Norway as described in Historic Encyclopedias

Brockhaus 1809-1811, Brockhaus 1834-1838, Brockhaus 1837-1841, Pierer 1857-1865, Meyer 1902-1909

Brockhaus Conversations-Lexikon 1809-18311, Article : Norwegen oder Norge
Norway or Norge (belonging to Denmark); the southern part (about 4000 square miles) is rather well cultivated, the central part (about 2000 square miles) cultivated to a lesser extent, and the northern one (Norrland and Finnmark, about 1000 square miles) almost not cultivated at all. The land is mountainopus everywhere, the mountains are incised by valleys, several mountains are covered by eternal ice; the livestock is small, but the small, yet sturdily built horses show stamina and are skilled when it comes to climbing. Fishery is one of the main sourcs of revenue; the catch is calculated at 1,203,000 Thaler. Grain, at least for the northern part of the country, does not suffice to cover local demand. The wealth of the country lies in the production of its mines, namely the iron and copper ore mines. Here are few manufactures; only the ovens produced here are of excellent quality, and the Norwegian glass is equal to the English.
There are only 19 cities in the kingdom (of which Christiania, the capital, with 11,000 inhabitants, proves to be one of the foremost cities of the north, also by its trade with most parts of the country, with Copenhagen and with all kinds of foreign countries), none in the regions of the north; the country does not even have a university. The population is estimated to be about 1 million.
The older history of Norway rests in silence. Only from the 9th century on light penerates darkness, in 875 sources report of Harald Haarfagri who unified many smaller statelets to form Norway, who extended his conquests over several islands, and who forced overpowered chieftains to pay annual tribute. His great grandson Olaf Tryggveson in 995 introduced Christianity. Among the sons of Magnus III. unrest a[ppeared which lasted from 1103 to 1217, during which time the popes managed to establish their supremacy over Norway, so that also the Norwegians, until he Reformation, were obedient sons of the popes. Hako V. (1217-1262) reunited the country and enlarged it by Iceland and Greenland. When the dynasty ended with Hako VII. in 1319, a son of his daughter, Magnus Schmeck, who was placed on the throne of Sweden at the age of 3, now also in Norway was laced on the throne, and he ruled both kingdoms until 1363, when he was succeeded by his son, after the father had been deposed.
By he Union of Kalmar the three kingdoms were merged to a unit, until the despotism of Christian II. caused the separation of Sweden, and Norway and Denmark form one empire since 1524.

source in German, posted by Zeno

Brockhaus Damen-Conversations-Lexikon 1834-1838, Article : Norwegen
Norway. As a bonnet made of granite and porphyr on the head of the virgin Europe, so stretches Norway over Sweden's northwestern borders. Once it was a stone helmet, because the tall, light-blond Normans were found in early ages as powerful sea herous on all seas, as brave conqueros in distant Sicily and in England. Poetic legends about Thor and Odin and the lovely Freya formed the religion of this peculiar people; their monumental adventures of heroes merged with the fabulous Icelandic sagas. The proper history of Norway begins only at the end of the 10th century when King Olaf I. and after him Olaf II. introduced Christian faith with fire and sword, and in the process subjugated many smaller kings who ruled over the free men of the north. Bloody wars and wild conquests succeeded another in these old times, at one time Danish kings ruled over Norway, then Swedish kings, then Norway had fought and achieved its freedom, it even ruled over its two Scandinavian neighbours. Then a voluntary union of the three Scandinavian kingdoms took place. In 1814 the victory of the Allies over Napoleon separated Norway from Denmark and united it with the crown of Sweden, but a separate constitution and separate administration secure Norway's freedom and rights, although its trade no longer flourishes as it once did. A thinly spread population of 1,200,000 is scattered over a surface consisting of rocks and gorges, mountains and lakes, forests and swamps, which is estimated at 5800 square miles. In some areas such as Norrland and Finnmark hardly 24 persons per square mile can be calculated, in others 190. A few not very populous cities, such as Christiania, Drontheim, Bergen and others are the carriers of a civilisation which often sends out rays across the beautiful wild country; in general this has the character of loftiness, primeval formation and powerful revolutions of the earth. The wanderer is overtaken by a shower of emotions ! Here rises a forested plateau on a ridge of weathered porphyr deposits; the magnificent formation of which one admires at vertical rock faces or in deep clefts, through which the dangerous road winds at the edge of a foaming creek dropping into black depth; there waterfalls drop from a high plateau into an abyss, dissolve in the air to form dust and mist, there a white bed of pebbles, washed out by rains, rund in long clefts of the red porphyr faces or of grey granit walls, and in the distance the wanderer preceives to see skyhigh waterfalls; there you are surrounded by the holy swish of gigantic spruces, fearfully you keep climbing in their dark shadow over weathered rock, until suddenly the forest opens up and a delightful view across the wild gorge shows you a magically lighted, miraculously vivid landscape, which smiles at you with her light-green meadows and fields, red farms and lakes as light as a mirror, snow-covered mountaintops shimmering in the background. Here is the land of contrasts : sublime greatness, idyllic charm, fearsome wilderness and inhabited landscape, short heat of the sun and lengthy winter cold - all these contrasts in immediate juxtaposition.
A high mountain range, a branch of the Kjölen mounain chain, called Dovrefjeld, divides the country into northern and southern Norway. Where the region where spruces thrive ends, the birches begin, they, getting smaller and smaller, reach up to the limit of eternal snow. In-between enormous masses of primeval granite show, in the wildest, boldest shapes. The hardness of his stone stands up to any weathering, its slipperyness to any vegetation. The deeply incised coast, from the North Cape, the northernmost point of Europe, to Cape Lindenäs, contains innumerable inlets, at one location ornated with gradually rising green banks, at another looking like dark caves into which the waves surf, spray and howl, which form inland lakes which cut deep into the rogh wilderniss of this torn land. Vertical rock faces, rising out of the depth of the sea, form bastions which have not been shaken by waves of the Arctic Ocean in thousands of years. Islands and islets, some green and mild, some wild and edgy, surround this wild, torn beach.
The inhabitants of this rough land, Finn-Lapplanders and Norwegians, are of Lutheran faith. Their language differs little from the Danish. The Lapplanders are nomads, the wealth of whom is measured in raindeers. Others engage in fishery in small boats, the covers of which cover man. Dried fish, occasionally a cake made from the bark of spruce and moss ake the place of bread, more rarely a hard-dried cake of oats. On the other hand, the tall Norwegian, while still an unspoiled child of nature, has moved a step closer toward civilisation. With pride and force he combines brazen optimism and daring courage, a high degree of love of freedom and independence, which already becomes apparent in the boy. Further, mildness and patriarchal hospitality are characteristics of the countryside dwellers. The free peasant names himself after his farm, which is often located isolated, surrounded by fields and meadows, in the middle of a romantic wilderness. Among the most popular national dances is the Halling Dance with its passionate turns and daring jumps, which remind of Shamanist frenzy, and which still is not without charm, danced by two young men in pictoresque dress with embroidered pants, according to strange alien sounds of a violin played skillfully. The foreigner everywhere is met with harmless curiosity, with the question : "Who is this guy ? What does this guy want ?".
The country is divided in 5 dioceses and 4 stift districts. Every region has its own character and peculiar traditions. Here onle a general picture of this marvellous country with its fabulous history could be given.

source in German, posted by Zeno

Brockhaus Conversations-Lexikon 1837-1841, Article : Norwegen
Norway (Kingdom of) is bordered in the east by the Kingdom of Sweden (with which it is united under a common ruler), in the south by the Baltic Sea, in the west by the Atlantic Ocean and the German Sea, in the north by the Arctic Sea; it has an area of 5796 square miles and about 1,120,000 inhabitants, who mostly confess Lutheran faith; among the Finns and Lapps of the north still pagans are found. The western coast, especially in the north consiss of rocks steeply falling off toward the sea, which form in part inlets penetrating deep into the interior, called Fjords, in part a chain of islands and rocks off the coast which stretch up to the North Cape. On the coast which is open to winds from the west and southwest he climate is milder than one would expect in such a country, but in the eastern parts it is very rough because of the mountains which form the border to Sweden. The border, because of a centuries-old jealousy between these neighbouring peoples, is precisely marked even in the remotest wilderness. The mountain range begins in the southern tip of Norway at ape Lindesnäs wih 3,000 to 4,000 feet and stretches up to 63 degrees northern latitude, a plateau 12 - 14 miles wide, which, further in the north, where it is calld Dovrefjelt, on its area from where peaks and glaciers rise, it has a torn, wild appearance everywhere, and which rises to 7100 feet in Sneehättan, in southern Skagestöl-Tind to 7600 feet. To the north of this plateau stretch the Kjölen Mountains, which soon approach the west coast and go over in islands off that coast, which in the north are of considerable size and themselves part of the high mountains, which finally end in the North Cape, and in easterly direction on the border river Tana. The climate makes these mountains, of considerably lower height, rougher, their fields of snow and their glaciers larger than those of the Alps, and on Dovrefjelt eternal snow begins at 5300 feet, at he North Cape at 2400 feet above the sea. Birch bush grows until 2000 feet, the pine until 3000 feet, lower there, where the grain, in good years, ripens. In the northern areas during the summer the sun does not rise for seven weeks, and at noon there is only dawn for one and a half hours. Norway is rich in rivers and lakes, among the lakes Lake Mjöse and Lake Fämund, of the rivers the Glaamen or Glommen, the Drammen, Torridal, Paes. Mamsensels are among the more important. In the short cross-valleys many wild mountain creeks fall down steep rock faces toward the western coast and in part form the highest known waterfalls of the earth, such as the 1000 feet high Sevle Foss and the 2000 feet high Keel Foss. Other famous Norwegian waterfalls are the triple Sarpen Foss of the Drammen near its mouth into the Kattegat, and Fiscum Foss north of Drontheim, where the Mamsenels falls down an almost vertical rock face over 78 ells high; the land is generally rich in pictoresque sights.
Under the country's products, timber takes the first place, of which annually a value of more than 1 million Thaler is exported, but because of careless exploitation of the forests in the west in several areas a noticable lack of it has appeared. Grain is not produced in sufficient quantity. Potatos are grown since 1762, also hemp, flax, buckwheat, Astralago Dolce, and only in the south some fruit. Everywhere excellent blueberries grow, on the rocks mosses useful for dyeing or edible mosses, from which, combined with dried fish, which the sea supplies in quantity, and the grinded white middle part of the bark of the pine and a little intermixed flour made of grain, the bark bread is prepared, which in years of famine or war often provides the only source of nourishment in some remote parts of the country. Cattle breeding is conducted in a few regions where sufficient pasture; in the north mostly raindeer are kept, of which also many live wild. In Finnmark horses are also used as a source of nourishment. Bears, wolves, lynxes, moose, the small fur-bearing animals of he north, wild land- and waterfowl, among them the famous Eider ducks, are found in quantity. Among minerals silver, a lot of iron, copper, aluminum, beautiful marble, cobalt, magnesium, asbestos are found. As there is a lacl of salines, salt is gained from seawater at Wallö, and mixed with English mineral salt. Many are employed in the mining industry, many more in processing timber for export, in the form of planks, beams, masts, even in complete buildings, as does the production of pottash, train and tar, and shipping with 800 merchant vessels, but neither trade nor shipping are in a good condition. In the smaller towns and in the countryside where there are almost no villages, but only scattered isolated farms, most houses are made of beams and have roofs of shingles or grass; straw roofs only appear in the southern parts of the country. The state debt which is maintained for macroeconomic reasons is at more then 8 million, revenues at 1 1/2 million Thaler; it exceeds expenses. The army has a strength of 12,000 men, of which in times of peace only 2,000 wear uniform, to which the Landwehr and Landsturm are added. A sprecial detachment of marksmen is equipped with the show shoes traditionally used in the country, which consist of narrow pieces of fir wood, hollowed out in the center and bent upward at the tip, of which the left one is three els long, the right one shorter by a third. These troops, of which a detachment is introduced here, are armed with busses, bayonets, and long sticks with iron tips which serve to support their movements, which are not less impressive than those of a trained skater. The navy consists of a few briggs and a large number of cannon boats for coastal defense.
The written language of the Norwegians or Norrmen is the Danish, the vernacular differs only a little from the Danish, and as the latter, related to the German one, as is the Norwegian population in stature and character; the Lapplanders speak a Finnish dialect. Christiania University, five learned schools and numerous other institutions of higher and lower education, an institute for the education of Lapplanders at Drontheim included, and many associations for the common good support general education. As far as the constitution is concerned, the latter is organized in a much more free manner han that of adjacent Sweden, by the basic law adopted in Christiania on November 4th 1814. According to it Norway is an independent kingdom united with Sweden under one king, a hereditary constitutional monarchy. Lutheran faith is state religion and the king shall confess to it. Monastic orders and Jews are not tolerated. Executive power lies with the king, who also has the command over army and navy, but these may not be enlarged or reduced, or employed in the service of foreign powers without the approval of the Storting or the assembly of all elected delegates of the cities and the rural areas. By the means of the Storting (from "Thing", the old name for a popular assembly ewhich used to decide over war and peace, pass lawa and elect kings; stor means large and sublime) the people jointly with the king exercises legislative power; the Storting regularly meets every three years in February. Extraordinary conventions are called for by the king. The number of members of the Storting may not be less than 75 and may not be more than 100; members have to be at least 30 years old and must have resided in Norway for at least 10 years; their term lasts 3 years; members of the council of the realm, persons employed by the former or by court, and persons receiving an annual pension from the court are excluded. The right to vote has every Norwegian citizen who is 25 years old, has lived in the counry for 5 years, is burgher in one of the cities or owns real estate of a value of at least 300 Thaler. The elected delegates together form the Storting; in order for its decisions to be valid, at least two thirds of the members have to be present. From among its own members it elects one quarter who form the Lagting, a kind of upper chamber, and then the other, Odalsting or consultative chamber, and who conduct separae businesses, except for certain unprecedented cases in which the entire assembly meets. The law drafts accepted by the Storting are presented to the king or his representative for approval, and by this approval gain validity, but even become valid without such approval if a law draft unaltered was accepted by three regular Stortings, as it happened in 1821 in the case of the abolition of nobiliy, of which only the then living were to enjoy their privileges until the end of their lives; so the people are only classified in clergy, burghers and landfolk. The imposition of dues and the acceptance of state expenses as well as the supervision of state measures lie with the Storting, who holds non-public sessions only in exceptional cases. Freedom of the press is guaranteed; the right of property can not be forfeited. Lagting and supreme court together form the court of the kingdom. The king appoints a Norwegian minister and 7 counselors of the realm, of whom 5, in his absense, conduct state affairs jointly with the viceroy, while the minister and the others remain with the king in Sweden; the king decides over Norwegian matters only in their presence. Newest literature mostly consists of magazines and pamphlets, which deal with domestic matters, but also contain prose. For earlier literature, see under Scandinavia.
Since 1815, Norway is divided in 4 ecclesiastic stifts and Norrland with Finnmark. Among these, Stift Akershus or Christiania (1600 square miles with 506,000 inhabitants) includes the most fertile and populous part of the country. Other noteworthy places include Moss with 3000 inhabitants, a cannon foundry, ironworks and many sawmills, the fortress Frederikshald with 5,000 inhabitants, Frederikssten on the Swedish border, in front of which Charles XII. fell in 1718, Wallö with the only saltworks, the royal mining town Kongsberg with 4000 inhabitants and the famous silver mines discovered in 1623, the production, after having declined for a while, recently is increasing again, the trading, factory and port city of Drammen with 7,000 inhabitants, which actually consists of three separate settlements.
The Stift Christiansand with the capital by that name, with 7500 inhabitants, is seat of a bishop, has a port and is a center of trade in timber. The port city of Arendal has 2000 inhabitants and is built on poles, and in its entirety traversed by canals; Stavanger has 3,800 inhabitants.
Bergen Stift with the old important city of Bergen, for the larger part constructed from stone, on the Waag Bay, 21,000 inhabitants, seat of a bishop, of a navigation school, and the country's main trading place. Nowhere along this coast frequently exposed to rain is precipitation higher than here, where the climate is conspicuously mild if the city's northern location is taken into account. The remaining population of the stift consists exclusively of peasants.
Stift Drontheim with the capital by the same name, located on river Nid and on a large bay, has 12,000 inhabitants, is seat of a bishop, of an institution for the education of young Lapplanders, the center of vivid trade, to which it owes its prosperity. The city has only two buildings made of stone, one of which, the cathedral from the 11th century is the largest building of all of Norway. It used to be the goal of all Nordic pilgrims who wanted to visit the grave of Saint Olaf; also here are preserved the royal insignia created in 1818 at the king's expense. In he roughest and highest part of the country, where winter lasts almost all year, is located Roeräs with 3000 inhabitants, all of whom live of the country's richest copper mines work in which was begun in 1646. Christiansund with 1600 inhabitans, constructed on three islands, has a port, lively shipping, fishery, and is seat of a society which has done a lot for raising the level of agriculture.
Norrland with Finnmark, a lengthy coastal stretch of 2000 square miles with 80,000 inhabitants, which extends from 65 degrees northern latitude to the Russian border, and of which Finnmark makes up the northern part. Main sources of income of the inhabitants, which on the coast are Norwegians, in the interior partially Lapplanders, are fishing, which is rich between islands and the coast, especially near Lofoten Islands, and trade with the products of it, but also with skins and furs and a few other products of the land. All those islands, of which Moskoe, Wagen, Hindöe, Langoe, Hwaloe and Mageroe, he northernnmost with North Cape, are the best known, consist of barren rocks on which the powerful storms and the rough climate do not permit any tree to grow, and they are surrounded by a constantly raging sea, which a several places forms dangerous whirlpools, of which the Mosköe whirlpool or Maelstrom is the most famous ones. The most important town in these provinces is Hammerfest with 200 inhabitants on Hwaloe island, which belongs to Finnmark and where in the summer lively trade is conducted with the Russians, who trade flour, hemp, flax etc. for fish. Other trading places are Hundholm, Tromsoe and Kielvig; the small fortress Wardöchuns, which used to be maintained on Wardoe island, as the world's northernmost fortress, has been abandoned and deprived of its status.
Although Norway was known in Antiquity as Nerigos, its history begins to lighten up when the country was unified in 875 A.D. by King Harald Haarfagri (Fairhair), who also conquered the Hebrides and Orkneys. For these old times we have only legends, which have been preserved in the "Heimskringla" (i.e. the world circle), a collection of sagas of the Nordic kings. Harald's great grandson Olaf I., not without the use of violence, at the end of the 10th century laid the foundation for the introduction of Christianity, which in the course of its spread also caused the moderation of the raw, warlike customs and the introduction of agriculture, trade and of knowledge of various kind. In 1028 Norway was conquered by Canute the Great, king of Denmark. But after his death it again had its own kings, of whom Hakon V. 1217-1262 conquered Iceland, and of whom some also ruled Denmark, until both kingdoms in 1387 were connected by Queen Margaret I., and remained connected until 1814, while Norway continually maintained her separate constitution. But then Norway was ceded to Sweden, which had joined the alliance against Emperor Napoleon, and already in 1812 had been promised the possession of the country adjacent to it. The Norwegian estates, however, there unwilling to recognize this cession, declared Norway as independent, elected Prince Christian Friedrich von Holstein, since 1813 stadholder on Norway, on May 13th 1814 on the diet at Eidsvoll as their hereditary king, and simultaneously drafted a new constitution. But this act was not accepted abroad, and the Swedish troops which invaded the country in July, under then-crown prince and present king Karl XIV. Johann, after a few minor skirmishes, subjugated the country. After an agreement had been concluded on August 14th 1814 at Moss, which terminated hostilities, and according to which Norway was to join a dynastic union with Sweden as a separate kingdom, after the King of Sweden had accepted the Eidsvoll constitution and Prince Christian had resigned the Norwegian crown, the Storting assembled in Christiania in October 1814 decided on the union with Sweden. Since 1818 both kingdoms are ruled by Karl XIV. Johann with great prudence, which is required to a high degree in the case of a union of two populations who for centuries felt jealousy and hatred toward each other. This was made more difficult, as the separation from Denmark had torn innumerable relations to which one had become accustomed. So, only gradually, a balance could be achieved. The suggestions of the government, especially during the early Stortings, often met stubborn rejection, and all recognition and all advantages which the useful organization of the budget under the ruling king brought, did not reduce the jealous alertness of the Norwegians in regard to the conditions, where the independence of Norway and her constitution could be infringed upon.

