The history of Norway
Norway's history covers the period from the first people
came to the country and up to our time.
The earliest traces of human settlement in Norway are
from the Stone Age, which began around the year 9,000–10,000
before our time.
- Duration: about 10,000–1800 BCE.
The Stone Age is considered from the first people
came to Norway. In the older Stone Age (10,000–4000 BCE),
people lived as hunters and sanctuaries. In the younger
Stone Age (4000–1800 BCE) they became more permanent
residents and began farming.
Around 9000 BCE most of Norway was still covered with
ice. Previously, there had been 30-40 ice ages, but from
13,000 BCE. the mainland ice melted quickly. See abbreviationfinder for geography, history, society, politics, and economy of Norway. A cold period
between 9000 and 8000 BCE. caused the ice to grow for the
last time, creating the big roar - a moraine ridge that
passes through Østfold and then follows the Norwegian coast.
The first people came to the country around 9,000-10,000
BCE and settled on the coast. The earliest traces are from
Rennesøy near Stavanger and Pauler near Larvik. (Rennesøy is
15 meters above sea level, Pauler 127 meters above sea
level. It tells how uneven the uplift was after the large
mainland ice melted.)
The climate in the older Stone Age became progressively
warmer, partly because the English Channel opened up and
made the Gulf Stream more impact along the coast than
before. The population grew, but most of them lived along
the coast, and they needed large areas to hunt and catch.
The people of the older Stone Age moved for resources. In
the winter, they probably lived in larger groups along the
coast, where they caught and fished. In the summer, they
split into smaller groups, with some staying along the coast
while others went inland in search of game.
People mostly lived in open settlements, but these have
left few traces. Some lived in caves and rather, and these
dwellings are our main sources of the hunter-gatherer
culture. Above all, it is the garbage they have left behind
that we find traces of. The Stone Age people lived
surrounded by what we would call garbage.
Around 4000 BCE younger Stone Age is introduced.
At this time we find the first traces of agriculture around
the Oslofjord, in the form of burial sites and remains of
livestock, grain and implements. However, it took around
1500 years before agriculture broke through. For a long
time, agriculture was more of a supplement to the
hunter-gatherer economy than a substitute for it.
Around 2400 BCE it seems that agriculture got its final
breakthrough from Trøndelag and south. Findings of battle
axes and ceramics point to the influence of Denmark. It is
disputed whether agriculture was introduced through cultural
influence or immigration from the south.
The oldest form of farming is called swirling. It
involves burning down bushes and scrub and then sowing in
the remote area. This yielded good returns, but the soil was
quickly degraded, so people had to move to new areas.
Consequently, the transition from being a traveler to a
permanent resident was a long one.
Agriculture created the basis for a much larger
population than before. However, it brought with it a lot of
heavy work and made people more vulnerable to weeks and
In the north, hunter-gatherer life continued for many
centuries to come. The carving field Jiepmaluokta at Alta
with nearly three thousand motifs gives a unique insight
into this fishing culture.
The bronze age
The Bronze Age has its name from bronze, an alloy of
tin and copper, of which there is little or nothing in
Norway. Findings of bronze objects in Norway therefore
testify to contact with foreign countries.
Bronze was a luxury product, and not many objects have
been found in Norway. The earliest discovery is a sword from
Blindheim on Sunnmøre, a later chief's seat. Archaeologists
are working on a hypothesis that copper may have been mined
locally in Norway for use in bronze objects, but it remains
to be seen what the conclusions of this project will be.
The bronze objects show that a layer of rich people has
emerged who had the resources and willingness to acquire
such status objects. It is obvious to put this in the
context of agriculture creating a breeding ground for
greater social stratification. Large burial mounds and
rubble point in the same direction. We find them in central
places in good agricultural villages around the Oslofjord,
on the South-West Norway and at the Trondheim Fjord. The
tombs were located near farms where people lived.
In the Bronze Age, the settlement shifted from the coast
into valleys and fjords where there was easily cultivated
We are approaching the Bronze Age world almost in the
rock carvings, most of which are in Østfold and Båhuslen.
Graphs of oxen and herds show how important farming had
become. Fertility was ensured by carving phalluses and sun
symbols into the rock. From this period also come the
discoveries of weapons, jewelery and other valuable objects
sunk in marsh or water, probably as a sacrifice to the gods.
The location of the rock carvings near good fields may
indicate that they played a role as boundary markers. There
is still a lot of rock carvings we do not know, both in
terms of specific motifs (most commonly - the dots) and why
people carved them.
In the Jiepmaluokta at Alta, the reindeer motif became
more common in the Bronze Age. Perhaps at this time there
was a more marked distinction between a nomadic and a
resident population. Traces of more seasonal relocation, and
of a particular type of pottery among traveling groups, may
indicate a Sami ethnicity was crystallized during this
The iron age
- Duration: 500 BCE - 1050 BCE
The Iron Age is divided into older and younger Iron
Age, with a separation of 550 AD. The period has its name
after iron, which was used from around 500 BCE. However,
there is no mention of any sudden transition from the Bronze
Older Iron Age is divided into:
- pre-Roman Iron Age (500 BCE-0)
- Roman Iron Age (0-400 AD)
- migration time (400–550)
Younger Iron Age is divided into:
- meroving time (550–800)
- Viking Age (800–1050). Viking time is dealt with in
the next section.
Unlike bronze, iron is a metal that can be extracted
naturally in Norway. Iron is found in marsh ore, and by
melting the ore under high temperatures the iron is
separated from the slag. Iron production required proximity
to ant ore and the necessary expertise. Most of the iron was
extracted by farmers for their own use, but in some places
we find iron production on a larger scale.
At the beginning of the Iron Age, the great burial mounds
of the Bronze Age ended, and the climate became colder. This
has been interpreted as a sign of a decline in population or
more difficult living conditions. Likely, altered burial
customs indicate altered social patterns.
In the Iron Age, people became more attached to the farm.
Several places in the country, such as at Hunn in Østfold,
we see traces of many generations with graves in the same
place. This indicates that people used the land more
intensively and that they felt a strong connection to the
The oldest farm names come from older Iron Age. These are
large, centrally located farms with names for nearby nature
formations, such as Nes, Ås and Haug. Farms that end up -
wine, home and country can also be so old.
Recent excavations have provided new knowledge about the
Iron Age. At Landa near Forsandmoen in Søndre Ryfylke,
remains have been found for 250 houses that were built and
inhabited for a period of almost 2000 years (from about 1200
BCE to 600 BCE). During this period, the houses became more
and more large, and the field was increasingly utilized. By
alternating between using the land as a field, pasture and
meadow land, it was avoided to pinch it so easily.
More intensive farming and increased Iron Age farming
indicates that the population has increased, and in some
places resources may have been scarce.
