Norway Recent History

By | October 27, 2021

From independence to World War II

The development of the following period led to the dissolution of the Union. In 1899, the Storting decided to introduce the Norwegian flag without a union symbol, despite the king’s objection. Likewise, the growing Norwegian external shipping industry had made the question of Norway’s diplomatic representation abroad a stress test for the Union. In 1905 the law for the establishment of own consulates was adopted by the Storting, but not approved by the king. When Oskar II rejected the government’s request for resignation, the Storting dissolved the union by resolution of June 7, 1905. A referendum on August 13th confirmed the decision, and Oskar II. abdicated. After a second referendum on 12./13. 11. In 1905 there was a large majority for the monarchy, the Storting elected the Danish prince Karl as king, who ascended the throne as Håkon VII. In the Treaty of Kristiania (November 2, 1907), the German Empire, France, Great Britain and Russia guaranteed Norway’s integrity.

In the First World War, according to Usprivateschoolsfinder, Norway managed to maintain its neutrality, but the traditional ties to Britain and the United States led to the Allies supportive public opinion. Since the merchant fleet often drove on behalf of the Allies, the supply of the population largely depended on shipping and the fish and copper exports were equally sought after by the enemies of the war, Norway faced considerable supply difficulties due to the British blockade and the German submarine war, exposed to diplomatic conflicts and attacks by German submarines. At the end of the war Norway had lost almost 50% of its merchant fleet (820 ships, over 1 million GRT).

In 1919 proportional representation was established for the Storting. In 1920 the League of Nations awarded Svalbard to Norway. In 1921 the communists separated from the social democrats. The Labor Party – radical Marxist in the interwar period – came to power temporarily in early 1928 and for a longer period in 1935 (Nygaardsvold cabinet, in London since 1940). The main concern was overcoming the economic crisis, promoting agriculture and improving social security.

In their foreign policy, the governments worked closely with the League of Nations. Norway’s claims to eastern Greenland were dismissed in 1933 by the Hague Arbitration Court in Denmark’s favor.

Norway also declared itself neutral during World War II. Plans to rule the Norwegian coast, especially the port of Narvik, through which Swedish iron ore was exported to Germany, existed on the German and Allied sides. Shortly after the Norwegian waters were mined by the British Navy, the German attack took place on April 9, 1940 (“Weser exercise”). The Norwegian army had to withdraw, but only surrendered after tough resistance on June 10, 1940 (supported by a British, Polish and French expeditionary corps in Northern Norway from April 18 to June 7). Norway’s government and royal family went into exile in London. On April 24, 1940, Hitler was appointed Reich Commissioner Josef Terboven (* 1898, † 1945), on whom the government formed in 1942 under V. Quisling was dependent. The resistance of the Norwegian population was fought hard (especially in 1942 in Telavåg). Northern Norway was badly destroyed when the German troops withdrew at the end of 1944 and the civilian population was expelled. The German troops surrendered on May 4, 1945.

Post-war period and rejection of EU membership

After the end of the German occupation, Quisling and other collaborators had to answer before special courts. Economically, Norway was able to recover quickly and, thanks to the oil and gas discoveries in the North Sea, developed into an industrial and welfare state.

Domestically, the elections of October 1945 brought the Labor Party an absolute majority, which it maintained (with a brief interruption) until 1965 (Prime Minister, inter alia, Eimar Gerhardsen, * 1897, † 1987 [1945–51, 1955–63, 1963–65]). In 1957 Olaf V ascended the throne. In 1965–71 the bourgeois parties formed a coalition government (Prime Minister Per Borten, * 1913, † 2005). The Labor Party has dominated parliamentary elections since the 1970s; she was Prime Minister 1971–72 and 1973–76 with T. Bratteli , 1976–81 with Odvar Nordli (* 1927, † 2018) and 1981, 1986–89 and 1990–96 with G. H. Brundtland . Conservative minority cabinets existed under 1981–86 Kåre Willoch (* 1928) and 1989–90 under Jan Peder Syse (* 1930, † 1997). After the death of King Olaf V (January 17, 1991), King Harald V became head of state.

In terms of foreign policy, Norway gave up its neutrality and joined NATO in 1949; After membership of the EC was rejected in a referendum in September 1972, Norway – an EFTA member since 1960 – concluded a free trade agreement with the EC in 1973. In 1992 Norway formally applied for membership in the EC; however, parallel to the government’s accession negotiations, a cross-party movement “No of the EC” was formed. After the government and what is now the EU agreed on the conditions for membership on March 16, 1994, the population rejected it in a referendum on 27/28. 11. 1994 membership with 52.2% of the votes. However, Norway became a member of the EEA in 1994; This occurred in 2001 Schengen Agreement in force. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Norway and the other Nordic countries sought cooperation with Russia (formation of the Barents Council in 1993); it has repeatedly acted as a mediator in conflicts (for example, from 1993 the Norwegian Foreign Minister T. Stoltenberg for the UN in the Yugoslavia conflict).

Development to the present

After the resignation of Social Democrat Brundtland (October 1996), bourgeois and center-right coalition governments under Prime Minister K. M. Bondevik (Christian People’s Party) dominated politics from 1997 onwards. The parliamentary elections on September 12, 2005 brought the Labor Party under J. Stoltenberg to government; With this balloting began the rise of the right-wing populist progress party led by Carl Ivar Hagen (* 1944), which after the 2013 election also advanced to the ruling party in the cabinet of the conservative Prime Minister E. Solberg . Solberg was confirmed in office in the 2017 elections and governs with a coalition that includes its Conservative Party (Høyre), the Progress Party and the Liberal Party and, since the beginning of 2019, the Christian Democrats.

On July 22, 2011, 77 people were killed in terrorist attacks on a youth camp run by the ruling Workers’ Party and on Oslo’s government district. A lone perpetrator, Anders Behring Breivik (* 1979), confessed to the attacks. Cited anti-Islamism as the motive for the terrorist acts. On August 24, 2012, he was sentenced to the maximum sentence in Norway of 21 years’ imprisonment with subsequent preventive detention.

Norway Recent History