Norway (Norw. and Dan. Norge; Swed. Norrige), a kingdom of northern Europe, occupying the western portion of the Scandinavian peninsula, and lying between lat. 57° 57' and 71° 11' N., and lon. 4° 45' and 31° 15' E.
It is bounded N. by the Arctic ocean, E. by Russian Lapland and Sweden, S. by the Ska-ger Rack, and W. by the North sea and the Atlantic ocean. Its length is about 1,080 m., its greatest breadth 275 m., and its area 122,-279 sq. m. It is divided for political purposes into six stiffs or dioceses, named from their chief towns, the area and population of which, according to the government returns of Dec. 1, 1865, are as follows:
Area in sq. miles.
Christiania or Aggerhuus
These are subdivided into 20 amts or districts. According to an official calculation, founded on the movement of population, the total population in January, 1873, was estimated at 1,763,000. A new census is to be taken in December, 1875. - The coast line trends generally N. E. and S. W. from the North cape, its northernmost point, to Cape Stadt, whence it runs S. to about lat. 59°, where it turns gradually S. E.; and beyond Lindesnass (the Naze), its southernmost point, it assumes again a northeasterly course, which it keeps to its junction with Sweden. It is very rugged, being indented by numerous arms of the sea, some of which extend far inland and form many branches. In these bays or fiords is some of the most magnificent scenery in the world, their shores often rising in precipitous cliffs to a height of from 3,000 to 4,000 ft. Many of them are deep and form excellent harbors, but navigation is rendered dangerous by numerous islands, which obstruct their entrances and line the whole coast.
The principal fiords are the Varanger, Tana, Laxe, Porsanger, Al-ten, Kvenang, Lyngen, and Senjen, on the Arctic coast; the West, Folden, Salten, Dront-heim, and Molde, on the Atlantic; the Stay, Sogne, Hardanger, Bommel, and Bukke, on the North sea; and the Christian!a, on the coast of the Skager Rack. The islands on the coast number many hundreds, and have an aggregate area of about 8,500 sq. m. The whole number of inhabited isles is 1,160, with an aggregate population of 212,000. Of these, 80 lie off the coast of the Arctic ocean, between the Russian frontier and the Loffoden isles, and have 20,000 inhabitants; the Loffoden and Ves-teralen groups comprise 40, with 30,000 inhabitants; off the Atlantic coast, from the Loffoden isles to Cape Stadt, are 510, with 66,000 inhabitants; off the coast of the North sea, between Capes Stadt and Lindesnaes, are 350, with 72,000 inhabitants; and in the Skager Rack, from the latter cape to the Swedish frontier, are 180, with 23,500 inhabitants. The islands off the coast of the Arctic ocean are very rocky and mountainous, with peaks from 3,000 to 4,000 ft. high, generally covered with snow and ice. Among them many isolated rocks like cones rise out of the sea, inhabited by millions of aquatic birds.
On Magero is the North cape, the most northerly point of the continent of Europe, with cliffs 800 ft. high. On Kvalo is Hammerfest, the most northerly city in the world; and on Tromso is the city of the same name, with 4,000 inhabitants. Senjen is the second largest island in Norway. The Loffoden isles are also very rocky and mountainous; the principal one, Hindo, is the largest in Norway. At the S. W. end of the Loffoden islands is the Maelstrom, which is produced by the currents of the West fiord. (See Maelstrom.) In 1869 there were 90 lighthouses on the coasts of Norway, of which 4 were on the Arctic coast, 30 on the Atlantic, 34 on the North sea, and 22 on the Skager Rack. That of Fruholmen, near Hammerfest, in lat. 71° 5' 45", is the most northerly one in the world. The principal ports are Christiania and Christiansand on the Skager Rack, and Bergen, Christiansund, and Drontheim on the North sea. - The surface is very mountainous, particularly in the north, but there are no well defined and regular ridges, the great Scandinavian chain, which extends, under the names of Kiölen, Dovrefield, and Langfield, and other appellations, N. and S. throughout the peninsula, consisting rather of a series of elevated plateaus called fjelds or fields, from which rise mountain masses.
