Norway after 1814

Oscar Wergeland:

At the Battle of Leipzig in 1813 Napoleon suffered a stunning defeat. One of his opponents on the battlefield was the Kingdom of Sweden. Having previously lost Finland to the czardom to the east, Sweden now wished to have Norway as a safeguard on its western border. Sweden's allies had therefore promised that it could have Norway as one of the spoils of war. The allied victory at Leipzig was... Read more

In the years immediately following 1814, the newly organized state fought repeatedly for its existence. Norway was hit by the worst economic depression it had ever suffered. The common market with Denmark was dissolved and the British market was closed to Norwegian timber. Mines and sawmills lost foreign custom. Many of the wealthier middle class citizens in southeast Norway went bankrupt. The... Read more

The issue of Norway's future form of government was hotly disputed. A plebiscite showed a large majority in favour of a monarchy rather than a republic. On 18 November 1905 the Storting chose the Danish Prince Carl to be King of Norway. Prince Carl was married to Princess Maud, daughter of King Edward VII of Great Britain, and had one son. The new Royal Family arrived in Norway on 25 November.... Read more

Norway's declaration of neutrality was of little significance. On 9 April 1940, German forces attacked Norway. After an intense two-month struggle, and despite military assistance from Great Britain and France, Norway had no choice but to surrender. The Royal Family, the Government and some of the heads of the Ministry of Defence and the civil administration left for Great Britain, along with t... Read more

After the liberation there was general agreement that top priority should be given to rebuilding Norway. In the 1945 elections the Labour Party gained a majority and appointed a government led by Einar Gerhardsen. The government's goal was to build up Norway within five years, and to increase the pace of industrialization by concentrating on heavy industry. Developments moved even more rapidly... Read more