37 the “new Scandinavia,” “the first sudden Scandinavian enthusiasm,” “Scandinavian sympathies,” and “the Scandinavian case.” There was obviously an already rich and varied terminology within the new pan-Scandinavian discourse at this point in time. Nevertheless, there were no signs, thus far, of Scandinavianism.

A range of related concepts and phrases provided a discursive context for the ism to take hold. This vocabulary continued to be a vital part of the semantic field surrounding Scandinavianism. Frequently used concepts and phrases were the Scandinavian idea, the Scandinavian question, Scandinavian thought, the Scandinavian union, Scandinavian sympathies along with Nordic unity, Nordic spirit, and Nordic union. This pan-Scandinavian terminology was consciously used by the pan-Scandinavian movement in different channels of communication, namely through newspapers, journals, pamphlets, and books, as well as in speeches, songs, and toasts. These phrases also frequently found their way into various published reports and accounts. They had sufficiently vague political connotations and therefore could be easily associated with certain positive national values.

The Scandinavian Student Meetings: The Circulation of Ideas and Concepts

The pan-Scandinavian movement got momentum and spread from Denmark to the other Scandinavian countries foremost through social and political student events that took place in the early 1840s. Nordic student meetings were held in 1842 in Copenhagen and, as a follow-up and in a more organized manner, in 1843 in Uppsala and 1845 in Copenhagen. The university cities hosted hundreds of visiting students from the neighboring countries. In 1845, more than one thousand students gathered on the streets of Copenhagen. The students traveled by steamboat and visited several cities on their way. These student meetings, which continued to be organized quite regularly until 1875, were spectacular public festivals and early media events.38 They were regarded as key vehicles for the propagation of the Scandinavian idea by the activist leaders of the movement.39

Many of the students, experiencing a new and prominent role as the potential politicians of tomorrow, regarded Scandinavian unity as a desirable goal and something to fight for. However, pan-Scandinavian ambitions were not necessarily shared by all the participants at the different events. The vocabulary used during the student festivals, expressed through copious songs, speeches, and toasts celebrating almost everything “Scandinavian” or “Nordic,” illuminates how the cultural and political language evolved within the pan-Scandinavian movement. Through the comprehensive use of printed material during and after these events, as well as extensive accounts from the travels reprinted in a range of newspapers and journals, the terminology was widely spread and circulated to the Nordic countries and beyond. The manifold publications connected to the early student meetings are obviously key source material in the search for the emergence of the concept of Scandinavianism.

The first printed account stems from the Danish-Swedish student gathering in Copenhagen during the summer of 1842. It was published in Fredrik Barfod’s journal Brage og Idun.40 The key phrases on this occasion were “Nordic unity,” “Scandinavia,” and “the Scandinavian nationality.” In June 1843, the pan-Scandinavian activists expanded their reach beyond both sides of Öresund Sound by going on an excursion to Uppsala. The gathering at Uppsala was a profiled event and was perceived as representing something quite new.41

In the preface of the published account that followed the meeting in Uppsala, the background for the Danish student visit to Uppsala was explained by reference to other national movements and to different ideological isms: the renewed “Slavism,” the struggle by the Flemish people in Belgium toward “Gallicism,” and the desire for German national unity.42 Other contemporary sources used the isms “Germanism” and, let us not forget, “Schleswig- Holsteinism,” which gained ground in the Duchies in these years (see below). Indeed, “Schleswig-Holstein” was itself a recent geopolitical term, indicating an established, German-oriented unity, which—at least from a Danish and pan-Scandinavian perspective—was highly contestable.43

The contemporary German—and the Schleswig-Holsteinian regional variant—as well as pan-Slavism and other national and pan-national movements, clearly served as inspiring and/or warning examples in the pan- Scandinavian discourse. It is therefore reasonable to see the invention of the concept of Scandinavianism as having been influenced by and as having mirrored the prevalence of similar isms used to characterize political movements of the time, be they regional, national, or pan-national in nature.

In Uppsala, the celebrated key phrase was still “Nordic unity” (Nordens Enhed), and the concept that aroused warm feelings, as it was said, was “Scandinavia.” A special toast was raised to “young Scandinavia,” reflecting a newly popular phrase in contemporary European discourse.44 The meeting generated several reports and comments in the Nordic newspapers. Most of the speeches, toasts, and songs were published in an official account published by the Copenhagen travel committee, which had organized this specific excursion.45 Scandinavianism was still not part of the new political vocabulary.

