National Agrarian Union

The National Agrarian Union (Swedish: Jordbrukarnas riksförbund, abbreviated JR) was a political party in Sweden, one of the fore-runners of the present-day Centre Party.

History and political platformEdit

JR was founded on February 6, 1915, the anniversary of the 1914 Farmers' March.[1] Among the founders of JR were several of the 1914 Farmers' March participants.[1] Soon after the foundation of the party, the Swedish Farmers' League and the Scanian Farmers' League merged into it.[2][3] Johannes Nilsson i Gårdsby became the party chairman.[4] Vårt land och folk ('Our country and people'), with Elfrid Dürango [sv] as its editor, became the party press organ.[4] Member of parliament Nils Johansson i Brånalt became a prominent leader of the party.[5] JR was mainly concentrated in Skåne, Östergötland, as well as to a lesser extent, Värmland and Jämtland.[6]

Compared to the other agrarian party, the Farmers' League, JR was politically further to the right and represented larger estate owners.[1][2] Later Centre Party historiography has sought to downplay differences between the two parties, but JR and the Farmers' League were rivals for the rural vote.[1] JR had a nationalist outlook with racial overtones (including a fierce opposition to Jewish immigration).[2][7] Both parties opposed female suffrage and introduction of equal voting rights for local elections (although the Farmers' League revised its policy on local elections by 1918).[2] In the 1917 elections, the Farmers' League won 9 seats and JR 5 seats.[1] After the election, JR began calling for unity between the two parties but the Farmers' League initially resisted the proposition.[1] JR proposed forming a joint parliamentary faction, but after the Farmers' League declined the offer JR established the 'Free Agrarian Group' in the parliament on January 17, 1918, with Olof Olsson i Kullenbergstorp as the chairman of the new parliamentary faction.[8] The two parties merged in 1921, keeping the name of the Farmers' League (which in the 1950s took the name 'Centre Party').[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g David Arter (15 May 2017). From Farmyard to City Square? The Electoral Adaptation of the Nordic Agrarian Parties. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-351-93553-1.
  2. ^ a b c d John Toler (1992). Per Jönson Rösiö: The Agrarian Prophet : a Charismatic Leader's Attempt to Rejuvenate Small Agriculture and Create a Commitment to a Cultural Revolt Against Industrialism in Sweden, 1888–1928. Almqvist & Wiksell. p. 302. ISBN 9789122015345.
  3. ^ Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson (1991). Farmer's Parties: A Study in Electoral Adaptation. Félagsvísindastofnun Háskóla Íslands. p. 33. ISBN 9789979541769.
  4. ^ a b Jorma Enochsson; Roland Petersson (1973). Gunnar Hedlund (in Swedish). Norstedt. p. 20. ISBN 9789117330323.
  5. ^ Landsbygdspartiet Bondeförbundet. Bröder, låtom oss enas!: En krönika i ord och bild om Bondeförbundet i svensk politik under fyra årtionden. 1950. p. 55
  6. ^ Florence Edith Janson. The Background of Swedish Immigration, 1840–1930. University of Chicago Press, 1931. p. 438
  7. ^ Christian Catomeris (7 December 2020). Det ohyggliga arvet: Sverige och främlingen genom tiderna (in Swedish). Ordfront. ISBN 9789174416428.
  8. ^ Sveriges Riksdag; historisk och statsvetenskaplig framställning, Volume 17. V. Pettersons bokindustriaktiebolag, 1931. p. 269