Norway History

First inhabitant of Norway

The area of ​​present-day Norway was founded around 10,500 BC. First settled by humans. Different cultures emerged over time. From around 4000 BC, hunters and gatherers became Sedentary people. They built houses and farmed. Bronze was obtained from 2000 BC. Used, iron from 500 BC. The first runic script was developed around 200 AD. The Germanic characters are called runes. Small empires emerged, each headed by a chief.

Viking Age and Harald Hårfagre

The time of the Vikings began around 800. This is the name given to peoples in Northern Europe who sailed the North and Baltic Seas as traders and warriors in the early Middle Ages. On the southwest coast of Norway, a man named Harald Hårfagre took power around the year 900 and became Norway’s first king. Incidentally, his name means “Harald Fairhair”.

The south-east was still under Danish rule at that time, the entire north was the territory of the Ladejarlen, a royal family. By the 11th century, Hårfagre’s descendants first conquered the north and then the southeast. Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands were settled from Norway. Norwegian Vikings also took possession of the (now Scottish) Orkney and Shetland Islands. The last Viking king was Markus Barfot, who died in 1103.

Norway in the further Middle Ages

In the following centuries, disputes over the succession to the throne flared up again and again. There were riots and wars. Christianity prevailed in the 11th century. Håkon Magnusson was King of Norway from 1299 to 1319 as Håkon V. He reformed the administration and formed Norway into a state.

The plague broke out in Norway in 1348/49. It is believed that two thirds of all residents died. Agriculture collapsed. From growing cereals to livestock farming, because fewer workers were needed. Further outbreaks of the plague brought even more poverty to the country. The livelihoods of the royal court and the nobility were also withdrawn.

In 1363, Håkon VI, King of Norway and Sweden, married the Danish heir to the throne Margarethe. Sweden was lost in 1371. In 1380 Håkon VI died. and Margarethe took over the reign for the just born son Olav.

In 1397, Queen Margaret I united Denmark, Norway and Sweden in the Kalmar Union. She had been Queen of Denmark since 1387 and through marriage and inheritance also became Queen of Sweden and Norway. Her nephew Erik VII became the first king of the Kalmar Union. Due to all sorts of power struggles, however, it only worked to a very limited extent. In 1523 Sweden left the Union.

Union with Denmark (1523-1814)

According to franciscogardening, Norway remained connected with Denmark. The union lasted until 1814. Norway was largely without power and more of a Danish province. Danish became the language of liturgy and administration. Most of the officials were Danes. Economically, however, things have now picked up again. The Reformation was introduced in 1536.

Union with Sweden (1814-1905)

In the Napoleonic Wars, Denmark sided with France and after the defeat in 1814 had to cede Norway to Sweden. This ended the Danish-Norwegian personal union. Norway was now part of Sweden. The King of Sweden received the Norwegian crown with it. Iceland, Faroe Islands and Greenland, previously Norwegian, now fell to Denmark.

In the second half of the 19th century, Norwegian self-confidence grew and in addition to the Danish-influenced language, a separate Norwegian written language was created. Norway aspired to independence. In 1905 the union with Sweden was finally dissolved peacefully.

The 20th and 21st centuries

The new Norwegian king was Prince Carl of Denmark as Haakon VII. He also became the progenitor of today’s Norwegian royal family.

In 1920 Norway secured its claim to Svalbard and other islands in the Svalbard Treaty. Spitsbergen was previously stateless. Norway assured the other countries that signed the contract that they would be allowed to do business there. Your citizens can work there without restrictions.

During World War II, Norway was occupied by Germany in 1940. The royal family went into exile in Great Britain. From there, Haakon VII became a symbol of national resistance, for example through speeches to his people broadcast on the radio. The resistance movement in the country, for example, undertook numerous acts of sabotage, that is, violent damage to military facilities. In 1945 the occupation ended with Germany’s surrender on May 8th. The king and his family returned.

An economic boom followed in the 1950s and 1960s. Norway was developed into a welfare state. In 1957 Olav V became king. In 1967 crude oil was found in the North Sea. It became the most important economic factor for the country. Harald V became the new king in 1991.

Norway History