From the beginning of our era, we see traces of an
aristocracy that is more warrior-oriented than the Bronze
Age leadership. One sign of this is the traces of
ring-shaped tuna along the Norwegian coast from Rogaland to
Troms. It is uncertain what they were used for, but they may
have been military facilities for chieftains. Numerous
discoveries of large boathouses and rural citizens point in
the same direction.
In many places in the country, especially along the
coast, the concentration of different types of finds is so
great that archaeologists have interpreted them as chief
centers. Rich grave finds from Flag Haugen at Avaldsnes
shows that the leaders in this area was in close touch with
overseas already around 250 CE. A board of the Roman Empire
and a drinking horn with the inscription "Drink and live
happily" in Greek explains both its extensive contacts and a
In the Iron Age, we enter the world of human imagination
closer to life through farm names and rune alphabets. The
runes show us the Norse language, which came from Urginian
and was to develop further towards the Norse. The runes are
also influenced by Latin script.
The Viking Age
The attack on Lindisfarne in northern England in 793
is often regarded as the beginning of the Viking Age, and
the fall of Harald Hardrådes at Stamford Bridge in 1066 as
the last Viking voyage. The Viking Age begins what is
referred to as " historical time " in Norwegian history,
understood as the first period for which we have written
The meaning of the word " viking " is disputed. It can
mean "one from the bay" (the Oslo Fjord area), but also one
that comes from a bay.
A prerequisite for the Viking voyages were sailing ships,
which allowed for longer stretches of sea. Moreover, the
Viking ship could sail fast and was without sunken keel, so
that shallow rivers could easily be raised and towed over
Another condition for the exit was a population surplus.
Around two thousand town and set farms were cleared in the
Viking Age and witness a strong population growth. Better
technology made it possible to grow heavier soil. However,
in some places, especially in western Norway, there was
scarcity of land, and thus people who were motivated to seek
new ways out.
A final assumption was that there were chiefs who had the
resources and willingness to equip Viking ships, which we
have seen existed along the west coast. Many of these chiefs
held slaves to a large extent.
Many Viking trips went west - towards the British Isles,
the Frisian and Frankish coasts and even further south.
Towards the end of the 8th century, these areas became more
difficult to attack, and the Vikings then turned to the
sparsely populated or uninhabited Pacific Islands. Iceland
settled during a fifty-year period from 870. Vikings, most
from Uppland and Gotland, traveled east along the Russian
rivers all the way to Constantinople and Baghdad. Thousands
of Arabic coins, the vast majority found in Sweden, are
among the testimonies of trade and contact eastward.
The Vikings' remote trade created cities in Scandinavia,
which served as transit areas for trade between East and
West. The most important Norwegian city was Kaupang or
Skiringssal near Larvik, which operated from 800 to 950. The
Danish kings held a dominant position in this part of the
In the late 800's, Harald Hårfagre became the first
Norwegian king. Later story writers associate Harald with
Vestfold, but he was probably a king of the west based in a
handful of royal estates centrally located in the coastal
plain from Rogaland to Sogn og Fjordane. Harald probably
entered into an alliance with Håløygjarlene, who had a seat
on Lade near Trondheim.
On 900s were established Lagting in Western Norway and
Trøndelag and along the coast organized farmers and the king
jointly a navies - rented wrench - protection against the
Vikings and other troublemakers.
The Danes were strongly present in the Viken throughout
the Viking Age. Towards the end of the 9th century, Harald
Blåtann called himself King of Denmark and Norway. The
Chargers were subordinate to the Danish kings, but they were
challenged by Olav Tryggvason and Olav Haraldsson, who used
great wealth gained in the Viking to build themselves up as
kings in Norway and the Christian country. However, Olav
Haraldsson was expelled by Knut the mighty, who was a
Norwegian king from 1027 until his death in 1035, in
addition to being king of Denmark and England.
After Knut's death, the Danish kingdom crumbled. Harald
Hardråde is Norway's last Viking king. With silver from
Constantinople he obtained a royal title in Norway, but he
fell in an attempt to conquer England in 1066.
High Middle Ages
- Duration: (about 1050 - 1350)
The Middle Ages are divided into a period of peace
(sometimes called the Early Middle Ages, 1050–1130), the
“Civil Wars” (1130–1240), and the “Great Age” (1240–1350).
This was a sustained period of growth in Norwegian history,
characterized by increasing numbers of people and emerging
king power and church.
The population continued to grow in the Middle Ages. Over
four thousand rudder farms were cleared during this period,
most in eastern Norway. The farms' peripheral location and
marginal resources show that it was starting to get crowded.
In places where there was less cultivable land, existing
farms were divided into many uses.
The rud farms and the utility division can be linked to
the increased prevalence of apartment buildings during the
period. Landlords differed from self-sufficient farmers in
that they paid land rent - land debt - to a landowner,
usually around one-sixth of the production. Flats were also
recruited from the slaves, which disappeared during the
Middle Ages. The main reason for this was probably that it
was more profitable for landowners to lease the land than to
operate it by means of slaves.
After the Viking voyage ended, the country's chiefs
turned more towards the country's own resources. The
political and economic center of gravity in the country
moved from the West of the country to the more fertile
Trøndelag. However, Western Norway continued to be important
due to trade routes along the coast, while Eastern Norway
became more important towards the end of the period as
contact with Sweden and Denmark increased.
During the period from the mid-1000s to 1130, Harald
Hardråde and his descendants sat firmly on the throne, but
often several kings shared power. Relations between the
kings were usually strained, and their social power was
limited, for local chiefs acted as fairly independent
Christianity was formally adopted as a religion in Norway
at Mosterting in 1024. In the next hundred years, the "own
church system" grew. A number of churches were built, most
of them on their private grounds, where the church owner had
extensive control over his "church." The kings built around
50 larger churches in central locations.
In 1130, King Sigurd Jorsalfare died, and after that
various factions began to fight among themselves for power.
The fighting became bitter and became more extensive after
Sverre Sigurdsson challenged Magnus Erlingsson towards the
end of the 1100s. A twenty-year period of intense warfare
was replaced by the national division in 1202.
The Norwegian "Great Age" began when King Håkon Håkonsson
in 1240 defeated his last domestic rival Skule Bårdsson.
Under Håkon, his son Magnus Lagabøte (king 1263–1280), and
his sons Eirik (king 1280–99) and Håkon (king 1299–1319),
the peaceful relationship was inland, and the Norwegian
empire was expanded to the north (parts of the Northern
Calotte) and to the west with Iceland, the Faroe Islands,
Greenland and several islands north of the British Isles.
The landscaping laws were replaced by Magnus Lagabøte's
national law of 1274. The king's court was greatly expanded
and given new duties, and the governors enforced the king's
power more effectively in the local communities. Through
national meetings and councils, power became more
concentrated around the king and his circle. Impulses from
continental knight culture made Norway a more integral part
of European culture.