The principal summits are Ymes Field, 8,540 ft. above the sea, and Skagtöls Tind, 8,061. The descent from these plateaus on the Swedish side is gradual, but on the west it is abrupt and precipitous, though it stretches out far toward the sea, and in some places covers almost the entire width of the kingdom. The whole country is extremely rugged. Minor lateral ranges branch from the main chain, forming deep narrow valleys, each with its stream and lakes. On the W. coast the lower parts of these valleys form the fiords, the upper parts of which are but dark narrow lanes of water, with wooded precipices rising from their edges, and cataracts and torrents pouring into them. Among the most famous natural curiosities is the mountain of the Kilhorn in Nord-land, a remarkable pyramidal peak, terminating with a long, sharp, spire-like summit, and having a large perforation about three fourths of the way up its side. The mountain of Ilorn-elen, which forms the E. extremity of the island of Bremanger at the entrance of Vaags fiord, is an isolated mass from which rises a sharp-pointed peak inclined at an angle of 60° to the horizon, and appearing about to topple over upon the surrounding plain. Some of the mountain passes are extremely picturesque.
The Voring-fos and Rinkan-fos are cataracts, each 900 ft. in perpendicular descent, and several of the rivers have falls of less height. The principal rivers are the Tana and Alten, which flow into the Arctic ocean, the former forming part of the boundary of Russian Lapland; the Namsen, which empties into the Atlantic; and the Laugen, Drammen, and Glommen, which fall into the Skager Rack. There are many other smaller streams. Lakes abound in all parts of the country, the largest being the Mio-sen, 40 m. N. of Christiania, 55 m. long and from 1 to 12 m. broad; it is formed by an expansion of the river Laugen, and discharges into the Glommen through the Vormen. The geological formation is chiefly primitive and transition rocks. The most abundant is gneiss, alternating occasionally with granite, and intermixed with mica slate. Limestone, quartz, and hornblende are also found. In the southern districts there are many traces of volcanic action. The mountains are rich in iron, copper, silver, nickel, and cobalt; but the mines are not worked to their full capacity on account of government restrictions and the scarcity of fuel. The silver mines of Kongsberg belong to the state. The Röraas copper mines have been worked for more than 200 years.
The iron mines are but imperfectly worked, but the metal is of superior quality. - The soil is in general poor. Only 0.8 per cent, of the surface is under cultivation; 2.1 per cent, is meadow, and 97.1 woodland, pasture land, or barren. The hind is of a light sandy texture, which under the best cultivation could not yield heavy crops; but there are vast pasture lands of good quality. The climate is healthy, and less severe than might be expected from the high latitude and elevation of surface, being considerably tempered by the sea and warm S. W. winds. Many of the western and northern gulfs and fiords are rarely or never frozen, while those on the south are filled with ice. The mean temperature at Christiania is 43° F.; at Ullensvang, on the gulf of Hardanger, 44°; at Drontheim, 39.50°; at the Salten fiord, 43°; and at the North cape, 29°. The temperature is milder than that of any other region equally distant from the equator. Vegetation flourishes as far N. as lat. 70°. The weather is remarkably steady for the latitude.
About 1/38 of the surface is covered with perpetual snow; in other districts snow lies only about four months in the year, beginning toward the end of November. In January and February the mercury ranges from 14° F. above to 15° below zero, and sometimes sinks to 31° below. In summer it rises occasionally to 108°, and the crops ripen three months after sowing. The principal crop is barley, which is cultivated as far N. as lat. 70°. Rye, oats, wheat (in favorable seasons and southern districts), potatoes, flax, hemp, a little tobacco, and apples, pears, cherries, and other fruits are also raised. The system of agriculture is extremely rude, and the prejudice of the farmers against innovation precludes the hope of any speedy improvement. Under-drainage is never practised. A large quantity of grain, chiefly rye and barley, is annually imported from Denmark and Russia. The precariousness of the crops has led to the establishment of corn magazines where farmers may deposit their surplus produce, receiving interest for it at the rate of 12½ per cent, per annum, and in time of scarcity may borrow grain at the interest of 25 per cent, per annum. Most of the land is the property of the cultivators.