The event also attracted some international publicity. The pan-Scandinavian movement was critically commented on in German newspapers during the mid-1840s.46 In British newspapers, the meeting in Uppsala was reported as highly interesting and “pregnant with future events.” The royal efforts of the Danish king “to check the rather turbulent spirit of his Scandinavian-inclined subjects” were also discussed.47

The royal measures included a lawsuit against the publicist and student leader Carl Ploug, which was launched as a result of his speech in Kalmar during the march to Uppsala. The speech, containing a political attack on Russia, was published in his newspaper, Fædrelandet (The Fatherland), the main channel for the Danish pan-Scandinavian movement, which was repeatedly confiscated during these years.48 Royal reactions also included a prohibition against the new Skandinavisk Samfund (Scandinavian society), which the leaders of the pan-Scandinavian movement, including Ploug, tried to establish in Copenhagen directly after the return from Uppsala. However, this measure only helped to strengthen the movement. The Copenhagen cultural elite assumed responsibility for this undertaking, and another Scandinavian society, Skandinavisk Selskab, was established in September 1843. It got the necessary approval on the explicit precondition that it not discuss politics. The official aim of the society was to strengthen the cultural connection between the Scandinavian countries. It soon attracted hundreds of members.49

A similar Scandinavian society, Skandinaviska Sällskapet, was established in Uppsala in October. By May 1844, it had reached three hundred members.50 The societies stayed in contact in different ways, one of which was the exchange of books, which allowed them to build up Scandinavian libraries available to their members. A Scandinavian book committee was even established by the Norwegian Students’ Society (Det norske Studentersamfund), which otherwise still kept a certain distance from pan-Scandinavian activities.51 The Nordic Feast, which was held on the same date (13 January) each year, was, however, one of the few Norwegian initiatives and was based on an older Norwegian tradition.52 In Uppsala, the pan-Scandinavian impulse after the student meeting was made manifest as well through new journals—Intelligensblad: Utgifven i Upsala (Intelligence journal: Published in Uppsala) followed by Studentbladet (The student journal)—eagerly discussing, often by referring to their Danish counterparts, most notable of which was Fædrelandet, Scandinavian matters and all sorts of pan-Scandinavian activities. A pan-Scandinavian public sphere clearly expanded during these years through several pan-Scandinavian-inspired journals and newspapers, especially in Denmark and Sweden.53

The Emergence of Scandinavianism

When did the concept of Scandinavianism enter the local cultural and political language? The concept of Scandinavianism seemingly emerged after the student meeting in Uppsala and after the establishment of Scandinavian institutions, namely, the new societies and periodicals that all had a clear pan-Scandinavian agenda.

According to Nordic newspaper databases, and collections of other digitized material, the preliminary answer to the above question is late 1843. Although a qualified answer, this is, however, not necessarily the final answer: it is based on what we know now, but it is limited by technology and the amount of digitized material in existence. In combination with close reading, it is reasonable to state that the concept of Scandinavianism entered the public sphere around 1844.

The earliest example found in the available digitized material is, not surprisingly, from a Danish newspaper. Published in Schleswig, Dannevirke used the concept in the same month that Skandinavisk Selskab was established in Copenhagen. However, this use of the ism in late September 1843 reveals an uncertainty regarding the content of the concept. It was deployed in a notice referring to the enthusiastic welcome for the visiting Swedish singer, the celebrated Jenny Lind, in Copenhagen. The slightly ironic comment argues that “if Scandinavianism has anything to do with” the serenade planned for her, “it makes a somewhat lopsided appearance.”54 The next time Scandinavianism appeared in Danish newspapers, in January 1844, the content of the concept was certainly more fixed.

In Norwegian newspapers, the first sign of Scandinavianism was in April 1844 in a correspondence from Copenhagen.55 The pan-Scandinavian publicist Fredrik Barfod wrote a series of ten articles in order to introduce this new idea to Norwegians, who were known to be skeptical of the pan-Scandinavian movement in general.56 In the articles in the liberal newspaper Den Constitutionelle, he explains the “Danish Scandinavianism” and the “so- called Scandinavianism” as a part of a general awakening of national consciousness.57 He declines the Norwegian understanding of Scandinavianism as a political project and instead presents Scandinavianism as a historical necessity.58 Reference is made in a later article that this movement, in its “modern, more conscious variant Scandinavianism,” had turned up in Norway only recently.59

The first signs of Scandinavianism in Swedish newspapers were also in the spring of 1844. They were in an account of a speech given by Professor Per Daniel Amadeus Atterbom to the Scandinavian society in Uppsala.60 His reflections were later published separately as part of an ongoing discussion in Sweden regarding the necessity and character of such a society, and the question of Swedish participation at the next student meeting, which was scheduled to be held in Copenhagen in 1844.61 King Carl Johan, who was never a friend of the pan-Scandinavian movement—he was actually rather antagonistic to it—died in March 1844. Because of the request of the new King, Oscar I, the return visit was postponed to the following year. Interestingly, Atterbom, a dedicated cultural “Scandinavian,” warned against political tendencies in what he termed “ultra-Scandinavianism or (rather) pseudo-Scandinavianism.”62 Here, we see that the counterconcepts emerged—apparently almost immediately—as a response to the new ism.