source in German, posted by Zeno

Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865

Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865, Article : Norwegen (1)
Norwegen (Norre, Norrige, Norge) Kingdom, the king of which simultaneously is king of Sweden, forms the western part of he Scandinavian peninsula, borders on the Arctic Ocean, Russia, Sweden, the Skagerrak, the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, stretches between 57 degrees 26 minutes and 71 degrees 11 minutes northern latitude and covers an area of 2773.89 Swedish or 5799.21 geographic square miles. The lengty coast is characterised by a large number of islands and islets, the steepness of the coast, which often rises out of the sea to not unimportant height, and finally by innumerable inlets (Fjords). These Fjords are narrow and long, often of great depth, surmounted by steep rock faces of 3,000 to 4,000 feet height, and form many excellent ports at places where a narrow, flat beach makes landing possible. The most important fjords are : the Waranger, Tana, Laxe and Parsanger Fjord in he north, the Westfjord, Ofoden and Tysfjord in the west toward the Arctic Ocean, toward the Atlantic Ocean the Trondhjems, Romsdals and Sogne Fjord, the Hardanger, Bukke and Christiania Fjord. Except for these fjords, also numerous islets form excellent ports; at other places iron rings have been fixes to rock faces, permitting ships to attach, if they have no space or ground to anchor. The depth of the sea at the coast is mostly considerable, occasionally more than 2000 foot. The sea floor in some distance to the coast is usually higher, as here (in a distance of 4 to 16 miles to the coast) the so-called sea bridges (Hav-broen or Stor-eggen) stretch, banks of rock, atop which productive fishery is conducted. The combination of the current of the Gulf Stream still effective here, of the tides, of the winds and the rather various depth of the sea causes strong currents in the straits between the islands off the coast, such as the Kiilstrom and the Maelstrom, which are not only an obstacle to navigation, but can be dangerous to it.
The surface of Norway almost everywhere has been shaped by primeval or transitional mountain ranges; everywhere are either un-layered crystalline massive rock formations or metamorphic rock types haped by the influence of firy agents, among which the hornblende dominates. In these massive rock formations, granite, gneiss and mica slate dominate. The inner composition of these three mountain types causes the shape of the country and its coasts. As the fourth main rock types, hornblende has to be added (in Sweden Trapp). Mica slate is quarried for blackboards and grinding stones; trapp and gneiss contain rich veins of iron, copper, lead containing silver, cobalt and others. Layered rock formations, then of the oldest formation, appear only in small areas, so in the north, where deposits of the lower grauwacke group appear, which go over in clay slate and limestone, and which lean on primeval rock. Coal formations only appear on individual locations in the south. Norway is completely lacking in kelly; only sharp-edged sand (the result of withering of the surface of the primeval rock) fills the valleys, and when carefully treated, provides a meager harvest. As far as outward appearance is concerned, everywhere barren masses of rocks amass, everywhere steep rock faces show, wild gorges and clefts, sudden abysses. The mountains of Norway, which it has common with Sweden, are called the Scandinavian Mountain Range. This mountain range stretches from Tana Fjord and Nordkyn, the northernmost tip of the European mainland, to Lindesnäs, the southernmost promontory of Norway, from 71 degrees 58 minutes northern latitude down a 200 mile stretch from northnortheast to southsouthwest, but it does not form a continuous, uninterrupted chain, but two main sections which differ in the shape of their surface, a northern and a southern one, of which the former maintains the shape of a cohesive ridge, while the latter shows the characteristics of a long and wide, massive plateau. The height of both mountain sections can be given with 2,000 to 4,000 feet, but the highest peaks rise to 8,000 feet. The northern part, the Kjölen Mountain Range, stretch from Tana Fjord to 63 degrees northern latitude in Stift Trondhjem, and reaches its greatest height in the Sulitelma (5796 feet). The second, southern mountain section again is divided into a northeastern and a southwestern group; the northwestern group extends from Indalelf to Romsdalself and the valleys of Lougen and Glommen, the Dovrefjeld forms the main mass of this group and has its highest peak in Snöhättan with 7050 Parisian feet. The southwestern group stretches from Romsdalself and the Lougen to the southern tip of the country and contains the massifs of Lange-, Sogne-, Fille- and Hardangerfjeld, which are combined under the name Langefjeld; the highest peak is Hurrungerne with Skagastöstind (on Sognefjeld, 7116 Parisian feet), and beyond the Sognefjord lies Norway's most important snowfield, Instedals Bråe, with mighty glaciers. As to be expected because of its mountainous character, Norway is rich in rivers and lakes; the lakes cover an area of 272 square miles; the largest lake is Mjösen (6 1/2 square miles); other lakes include Ojerensjöe, Randsfjord, Tindsöe, Mjösvand, Nordsöe, and further north the Snaasenvand and Rysvand. Norway's largest river is the Glommen, further feed into the sea in the south the Drammen, Louven, Nid, Törrisdal; of the rivers in the west is to be said, that they do not flow into the sea, but drop into the sea, Feigumfossen drops 700 feet deep into Lysterfjord, another small river which drops into the Nürvefjord (a branch of the Sognefjord) forms first the 1000 feet deep Sevlefoss, and then the 2000 feet deep Keelfoss, and many others. Other rivers are : Namsen, Vessen, Ranen, Salten, and those which flow from south to north, Alten and Tana, the latter of which forms the border to Russia.
The climate of Norway in general is humid and rough; there is a lot of rainfall, the most of it in the coastal regions, snowfields and glaciers are found in great quantity, but still the climate is milder than one might expect, which is because of the impact of the sea, namely of the Gulf Stream, which brings warm waters from the south to these coasts. As a consequence certain kinds of fruit grow here further in the north than anywhere else.
Products are manifold; there is venison (deer, raindeer, moose, rabbits and others), animals of prey (bears, wolves, foxes, gluttons), fur-bearing animals (squirrels, beavers, otters, lemmings), birds (forest fowl, seafowl in large quantity); all of these animals may be freely hunted; there are many sea animals (whales, seals, fish, lobsters etc.); further dye mosses, berries, timber (up in the high north only of midget growth), gold, silver, copper, lead, iron, arsenic and other metals, marble and many other minerals.
The inhabitants, about 1,500,000, are Norrmen (Norwegians), of medium height, strong, slow in thought and action, but then enduring and resolute, mostly with brown hair tending toward yellowish, but with blue eyes and thick eyebrows, moderate, hospitable, freedom loving, happy, tending to sciences, skilled, loyal, courageous, good seamen, with their own language belonging to the Germanic family of languages (see Norwegian language); the common man addresses everybody by "you". In trade hey are clever and skilled. They are religious, without being misers, and regular attendance of religious service in churches 3 to 4 miles away, or domestic devotion, are the rule. Crimes are rare, but brawls are frequent, in which they frequently inflict wounds, occasionally deadly ones, on the opponent by using the Thalkneif, a knife the Norwegian peasants carry in a sheath at the side. They love tobacco, card-playing, dance, especially the Wallingdal dance. Holidays are : St. John's, Christmas, also marriages and baptisms are celebrated. Despite of the simplicity of their lives, the peasants are very proud. The Gaardmand (estate owner) despises the Huusmand (cottager); marriages between the children of both are regarded mismarriages. Housing consists mainly of isolated farmhouses (gaards), villages are rare, as are cities; these are found mostly on the coast. The houses of the farms are constructed block house style, from treetrunks, covered with grass, and the crevices stuffed with moss. Otherwise they are mostly low, blackened by smoke, without ovens, which are replaced by chimneys, the Rögstners (smoke rooms) in the north tipped, letting off the smoke through an opening which is shut with a flap.
Nourishment : oatbread (flat bread), barley bread, in years of need bark bread, only the more prosperous can afford rye bread; side food, especially on the coast, almost always fish, milk, eggs, cheese, pickled and dried meat.
Clothing : jackets of leather or coarse cloth, held together by a strong belt ornated with silver buckles, camisoles with colorful flaps, shoes and overshoes, felt hats with wide rims or caps, the dress of the women colorful embroidered shirts and girdles, several skirts on top of each other, red socks, many ornaments with silver buckles, pearls etc. The various provinces have modifications of this traditional dress, but these days the national dress is worn less and less. Besides by proper Norwegians the land is inhabited by the Lapplanders (here called Finns) and by the Finns (Quenes), most of Lutheran confession, who in their customs differ little from the other Finns & Lapps.
Occupation : agriculture, because of climate and soil only conducted in a limited way; production of grain insufficient, potatos are more cultivated; livestock keeping : more horses for export, cattle with mountain grazing, but the harsh winter makes feeding them difficult, butter and cheese almost colorless; in the north raindeer, the only form of wealth of the Lapplanders; forestry used to be much neglected, but produces now a large harvest in timber, pitch, tar etc., fishing of cod, stockfish, whales, herring, lobsters etc. is most productive in Finnmark, especially near the island of Vaage; exports value 1 1/2 to 2 million Thaler; mining produces lead, iron, copper (especially at Rörås), cobalt and silver, the latter especially a Kongsberg, these of importance, also some gold is produced. Alcoholic spirits, ships, ironwares and metalwares (among others fishing hooks), sailcloth, woven textiles for domestic use are produced, glass, bricks, sugar, pig iron wares; the country has steelmills and ironworks, works for the production of blue dyestuff, shipyards, marble processing, salt production from seawater (Wallö).
Trade, mostly sea trade, exports the products of the forest, mining and fishery, imports necessities for life and luxury goods; trae is favored by many ports and inlets (one counts 26 trading places and 32 landing places except for the cities). In 1856 the merchant navy consisted of 5125 vessels of a loading capacity of 207,277 commercial last and a combined crew of 28,560. The total value of imports in that year was 15,900,000, that of exports more than 26 million Speciesthaler. The main trade partners were Great Britain, Denmark, Sweden, Holland [!], France and Prussia. Between Norway and Sweden no customs are collected. The customs are low; also there is an insurance against accidents at sea. Land trade is supported by three large roads, two from Christiania to Drontheim across the Dovrefjeld, one from Christiania to Bergen across the Fjelefjeld; 5 main roads connect Sweden with Norway. The mail service is good, the [distances between] stations short; one usually travels in two-wheel carts (carriols). Along the entire coast, steamships provide regular connections. Of great inmportance for trade is the merchant bank in Drontheim, which has affiliates in several cities (Christiania, Christiansand, Bergen, Skien, Drammen) and which is both a bank issuing paper cheques, a giro bank and a savings bank.
Spiritual culture lately has made great progress, but the realistic strife of the nation regards education more as a means than as a goal in itself, there is a lot of practical knowledge, but little humanist and aesthetic knowledge. In Drontheim there is a Royal Nordic Society for the Sciences (established in 1760), in Christiania a Royal Society for Norway's Welfare (est. 1809); both societies have libraries. On the state of Norway's literature see Norwegian Literature. In Norway there are 55 printing shops (in Christiania alone 15), 40 newspapers and magazines. Among artists excel Ole Bull in music, Dahl, Tiedemann etc. as painters. The only university is located in Christiania (est. 1811); there are also 13 so-called Latin schools (in Christiania, Drammen, Christiansand, Bergen, Drontheim, Skien, Frederikshall, Kongsberg, Laurvig, Arendal, Stavanger, Molde and Tromsöe), and burgher schools in almost all cities. Education in the countryside is very difficult because of the large distance of the individual farms from one another, but the possible is undertaken, more by private instruction through the parents, than by public education. Every Norrman can read, also write a little and count, on every farm there is a bible, a richly bound book of hymns, and one or he other book of common use. To this level of education contributes much that every person to receive confirmation must be able to read, that everybody who wants to marry must be confirmed, that everyone who reaches the age of 20 and has not yet been confirmed can be forced to learn the necessary. Among special educational institutions exist the Royal school of arts in Christiania, an agricultural school in Semb, an institute for the deaf-mute in Drontheim, and at the same place a seminary for the instruction of young Lapplanders. Art collections have first been begun with the establishment of a painting gallery in Christiania in 1840. Natural science musea and historical musea exist at the scientific society in Drontheim and with a private association in Bergen and Arendal; a stationary theatre exists in Christiania. In Frederikshald, Drammen, Laurvig, Arendal, Christiansand, Bergen and Drontheim theatre buildings have been constructed which are visited by migrating theatre crews. Music is much loved, and the learning of music is regarded part of good education.