The number of landed estates in 1869 was 147,453, of which 131,780 were cultivated by owners. The owners till the soil themselves, with the aid of their tenants. The latter in 1865 numbered 60,330. The tenant hires from the owner land enough to keep one or two cows and a few sheep, for which he pays rent in days' work in each season. Much of the agricultural work is done by women. There are large tracts covered with valuable timber. Fir, mountain ash, birch, poplar, and willow grow in all the provinces; oak only in the southern. The pine and fir forests, which are chiefly on the banks of the rivers flowing into Christiania fiord, give employment to great numbers of timber merchants; and their product, besides being converted into planks and beams, is invaluable for fuel in working the mines, no coal being found in the kingdom. Nearly all the exported timber is sent to France. - The principal wild animals are the wolf and the bear. Deer are now scarce. The lynx and wolverene are occasionally met with, and there are hares, wild fowl, and other game in abundance. One of the most valuable domestic animals is the reindeer, which constitutes the main dependence of the inhabitants of the northern provinces.
Cattle are reared in great numbers, but the breed is inferior; and the horses, though strong and surefooted, are of small size. Ponies of a good breed are raised and exported. Sheep and goats are numerous. In 1866 the number of horses in the kingdom was 149,167; horned cattle, 053,036; sheep, 1,705,394; goats, 290,985; swine, 96,166; and tame reindeer, 101,768. The rivers and lakes are abundantly stocked with many varieties of excellent fish, among which are trout and salmon, while the neiurh-boring seas afford valuable fisheries of cod and herring. - Among the inhabitants born in Nor-wav, besides Norwegians proper, there were in 1866 7,637 Finns, 15,601 settled Laplanders, 1.577 Laplander nomads, called in Norway Finner, and about 4,000 of mixed races. The number of foreign inhabitants was 21,260, of whom 15,784 were Swedes, 1,791 Danes, 1,684 Finns, 1,257 Germans, and 348 English. The Laplanders live in the northern provinces, almost isolated from the rest of the inhabitants; their chief occupation is tending their reindeer herds. In the southern provinces industry is devoted more to stock raising than to tillage. The Norwegians are among the best sailors in the world, large numbers being engaged from early life in the coast fisheries and local navigation, which is intricate and dangerous.
The people generally are frugal, industrious, upright, and enterprising.
They are somewhat reserved in manner, but kind and hospitable, simple in habits, firm in purpose, and exceedingly patriotic. The condition of the working classes is poor, and in some parts of the country they are said to live in the same manner that they did three centuries ago. The use of strong drink prevails extensively, and few laboring men save any money. Companies have been formed to build better dwellings for the working poor, who have shown an inclination of late years to emigrate in large numbers to the United States. From 1856 to 1865 this emigration amounted to 54,000; from 1866 to 1870, to 76,400; in 1871, 12,300; and in 1872, 14,400. The Lutheran is the established church, and although all creeds are permitted to be publicly professed, no one can be legally married until confirmed in the Lutheran church, and only members of that communion are admitted to public offices. Of the population in 1866, 1,696,651 were Lutherans, 3,662 belonged to other Protestant sects, 1,038 were Mormons, 316 Roman Catholics, 15 Greek Catholics, and 25 Jews. The established church is governed by six bishops, the eldest of whom is primate. The right of presentation to sees and livings belongs to the king, the minister for ecclesiastical affairs, and the Norwegian council of state.
The clergy are generally well educated, and their incomes average about $1,000 per annum, which, taking into account the value of money in Norway, may be considered high. There is no privilege of birth, hereditary nobility having been abolished by a law which passed the storthing Aug. 1, 1821; but, as in Sweden, the sons of the technically noble and the wealthy always have the preference for places of honor. Scholastic or university education is also essential to obtaining position in church or state. The press is practically free, and almost every important town has at least one newspaper; in 1870 there were 80 published in the kingdom. There are several scientific periodicals. Education is compulsory, all children from 7 to 14 years of age being obliged to receive public instruction. Each parish has its schoolmaster, who is paid by a small tax levied on householders. Instruction in the primary schools, of which there are 6,500, is limited to reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, grammar, and religion. In 16 of the principal towns there are as many public classical schools, where are taught theology, Latin, Greek, Norwegian, German, French, English, mathematics, history, and geography.
