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 illnesses.
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
- Duration: 1800–500 BCE.
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 land.
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 period.
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 Age.
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 farm.
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 luxurious lifestyle.
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
- Duration: 800-1050
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 sources.
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 land.
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 country.
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 intermediaries.
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 interference.
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 former level.
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 central places.
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 relationship.
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
- Period: about 1537-1814
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 owned.
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 Nordic countries.
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 25.
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 state.
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 time.
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 officials.
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 feed.
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
- Period: 1905–1939
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 waterfalls.
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 prices.
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 Party.
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.
- Period: 1939–1945
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 German occupation.
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 members.
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 executed.
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.
- Period: 1945–1970
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 percent before the war to 20 percent 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
- Period: 1970–1990
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 democratic model.
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 regulatory societies.
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 clear objections.
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||Event|
|After 9000||Older Stone Age. The oldest traces of people – hunters, fishermen and collectors|
|about. 4000-1500||Younger Stone Age. Introduction of livestock and arable farming. Grind stone and flint tools. The oldest rock art.|
|about. 1500-500||Bronze Age. Increased contact with countries in the south. Great memorials testify to the power of the chief. Rock carvings.|
|about. 500-0.||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.|
|about. 400-570||Migration time. Farm facility with longhouse. Rural citizen.|
|about. 570-800||Meroving time. Agricultural and craft tools have been given their “classic” shape.|
|800s||The first urban development may have occurred in Kaupang|
|800-1000 Century||Viking Age. National collection based on Western Norway. Inner land cover and rich grave finds. Trade and Army cruises to Western Europe. Settlement in Iceland.|
|late 800’s||Battle of Hafrsfjorden; Harald Hårfagre defeats the Viking kings in Southwest Norway|
|900s||The pipe is introduced: the first layings are established|
|late 900s||Olav Tryggvason begins a comprehensive Christianization of the Norwegians|
|1015-1028||Olav Haraldsson strengthens the kingdom, among other things, by establishing a nationwide church organization|
|1030||Olav Haraldsson falls in the battle of Stiklestad|
|1030-ca. 1130||Fred Period. The time of the congregation. City Rise (Nidaros, Oslo, Bergen, Tunsberg, Sarpsborg)|
|about. 1100||Permanent bishopric seats (Nidaros, Bergen, Oslo). The oldest Norwegian monasteries. The laws are in writing.|
|1152-1153||The Archdiocese of Nidaros is created|
|1130-1350||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.|
|1130-1227||The “Civil Wars”: contention over the rule of power between major groups and rebel groups, including birchbones and baggers.|
|1163||Coalition loins – church. First Norwegian royal crown: Magnus Erlingsson|
|1177-1202||Sverre Sigurdsson fights against the Church’s increasing power and renews the aristocracy|
|1184||Sverre wins over Magnus Erlingsson at Fimreite|
|1260||New throne law. Norway becomes an inheritance|
|1260 years||“Norgesveldet” reaches Håkon 4 Håkonsson’s largest extent during Håkon 4|