In 1152/53, Norway had its own archbishop at the head of
four other bishops located in Norwegian cities and five
bishops on the islands in the west. The introduction of the
Gregorian reform program sometimes resulted in bitter
conflicts between royal power and church in the same way as
in Europe, but also in extensive cooperation. By the end of
the High Middle Ages, the church was by far the largest
landowner in the country with about 40 percent of the land.
In 1319, a royal community was entered into between
Norway and Sweden, with Magnus Eriksson as joint king. The
Norwegian national council marked great self-will towards
the royal power and ruled for periods without much
Norway stood in full bloom in the mid-1300s. The
population was at its highest, and the kingdom stretched far
into the Atlantic. The kingdom was well established, and the
kingship with Sweden was to cease as soon as King Magnus'
son Håkon became the authority in 1355. All this changed
when the Black Death came to Europe and Norway.
Late Middle Ages
- Duration: about 1350-1537
The Late Middle Age starts with the Black Death, a
plague epidemic that came to the country in 1349 and killed
between a third and a half of the population. The next
hundred years barely passed a decade without the plague
raging. The population dropped to around a third at the
beginning of the 16th century.
The plague turned upside down on agricultural conditions.
Sustained population growth had pushed the land rent and
formed the basis for a landowner class. After 1350, land
rent and other fees dropped to around a quarter of the
For the peasants who survived the plague, the late Middle
Ages were a time of new conditions. There was plenty of
land, and the fees were at a minimum. The one-sided
investment in arable land was replaced by more livestock
farming, which provided more meat and butter. Many villages
were depopulated, and eventually people gathered in the most
For landlords, the Late Middle Ages were a time of
crisis. With declining income, it became difficult to
maintain a noble lifestyle. The high nobility did well,
however, because it had a lot of goods to take off, married
into foreign nobles and had good opportunities to gain
lucrative positions within the kingdom and church.
The church's financial position was weakened in the late
Middle Ages, but through mergers of parish and an increased
spiritual grip on people who needed comfort in times of
adversity, it strengthened its position. The Archbishop was
also an important trading player.
Hanseatic merchants had settled in Norwegian cities,
especially Bergen, in the Middle Ages. In the late Middle
Ages, this group became a formidable economic and political
player in Norway. As distributors of dry fish from northern
Norway, they created the basis for commercial fishing and
prosperity along the entire Norwegian coast. However, their
political power made them a "state in the state", which
could cause major problems, especially in Bergen.
The Swedish-Norwegian kingship was replaced by a Danish
orientation towards the end of the 1300s, culminating in the
establishment of the Kalmar Union in 1397. Denmark, led by
Queen Margrete, was the strong party in this union, and
Norway became an increasingly clear little brother in
The distant royal power meant that the state apparatus of
the Middle Ages was crumbling far and wide. Powerful lords
with their fists became mediators between the king and the
locals, and although the level of fees in Norway was low
compared to neighboring countries, the royal power gained an
increasingly clear financial impact.
At the beginning of the 16th century Sweden managed to
break out of the union with Denmark and Norway. Norway did
not have the strength to disengage. When Martin Luther's
teachings spread to Scandinavia in the 1520s, the Norwegian
church was also powerless. In 1537, the Reformation was
introduced in Norway under Danish initiative. At the same
time, Norway was abolished as an independent kingdom, and
became a "sound kingdom" (province) under Denmark.
Early New Age
Early new age is divided into the time before and
after the introduction of the monarchy in Denmark-Norway in
1660. Norway was subjugated to Denmark, but the Norwegian
business community experienced ever better times.
The first half of the 16th century in many ways
represents a bottom point in Norwegian history. The
population was at its lowest, the country had lost its
independent status, and through the reformation the king had
gained control over all the land the church had previously
Throughout the 16th century, the population began to rise
again. The plague epidemics did not disappear until the
second half of the 17th century, but they gradually made a
minor dent in the population, probably as a result of state
measures against the plague.
Population growth first took place in the form of
redevelopment of desert farms. At the end of the 1600s, a
new scarcity of resources emerged, and many became
homemakers on small and unprofitable uses. Population
pressure increased during the 18th century, and it was not
until industrialization and emigration to America in the
second half of the 19th century that this pressure eased.
The Norwegian business sector experienced a strong upturn
in early modern times. Need for timber in Europe accelerated
Norwegian timber trade. Until the middle of the 17th
century, peasants were actively involved in this trade, but
eventually the citizens took over the command by being
granted sawmill privileges. Mining was a major industry in
the 1600s, with the silver mines at Kongsberg being the
largest company. In the fish trade, the Hansa gradually lost
its long-standing hegemony.
Norway was ruled from Denmark. After the introduction of
the monarchy in 1660, central control became stronger.
County lords were replaced by county officials with closer
ties to the royal power. Norwegian communities were
subjected to more alignment and governance from above. A
traditional culture of violence and honor, where punishment
for wrongdoing was often settled between the relatives, was
challenged by sorority writers and their judicial apparatus.
The Protestant Church was an important tool for controlling
and disciplining the population.
The numerous wars in the 17th and early 17th centuries
increased the king's need for resources. Tax levels were
multiplied, extra taxes became more common, and the
discharge of Norwegian soldiers to war reached a peak during
the Great Nordic War (1701-1721). However, this could not
prevent Sweden from becoming the dominant power in the
The Norwegian nobility was greatly weakened in early
modern times. Gradually, Danish officials took over royal
representatives in the country and formed an official class.
In the 18th century, a patriotic culture emerged within
parts of this upper class.
1814 - the birth of independent Norway
In 1814 Norway got its own constitution. The country
had been associated with Denmark since 1380, and after 1536
as the clearly inferior party both real and formal. During
1814, from this dense unified state, Norway entered into a
loose union with Sweden. Norway became a separate state that
shared king with Sweden.
The reason for this shift lies in foreign policy. During
the Napoleonic Wars, Denmark-Norway had been on the losing
French side, while Sweden remained one of the victors. In
January 1814, the Danish king and the Swedish crown prince
Karl Johan met in Kiel, where Norway was surrendered to the
king of Sweden as part of the peace negotiations.
The Kiel Peace revolted in Norway. The governor in
Norway, Christian Frederik, convened a Norwegian big man
meet at Eidsvoll on 16 February, where the peace treaty was
rejected and it was summoned to a constituent assembly. On
May 17, the Constitution was signed by the representatives
at Eidsvoll, and Christian Frederik was elected Norwegian
King. The constitution was far from democratic, but in view
of its time it was among the most democratic constitutions
in Europe. No country gave as many voting rights as the
Norwegian Constitution: 40 percent of men over the age of
These Norwegian adversaries aroused Swedish anger, and
when Karl Johan returned home from the last battles against
Napoleon in the summer of 1814, he immediately moved into
Norway. On 14 August, a new peace agreement, the Moss
Convention, was signed. Norway was forced into union with
Sweden, and Christian Frederik had to leave the country.
