Norway - national flag
The flag was officially adopted in 1821, when the Storting passed a law on a
trade flag, the trunk flag, which, however, had only limited use. 1844-98, a
Norwegian-Swedish union badge was in the upper left corner. In 1898, Norway's
suitcase flag without the Union mark was officially recognized. The flag was
formed by combining the Danish colors with the blue color from the Swedish flag,
the latter, however, in a darker shade.
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Norway - prehistory
Norway's size and changing nature characterize the country's prehistory and
the contacts it has had. Here there is not one uniform culture at the same time,
but greater or lesser variations.
Norway - history
the development of the Royal Power and the collection of the various
landscapes into one kingdom can be traced back to around 900. Harald 1. Hårfager
must, according to the sagas, have been the first king of the kingdom, and 900-
and 1000-t. is on several levels characterized by smaller units going up into
The court institution was determined by the organization of Western Norway
around Gulatinget, while the counties of Nordenfjeld gathered around the
Frostating Act (see Frostating). Similarly, the leadership was built as the
oldest, quite comprehensive military organization. The Viking trains have also
involved more than the individual rural community.
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||Hunter Stone Age. The Fosna culture and the Komsa
||Peasant Stone Age. Agriculture and animal husbandry. The battle-ax
||Bronze Age. Burials in burial mounds and mounds.
|500 BC-800 AD
||Iron Age. Settlement expansion.
||Norwegian Vikings conquer the Orkney and Shetland Islands, the Faroe
Islands, Iceland and Greenland as well as parts of Scotland and Ireland.
||National Assembly. Harald 1. Hårfager becomes the first Norwegian
||Olav II the Holy organizes the church.
||Nidaros becomes archbishopric.
||Greenland and Iceland become Norwegian tax countries; The Norwegian
Empire reaches its greatest extent.
||The Norwegian royal family is dying out on the male side. Norway in
personnel union with Sweden until 1355.
||Hansaen opens a trade office in Bergen.
||The plague, the black death; over half of the population dies.
||Norway in union with Denmark.
||The squid union between Denmark, Norway and Sweden is concluded.
||The last possessions in the North Sea are lost as the Orkney and
Shetland Islands are mortgaged by Christian 1.
||The Norwegian Council of State is abolished, and Norway becomes a
Danish province. The Reformation.
||The Nordic Seven Years' War; Norway is hit hard.
||Christian 4. founds the silver mine in Kongsberg.
||At the Peace in Brömsebro, Denmark-Norway must cede Jämtland and
Härjedalen to Sweden.
||At the Peace in Roskilde, Denmark-Norway loses Bohuslän to Sweden.
||Autocracy is introduced in Denmark-Norway.
||The Scanian War; Denmark-Norway is trying to take back Bohuslän.
||Christian 5.s Norwegian Law.
||Denmark-Norway's participation in the Great Nordic War.
||Boom and growing national consciousness.
||During Denmark-Norway's war with England, Norway was hit by the
British famine blockade.
||The University of Oslo is founded.
||At the Peace of Kiel, the union with Denmark is dissolved. The
Eidsvoll Constitution is adopted and the Storting is established. Norway
in personnel union with Sweden.
||Municipal self-government is introduced.
||The first political organization, the Peasant Friends, is founded.
||The parties Left and Right are formed and parliamentarism is
||The Norwegian Labor Party is founded.
||The Norwegian government requires an independent Norwegian
consulate. The controversy over the issue in the following years
contributes to the dissolution of the Union.
||The union with Sweden is dissolved, Norway becomes an independent
||Women are given universal suffrage.
||Norway is neutral during World War I despite the efforts of the
merchant navy in favor of the Entente Powers.
||Norway takes over sovereignty over Svalbard.
||Norway is involved in the world economic crisis.
||Norway loses the case for the right to East Greenland.
||Norway is attacked by German troops on 9 April. After a few months
of resistance, the king and government flee to London.
||Vidkun Quisling is installed as Prime Minister; resistance to the
occupying power increases.
||The Germans capitulate on May 8th. Norway becomes a founding member
of the UN.
||Norway joins NATO.
||The King's Bay case brings the Social Democratic government to power
after 28 years in power.
||Oil production from the fields in the North Sea begins.
||Norway votes no to EU membership.
||Norway is hosting the secret negotiations leading to the Principle
Agreement between Israel and the PLO.
||Norway votes no to EU membership.
||Norway's oil revenues are saved in the Statens Petroleumsfond.
The period before 1660
Harald Hårfager's successors, like him, aspired to be recognized as kings
throughout Norway. It also succeeded, but a long development was needed, which
only ended in the 1200's. The process was hindered by great chiefs, especially in
Western Norway and in Viken (Oslofjord area), by the Danish king's desire for
dominion and by the competition within the royal family, which is particularly
evident in the 1100's. Co-kingdoms and battles between royal subjects were far
more frequent than monarchies.
The introduction of Christianity and the church's alliance with the monarchy
gained importance both for the unification of the country and for the
strengthening of the monarchy. Olav 1. Tryggvason took royal power in 995 and
sought to force adherence to the new doctrine through, but crucial was Olav II
the Saint's missionary work and the holiness he achieved after his fall at
Stiklestad in 1030.