The constitution is the most limited among all monarchies. According to the constitution of November 4th 1814 Norway is a free, separate and independent kingdom. The form of government is an unrestricted hereditary monarchy. Lutheran confession is state religion; Jesuits, monastic orders and Jews are refused entry (to the latter permitted since 1851). The executive power lies with the king, who presently simultaneously is king of Sweden; he always has to be a Lutheran, is of age at 18, has to be blessed and crownd in Drontheim, and has to visit Norway every year. His person is sacred, the state council instead responsible; the latter consists of a viceroy, a minister of state and 7 state counselors. The college of the state council has its seat in Christiania. The crown prince always holds the function of viceroy. The miniser of state and two state counselors accompany the king to Sweden, and there form the Norwegian council. The viceroy and the remaining five counselors, during the king's absence, form the government. In matters of trade, customs and police, the king can issue provisional decrees or lift restrictions, has the right to pardon, appoints officers in the military, in the justice system and in civil administration, hands out medals, but no other rank or title than that coming with an office, and does not grant and personal or hereditary privileges, is in command of army and navy, declares war and concludes peace. Succession follows in the direct male line; if his line ends, the Storting elecs the next king. In case the king is a minor (younger than 18) the Storting acts as regent. The new king swears an oath to the Storting and promises to stay for some time every year in Norway. The Storthing, as the assembly representing the people, supports the king. The right to vote have only Norwegian citizens who have sworn an oath on the constitution in front of court, who are at least 25 years old, who have lived in the country at least for 5 years, who have been or still are state officials, who own real estate or who have cultivated immatriculated land for at least 5 years, or who are burghers of a merchant city, or if a country city, where their property has a value of at least 300 Thaler. Dishonorable punishment, entering foreign service without permission, the sale or purchase of votes exclude from the pool of those who have the right to vote. In the cities every 50 voters elect one elector, in the countryside every 100 voters; these electors 8 days later elect one quarter of their own as delegates to the Storting; no place may send more than 4 deputees. For the passive voting right a minimum age of 30 and minimum residence in Norway of 10 years is required. Members of state council, court employees and pensioners can not be elected. The term is 3 years. The deputees are paid travel expenses and diets from state treasury, and during the duration of Storting, as well as on travels, may not be arrested, and may not be held responsible for opinions they expressed in the Storting. The Storting is generally convend every three years, but may be convened for an extraordinary session if the king calls for it. Traditionally it is opened on he first workday in February; without the presence of 2/3 of the deputees, even in the presence of the king, no decision may be taken. No Storting, without the permission of the king, may last longer than 3 months. The Storting constists of two sections, the Lagting, a commission composed of 1/4 of its members, and the Odalsting, consisting of the remaining 3/4. Both tings elect a president and secretary. The Storting passes laws, which have been suggested by its members or by representatives of the government, which first are debated in Odalsting and then in Lagting, which accepts or rejects them, and in the latter case sends them back with a comment. Accepted laws are approved by the king and gain validiy only with his signature. If he rejects the law, it is returned to the Odalsting; does this happen a second time, and does the third regular Storting accept the law unaltered for a third time, the law becomes valid even without his signature. The Storting fixes the taxes until July 1st of the year in which the next Storting convenes; the later usually renews them, takes on loans, decides on state expenses, determines the amount of the sums to be paid to the royal family (the apanage may never be capitalised on real estate), revises government protocols and treaties concluded with foreign powers. Its sessions are public, and its debates puvblicised in print. Decisions regarding internal affairs of the Storting, regarding the naturalisation of foreigners and decisions to accuse a state counselor do not require the king's approval. The highest body is the state council, with the responsible minister of state who needs to sign everything; this state council simultaneously forms the government consisting of seven departments (of church affairs, the interior, justice and police, finances (also for trade and customs), army, navy, post & telegraph & transportation, and he department of revision). Every department chief, who simultaneously functions as state counselor, decides matters of lesser importance; more important ones he presents to State Council.
Norway is divided in 4 stifts, these in 17 districts, these in 45 subdistricts and 66 Sorenskriverier. The stifts are Åkershus with the districts of Smaalehnen, Hedemarken, Christians, Buskerud and Jarlsberg with Laurvig, which form only one district, Christiansand with the districts Nedenäs, Bradsberg, Mandal and Stavanger, Bergen with the districts Söndrebergenhuus and Nordrebergenhuus, Drontheim withy Norrland, divided in Dronheim with the districts Romsdal, Söndretrondhjem and Nordretrondhjem, Nordland with the districts Nordland and Finnmark. Every stift is presided by a stift administrator, every district by a district administrator; there is no distinction between the two. Only the disrict administrators which contain the four stift cities and seats of dioceses, Christiania, Christiansand, Bergen and Drontheim, are called stift administrators; in cooperation with the bishops they are in charge of administration, of the roads, of the municipalities (but not of municipal treasuries, which since 1837 are supervised by a commission, of which a representative annually consults with the stift administrator; in the case of non-agreement the matter is presented to the king) and lead criminal and civil justice. The administrator is also head of the burgher militia in the cities. Every subdistrict is headed by a subdistrict administrator; he is responsible for the collection of the taxes, of the expenses, is policeman, executes all criminal and civil sentences, The Sorenskriver (sworn scribe) is judge in all criminal and civil matters, administrates the distribution of inheritances, is in charge of warden cases, and funcions as notarius publicus.
Jurisdiction. The Sorenskriverier, in the cities the byfögeds, form the lowest instance; in cases, where life, honour or immovable property is concerned, four court witnesses chosen by the judge join in. They travel, holding sessions in the area 3 times (in case of remote areas 2 times) per year, where civil matters are dealt with and taxes are collected. Also in every district monthly sessions regarding civil jurisdiction and criminal cases are held, also special sessions. From here one can appeal to the middle instance, the Stift supreme courts (Stiftoberrette), of which there is one in every stift seat; they consist of a justitiary and two (in case of Åkershus three) assessors. From here, in matters of a value over 100 Speciesthaler, and in criminal matters one appeals to the supreme court (Höista Rett) in Christiania, it is composed of a justiciary and six assessors, who, in combination with the Lagting, form the court of the realm, where matters presented to it by Odalsting are decided in first and final instance, such as cases against members of the state council or of the supreme court in cases of violation of their duties. The deliberations of this court conclude the trial, in criminal cases the king may issue a pardon. The trials in front of lower and middle instances are conducted in writing, in front of upper instances orally, both are public; everyone has the right to defend himself or to take an advocate, of which there are several classes, one for each instance, but higher classes may accept cases in lower instances. In the past the criminal code published in 1687 by Christian V. King of Denmark and Norway was valid, which had been repeatedly revised, to this were added the since issues placards and rescripts of which there were many. Since August 20th 1842 a new criminal code has been introduced. The civil code is organised in accordance with decisions by the Storting. Penalties include imprisonment, incarceration, slavery (construction of fortresses) and death penalty. The latter is frequently dealt out, but rarely executed.
Ecclesiastical constitution. Norway is divided in 5 dioceses : Christiania or Åkershus, Christiansand, Bergen, Drontheim, Nordland with Finnmark, or Tromsöe. The bishops and stift administrators form a stift directory; under the bishops are 54 provosts, under every one of these several priests and chaplains (which are often placed at the side of pastors), as presidents of the parishes. These clergymen take care of religious service and the spiritual needs of the individual, supervise charity to the poor, and the schools. Spiritual transgressions in he two lower instances are taken care of by special ecclesiastical courts which are joined by a lawyer as assessor, in the third instance they are tried in front of a civil court. Charity for the poor is well-organised, and left to the municipalities, which charge commissions wih it, which are headed by the priests. Support is handed out in form of bread, by the means of payment or by acceptance into poorhouses; orphans are placed with families. Guardianships are taken care of by subdistrict administrators and Sorenskrivers. A fire insurance and a pension for widows is in place. Also the administration of public health is well-organized, the country divided in district and subdistrict physicianships. Every Norwegian is equal in front of the law, according to the constitution nobility does no longer exist, the law if August 1st 1821 determined that exemption of taxation ends with he death of the last feudal tenant, all other privileges would end with the death of the nobls who had been born by he day the law had been passed. According to the stipulations of the law of 1824, 15 families claimed these rights, which only consisted in noble names and coas of arms; their low number and their ongoing extinction permits us to regard the nobility already as being extinct. Only Norwegians qualify to state service, but foreigners may be hired as teachers at the university or at schools, as medical doctors or as consuls. Nobody may be judged by anything bu the law, and be punished with anything except his sentence; torture may not be used. Civilian officials may use military force only in case of insurrection after having publicly read he law on insurrections for three times. Freedom of the press is guaranteed, nobody may be charged because of what he said about institutions of the state, only the call for disobedience against laws, disrespect shown to religion and morality, against the constitutional power, and offenses are punished. Limitations against freedom of trade shall not be implemented, searches of houses ny be conducted in criminal cases. Everything pertaining to Norway has to be written in Norwegian.
During the financial period 1857-1860, revenues and expenses annually were fixed at 4,629,500 Speciesthaler; state debts at the end of 1854 amounted to 4,384,300 Speciesthaler. Since 1835 there are no more direct taxes on the cities or on land property in Norway. Also indirect taxes have been much reduced.
The military power on land consists of the troops of the line, the landwehr, the coastal- and burgher militia, and the landsturm, of which the first two form the regular force. In 1855 the number of troops of the line was 14,324, the landwehr numbered 9160, thus the army numbered 23,484 men. The troops of the line were divided in brigades which were divided in corps which were divided in companies. The first brigade is the engineers brigade (with 4 staff officers, 2 captains, 2 staff captains etc.), the second the artillery brigade, which is divided in 5 batallions (corps) and 11 batteries with 88 pieces (artillery and engineers together 1330 men); the third is the cavalry brigade, which consists of 3 corps of mounted mountain infantry, the Upland, Åkershus and Trondhjem corps, and which is 1070 men strong. The infantry, together with the landwehr, forms 5 brigades, the first and second Åkershus, the Drontheim, the Bergen and the Christiansand brigade, of which the first is divided in 6 corps, the second and fourth in 5, the third and fifth in 4. Every corps (batallion) consists of troops of the line brigades and landwehr brigades. Of the troops of he line, about 2000 men have been recruited. Uniforms are, in general, blue, with flaps in the same colour; the officers wear epaulettes. There used to be 2 regiments of snowshoe runners; now only 4 companies are left. They carry a rifle, bayonet, a 7 foot long stick (support while running, and for the rifle during the shot), and over the normal shoes snowshoes, in order to quickly cross snow and ice; in the summer they serve as light mountain infantry. The king may keep a guard of Norwegian volunteers, and for the purpose of manoeuvres, move 3,000 men from one kingdom into the other. Otherwise no Swedish soldier may be stationed in Norway, and no Norwegian soldier in Sweden. The duration of service in artillery and cavalry is 7 years, in the infantry 5 years. Every Norwegian must serve, either in the army or in the landwehr. Cadets must be 18 years of age and must have passed the officers' exam, if they want to become officers. Their seniority is determined after the grade they got in the test. Promotion up to the level of staff officer is determined by seniority; from then on it is no longer tied to it. A military academy exists, also a house for cadets under a special chef, further a school for artillery and engineers; NCOs are trained in separate brigade schools. There is an arms factory in Kongsberg which produces arms for army and navy; the cannons are produced in Sweden. The generality counts under the viceroy-commander-in-chief 1 lieutenant general, 6 majors general, 7 adjutans general, the general staff 5 officers. Fortresses in Norway : Frederiksstad, Frederikshald, Åkershus near Christiania, several forts near Christiansand, Bergen, Drontheim, Horten, Wardöchuns and a number of smaller forts, but they are mostly not well-maintained and have not been improved according to the newest plans. The navy in 1855 numbered 12 high bord ships and 130 vessels of low draught, in total 142 ships with 450 cannon, namely 3 frigates (1 screw frigate), 5 corvettes (2 screw corvettes), 4 schooners (1 screw schooner), 80 oared gunboats, 42 bomb- and gunboats, 5 towing steamers and two elder cannon schooners. The navy personnel consists of 1 contreadmiral, 1 commodore, 3 commodore captains, 12 captains, 12 captain lieutenants, 24 ship lieutenants, 33 underlieutenants, and 534 sailors who are permanently in service. To fully service all ships, 5700 men would be needed. The number of those subject to mandatory military service is 46,000 men. Every one of these has to serve in the navy for 5 years. For the recruitment of these, and for calling for volunteers, the coastland is divided in 6 districts which areFrederikshald, Bragenäs, Christiansand, Bergen, Drontheim and Stavanger. The place where the fleet is stationed used to be Frederiksvärn; since its expansion a new naval port has been established at Horten. A small naval shipyard is maintained at Christiansand, for the detachment of the islet flotilla which is stationed here; the other two detachments at Bergen and Drontheim. Further to the navy belong : a see military corps of 2 companies, 1 artillery and one marines company, 1 company of pioneers, 1 work company, 1 Schiffsbaustaat.
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Currency, Measurements and Weights ..
See : E. Pontoppidan, Natürliche Geschichte von Norwegen, aus dem Däl;nischen von J.A. Scheybe, Copenhagen 1753, 2 parts, K. Naumann, Beiträge zur Kenntniss von Norwegen, Leipzig 1823f, 2 parts, Gemälde von Norwegen, Hamburg 1815, A. Schweigaard, Norge's Statistik, Christiania 1840, Laing, Journal of a Residence in Norway, London 1842, in German by Lindau, Dresden 1843, G.P. Blom, Das Königreich Norwegen, Leipzig 1842, 2 vols., Mügge, Skizzen aus dem Norden, Hannover 1844, Wald. Karstens, Topographisch-Statistisches Handbuch des Königreichs Norwegen, Lübeck 1854, Brace, The Norse folk, a visit to the homes of Norway, London 1857, Berghaus, Schweden, Dänemark und Norwegen, die drei skandinavischen Reiche, Berlin 1858