However, Norway retained the Constitution, and in 1814 is
therefore regarded as the birth of the modern Norwegian
Among Norwegian historians, there have been differing
opinions as to whether 1814 was the fruit of a national
awakening or whether the country was granted "freedom of
gift". Today, most would emphasize how decisive the
post-Napoleonic power-political situation was for the events
of 1814. However, there is no general consensus on this, and
traces of a Norwegian national identity exist far back in
Norway in union with Sweden
In 1814 Norway was detached from Denmark and got its
own Constitution. 1814 is therefore considered the birth of
modern Norway, although it would be almost a hundred years
before the country became formally independent.
Norway quickly gained its own national institutions, such
as parliament, government, central administration, courts
and the national bank. A Norwegian university was founded in
Kristiania in 1811.
With the Presidency Acts of 1837, the peasants made their
entry into politics seriously; first locally, then at the
Storting. An alliance between bourgeoisie and peasants
challenged the hegemony of officials by demanding that the
government be accountable to the Storting. In 1884, the
battle was crowned with victory when parliamentarism got its
breakthrough in Norway. In this process, the first political
parties were formed: the Left as leader of the alliance of
bourgeoisie-peasants, and the Right as the party of
Better hygiene and a number of medical breakthroughs led
to a drastic decline in infant mortality from the early
1800s. The result was a population growth of unprecedented
scale, since the high birth rates for a period continued.
The question now became how the growing population should
One response we received in agriculture, which, from the
mid-1800s, went through a "change of hands" where it was
modernized and market-oriented to a completely different
degree than before. The basis for a modern sales farm, which
could feed a large population outside the primary
industries, was laid.
Over a period of fifty years from the second half of the
19th century, more than 750,000 Norwegians found their way
across the ocean to America. Norway was the country after
Ireland and Italy with the largest proportion of emigrants.
Many also moved to the cities, as the last two decades of
the century became engines of intense industrialization. In
addition to the textile industry, the power-intensive
industry grew the most. This resulted in cities such as
Oslo, Drammen and Sarpsborg growing strongly, and later in
the emergence of new cities near waterfalls.
Communications in the country were greatly expanded.
Through rail, an organized four-way system and gradually an
extended road network, countries and people became more
closely connected than before.
In the local communities, the 19th century was the major
organizing phase. Early in the century, Hans Nielsen Hauge
challenged the church's preaching monopoly, and at the same
time encouraged farmers to start their own businesses. Later
in the century, several countercultural trends followed,
such as abstinence and litigation.
In the 19th century, a far more pervasive national
Norwegian identity was created than before. Towards the end
of the century, a demand for a separate Norwegian consulate
was raised. After an intense tug of war with Sweden, this
resulted in Norway becoming an independent kingdom in 1905.
The dissolution of the Union in 1905
In 1905, the union between Norway and Sweden from
1814 was abolished. Initially, the Union had been a loose
labor union, where the kingdoms split king and led common
foreign policy, but had autonomy in domestic affairs. King
Karl Johan (king 1814-1844) had tried to establish a closer
bond between the two kingdoms, but failed to do so.
From the 1860s, Norway came on the offensive in relation
to Sweden, when they required a separate Norwegian consulate
to be able to conduct their own Norwegian foreign policy. In
the 1890s, the conflict intensified, and Sweden threatened
to use arms power against Norway.
In 1905, Christian Michelsen became Norwegian prime
minister at the head of a unifying government. He got the
Storting to pass a law on his own Norwegian consulate. When
the Swedish king Oscar 2 refused to sign, the Storting
declared that the union had ceased as a result of the king
being unable to form a new Norwegian government. Oscar was
therefore no longer a Norwegian king, and consequently there
was no longer anything that bound the two kingdoms together.
The Storting's resolution of June 7 created resentment in
Sweden, and the danger of war was imminent for a while. In
Sweden, however, the king and leading circles had for a long
time been prepared and prepared for the union to come to an
end, and that this was no political disaster, given how
little the two kingdoms linked together.
In the summer of 1905, negotiations took place between
Norway and Sweden in Karlstad, midway between Stockholm and
Kristiania. The parties disagreed as to whether the union
had already been dissolved or not, and the issue of
Norwegian disarmament along the Swedish border also raised
much controversy. But the parties agreed that a Norwegian
detachment was inevitable. On October 26, 1905, King Oscar 2
renounced the Norwegian crown, and Sweden had thus formally
approved the Norwegian detachment.
The liberation from Sweden in 1905 had far less
significance for Norway as a state than the events of 1814.
After 1814, Norway emerged as its own state, in 1905 only
the loose bond to Sweden was cut. The way the detachment
took place has nevertheless been regarded as a diplomatic
masterpiece, although the outcome would hardly have been the
same without considerable Swedish goodwill.
Growth, world war and depression
After 1905, Norway experienced good times. The
industry grew and social laws secured workers' rights. In
the 1920s, social tensions increased, and the following
decade Norway was exposed to the effects of the crisis in
the world economy.
Industrialization in Norway accelerated after 1905, and
the power-intensive industry in particular experienced an
adventurous growth, with companies such as Norsk Hydro,
Borregaard (Kellner-Partington Paper Pulp) and
Electrochemical in the driver's seat. New places such as
Rjukan, Odda, Sauda and Sør-Varanger were built near large
Many of the new companies were controlled by foreign
investors. This triggered a long political tug of war over
who should hold the rights to Norwegian natural resources.
The result was the licensing laws, which safeguarded
Norwegian interests on this issue.
Whaling has emerged as an important new industry in many
Norwegian coastal cities, with Sandefjord as the most
important. Traditional fishing also increased in size, well
helped by the transition from oars and sails to engines. On
a larger scale, there was a change from sail to steam in the
Norwegian merchant fleet during the period. However, the
process was painful, and Norway was far behind the leading
nations in this transition.
In agriculture, the transition to sales farming continued
and increased mechanization with mowers and woodworkers.
Overall, however, the social structure changed little in
Norway during this period. Most people in the country were
still working in the primary industries in 1939, although
the trend was towards increased employment in the industry.
At the beginning of the 20th century, a number of social
laws were introduced, which regulated workers' rights in the
industry. Sickness insurance and factory supervision were
among the most important issues that were decided by the
leftist Johan Castberg as a driver. LO and NAF increased
their influence within the labor market, but the tensions in
the labor market remained strong.
In 1914, the first world war started. Norway had pursued
a non-interference line in its scarce decade as an
independent nation. When the war broke out, the country
declared itself neutral. This was still a difficult
balancing act. The merchant fleet was highly sought after by
the armed forces, and the British and eventually US pressure
against Norway intensified, reinforced by a clear
pro-British opinion. When Germany introduced submarine war
towards the end of the war, this greatly affected the
Norwegian fleet. Around 2000 sailors perished during the war
(see the war sailors).