The Finnish newspaper Borgå Tidning discussed the “so-called Scandinavianism” in August 1844.63 It referred to the various interpretations of Scandinavianism in the three Nordic countries. The newspaper understands the phenomenon as a friendly attitude between the inhabitants of these states, one that stimulates literary, commercial, and eventually political connections and one that has, so far, nothing in common with the “notorious ‘young Italy, Germany’ and so on.”64

Outside the Nordic region, the phenomenon was commented on at the same time, in April 1844, in the following way: “[A]nd there rises the dark, mystic Figure of Scandinavianism.”65 Scandinavianism was one of several pan-national isms at the time. This was pointed out in an article in the British monthly journal The Portfolio, which compared the concept to various southern variants such as “Hellenism and Slavism.” The anonymously published, slightly speculative article had an anti-Russian tendency, suspecting Scandinavianism, like Slavism, to be supported by Russia. Another contemporary use of the word Scandinavianism in English is related to linguistic studies—“Scandinavianisms” are influences of Scandinavian, or Old Norse, on the Old English language.

Scandinavianism barely appears, it seems, in the debates before the summer of 1843. The way in which the concept of Scandinavianism was used during the spring of 1844 indicates that this was quite a new concept: Scandinavianism was referred to as the “so-called Scandinavianism” in Norwegian and Finnish newspapers.66 Scandinavianism rapidly developed into a suitable and familiar term, and in January 1844 it was part of the title of a lecture held at the Scandinavian society in Copenhagen.

Scandinavianism: Reaction and Counterconcepts

One of the ways in which the Scandinavian societies attracted interest and spread ideas was to organize public lectures. The lectures got attention in various newspapers and were immediately circulated as separate publications.67 In late January 1844, one of these lectures in the Skandinavisk Selskab in Copenhagen had the title “On Scandinavianism and Its Relation to the Common Culture.” It was given by Professor Johan Nicolai Madvig.68 This was a quite critical lecture, as it defined Scandinavianism as wanting a Scandinavian cultural unity.69 However, according to Madvig, the quality of this “Nordicness” should not be overrated.70

The concept of Scandinavianism hit the Nordic public sphere through a range of publications in 1844. Suddenly, newspapers, journals, and pamphlets in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and even Finland made use of and discussed this neologism of the early 1840s. In Norway, one of the regional newspapers complained critically in July 1845 that it was not possible to grab a newspaper, neither Norwegian nor Danish, without repeatedly bumping into Scandinavianism.71 Scandinavianism rapidly became a key concept in the Scandinavian countries and was the core of the pan-Scandinavian movement. From the mid-1840s, Scandinavianism was extensively used as a concept in the political rhetoric of the national and liberal opposition in Denmark. It was adopted by the liberal opposition in Sweden around the same time. In Norway, the concept was also eagerly discussed, and critical approaches to the concept were quite dominant in the public debates.

In the Scandinavian countries, Scandinavianism was, if not dark and mystic, certainly ambiguous and disputed from the very beginning. It captured and reflected, however, an increasing interest in inter-Scandinavian contact and connection, a Danish and Swedish civic interaction of a new kind, with cultural but also with potentially political implications.

The immediate resonance of the concept and its rhetorical appeal illustrates that it reflected and encapsulated a contemporary idea and discourse. It was a useful and suitable concept, which, remarkably quickly, became an integral part of the debate and the common social and political language in the Scandinavian public sphere of the mid-nineteenth century. The concept also quickly spread outside the Scandinavian region. It did not come out of the blue, as shown above. It was a powerful new concept that was capable of setting a future-oriented agenda and influencing and labeling a cultural and political movement in the making. Its rhetorical appeal generated inspiration and sympathy as well as debate, conflict, and controversy.