source in German, posted by Zeno

Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865

Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865, Article : Norwegen (2)
Norway, History. Norway, one of he three scandinavian kingdoms, was unknown to the writers of old. First it is mentioned by Plinius under the name Nerigos, as a large island. In the 4th century A.D. the western part of Scandinavia was known as Norege, in the 6th century (Norrike) it was known up to 70 degrees northern latitude. The name Norway appears since the 10th and 11th century. Norway in the old day was larger than it is today, as territory in northwestern Sweden belonged to it. The free Norwegians lived of hunting, fishing and piracy, Every owner of a large plot of land, who could equip ships for the purpose of war, took on the position of jarl or king, and his reputation increased with the success of his raids. According to Norse sagas, the wanderings of Odin also took him to Norway, and the first king appointed by Odin was his son Sämingr; his kingdom included Drontheim, Norrland and Halogaland. Over a century later Norr, son of the King of Jotland (Finnland and Quenland) ruled there. He and his brother Gorr had been sent out by their father to search for their sister Goe, who had been abducted. After a long search without success they came to the territory of Drontheim, and they partitioned the land. Norr held on to the mainland, which is said to have been named after him - Norrland; Gorr took the islands. On further travels, Norr came to Hedemark, where Hrolf of the mountain ruled, who had abducted Goe. Norr and Hrolf reconciled, and got Hrolf's sister Hodda, but had to cede southern Norway. Norr's and Gorr's descendants partitioned their inheritance in case of a death, and so the territories they inherited became smaller and smaller; as the kings strove to expand their lands, wars were fought between them continuously. The kings who ruled in the country's interior were called land kings (fylkekonger); those who engaged in piracy sea kings (Näskonger, Vikingar). Of Norr's descendants, some ruled Rogaland and Hordaland into the 8th and 9th century, among these especially Augwald Roge and Hehrleif are famous. Half, son of Hiorleif and of Hilda, when a minor left the business of government to his stepfather Asmund, and when he wanted to assume rule personally, was murdered by Asmund, but his son Hior received aid from he princes of Sweden, Scania and Denmark, toppled Asmund and regained the possessions he had inherited from his father; these were held on to by his successors until the conquerors Halfdan and Harald. Another branch of the family was in the possession of Raumerike, Telemark, Hringarike and other southern parts. Under one of them, Eystein, many emigrated because of the cruelty of his rule, and settled in Jämtland, a country named after their chosen leader, Jamte Katil. When Eystein was murdered by his countrymen, his father Gudriod punished the perpetrators by making his dog Saur their king. Also Gorr's descendants moved from the islands to the mainland and made conquests, most notably Sogn. Bel, allied with Thorstein, conquered the Orkney Islands and enfiefed the Gotlandic prince Angantyr with these; Thorsein's son was the famous Fridtjof, who ultimately became king of Sogn and Hordaland; his grandsons had to leave Norway.
With Olaf Tretelgja proper history begins to dawn. He, the son of the Swedish king Ingjald Illrådr, had to emigrate because of the hatred of the Swedes toward the House of the Ynglingar, and established a kingdom in Värmland, but was burnt .. with his house, because his subjects believed him to be a blasphemer. He was succeeded by his son Halfdan Hvitbeen (white leg, 640-700) who gradually conquered Raumarike, a part of Hedemark, Hadaland, Thotnia and a large part of Westfold; also his elder son Eystein (700-720) gradually took conrol of this large kingdom, and because he drowned on a sea raid, he was succeeded by his son Halfdan the generous (730-784), whose son Gudriod (784-841) by he way of his wife Alfhild gained half of Wingulmark, and in order to get Asa after the death of his wife Alfhild, he killed her father Harald. But Asa had him murdered, and for her son Halfdan the Black she took the kingdom of her father, while Olaf, son of Gudriod and Alfhild, received the remaining kingdom of his father, but his grandfather Alfar took from him Wingulmark and a part of Raumarike; Haugn took Hedemark, Thotnia and Hadaland. Wärmland surrendered to the Swedes; he had to split Westfold with Halfdan. Olaf's son Rogewald died without heirs, and now the lands he had ruled fell to Halfdan. In successful ars Halfdan reconquered his father's entire kingdom, except for those lands which had been acquired by Sweden. By marriage with Ragehild, daughter of Harald Goldbart, he gained the Kingdom of Sogn, and he conquered Rignarike from King Sigurd. Halfdan was so popular with his subjects, that after his death all provinces squabbled over the honour to have him buried on their soil, and the matter could not be solved other than his corpse being cut to pieces and one piece being buried in every province. He was succeeded by his ten-year-old son Harald Harfagr (Fairhair), who accepted his uncle Guttorm, a 16 year old youngster, as regent. In 865-867 Harald submitted all kingdoms located in what were to become the Stifts of Bergen and Drontheim, and in 868-875 completed he conquest of the other parts of Norway. He instroduced a strict feudal system, every teritory was to be headed by a Jarl, who was in charge of jurisdiction and who collected taxes, and who was to receive 1/3 of these taxes, but had to provide 60 warriors. Subordinate to the jarls were the herfers (a kind of captain), of whom everyone had to provide 20 warriors. Many captains dissatisfied with this constitution emigrated to the Faroe Islands, the Orkney Islands, Iceland, or to Jämtland, Härjedalen or Hälsingeland, or settled down in England, Ireland or other countries of the south, as did Rollo, the son of Rogewald, in Normandy. Harald cared for the safety of the country, forbade feuds, favoured trade. He allocated a principality to each of his sons, made his eldest son Erik Bloodaxe over-king, handed the kingdom over to him in 930 and died in 934. As Erik, after Harald's death, had several of his brothers murdered and he rights of he feudal lords violated, Jarl Sigurd in 939 called in Hako I. the Good, Erik's brother who had been raised at the court of King Ethelstane in England, into Norway, where he as recognized everywhere as over-king. Erik fled to the Orkneys, then went to England, where he was slain in 941 in the Battle of Brunaburg. Hako conquered Värmland, Hälsingeland and Jämtland; he also attempted to introduce Christianity in Norway, but without success, despite some Christians living in the country, who had been converted since 830 by St. Ansgar. He fell in 950 in a battle with Harald, Erik's son, and now the latter, as Harald II. Graafell, became over-king, governed with his brothers and the mediation of his cruel mother Gunhild; he had Jarl Sigurd murdered, and ruled until 962, when he was slain. Hako II., Sigurd's son, Jarl of Thrand, now ruled, but in the beginning only as a vassall of the King of Denmark, until he gained independence in 975. He persecuted the Christians, and he gained respect abroad by successful campaigns, but was hated in the country because his severity and lust. So he was abandoned by his supporters, and killed by a servant. Olaf I. Tryggveson, a grandson of Harald Fairhair, who had gained fame by his sea raids, landed in Norway and was recognized as king. He introduced Christianity in Norway, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroes, and in 997 founded Nidrosia (= Drontheim). When he undertook a raid against the Wendian coast to force the payment of the dowry for his wife Thyra from arcbishop Burisleif, he was ambushed by the Swedish and Danish fleets, and he fell in battle.
Norway now was split by Denmark and Sweden, and administrated in their names by the jarls Erik and Sven. These again permitted idolatry, and by a harsh-handed policy, kept the discontented at bay. Olaf II. the Holy (or the Fat) the Danish king Canute fought with England, and in 1015 terminated the rule of foreigners in Norway, and soon after he restored Norwegian rule over the Faros, Orkneys and Iceland. He issued court law, state law and church law and extinguished paganism. When Canute came to Norway in order to reconquer it (1028), Olaf II. had to flee. He went to Sweden, later to his son-in-law Jaroslav, Grand Prince of Russia. Supported by a Swedish army, he returned in 1030, but fell in the Batle of Stiklestad. Soon after his death he was beatified, and he is honoured as Norway's patron saint. After Canute's death, Olav's son Magnus the Good (or the Pious) was recalled by the Norwegians in 1036 and he restored he independence of Norway, and after the death of Hardicanute (with whom he had agreed that the survivor among the two was to inherit from the other), in 1041 he also ascended the Danish throne, but he had to fight many wars in order to hold on to it. In 1044 he had a new law book, Grägäs, compiled. In 1046 he had to split the kingdom with Harald III. Hardardr (the Hard), the half-broher of his father, and when Magnus died in 1047, Harald succeeded him in all of Norway. Denmark fell to Sven Estridsen. Harald, a hero and friend of the sciences, resisted the usurpations of Pope Alexander and of Archbishop Adalbert of Bremen, who arbitrarily wanted to dispose over the dioceses; in 1054 he founded the city of Opslo (Christiania), fought successful wars against Denmark, but fell in 1066 in the battle of Battelbridge against the English. His son Magnus II. accepted his broher Olaf III. Kyrre (the Peaceful) as co-regent and died in 1069. he later continued to rule in peace, in 1070 founded Bergen and Drontheim Cathedral and gave wise laws. He favoured trade, founded the guilds, freed those who had been taken prisoner in wars of servitude, created a magnificent court, increased the revenues of the clergy, supported his brother-in-law Knud IV. of Denmark against William I. of England, and died in 1093. His successor was his natural son Magnus III. Barfot (Barefoot, because during his raid against Ireland he wore Scotish dress). The men of Oppland regarded it unjust that Hako II., the son of Magnus II., after the death of his uncle Olav, did not succeed in half of he kingdom, and chose him as their king. Hako died soon after, but the opponents of Magnus III. now elected the Dane Harald Fletterson as their king, but Magnus expelled him. In 1095 Magnus submitted the Hebrides and Orkneys, but the inhabitants already in 1097 killed and expelled the officials he had placed over them. In a campaign against them he punished those responsible, made his 8 year old son Sigurd island king and even forced the king of Ireland to recognize his suzerainty. Once returned, he fought with King Ingo of Sweden and in 1098 was victorious at Foxerne, but suffered defeat at the same location in 1099 and now concluded the Peace of Konghella. In 1102 Magnus invaded Ireland, conquered Dublin and Ulster, but on his return trip he was ambushed by he Irish, and killed. He used to wear a coat of red silk on the back of which was embroidered a lion; this was to become the Norwegian coat of arms. His son Sigurd I. the Jerusalem pilgrim, because he undertook a crusade in Palestine 1107-1110, had his brothers Eystein and Olaf IV. as co-regents, of whom the former administrated Norway during Sigurd's crusade. After the death of Olaf (1116) and Eystein (1121) Sigurd ruled the entire kingdom alone. He reintriduced Viking law, and introduced the ecclesiastical tithe. He was succeeded by his son Magnus the Blind, but the latter was coerced by the Diet of Hauga in 1134 to leave half of the kingdom to his cousin Harald V. Gillichrist, but he defeated and later expelled the latter. Harald fled to King Erik of Denmark, collected an army, landed near Bergen in 1135, took Magnus prisoner, had him mutilated and sent him into a monastery. After Harald V. had been murdered by his half-brother Sigurd II. in 1136, Magnus returned from the monastery, and opposing Sigurd and Harald's son Ingo I. as king, but following several defeats he was killed in 1139. Ingo now shared the throne with his brother Sigurd III. until 1155. Against both the brothers Magnus and Eystein II. rose as counter-kings, but they perished soon; another counter-king was Hako III, Hardebrad, son of Sigurd II.; Ingo was slain in 1161, Hako in 1162. Now Count Erling, on-in-law of Sigurd I., had his son Magnus V. crowned by the archbishop (the first coronation in Norway) in 1164; Magnus defeated his counter-kings Olaf in Oppland and Eystein Mala, the leader of the political faction called the Birkbeiners, but had to give way to the pretender Sverre in 1181. Under Magnus V. on March 24th 1174 the Golden Feather was introduced, a church law providing great privileges to the church, which placed the election of the king almost exclusively in their hands. In 1152 for Norway the archdiocesis of Nidaros had been established (which was o exist until 1548, when it was abolished in the course of the Reformation).
Sverre, a son of Sven II., had to spend most of his energy in the struggle against rebels, speccially with the clergy and their party, the Baglers; the ban was declared against him, but he expelled the rebellious bishops and died in 1202. His son and successor Hako IV. in 1204 was poisoned by his stepmother. Now Hako's four year old nephew Gutthorm, and after his death in 1205 his brother Ingo II. was elected king, although the Baglers and many Birkbeiners wanted Erling Steinweg, a son of Magnus V., who also was supported by Valdemar of Denmark. Ingo had to fight most with the Bagler king Philipp; he died in 1217. Now Hako V. Gamla (the Old), a grandson of Sverre, was elected king, and generally recognized at the Diet of Bergen 1223. At this diet he introduced the law regulating succession, restored the reputation of the crown, restored peace to the kingdom, promoted agriculture and trade, founded new villages, cities and fortresses, concluded alliances with Emperor Friedrich II. and with the Hanseatic cities, forced the kings of the islands into submission, especially the Isle of Man. Greenland and Iceland in 1261 voluntarily accepted his suzerainty. During his rule a new political faction, the Ribbungers, emerged in 1219. In 1251 the comptoir of the German merchants (Hanse) in Bergen was established (according to other sources, this only happened in 1271 under his successor); he died in 1262. His son Magnus VI. the Law-Betterer in 1264 waged war against Scotland over the Isle of Man, and in 1265 over the Hebrides, but ceded both in 1266. From 1267 to 1279 he had a new law code compiled, combined the four separate court systems into one, regulated succession to the throne and the feudal order, granted new privileges to the clergy in 1277 and died in 1280. His son Erik II. the Priest-Hater quarreled throughout his rule with the clergy, waged a long war with Denmark because of the dowry of his mother Ingiborg, and in 1284 entered into a conflict with the Hanseatic League, which ended to his disadvantage; in 1285 in the Peace of Kalmar he had to grant unlimited rights in his kingdom to the Hanseatic League, and even to join it. When Erik died in 1299, he was succeeded by his brother Hako VII.; he waged wars with the Danes and Swedes and had to repel Russian invasions in 1313 and 1316. With him the male line of the Norwegian royal house went extinct in 1319. The Norwegian crown fell to his grandson Magnus VII. Smet, King of Sweden and still a minor; he was crowned only in 1330.
Magnus VII. rule was unfortunate for Norway; the Russians raided the country, the nobility rebelled in 1340, the Hanseatic League wagwed war against the country and the plague raged in the country in 1348. Magnus, who already in 1343 had accepted his son Hako VIII. as co-regent, in 1350 ceded the crown to the latter and only held on to royal domains and prerogatives. Hako took up arms against his own father, and was named King of Sweden in 1362, and Norway was united with Sweden; but already in 1365 he was dethroned in Sweden, when he had married Queen Margaret of Denmark, so that only Norway was left to him. Hako granted great privileges to the Hanseatic League, to gain her sympathies, but the latter still allied with Albrecht of Mecklenburg to wage war against Norway. Peace with Albrecht was concluded in 1370, with the Hanseatic League in 1369. Olaf V., the son of Hako VIII., still a minor, who succeeded his grandfather in 1375 in Denmark under the guardianship of his mother Margaret, the daughter of King Valdemar III. of Denmark, succeeded his father in Norway in 1380, and so Norway was united with Denmark. After his death (1387) his mother Margaret was not only recognized as Queen of Denmark and Norway, but also convinced the estates to recognize her nephew, Duke Erik of Pomerania, as her eventual successor. In 1388 she also conquered Sweden and in 1397 united the three Nordic kingdoms under one scepter in the Kalmar Union (see under Denmark, History of); she died in 1412.
