Norway 1905-2005

The events of 1905

The year 2005 marks the centennial anniversary of the peaceful dissolution of the union between Sweden and Norway. The timeline below shows the most important events that took place during 1905.

7 February: Negotiations between Norway and Sweden on the issue of foreign policy, and in particular consular administration, are terminated.

11 March: With no backing for further negotiations, Norwegian Prime Minister Francis Hagerup resigns and Christian Michelsen forms a new government.

25 March: Fridtjof Nansen’s first article presenting Norway’s perspective on the union conflict is printed in the London Times. This sets off a Norwegian-Swedish propaganda “war” directed at the foreign press and public opinion abroad.

10 May: A special committee appointed by the Storting (Norwegian national assembly) submits a unilateral proposal for the establishment of a Norwegian consular service. 

18 May:  Both chambers of the Norwegian Storting (the Odelsting on 18 May and the Lagting on 23 May) adopt the bill providing for the establishment of a Norwegian consular service.

27 May: King Oscar II refuses to sanction the consular service bill. The members of the Norwegian Government submit pre-drawn up resignations, which the King does not accept.

7 June: The Storting declares the union with Sweden to be dissolved, and temporarily transfers the King’s powers to the Government. King Oscar II is given the opportunity to select a Swedish prince to take over the Norwegian throne.

28 July: The Swedish Riksdag (national assembly) adopts Sweden’s demands regarding actions needed to realize the formal dissolution of the union.

13 August: Norwegian plebiscite is held on whether or not to dissolve the union. 368,208 Norwegians vote in favour of breaking up the union, while 184 vote against.

30 August: 70,000 Swedish recruits are mobilized for a military repetition exercise and sent to areas along the border.

31 August: Negotiations on the dissolution of the union commence in Karlstad.

13 September: Negotiations reconvene after a week’s recess. At the same time, Minister of Defence Olssøn gives orders for partial military mobilization on the Norwegian side of the border.

23 September: The negotiations are brought to a successful conclusion with the drawing up of the Karlstad Agreement.

9 October: The Karlstad Agreement is approved by the Storting by a vote of 101 for and 16 against.

13 October: The Karlstad Agreement is approved by the Riksdag.

26 October: King Oscar II recognizes Norway as an independent nation, and abdicates the Norwegian throne. The union is formally dissolved.

28 October: Minister of Foreign Affairs Løvland calls upon foreign powers to establish diplomatic ties with Norway.

30 October: The first responses to Foreign Minister Løvland’s request begin to arrive. The first telegram is from Russia, followed later that day by Belgium, Great Britain, Switzerland, Italy, USA and Brazil.

3 November: The first foreign emissary to Norway, Great Britain’s envoy Sir Arthur Herbert, arrives in Kristiania (present-day Oslo).

12 – 13 November: A plebiscite is held to determine Norway’s new form of government. 259,563 (78.9 %) vote for a monarchy, 69,264 (21.1 %) vote for a republic.

18 November: The Storting selects Prince Carl of Denmark to accede to Norway’s throne.

25 November: The new Royal Family arrives in Norway.

27 November: Prince Carl of Denmark adopts the name King Haakon VII and swears an oath of allegiance to the Norwegian Constitution before the Storting.

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7 June: The Storting declares the union with Sweden to be dissolvedPhoto: The National Libary of Norway

13. August: plebiscite is held on whether or not to dissolve the unionPhoto:  The National Libary of Norway

25 November: The new Royal Family arrives in NorwayPhoto:  The National Libary of Norway