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20014422.1960.11880947

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Geografiska Annaler
ISSN: 2001-4422 (Print) (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tgaa19
Theoretical Considerations Regarding the
Distribution of Settlement in Inner North Sweden
Erik Bylund
To cite this article: Erik Bylund (1960) Theoretical Considerations Regarding the
Distribution of Settlement in Inner North Sweden, Geografiska Annaler, 42:4, 225-231, DOI:
10.1080/20014422.1960.11880947
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20014422.1960.11880947
Published online: 29 Aug 2017.
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Date: 12 November 2017, At: 04:46
THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING
THE DISTRIBUTION OF SETTLEMENT IN
INNER NORTH SWEDEN
BY ERIK BYLUND
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Department of Geography, University of Uppsala
When searching for the factors affecting the
distributional pattern of settlement in i·nner
Norrland, and hearing in mind the colonization process, we will find, on the whole. a preference for areas more attractive from a physical point of view. Areas with better conditians have been exploited before districts with
inferior qualities. Good soil, favourable elimate or mineral resources have often determined the location of settlement. However, we
also find that the settlement distribution is not
only deterrnined by natural conditions. For
example, RuDBERG, 1957, called attention to
this in the summary of his investigation into
the eauses for the distribution of settled and
unsettled areas in northern Sweden (p. 182), 1
and ENEQUIST wrote in 1959 (p. 31): "Yet even
relatively favourable natural and geographic
conditions have not always attracted settlement".2 My own investigations in central Lappland show that some ·good land close to
established settlements and weil suited for colonization may remain unsettled. On the contrary, other localities in remote distriels and
with inferior natural conditions may have been
cultivated surprisingly early (BYLUND 1956 p.
177).3 - Our problem is to explain this.
This paper is a theoretical approach to the
problem, to a great extent based upon resulls
from investigations of the colonization process
in Lappland; however, it is not intended as a
fmal answer, only a simple contribution to the
discussion.
Four theoretical models of settlement development are shown in fig. l. The basic assumption for all of them, and also for the following discussion, is that the physical conditions
are equal all over the area, settled or unsettled.
The first concept (A-mode!) means that one
area after another is colonized starting from
an original settlement area in such way, that
GEOGRAFISKA ANNALER • XLII
tl880)
• 4
a more remote area will be settled first when
the area nearer the origin is fully occupied,
even if the colonists are not able to leave the
origin area or their mother settlements at the
same time. For example no new settlement
within stage 3 has been established before
every one of the 6 settlements within stage 2
have been built. As a simplification the settlements each are assumed to use an equally great
area. In this case we will have a colonization
wave, which moves paraHel in to a Iine, a
"shore Iine", where the limit of the physical
colonization conditions will be reached.
The B-mode! is a variation of the A-mode!;
in that opposite to the A-development one
supposes that new settlement spreads concentrically and radially from settlements established earlier, i.e. like waves from a stone plunged
into the water. Moreover, the assumptions are
the same as those relating to the A-concept,
with one exception, and that is that the origin
is here represenled by one settlement unit only.
In the B-development one assumption is that
the mea.n area within the different zones are
the same as the origin settlement area; that is
why the number of settlements increase from
the centre outwards.
Both these models involve purely theoretical
concepts and show no similarity at all with the
actual colonization development in inner North
Sweden. Possibly, it may be correct to say,
that the B-mode! is a little more realistic than
the A-mode! in that the starting point is only
one origin settlement and not a great number
of different settlements. The real development
shows very few such initial points, not a great
number of them. There has been no question
of great colonization waves consisting of a Iot
of people entering the Lappish lands, but
rather only a handful of persons, who appeared
as pioneers in the wilderness. Afterwards the
225
ERIK DYLUND
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Colonization
development
-
origin
-
lststage
c
A
B
D
Fig. l. Theoretical models of settlement development. (Squares
following colonization has been carried out by
sons of the first pioneers and then tiheir sons
etc., generation after generation. I have called
this development clone-colonization (clone from
the greek word clon - branch) i.e. a development from one genealogical tree(BYLUND 1956,
pp. 178-184).