Almost immediately, the new ism and its followers kindled counterconcepts. Atterbom’s “ultra-Scandinavianism or (rather) pseudo-Scandinavianism” has already been mentioned. Anti-Scandinavianism soon occurred as a counterconcept during the 1840s and 1850s and was used in different sorts of critiques. Anti-Scandinavianism was used in a Danish newspaper in early 1845 to describe a Norwegian article as displaying “a misunderstood anti- Scandinavianism.”72 In April 1844, the official Danish newspaper denoted it as “the acute, fierce Scandinavianism,” being even worse for the Danish government than the “chronic, forced, paralytic Schleswigholsteinism.”73

The reception of the concept of Scandinavianism clearly reflected the different political situations and national priorities in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. The controversies and conflicts around Scandinavianism were most pronounced in Norway. In the eyes of many Norwegians, Scandinavianism stood for amalgamation and unionism.74

The political implications of Scandinavianism were seldom clearly pronounced in Denmark, which was mainly because of the absolutistic regime in power until 1848. A common political program remained both vague and contested. However, different political solutions were gradually discussed, ranging from a united kingdom with a common constitution and parliament, and based on a common Nordic national identity, to a federation or at least a defensive alliance that would comprise the three Scandinavian countries.75 As a rule, Finland was not, officially at least, mentioned in these speculations. The time frame of these plans was often quite vague.

A typical feature in the discussions regarding the concept of Scandinavianism was the different attempts at explaining, defining, and qualifying the concept, and even discussing that there was a range of different explanations of the concept. There was, to be sure, a range of different variations of Scandinavianism, such as “social Scandinavianism,” “spiritual Scandinavianism,” “literary Scandinavianism,” and, of course, “political Scandinavianism.”

In a letter submitted to a Norwegian newspaper, which was titled “To the Norwegian Students,” it was admitted that the “concept of Scandinavianism,” which constituted a range of opinions, did not comprise anything other than “the acknowledgment of the Nordic unity regarding customs, language and history.”76 “The impact of this unity on the present and its consequences for the future is the content of the concept, on which we have to find an agreement,” it goes on to say.77 The author, who wrote this letter after participating in the student meeting in Copenhagen in 1845, concluded the letter in a quite typical pan-Scandinavian manner, which meant that his final thoughts were vaguely political and emphasized that the development of a true popular and literary connection among the people would with necessity lead to political unity.78


In discussing the development of Scandinavianism and the pan-Scandinavian movement in the nineteenth century, it is important to bear in mind the difference between the modern analytical category and the old contemporary concept, especially when the word is one and the same: Scandinavianism. The master narrative of the idea and movement termed Scandinavianism in mainstream historiography predates its emergence before the actual concept of Scandinavianism entered into the language. The absence of scholarly interest in the emergence of the concept has led to a lack of semantic control, reducing our understanding of the semantic and discursive changes that went on at the time.

The pan-Scandinavian movement gained ground during the second half of the 1830s, and a pan-Scandinavian cultural and political vocabulary evolved. Established terms—such as Scandinavian and Nordic—were reinterpreted and given new significance. Neologisms like Scandinavianism were invented based on this new vocabulary. This article argues that Scandinavianism did not enter into the cultural and political language before late 1843 and early 1844. The concept rapidly became widespread, although it was contested and quite open to interpretation. Scandinavianism swiftly occupied a place in the political rhetoric, claiming an ancient history and opening new possibilities for the future. It was a product, however, of specific historical circumstances, internal Scandinavian political developments, and international influences. It reflected a certain “space of experience,” and a “horizon of expectation.” During the nineteenth century, new layers of experience and justified expectations added new dimensions to the conceptual history of Scandinavianism, which, as other powerful concepts, ought to be analyzed within its shifting discursive contexts.

The contemporary political debates conceived Scandinavianism as dead and buried due to the events of 1864 and the Danish loss of the Duchies Schleswig and Holstein to Prussia after the Second Schleswig War, which took place that year. However, the concept’s discursive use continued until at least the beginning of the twentieth century, when Scandinavianism increasingly lost its rhetorical appeal and more or less disappeared as a political, future-oriented concept.79 It gradually transformed itself into a concept of historical interest only, albeit a concept that is still incredibly interesting.


Rasmus Glenthøj, “Skandinavismen som en politisk nødvendighed: Politisk skandinavisme i et teoretisk og komparativt perspektiv” [Scandinavianism as a political necessity: Political Scandinavianism in a theoretical and comparative perspective], in Skandinavismen: Vision og virkning [Scandinavianism: Vision and impact], ed. Ruth Hemstad, Jes Fabricius Møller, and Dag Thorkildsen (Odense: Syddansk Universitetsforlag, 2018), 227ȓ256; on Slavism, see Dominique Kirchner Reill, Nationalists Who Feared the Nation: Adriatic Multi-nationalism in Habsburg Dalmatia, Trieste, and Venice (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012). All translations of non-English references and quotations are my own unless otherwise indicated.