For some, the war was a riot because strong demand for
Norwegian goods among the warring parties drove the prices
up. For ordinary wage earners, however, rising prices became
a pain, as wages did not increase as quickly. The state
tried to regulate the economic conditions with varying
success through measures such as rationing and maximum
In 1920, there was an end to the boom and inflation in
the wake of the war. Prices fell and so did the value of the
Norwegian krone. Many became unemployed and forced auctions
in agriculture became commonplace. The crisis was in many
ways compounded by the so-called " parapolitics "; the goal
of strengthening the krone so that it could again be linked
to the international gold standard. This increased the
pressure on those who had debt.
The labor movement was characterized by strong divisions
in the interwar period. In 1919, the Norwegian Labor Party
joined the Comintern, which was led by the revolutionary
Soviet Union. After severe conflicts, the party resigned in
1923, while a minority remained as the Norwegian Communist
In 1930, the world crisis struck with full force over
Norway. A massive fall in prices, a decline in production
and unemployment were the result. Tensions increased in
working life, with the Menstads team in 1931 as a climax.
Right Radical organizations, fatherland and National
Assembly, also contributed to a high level of conflict.
Within politics, the Labor Party became the largest
Norwegian party in the 1930s. The party now irrevocably
abandoned the revolutionary program and initiated
cooperation with the Peasant Party through the so-called "
crisis settlement " of 1935. State initiatives in business
increased through grants for agriculture, employment
measures and various social security schemes. However,
defense was low priority, and Norway continued its
neutrality line from earlier.
World War II broke out in September 1939. Norway
declared itself neutral, but on April 9, 1940, German troops
attacked the country. It formed the prelude to five years of
On the same day that the Germans attacked Norway, the
leader of the National Assembly, Vidkun Quisling, tried to
conduct a coup d'état. King Haakon and the Norwegian
government refused to surrender and fled to Elverum.
The Germans secured control of southern Norway within
three weeks, but the fighting at Narvik rallied until the
Norwegian forces surrendered on 10 June. Three days before,
the king and the government had gone to London, where they
established a Norwegian exile government.
Quisling's coup attempt on April 9 failed, and after
April 15, the Administrative Council was established on the
initiative of, among other things, the old Supreme Court.
The council consisted of a group of prominent non-Nazi
Norwegians and was to act as a kind of business ministry.
The Germans initially agreed, but Hitler was dissatisfied
with this scheme and in June sent Deputy Commissioner Josef
Terboven to take over top responsibility in Norway. Terboven
dissolved the Administrative Council and appointed a new
government (the Swedish National Council). NS received most
of the cabinet posts, but all were subject to Terboven.
The German presence in Norway rested on two pillars, in
addition to Terboven and his National Commission. First, the
elite organization SS and the police were linked to a
security apparatus and court, which sentenced Norwegians to
death. In the autumn of 1942, 772 Jews were arrested and
sent to Germany; only a few came back. Second, the German
military, Wehrmacht, took care of military tasks and built
fortifications and expanded the railway network in Norway.
Much of this work was carried out under inhumane conditions
by foreign prisoners of war, especially from the Soviet
Union. The Norwegian business community was in full swing,
and many Norwegians served well in German service, even
though they were subject to a pure command economy.
On February 1, 1942, Quisling became prime minister in a
purely NS government that ended the war. The party built on
the guiding principle and wanted to govern the country
through corporations in working and cultural life. That a
domestic Nazi party was allowed to rule an occupied country
was peculiar to Norway. NS made some unsuccessful attempts
to gain support in the Norwegian population. The membership
was at its highest in the autumn of 1943 with 43,000
Gradually, a more coordinated and powerful resistance
movement emerged in Norway. The civilian part consisted of
protests against the NS regime's Nazi attempts of 1941. The
military part was called " Milorg ". It operated with
sabotage actions, and planned how the liberated Norway
should be taken over and controlled when the German defeat
towards the end of the war seemed inevitable. Intelligence
organizations and the Norwegian Communist Party were also
part of the resistance movement.
In October 1944, Soviet troops moved into eastern
Finnmark. Large parts of Finnmark and Nord-Troms were
demolished by the Germans before retiring, while most of the
population was forced to move south. The night between 8 and
9 May 1945 the Germans in Norway surrendered. The home front
leadership took over the reign of Norway, and when King
Haakon returned to the country in June, a unifying
government was appointed. Through the land settlement,
46,000 people were sentenced to punishment. 25 were
The history of war is the most controversial part of
Norwegian history. Questions about the Nygaardsvold
government's conduct, the contribution of the communists and
the treatment of the Jews and Norwegian girls with German
boyfriends have been widely debated, as has the great
national basic narrative that almost all Norwegians stood on
the "right" side during the war.
The post-war period was a sustained period of growth
in Norwegian history, when much of the foundation of today's
welfare state was laid. A great deal of cross-political
agreement prevailed during that time, and the Labor Party
put in government 20 of the 25 years. Until 1970 there were
signs that this agreement was about to wither away, while
oil discoveries were to bring the country into a new age.
After the war, a unifying government was formed with
Einar Gerhardsen as prime minister. The most precarious task
after five years of war was to rebuild Norway. The
devastation had been enormous in Finnmark and Nord-Troms,
and housing construction was started on a large scale. In
the rest of the country it turned out that although the
Germans had inflicted considerable damage, they had also
invested heavily in the country's infrastructure. The
recovery was therefore more painless than one had feared.
The first post-war years were characterized by a lack of
goods and hard currency. The rationing from the war was
maintained until the beginning of the 1950s. In order to
remedy the currency shortage, an export-oriented industry
was invested. Equally important was that Norway decided to
receive the Marshall Aid from the United States. The
condition for receiving the aid was that Europe coordinated
the reconstruction and focused on production-promoting
measures rather than planned economic instruments. This was
not uncontroversial, but still got a majority.
Foreign policy was central to Norway's reorientation
after the war. In the early years, in line with the
country's previous policy, attempts were made to hold on to
a bridge-building role. Sweden was also keen for a line of
neutrality, supported by Nordic defense cooperation.
However, the rapidly escalating Cold War between the United
States and the Soviet Union increased the pressure to choose
sides. Within the Labor Party, this resulted in major
disputes, which ended with Norway joining the Atlantic NATO
Alliance in 1949. The binding relationship with Western
Europe was strengthened through membership in the OECD in
1948 and EFTA in 1960.
The period from 1945 to 1970 is regarded as the formative
phase in the development of the welfare state. Much of the
reason for this lies in strong continuous growth throughout
the period. And people were willing to pay for welfare.
Taxes increased dramatically, without major protests.
Rather, the political conflicts were about whether taxes
should be imposed on labor or consumption. Taxation on
consumption increased from one per cent before the war to 20
per cent on the introduction of VAT in 1970.
The free market forces of the interwar period had led to
a crisis in the 1930s, and it was planning economics that
then, and not least during the war, had produced good
results. The belief in financial management was therefore
strong, although there were political disagreements over
whether this governance should go. Social democracy was
based on a mixed economy, where owners, workers and the
state all had their say. The stock market was almost dead.
