Union between Sweden and Norway
The Union between Sweden and Norway , officially the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway, consisted of present-day Sweden and Norway between 1814 and 1905, when they were united under one monarch in a personal union
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...


Following the Treaty of Kiel
Treaty of Kiel
The Treaty of Kiel or Peace of Kiel was concluded between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Kingdom of Sweden on one side and the Kingdoms of Denmark and Norway on the other side on 14 January 1814 in Kiel...

 and the declaration of Norwegian independence
Norway in 1814
1814 was a pivotal year in the history of Norway. It started with Norway in a union with the Kingdom of Denmark subject to a naval blockade being ceded to the king of Sweden. In May a constitutional convention declared Norway an independent kingdom. By the end of the year the Norwegian parliament...

 from their previous union with Denmark, a brief war with Sweden resulted in the Convention of Moss
Convention of Moss
The Convention of Moss was a cease fire agreement, signed August 14, 1814, between the Swedish King and the Norwegian Storting. It followed the Swedish-Norwegian War due to Norway's claim to sovereignty...

 on August 14, 1814 with the Norwegian constitutional revision of November 4, 1814. On the same day, the Norwegian parliament chose to elect Charles XIII of Sweden
Charles XIII of Sweden
Charles XIII & II also Carl, , was King of Sweden from 1809 and King of Norway from 1814 until his death...

 as King of Norway.

The events of 1814 resulted in a union of two sovereign states that had the same King, foreign polices and embassies. Each had its own independent army, parliament, government, laws, administration and currency. However, the King was mostly in Stockholm, a Swede was viceroy in Norway, and the foreign department was in Stockholm. When the government took over foreign politics from the King later in the 19th century, it was the Swedish government that did so.

In 1905 the union was dissolved after the struggle between the Norwegian parliament (Stortinget) and King Oscar II over Norway's desire to open its own embassies, which the King refused to allow. In the end, Prince Carl of Denmark
Haakon VII of Norway
Haakon VII , known as Prince Carl of Denmark until 1905, was the first king of Norway after the 1905 dissolution of the personal union with Sweden. He was a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg...

 was elected as the new King of Norway, and Norway opened its own embassies and foreign department.


Sweden and Norway had previously been united under the same crown on two occasions, from 1319 to 1343, and briefly from 1449 to 1450 in opposition to Christian
Christian I of Denmark
Christian I was a Danish monarch, king of Denmark , Norway and Sweden , under the Kalmar Union. In Sweden his short tenure as monarch was preceded by regents, Jöns Bengtsson Oxenstierna and Erik Axelsson Tott and succeeded by regent Kettil Karlsson Vasa...

 of Oldenburg
House of Oldenburg
The House of Oldenburg is a North German dynasty and one of Europe's most influential Royal Houses with branches that rule or have ruled in Denmark, Russia, Greece, Norway, Schleswig, Holstein, Oldenburg and Sweden...

 who was elected king of the Kalmar Union
Kalmar Union
The Kalmar Union is a historiographical term meaning a series of personal unions that united the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway , and Sweden under a single monarch, though intermittently and with a population...

 by the Danes
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

. During the following centuries, Norway remained united with Denmark in a close union, nominally a kingdom, but in fact reduced to the status of a province, ruled by Danish kings from their capital Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

. After the establishment of absolutism
Absolutism (European history)
Absolutism or The Age of Absolutism is a historiographical term used to describe a form of monarchical power that is unrestrained by all other institutions, such as churches, legislatures, or social elites...

 in 1660, a more centralised form of government was established, but Norway kept some separate institutions, including its own laws, army and coinage. The two united kingdoms are referred to as Denmark-Norway by later historians.