|1270 years||National legislation under Magnus Lagaböte|
|1280s||Norway joins the North German power play. German merchants – Hansa – wins entry|
|1319||Håkon 5 Magnusson dies; The Sverre family dies on the male side. The Nordic unions begin|
|1349-1350||The Black Death. The population is going down. The settlement areas contract|
|1350-1536||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.|
|1380-1814||Norway in union with Denmark|
|1397||The Kalmar Union – a three-state union between Norway, Sweden and Denmark|
|1400s||Turmoil and fermentation. More attempts at peasant revolts|
|1450||Union with Denmark becomes the treaty. Danish language in the national administration|
|1469||The last Norwegian possessions in the North Sea are lost|
|1500s||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|
|1536-1537||Norway becomes a sound country under Denmark. The Reformation is introduced|
|1563-1570||The Nordic Seven-Year War; the longest and most devastating of all the wars between Denmark and Sweden; Norway is hit hard|
|1612||Attacks on central Norway by Scottish tenants (Sinclair)|
|1624||The mining operation at Kongsberg begins|
|1628||Own Norwegian army|
|1643||Norway’s first printing press|
|1643-1645||” Hannibal feeds “. At the peace in Brömsebro, Jemtland and Herjedalen go to Sweden|
|1644||Røros copper works|
|1647||Norwegian Post Office|
|1657-1658||New war against Sweden. Norway loses Båhuslen|
|1660||The single field is introduced in Denmark-Norway|
|1675-1679||Skåne war (Gyldenlove feid). Progress for the Norwegian troops|
|1687||Christian Law’s Norwegian Law|
|1700-1721||The Great Nordic War|
|1716 and 1718||Karl 12’s two campaigns in Norway|
|1720-1750||Economic depression. pietism|
|1730||Norwegian ironworks have the exclusive right to supply Denmark with iron|
|1736||Introduction of mandatory confirmation|
|1739||Law on the establishment of public schools|
|1741||The Convention Poster – Law aimed at religious sects|
|1750 approx. 1810||Economic boom. Glassworks. Trade liberalization|
|1751||Norway’s border in the north has finally been set|
|1763||Norway’s first newspaper|
|1796||Hans Nielsen Hauge starts his layman’s business|
|1801||First reliable Norwegian census. The population counts approx. 880 000|
|1807-1814||Nødsår. Denmark-Norway allied with Napoleon; war with Sweden|
|1811||Norway gets its own university|
|1814||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.|
|1814-1830||Economic crisis, but progress for fisheries. The potato is becoming more important. The liquor becomes a serious societal problem.|
|1816||Norges Bank is established|
|1820s||Coastal traffic begins. The first steamers|
|1822||Norway’s first savings bank: Christiania Sparebank|
|1824||May 17 celebration begins|
|1833||Significant increase in farmer representation at the Storting|
|1837||Presidency laws: municipal self-government|
|1840-50-years||Sawmill Industry. Textile Industry. Improved communications|
|1848||Norway’s first commercial bank: Christiania Creditkasse|
|1850-1880||Golden age for Norwegian shipping|
|1851||The mortgage bank. Jews gain access to Norway|
|1854||Norway’s first railway (Oslo-Eidsvoll) will be opened|
|1860||Law on public school in the countryside|
|1865||Søren Jaabæk’s “Farmer Friend” associations – the first Norwegian party organization|
|1866||First major emigration wave to North America|
|1869||Annual landfill. Public High Schools Act|
|1870-80-years||Main phase in the transition from self-sufficiency agriculture to sales agriculture. Extensive industrialization and urbanization|
|1873||Crowns and pennies become currency|
|1875||Gold Coin Base. Scandinavian coin union|
|1880||The prime minister’s case becomes a veto dispute|
|1882||Women gain access to higher education. The emigration reaches its peak|
|1884||The Selmer Government is discharged from office by the national court. Johan Sverdrup’s V-government. Left and Right are organized as parties|
|1885||New language policy: «Equality decision» gives New Norwegian status as official language form|
|1887||The Norwegian Labor Party is formed|
|1890s||First labor protection legislation. Accident Insurance Act|
|1895-1905||Norwegian armament in accordance with Swedish requirements for revision of the Union|
|1898||Act on pure Norwegian flag. Ordinary voting rights for men|
|1899||LO is founded|
|1900||The Norwegian Employers’ Association is founded|
|1905||The Union resolution. The parliament chooses Haakon 7 for the Norwegian king. New industrialization period begins. Hydropower|
|1907||First nationwide collective bargaining agreement|
|1909||Bergensbanen. The obligation to grant a license and the right of withdrawal in the event of waterfalls is adopted|
|1911||Large lockout. Roald Amundsen reaches the South Pole|