The management of the individual companies lay in the hands
of the directors who were regarded as specialists in
industrial operations. The system is called " director
capitalism " and suited the social democrats well.
There was a cross-political consensus that
industrialization in the country had to be encouraged, and
that the state should play a leading role in this. This was
partly a consequence of and compensation for a Norwegian
citizenry being too weak to guide this development.
State-owned power development became a focus area, resulting
in large metallurgical companies, iron and aluminum plants.
Some of these could take over from the Germans, who had
invested heavily in this industry during the war.
In the post-war period, primary industries declined
sharply, from 42 to 15 percent of the country's total
man-years. The industry, and in particular administration
and services, experienced a correspondingly strong growth.
Several moved to the cities. To counter this trend, the
District Development Fund was established in 1961.
The Labor Party sat in power for the first 20 years after
the war. Already at the crisis settlement in 1935, the party
had taken a decisive step away from its revolutionary
program. With "country father" Einar Gerhardsen at the helm,
the party played a unifying role after the war, although
increasing political contradictions meant that the
government had to step down after the Kings Bay accident in
1963, and in 1965 was replaced by a civilian government led
by Per Borten of the Center Party. However, the price change
was not drastic. The bourgeois parties stood together with
the Labor Party on the most important post-war project: the
development of the welfare state.
The welfare state was made possible by the enormous
growth after the war, which made the benefits that could be
injected into the community so great that welfare became
something other than the selective and socially degrading
social welfare that had emerged in the late 1800s.
Furthermore, through the principle of universality, benefits
were made independent of needs testing.
Immediately after the war, child benefit, sickness
benefit and unemployment benefit were introduced. The
decisive breakthrough came with national insurance in 1966.
Other key welfare projects were social housing, the
development of hospitals and district health services, as
well as the introduction of compulsory nine-year primary
school in 1969. Youth flowed to high schools, new
universities in Bergen, Trondheim and Tromsø, as well as
newly created district schools. 1970 av.
Conversion and neoliberalism
Around 1970, the "postwar era" is considered the end.
Then began a transition period characterized by increased
political and cultural tensions, economic stagnation and
growing doubts about the regulatory state and the social
In the late 1960s, the entire western world was shaken by
student revolts, which combined political radicalism and
protest against American warfare in Vietnam with a struggle
for freedom and individualism. In Norway, the rebellion was
not so acute, but in many ways the radical AKP (ml) movement
can be seen as its successor. The AKP was strongly inspired
by what it perceived to be the anti-authoritarianism of
Mao's cultural revolution in China. However, the movement
developed rapidly even in an authoritarian direction.
The women's movement got wind of the sails in the 1970s,
and helped more women come into working life, a new liberal
abortion law was passed, and the construction of
kindergartens. The environmental movement was also a child
of the 1970s. Large demonstrations were initiated to stop
the development of watercourses such as Mardøla and the Alta
River. Opponents did not succeed in stopping these projects,
but the establishment of a Ministry of the Environment in
1978 and increased awareness of environmental issues were
the fruits of this commitment.
The most important political single issue of the 1970s
was the EC struggle. Norway had applied for membership
several times in the 1960s, and the case had a clear
political majority in the Storting. However, when the Borten
government had to step down due to internal disputes about
the EC in 1971, it opened for a referendum the following
year. This resulted in a large-scale mobilization, and the
No side gained a majority. This was a clear protest from the
grassroots against the political establishment.
The Labor Party was most severely injured following the
EC defeat, and in an effort to get on the offensive they
tried to introduce a series of radical reforms. Most of them
remained on the desk, and they formed much of the background
for the right wave to emerge in the 1980s. The postwar faith
in a regulatory state was steadily losing its followers.
The 1970s were characterized by economic stagnation,
especially after the oil crisis in 1973-74. For Norway,
however, the discovery of oil on the Norwegian continental
shelf in the late 1960s meant a deviant development,
especially in the long term. Through hard government
control, they succeeded in gaining control of the oil fields
in the North Sea, while at the same time acquiring the
highest international expertise in the field. The fruit of
this collaboration was Statoil, a wholly owned state-owned
company that had the main responsibility for oil extraction
in the North Sea. In 1969, the development of the first
Norwegian oil field, Ekofisk, began. However, it was not
until the following decades that the oil would create a
wealth in Norway that enabled the country to counter
international waves through counter-cyclical policies.
The civil victory in the 1981 election ushered in a
political shift in time. Under the leadership of Prime
Minister Kåre Willoch of the Right, a general deregulation
was implemented, including by the banking, broadcasting and
oil activities. Liberalization was part of a broader
international trend, led by politicians such as Margaret
Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.
The sudden release in the economy quickly had some
unfortunate consequences. Most importantly, the repeal of
credit regulations created a speculation boom. When the
Brundtland government took over in 1985, it raised interest
rates to counteract this release. However, the
liberalization of politics was a trend that had come to
stay. Much of this policy was also embraced by the Labor
Party. There was no way back to post-war social democratic
Technology and globalization
Duration: From 1990
Around 1990, Norwegian society was characterized by
so extensive changes in the political, economic, social and
international field that it justified a time difference.
" The Cold War " ended when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989
and the Soviet Union disbanded in 1991. A decade later,
terror was seriously put on the agenda with the terrorist
attack on the United States on September 11, 2001. Norway
participated in international military forces in the Balkans
in the wake of the disintegration. of ancient Yugoslavia,
and in Afghanistan, where the United States targeted its
main shooter after the terrorist attack. July 22, 2011,
terror came to Norway when right-wing extremist Anders
Behring Breivik blew up a bomb in the government quarter
that killed eight people and then killed 69 youths on Utøya.
In 1994, for the second time, Norway said no to the EU
through a referendum. However, the fronts were less harsh
than in 1972, and in practice Norway became strongly linked
to the EU through the EEA Agreement. This means that Norway
has approved " the four freedoms " - the free flow of goods,
services, capital and persons within the EEA.
For the last 20-30 years, a digital revolution has taken
place, which means that many today believe the industrial
society has been replaced by an information society. The
Internet and social media have created completely different
conditions for social and political interaction than before.
Some believe this promotes poor culture of expression and
fragmentation of the public, and points out the risk of
ending up in a surveillance community. Others have pointed
out that social media plays an important mobilizing function
and helps to strengthen social relationships.
The post-war great faith in the regulatory community
received its final shock after 1990, when " New Public
Management " paved the way for increased liberalism in the
public domain. The market was to be the model for public
governance, and competition exposure and individual freedom
of choice became important instruments. A number of public
companies, such as telecommunications, rail and aviation,
and the postal services, were privatized. The state's
control over Statoil was greatly reduced.