Sweden managed to break out of the Kalmar Union permanently in 1523 under king Gustav Vasa, and in the middle of the 17th century rose to the status of a major regional power after the intervention of Gustavus II Adolphus in the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

. The ambitious wars waged by king Charles XII, however, led to the loss of that status after the Great Northern War
Great Northern War
The Great Northern War was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia successfully contested the supremacy of the Swedish Empire in northern Central Europe and Eastern Europe. The initial leaders of the anti-Swedish alliance were Peter I the Great of Russia, Frederick IV of...

, 1700-1721.

Following the break-up of the Kalmar Union, Sweden and Denmark-Norway remained rival powers and fought many wars, during which both Denmark and Norway had to cede important provinces to Sweden in 1645 and 1658. Sweden also invaded Norway in 1567, 1644, 1658 and 1716, with the ultimate motive of wresting the whole country away from the union with Denmark, and either annex it, or form some kind of union. The repeated wars and invasions led to popular resentment against Sweden among Norwegians.

During the 18th century, Norway enjoyed a period of great prosperity and became an increasingly important part of the united kingdoms. The biggest growth industry was the export of planks, with Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 as the chief market. Saw-mill owners and timber merchants in the Christiania region, backed by great fortunes and economic influence, formed an elite group that began to see the central government in Copenhagen as a hindrance to Norwegian aspirations. Their increasing self-assertiveness led them to question the policies that favoured Danish interests and rejected Norwegian demands for important national institutions, such as a bank and a university. Some members of the "timber aristocacy" saw Sweden as a more natural partner, and cultivated commercial and political contacts with Sweden. Around 1800, many prominent Norwegians secretly favoured a break with Denmark, without actively taking steps to promote independence. Their undeclared leader was count Herman Wedel-Jarlsberg.

The Swedish policy during the same period was to cultivate contacts in Norway and encourage all signs of separatism. King Gustav III
Gustav III of Sweden
Gustav III was King of Sweden from 1771 until his death. He was the eldest son of King Adolph Frederick and Queen Louise Ulrica of Sweden, she a sister of Frederick the Great of Prussia....

 (1746–1792) actively approached circles in Norway that might favour a union with Sweden instead of Denmark.

Such endeavours on both sides of the border toward a "rapprochement" were far from realistic before the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 created conditions that caused political upheavals in Scandinavia.

Consequences of the Napoleonic Wars

Both Sweden and Denmark-Norway tried to remain neutral during the Napoleonic wars, and succeeded for a long time, in spite of many invitations to join the belligerent alliances. Both countries joined Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

 in a League of Armed Neutrality
Second League of Armed Neutrality
The Second League of Armed Neutrality or the League of the North was an alliance of the north European naval powers Denmark–Norway, Prussia, Sweden and Russia. It occurred between 1800 and 1801 during the War of the Second Coalition and was initiated by Paul I of Russia...

 in 1800. Denmark-Norway was forced to withdraw from the League after the British raid on the navy during the first Battle of Copenhagen in April 1801, but still stuck to a policy of neutrality. The League collapsed anyway after the assassination of tsar Paul I of Russia
Paul I of Russia
Paul I was the Emperor of Russia between 1796 and 1801. He also was the 72nd Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta .-Childhood:...

 in 1801.

Denmark-Norway was finally compelled into an alliance with France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 after the British preemptive second attack on the Danish navy, the Battle of Copenhagen (1807)
Battle of Copenhagen (1807)
The Second Battle of Copenhagen was a British preemptive attack on Copenhagen, targeting the civilian population in order to seize the Dano-Norwegian fleet and in turn originate the term to Copenhagenize.-Background:Despite the defeat and loss of many ships in the first Battle of Copenhagen in...

. The defenseless capital had to surrender the navy after heavy bombardment, because the army was at the southern border to defend it against a possible French attack. As Sweden in the meantime had sided with the British, Denmark-Norway was forced by Napoleon to declare war on Sweden on 29 February 1808.