In the time that followed, the king, church, and large landowners increased
their power at the expense of the peasant society. The king got officials, and
the church's administration was expanded with the creation of episcopal sees,
which in 1152-53 came to form a separate church province with Nidaros (now Trondheim),
Saint Olav's city, as archdiocese.
King Sverre exercised his royal power based in the herd, in which many chiefs
were admitted. Men leaving it now came to head the local administration. The
king would not recognize the church's claim to independence and came into
conflict with a church party. First his grandson Håkon 4. During the 1220's,
Håkonsson put an end to the party struggles between groups of great men and the
clashes between the various landscapes.
The time until the beginning of the 1300-t. has been called "Old Norse
greatness" because it is characterized by progress in production and population,
cultural flourishing, inner peace and outer expansion. It was in the 1260's that
Greenland and Iceland became part of the Norwegian Empire, which from
ancient times also consisted of the Faroe Islands, Orkney and Shetland Islands,
etc. The king organized his kingdom to an unprecedented extent and ruled with
unconditional support from the hirdaristocracy and predominantly supported by
the church leaders. The administration took firmer shape with the creation of a
royal chancellery and the development of a local government in which the
governors had an accounting obligation. The king also became head of the
judiciary. The Lagtings lost their character as peasant courts, and the laymen
became royal officials and sole judges. Finally, the king went a long way
towards becoming supreme legislator through a state legislature. A special
succession law meant the introduction of the hereditary kingdom, and with Magnus
6. Lagabøter's Landslov and Bylov, a common law was created to replace the
Forms of state and society became more similar to those of Europeans. The
herd developed into a hereditary nobility. A royal council was formed, later
developed into the royal council, and the population was divided into
estates. Most peasants were tenants under king, church and great men. Norway,
however, was not an aristocratic society because the formation of estates here
was relatively weak and the incomes and privileges of the great men modest. In
1319 the line of men of Sverre's family became extinct, and thus it was over
with the strong royal power.
Perioden approximately 1300-1536 is characterized by Norway's orientation towards the
rest of the Nordic region and the Baltic Sea area and by economic
decline. Norway was in union first with Sweden 1319-55, then with Denmark
1380-1814 and 1397-approx. 1450 with both of these countries in the Kalmar Union.
The black death in 1349-50 hit hard, so Norway has hardly in the late Middle
Ages had more than approximately 250,000 residents, and a large part of the
cultivated area had to be abandoned. Farmers who survived the plague were given
improved conditions in the form of lower land rents and better access to land,
but the large landowners (king, church and nobility) had to endure a large
decline in income.
The Hanseatic League, led by Lübeck, gained a dominant place in economic
life, and Bergen became a pile for Norway's foreign trade. The Hanseatic trade
secured the import of grain and the export of stockfish from northern and
western Norway with the Atlantic Islands. The sale of this production brought
Norway into a relationship of dependence on the German merchants, but it also
compensated the fishermen for declining income from agriculture.
Norway's union with Denmark had negative consequences for the country's
political institutions. A Norwegian kingdom and a Norwegian king continued to
exist, and the judiciary still functioned on domestic terms. But the central
administration ceased, and many occupations were merged into large
administrative districts (len). The king rarely came to the country, and the
union chancellery was based in Denmark. One consequence of this was that the Old
Norse written language from around 1500 was replaced by Danish. Artistic
activity on the grounds of Norwegian tradition also ceased. Decline in income
and fewer tasks in administration and war weakened the nobility, and in 1536 the
Norwegian parliament was abolished when Christian III took power.
Norway was thus subject to a government consisting of the king and the Danish
parliament (now without the bishops). The joint state administration still
counted on two kingdoms, but Norway's position became the sound
kingdom. Norwegians did not participate in the government of the country, and
the rulers were increasingly foreigners, mostly Danes. However, the general
population asserted itself well in relation to the government, and the tax level
was in the 1500's. significantly lower than in Denmark.
Christian 4.visited Norway numerous times with a view to making better use of
the country's resources for state purposes. The tax levy increased sharply in
his time, and so did the customs revenue of especially the timber exports. The
income was related to the country's economic recovery, which was mainly due to
the Dutch's need for timber. In the 1500's and 1600's. the Hanseatic League was
thus displaced by English and Dutch merchants. Christian 4. sought to stimulate
progress. He contributed to the large-scale development within the timber
industry and worked to create a Norwegian mining operation (Kongsberg,
Røros). Large state funds from Norway were transferred to Copenhagen, which to
an unprecedented extent became the center of the Oldenburg monarchy's court,
administration, trade and military service. Norway also had to pay with Jämtland
and Härjedalen at the peace in Brömsebro in 1645 and with Bohuslän atThe
Peace of Roskilde in 1658.
The position of the country changed as a result of the competition between
the king and the royal council and of the threat of annihilation that the Karl
Gustav wars 1657-60 posed to the Oldenburg state. The introduction of autocracy
in 1660-61 was an answer to this. Thus the Council of State fell away, and
Norway went from being a noble kingdom to becoming a twin kingdom under the same
Norway - History (1660-1814)
Norway's development from the introduction of autocracy to the union with
Sweden with the Kiel Peace in 1814 is fundamentally marked by a marked, albeit
uneven growth. The population doubled from 440,000 in 1665 to 885,000 in 1815,
despite the fact that there were still many years in which the number of deaths
due to war, epidemics and failed harvests far exceeded the number of births.
