From 1319 the dynastic policy of the Crown is directed towards bringing about a union of the three northern kingdoms. In 1387 Margaret of Denmark is elected queen of Norway as well. – 1397: Union of Kalmar (see above under Denmark). 1387-1814 Norway in personal union with Denmark. The old nobility has been destroyed in the conflict with the monarchy. The economy is thriving, but is largely in the hands of the Hanseatic League. The Reformation is introduced in 1536, and at the same time Norway becomes a Danish province ruled by a governor. Danish becomes the language of government, the Church and the schools, and Old Norwegian survives only in local dialects. In its wars with Denmark Sweden also attacks Norway, and this arouses Norwegian national feeling, which had been almost extinguished. The development of maritime trade brings new ideas into the country and provides a powerful new intellectual stimulus. 1556-60 Decline of Hanseatic power.
In 1559 the power of the Hanseatic League, which had almost completely dominated Norwegian trade in the 15th and 16th c., is broken in Bergen. 1624 Mining begins in Norway, with the help of miners brought in from Germany: silver at Kongsberg in 1 624, copper at Roros in 1 644. 1807 The continental blockade. Denmark’s alliance with France and its involvement in Napoleon’s “continental system leads to a British blockade of the Norwegian coast. Shipping is brought to a standstill and the country suffers acute shortages. Norway seeks to break free from Denmark. Union with Sweden 1814 Norway is united with Sweden. After Napoleon’s defeat Denmark is compelled under the treaty of Kiel to cede Norway to Sweden. The Norwegians do not recognise the treaty, declare their country independent and adopt a liberal constitution at Eidsvoll (17 May: now Norway’s National Day). They are, however, compelled by the arrival of Swedish troops under Bernadotte and by pressure from the great powers to accept the personal union with Sweden, but are allowed to have their own constitution.
1853 Beginning of the “Language Movement”. Ivar Aasen publishes samples of the LandsmSI, a written language diverging from Danish which he has formed out of local dialects and which now achieves great popularity. 1872-1905 Oskar II (d. 1907). The last king of both Norway and Sweden. Frequent conflicts between the Storting and the Crown. 1905 A national referendum decides in favour of dissolving the union with Sweden, and this is confirmed in the treaty of Karlstad on 26 October. Norway as an independent kingdom 1905-57 Hakon VII (b. 1872). Prince Karl of Denmark is elected king of Norway and takes the name of Hakon. The constitution is made still more democratic; women get the vote. 1914-18 First World War.
Norway Map Photo Gallery