There is a university at Christiania, with faculties of theology, law, medicine, philosophy, and the sciences, which is attended by about 700 students. There are also a royal school of design, a military high school in the capital, and an agricultural school in Aas. The "Society of Public Good " maintains public libraries in different parts of the kingdom, and there are many learned and scientific societies. - Although Norway is essentially an agricultural and pastoral country, it has, in proportion to its population, the largest commercial navy in the world. At the end of 1873 it consisted of 7,447 vessels, of 1,243,433 tons, manned by 56,147 men. Of these, 199 were steamers having 8,835 horse power, and a tonnage of 38,830. The total value of exports in 1873 was $29,189,000; of imports, $26,738,000. Of the exports, about 30 per cent, were to Great Britain, 16 to Germany, and 8 to France; of the imports, about 28 per cent, were from Great Britain, 26 from Germany, 15 from Denmark, 9 from Sweden, and 9 from Russia. The principal exports are timber and wood, bark, fish, ice, calf and sheep skins, and copper and iron ore; the principal imports are cotton and woollen goods, groceries, grain, tobacco, and manufactured iron.
The internal trade of the kingdom suffers from the want of good roads and the comparative thinness of the population. The highways however are gradually improving, and railways are in progress to connect the principal towns. The railways and telegraphs are the property of the government. In 1873 there were 312 m. of railway in operation, and 741 in construction and projected. Those open for traffic were: Christiania to Eidsvold, 45 m.; Chris-tiania to Stockholm, 350 m., of which 76 are in Norway; Christiania to Drammen and Kongs-berg, 50 m.; Drammen to Randsfjord, 42 m.; Vigersund to Kroderen, 21 m.; Drontheim to Storen, 28 m.; and Drontheim to Mera-ker, 50 m. At the end of 1873 there were 101 telegraph stations in the kingdom, with 3,876 m. of lines; the total number of despatches sent was 780,285. The number of post offices in 1872 was 719; number of letters during the year, 7,479,350. Accounts are kept in specie dollars, called Species, equal to $1 10, and divided into 120 Shilling. These coins are silver and copper, there being no gold currency. There is a national bank, which issues notes, in Drontheim, with branches in Christiania, Bergen, and Christiansand. - The fisheries constitute one of the principal industries, and employ many thousand men.
The herring fishery, the chief seat of which is on the W. coast between Capes Lindesnrcs and Stadt, is carried on in both winter and autumn. The winter fishery, beginning in January, is called the great fishery, and employs about 50,-000 men for two months, with a usual product of 800,000 barrels. The autumn fishery is less productive. The cod fisheries may be divided into the sea and the fiord fisheries. The principal sea fisheries are off the Loffoden isles and the coast of Finmark. The former, which is carried on chiefly in February and March, now employs about 20,000 men and 4,000 to 5,000 boats. The catch is about 20,000,000 fish. These are the largest cod that are caught. The Finmark fishery begins later, ending about the last of May. The yield is usually from 11,000,-000 to 15,000,000 fish, which are smaller than the Loffoden cod, and resemble those caught off the coast of Labrador. The total catch of the cod fisheries in 1873 was 27,000,000. Previous to 1859 the Loffoden fishing waters were divided into small areas which were under the control of traders, but they are now free. On the S. coast the mackerel fishery employs many men.
In 1869 there were 117 vessels and boats engaged in the shark fishery in the Arctic ocean, which took 7,277 barrels of livers for oil; and in 1870 there were 37 vessels employed in seal and walrus fishing off Nova Zembla and Spitzbergen. The usual product of the seal fishery is about 400,000 species a year. The other principal industries are lumbering, mining, and the common trades. The manufactures are of little importance, and consist chiefly in the production of cottons, woollens, linens, and silks for home use. There are also a few paper mills, distilleries, tobacco factories, and large salt works. The peasants supply nearly all their wants by their own labor. - Norway is united with Sweden under one sovereign, but according to the terms of its constitution is "free, independent, indivisible, and inalienable." The government is a hereditary constitutional monarchy. The constitution, which was adopted Nov. 4, 1814, vests the legislative power in the Storthing, or assembly of deputies, chosen by indirect election. The people choose deputies at the rate of one to 50 voters in towns and one to 100 in the rural districts, and these deputies elect either from among themselves or from other qualified voters of the district the storthing representatives.