It was a community of peasants, up through the 1700's. with a rapidly growing
homestead population; nobility and estates as in Denmark and on the continent
existed as good as not, and the cities were few. But the multi-stranded
Norwegian economy, where agriculture was supplemented by increasing exports of
timber, fish, iron and copper, was strong. Production increased more than the
population, and although prosperity remained unevenly distributed, there was
sustained economic growth.
At the same time, the development was characterized partly by the fact that
Norway was part of a larger state, which also included Denmark and the duchies
of Holstein and Schleswig as well as the North Atlantic islands, and partly by a
political structure, whereby the king in Copenhagen was far from authoritarian,
as the Royal Law of 1665 immediately gave the impression of, but where the
Oldenburg kings on the other hand were no longer bound by having to cooperate
politically with the Danish nobility. The autocratic kings had opportunities for
initiative that their predecessors had not had, and they took advantage of them
in their whole-state policy.
In the field of foreign policy, the states had equal conditions. The burdens
of revenge policy, ie. the attempts to recapture Denmark's ceded Scanian
provinces and the Norwegian provinces of Bohuslän, Härjedalen and Jämtland were
common; the war 1709-20 was, however, fought on Norwegian soil, not on
Danish. The benefits of the long peace period 1720-1807, in turn, were also
The 87 years from the peace after the Great Nordic War to the war with
England became a formative period in Norway's history and at the same time the
one where the Norwegians' conditions in the common state have been most
thoroughly debated in the aftermath by Norwegian historians, politicians and
cultural figures. gathered about the economic conditions, the cultural ties and
the development of a Norwegian national identity.
In the economic sphere, external autocracy emphasized a burden-sharing that
was equitable and equitable. Here the king appeared as the loving father and the
two kingdoms as his grateful and obedient children. In the real world, where the
kingdoms had so many different economic conditions and traditions, such an equal
distribution of burdens was an illusion - and justice a meaningless concept. It
can be documented that Norway, measured in taxes and duties in relation to its
population, provided significantly less than Denmark for the common government
However, if you include Norwegian military services in the form of soldiers
and sailors for the joint fleet, the picture will be less skewed. And if one
adds to this the significance of the fact that the transferred Norwegian state
revenues were invested and consumed in the capital of the entire state, the
difference in benefits becomes more difficult to assess. In order to strengthen
its power externally and internally, the autocracy deliberately exploited the
special resources of the individual parts of the state.
In the area of banking and currency, it pursued a policy that favored
import-Denmark vis-à-vis export-Norway, and consistently rejected Norwegian
requests for its own bank; and the lock-in of most of Norway as a protected
market for grain from Denmark and Schleswig, the so-called grain monopoly, was
largely paid for by Norwegian consumers. Since the scarce resources of
mercantile resources towards the end of the 1700's. replaced by liberalization,
this in turn benefited the Norwegian economy in particular. And trade and
shipping under the king's neutral flag were experienced both in Norway and in
Denmark as the flourishing trading period.
In the cultural field, it is important that the old Norwegian written
language had long since become obsolete, and that the language of the king, the
church, the law and the civil and military administration was Danish. In the
field of written language, a common culture prevailed, and it was to live long
This was further strengthened by the fact that the king's only university,
where the priests and officials received their education, was located in
Copenhagen. The Norwegians' desire for a university dates back to 1661, when
they below Akershus paid tribute to the dictatorial king represented by Crown
Prince Christian (5th). But the government in Copenhagen consistently rejected
these wishes, even after the Helstaten in 1773 got another university, Christian
Albrecht Universität in Kiel.
Copenhagen was therefore the joint cultural center of Norway and
Denmark. Ludvig Holberg and Peter Wessel were aware that they were born in
Norway, and they were proud of it. But above all, they were loyal to the king
and loyal to the state, and they both rejected the new national thoughts and
feelings that developed in the mid-1700's, and which clearly posed a threat to
the multilingual and multicultural state.
In Copenhagen, a young national identity emerged among young academics around
1740, which was directed towards foreigners, especially towards Germans, and
based on a common birthplace, past and language. A dozen years later, a similar
Norwegian national identity emerged, the bearers of which were also young
academics. A Norwegian language and resentment towards strangers were not part
of their thoughts and feelings, whereas they were critical of the dictatorship's
disregard for Norwegian interests. They identified with Norway's glorious past,
with the magnificent Norwegian nature and with the nation's symbol: the free
The dictatorship was aware of the threat that the Danes' unwillingness
towards the Germans - including the king's German-speaking subjects in Holstein
and Schleswig - posed to the whole state, just as it clearly saw the early
Norwegian national identity as a threat. And the ministers were aware that its
bearers were predominantly the king's own Norwegian officials, as, incidentally,
towards the end of the 1700's. was predominantly born in Norway. Therefore, the
government nurtured a never publicly expressed fear of Norwegian separatism if
the Norwegians had their wishes for a university, a bank and special Norwegian
administrative institutions fulfilled.
