Norway Brief History

Norway Brief History

According to computerannals, Norway is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, perhaps the most beautiful. A country I would love to return to.

Travel in Norway offers varied experiences. Here are snow-capped mountains, deep fjords, rocky islands in the sea, rushing rivers, waterfalls, lakes framed by forested mountains, glaciers and vast expanses. The bird life is rich and interesting in some places.

Nearly a third of the country’s area is north of the Arctic Circle.

Norway can be divided into five main regions; Västlandet, Östlandet, Sörlandet, Northern Norway and Tröndelag.

For nature lovers and outdoor people, Norway has pretty much everything you could want. The only negative could be the heavy rain.

The name Norway is believed to mean “Norra Vägen” (Nordvegr) and the English Norway has its origin in this name. The name originated during the Viking Age.

Norway history in brief

Norway history, older (before Christ)

9 600 – 8000

Traces of the first people who lived in Finnmark and in Nordmöre. During the Neolithic, a new ethnic group, the so-called Stone Ax people, immigrated. Rock carvings show that they were reindeer herders

4,000 Agriculture was established, especially around the Oslo Fjord.

1 500 – 500

From the Bronze Age, rock carvings are preserved that are interpreted so that the people who lived during this period were sun worshipers. The dead are burned and their ashes placed in urns

400 – 600

During the migration period, new ethnic groups come to Norway. Ruins of ancient castles have been interpreted as war and unrest during this time

0 – 400

Archaeological finds show that there was trade, directly or indirectly, between Norway and the Roman Empire

Norway history, older (after Christ)

700s When the country is first mentioned in writing, there are 29 small kingdoms

8th century The small kingdoms are united in larger areas

800 – 1050

Are the Vikings’ great centuries that resulted in them colonizing large areas of Europe, often by force. Their establishments meant that they brought their culture out into the world and forged ties with Scandinavia. They started by settling in the Faroe Islands and Iceland


At the beginning of the century, Harald Hårfagre became a leader throughout Vestfold. He also conquered the Shetland and Orkney Islands.

980 (around)

Erik Röde is sentenced as an outlaw. He leaves Norway and establishes a residence in Greenland


Norwegian Vikings conquer parts of England and Ireland and take Christianity home. The country is Christianized under King Olav Haraldsson, who succeeded in conquering control of all of southern Norway


King Olav Haraldsson died in the battle of Stickelstad and became the country’s patron saint under the name Olav the Holy

13th century

Was Norway’s empire the largest. The Norwegians then ruled over an empire that stretched from the Isle of Man to the Kola Peninsula. Major quarrels between the various royal sons result in unrest

1261 Greenland recognized the Norwegian king as regent

1262 Iceland recognized the Norwegian king as regent


King Magnus VI renounced the Hebrides in exchange for the Scottish King recognizing Norwegian sovereignty over the Shetland and Orkney Islands

14th century

The Great Death ravaged the country. Of the country’s 350,000 inhabitants, about half die, and only 60 of the 300 noble families survived. The agricultural crisis that followed weakened the central government


Died King Håkon V. His son Magnus Eriksson became king of both Norway and Sweden

1355 Håkan Magnusson, son of Magnus Eriksson became king

1380 Olaf Håkansson became king of Norway


King Olaf Håkansson died at about the age of 17. His wife Margareta becomes regent of Norway and Denmark


Margareta also became regent of Sweden on March 22 and through this Norway, Sweden and Denmark had been united into a staff union which was completed by the Kalmar Union in 1397


King Christian I pledged the Shetland and Orkney Islands to that king of Scotland. The deposit has not yet been redeemed

1508 The Hanseatic trade monopoly was abolished


After the dissolution of the Kalmar Union, King Christian III declared that Norway and Denmark were united in a union and that the Norwegian parliament had been abolished.

1624 Oslo was hit by a large fire and the city was renamed Kristiania

1645 At the peace in Brömsebro, Norway lost Härjedalen and Jämtland to Sweden

1658 At the peace of Roskilde, Norway lost Bohuslän and Trondheim counties to Sweden


Norway regained Trondheim County. King Frederick III was elected autocrat over Norway and Denmark on 18 October


Norway’s economy developed positively and the population amounted to 450,000 this year. Shipping, trade and agriculture developed strongly at the end of the century


The Swedish king Charles XII tried to conquer Norway

Norwegian Peder Tordensjöld manages to conquer 21 Swedish transport ships on their way to the Swedish troops in Östfold


On November 30, the Swedish king Charles XII was killed at Fredrikshald

Peder Tordenskjöld managed to conquer Marstrand and destroy the Swedish ships at Älvsborg


Norway’s merchant fleet amounted to 1,514 vessels.
Crown Prince Fredrik allied with France after first trying to be neutral during the Napoleonic Wars. The British continental blockade had devastating consequences for Norway and Denmark


Denmark forced to cede Norway to Sweden at peace in Kiel
A constituent assembly was held at Eidsvoll on 10 April. The constitution written during this meeting was adopted on May 17 and on the same day the Danish Crown Prince Kristian Fredrik was elected King of Norway

The Swedish Crown Prince Karl Johan and his army were at war on the continent and could not immediately intervene against Norwegian events.

