Erik Krogstad: NORWEGIAN HISTORY  (hand-out, Norw. Life&Society)

10 000 BC

3 000 BC

500 BC

300 AC











































































































First evidences of human population. Nomadic hunters. Agriculture gradually introduced

Iron age

Runic alphabet

Migration of new tribes into Norway. Growth in population. Local tribes/kingdoms with internal conflicts.

Seagoing ships. Trade with merovingian France.

Viking era. Overpopulation on the west coast of Norway. Colonization in Iceland, Greenland, the Faroes, Shetland, the Orkneys, the Hebrides, Man, Ireland and Scotland. Viking settlement in New Foundland, Canada. Trade with the British Isles, the European continent and the Orient.

Norwegian nationwide kingdom established under Harald Hårfagre (Fairhair) 872.

Towns founded as a result of trade. Tønsberg 871.Trondheim 997. Oslo and Bergen some decades later.

Introduction of christianity by viking kings from late 9 hundreds. Resisted by local chieftains. Norway christianized after the death of king Olav den hellige (the Holy) 1030.

Norway incorporated as a province under the Roman catholic church. Trondheim emerged as religious center and center of pilgrimage (the Olav cult). Military conflicts between the church and secular monarchs until beginning of the 13th century.

The ”golden age” of the Norwegian medieval kingdom. Vivid trade with the overseas settlements, England and the European continent. The formation of a medieval state. A common law for all of Norway 1276.

Religious as well as secular literature (the sagas). Snorre Sturlason.

The grat decline in the late middle ages. Gradual disintegration of the state and loss of national independence.

The royal dynasty died out 1319. The Black Death 1349. The Hanseatic Leauge gained control over the Norwegian fish export and corn import in the course of the 13 hundreds. Result: Vast economic losses and dependence on Hansa in foreign policy.

1397: The Kalmar Union with Sweden and Denmark.

1451: The Danish Union that lasted until 1814.

1537: The lutheran Reformation.

Norway under Danish rule and Danish cultural influence. Ecconomic progress and growth in poulation in Norway from the 15 hundreds. Timber trade. Mining industries from the 16 hundreds (silver, copper, iron). Wars between Denmark/Norway and Sweden over expansionist policies in Scandinavia and the Baltics. Seven years war 1563-70. Kalmar War 1611-13. War 1643-45. Revenge War 1657-60. The great Nordic War 1700-1720. Sweden dominant Scandinavian power in the 16 hundreds. Power balance after 1720.

1660: Absolute Monarchy introduced in Denmark/Norway. Modernisation of state administration. Economicly and politicly the two countries in the union were administrated as one unit in the 17 hundreds.

Public schooling in Norway 1736.

Economic progress for Norwegian timber trade and shipping at the end of the 17 hundreds. Economical crisis (famine) and political crisis as result of Napoleonic wars 1808-1814.

National revival. The liberal constitution: Principle of representative government and principle of the division of powers. Norway enters union with Sweden.

Economic depression in the 1820ies.

1837: Local Government Act: Municipalities.

National romanticism. Henrik Wergeland. Ivar Aasen and the national linguistic movement.

The eve of industrialism based on natural resources: Wood processing and fish processing industries. Growth of the merchant fleet. Building of new roads. Railways from 1854.

Political polarization between the Norwegian parliament and the Swedish king.

The principle of parliamentarism introduced in Norway. The formation of political parties: Venstre and Høyre 1884. Social Democratic party 1887.

Venstre’s struggle for national independence. Union with Sweden abolished 1905.

Modern industrialism. Improvement of communications. Modernisation of agriculture. Government stability. Rise and radicalisation of the labour movement. Norwegian neutrality in World War 1.

Economic and social crisis. Unemployment. Political unstability. 1935: Arbeiderpartiet (social democracy) gets into power. Economic progress. Political stability restored.

World War 2. German occupation of Norway.

”The golden age of social democracy”. ”State capitalism”. The welfare system. Social equalisation. The orientation towards America.

1948: The Marshall plan. 1949: NATO membership.

1965: First non-socialist government after the war. 1966: The National Insurance Act. 1972: EU membership turned down by popular vote.

Inflation, industrial crisis and unemployment. Political unstability. Left wing movement among intellectuals. Radical feminism and women’s right movement.

Increasing revenues from oil industry. Conservative dominance in politics. Economic liberalism. Decline in welfare system. Reduction in State management and public spending. Increase in private enterprise and private welfare.

Political come-back for Arbeiderpartiet. Political stability under prime minister Brundtland. Vast earnings from oil export. Active foreign policy. ”The Oslo agreement” for peace in the Middle East. Increasing gap between rich and poor. 1994: EU membership turned down by popular vote.

Christian ”centre” cabinet – replaced by new Arbeiderparti-cabinet in 2000.

Consevative cabinet by Høyre, Krf and Venstre.

Fremskrittspartiet the biggest political party on the non-socialist side.

Two controversial foreign policy issues: Norway’s relation to EU. Norway’s relation to Bush administration and war on terror.

Majority coalition cabinet by Arbeiderpartiet, Sosialistisk Venstreparti and Senterpartiet.