The Finnish clergyman Anders Chydenius (1729–1803) is one of the most noteworthy politicians in the Swedish realm during the eighteenth century. He is most of all remembered as an outspoken, and sometimes even fierce, defender of freedom in all areas of life. Chydenius’s views on freedom of trade and industry, for instance, were a consequence of his general ideology of freedom. According to him, democracy, equality and respect for human rights were the only way towards progress and happiness for the whole of society.
The Anders Chydenius Foundation, brings together researchers, thinkers, decision makers and other influential persons to deliberate on the legacy of Anders Chydenius and its significance for the current discussions on freedom of trade, freedom of information and freedom of religion. In 2005 the Foundation, in cooperation with the University of Jyväskylä/ Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius and the Support Association of the Chydenius Institute, launched a project to publish a scientific edition of Anders Chydenius’s collected works. The complete works were published in five volumes in the original Swedish in 2012–2016. All five volumes were also translated into and published in Finnish. In addition, the Foundation and its partners decided to publish the principal works of Chydenius and a comprehensive biography in English (Anticipating The Wealth of Nations. The selected works of Anders Chydenius (1729–1803), Routledge 2012).
This web site contains, in addition to the collected works in Swedish and Finnish, the principal works of Anders Chydenius, translated into English by Peter C. Hogg in London. The biography of Anders Chydenius and the comments and explanatory notes to the texts are written by Professor of Economic History Lars Magnusson of Uppsala University. Michael F. Metcalf, Professor of History and Senior International Officer at The University of Mississippi and an expert on the Age of Liberty in Swedish history, has provided comments and suggestions regarding the translations of several of the documents in this volume. Docent Kaj Sandberg, former director of the Institutum Romanum Finlandiae in Rome, has offered his expertise on ancient Greek and Roman history.
The editorial work and translation is especially funded by the Bank of Finland. Substantial financial contributions to this project have also been given by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland (Svenska kulturfonden), the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation (Stiftelsen Riksbankens Jubileumsfond), the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, the City of Kokkola, Alfred Kordelin Foundation, Föreningen Konstsamfundet, Nokia Corporation, Nordea Bank Finland, Pohjolan Voima Oy, Metso Corporation and Sanoma Corporation. The web site is specially funded by Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation and Finnish Cultural Foundation/Central Ostrobothnia Regional Fund. The steering group, composed of representatives of the financing bodies, has followed the project with great interest. The editorial board, composed of Professors Gustav Björkstrand, Bo Lindberg, Juha Manninen and Jari Ojala, Docent Henrik Knif and the editors, Maren Jonasson and Pertti Hyttinen at Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius, has approved of and is responsible for the entire edition.
The initiators of the project express their warmest thanks to all institutions and persons who have made it possible to publish the selected works of Anders Chydenius in English for an international audience. It is our sincere hope that it will increase interest in Anders Chydenius and his works, and inspire a lively debate on issues of vital interest for the worldwide current discussions on democracy, openness and freedom in every field of human activity.
Anders Chydenius Foundation
University of Jyväskylä/ Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius
Support Association of the Chydenius Institute