A recent account regarding this development is Rasmus Glenthøj and Morten Nordhagen Ottosen, Experiences of War and Nationality in Denmark and Norway, 1807–1815 (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). See also Nils-Erik Villstrand, Riksdelen: Stormakt och rikssprängning 1560–1812 [Part of the realm: Great power and the fall of the empire, 1560–1812], vol. 2, in Finlands svenska historia [The Swedish history of Finland] (Helsinki: SLS, 2009); Roald Berg, “Denmark, Norway and Sweden in 1814: A Geopolitical and Contemporary Perspective,” Scandinavian Journal of History 39, no. 3 (2014): 265–286.


“Norway,” The Examiner, 15 May 1814.


Madame de Staël Holstein [August Schlegel], An Appeal to the Nations of Europe against the Continental System: Published at Stockholm, by Authority of Bernadotte in March, 1813 (London: J. M. Richardson, 1813), 58. See also Ruth Hemstad, “The Law of Nations and the Norwegian Question in the Parliamentary and Public Debates in Great Britain in 1813 and 1814,” in “Like a Herd of Cattle”: Parliamentary and Public Debates regarding the Cession of Norway, 1813–1814, ed. Ruth Hemstad (Oslo: Akademisk Publisering, 2014), 13–91, here 42–43; Ruth Hemstad, Propagandakrig: Kampen om Norge i Norden og Europa 1812–1814 [Propaganda war: The Nordic and European conflict over Norway 1812–1814] (Oslo: Novus Forlag, 2014), 68-71.


One of many examples is Daniel Djurberg, Geografiskt lexicon öwer Skandinavien eller de förenade rikena Swerige och Norige [Geographical encyclopedia of Scandinavia or the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway] (Örebro: N. M. Lindh, 1818).


“Ogsaa os ere Ordene ‘Skandinavien’, ‘Skandinaver’ og ‘skandinavisk’ forhadte—det er Orme, som gnave paa tvende Rigers Nationalitet,” Den Constitutionelle 50, 19 February 1837.


“Till Red. af Dagligt Allehanda!” [To the editor of Dagligt Allehanda!], Dagligt Allehanda, 13 February 1837.


Ruth Hemstad, “Geopolitikk og geografibøker for folket: Den norsk-svenske unionens besværlige beskrivelser” [Geopolitics and geography books for the people: The troublesome descriptions of the Norwegian-Swedish union], in Sann opplysning? Naturvitenskap i nordiske offentligheter gjennom fire århundrer [True enlightenment? Natural science in Nordic public spheres through four centuries], ed. Merethe Roos and Johan Tønnesson (Oslo: Cappelen Damm, 2017), 101-126.


John Sanness, Patrioter, intelligens og skandinaver: Norske reaksjoner på skandinavismen før 1848 [Patriots, intellectuals and Scandinavians: Norwegian reactions to Scandinavianism before 1848) (Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1959), 150.


“Ogsaa os ere Ordene ‘Skandinavisme’, ‘skandinaver’ og ‘skandinavisk’ forhatte—det er Ormer, som graver paa begge Rigers Nationalitet.” Ibid.


Ruth Hemstad, “‘Skandinavismens’ tilkomst som samtidig og omstridt begrep” [The emergence of “Scandinavianism” as a contemporary and disputed concept], in Hemstad et al., Skandinavismen, 21-44, here 25-30.


An early example is the introduction in the published account after the student meeting in Uppsala in 1843: Beretning om Studentertoget til Upsala i Juni Maaned 1843, afgiven af den danske Bestyrelse [An account of the student voyage (literally student procession) to Uppsala in June 1843, by the Danish management] (Copenhagen: Wahlske Bokhandels Forlag, 1844), iii-viii.


“Blade af Skandinavismens ældre Historie,” [Outlines of the early history of Scandinavianism] Fædrelandet, 7 May 1846.


Frederik Helweg, Nutidens Gjæld til Fædrene for den skandinaviske Idees Udvikling [The present indebtedness to the (fore)fathers regarding the development of the Scandinavian idea] (Copenhagen: H. J. Bing & Søns Forlag, 1846), 7-16.


Julius Clausen, Skandinavismen historisk fremstillet [A historical outline of Scandinavianism] (Copenhagen: Det nordiske forlag, 1900); Åke Holmberg, Skandinavismen i Sverige vid 1800-talets mitt [Scandinavianism in Sweden in the mid-nineteenth century] (Göteborg: Elanders boktrykkeri, 1946); Erik Møller, Skandinavisk stræben og svensk politik omkring 1860 [Scandinavian aspirations and Swedish politics around 1860] (Copenhagen: Gad, 1948); Sanness, Patrioter, intelligens og skandinaver. A later contribution is Henrik Becker-Christensen, Skandinaviske drømme ogpolitiske realiteter: Den politiske skandinavisme i Danmark 1830-1850 [Scandinavian dreams and political realities: The political Scandinavianism in Denmark 1830-1850) (Aarhus: Arusia—Historiske skrifter I, 1981).


