Norway History

By | January 9, 2023

Norway – national flag

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

According to a2zgov, 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 larger ones.

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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.

Historical overview
10,000-3700 BC Hunter Stone Age. The Fosna culture and the Komsa culture.
3700-1800 BC Peasant Stone Age. Agriculture and animal husbandry. The battle-ax culture.
1800-500 BC Bronze Age. Burials in burial mounds and mounds.
500 BC-800 AD Iron Age. Settlement expansion.
800-t. Norwegian Vikings conquer the Orkney and Shetland Islands, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland as well as parts of Scotland and Ireland.
approx. 885 National Assembly. Harald 1. Hårfager becomes the first Norwegian king.
1020’s Olav II the Holy organizes the church.
1152-53 Nidaros becomes archbishopric.
1260’s Greenland and Iceland become Norwegian tax countries; The Norwegian Empire reaches its greatest extent.
1270’s National legislation.
1319 The Norwegian royal family is dying out on the male side. Norway in personnel union with Sweden until 1355.
1343 Hansaen opens a trade office in Bergen.
1349-50 The plague, the black death; over half of the population dies.
1380-1814 Norway in union with Denmark.
1397 The squid union between Denmark, Norway and Sweden is concluded.
1469 The last possessions in the North Sea are lost as the Orkney and Shetland Islands are mortgaged by Christian 1.
1536 The Norwegian Council of State is abolished, and Norway becomes a Danish province. The Reformation.
1563-70 The Nordic Seven Years’ War; Norway is hit hard.
1624 Christian 4. founds the silver mine in Kongsberg.
1645 At the Peace in Brömsebro, Denmark-Norway must cede Jämtland and Härjedalen to Sweden.
1658 At the Peace in Roskilde, Denmark-Norway loses Bohuslän to Sweden.
1660-61 Autocracy is introduced in Denmark-Norway.
1675-79 The Scanian War; Denmark-Norway is trying to take back Bohuslän.
1687 Christian 5.s Norwegian Law.
1709-20 Denmark-Norway’s participation in the Great Nordic War.
approx. 1750-1807 Boom and growing national consciousness.
1807-14 During Denmark-Norway’s war with England, Norway was hit by the British famine blockade.
1811 The University of Oslo is founded.
1814 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.
1837 Municipal self-government is introduced.
1840’s Industrialization begins.
1865 The first political organization, the Peasant Friends, is founded.
1884 The parties Left and Right are formed and parliamentarism is introduced.
1887 The Norwegian Labor Party is founded.
1892 The Norwegian government requires an independent Norwegian consulate. The controversy over the issue in the following years contributes to the dissolution of the Union.
1905 The union with Sweden is dissolved, Norway becomes an independent kingdom.
1913 Women are given universal suffrage.
1914-18 Norway is neutral during World War I despite the efforts of the merchant navy in favor of the Entente Powers.
1925 Norway takes over sovereignty over Svalbard.
1930 Norway is involved in the world economic crisis.
1933 Norway loses the case for the right to East Greenland.
1940 Norway is attacked by German troops on 9 April. After a few months of resistance, the king and government flee to London.
1942 Vidkun Quisling is installed as Prime Minister; resistance to the occupying power increases.
1945 The Germans capitulate on May 8th. Norway becomes a founding member of the UN.
1949 Norway joins NATO.
1963 The King’s Bay case brings the Social Democratic government to power after 28 years in power.
1971 Oil production from the fields in the North Sea begins.
1972 Norway votes no to EU membership.
1993 Norway is hosting the secret negotiations leading to the Principle Agreement between Israel and the PLO.
1994 Norway votes no to EU membership.
1996 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 landscape laws.

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 autocratic monarch.

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 common.

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 expenditure.

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 after 1814.

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 Norwegian peasant.

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 inflexible.

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 accommodating.

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 1800’s.

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.

Foreign policy

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 arrested.

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 1966.

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 issue.

Foreign policy

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
approx. 970-995 Håkon Jarl Sigurdsson (Danish board)
995-1000 Olav 1. Tryggvason
1000-15 Erik and Sven Jarl Håkonsson (Danish board)
1015-28 Olav 2. Haraldsson, Olav the Holy
1028-30 Knud (2.) the Great
1030-35 Svend Alfivasen
1035-47 Magnus 1. the Good
1045-66 Harald 3. Hårderåde
1066-69 Magnus 2. Haraldsson
1066-93 Olav 3. Kyrre
1093-95 Håkon Magnusson Thoresfostre
1093-1103 Magnus 3. Barfod
1103-15 Olav Magnusson
1103-23 Øystein 1. Magnusson
1103-30 Sigurd 1. Jorsalfar
1130-35 Magnus 4. the Blind
1130-36 Harald 4. Gille
1136-61 Inge 1. Haraldsson Krokryg
1136-55 Sigurd 2. Munn
1142-57 Øystein 2. Haraldsson
1157-62 Håkon 2. Hærdebred
1161-84 Magnus 5. Erlingsson
1177-1202 Sverre Sigurdsson
1202-04 Håkon 3. Sverresson
1204-17 Inge 2. Bårdsson
1217-63 Håkon 4. Håkonsson
1263-80 Magnus 6. Team fines
1280-99 Erik 2. Magnusson Præstehader
1299-1319 Håkon 5. Magnusson
1319-55 Magnus Eriksson Smek
1355-80 Håkon 6. Magnusson
1380-87 Olav 4. (Oluf 2.) Håkonsson
1388-1412 Margrete (1.)
1389-1442 Erik (7th) of Pomerania
1442-48 Christoffer (3rd) of Bavaria
1449-50 Karl 1. (8.) Knutsson
1450-81 Christian 1.
1481-83 interregnum
1483-1513 His
1513-23 Christian 2.
1524-33 Frederik 1.
1533-34 interregnum
1534-59 Christian 3.
1559-88 Frederik 2.
1588-1648 Christian 4.
1648-70 Frederik 3.
1670-99 Christian 5.
1699-1730 Frederik 4.
1730-46 Christian 6.
1746-66 Frederik 5.
1766-1808 Christian 7.
1808-14 Frederik 6.
1814 Christian Frederik
1814-18 Karl 2. (13.)
1818-44 Karl 3. (14.) Johan
1844-59 Oscar 1.
1859-72 Karl 4. (15.)
1872-1905 Oscar 2.
1905-57 Haakon 7.
1957-91 Olav 5.
1991- Harald 5.
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.