A bank never got Norway in common, and a university did not get it until 1811
in a late attempt by Frederik VI to maintain the Norwegians' political
loyalty. The problem of loyalty was overwhelming. And it was further intensified
after Gustav III's coup d'etat in 1772, where the acquisition of Norway was
included as the overriding goal of Sweden's foreign policy. For the government
in Copenhagen, the royal Norwegian farmer then came to stand as the guarantor
for the continued existence of the whole state, which made it further
appropriate to let Norway remain a low-tax country.
But in 1807 the long peace was over. For long periods during the war, the
government in Copenhagen had to delegate authority to the administration in
Norway, which was hit hard by the British famine blockade. In those years, the
Norwegians experienced that they could stand on their own two feet. But it is
characteristic of the strength of the whole state that only temporary, ie. In
the worst months of famine, in Norwegian political circles, thoughts arose of
breaking with Denmark.
The separation in 1814 therefore did not come as a result of internal
Norwegian pressure, but as the result of a dictatorship of great power. In the
great political solitaire that was to ensure Europe's peace after 20 years of
war, Norway was to unite with Sweden. Under the leadership of the Danish
governor, Prince Christian Frederik (Christian VIII), the Norwegians
at Eidsvoll in May 1814 adopted Europe's freest constitution and elected the
prince constitutional king over an independent Norway. But the great powers were
At most, they would allow the wishes of the Norwegians to be taken into
account in the union with Sweden. However, in the revised constitution of
November 1814, with which Norway was united with Sweden in a personnel union,
the Norwegians succeeded in rescuing as many of the freedoms of the Eidsvoll
constitution as possible and at the same time strengthen the Storting for future
constitutional disputes with the new government in Stockholm.
Norway - History (1814-1905)
Norway - history (1814-1905), the time of union with Sweden
Charles XII of Sweden was elected King of Norway on November 4, 1814 under
the name Charles II and took the oath of the Eidsvoll Constitution. The terms
of the union were collected in the Riksakten, which was adopted by the
Storting and the Riksdag in 1815. Norway was in principle an independent state,
however, so that foreign policy was decided from Stockholm.
The country was at this time in a deep economic crisis with strong inflation,
and to counteract this, Norges Bank was established in 1816 to conduct monetary
policy. In 1818 Karl 14. Johan took over, in Norway called Karl 3. Johan, the
throne. He quickly came into conflict with the bureaucracy, which dominated the
Storting and had WF Christie and Jonas Collett as the most prominent
figures. The economic settlement of the relationship with Denmark, including the
payment of debt, which was carried out 1819-20, was a source of strife. In the
1820's, relations between the Storting and the king, who wanted to strengthen its
power through a constitutional amendment, deteriorated; The Storting rejected
this, which was considered a national victory and later gave rise to the
celebration of 17 May, the day of the adoption of the Eidsvoll
Constitution. The Bodø case and disagreement about the governorship, which had
been occupied by a Swede since 1814, also led to tensions, and in 1839 there was
unrest during the May 17 festivities in Kristiania.
After the election in 1833, the dominant position of the officials in the
Storting was threatened by a growing peasant opposition, and from the 1840's the
liberal bourgeoisie also gained ground. The political revival of the peasants
was not only socio-politically conditioned, but also reflected a cultural
identification with the old Norwegian peasant society. The peasants, whose
political leader for many years was Ole Gabriel Ueland, demanded state savings,
curtailment of the power of officials, and municipal self-government; the latter
was introduced by law in 1837. It strengthened Norway's position in the union,
and during Oscar I the Swedish attitude towards the Storting also became more
The 1830's and especially the 1840's and 1850's were a time of prosperity for
Norway; from 1839 rural business was liberated, agriculture and forestry and
shipping flourished, the first real industries were founded, new roads were
built, the first railway was opened in 1854, a general economic-political
liberalization took place, and inflation was finally overcome..
In 1848 a socialist movement arose under the leadership of Marcus Thrane; it
gained great support among workers, small traders, and homesteaders, who felt
oppressed in relation to the larger self-employed peasants. The movement quickly
ebbed away when the authorities arrested Thrane in 1851, but warned of a split
between large and small peasants. In the Storting, a polarization arose between
a conservative, union-friendly group, including several large farmers who
supported the incumbent government, and a more radical group led by Ueland
and Johan Sverdrup. A first approach to party formation was the organization
Bondevennerne, which was founded by Søren Pedersen Jaabækin 1865; in 1869 it
merged with the radical opposition group under Sverdrup's leadership, forming an
actual left-wing bloc. In the same year, the annual Storting was introduced,
which strengthened the position of the left-wing opposition.
The struggle for parliamentarism
The government, which in 1861-80 was under the leadership of Frederik Stang,
was from 1871 opposed by a left-wing majority, which demanded parliamentarism
and the participation of ministers in Storting meetings, which would make them
accountable to the Storting majority and change their position from
administrators to politicians. At the request of the ministers, Oscar II, who in
1872 had succeeded Charles IV (in Sweden Charles XV), vetoed the proposal, which
deepened the opposition between the parliamentary groups and directly led to the
founding of the parties Left and Right in 1884. After a large election victory
in 1882, the left-wing opposition was able to conduct a federal lawsuit against
the government. In 1884, the ministers' rejection of the majority's demands was
declared unconstitutional, and the government, which had been under the
leadership of Christian Selmer (1816-89) since 1880, had to resign. The King
appointed a new Conservative government led by Christian H. Schweigaard
(1838-99), but since it could not cooperate with the Storting either, the king
bowed and in June 1884 allowed Sverdrup to form a Left Government. Norway thus
became the first Nordic country to implement parliamentarism.