Through the 1997 regular medical scheme and the
establishment of state health enterprises, the health care
system underwent major reforms. In tax policy, the income
tax and in particular capital tax were lowered. The latter
contributed to the post-war " director capitalism" being
replaced by financial capitalism. The stock exchange and
capitalists became more important and more visible in the
Norwegian public than before.
However, it can be argued that the changes from the 1990s
did not change the basic principles of the Norwegian welfare
model. In employment, full employment was still a goal,
which was far from being met. The liberalization of the
public did not weaken the rights of citizens, but was rather
strengthened through the sick pay scheme and pension reform.
In addition, a tendency to legalize a number of fields has
contributed to strengthening the rights of individuals.
After 1990, Norway has become ever richer. Through the
oil recovery, the country has an additional resource, which
has enabled Norway to manage crises that have affected other
countries in the EU. The oil revenues have been placed in an
oil fund, which there has been a cross-political agreement
to use for investments abroad with a view to financing
future pension obligations. This has prevented an
overheating of the domestic market.
Politically, governments have been changing since 1990.
Until 1997, Kåre Willoch and Gro Harlem Brundtland were the
leading politicians at the forefront of the two largest
parties, the Right and the Labor Party. From 1997 to 2005,
it was predominantly bourgeois majority governments, with
Kjell Magne Bondevik in the lead, while a coalition
government consisting of the Labor Party, the Socialist Left
Party and the Center Party with Jens Stoltenberg as prime
minister ruled from 2005 to 2013. Following the election
victory in 2013, the Right and Progress Party formed a
minority government with Erna Solberg as prime minister, but
with binding and contractual support from the Left and
Christian People's Party. Politically, however, there has
not been much controversy, except that parties on the outer
wing, especially the Progress Party, have at times marked
The area where the political disagreement has been
greatest is in immigration issues. Immigration to Norway
increased strongly during the period, partly in the form of
refugees and asylum seekers, and partly in the form of labor
immigration. The Progressive Party has always stood for a
much more restrictive line on this issue than the other
parties, but today the differences are minor, primarily as a
result of a general tightening. Nevertheless, there is still
a great deal of disagreement about the integration policy
and what prospects Norway is facing. The latter can
definitely also be said about the climate challenges which
is made available to Norway and the rest of the world. While
this issue may not be as politically combustible, it may
prove to be the most important thing we need to find a
solution for future generations.
A brief historical overview
|Before our time bill
||Older Stone Age. The oldest traces of people -
hunters, fishermen and collectors
||Younger Stone Age. Introduction of livestock and
arable farming. Grind stone and flint tools. The
oldest rock art.
||Bronze Age. Increased contact with countries in
the south. Great memorials testify to the power of
the chief. Rock carvings.
||Early Roman (Celtic) Iron Age. Clean catchers
are now preferably in Northern Norway
|By our time
|about. 0 –400
||Roman Age (Roman Iron Age). Increased trade
inwards and outwards. Runes. The oldest rooftops.
||Migration time. Farm facility with longhouse.
||Meroving time. Agricultural and craft tools have
been given their "classic" shape.
||The first urban development may have occurred in
||Viking Age. National collection based on Western
Norway. Inner land cover and rich grave finds. Trade
and Army cruises to Western Europe. Settlement in
||Battle of Hafrsfjorden; Harald Hårfagre defeats
the Viking kings in Southwest Norway
||The pipe is introduced: the first layings are
||Olav Tryggvason begins a comprehensive
Christianization of the Norwegians
||Olav Haraldsson strengthens the kingdom, among
other things, by establishing a nationwide church
||Olav Haraldsson falls in the battle of
||Fred Period. The time of the congregation. City
Rise (Nidaros, Oslo, Bergen, Tunsberg, Sarpsborg)
||Permanent bishopric seats (Nidaros, Bergen,
Oslo). The oldest Norwegian monasteries. The laws
are in writing.
||The Archdiocese of Nidaros is created
||Norwegian High Age. The population is
increasing. The church is consolidating its
position. Strong growth in public authority. Writing
spreads in public life. Peaceful relations with
Western Europe. More and more farmers are becoming
tenants, but retaining their status as free men.
||The "Civil Wars": contention over the rule of
power between major groups and rebel groups,
including birchbones and baggers.
||Coalition loins - church. First Norwegian royal
crown: Magnus Erlingsson
||Sverre Sigurdsson fights against the Church's
increasing power and renews the aristocracy
||Sverre wins over Magnus Erlingsson at Fimreite
||New throne law. Norway becomes an inheritance
||"Norgesveldet" reaches Håkon 4 Håkonsson's
largest extent during Håkon 4
||National legislation under Magnus Lagaböte
||Norway joins the North German power play. German
merchants - Hansa - wins entry
||Håkon 5 Magnusson dies; The Sverre family dies
on the male side. The Nordic unions begin
||The Black Death. The population is going down.
The settlement areas contract
||Late Middle Ages. Agricultural crisis and
political freedom. The Hanseaties dominate trade.
Earthworms and diocesan sites are increasingly on
foreign hands. The economic foundation of state
power is failing.
||Norway in union with Denmark
||The Kalmar Union - a three-state union between
Norway, Sweden and Denmark
||Turmoil and fermentation. More attempts at
||Union with Denmark becomes the treaty. Danish
language in the national administration
||The last Norwegian possessions in the North Sea
||Economic boom time begins. The water saw leads
to increased timber exports. Herring fishing is
gaining importance. The power of Hanseat is reduced.
The redevelopment of the late medieval desert farms
begins in the early 16th century. Strong growth in
settlement and population to approx. 1650
||Norway becomes a sound country under Denmark.
The Reformation is introduced
||The Nordic Seven-Year War; the longest and most
devastating of all the wars between Denmark and
Sweden; Norway is hit hard
||Attacks on central Norway by Scottish tenants
||The mining operation at Kongsberg begins
||Own Norwegian army
||Norway's first printing press
||" Hannibal feeds ". At the peace in Brömsebro,
Jemtland and Herjedalen go to Sweden
||Røros copper works
||Norwegian Post Office
||New war against Sweden. Norway loses Båhuslen
||The single field is introduced in Denmark-Norway
||Skåne war (Gyldenlove feid). Progress for the
||Christian Law's Norwegian Law
||The Great Nordic War
|1716 and 1718
||Karl 12's two campaigns in Norway
||Economic depression. pietism
||Norwegian ironworks have the exclusive right to
supply Denmark with iron
||Introduction of mandatory confirmation
||Law on the establishment of public schools
||The Convention Poster - Law aimed at religious
|1750 approx. 1810
||Economic boom. Glassworks. Trade liberalization
||Norway's border in the north has finally been
||Norway's first newspaper
||Hans Nielsen Hauge starts his layman's business
||First reliable Norwegian census. The population
counts approx. 880 000
||Nødsår. Denmark-Norway allied with Napoleon; war
||Norway gets its own university
||The union with Denmark is dissolved; Norway in
union with Sweden until 1905. Norway gets its own
Constitution and in practice becomes independent;
The Parliament is created.
||Economic crisis, but progress for fisheries. The
potato is becoming more important. The liquor
becomes a serious societal problem.
||Norges Bank is established
||Coastal traffic begins. The first steamers
||Norway's first savings bank: Christiania
||May 17 celebration begins
||Significant increase in farmer representation at
||Presidency laws: municipal self-government
||Sawmill Industry. Textile Industry. Improved
||Norway's first commercial bank: Christiania
||Golden age for Norwegian shipping
||The mortgage bank. Jews gain access to Norway
||Norway's first railway (Oslo-Eidsvoll) will be
||Law on public school in the countryside
||Søren Jaabæk's "Farmer Friend" associations -
the first Norwegian party organization
||First major emigration wave to North America
||Annual landfill. Public High Schools Act
||Main phase in the transition from
self-sufficiency agriculture to sales agriculture.