Eruik's rule (1412-1439) was characterized by frequent unrest; all he more calm was that of Christoph III., he son of his sister, born Duke of Bavaria, whom he Danes had elected (1441-1448). Christoph III. did not have any heirs, and so the union dissolved again. In Sweden King Karl Knutson was elected king, in Denmark with Christian I. the House of Oldenburg ascended the throne. Norway reunited with Denmark (1450); but Christian's successor Johann, unfortunate against the Dithmarschers, separated themselves from him, but by the defeat at Opslo 1502 were forced to submit. At that time Bergen was one of the 4 large staple places of the Hanseatic League and had a republican constitution. When Christian II. in 1523 atrtacked their trade privileges as well as the privileges of clergy and nobility, he lost both Denmark and Norway, and Friedrich I., his uncle and successor, declared Norway to be an elective monarchy, but already in 1532 Norway again was united with Denmark. Under Friedrich I. the Reformation had begun in 1528 and found all the more supporters, as Norway since 1152 had to pay significant dues to the papal see. Norway, which had been reduced to a Danish sideland, suffered from the extended rights of the Hanseatic League, which had monopolized trade and even the most lucrative businesses, and which had made the Norwegians dependent on themselves. Under Christian II. (1536) Norway at the Diet of Copenhagen, by law, lost its council of the realm, and from now on was administrated as a province, by a stadholder. Christian IV. in 1646 attempted to balance the inequality among both kingdoms by granting the Norwegian nobility the same privileges the Danish nobility enjoyed. Under Frederik III. 1660 Norway regained a supreme court, which later was reduced to the status of a high court, to which appeals could be made from he stift courts, and from where appeals would be directed to the supreme court in Copenhagen. In foreign relations Norway was affected by the wars between Denmark and Sweden (see under Denmark, History of). The union of Denmark and Norway lasted until 1814. Already in 1812 the Allies had promised to Sweden that, if the latter would join their Alliance, they were to take Norway from Denmark (which was allied with France) and to give it to Sweden. Therefore, after the Battle of Leipzig 1813, hen crown-prince Bernadotte allied with the Allies againt Denmark, and King Frederik IV. of Denmark, in the Treaty of Kiel on January 14th 1814 ceded Norway to Sweden. But the Norwegians wanted to defend their autonomy, elevated stadholder Prince Christian of Denmark to King of Norway and adopted a free constitution on May 17th 1814 at Eidsvold. Meanwhile the superior force of the Swedes, who in a campaign lasting 14 days pushed back the Norwegians, took the country's fortresses, caused Prince Christian of Denmark to depart, coreced the Norwegians into accepting a truce and the Moss Agreement of August 14th 1814, where the union with Sweden was decided upon, in such a way, that Norway should remain a separate kingdom with its own constitution, and his constitution would be the one adopted on May 17th. At several places in the country unrest broke out, but the Storting in Christiania on October 20th 1814 confirmed the Moss Agreement. The modified constitution of November 4th 1814 confirmed that Norway should remain a separate kingdom and in no other way was to be united with Sweden than in personal union of the monarch.
Barely peace and order had been restored, the struggle between both constitutional powers, Storting, who steadfastly held on to its old rights, and king Karl I. (in Sweden Karl XIII.), began. Repeatedly the latter atempted to modify individual stipulations of the constitution, but he was not even capable of preserving the status of the nobility. The Storting recognized those as nobles who were able to legitimize themselves as such, for their persons, but did not permit them to pass on this status to their heirs. King Karl I. (since 1818) proposed a modification of the constitution converting the suspensive royal veto into an absolute one, but the opposition of the majority in the Storting only increased, and when this proposition was repeated in 1836, it was not even presented to a commission, but rejected outright. This, and the enthusiastic celebration of constitution day, was used by the king as a pretext to dissolve the Storting on July 8th. But the latter protested, and the Odeslting accused minister of state Löweenskjöld at the court of the realm, where he was sentenced to a fine of 1000 Speciesthaler. On October 20th the king called on Storting to reconvene. The constitution day of 1837 was a festival of reconciliation between people and king; a Norwegian, Count Wedel-Jarlsberg was appointed o head the government, and the royal emissary no longer spoke out against the constitution. On April 11th 1838 the king permitted Norwegian merchant ships to fly the Norwegian flag. On February 9th 1839 he opened the Storting in person. All earlier prepositions to amend the constitution, which had been presented earlier, were rejected, the guilds abolished, the criminal code completed, but the latter did not obtain royal approval, as the inviolability of the majesty had not been extended on the royal princes and princesses. In 1840 a trade agreement was concluded with Sardinia. After the death of stadholder Wedel-Jarlsberg the not popular Löwenskjöld was appointed stadholder. The Storting of 1842 rejected all proposals concerning amendments to the constitution and established, that royal approval for the naturalization of foreigners in Norway would not be necessary, and that the ban against the entry of Jews was not to be lifted. The new king Oscar in 1844 was paid homage enthusiastically, as in his proclamation he promised to maintain the autonomy of Norway; he also opened the Storting in person on February 10th 1845, but the royal proposals to amend the constitution, for instance the requested participation of the council of the realm in deliberations of the Storting, and a change in the electoral law, were rejected. In that ime alsp a political trial attracted great interest. Under the previous administration, minister of finances Voigt on December 4th 1843 had countersigned a royal decree which created a new customs tariff. The Odelsting regarded this a violation of the constitution, because no tax could be introduced without the approval of both chambers, and had sued. The supreme court, in front of which the case was argued from Novermber 5th to 8th 1844, decided that the tariff did violate the constitution, but under he assumption that the accused had acted bona fide, in the belief that the decree had been in accordance with the law, it declared him free of responsibility. The year 1845 was marked by a notorious church dispute; the Bishop of Drontheim, contrary to tradition, refused to crown the queen. In the dispute between Schleswig-Holstein and their king, the majoriy of the population did not agree with the Russo-Danish policy of the cabinet in Stockholm, especially as also Norway had to sign a loan to pay for the costs of the mobilisation which had been ordered in Sweden in favour of Denmark, but as a refusal would have meant an open breech with the crown, it was taken on. On the occasion of the opening of the Storting on February 11th 1851 the king expressed his concern in regard to communist fermentation in the country, as well as his expectation to see these revolutionary tendencies removed by possible promotion of spiritual and material welfare of the poorer classes. The agitator Thrane and his aid, the apprentice mason Michelsen, on behest of workers' associations, travelled across the land and caused excitement among the mob in the district of Drontheim. In Levanger on February 10th a tumult ensued, when the burghers proceeded to arrest this emissary, and the mob attempted to free him. Military had to be called in, and several weeks passed until calm was restored. Unrest erupted anew, when a convention of workers from all parts of the country convened in Christiania in June, and through a deputation to the Storting on June 16th issued demands, which meant a complete reorganization of constitution and administration, the dismission of the officials, with the threat that in the case of non-compliance a rebellion would ensue. The Storting did not discuss the demands, had the ringleaders arrested and restored order. The opposition in he Storting faced a majority supporting the government, and the latter on May 6th accepted an addition to paragraph 62 of the constitution which permitted the counsulors of state to attend sessions of the Storting, without the right to vote, but left it to every future Storting to decide if they wanted to extend this permission. This limitation on the royal proposal caused the king to reject the law. Also the civil list was extended accoding to the wishes of the king, and Jews were permitted to enter the country. While political and social emotions had settled, now ecclesiastical emotions took their place. Fanatics, mostly coming from Sweden, crossed the land, and by their sermons calling for repentance created tension in the country. The people neglected their work, suffered greatly economically, and was driven to violent acts. The steps the government undertook to address the matter were fruitless, but the fanaticism soon calmed down.
During a longer visit of the king to Germany in 1852, in the regency established according to the constitution, Norway was represented by 10 counselors, in the presidency of which one Norwegian alternated with a Swede on a weekly basis. Christiania was connected with Lake Mjös by railroad, to promote the export of timber to England, France and Holland. The 14th Storting deliberated from February 8th to September 5th 1854. The report of the government on the condition of the state showed considerable improvements in education, in agriculture, in merchant shipping, in the administration of charitable institutions, in the development of the postal service by he acquisition of mailboats, in the activities of the statistical bureau and the completion of the topographical map of Norway, as well as in an increase of customs revenues. The public debt of the pevious year was 4,580,700 Speciesthaler. Progress was made in linguistics; attempts were made to prove the identity of Old Norwegian and Old Norse, and an agreement with Denmark was concluded to return the old Norwegian archives. The issuance of 45 magazines in a naion of not even 1 1/2 million inhabitants, most of whom were peasants, is a good indicator for the level of literacy among the people. A telegraph line connecting Norway with Sweden was taken in operation; in general the connection of both countries, still suffering from the lack of roads and from customs legislation, was a matter of the government's permanent attention. In 1854 the king charged a commission composed of Swedes and Norwegians with debating the matter and coming up with recommendations; the residence of crown prince Karl in Norway, who had been appointed viceroy, was to facilitate an easier solution to the task. In an assembly of Danish and Swedish students in Uppsala in July 1856, which was to express the strife of Scandinavians toward closest fraternization, also students from Christiania participated. On February 2nd 1857 the 15th Storting convened, approved the termination of the Sound Levy which had been agreed upon by international treaty, but rejected the proposal by the government that in the case of the absence of the king a prince was to take on the regency, as the constitution for such a situation prescribed the esablishment of a regency composed of conselors of the realm. Also the draft of a law presented by the government which was to abolish the stipulation of the constitution concerning the maintenance of the rights of the nobles was rejected. On June 22nd the crown prince was deposed as viceroy of Norway, as he was called upon to preside the interimist administration in the absence of the king, who had to undertake a journey because of his health. As the progressing illness of the king required him to at least temporarily withdraw from the business of government, soon the question arose, if a government formed of Norwegians and Swedes was to represent the king, or if the crown prince was to do so. At first an interim government was formed as specified before, on November 15th, which included 10 counselors from Norway, but then the proposition, as it was the case in the Swedish Riksdag, was accepted in the Norwegian Storting on Sept. 16th, that in case of he king being ill, the crown prince was to lead the government, so that the interim government was dissolved already on September 25th, and the crown prince-regent swore he oath required by the constitution in the department of the Norwegian state council. The proposal of the introduction of trial by jury, which had been accepted by Odalsting, in September was rejected by Lagting, and also rejected by the crown prince. Also the proposition to maintain corporal punishment was rejected by Lagting. The Storting approved the construction of several railroad lines, among them one to the Swedish border, the payment of sums to state officials to compensate for inflated prices, to set the contribution to state expenses at 4,556,000 Speciesthaler and to sign a loan for 2 million Thaler to finance the railroad projects; but the approval of extraodinary sums for unforeseen necessary military expenses was not given. In July the submarine telegraph line connecting Stavanger and Bergen had been completed. The extraordinary session of Storting 1858 mainly dealt with, and ultimately approved the government proposition to take on a loan of 3,600,000 Speciesthaler, in part to pay off an earlier loan signed in London, in part to finance the projected railroads, in part to finance mortgages, to raise the credit in the country. Noteworthy was the increasing tension and jealousy between Sweden and Norway, the first-time issuance of a newspaper in the Norwegian vernacular, which took upon itself the task to replace the Danish language hitherto customary in public life.
After King Oscar I. had died on July 8th 1859 and the crown prince, as King Karl III. (in Sweden Karl XIV.) ascended the throne, he arrived in Christiania at the end of September, and opened the Storting on October 6th with a speech, in the course of which he swore the oath required by the constitution. Among the deliberations of Storting the most important were those, which dealt with the royal propositions, according to which instead of the interim government as prescribed by the constitution, to be replaced by a prince-regency; at the ame time a separate cabinet was to be formed for Norway in Christiania. Both were approved, and the abolition of the stadholdership requested. Reason for excitement was given when Count Anckarsvärd in the Swedish Riksdag proposed to revise the relations within the union of Sweden and Norway, as he demanded Norway to pay a greater share in the costs of the military and the royal court. After the Riksdag had accepted the proposal, the mutual expressions of hostility rose to a high degree of bitterness. The excitement rose to an even higher level, when the king on April 4th rejected the proposal to abolish the position of stadholder. The Storting responded on the 22nd by issuing an address to the king in which it refused any proposal regarding the revision of the union as a violation of its constitution. As a sign of reconciliation is to be regarded the fact, that on August 5th the coronation of the king and his wife, as king and quuen of Norway, was celebtated in the cathedral of Drontheim in opulent ceremony.
See : R. Ramus, Nori regum, Christiania 1689, J. Ramus, Norriges Kongers Historie, Copenhagen 1719, Thormod Torlak, Historia rerum Norvegicarum, Copenhagen 1711, 4 volumes, G. Schöning, Norges Riges Historie, Soroe 1771-1787, 4 volumes, Actenstücke und Aufsätze der neuesten Geschichte von Norwegen betreffend, Altona 1814, Münter, Kirchengeschichte von Dänemark und Norwegen, Leipzig 1823-1833, 3 parts, Faye, Geschichte von Norwegen, Leipzig 1851, Munch, Det norske Folks Historie, Christiania 1852f, Konrad Maurer, Die Bekehrung des Norwegischen Stammes zum Christenthum, München 1855f, 2 vols. and others, see under Norwegian literature

