Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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In this article, we examine a period when Sweden took a leap from a locally-oriented power structure to a more centralised state. This meant a profound social change. We concentrate on the connection between changes in rhetoric and changes in society that took place in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Our point of departure is that, in rhetoric, there occurred a shift in balance from the rhetoric of friendship to the rhetoric of patronage. In the context of Sweden and Finland, we discuss whether this was linked to changes in administration and in the social order as a whole. Were there any real changes behind this rhetorical transition? Our source material provides a glimpse into whether and how social changes were reflected within the correspondence of two noblemen living at the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth centuries.


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