Towards the dissolution of the Union
Norway's position in the union had improved from the mid-1830's; Among other
things, a Norwegian minister from 1835 was given the right to participate in the
foreign policy discussions with the Swedish foreign minister, just as
Scandinavianism created a greater sense of cohesion. It cooled, however, when
Oscar I in 1854 refused to approve a Storting decision to abolish the office of
governor; In 1859, the Storting was given the prospect that Charles IV would
accept the decision, but after Swedish pressure, it was again rejected. The
controversy was settled in 1860 by a compromise: the office of governor was
maintained, but remained vacant; in 1873 it was finally abolished and replaced
by a Norwegian prime minister. The Union question, however, remained on the
political agenda and became more and more pressing in the latter half of the
An important source of crisis in the Union in the last decades before the
turn of the century was the deepening of the differences in the political
culture of the two countries. In Norway, the trend was increasingly in a
liberal-democratic direction, while the Swedish government and public opinion
were characterized by conservatism and demands for the maintenance of the union
without any concessions. In Norway, the issue of foreign policy independence
became very important; the Conservative Conservative Party saw a defense policy
advantage in preserving the union and also wanted to hold on to a common
Norwegian or Swedish foreign minister; The Liberal Party, on the other hand,
wanted full foreign policy independence. It therefore aroused anger when the
Swedish Parliament in 1885 decided that in addition to the Minister of Foreign
Affairs, two Swedes should participate against only one Norwegian in the foreign
policy discussions; Norwegian demands to increase the number of Norwegian
participants were met with a Swedish counterclaim that the Minister of Foreign
Affairs should be Swedish. Government Sverdrup's line of negotiation contributed
to the Liberal Party splitting into a moderate wing behind the government and a
radical wing led byJohannes Steen. On the basis of the beginning of
industrialism, the Norwegian Labor Party was founded in 1887; it was first
represented in the Storting in 1903, but supported the radical wing of the
Liberal Party. In 1889 the Sverdrup government was replaced by a Conservative
government under Emil Stang, which, however, did not find a majority for its
union policy and in 1891 was succeeded by a new Left government, this time under
Steen's leadership. In 1892, it proposed an independent Norwegian consulate,
which was adopted by the Storting, but rejected by Oscar II and the Swedish
government. Steen's ministry was dismissed, and Stang formed a new
government. Several Storting decisions on their own consulate were rejected by
the Swedish side, and in 1895 the Norwegians were threatened with war by
unofficial channels if they refused the defiance. In the election in 1894, the
Liberal Party gained a majority,Francis Hagerup, who through a union committee
sought to negotiate properly with the Swedes. However, the negotiations were
fruitless and ended with a Norwegian withdrawal. After a new election campaign,
the Liberal Party formed a government again from 1898, first under Steen and
from 1902 under Otto Blehr (1847-1927).
In 1898, a Norwegian flag without a union mark was introduced, and the border
with Sweden was fortified. In the same year, universal suffrage was implemented
for men, and in 1901, women were given the right to vote at the municipal level.
From 1903, Norwegian politics was again completely dictated by the question
of the union's revision or termination. After the election the same year, a
Swedish settlement offer in the Consulate case created support for a coalition
government under Hagerup's leadership. However, the Swedish Ministry Boström's
proposal in November 1904 for a reorganization of the union was rejected, and
the Norwegians again submitted bills for their own consulate. In March 1905,
Hagerup's government was succeeded by a new coalition under Christian Michelsen,
which implemented the law. Oscar II vetoed, the Norwegian government responded
by resigning, which the king refused to accept, whereupon the government
resigned on June 7, 1905, and the Storting decided to dissolve the union. There
was a time of tension between the two countries, a referendum in Norway 13/8
gave an overwhelming majority for the dissolution of the union, and after
negotiations in Karlstad, the union was also dissolved by the Swedish side on
26/10 (see the Karlstad conventions). A new referendum gave a large majority
for a kingdom, after which the Storting 18/11 elected Prince Carl of Denmark as
King of Norway, and 25.11.1905 he held his entry into Norway under the
name Haakon 7.
Norway - History (1905-1972)
Norway - history (1905-1972), After the dissolution of the union, 1905-20
The beginning of the 1900's. became an economic upswing for
Norway; significant industrialization took place with the use of cheap
hydropower, many foreign investors put their money into Norwegian companies, and
industrial cities such as Rjukan and Odda grew up. The merchant fleet grew
rapidly, whaling became increasingly important, and traditional occupations such
as wood processing and fishing experienced strong growth. Control of natural
resources became an important political issue, and in 1909 a law was passed that
stipulated that all utilization of hydropower required the permission of the
Storting, just as the state after a certain term, according to a right of
restitution, should take over the operation of power stations free of
charge. This concession legislation also covered mining and forestry.
