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Norway history

Medieval to modern times

Today's territory of Norway, like Sweden and Denmark, was also home to the Vikings, who plundered throughout Europe, especially in the 9th and 10th centuries. The trips of the Norwegians among them mainly led to the British Isles, Iceland, Greenland (discovery 982 by Erik the Red) and North America (discovery approx. 1000 by Leif Eriksson). Harald Hårfagre (Schönhaar) was the first to force the independent Norwegian tribes into a unified kingdom, if not for long.

In the centuries that followed, Norway's history was closely linked to that of its Scandinavian neighbors. According to AbbreviationFinder, the Kalmar Union of 1397 connected the royal houses of Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

19th century

Norway historyIn the following centuries, Norway was ruled by Danish kings (until 1814). It was only as a result of the Napoleonic Wars that Denmark separated: in 1814 the first Norwegian parliament was elected, the king, initially Danish, then Swedish, who dominated the country's foreign policy, but recognized the constitution.

20th and 21st centuries

In 1905, the Norwegian-Swedish Union was dissolved by vote and Norway was a sovereign country. The form of government was the parliamentary monarchy, Prince Carl of Denmark became king as Håkon VII. (Until 1957). During the First World War, Norway tried to be largely neutral, even if the Norwegian merchant fleet supported Great Britain.

During the Second World War, Norway was occupied by German troops in 1940: apart from a fascist group that cooperated with the Germans, all parties were banned. The king and government fled to England and formed an exile government there. After the war ended, the Social Democratic Labor Party under Einar Gerhardsen won an absolute majority and dominated politics for the next two decades. Norway left its course of neutrality and became a member of the United Nations in 1945 and then a NATO member four years later. King Håkon VII's successor was his son Olaf V in 1957 (until 1991, then Harald V).

With the discovery of oil off the Norwegian coast in the late 1960s, Norway became an oil-exporting country and became extremely prosperous. In 1972, the Norwegian population refused to join the European Community, worried about the possible consequences for the country's independent status. In 1994 over 50% decided not to join again, one of the reasons at the time was the belief that the country could do without economic cooperation because of its oil wells. At the time, Norway (after Saudi Arabia) was the second largest oil exporting country, while larger natural gas reserves made it the most important natural gas supplier in Europe.

At the beginning of the new millennium, the votes for Norway's right to have a say in the European Union (EU) increased, especially since the country's membership in the European Economic Area (EEA) has already included numerous EU directives in Norwegian legislation. The elections in March 2000 brought the EU-friendly Social Democrats to the government under Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg; in a survey, only around 44% of Norwegians voted against joining. However, the Socialists suffered a heavy defeat in the September 2001 elections; a conservative-liberal coalition, supported by the right-wing extremist party (26 MPs), took over the office. The Social Democratic Labor Party was again able to win the 2005 elections; Jens Stoltenberg became prime minister again. His government was able to hold its own in the 2009 elections.

On July 22, 2011, terrorist attacks shook the country. The attacks of a single offender on a youth camp of the Labor Party on the island of Utøya and on the government district in Oslo cost 77 people their lives.

Since the election of the conservative Høyre party in the parliamentary elections in September 2013, Prime Minister Erna Solberg has led a minority government made up of conservatives and a progressive party.

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