|1913||Ordinary voting rights for women|
|1914-1918||Norway is neutral during the First World War, but eventually gets the strongest connection to the entente. Comprehensive state regulatory policy. “Boom and bust”|
|1915||German submarine war affects Norwegian shipping|
|1918||The Labor Party is being revolutionized|
|1919||Liquor and hot wine bans for 1927 and 1923 respectively. Eight-hour day is introduced|
|1920||Norway becomes a member of the League of Nations|
|1920-1924||The post-war crisis. Bank Stool|
|1925||Norway takes over sovereignty over Svalbard. Regular broadcast broadcasts|
|1928||Deflation policy results in par rates for the Norwegian krone. The first Labor Party government|
|1930||World crisis reaches Norway. Rapidly rising unemployment|
|1931||Large lockout: the largest labor conflict in Norway to date. Menstad battle. Norwegian occupation of East Greenland|
|1933||Norway loses Greenland case in The Hague. NRK is created|
|1935||The main agreement between LO and NAF. The Labor Party, which has become reformist, takes over the government post- crisis settlement with the Peasant Party|
|1936-1938||Continuation of social legislation|
|1939||The Second World War breaks out. Norway declares itself neutral|
|1940-1945||German occupation. Norway participates in the war on the Allied side|
|1944-1945||Finnmark and Nord-Troms are demolished during the German retreat|
|1945||Norway is part of the creation of the UN. The Labor Party gets a pure majority in the parliamentary elections; Einar Gerhardsen forms government|
|1945-1948||Revival. State industrial travel is accelerating|
|1949||Norway joins NATO. Devaluation of the krone. Increasing inflation|
|1950||A strong military armament begins|
|1951||SAS is formed|
|1952||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|
|1960||Regular television broadcasts. The car rationing is canceled|
|1963||Kings Bay case. Lyng government|
|1965||Civil majority in the Storting: the government Borten|
|1967||Law on Insurance|
|1969||Nine-year school duty|
|1970||Value Added Tax Act. Petroleum extraction in the North Sea is accelerating|
|1970||Increasing immigration of foreign workers. Environmental protection concept wins and creates contention for hydropower development.|
|1972||A referendum on Norwegian membership in the EC gives a no-majority|
|1973||The retirement age is reduced to 67 years|
|1973-1974||The oil crisis begins an economic stagnation period|
|1977||Norway creates an economic zone of 200 nautical miles|
|1978||The law on self-determined abortion is adopted|
|1978-1980||Price and wage hikes offset the strong inflation of the 1970s|
|1979-1981||Controversy over the development of the Alta-Kautokeino waterway|
|1981||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 minister.|
|1983-1984||The price increase is brought under control. Increasing unemployment. Improved foreign economy with significant repayment of foreign debt|
|1986||Major conflict in working life. The Labor Party takes over the government. Strong growth in private consumption and falling oil prices lead to financial problems|
|1987||The stock market boom stops. More industry scandals|
|1988||The Act on Income and Dividend Regulation is introduced to ensure a moderate wage settlement and better the economy|
|1989||The Sami Parliament is opened|
|1990||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)|
|1991||Banks suffer huge losses on loans; the state takes over the largest commercial banks|
|1992||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|
|1993||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|
|1994||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|
|1995||Large floods in Eastern Norway. Immigration issues are the focus of the municipal and county council elections.|
|1996||Continued decline in interest rates; employment is increasing. Oil revenues are invested in a separate fund. Still new records on the stock exchange.|
|1997||New major school reform; the six-year-olds start school. Controversy over climate policy. The election campaign is very much about health and elderly policy.|
|1998||Oil prices reach a new bottom level. Gardermoen is opened as the main airport.|
|2000||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.|
|2001||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|
|2002||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.|
|2003||Declining krone exchange rates and low interest rates lead to falling unemployment. Norwegian fighters bomb targets in Afghanistan.|
|2004||Interest rates reach historic lows. High oil price. New smoking law introduced. Munch’s paintings Scream and Madonna are robbed of the Munch Museum.|
|2005||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 time.|