source in German, posted by Zeno

Meyers Grosses Konversations-Lexikon 1902-1909, Article : Norwegen
Norway, Kingdom, stretches from 57 degrees 58 minutes 43 seconds (Lindesnäs) to 71 degrees 11 minutes northern latitude (Knivskjäodden) in a length of 1700 km. Its coasts measure, the many inlets disregarded, 2800 km, the area 321,477 square km (5838.3 square miles).
Topography : ..
Geology : ..
Climate, Fauna and Flora : ..

Area and Population : In the 19th century, despite strong emigration (1903 : 26,784) the population has increased considerably; in 1815 it numbered 885,431, in 1855 1,490,047, the census of December 3rd 1900 counted a population present at the location of residence of 2,221,477 and a resident population of 2,242,995 souls. Area and population are divided over Norway's 22 districts as follows :

District Area (sq km) Area (sq m) Population Present per sq km
Christiania (city) 17 0.3 229,101 -
Akershus 5,224 94.9 116,896 22
Smaalenene 4,144 75.2 136,167 33
Hedemarken 27,452 498.5 126,703 5
Christiansamt 25,342 460.2 116,280 5
Buskerud 14,817 269.1 112,743 8
Jarlsberg and Laurvik 2,320 42.1 101,003 45
Brunsberg 15,189 275.8 98,298 7
Redenes 9,348 169.3 75,925 9
Lister and Mandal 7,264 131.9 78,259 11
Stavanger 9,147 166.1 125,658 14
Söndre Bergenhus 15,668 283.4 132,687 9
Bergen (city) 14 0.2 71,867 -
Nordre Bergenhus 18,481 335.7 88,214 5
Romsdal 14,990 272.2 136,579 9
Söndre Trondhjem 18,609 337.9 134,718 8
Nordre Trondhjem 22,592 409.1 83,449 4
Nordland 38,340 698.2 150,637 4
Tromsö 26,246 476.7 72,969 3
Finnmarken 46,405 842.8 33,387 0.7

The average population density is 7 per square km; it is the highest in the districts on Christianiafjord (Jarlsberg-Laurvik 45, Smaalenene 33), the weakest in Finnmarken (0.7). The average annual population increase in the 19th century was 0.9 %. The female gender outnumbers the male; there were 1,086,867 men, 1,156,128 women (1064 women per 1000 men). The bulk of the population are Norwegians; they are of the same descent as the Swedes and Danes are. They are of average stature, have a long, full face, strong skeletal structure, are honest, willing to do a service, hospitable, love their fatherland and take pride in their freedom. They are excellent marksmen and good soldiers, even better seamen and perhaps the best pilots of the world. Especially the residents of the coastal areas are excellent fishermen. The mass of the population is made up by residents of the countryside. They are either landowners or tenants and live on scattered farms, almost nowhere in villages. The peasants rarely have family names; upon baptism they receive a personal name, to which they add the name of their father with the suffix -sen or -son, f.ex. Karl Persson means Karl, son of Peter. To this they add the name of the farm where they live. Pride and honesty characterize the rural population. The old traditional dress, which differs strongly from region to region, today is seen only rarely. The urban population differs little from that in other countries. The written language is almost identical with the Danish language. But the spoken language of the country folk, especially in remote areas, comes very close to the Old Norse (see : Norwegian Popular Language). Besides the Norwegians, in the northern provinces, there live Finns (here called Kväner; they immigrated from Finland) and Lapplanders (here called Finns), who live partially of their raindeer herds, partly conduct fishery in the sea and in the rivers. The number of both population groups is negligible, in 1900 the number of Kväners was only 7777, the one of Finns (Lapplanders) 19,677 (of whom 1202 nomads). Further there were a few hundred roaming "Fanter" or gypsies. In ecclesiastic respect Norway now is divided in 6 stifts, Christiania, Hamar, Christiansand, Bergen, Drontheim, Tromsö. Every stift is headed by a bishop, who supervises the clergy and the charities for the poor, and who together with the stift administrator form the stift directory. Under the bishops the 84 provosts, under these the priests and chaplains, who occasionally are allocated to priests. There are no rights of patronage. The Evangelical-Lutheran doctrine is state confession, to which the overwhelming majoriy of the people adhere, but unlimited freedom of religion is practised. In 1900 only 12,619 adherents of the Free Lutheran Church were counted, 1,969 Roman Caholics, 10,286 Methodists, 5,674 Baptists, 642 Jews etc.
The Norwegians have a high level of education. There is a university in Christiania (established in 1811, with 5 faculties); the institutions of higher learning are divided in middle schools with four classes (for the age 11 to 15) and gymnasia (with 3 classes), the latter with parallel classes for language subjects and real subjects; instruction in Latin and Greek is limited to the university. Both kinds of institutions hold graduation examinations; those held at gymnasia permit enrollment at university. There are 14 state institutions (middle schools and gymnasia), 42 communal ones and 28 private ones (of which 2 respectively 4 are combined with gymnasia). The state and communal institutions are open to students of both genders; of the private institutions 28 are only for girls. Elementary education is provided free of charge; schooling is mandatory in the cities for children from 7 to 15 years of age, in the countryside from 8 to 15. In 1902 elementary schools in the cities were attended by 82,440 students, in the countryside by 262,439 students, where 4,776 male teachers and 2,759 female teachers taught. The education of teachers is taken care of at semeral teachers seminaries. Also vocational schools, libraries, collections, scholarly societies exist. In Norway 350 newspapers and magazines are issued, 131 of them in Christiania.
The overwhelming number of cities, of which there are 40, is located at suitable locations on the coast. Further, on the coast at suitable locations there are 21 landing sites, which are also counted among the cities, and beaching sites. The entire urban population in 1900 numbered 639,553, the resident population 638,217. In 1900, by profession, were distinguished :

Occupations breadwinners dependents total
Officials, Soldiers, Self-Employed 35,904 34,741 70,645
Agriculture and Forestry 309,016 343,381 652,397
Fishery 50,747 58,041 108,788
Mining and Industry 242,642 221,835 464,477
Trade and Communication 122,256 124,056 246,312
Servants and Workers 525,533 21,248 546,786
undetermined 2,860 10,704 13,564
without occupation 68,200 9,754 77,955
the poor - 40,551 40,551
total 1,357,166 864,311 2,221,477

Agriculture and Forestry
Agriculture is still on a low level. The percentage of the area under the plough is only 0.7 %, meadows only 2.2 %, pastorage 7.5 % of the area. The harvest on average produces 100,000 hl wheat, 330,000 hl rye, 1.5 million hl barley, 3.5 million hl oats, 0.5 million hl fodder plants, 80,000 hl peas, 6 million hl potatos. Agricultural production does not meet local demand; the import of considerable amounts is necessary. The import of grain and flour in 1902 amounted to 449,075 tons of a value of 49 million Kroner. The mountain sloped partially provide for excellent grazing, but only in the south lately artificial meadows have been created. Livestock keeping is an important branch in Norway, and is conducted almost in the Swiss manner, as the cows are driven at the end of June onto the rich mountain meadows. Also on the islands on the west coast, where the snow rarely lasts, livestock keeping is an important source of revenue. Here sheep even in the winter stay in the open. While livestock numbers are of considerable importance (in 1900 there were 172,999 horses, 950,201 head of cattle, 998,819 sheep, 214,594 goats and 165,348 pigs; domesticated raindeer 108,784), their production does not suffice to meet local demand. Among wild animals and hunted animals the elk is found especially in the forests of the north and east; wild raindeer live mainly in the high mountain areas, deer (on the islands between Bergen and Drontheim), bears, wolves, foxes, lynxes, gluttons, lemmings, ermines, otters, martens, hares, weasels, squirrels. Wild fowl is numerous, along the coast sea fowl, among which the eider goose is of importance. For export many fur-bearing animals, and the willow grouse are hunted. The catch of seals on the coast is of no importance and almost never contributes to exports, but the Norwegians take a large share in the catch of seals in the Arctic Sea in April and the following months. Forests (68,161 square km) make up 21.2 % of the area, and in the districts Smaalene, Åkershus and Jarlsberg, cover almost 2/3 of the area. Timber is Norway's main export article (mainly to England, France, Holland and Denmark). In 1904 timber at a value of 36.3 million Kroner was exported (also wood pulp for 12.6 million, cellulose for 17.5 million Kroner); mostly from the southern parts of the country, mainly from Drammen, Christiania and Frederiksstad, where the majority of the country's sawmills are found. The densest forests consist of spruces and pines; the former form magnificent forests as far as Alten (70 degrees northern latitude). Birch forests are found in the furthest north.

An important source of revenue, in some coastal regions the only option for the inhabitants, is fishery (on the seas), from Lindesnäs to the Russian border. Presently of greatest importance is the catch of the spring cod. It has been calculated that near Lofoten Islands alone 15 to 20 million of these animals annually (in 1906 : 18 million) are caught by 30,000 fishers in 6,000 boats, which then partially are turned into dried cod or dried salted cod. The value of the fish caught here amounts to 7 to 8 million Kroner. Also in Finnmark every spring 10 to 18 million cod are caught, 1905 : 20 million, by 15,000 fishermen, on the coasts of the district of Romsdal 3 to 5 million (in 1905 6 million). All in all on average annually 40 to 60 million winter and spring cods at a value of 13 to 19 million Kroner are caught; in this business about 70,000 persons with 16,000 boats are employed. Of not lesser importance used to be (until 1870) the catch of spring herring, which in January used to approach the coasts in great quantity. Herring fishery used to last for two months and caused the concentration of a large number of men. The total catch may be calculated at 1 to 2 million hl (at a value of 7 to 9 million Kroner). The summer herring (fat herring) is caught in September to October, mainly in the fjords of Stift Drontheim and Nordland. Also mackerels (annual catch 6 million; recently they are packed in ice and exported, mainly to Britain), halibuts and others are caught in quantity, but do not form export articles of such importance. Salmon are found in all rivers, namely in Mandalsälv, Namsenälv, Altenälv and Tanaälv. Several shark species are caught in the north, but only their liver is used, of which sharkliver oil is extracted. Anchovis is caught in Christianiafjord. Also the catch of whales and seals in the northern Arctic Ocean provides important revenue (in 1902 combined 2.4 million Kroner). The combined revenue of coastal fishing in 1902 was calculated at 29.4 million Kroner. In 1902 fresh fish was exported at a value of 1,412,000 Kroner, dried cod for 9,382,000 Kroner, dried salted cod for 14,902,000 Kroner, herring for 13 million Kroner, other salted fish 4,568,000 Kroner, Anchovis 898,000 Kroner, lobster 583,000 Kroner.
See : Aarsberetning vedkommende Norges fiskerier (official, since 1894); Decker, Heincke and Henking, Die Seefischerei Norwegens, Berlin 1901.