Ruth Hemstad, Fra Indian summer til nordisk vinter: Skandinavisk samarbeid, skandinavisme og unionsoppløsningen [From Indian summer to Nordic winter: Scandinavian cooperation, Scandinavianism, and the dissolution of the union] (Oslo: Akademisk publisering, 2008).


Recent contributions are Kari Haarder Ekman, “Mitt hems gränser vidgades”: En studie i den kulturella skandinavismen under 1800-talet [“Expanding the borders of my home”: A study in cultural Scandinavianism in the nineteenth century] (Göteborg: Makadam Förlag, 2010); Rasmus Glenthøj, 1864: Sønner av de slagne [1864: Sons of the defeated] (Copenhagen: Gad, 2014); Magdalena Hillström and Hanne Sanders, eds., Skandinavism: En rörelse och en idé under 1800-talet [Scandinavianism: A movement and an idea in the nineteenth century] (Göteborg: Makadam Förlag, 2014); Hemstad et al., Skandinavismen.


Digitized newspaper collections used here are from Denmark: Mediastream, www2.statsbiblioteket.dk; Sweden: Svenska Dagstidningar [Swedish newspapers], tidningar.kb.se; Finland: DIGI—Nationalbibliotekets digitala samlingar [National Library’s Digital Collections], digi.kansalliskirjasto.fi; Norway: Nasjonalbiblioteket [National Library of Norway], www.nb.no; and Iceland: Landsbókasafns Íslands-Háskólabókasafns [National and University Library of Iceland], timarit.is.


See Timothy R. Tangherlini and Peter Leonard, “Trawling in the Sea of the Great Unread: Sub-Corpus Topic Modeling and Humanities Research,” Poetics 41, no. 6 (2013): 725-746.


Reinhart Koselleck, Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time, trans. Keith Tribe (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004), 230.


On conceptual history as semantic control, see Reinhart Koselleck, “Einleitung” [Introduction], in Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe: Historisches Lexikon zur politisch-sozialen Sprache in Deutschland [Historical fundamentals: A historical encyclopedia of sociopolitical language in Germany], ed. Otto Brunner, Werner Conze, and Reinhart Koselleck, vol. 1 (Stuttgart: Klett, 1972), xiii-xxvii, here xix.


Reinhart Koselleck, “Erfahrungsraum und Erwartungshorizont” [Space of experience and horizon of expectation], in Vergangene Zukunft [Futures past] (Frankfurta. M.: Suhrkamp, 1979), 349-375, here 113; Koselleck, Futures Past, 231-233.


Koselleck, Futures Past, 229.


Becker-Christensen, Skandinaviske drømme, 273.


Louis Snyder, Macro-Nationalisms: A History of the Pan-Movements (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1984), 5.


Eric J. Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalism since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality, 2nd ed. (1992; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 30.


Glenthøj, “Skandinavismen som en politisk nødvendighed.”


Holmberg, Skandinavismen, 60-72.


Sanness, Patrioter, intelligens og skandinaver, 431-455.


For a contemporary account, see Ludvig Kr. Daa, “Om Skandinavien” [On Scandinavia], Intelligensblad: Utgifven i Upsala 25, 3 September 1844. The article was originally published in the Norwegian journal Granskeren after the student meeting in Uppsala in 1843.


Snyder, Macro-nationalisms, 5.


There are examples in Danish and Norwegian newspapers of these concepts (Skandinavist/Skandinavistisk) from 1848 to 1849.


Christian Molbech, Lund, Upsala og Stockholm i Sommeren 1842: Nogle Blade af en Dagbog med et Tillæg om “den skandinaviske Eenhed” [Lund, Uppsala, and Stockholm in the summer of 1842: Pages from a journal with an appendix on “the Scandinavian unity”] (Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 1844), 283-320. The description of him as an old “Scandinavian” was given in the preface of his book on the pan-Scandinavian movement, which was published in 1857: Christian Molbech, Den skandinaviske Eenhedstanke, som den har været, og som den er i Nordens tre Riger: En national-politisk Betragtning [The Scandinavian idea of unity, as it has been and as it is in the three Nordic kingdoms: A national political consideration] (Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 1857).


“Ovenstaaende Udtryk er i den sidste Tid jævnligen brugt hos os, baade mundtligt, og skriftligt i offentlige Blade, og er der bleven underlagt en forskiellig Betydning og Anvendelse.” “Om ‘den skandinaviske Eenhed’” [On “the Scandinavian unity”], in Molbech, Lund, Upsala og Stockholm, 283.