Every male citizen of 25 years of age, who possesses land property of the value of 150 specie dollars, or who has been tenant of such property for five years, who is or has been a public functionary, or is a burgess of any town, is entitled to vote. Representatives must be at least 30 years of age and 10 years resident in Norway. The storthing formerly met every three years, but since the modification of the constitution in 1869 it has assembled annually. When assembled, it divides into two chambers, an upper one, called the Lagthing, consisting of one fourth of the members, and a lower one, the Odclsthing, of the remainder. Each house chooses its own officers. The king cannot dissolve the storthing until it has been three months in session; and, though he may veto any measure, his veto may be overruled by the action of three successive storthings. The storthing makes and repeals laws; establishes imposts, taxes, and tariffs; authorizes loans, regulates the finances, votes appropriations, naturalizes foreigners, and examines documents relating to all public business, treaties, salaries, and pensions. There can be no domiciliary visits except in criminal cases, and no ex post facto laws.
The army is not to be ordered out of the kingdom without the consent of the storthing, and no Swedish or other foreign troops shall enter Norway except to repel invasion; but a Swedish corps not exceeding 3,000 men may pass six weeks of each year in Norway for the purpose of exercising with the Norwegian army. Norway preserves her own official language, bank, accounts, currency, and flag. The king exercises the executive power through a council of state, consisting of two ministers of state and seven councillors. Two of the councillors and one minister reside near the king at Stockholm, and the remainder are at Christiania. With the consent of the council the king may declare war, make peace, and conclude and abrogate treaties. The king must pass some months of every year in Norway, and on his accession to the throne must be crowned as king of Norway at Drontheim. The judiciary comprises courts of reconciliation in every parish, the arbitrators being chosen by the householders every three years; law courts sitting once a quarter in each of the 64 Sorenskriverier into which the kingdom is divided; the Stiftsamt in the chief town of each stift, composed of three judges with assessors; and the lio teste Bet, a court of last resort, in Christiania, which is composed of a president and eight assessors.
Capital punishment is not intlicted. The judges are liable in damages for their decisions. The budget for 1873 showed a revenue of 6,453,000 specie dollars, and an expenditure of 6,310,000. The principal items of the annual revenue were: customs, 3,638,000 specie dollars; excise on domestic brandy, 603,000; excise on grain, 362,000; interest on active capital, 635,000; post office, 343,000; mines, 192,000; telegraph, 102,000; stamps, 135,000; tolls on bridges and roads, 169,000. The chief items of expenditure were: civil list, 127,000; storthing, 75,-000; council of state and government, 206,000; religion and public instruction, 214,000; justice, 328,000; interior, 496,000; army, 1,123,-000; navy (including posts and telegraph), 1,233,000; foreign affairs, 131,000; Finances, 1,298,000; railway construction, 793,000; bridge and road construction, 179,000. The public debt at the end of 1873 amounted to 7,998,500 specie dollars; the active capital of the state at the end of 1872 was 10,476,300. The army consists of troops of the line, Land-varn, civic guard, and Landstorrn. In time of peace the line consists of 12,000 men, and cannot be increased without the consent of the storthing to more than 18,000. The Land-vfern is only for the defence of the country, and the civic guard for the defence of the different localities.
The Landstorrn is organized only in time of war. The line is filled by the conscription of young men 22 years old. The time of service is seven years in the cavalry, and in the infantry, artillery, and engineers ten years, of which five are passed in the line, two in the reserve, and three in the Land-vmrn. At the end of his term of service, each subject is liable to duty in the civic guard and the Landstorrn until 45 years old. The navy in 1873 consisted of 27 steamers, of 2,670 aggregate horse power and 151 guns, and two sailing vessels, of 24 guns. Four of the steamers are monitors of two guns each. There are also 57 gunboats, propelled by oars, carrying 114 guns, and 35 smaller ones carrying 35 guns. - The history of Norway prior to the 7th century rests upon tradition. The descendants of Odin are represented to have been the first kings, the earliest whose name has been transmitted to us being Seeming. Nor, the scion of an ancient Finnish family, established himself upon the site of modern Drontheim early in the 4th century, and subjugated the neighboring territory.