King Kristian Fredrik sought support from the British for Norwegian independence at the same time as he had the Norwegian army mobilized

On July 28, the Swedish army attacked Norway and after a few weeks of war, a peace agreement was concluded in Moss on August 14, in which Norway entered into a personnel union with Sweden. Norway retained its new constitution

The Norwegian parliament also elected the Swedish king Karl XIII as the Norwegian king.

1818 Charles XIV became Union King

1825 1825 The first Norwegian emigrated to America

1844 King Charles XIV dies

1854 Norway’s first railway line, Oslo – Eidsvoll, opens

1866 – 1925 About 750,000 Norwegians emigrated to the United States

1871 The proposal for a new Riksakt was presented, which would strengthen the union


The political party Venstre was founded by the Storting member Johan Sverdrup January 28 and is thus Norway’s oldest political party
The Left leader Johan Sverdrup was asked to form a government
, the political party Høyre founded August 25

1898 Universal suffrage for men was introduced

Norway history, modern


In March, a coalition government was formed consisting of the Liberal Party, the Conservative Party and the Coalition Party. The Storting voted through a new law on consulates, which King Oscar II refused to sign on 27 May. The government responded by submitting its resignation, which the king refused to accept

On June 7, the Storting declared that when, according to the constitution, the king could only govern Norway through his government, the union was dissolved. As Oscar II was thus no longer the Norwegian king, it followed that the union was dissolved. The Storting commissioned the government to take control of the country

At the referendum in August, a large majority voted in favor of dissolving the union.

On November 18, the Danish prince Carl became Norway’s new king. He called himself King Håkon VII

1913 Women’s suffrage was introduced

1914 – 1918

During the First World War, Norway is neutral
At this time, Norway’s merchant fleet was the world’s third largest


Norway joins the League of Nations (NF), predecessor to the United Nations (UN)
Norway gains supremacy over Svalbard


Even during the outbreak of World War II, Norway declared itself neutral. Despite this, the British navy laid mines in the Oslo Fjord on 8 April

1940 On April 9, the Germans invaded Norway by attacking Oslo, Trondheim, Kristiansand and Bergen. The Norwegians managed to sink the German cruiser Bluecher in the Oslo Fjord.
On June 7, the king and government left Norway after a last meeting in Tromsø and formed an exile government in London.
An administrative council ruled the country until September when the German national commissioner Terboven declared the king deposed and dissolved the Norwegian administrative council

1942 Vidkun Quisling was appointed Prime Minister by the Germans

1943 A factory that produced heavy water in Rjukan was blown up by Norwegian resistance fighters


The Germans capitulated on May 7. The Norwegian king and government returned to Norway in June when there were 372,000 German soldiers in the country.

In the election in the autumn, the Labor Party gained its own majority in the Storting for the first time and formed a government
Norway became a member of the United Nations (UN). Norwegian Tryggve Lie was elected the UN’s first secretary general

1949 Norway became a member of the NATO defense alliance

1952 Norway became a member of the Nordic Council

1959 Norway co-founded the free trade organization EFTA

1963 The bourgeois parties formed a government but were overthrown in September by a vote of no confidence

In 1965, the non-socialist parties formed a government again

1967 Norway applied for membership of the EEC (later the EU)


The center-right party Per Borten’s coalition government, which took office in 1965, was divided on the issue of Norwegian membership of the EU and was forced to resign. The Labor Party took over under Prime Minister Tryggve Bratteli

1972 In the referendum on membership of the EEC (later the EU) the no side won

1973 The Labor Party won the Storting election and took back government power

1981 Gro Harlem Bruntland became the first female Prime Minister of Norway and the Nordic countries


Kåre Willoch became Prime Minister and formed a majority coalition with the Conservatives, the Christian People’s Party and the Center Party


The government’s economic austerity package was rejected by the Storting, which forced it to resign. Kåre Willoch’s coalition was replaced by a minority government led by the Labor Party’s Gro Harlem Brundtland

1989 After the parliamentary elections, a bourgeois coalition was formed again


The bourgeois government resigned due to divisions over Norway’s line in the negotiations with the EC and on the EEA agreement. Gro Harlem Brundtland became prime minister again in a Social Democratic minority government


The Storting approved accession to the EEA agreement and that the country would apply for membership of the EC / EU

1994 The No side won again in the referendum on a possible membership of the EC / EU


Gro Harlem Bruntland resigned as Prime Minister for personal reasons. The new prime minister was Thorbjörn Jagland

1997 Kjell Magne Bondevik became Prime Minister

Norway Brief History

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