Norway Brief History

From the Middle Ages to the modern age

At the time of the great migrations, Germanic tribes entered Norway forming numerous political groupings, in which the aborigines of perhaps Finnish race were incorporated. From the 8th century. began, with the Viking expeditions, the great expansion of the Norwegians outside (Scotland, England, Ireland, Iceland etc .; ➔ Normans); the various Norwegian political-social groups united under the sovereignty of the Ynglinger, whose first historical figure is in the 9th century. Halvdan Svarte (the Black). Olaf II known as the Saint, who became king in 1016, conquered all of Norway and completed the Christianization begun by Olaf I. After a period of settlement, on the death of Sigurd Jorsalfar (1130) the struggles for the throne resumed, as there were no precise rules of succession. They calmed down towards 1240, with the strengthening of sovereign power under the reign of Haakon IV (d. 1263) and with the administrative and judicial reorganization of Magnus VI the Legislator (1274).

According to agooddir, along period (11th-13th century) of economic and cultural development was followed by the dissolution (14th -15th century) of national unity: due to the relationships between the crowns of Norway, Sweden and Denmark (Magnus, nephew of Haakon V, was king of Sweden and Norway from 1319, Olaf from 1380 king of Denmark and Norway, Erik of Pomerania from 1389 king of Sweden, Denmark and Norway) was easy to Swedish and Danish lords seize goods and power in Norway. In 1397 the Union of Kalmar was formed between Sweden, Denmark and Norway, from which Sweden broke away in 1448. Norway and Denmark remained united under Christian I of Oldenburg (1450-81), from whose death the first Norwegian attempts at independence date back. The war against Hansa (1500-1520) and those against Sweden (1563-70; 1611-13; 1641-43; 1657-60) did not diminish the prosperity of the country.

In the 18th century. Danish-Norwegian foreign policy was directed towards Russia against Sweden. But also between Norway and Denmark there appeared contrasts – of an economic nature, dictated above all by opposing choices on commercial partners (England for the Norway, France, North America, Germany for Denmark) – which became more acute during the Napoleonic wars when, after the British bombing of Copenhagen (1807), the alliance with France was made. J. Bernadotte, designated to succeed the Swedish throne with the name of Charles John, obtained with the Peace of Kiel (1814) the sale of Norway, recognizing for its part the statute that Norway had given to Eidsvold in the same year. From 1830 the country experienced a rapid economic expansion, which however deepened the social contrasts.

The contemporary age

The union between Sweden and Norway provoked continuous conflicts, both for the pre-eminent position of Sweden and for the successes in Norway of a strong left party, in power since 1884. In 1905 Norway declared the union dissolved and elected to its constitutional king Prince Charles of Denmark who took the name of Haakon VII. The industrial economic development, accompanied by a moderate social reformism, was accentuated during the First World War, favored by neutrality. In 1920 Norway was granted sovereignty over the Svalbard islands ; in 1928 it annexed the island of Bouvet and the island of Peter I, in the Antarctic; in 1929 Jan Mayen Island, in the Atlantic. The outbreak of the Second World War, Norway was occupied in 1940 by German troops and subjected to an occupation administration, which was joined in 1942 by the collaborationist government of V. Quisling.

Released in 1945, Norway joined the Atlantic Pact in 1949, despite the traditional Nordic solidarity policy, confirmed in 1952 by the creation of a Nordic Council, made up of representatives of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland. On two occasions, in 1972 and 1994, a popular referendum rejected the proposal to join the European Economic Community, then the European Union. Internally, in the post-war period, the country experienced great economic and political stability guaranteed by the wealth deriving from the exploitation of the North Sea oil fields and by the Labor governments that continuously guided it until 1997, implementing one of the most advanced social policies. of Europe. Precisely the need to review the policies of the welfare, to cope with the economic difficulties the country is experiencing, contributed to the defeat of the Labor Party and to the victory of the center-right coalition. Led by KM Bondevik, the latter remained in power (except for a brief interlude between 2000 and 2001) until 2005, when the legislative elections again gave Labor a majority. This was followed by the formation of a new government chaired by J. Stoltenberg. In 2006 the government withdrew the small contingent that had been sent to Iraq in 2003 with peacekeeping duties, confirming however the future commitment of Norway to international peace missions. In 2009, the coalition led by Stoltenberg won the elections again, albeit with a small margin of advantage, while the legislative consultations held in September 2013 brought the center-right back to power after eight years of Labor government: the center-right coalition led by E. Solberg, it won 96 of the 169 seats in Parliament against 65 in the Labor Party. At the head of a minority government composed of her party and the party of Progress, Prime Minister Solberg was reconfirmed in office following the consultations held in September 2017, at which the bloc led by female politicians won 89 out of 169 seats, while the center-left coalition was given 80 seats. Following the political electoral victory of September 2021, Labor Party leader JG Støre was tasked with forming a new coalition government, taking over from Solberg.

Norway Brief History

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