Before 1870 about three fourths of the settlements in Pite lappmark were results of the
clone-colonization or an inner oolonizlation, [}()t
the result of immigration.
The C·model, as all the following models, is
built upon an assumption of a pure clonecolonization. The mother settlements A, B, C,
D have been established with the starting point
in one origin settlement, and <two sons from
each one of the mother settlements have been
assumed to be pioneers in the following order
A l, B l, C l, D l, A 2, B 2, C 2, D 2, A 11,
B 11, C l l, D l l, A l 2, B l 2 etc. It bas
226
=
settlements.)
been considered an importJant endeavour of
the colonists to find and choose new land as
near the mother settlement as possible, hut, on
the other hand .also ·to have the new settlement in a position as free as possible from
landcompetition from other pioneers coming
from other mother settlements. This is· an assumption which is based upon fac<ts from the
colonization development in Pite lappmark. In
a choice between two or more equivalent land
areas a randoro decision is made. With these
assumptions in mind we ~are able to construct
a development, illustra<ted by the C-model.
The D-model in its tum is a variation of
model C. The difference is ~that the vertical
component in the C-mode! is prevented from
developing downwards. Certain factors are responsible for this, e.g. physical, or the vertical
area is a:lready fully colonized and is assumed
to reach up to the baseline on fig. D. A conseGEOGRAFISKA ANNALER • XLII !18150) • 4
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THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING THE DISTRIBUTION OF SETTLEMENT IN INNER NORTH SWEDEN
quence of this is that the competition for new
land in free positions is harder in the D-model.
and the settlement pattern more irregular than
in the C-model. Besides the chronology of the
settlement development in mode) D is the same
as that for the C-model, described above.
The clearly noticeable irregularity of the
D-model indicates, however, an approach to
reality, and upon the assumptions of that model the E-mode) (fig. 2) is built. The E-model
shows evident similarities to realistic colonization by using only a few more simple complicating factors, based upon reality. These
new assumptions are:
l. The attraction of the settlers' lands is inversely proportional to the perpendicular
distance from the road, which is assumed
as straight and to go through the middle
of the area (indicated by small dots in the
figure).
2. The church and market-place (cross with
a circle round it) are assumed to exercize
a certain attraction on the settlement.
Otherwise the basic assumptions for the Cand D-models about the pure clone-colonization development and the endeavour ·to find
land free from competition are still used - i.e.:
3. The settlers' lands are colonized by settlers
who go out from within the area of previously existing settlement, mother settlements.
4. Settlers' land Iying at the shortest distance
from the mother settlement is occupied before land situated further away. (A diagonally adjoining square - settlers' land - is
considered to lie at the same distance from
the mother settlement as squares directly
adjoining vertically and horizontally.) However, in choices between other equivaJent
settlers' lands, that is preferred which is
most free from competition from the nearest existing settlement which is not a
mother settlement.
The other principles for the construction of
the E-model will be described as follows:
5. The first three settlements quoted, A l, B l,
and C l, are established alfter each other,
as regards time, in the order A l, B l, and
C I.
6. Bach mother settlement sends out an equal
number of son-colonists, i.e. two. These
are designaled by two numerals of which
the first (l-4) means the generations from
GEOGRAFISKA ANNALER
• XLII
118eO)
• 4
the first up to and including the fourth,
and the second, which may be l or 2, designates son No. l and son No. 2 respectively. In order that it may be possible to
distinguish between e.g. the A 4 1 sons,
their descent is given in the text by inserting earlier generations as weil within
parentheses, e.g. A (l 22 3•) 4•.
7. These sons take up new settlements on
attaining the same age in the following
order: A (l) 2 1, B (l) 2 1, C (l) 21, A (l) 22,
B (l) 22, C (l) 22 etc.
8. The settlers' lands not already taken up by
settlements are only found within the Lappland boundary (the Iine of short dashes at
the foot of the figure).
9. Certain squares have been assumed to be
totally unfit for settlement, waste land
("smoke rings").
