Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  H. Arnold Barton  

Pen Name: 

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born: 1929 in Los Angeles, California


-- Facebook -- http://www.facebook.com/pages/H-Arnold-Barton/135219009845517
-- H. Arnold Barton on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=h.+arnold+barton


Illinois Connection

Barton works at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Biographical and Professional Information

H. Arnold Barton received his B.A. degree at Pomona College and his doctorate at Princeton University. Barton taught history at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada (1960 to 1963) and at the University of California, Santa Barbara (1963 to 1970). He taught at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, where he became professor in 1975 and from where he retired in 1996 as professor emeritus of history.He is the author of ''Northern Arcadia: Foreign Travelers in Scandinavia, 1765–1815''; ''A Folk Divided: Homeland Swedes and Swedish Americans, 1840–1940''; and The ''Search for Ancestors: A Swedish-American Family Saga'', a story about his own descent from Swedish emigrants. Barton also edited ''Letters from the Promised Land'', an anthology from 1979 with Swedish emigrants' letters. Barton served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Swedish-American Historic Society and is editor emeritus of the ''Swedish-American Historical Quarterly''.He holds an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University and was named Swedish American of the Year in 1988 by the Royal Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Vasa Order of America. In 2000, His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden bestowed on Barton the insignia of Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Count Hans Axel Von Fersen: Aristocrat in An Age of Revolution (The Library of Scandinavian Studies)
ISBN: 080575363X

Twayne Publishers. 1976

Clipper Ship and Covered Wagon: Essays from the Swedish Pioneer Historical Quarterly (Scandinavians in America)
ISBN: 0405116667

Arno Pr. 1979

A Folk Divided: Homeland Swedes and Swedish Americans, 1840-1940
ISBN: 0809319446

Southern Illinois University Press. 1994

In this unique longitudinal study of how a divided people relate to one another, H. Arnold Barton outlines dilemmas created by the great migration of Swedes to the United States from 1840 through 1940 and the complex love-hate relationship that resulted between those who stayed and those who left. During that hundred-year period, one Swede out of five voluntarily immigrated to the United States, and four-fifths of those immigrants remained in their new country. This study seeks to explore the far-reaching implications of this mass migration for both Swedes and Swedish Americans.



The Swedes were a literate, historically aware people, and the 1.2 million Swedes who immigrated to the United States offer a particularly well-documented and illuminating case study. Barton has skillfully woven into the text translations of little known published and unpublished Swedish sources from both sides of the Atlantic, to embody— in haunting human terms— both what was gained and what was lost through emigration.



Past studies have traditionally shown ethnic mobilization to be a defensive reaction against the exclusive nativism of resident Americans. Barton convincingly demonstrates, however, that the creation of a distinctive Swedish-American identity was at least equally an expression of the immigrants’ need to justify leaving their homeland to their former compatriots and to themselves by asserting a rightful and unique place within the Swedish national community. He concludes that the relationship between Swedes and Swedish Americans was essentially similar to that experienced by other peoples divided by migration, and that the long debate over the United States and emigration at its deepest level reveals both hopes and fears most conspicuously symbolized by America and "Americanization" in an increasingly integrated world undergoing the relentless advance of modernization.

Scandinavia in the Revolutionary Era, 1760-1815 (Nordic)
ISBN: 0816613931

Univ of Minnesota Pr (Txt). 1986

Northern Arcadia: Foreign Travelers in Scandinavia, 1765 - 1815
ISBN: 080932203X

Southern Illinois University Press. 1999

Book by Barton Ph.D. B.A., Professor Emeritus H. Arnold

Sweden and Visions of Norway: Politics and Culture 1814-1905
ISBN: 0809324415

Southern Illinois University Press. 2002

H. Arnold Barton investigates Norwegian political and cultural influences in Sweden during the period of the Swedish-Norwegian dynastic union from 1814 to 1905.

Although closely related in origins, indigenous culture, language, and religion, Sweden and Norway had very different histories, resulting in strongly contrasting societies and forms of government before 1814. After a proud medieval past, Norway had come under the Danish crown in the fourteenth century and had been reduced to virtually a Danish province by the sixteenth.

In 1814, as a spin-off of the Napoleonic Wars, Denmark relinquished Norway, which became a separate kingdom, dynastically united with Sweden with its own government under a constitution independently framed that year. Disputes during the next ninety-one years caused Norway unilaterally to dissolve the tie.

Seeing the union a failure, most historians have concentrated on its conflicts. Barton, however, examines the impact of the union on internal developments, particularly in Sweden. Prior to 1814, Norway, unlike Sweden, had no constitution and only the rudiments of higher culture, yet paradoxically, Norway exerted a greater direct influence on Sweden than vice versa.

Reflecting a society lacking a native nobility, Norway’s 1814 constitution was―with the exception of that of the United States―the most democratic in the world. It became the guiding star of Swedish liberals and radicals striving to reform the antiquated system of representation in their parliament. Norway’s cultural void was filled with a stellar array of artists, writers, and musicians, led by Bjørnsjerne Børnson, Henrik Ibsen, and Edvard Grieg. From the 1850s through the late 1880s, this wave of Norwegian creativity had an immense impact on literature, art, and music in Sweden. By the 1880s, however, August Strindberg led a revolt against an exaggerated “Norvegomania” in Sweden. Barton sees this reaction as a fundamental inspiration to Sweden’s intense search for its own cultural character in the highly creative Swedish National Romanticism of the 1890s and early twentieth century.

Thirty-three illustrations of art and architecture enhance Sweden and Visions of Norway.

Essays on Scandinavian History
ISBN: 0809328860

Southern Illinois University Press. 2008


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