Authentic history begins with Harald Harfager or the Fair-Haired, who subdued the petty kings or jarls of Norway, and united the tribes as a nation (A. D. 863-933). In his conquest he is said to have been animated by the love of Gyda, daughter of the jarl of Hardaland, who vowed not to wed him until he had subjugated the whole country. His victories induced many of the defeated princes to emigrate, and hence began the more famous maritime and piratical adventures of the Northmen. (See Northmen.) His son Haco the Good, who had been educated in England at the court of Athelstan, introduced Christianity; but the old religion was not completely eradicated until three centuries later. Olaf or Olaus I., who came to the throne in 995 after a successful revolt, destroyed the pagan temples, and laid the foundations of Drontheim. He was killed in battle with the Danes, and for fifteen years following Norway was a prey to Swedish and Danish marauders. In 1015 Olaf II. (St. Olaf) determined to complete the work of his predecessor, and persecuted the pagans, though with less cruelty than Olaf I. In 1028 Canute the Great of Denmark and England landed in Norway, drove Olaf out of the kingdom, and was elected king.
Olaf subsequently returned with an army, and was defeated and slain at Stikklestad in 1030. Canute deputed his son Sweyn to govern Norway, but after the death of his father Sweyn was driven out by Magnus I., the son of St. Olaf. Harald III., surnamed Hardrada from his severe discipline (1047-1066), invaded England, and, after capturing York, was slain in battle by the English king Harold II. at Stamford Bridge, in Yorkshire, Sept. 25, 1066. His grandson Magnus III. (1093-1103) conquered the isle of Man, the Shetlands, Orkneys, and Hebrides, and invaded Ireland, where he was killed in battle. His son Sigurd I., the great hero of Scandinavian song, is famous for various exploits against the Moors in Portugal and at sea, and for a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he offered his arms to Baldwin, and with him reduced and plundered Sidon. His death (1130) was followed by 54 years of civil war, interrupted only temporarily by the efforts of the English cardinal Nicholas Break-spear, afterward Pope Adrian IV., who came to establish an archbishopric at Drontheim, and instituted many excellent reforms.
Order was restored by Sverrer in 1184. His illegitimate son Haco IV. was succeeded by Guttorm and Haco V. (called by some of the chroniclers Haco IV.), who subjugated Iceland (1261), and died in the Orkneys after losing a battle at the mouth of the Clyde (1262). The national prosperity of Norway declined from this epoch. Wars with Denmark exhausted the people. A monopoly of trade in the hands of merchants of the Hansea-tic league checked the national industry; and the plague known as the black death, which broke out in 1348, ravaged the kingdom for more than two years to an unparalleled extent, destroying two thirds of the population. The country fell into a decay from which it did not recover for centuries. Magnus Lagabseter (law reformer) reigned from 1263 to 1280, and was succeeded by his son Eric II. After the death of Haco VII. in 1319 two Swedish kings obtained the throne successively, Magnus VIII. of Norway and II. of Sweden, and Haco VIII. of Norway, reckoned by some as the sixth of the name. The kingdom lost its nationality. A province first of Sweden, and afterward of Denmark, the country even lost its proper language, which became thenceforth a corrupt mixture of those of its neighbors.
Haco VIII. married the daughter of Waldemar of Denmark, and died in 1380. The crown descended to his infant son, Olaf III. of Denmark, from which period down to the year 1814 the two countries were united. Margaret of Denmark succeeded her son Olaf III., and, having reduced Sweden, framed the "union of Calmar" (1397), the object of which was to unite the three crowns. With this view it was stipulated that the subjects of each country should have equal rights under the common sovereign, and should be governed by their own laws. From this period, and in violation of the treaty, the Norwegians lost all their independence. The nobles, wholly supplanted by Danish immigrants, were amalgamated with the peasants, impoverished, exiled, or massacred. The union of Calmar was severed by Gustavus Vasa of Sweden in 1523; and during nearly two subsequent centuries Norway was scarcely more than a province of Denmark. In the reign of Christian I. the Shetland and Orkney islands were transferred to Scotland as part of the dowry (in mortgage of money) of Christian's daughter on her marriage with James III. of Scotland. They were never redeemed. Christian died in 1481. The reformation reached Norway first in 1536. Christian IV. (1588-1648) was more popular in Norway than any other Danish king.