The Norwegian electoral system was 1905-21 based on majority elections in
single-member constituencies, which gave room for many interest groups outside
the parties, including the abstinence movement and the language movement, the
national language movement, which was in favor of Nynorsk. In 1912, a government
had to resign when the Prime Minister, Wollert Konow, openly expressed sympathy
for Nynorsk. The Labor Party had increased progress, which also led to a
radicalization of the leading party, the Liberal Party.
After 1905, Norway chose to pursue a policy of neutrality that could keep the
country out of international conflicts; in 1907, a treaty was signed with
France, Russia, Great Britain and Germany, which was to ensure the integrity of
the country. After the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the policy of neutrality
was continued. In particular, the merchant navy's efforts in favor of the
Entente Powers showed Norwegian stance, and more than 2,000 Norwegian sailors
lost their lives during the war. Shipping and exports experienced good economic
times, and speculators made big profits. However, price increases meant more
difficult conditions for many wage earners.
With Martin Tranmæl as the leading figure, a strong radical wing emerged in
the Labor Party, which after the Russian Revolution in 1917 gained power in the
party. In 1921, the Labor Party joined the Communist International, the
Comintern, after which a Social Democratic wing broke out of the party. The
radicalization of the labor movement led to irreconcilability in a period of
declining krone exchange rates, rising unemployment and stagnant industrial
production. In 1923, the Labor Party broke with the Comintern, which led to a
new split and the formation of the Norwegian Communist Party. In 1927, the
Social Democratic wing rejoined the Labor Party, and in the same year's election
it became the country's largest party, a position it has since maintained. A
first short-lived Labor government was formed in 1928.
The interwar period, 1920-40
The 1920's were marked by a recession with falling prices as well as many bank
crashes and foreclosures. In 1921, unemployment comprised 17% of the
professionally organized and remained at a high level throughout the period. In
the late 1920's, prices and the value of the krone rose again; the turbulent
economic times led to several major strikes.
Characteristic of the political debate in Norway, however, were other issues
at the top of the agenda, in particular the issue of prohibition. During World
War I, a ban on the sale of spirits and liqueur was introduced, and after a
referendum in 1919, it was made permanent. However, the ban led to major
difficulties in relation to e.g. France, Spain and Portugal, which placed
obstacles in the way of Norwegian exports, and in 1923 the ban on liqueur wine
was lifted; the liquor ban lasted until it was abolished in 1927 after a new
referendum. The ban had then led to widespread home burning and a large-scale
smuggling operation; three governments had to resign as a result of the
discussion on the liquor ban.
The left-wing government under the strong Gunnar Knudsen resigned in 1920,
and after the introduction of a new electoral system, the parties were given a
more equal representation in the Storting in the 1921 election, which until 1935
led to an unstable political period with many changes of government.
The financial crisis
The economic crisis following the stock market crash of Wall Street in 1929
could be felt in Norway from the autumn of 1930. Prices fell, industrial
production fell, and unemployment set new records; in 1933, 33.4% of those
professionally organized were out of work. Agriculture was also hit hard due to
falling prices, and the number of foreclosures increased. In 1931, the greatest
labor dispute of the interwar period arose, during which the so-called Menstad
battle between police and workers took place. From 1933, the economy
improved and the country gradually emerged from the crisis. After 1930, the
Labor Party had taken the final step away from the revolutionary line, for
fear that a radical line would scare many voters away and create a right
turn. The far right, however, stood weak in Norway, and the party National
Assembly, created byVidkun Quisling in 1933, received only weak support. The
Labor Party, on the other hand, got a good election in 1933, and after a crisis
settlement with the Peasants' Party in 1935, Johan Nygaardsvold formed a pure
Labor Party government. In the late 1930's, laws were passed on unemployment
benefits, old-age pensions, extending health insurance and nine days' holiday.
After World War I, Norway became a member of the League of Nations and in
1925 took over sovereignty over Svalbard. Relations with Denmark cooled due to
the so-called East Greenland case. Norway was interested in asserting its
fishing rights in East Greenland, and in the early 1930's the Peasants' Party in
particular was involved in the issue. A government under the Peasants' Party
confirmed a private Norwegian occupation of East Greenland in 1931, but when the
case came before the Permanent Court of International Justice in The Hague in
1933, Norway lost almost all points.
Defense was given low priority in the interwar period, and as the danger of
war increased in the 1930's, Norway's response was to free itself from the
sanctions obligations imposed on the member states by the League of
Nations; proposal for a Nordic defense alliance was rejected. In 1936, defense
appropriations were increased, but the Labor Party's original anti-militarist
roots made it difficult for the Nygaardsvold government to wholeheartedly
support a strengthening of the defense.