Extensive industrialization and urbanization
||Crowns and pennies become currency
||Gold Coin Base. Scandinavian coin union
||The prime minister's case becomes a veto dispute
||Women gain access to higher education. The
emigration reaches its peak
||The Selmer Government is discharged from office
by the national court. Johan Sverdrup's
V-government. Left and Right are organized as
||New language policy: «Equality decision» gives
New Norwegian status as official language form
||The Norwegian Labor Party is formed
||First labor protection legislation. Accident
||Norwegian armament in accordance with Swedish
requirements for revision of the Union
||Act on pure Norwegian flag. Ordinary voting
rights for men
||LO is founded
||The Norwegian Employers' Association is founded
||The Union resolution. The parliament chooses
Haakon 7 for the Norwegian king. New
industrialization period begins. Hydropower
||First nationwide collective bargaining agreement
||Bergensbanen. The obligation to grant a license
and the right of withdrawal in the event of
waterfalls is adopted
||Large lockout. Roald Amundsen reaches the South
||Ordinary voting rights for women
||Norway is neutral during the First World War,
but eventually gets the strongest connection to the
entente. Comprehensive state regulatory policy.
"Boom and bust"
||German submarine war affects Norwegian shipping
||The Labor Party is being revolutionized
||Liquor and hot wine bans for 1927 and 1923
respectively. Eight-hour day is introduced
||Norway becomes a member of the League of Nations
||The post-war crisis. Bank Stool
||Norway takes over sovereignty over Svalbard.
Regular broadcast broadcasts
||Deflation policy results in par rates for the
Norwegian krone. The first Labor Party government
||World crisis reaches Norway. Rapidly rising
||Large lockout: the largest labor conflict in
Norway to date. Menstad battle. Norwegian occupation
of East Greenland
||Norway loses Greenland case in The Hague. NRK is
||The main agreement between LO and NAF. The Labor
Party, which has become reformist, takes over the
government post- crisis settlement with the Peasant
||Continuation of social legislation
||The Second World War breaks out. Norway declares
||German occupation. Norway participates in the
war on the Allied side
||Finnmark and Nord-Troms are demolished during
the German retreat
||Norway is part of the creation of the UN. The
Labor Party gets a pure majority in the
parliamentary elections; Einar Gerhardsen forms
||Revival. State industrial travel is accelerating
||Norway joins NATO. Devaluation of the krone.
||A strong military armament begins
||SAS is formed
||Oslo organizes the Winter Olympics
|1950s and '60s
||Strong economic growth. Employment in primary
industries declines markedly, while operations are
streamlined. Depopulation in the outskirts
||Regular television broadcasts. The car rationing
||Kings Bay case. Lyng government
||Civil majority in the Storting: the government
||Law on Insurance
||Nine-year school duty
||Value Added Tax Act. Petroleum extraction in the
North Sea is accelerating
||Increasing immigration of foreign workers.
Environmental protection concept wins and creates
contention for hydropower development.
||A referendum on Norwegian membership in the EC
gives a no-majority
||The retirement age is reduced to 67 years
||The oil crisis begins an economic stagnation
||Norway creates an economic zone of 200 nautical
||The law on self-determined abortion is adopted
||Price and wage hikes offset the strong inflation
of the 1970s
||Controversy over the development of the
||Gro Harlem Brundtland becomes Norway's first
female prime minister when Odvar Nordli resigns. She
must resign after the defeat of the same year when
the bourgeois parties get a majority in the
parliamentary elections. Kåre Willoch becomes prime
||The price increase is brought under control.
Increasing unemployment. Improved foreign economy
with significant repayment of foreign debt
||Major conflict in working life. The Labor Party
takes over the government. Strong growth in private
consumption and falling oil prices lead to financial
||The stock market boom stops. More industry
||The Act on Income and Dividend Regulation is
introduced to ensure a moderate wage settlement and
better the economy
||The Sami Parliament is opened
||Large oil revenues; disagreement on how the
revenue should be spent. Norway becomes a
multicultural society. Crisis in health care and
elderly care. Privatization and release of public
enterprises (NSB, Posten, Televerket)
||Banks suffer huge losses on loans; the state
takes over the largest commercial banks
||Unemployment sets a post-war record. Major cuts
are planned in the Armed Forces after the
relaxation. Freia is sold abroad. A new nationwide
TV channel (TV2) is created
||Bright spots in the economy, interest rates fall
and stock market value rises. The Act on Registered
Partnership is passed. Norway gets its first female
bishop; Rosemarie Köhn
||Lillehammer organizes the Winter Olympics. All
young people are entitled to three years of higher
education. The EEA Agreement guarantees Norway
access to the EU internal market. Norway again says
no to the EU in the referendum
||Large floods in Eastern Norway. Immigration
issues are the focus of the municipal and county
||Continued decline in interest rates; employment
is increasing. Oil revenues are invested in a
separate fund. Still new records on the stock
||New major school reform; the six-year-olds start
school. Controversy over climate policy. The
election campaign is very much about health and
||Oil prices reach a new bottom level. Gardermoen
is opened as the main airport.
||High oil prices lead to record high provisions
for the oil fund. Increasing public poverty is
leading to debate on the use of oil revenues.
||More health and management reforms. Norway joins
the Schengen cooperation. Disaster for the Labor
Party in the Storting elections. Crown Prince Haakon
marries Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby
||A strong krone exchange rate causes problems for
the export industry. Unemployment again rising. The
fifth holiday week will be introduced for all
employees with collective bargaining agreements.
||Declining krone exchange rates and low interest
rates lead to falling unemployment. Norwegian
fighters bomb targets in Afghanistan.
||Interest rates reach historic lows. High oil
price. New smoking law introduced. Munch's paintings
Scream and Madonna are robbed of
the Munch Museum.
||Gold year on the stock exchange. The Government
Petroleum Fund (Oil Fund) passes NOK 1000 billion.
Norway gets a majority government; The Labor Party
enters into a coalition government for the first