He visited the country more than 50 times; rebuilt Christiania (1624) and founded Christiansand (1641); and instituted a code of laws, many of which are still in force. After this reign Norway was treated as a conquered province rather than as a joint kingdom; and it was not until the beginning of the present century that a brighter day began to dawn. Frederick VI. founded the university of Christiania (1811), and became endeared to the Norwegians. Meanwhile the Swedish government had entered into the coalition against Napoleon (April 8, 1812); and by convention with Russia the possession of Norway was guaranteed to Sweden. England also entered into this guarantee, and the newly elected crown prince of Sweden, Berna-dotte, according to engagements, took command of an army in Germany. After the battle of Leipsic (Oct. 16-19, 1813), the crown prince led the Swedish contingent into Hol-stein, with a view to compel the Danish government to cede Norway. A singular system of spoliation prevailed. Napoleon had on a former occasion signed away to Russia the Swedish province of Finland, which did not belong to him; Russia now indemnified Sweden by a present of Norway, to which she had no title.
After the fall of Lübeck and some bloody actions in Holstein, the Danes were forced to the peace of Kiel (Jan. 14, 1814); and Norway was acknowledged as a dominion of Charles XIII. of Sweden. The people of Norway heard of this treaty with great indignation. The Danish crown prince, Christian, went at once to Norway, convoked a national diet in May at Eidsvold, near Christiania, and accepted the crown of Norway in independent sovereignty, and with it a constitution hastily drawn up on the spot. In July the Swedish crown prince, at the head of an army, invaded Norway by way of Frederiks-hald. A British fleet appeared off the coast, and blockaded the ports. Resistance was obviously a waste of life and property, and after a few unimportant actions the country submitted. The Danish prince abdicated his new throne; and on Aug. 14 an armistice and a convention were signed at Moss, uniting Norway and Sweden. The Norwegians obtained far better terms than had been designed by the allies originally, and the storthing formally ratified the union, Oct. 20. The constitution of Eidsvold, with few alterations, was accepted by the king, Nov. 4. On the death of Charles XIII., Bernadotte ascended the throne (1818) as Charles XIV. John. He made many unavailing attempts to reduce the country to closer submission to royal authority, and, in his desire to modify the constitution, tried in vain to win over a majority of the Norwegian storthing.
He endeavored twice to obtain, in place of the suspending veto, an absolute one. In 1815 the storthing passed a resolution to abolish titles of nobility, a measure which the king refused to approve. The next two storthings passed the same resolution, notwithstanding an appeal of the king in person, and a strong military demonstration on the Swedish frontier; and the royal veto was thus rendered constitutionally null. Some years later the storthing resolved that the people of Norway should be styled citizens of that kingdom. Rarely indeed has a political assembly shown more jealousy of executive privileges. King Oscar I., who succeeded his father, March 8, 1844, was more conciliatory in his policy, and obtained a greater degree of confidence. He gave the Norwegians a separate national flag, which his father had refused. In 1847 he established a Norwegian order of merit, that of St. Olaf. The general feeling of anxiety concerning Russian encroachments brought about an alliance, in November, 1855, between Norway and Sweden, England, and France. By this treaty the two Scandinavian powers, in exchange for a promise never to cede or sell territory to Russia or to any power without the consent of England and France, received a guarantee of future territorial integrity under protection of the last named powers.
In 1857 King Oscar, in consequence of bad health, transmitted the government to his son Charles Louis Eugene as regent, who on the death of his father, July 8, 1859, ascended the throne with the title of Charles XV. The 50th anniversary of the union with Sweden was celebrated Nov. 4, 1864. The measures devised by the official committee (1865-7) for permanently regulating the relations between the united kingdoms were rejected in 1870 by both countries. The principal cause of discord is the great preponderance in Norway of the peasantry, whose feelings are democratic. One of their leaders has demanded the suppression of the university of Christiania, and in 1869 a law was passed which tended in some degree to the suppression of classical education, since the peasants associate it with aristocracy. Charles XV. died Sept. 18, 1872, and was succeeded by his brother, Oscar II., who was crowned at Drontheim.