Mining, Industry and Trade
Among Norway's sources of revenue, mining takes a prominent place; produced are especially silver, copper, iron and cobalt. The state-owned silver mine at Kongsberg discovered in 1623 is continuously productive (1904 8100 kg of fine silver atr a value of 580,000 Kroner). Among the copper mines long Röros was the most important (discovered in 1645, production in 1904 30,000 tons); presently the rich mines of Sultjelma are the most productive (production 80,000 tons, 1450 miners). The total production of coppermills in 1903 : 1,382,880 kg. Most of the iron mills, which used to be numerous, have ceased production because of the ising prices for timber. Recently the mining of rich iron ore deposits in Finnmark was begun. The Blaufarbenwerk (factory producing blue dye) in Modum (owned by a German association) presently is low. Lately the production of nickel has seen a significant decrease (1901 total value of 40,000 Kroner). Of little importance are zinc (1901 90,000 kg), chrome, mill- and grinding stones, slate, granite, stalagmites, stalagtites, pebbles, apatite, cement, chalk, clay for bricks etc.
Industry has not progressed much, but is in constant development, although local demand is not satisfied. Only in the last decades of the 19th century a factory industry has developed; in 1895 there were 1910 factories with 59,800 workers and clerks, a number which by now may have increased to 75,000. In these in 1898 about 4,000 motors with 157,300 horsepower were employed, of which 110,400 were generated from water power. In 1895 the most important branches of industry were the timber industry (383 enterprises, 12,073 employees), machine industry (191 enterprises, 9,318 employees), spinning and weaving (167 enterprises, 8,805 employees), paper industry (196 enterprises, 7,720 employees), food processing industry (496 enterprises, 7,306 employees), earth and rock processing (143 enterprises, 5,244 employees), metal industry (78 enterprises, 3,308 employees), chemical industry (62 enterprises, 2,307 employees). Factory production is concentrated on the districts Christiania, Smaalene, Akershus, Buskerud and Söndre Bergenhus, mainly in the cities of Christiania and Bergen the machine and textile industry, in Frederiksstad and Drammen sawmills and planing works, in Drammen and Skien the production of wood pulp and paper, in Drontheim machine production. There were 64 spinneries and weaveries (among them one with more than 1000 employees near Christiania), 16 worsted spinneries, 37 rope factories (mostly in Bergen), 15 cellulose factories, 56 factories producing paper mache, 13 paper factories, 6 glass factories, 11 pottery and porcelain factories, 91 brick factories, 17 lime kilns, 44 breweries, 40 tobacco factories, 4 factories producing hoove nails (near Christiania), 14 iron foundries, 7 steel rolling mills and wire factories etc. The timber and paper industry mainly produce for export. A lot of effort is invested in shipbuilding; in 1904 78 steam- and sailships were built with 75,000 tons and 34,000 horsepower.
Much more important than the indusry are trade and navigation. Domestic transportation is facilitated along the long coast rich in inlets by steamship lines connecting all coastal places from the Swedish border on the Skagerrak to the Russian border on the Arctic Ocean; further in the interior through the long fjords, in the east on the large domestic lakes. Further it is facilitated by canals, good country roads (1905 total length 29,000 km) and by railroads which in 1905 had a total length of 2458 km. A marvellous undertaking is the mountain railroad Christiania-Bergen, presently under construction; it is to be completed in 1908. State owned telegraph lines by he end of 1904 had a combined length of 9735 km; there were 814 stations. For telephone service in 1903 there were 39,747 telephones; the number of telephone offices for local communication was 225. The postal service in 1904 transported 64.7 million letters and postcards .. Trade with foreign countries is of great importance and continually increasing. Main export articles are the aforelisted articles of the forest economy and of fishery (together 72.3 % of the exports), also tallow, oil etc. (1904 6,745,900 Kroner), skins and hairs (6,817,700 Kroner), products manufactured from yarn (398,500 Kroner), paper (5,689,700 Kroner), minerals, raw materials (1904 : 10,510,600 Kroner), fabricates (1904 : 4,781,900 Kroner). Imports, in addition to those already mentioned under agriculture and livestock keeping, came in 1904 : colonial products at a value of 22,496,000 Kroner, alcoholic beverages for 4,165,400 Kroner, textiles 8,487,600 Kroner, yarns and rope wares 8,508,300 Kroner, coal and cokes 23,569,000 Kroner, raw and semi-processed metals 11,552,400 Kroner, processed metals 2,408,500 Kroner, ships, waggons, machinery 26,290,600 Kroner. In imports the main trading partners were Germany, Britain, Sweden, Russia, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium and the U.S.A.; in exports Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, France and Belgium. The number of ships which arrived in Norway in 1904 was 11,966 with a capacity of 3,951,960 tons (among them 6,785 Norwegian with 2,298,485 tons) .. The value of imports in 1904 was calculated at 289 million Kroner, that of exports at 175.9 million Kroner. Thus Norway in annual trade loses more than 110 million Kroner. This important deficit is more than made up by navigation, because everywhere, not merely in European waters, but even in he remotest waters, especially in those of the Far East, a large number of Norwegian vessels is emloyed in freight transport. At the end of 1904 the Norwegian merchant navy consisted of 7,320 vessels of 1,451,425 tons with a crew of 50,533 men, among them 1,477 steamers of 647,657 tons. Following Britain, the U.S.A. and Germany, Norway has the largest merchant navy in the world, but in relation to its population Norway takes the first rank. The most important trading places are Christiania and Bergen. In regard to weights and measurements, in 1875 the metric system was introduced and made mandatory in 1882. The currency law of June 4th 1873 introduced gold standard, the law of April 17th and the treaty of October 16th 1875 introduced the Scandinavian Currency Union. The previously used Speciesthaler of 28,8933 g = 4,551 Mark was given the value of 4 Kroner of 100 Öre, one Krone = 1 1/3 Mark. The Bank of Norway in Christiania issues banknotes of 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000 Kroner which can be traded in for coin at any time, but silver coins are only handed out if unavoidable.

Norway's constitution rests on the basic law (grundlov, constitution) of May 17th 1814 and has decidedly democratic character. Norway is a free, sovereign and independent kingdom, which used to be united with Sweden in personal union, until this union was dissolved on June 7th 1905 by the Norwegian Storting, and thus the throne was declared vacant. By plebiscite (November 12th and 13th 1905) the Danish prince Karl of the House Holstein-Sønderborg-Glücksburg was chosen king of Norway; he was confirmed by the Storting and ascended to he throne as King Håkon VII. The executive power lies with the king who becomes of age at 18, whose person is inviolable, while all responsibility rests on his counselors. Those who form his state council he choses among the citizens of Norway not younger than 30. The state council is to be composed of a minister of state and 7 (now 8) counselors of state. The king can declare war, conclude peace, enter in alliances, sign treaties, has the supreme command over the armed forces at land and at sea. But in case of an offensive war, the usage of army and navy requires the approval of Storting. The king appoints officials; he is free to dismiss at will members of the council of state, subordinate government personnel, he highest church and state officials (bishops and district administrators), the highest military officers and the commanders of fortresses, while other state officials may not be deposed against their will without investigation and sentence. Finally the king may issue regulations concerning trade, customs, industry and police. The heir apparent, if he is the son of the ruling king, has the title crown prince.
Legislation lies with the king and the people, who are represented by the Storting. The Storting convenes every year in October in Christiania, but the king at any given time may convene the Storting, in the case of which no new elections are held. Elections are valid for three years. The number of delegates has been determined to 123, who are (since 1905) elected in direct election in individual electoral districts. Since 1898 every Norwegian citizen who is at least 25 years old and who lives in Norway for at least 5 years has the right to vote. Once Storting has opened, it chooses 1/4 of its members who are to form Lagting, the remainder Odelsting. Certain matters are debated in Storting, the most important competences are to fix dues and tariffs, which are not valuid beyond April 1st of the year in which the next Storting is held, to approve the sums required for state expenses, to sign loans in the name of the kingdom, to supervise state finances, to revise government protocols, concluded treaties and alliances. Every law draft first has to be presented to Odelsting. A draft passed by Odelsting is presented to Lagting; if it is also passed here, the king may sanction it by his signature, by which act it becomes law. The king has the right to refuse to sanction a decision taken by Lagting, but if three successive, newly elected Stortings pass the same decision it becomes law wihout the king's sanctioning. Only Norwegian citizens may be appointed state officials. The press is free. Nobody may be granted privileges, monopolies and inheritable rights. The inheritable nobility was abolished in Norway in 1821.
See : Aschehoug, Das Staatsrecht der vereinigten Königreiche Schweden und Norwegen, in : Marquardsens Handbuch des öffentlichen Rechts 1887.

Administration, Jurisdiction, Finances
State administration. The government in Christiania consists of 8 departments : foreign affairs, ecclesiastic affairs and education, justice and police (including health service), finances and customs, army and navy, public works (including postal service and telegraph service), trade, navigation and industry, for agriculture. Every department is headed by a counselor of state. In regard to administtration, Norway is divided in 20 districts (see above). Every disrict is headed by a district administrator. Six of these district administrators are stift administrators (Christiania, Hamar, Christiansand, Bergen, Trondhjem, Tromsö), who together with the respective bishop form the stift directory, which in all civil-ecclesiastic matters function as the highest supervisory authority. The cities have their own separate administration.
Administration of Jurisdiction ..
Norway's finances are in a satisfactory condition. In 1903-1904 the revenues amounted to 98.8 million Kroner (among these 9.7 million Kroner from loans), ordinary expenses 86.8 million Kroner, extraordinary expenses 12 million Kroner. For 1904-1905 the budget foresees revenues of 94 million Kroner, expenses of 94 million Kroner, of which the largest shares are allocated to the army, to servicing state debt, and to education. The most important post in state revenues are customs tariffs (33 million), direct taxes account for 5.4 million. The profits of the railroad administration were only 1.5 million Kroner; the postal and telegraph service produced a deficit of 0.5 million Kroner. The civil list and the apanages accounted for 760,000 Kroner. The state debt in 1905 amounted to 305 million Kroner; state activa in 1905 131 million Kroner.

Army, Navy, Coat of Arms ..

Geograhical-Statistical References
Kraft, Topographisk-statistisk Beskrivelse over Kongeriget Norge, Christiania 1820-1835, 6 vols., vols.1 and 2 in 2nd ed. 1840, Kraft, Topographisk Haandbog over Kongeriget Norge, Christiania 1845-1848, Keilhau, Gaea norvegica (in German, Christiania 1838-1850, 3 vols.), Schübeler, Die Pflanzenwelt Norwegens, Christiania 1873-1875 and Viridarium norvegicum, Christiania 1885f., Broch, Le royaume de Norvege et le peuple norvegien (2nd ed. 1878), Kjerulf , Die Geologie des südlichen und mittleren Norwegen, in German by Gurlt, Bonn 1880, Passarge, Sommerfahrten in Norwegen, Leipzig 1884, Paludan, det hojere Skolevæsen i Danmark, Norge og Sverig, Copenhagen 1885, Norges Land og Folk, by Kjär, Sröm, Vibe, and most notably Helland, Christiania 1884ff., until now 22 vols., Norway, official publication for the Paris exhibition 1900, Christiania 1900, Norge i den nittende aarhundrede, by von Brögger, Getz, Kjaer, Moe and others, Christiania 1900, S. Ruge, Norwegen (2nd ed. by Nielsen, Bielefeld 1905), Drolsum, Das Königreich Norwegen als suveräner Staat, Berlin 1905, Nielsen, Reisehandbuch (in "Meyers Reisebücher) 8th ed. Leipzig 1903, Annuaire statistique de la Norvege, official, since 1879, Norges officielle statistik, O. Rygh, Norske gaardnavne (so far 7 vols.). Maps ...