Norway during World War II, 1940-45
Norway declared itself neutral at the outbreak of war in 1939, but was
nevertheless, like Denmark, attacked by Germany on 9 April 1940. In contrast to
the Danish government, the Norwegian government defended itself. The coastal
artillery fortress Oscarsborg opened fire and sank the German cruiser Blücherin
the Oslo Fjord. This gave the king, the government and parts of the Storting
time to flee Oslo, and at a meeting in Elverum, the government was given a power
of attorney to look after the country's interests until the Storting could
convene again. On April 10, the German envoy demanded that the king appoint
Vidkun Quisling as prime minister. The king rejected it and, together with the
government, called for continued resistance. Although all major cities came
under German control within a few days, resistance in southern Norway continued
until the beginning of May; in northern Norway, fighting was a month longer, and
Narvik was under Allied control for a short period. On 7/6, the king, the crown
prince and the government had to leave Tromsø by ship for England. Here the king
and the government remained throughout the war, maintaining contact with
countries not under German control. The government controlled the merchant navy,
which was organized in the state-owned shipping company Nortraship and became
Norway's most important contribution to the Allied war effort. Through radio
speeches from London, King Haakon became an important inspirer of the Norwegian
resistance and a rallying point for the whole nation.
German attempts to establish an administrative council and later a royal
council were abandoned in the autumn of 1940; in september the same year, the
german state commissioner, Josef Terboven, dissolved the political parties and
installed a commissioner council consisting of norwegians, but with the
jigskommissariatet as supervisor and actual ruler. Later changes, with the
so-called State Act in Akershus in 1942, which established a "national
government" with Vidkun Quisling as prime minister, did not in fact influence
the form of government.
In response to the authorities' attempts to Nazify Norwegian society, a
strong civil and military resistance movement, the Home Front, developed,
conducting sabotage and intelligence activities. Despite tightening, the
occupying power could not stem the active resistance, just as a considerable
passive resistance also arose; teachers, pastors, students and university people
rejected Quisling's attempt at a so-called reorganization, and many were
Soviet advance in northern Norway forced the Germans to evacuate Finnmark in
November 1944; before the retreat, the locals were forcibly relocated to the
south, just as housing and infrastructure were destroyed. On May 8, 1945, Norway
was finally liberated, and on July 7, the king returned home.
More than 10,000 Norwegians lost their lives as a result of the war; of which
approximately 3,500 in the merchant navy, and about 700 Norwegian Jews as well as 1400
political prisoners died in German captivity, just as the Germans executed
almost 400 in Norway. During the post-war trial, over 40,000 people were
convicted of misconduct; 30 were sentenced to death, including Vidkun
Quisling. During the war, Norway received humanitarian aid from Denmark and
Sweden, see Norwegian Aid.
The post-war period, 1945-70
In June 1945, a coalition government was formed under the leadership of the
chairman of the Labor Party, Einar Gerhardsen. In the election the same autumn,
the Labor Party gained a majority, and Einar Gerhardsen formed a new
government. Under Gerhardsen's strong leadership, the party maintained its
majority until 1961. In 1945, the government set itself the goal of rebuilding
the country over a five-year period, and to raise funds for this, the wartime
extensive system of regulation and rationing was continued in the first post-war
years. The government focused in particular on export industry and shipping,
which provided much-needed foreign exchange earnings, and as early as 1946, both
industrial production and gross domestic product exceeded pre-war levels.
Political development in the 1950's and 1960's
Rationing and price regulation were largely abolished in the early 1950's, and
the country then experienced steady and stable economic growth. The Labor Party
continued to emphasize industrialization; the state itself went into the
establishment of industries and possessed in 1960 approximately 15% of total share
capital against only 0.4% in 1939. Many public credit institutions were expanded
and the public sector was growing rapidly. Strong public management of the
economy was established through long-term budgeting and planning, and not least
through an active fiscal, monetary and credit policy.
At the same time, major changes took place in the Norwegian business
structure. approximately 42% of the total workforce had been employed in agriculture,
forestry and fisheries in 1930; in 1970 the proportion was 15%. This was offset
by an increase in employment in industry and mining from approximately 22% to 35% and
especially in administration and service industries, where the proportion of
employees in the same period increased from approximately 36% to 50%; the public
sector accounted for a very large proportion of the new jobs. A consequence of
the changes was a strong influx to the cities and regions around the larger
cities, especially Oslo. From the mid-1950's, an active district policy sought to
counteract depopulation, first in northern Norway and from the 1960's also in
other peripheral areas. The relocation to the cities was also due to the
increased emphasis placed on higher education. Universities were opened in
Bergen (1948), Trondheim (1968) and Tromsø (1972), and at the same time major
welfare reforms were implemented with e.g. gradual improvement of health
insurance in the 1950's and the introduction of a general public pension scheme
In 1961, a left-wing opposition broke out from the Labor Party and formed the
Socialist People's Party, SF, which became the tongue in cheek after the
election the same year; after the so-called King's Bay case in 1963, the party
voted with the bourgeoisie for a no-confidence vote, which overthrew
Gerhardsen's government. However, a bourgeois government led by Conservative
John Lyng only sat for four weeks, after which Gerhardsen again formed a
government. The election in 1965 gave a bourgeois majority, and Per Borten
formed a government consisting of the Center Party, the Conservatives, the
Liberals and the Christian People's Party. With its center-right policy,
Borten's government did not become a decisive break with the policy of the Labor
Party governments. In 1971, the coalition split due to disagreement over the EC
The policy of neutrality was sought to be resumed after the war, but was
abandoned after a few years in favor of a solid alliance with the Western allies
and especially the United States. Norway received Marshall Aid from 1947 and
became a member of the OEEC in 1948. After the failed attempt to create a Nordic
defense alliance, Norway, Denmark and Iceland joined NATO in 1949, and the
defense budget then grew sharply.