The fundamentally new thing with the construetian of the E-model, however, is that an
attempt has been made to give the presumplive
new settlers' lands certain attraction values
(which refer to the assumptions 1-3). In the
half-seale squared diagram above on the Jeft
of fig. 2, starting with the settlers' land which
it was desired to test as regards its competitive
attraction, a valuation is made of surrounding
settlers' land in which the squares situated
nearest are given the value 2, and those round
about the bordering frame the value l. If any
of the settlers' land squares are already occupied when a settler's son is to be placed,
these are deducted from the maximum total
of 32, a value which can be assigned to every
presumplive settlers' land, if all surmunding
settlers' lands on which vaJues have been placed
are available. If any of the squares falls on
waste land, its value is, of course, also deducted.
This left-hand diagram is consequently regarded as movable and transferable onto the
right-hand diagram in the figure, which gives,
on the one hand, the increasing vaJue of the
squares with shorter distance to the road according to the scale 1-2-4 and, on the other
hand, the value with regard to the church and
market-place, in which adjacent settlers' land
is assigned the value 3 and the settlers' land
beyond that the value l (marked in the upper
right-hand part of the squares). Waste land is
also marked.
227
ERIK BYLUND
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
z z
z
z
z z z
1
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
z'
z'
z'
z
1
rez~
1
1
1
l
4
4
z
z
1
4
4 ' z'
1
'
l
z'
t'
l
t'
l
rr..,,
4
4
'
4'
4'
l
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~
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.,
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4
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z
z
4
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l'.:;.'-'
t'
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1
Fig. 2. A theoretical colonization mode! which shows good similarities to the real development. Cffig. 3.
(Squares = settlers' lands. Legend: see fig. 1.)
A summation of the numerical value of each
square (maximally three different values) is
then made, after which the settlers' land which
has the largest total value is considered to have
the largest competitive attraction and is therefore assumed to be settled.
By this method every settlers' land which
conceivably can be colonized by removal from
an existing mother settlement accordingly is
evaluated on purely theoretical grounds. The
distribution pattern shown in fig. 2 must be
considered wholly a result of the three numer-
228
ical scales applied in the evaluation. Many
but largely similar patterns are possible, depending on the value we wish to assign to the
attraction in assumptions l-3 in relation to
each other. A very difficult problem is to
give the true, realistic, and not only theoretical, attraction value to the presumplive settlers' land in order to produce a doser adaption to reality. But for this further investigations are necessary.
However one proceeds in each individual
mode! experiment, the result is in aH cases
GEOGRAFISKA ANNALER • XLII
cteeO) • .
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THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING THE DISTRIBUTION OF SETTLEMENT IN INNER NORTH SWEDEN
Fig. 3. The colonization of Arvidsjaur parish, Norrbotten county, during stated periods.
(Black ~ area settled before 1776.-The small erosses are not relevant to this paper.)
a considerably more disturbed pattern than
when one disregards the fact that the settlers·
lands have different attractions. Thus, for
example, it may happen - as is evident from
the figure - that settler's sons belonging to
the same generation may be compelled to take
up new farmsteads at very variable distances
from the mother settlement; A (l 22 32) 42, for
example, moves twice as far away as his
brother A (l 22 32 ) 4 1 • And settlers belonging
to the same generation who started out origiGEOGRAFISKA
ANN"LER
• XLII
(181501
• 4
nally from the same settlement in the first generation may come to develop their settlements at very considerable distances from each
other [cf.. for example, C (l 2' 32) 42 with
c (l 22 31) 4'].
Fig. 3 gives a generalized picture of the real
process of colonization in Arvidsjaur parish
during the different epochs stated. (The numerals indicate height above sea-leve! in metres.)
Its similarity with the theoretical mode! (fig.
2) cannot be said to be immediately striking
229
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ERIK DYLUND
as regards the formation of the pattern. But
strictly speaking, it is not right to expect any
detailed agreement. In reality further complications supervene, to which no regard has
been paid in the theory, for example, the fact
that from each mother settlement a varying
number of settler-sons has gone out, while
from certain of them none at all. Besides, we
may, in reality, have to reckon with several
roads which wind in and out of the colonization area.
In spite of the pronounced and expected
differences in the distribution pattem between
the model and reality, essential similarities are
nevertheless manifest.