Norway in the Union with Sweden
Already early on in Norway among a part of the population the strife to loosen the ties with Sweden and to reduce the influence of the union king was noticeable. (Friends of the union were for instance J. Aall, Chr.M. and K. Falsen, Wedel-Jarlsberg and others). The abolition of the nobility in 1821, decided on under the infirm Karl XIII., was sanctionned by his successor Karl XIV. Johann. But the simultaneous attempt of the Storting to evade having to pay the Norwegian share of Danish state debt failed because of the threatening stand of the powers and the energetic action taken by Karl XIV. Johann. The energetic acions by the latter repeatedly caused conflicts with the Storting (see Collett 1), especially since 1833, when a democratic peasant Storting majority had succeeded the previous conservative-bureaucratic majority. Oscar I., to the counselors of whom in Norway belonged namely the conservative statesman F. Stang, enjoyed great popularity in Norway, as he granted the country a separate coat of arms, a separate merchant flag and a separate military order (Order of St. Olaf). But the Storting of 1857 rejected proposals which had been prepared by the Swedish-Norwegian committee, which aimed at an intensification of the ties within the union. When the first Storting which convened under Karl XV. abolished he right of the king to appoint a stadholder for Norway (from 1814 to 1829 the office had been held by Swedes), the Swedish Riksdag emphasized its right to partake in the decision concerning the stadholder, and demanded a revision of he union, in response to which the king refused to sanction the decision taken by Storting. The revision proposals worked out by a new union committee in 1871 were rejected in the Storting by a large majority (see Aschehoug). When Oscar II. ascended to the throne on September 18th 1872, the Storting, which since 1871 convenes annually (hitherto only every 3rd year), showed a conciliatory attitude and approved the costs for his coronation in Drontheim. In return the king in 1873 approved the abolition of the position of stadholder. The Scandinavian Currency Union, at first rejected, was approved by Storting in 1875, as was a new customs convention with Sweden (1874). But the dispute over the required presence of counselors of state at sessions of the Storting, which had begun in 1872, in 1880 brought about a serious constitutional conflict. While the king had vetoed the constitutional amendment decided by Storting three times, because the government, as well as the leading scholars in he field of state administration, were of the opinion that the royal veto was not merely a suspensive, but an absolute one, the Storting majority on June 9th 1880 decided tha the amended article of the constitution, even without royal approval, was law. In response the conservative minister of state for many years, F. Stang, resigned, and he was replaced by his fellow party member Selmer.
This so-called veto dispute, which was exacerbated in 1881 by differences between government and parliament in the question of the reorganization of the army, eventually lead to the point where the radical storting majority in 1883 sued Selmer and his colleagues for non-execution of the Storting decision of June 9th 1880 in front of the high court, which largely was composed of Storting members; after lengthy deliberations in March 1884 they were found guilty, they were deposed and sentenced to pay the (high) costs of the trial. The king refused to approve the sentence, but accepted the demission of the cabinet Selmer, and, because he wanted reconciliation, on June 26th 1884 he appointed, after a conservative transistion ministry under Schweigaard, the leader of the radical Storting majority, Johann Sverdrup, as minister of state. Under him a number of the demands of the left were implemented, so the extension of the franchise (1884), the reorganization of the army in a way little favorable for the eventual defense of the union (1885 respectively 1887). The policy implemented by his nephew, minister of culture Jacob Sverdrup, soon lead to a split of the governing majority in a radical left lead by Steen and a moderate pro-church left which consisted mainly of the supporters of Oftedal. Despite the draft of the church law presented in 1887 being blocked by the conservative-radical opposition, Johan Sverdrup only resigned after the moderate left in the elections of 1888 had shrunken to a small minority. On July 12th 1889 the conservative Emil Stang became Sverdrup's successor; he presently is the leader of the strongest party in the Storting.
From now on the political life in Norway was dominated almost entirely by the union question. When the radicals demanded the abolition of institutions which were common to Sweden and Norway, without prior negotiations with Sweden, the conservative cabinet E. Stang resigned. It was replaced on March 6th 1891 by the radical cabinet Steen, whose program (a separate ministry of foreign affairs, a separate consular service for Norway) was victorious in the elections of 1891. In consequence the Norwegian Storting declared the establishment of a separate consular service a purely internal matter (March 1st 1892), approved a larger sum for preparatory measures, and when the king refused to give his approval, in cooperation with the government, which resigned on June 29th, attempted to break his resistance by the means of a kind of strike, in vain.
The decisions of the Storting aiming at dissolving the union with Sweden caused a strong counterreaction in Sweden. The Riksdag in 1891-1893 repeated its claim to have the right to partake in any decision regarding the union, and by its resolute action in April 1893 forced the resignation of cabinet Steen. The position of the new conservative ministry, again headed by E. Stang, was very difficult. The Storting repeatedly expressed its dissatisfaction, threatened to sue, reduced the king's apanage and that for crown prince Gustav, who was unpopular among the radicals, on January 1st 1895 it cancelled the common consular service with Sweden, and approved the Norwegian contribution to the costs of the common consular and diplomatic service under conditions of such a nature that Sweden preferred to bear these costs on her own. As the radicals in the Storting elections of 1894 held on to the majority, the cabinet E. Stang on January 31st 1895 appealed for demission, an appeal the king after lengthy negotiations with various radical and moderate leading politicians had to reject. In this context he tension between the two union countries took a rather concerning turn. Finally resolute decisions of the Swedish Riksdag caused the Storting to give in; on June 7th it declared its readiness to enter into negotiations with Sweden over the main disputes regarding the common diplomacy and common consular service, and approved without conditions the Norwegian contribution to common diplomatic and consular expenses, as well as to pay Sweden for what it had paid in advances on behalf of Norway. On October 14th the lengthy cabinet crisis was concluded by the appointment of the cabinet Hagerup, composed of members of all Storting parties.
The attempts of the new government o fulfill the obligations arising from the agenda of June 7th 1895 were foiled by the radical Storting majority, which again approved the decision, first taken in 1893, but then rejected by the king, to introduce a purely Norwegian merchant flag (instead of the one used since 1844, including the union insignia), which refused to raise the apanage for king and crown prince to the earlier level, and which expressed an anti-monarchist and anti-union position in other ways. The severe defeat of the ministry in the elections of 1897, when the ultraradicals achieved the two-thirds majority necessary for suing ministers and for altering the constitution, resulted in the resignation of Hagerup and his ministers, so that Steen again formed a radical cabinet on February 27th 1898. Simultaneously, the Swedish-Norwegian committee which since 1895 had debated a thorough reform of the union, but had not been able to come to an agreement, was dissolved. The new ultraradical majority, the leader of which, Ullmann, became Storting president, on April 21st 1898 passed a law introducing the universal adult manhood suffrage, and on November 17th for the third ime decided on the introduction of a purely Norwegian merchant flag, a decision which caused disapproval in Sweden. Only on October 11th 1899 the flag question was decided according to the wishes of Storting.
The elections of 1900, the first since the introduction of universal adult manhood suffrage, did not result in a change of the strength of the political parties. Soon it showed that the government majority did not agree how to deal with disputes regarding the union. So Steen, after several ttempts to reshuffle his cabinet failed, resigned on April 16th 1902. Now his radical comrade Blehr, hitherto Norwegian minister of state in Stockholm, took over the presidency, while Qvam, hitherto minister of justice, took the vacan post in Stockholm, and ministerial director Sigurd Ibsen, a son of the poet, was appointed counselor of state (April 21st).
For the formation of relations within the union, Ibsen's entry into government was of great importance. Here, as well as in the Swedish-Norwegian commission (appointed in 1902), which was to discuss the eventual dissolution of the union, he took a mediating position, despite the radical Storting majority still on January 23th 1903 demanding the immediate establishment of a separate Norwegian consular service, and together with the Swedish minister of foreign affairs, von Lagerheim, in March 1903 he drafted the basis for later consular negotiations, according to which for both countries separate consular services were introduced, the relation between the consuls and a common minister of foreign affairs, and to a cmmon diplomacy were to be regulated by a common law, which only could be changed if both sides were to approve. This agreement caused a rift within the government, as the ultraradical ministers rejected any negotiation with Sweden, which resulted on June 9th 1903 in the resignation of minister of war Stang and minister of agriculture Konow, because Ibsen had strong support among the voters and elections were coming up.
The result of these elections was closely related to events in the Grand Duchy of Finland. In regard to the policy of Russification implemented there since 1899, among a large part of he Norwegian nation the conviction had spread that Norway and Sweden should forget their fraternal dispute, and should join forces to defend their common culture against the danger threatening from the east. The main representative of this thought was Sigurd Ibsen's father-in-law, the poet Björnsterne Björnson, who long had been an ardent opponent of the union. His eloquence in word and print succeeded in 1903 to split the left in two, the government left, and the left voters' union. While the former argued for the immediate, unconditioned introduction of a separate consular service, the new Samlingspartiet, together with the moderates and conservatives strove for a peaceful solution to the consular question by amicable negotiations with Sweden on the basis of the March agreement. In he Storting elections of fall 1903 the supporters of a policy of negotiation gaind the majority (64 conservatives respectively liberals, 5 socialists, 48 radicals). Consequently the cabinet Blehr resigned and on October 22nd was replaced by a cabinet composed of 5 conservatives and 5 liberals, again presided by Hagerup, while S. Ibsen became minister of state and chief of the Stockholm department of the Council of State.
Under the new government, especially under the impression of events in the Far East, tension between the union countries at first declined notably. The mutual exchange of opinions regarding the preconditions of the introduction of a partially separated consular service was conducted in amicable manner, and the attempts of the ultraradicals to disturb these good relations long were fruitless. When the course of the Russo-Japanese War turned the Russian threat against Scandinavia into a rather distant possibility, in Norway the anti-unionist opinion soon regained the upper hand, and in February 1905 the consular negotiations came to a halt, as Norway rejected any cooperation of the planned special consuls with common diplomacy.

The Norwegian Revolution of 1905
With the resignation of the cabinet Hagerup-Ibsen (early March) the opponents of the union had achieved a decisive victory. Under the leadership of the new prime minister Michelsen, the minister of state Lövland, Storting president K. Chr. Berner and polar researcher Fridtjof Nansen a conspiracy was formed the aim of which was to separate Norway from Sweden by force. Within a matter of weeks skillfully both the popular masses and the army were alienated from dynasty and fraternal nation, and an attempt was made to win over European public opinion for Norway's cause. Simultaneously the fortifications along the Swedish border, established since 1901, were strengthened, secretly troops mobilized, by decision of the Storting a war loan of 45 million Mark signed.
In the meantime, on April 5th, crown prince Gustav, who acted as regent for his father who was ill since February 8th, called upon the union countries to resume negotiations about the reorganization of relations within the union on the basis of full equality. The Swedish Riksdag (April 12th) accepted the proposal. On the other hand, on the Norwegian side it was regarded opportune, not yet to unveil their true intentions, but instead on April 25th assured explicitly that a dissolution of the union would not be the intention of the Storting. Only when the Moroccan question had resulted in a crisis threatening European peace, the Norwegians dared to take off their mask. On May 23rd the Storting unanimously took the decision to establish a separate consular service on April 1st 1906, and approved the necessary sums. When king Oscar, who in the meantime had resumed govrnment, on May 27th made use of his veto right, and thus refused to sanction this decision which violated the constitution, the cabinet Michelsen applied for demission, which the king rejected "for the moment". The response was a ministerial strike, and when crown prince Gustav left the country to attend the wedding of the German crown prince in Berlin, a revolution. On June 7th the Storting declared the king deposed and the union with Sweden dissolved. It offered the vacant throne to a younger prince of the House Bernadotte and charged the cabinet Michelsen, for the time being, to continue to administrate the business of government.
King Oscar immediately protested against the "revolutionary and rebellious measures" of Storting and categorically rejected the offer of newly occupying the Norwegian throne, and for June 20th called for an extraordinary Swedish Riksdag, which on July 27th took position in the matter of the unilateral invalidation of the Act of Union by Norway. It expressed willingness to negotiations about a possible dissolution of the union only if a newly elected Storting would apply for such to Sweden, or if Norway by the means of plebiscite would opt for such; it demanded the establishment of a zone of neutrality between both states, the fixation by law of the right of Swedish raindeer to graze in northern Norway, safeguards for Swedish transit trade against any harrassment, and approved a credit of 112 million Mark for potential actions to be taken in response to the union crisis. This Swedish ultimatum, supported by mobilisation at land and at sea, had the effect, that the Storting, after the Norwegians in a plebiscite on August 13th with 368,200 to 184 votes had opted for independence, requested Sweden to accept the cancellation of the act of union, and to enter in negoriations for a peaceful solution to the union crisis. In the conferences held since August 31st, Norway initially stubbornly resisted the demand to raze her new border fortifications, but when the Swedish delegation on Sept. 14th threatened with immediate invasion, gave in in all essential points. The provisional Karlstad agreement of September 23rd, according to which all further disputes arising between both kingdoms were to be presented to the court of arbitration in Den Haag, after long debates was accepted on October 9th by Storting with 101 against 16 votes, on October 13th by the Swedish Riksdag, unanimously. After the latter on October 16th declared the Act of Union to be cancelled, recognized the Kingdom of Norway as an independent state, approved of the elimination of the union insignia from the national flag, and after the Karlstad Agreement by the signatures of both sides had gained international validity, King Oscar renounced the Norwegian throne for himself and his family (October 27th), and had the foreign powers informed, that from this moment on Norway would be an independent kingdom freed from the union with Sweden.

Norway as an Independent Kingdom
Already during the early summer of 1905 the largely monarchist-minded revolutionary government had secretly negotiated with Prince Karl of Denmark in the matter of the latter immediately accepting the Norwegian crown. But the prince had been forbidden to travel to Norway by his grandfather Christian IX., until a peaceful solution of the union crisis had been achieved. This situation served the republican party, which is relatively strong in Norway. After the union had been dissolved, the government in Storting only narrowly could reject the proposal to hold a plebiscite on the future form of government (Oct. 31st), and to have a compromise approved (with 87 against 29 votes) which empowered the government to offer the crown to Prince Karl, if the Norwegian nation in a plebiscite on November 12th and 13th would approve this suggestion. The plebiscite decided with a clear majority (259,563 to 69,264) for the Danish throne candidacy. Consequentially unilaterally being elected King of Norway by Storting on November 18th, Prince Karl (born August 3rd 1872) accepted the election and on November 25th, as King Haakon VII., with his wife Maud, a daughter of King Edward VII. of England, and son Alexander (now called Olaf), entered Christiania, enthusiastically welcomed by the people. On November 27th he swore an oath on the constitution and confirmed the members of cabinet Michelsen, which in the meantime had been quit by minister of finances Gunnar Knudsen. Since Norway has developed calmly. In the elections of fall 1906, for the first time, the direct system of election (wih second ballot), the country being divided in 123 electoral districts, shall be applied.

References on History
Diplomatarium Norvegicum, Christiania 1847-1903, 17 vols., Norges gamle love indtil 1447 (1846-1904, 6 vols.), Norske Rigsregistranter (1861-1890, 11 vols.), Monumenta historiae Norvegiae, ed. by G. Storm, 1880, Boyesen, History of Norway, London 1886, and in the collection "Story of Nations" 1900, Överland, Illustreret Norges Historie, Christiania 1885-1895, 5 vols., P.A. Munch, Det norske Folks Historie, 1852-1863, 8 vols., covers period until 1387, the first four chapters in German by Claussen, Lübeck 1853-1854, 2 vols., J.R. Keyser and O. Rygh, Norges Historie 1866-1870, 2 vols., covers period until 1387, J.E. Sars, Udsigt over den norske Folks Historie, 1871-1891, 4 vols., Norges politiske Historie 1815-1885, 1904, Y. Nielsen, Norges Historie i 1814, 1904, and Norges Historie efter 1814, 1882-1892, 3 volumes, covers period until 1837, the publications by Alin, Daae, Ch.M. Falsen, J.R. Keyser, P.A. Munch, Y. Nielsen, J.E. Sars, G. Storm and Varenius, Åkerblom, Sveriges förhållande til Norge under medeltidsunionen, Lund 1888, Björlin, Der Krieg in Norwegen 1814, in German, Stuttgart 1895, Eden, Die schwedisch-norwegische Union und der Kieler Friede, in German, with an introduction by Arnheim, Leipzig 1895, Y. Nielsen, Der Vertrag von Moss und die schwedisch-norwegische Union, in German, Kiel 1895, Clason, Unionsfrågans tidigare skeden, Stockholm 1898, Fridtjof Nansen, Norwegen und die Union mit Schweden, in German, Leipzig 1905, Eden, Schwedens Friedensprogramm und die skandinavische Krise, in German, Halle 1902, K. Nordlund, Die schwedisch-norwegische Krise in ihrer Entwickelung, in German, Halle 1905, A. Ch. Bang, Udsigt over den norske Kirkes Historie under Katholicismen, Christiania 1887, and Den norske Kirkes Historie 1536-1600, 1893-1895, J.B. Willson, History of the church and state in Norway from the 10th to the 16th century, Westminster 1903, Bendixen, Et Omrids af Norges Handelshistorie, Bergen 1900, Norsk Historisk Tidskrift, Christiania since 1870.

source in German, posted by Zeno


This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on May 3rd 2009

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