In 1961-62 and 1967, Norway, like Denmark, followed Great Britain in applying
for membership of the EC, but both times in vain due to French opposition to
British membership. Together with the United Kingdom, Denmark and Ireland,
Norway again negotiated with the EC 1971-72. The Labor Party and the
Conservatives and the major labor market organizations were supporters of
membership, while the Center Party and the Socialist People's Party were
opponents. In addition to the opposition on the left, the EC opposition included
a more nationalist opposition linked to fisheries and agriculture. In the
referendum on 25 September 1972, 53.5% voted against Norwegian membership, and
Norway thus remained outside the EC. The Labor government under Trygve Bratteli
resigned, and a central government led by Lars Korvald entered into a trade
agreement with the EC in 1973.
Norway - history (period after 1972)
After the EC dispute, the Liberal Party split and lost political
significance. The Labor Party lost votes to the Socialist People's Party, which
in 1975 formed a new party, the Socialist Left Party, SV. At the election in
1973, Anders Lange's party, from 1977 the Progress Party, was represented in the
Storting for the first time. From 1973, the Labor Party again formed governments
under the leadership of Trygve Bratteli, Odvar Nordli and Gro Harlem
Brundtland, who became Norway's first female prime minister. In 1981, the
Conservatives took over government power with Kåre Willoch as Prime
Minister; the basis of government was expanded in 1983 with the participation of
the Christian People's Party and the Center Party. Willoch's government launched
a comprehensive liberalization program, but had to resign in 1986 due to
disagreements over economic policy, which included included increased taxes and
duties. A new Labor government under Gro Harlem Brundtland embarked on a tight
economic policy, seeking to counteract inflation and avoid a fall in the krone
through restraint on public spending. After the election in 1989, the
Conservatives, the Christian People's Party and the Center Party formed a
government led by Jan P. Syse. However, it had to resign after a year due to
disagreement over Norway's relations with the EC, and the Labor Party again
formed a minority government.Kjell Magne Bondevik.
|ca. 885-approx. 931
||Harald 1. Hårfager
|approx. 931-approx. 935
||Erik 1. Blood ax
|approx. 935-approx. 960
||Håkon 1. Adalsteinsfostre
|approx. 960-approx. 970
||Harald 2. Gråfeld
||Håkon Jarl Sigurdsson (Danish board)
||Olav 1. Tryggvason
||Erik and Sven Jarl Håkonsson (Danish board)
||Olav 2. Haraldsson, Olav the Holy
||Knud (2.) the Great
||Magnus 1. the Good
||Harald 3. Hårderåde
||Magnus 2. Haraldsson
||Olav 3. Kyrre
||Håkon Magnusson Thoresfostre
||Magnus 3. Barfod
||Øystein 1. Magnusson
||Sigurd 1. Jorsalfar
||Magnus 4. the Blind
||Harald 4. Gille
||Inge 1. Haraldsson Krokryg
||Sigurd 2. Munn
||Øystein 2. Haraldsson
||Håkon 2. Hærdebred
||Magnus 5. Erlingsson
||Håkon 3. Sverresson
||Inge 2. Bårdsson
||Håkon 4. Håkonsson
||Magnus 6. Team fines
||Erik 2. Magnusson Præstehader
||Håkon 5. Magnusson
||Magnus Eriksson Smek
||Håkon 6. Magnusson
||Olav 4. (Oluf 2.) Håkonsson
||Erik (7th) of Pomerania
||Christoffer (3rd) of Bavaria
||Karl 1. (8.) Knutsson
||Karl 2. (13.)
||Karl 3. (14.) Johan
||Karl 4. (15.)
|ordinal numbers in parentheses indicate the order in
either the Danish or the Swedish royal line
This government only had the support of 42 out of the Storting's 165 seats,
but still remained in office for more than three years, especially thanks to
Bondevik's co - operation skills. The Labor Party returned to government in
2000-01, but lost power in the 2001 election, which became the party's worst
since 1924. After the election, a center-right government was formed, again with
Bondevik as prime minister, but with a majority of Conservative ministers. This
became a burden for both the Christian People's Party and the Conservative
Party, both of which in 2005 achieved the worst election results ever. Instead,
a red-green majority government was established consisting of the Labor Party,
the Socialist Left Party and the Center Party under Jens
Stoltenberg'smanagement. The formation of the government was historic in several
respects: for the first time the Labor Party participated in government with
other parties, the SV came into government for the first time, and the Center
Party broke with its old alliance partners in the political center and became
part of the red-green alternative. After the 2005 election, Norway thus got a
majority government for the first time since 1985. After the parliamentary
elections in 2009, the Liberal Party declined significantly, and the
Conservative Party made significant progress. Stoltenberg continued as head of
government for a red-green coalition government. Since 2000, the Progress Party
has been the leading party on the bourgeois wing.
At the election in 2013, the red-green bloc declined significantly, and Jens
Stoltenberg resigned as prime minister. A new government was formed by the
Conservatives and the Progress Party, which entered a government for the first
time. The new Prime Minister was Erna Solberg, who appointed a government
consisting of an equal number of women and men.