Persons living in the old Estate society were expected to live according to their position. But people nonetheless harbored dreams and goals for a better future, and this sometimes led them to strive for a higher position than the one into which they were born. In this book, fifteen scholars present their views on different aspects of Swedish society during the period 1500–1800. The book focuses on remarkable events and processes taking place in the Swedish realm during this era. Behind each event was a web of individual hopes and fears which motivated people´s actions.