onsdag 10 mars 2010

Hur mycket kunde fattigas matkonsumtion gå ner under dåliga år på 1700-talet?

Ett ofta förekommande ord i Rolf Karlboms mycket fascinerande och viktiga bok Hungerupplopp och strejker 1793-1867 : en studie i den svenska arbetarrörelsens uppkomst är "dyrtid". Under perioden som Karlbom undersökte var ett centralt sätt för underklassen/folket att protestera mot samhällsordningen, hungerupplopp och demonstrationer i samband med hunger, som skedde under "dyrår", dvs år då maten var dyr pga bristande utbud eller något annat.

Hur mycket gick då matkonsumtionen ner för de fattiga under dåliga år? Bengtsson & Dribe redovisar resultatet för en studie, om Köpenhamn under 1700-talet:
"The yearly decline in calorie intake per head in Copenhagen could be as much as 14 percent during the worst years of the eighteenth century (Thestrup 1971: 258-9). This figure is based on the assumption that the quantity/quality of other food items, like pork and beef, were not influenced by the bad harvest, which is optimistic. Since not all people had to lower their consumption in bad years, some inhabitants had to lower it more. A qualified guess is that a decline in the calorie intake for the poorer parts of the population of about 10 to 20 percent was a likely outcome of quite normal price increases during the pre-industrial period. In years of very high prices, the effects are bound to be much bigger for these groups while other groups certainly benefited from high prices."
Tommy Bengtsson & Martin Dribe, "New Evidence on the Standard of Living in Sweden during the 18th and 19th Centuries Long-term Development of the Demographic Response to Short-term Economic Stress among Landless in Western Scania", Lund Papers in Economic History nr 82, 2002, s 12.

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