We may note in particular that the areas
do not only adjoin each other in, so to say,
chronological order bu t al so· mingle with each
other both in the mode] and in reality. Thus,
according to the model, both the third and
the fourth generations' colonization areas
adjoin in several ways the areas settled by the
first generation. Furthermore, as is evident,
the seeond and the fourth generations' areas
may border on each other. We may also note
that the fifth generation also will adjoin settlements A l and B l with its settlement buildings and cultivations in a number of cases.
In reality we find, as has already been said,
corres.ponding phenomena. Areas which were
colonized as late as the 1838-1867 period and
the immediately preceding 1801-1837 period
adjoin in certain cases the areas colonized first,
before 1776. Similarly, we find that areas colonized in 1776-1800 and 1838-1867 have
common boundaries. AH the surface designatians of the figures are thus mixed with each
other.
The similarity between the figures is not
restricted to areas with settlement. As regards
the uninhabited areas, we can demonstrate that
both in the theoretical pattern and in the real
one non-settled areas may appear which are not
waste land, endosed in areas with settlement.
At a later stage of settlement development we
may find these areas used by settlers.
This fact, that land with equally good conditians for new settJing as other l3J11ds already
settled lies unexploited a surprisingly Iong time,
may, of course, in reality depend upon the fact
that the land is initially of inadequate size to
support a settler but that under new conditions
~t can be ]arge enough. For examp! !, the con-
230
Fig. 4. Retined mode! of settlement development. Cf.
tig. l mode! C. (Circles = settlers' lands. - Legend:
see tig. 1.)
ditions for colonization in Lappland were
changed, in any case from about 1820 onwards,
in such a way that the colonists by aid of different irrigation methods suitable to the prevailing natural hydrophilous vegetation (Carex
and Equisetum) could bring the hay yield to
inerease from 2 1to l O times. Besides from that
time potatoes were used generally, and so the
conditions of maintenance for the colonists
were much better than before. Thus it was
possible to earn a living from a far smaller
area than earlier. - With regard to this the
F-model (fig. 4) is constructed. The principles
for the construction are the same as for the
C-mode] but with two exceptions. These are
l) that the colonization during the third stage
claims only about 1/5 of the mean area which
was necessary for the older settlements established during the earlier stages, and 2) that
every settlement, the older ones as well, even
the origin and the mother settlements A-D,
send out two pioneers during the third stage.
As may be seen from the F-mode] presumptive settlers' lands during the two earlier stages
are left unsettled, even in the nearest neighbourhood of the origin-settlement However,
during the third stage these unsettled areas
begin to be occupied and certainly will be filled
GEOGRAFISKA ANNALER • XLII
{1880) • 4
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THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING THE DISTRIBUTION OF SETTLEMENT IN INNER NORTH SWEDEN
up by settlements later on during times with
the same economic conditions and with a still
increasing population.
In this paper I have only intended to point
out that with the guidance of some good assumptions it is possible to draw theoretical
patterns for the spread of settlement, which
can contribute explanations to complicated
settlement developments which are otherwise
difficult to interpret. In order to adapt the models still better to reality, attention of course,
must also be paid to other facts which have
not been discussed or considered here; amongst
other things, the natural advantages of the
settlers' lands, which vary as between each
other, e.g. concerning the occurrence of good
soils or of profitable fishing lakes. It is, how-
GEOGR:Af'ISKA ANNALER • XLII
11ee01 • 4
ever, obvious, that the very complicated pattern
of the spread of settlement does not in every
case admit of explanation by physico-geographical conditions alone, however important
these may otherwise be.
References
(l) RUDBERG,
s., Ödemarkerna och den perifera bebyggel-
sen i inre Nordsverige. Unsettled Areas and Frontier
Settlement Areas in Inner Northern Sweden. Geographica Nr 33, Uppsala 1957.
(2) ENEQUIST, G., Geographical Changes of Rural Settlement in Northwestern Sweden since 1523. Uppsala
Universitets årsskrift 1959: 8. Uppsala.
(3) BYLUND, E., Koloniseringen av Pite lappmark t. o.
m. år 1867. The Colonization of Pite Lapmark
until 1867. Geographica, Nr 30, Uppsala 1956.
231
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