“Den skandinaviske Eenhed,” Dansk Ugeskrift 2, no. 71 (1843); “Om ‘den skandinaviske Eenhed,’” 283.


“Den skandinaviske Eenheds Idee, eller, som man undertiden har kaldt den, ‘den skandinaviske Idee.’” “Om ‘den skandinaviske Eenhed,’” 287.


“Den nye Skandinaviskhed.” Ibid., 297.


Jonas Harvard and Magdalena Hillström, “Media Scandinavianism: Media Events and the Historical Legacy of Pan-Scandinavianism,” in Communicating the North: Media Structures and Images in the Making of the Nordic Region, ed. Peter Stadius and Jonas Harvard (Farnham, UK: Ashgate Publishing, 2013), 75-98.


Carl Säve and Per John Petersson, Upsalastudenternas Direktion, Berättelse om studenttågen till Lund och Köpenhamn sommaren 1845 [An account of the student voyages to Lund and Copenhagen in the summer of 1845] (Uppsala: Wahlström & Co., 1846), 104.


H. P. Poulsen, “Skildring af de svenske og danske Studerendes gjensidige Besög i Sommeren 1842” [An account of the mutual Swedish and Danish student visit in the summer of 1842], Brage og Idun 5 (1842): 134-143.


Fredrik Nilsson, I rörelse: Politisk handling under 1800-talets första hälft [In motion: Political action in the first half of the nineteenth century] (Lund: Nordic Academic Press, 2000), 121-126.


Beretning om Studentertoget, ii-iii.


“Hvad vilja Tyskarne?” [What do the Germans want?], Studentbladet 37-38, 9 September 1846.


Beretning om Studentertoget, vii, 37.




“Hvad vilja Tyskarne?”


Morning Post, 8 July 1843, www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk (this and the previous quotation; emphasis in the original).


Harald Jørgensen, Trykkefrihedsspørgsmaalet i Danmark 1799-1848: Et Bidrag til en Karakteristik af den danske Enevælde i Frederik VI’s og Christian VIII’s Tid [The question of the freedom of the press in Denmark 1799-1848: A contribution to a characterization of Danish absolutism during the reign of Frederik VI and Christian VIII] (Copenhagen: Ejnar Munksgaard, 1944).


During 1846, it reached 1,300 members (Tillæg, Berlingske Tidende 20, 15 January 1847).


Intelligensblad, utgiven i Upsala 18, 14 May 1844.


Intelligensblad, utgiven i Upsala 7, 13 February 1844, 56.


The speeches at a Nordic Feast in Christiania in 1846 were published the same year as one of the first pan-Scandinavian publications in Norway: Beretning om Studenternes nordiske Høitid den 13de Januar 1846 [An account of the Nordic student feast on 13 January 1846] (Christiania: Feilberg & Landmarks Forlag, 1846).


Swedish journals such as Frey and Stockholms Figaro: Et artistisk och belletristisk Söndagsblad [Stockholm’s Figaro: An artistic and belletristic Sunday journal] frequently covered pan-Scandinavian activities and Danish cultural developments of different kinds after 1843. During 1846, the Danish newspaper Fædrelandet published Nordisk Literatur-Tidende [Nordic literary journal], which was distributed among the members of the Scandinavian society Skandinavisk Selskab in Denmark. See also Kari Haarder Ekman, “Skandinavistisk kulturpolitik: Oscar Patric Sturzen-Becker som exempel” [Scandinavian cultural politics: Oscar Patric Sturzen-Becker as an example], in Hemstad et al., Skandinavismen, 147-162.


“Hvis Skandinavismen har noget at gjøre med denne Serenade, saa begynder den at træde frem i en noget skjæv Skikkelse,” Dannevirke, 23 September 1843.


“Correspondentse fra Danmark” [Correspondence from Denmark], Den Constitutionelle 96 and 99, 5 and 8 April 1844. The article is signed “Oea.”


Henrik Becker-Christensen, “Fredrik Barfod og den skandinaviske bevægelse i tiden før 1845” [Fredrik Barfod and the Scandinavian movement before 1845], Skandia 2 (1978): 289-314, here 310-312.


“Ytring af den vaagnende Folkebevidsthed, den saakaldte Skandinavisme.” “Correspondentse fra Danmark,” Den Constitutionelle, 8 April 1844.


“en væsentlig politisk Tendents”; “Den er en historisk Nødvendighed.” Ibid.


“Bevægelsen først nylig har naaet os & efterat have antaget sin moderne mere bevidste Retning som Skandinavisme.” “Om Forbindelsen med Sverige” [On the relationship with Sweden], Den Constitutionelle 313, 8 November 1844.


“Underrättelser från Landsorterna: Upsala den 30 April” [News from the countryside: Uppsala 30 April], Post och inrikes tidningar, 4 May 1844. This news was also referred to in other Swedish and Danish newspapers.


Per Daniel Amadeus Atterbom, Om Skandinaviska Föreningen och student-uttåget från Upsala till Köpenhamn: Några ord af Atterbom [On the Scandinavian society and the student excursion from Uppsala to Copenhagen: A few words by Atterbom] (Uppsala: Wahlström och Låstbom, 1844). A second edition was published the same year, and a Norwegian translation of the second edition was published in Lillehammer in 1845.


“en Ultra-Skandiavism eller (rättare) Psevdo-Skandinavism,” Post och inrikes tidningar, 4 May 1844; Atterbom, Om Skandinaviska Föreningen, 2nd ed., 16.


“Den så kallade Skandinavismen i de tre nordiska rikena har varit och är ännu föremål för de mest olika förklaringar.” “Utrikes” [Foreign news], Borgå Tidning 64, 4 August 1844.


“hitintils … ej har den ringaste likhet med de vidtberyktade ‘unga Italien, Tyskland’ o.s.v.”; “lifligare förbindelser i literärt och kommercielt, möjligen äfven slutligen i politiskt hänseende.” Ibid.


“Russia in the Scandinavian Peninsula,” The Portfolio; or a Collection of State Papers 3, no. 9 (1844): 92-105, here 95.


Den Constitutionelle, 8 April 1844; Borgå Tidning, 4 August 1844.


A total of seventeen lectures were published separately during 1843 and 1846, and republished in two volumes in 1847. Sytten Foredrag, holdte i det Skandinaviske Selskab [Seventeen lectures, held at the Scandinavian society], 2 vols. (Copenhagen: Universitetsbokhandler C. A. Reitzel, 1843-1847).


Johan Nicolai Madvig, Om Skandinavismens forhold til den almindelige Cultur: Et Foredrag holdt i det skandinaviske Selskab den 27de Januar 1844 [On Scandinavianism and its relation to the common culture: A lecture held at the Scandinavian society 27 January 1844] (Copenhagen: Universitetsbokhandler C. A. Reitzel, 1844).


“Skandinavismen, det er, den skandinaviske Cultur- og Dannelseseenhed.” Ibid., 4.


Johan Nicolai Madvig, Livserindringer [Memoirs] (Copenhagen: Gyldendalske Bokhandels Forlag, 1887), 129.


“i denne Tid, da man ikke har kunnet tage en Avis i Haand uden at støde paa Skandinavisme og atter Skandinavisme.” Bergens Stiftstidende, 20 July 1845. See also Den Constitutionelle, 27 July 1845.


“en misforstaaet Anti-Skandinavisme,” Fædrelandet, 2 April 1845, 3.


“Nu kan Regjeringen ikke miskjende, at den chroniske, krampeagtige, paralytiske Slesvigholsteinisme er mindre farlig, end den acute, voldsomme Skandinavisme.” “Fædrelandet og Baron Dirckinck. III” [The fatherland and Baron Dirckinck III], Den til Forsendelse med de Kongelige Brevposter privilegerede Berlingske Politiske og Avertissementstidende 96, 10 April 1844, 2.


Daa, “Om Skandinavien.”


Dynastic contacts during the 1850s and 1860s have recently been studied by Morten Nordhagen Ottosen, “Den dynastiske skandinavismens grobunn og grenser, ca. 1845–1870,” [Dynastic Scandinavianism, its breeding ground and boundaries, ca. 1845-1870], in Hemstad et al., Skandinavismen, 257-286.


“Begrepet indeholder intet Andet end Anerkjendelsen af Nordens Enhed med Hensyn til Sæder, Sprog og Historie.” “Til de norske Studenter” [To the Norwegian students], Den Constitutionelle, 4 August 1845.


“Virkningerne af denne Enhed paa Nutiden og dens Følger i Fremtiden er Begrebets Indhold, og om disse maa vi Stræbe at blive enige.” Ibid.


“Udviklingen af en sand folkelig og literair Forbindelse fører med Nødvendighed den politiske Enhed med sig.” Ibid.


Hemstad, Fra Indian summer; Ruth Hemstad, “Scandinavianism, Nordic Cooperation and Nordic Democracy,” in Rhetorics of Nordic Democracy, ed. Jussi Kurunmäki and Johan Strang (Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2010), 179-193.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

Contributor Notes

Ruth Hemstad is a research librarian at the National Library of Norway and an associate professor of history at the University of Oslo. Email: ruth.hemstad@nb.no