Because the British naval blockade severed communications between Denmark and Norway, a provisional Norwegian government was set up in Christiania, led by army general, prince Christian August of Augustenborg
Charles August, Crown Prince of Sweden
Charles August was a German prince. He is best known for serving as Crown Prince of Sweden briefly in 1810, adopted by Charles XIII, before his sudden death from stroke. Earlier, he had been a general in the Royal Danish Army as well as the Danish Governor-general of Norway...

. This first national government after several centuries of Danish rule demonstrated that home rule was possible in Norway, and was later seen as a test of the viability of independence. His greatest challenge was to secure the food supply during the blockade. When Sweden invaded Norway in the spring of 1808, Christian August successfully commanded the army of Southern Norway and compelled the numerically superior Swedish forces to withdraw behind the border after the battles of Toverud
Toverud is a farm in Aurskog in the municipality of Aurskog-Høland in Akershus county, Norway and the site of the Battle of Toverud...

 and Prestebakke. His success both as a military commander and as leader of the provisional government made him very popular in Norway. Moreover, his Swedish adversaries noticed his merits and his popularity, and in 1809 chose him as successor to the Swedish throne after the overthrow of the king Gustav IV Adolf.

One contributory factor behind the poor performance of the Swedish invasion force in Norway was that Russia at the same time invaded Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 on 21 February 1808. The two-front war proved disastrous for Sweden, and all of Finland was ceded to Russia at the Peace of Fredrikshamn on 17 September 1809. In the meantime, discontent with the conduct of the war led to the deposition of king Gustav IV on 13 May 1809. Prince Christian August, the enemy commander who had been promoted to viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

 of Norway in 1809, was chosen because the Swedish insurgents saw that his great popularity among the Norwegians might open the way for a union with Norway, to compensate for the loss of Finland. He was also held in high esteem because he had refrained from pursuing the retreating army of Sweden while that country was hard pressed by Russia in the Finnish War
Finnish War
The Finnish War was fought between Sweden and the Russian Empire from February 1808 to September 1809. As a result of the war, the eastern third of Sweden was established as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland within the Russian Empire...

. Christian August was elected Crown Prince of Sweden on 29 December 1809 and left Norway on 7 January 1810. After his sudden death in May 1810, Sweden chose as his successor another enemy general, the French marshal Jean Baptiste Bernadotte
Charles XIV John of Sweden
Charles XIV & III John, also Carl John, Swedish and Norwegian: Karl Johan was King of Sweden and King of Norway from 1818 until his death...

, who was also seen as a gallant adversary and had proved his ability as an army commander.

Sweden seeks compensation for the loss of Finland

The chief objective of Bernadotte's foreign policy as Crown Prince Charles John
Charles XIV John of Sweden
Charles XIV & III John, also Carl John, Swedish and Norwegian: Karl Johan was King of Sweden and King of Norway from 1818 until his death...

 of Sweden was the acquisition of Norway, and he pursued that goal by definitely renouncing Sweden's claims in Finland and joining the enemies of Napoleon. In 1812, he signed the secret Treaty of Saint Petersburg
Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1812)
The Treaty of Saint Petersburg was signed in Saint Petersburg on March 24, 1812 between Sweden and the Russian Empire. The treaty established an alliance between Russia and Sweden against the French Empire of Napoleon....

 with Russia against France and Denmark-Norway. His foreign policy provoked some criticism among Swedish politicians, who found it immoral to indemnify Sweden at the expense of a weaker friendly neighbour. Moreover, the United Kingdom and Russia insisted that Charles John's first duty was to the anti-Napoleonic coalition. Britain vigorously objected to the expenditure of her subsidies on the nefarious Norwegian adventure before the common enemy had been crushed. Only on his very ungracious compliance did the United Kingdom also promise to countenance the union of Norway and Sweden by the Treaty of Stockholm of 3 March 1813. Some weeks later, Russia gave her guarantee to the same effect, and in April Prussia also promised Norway as his prize for joining the battle against Napoleon. In the meantime, Sweden obliged its allies by joining the Sixth Coalition and declaring war against France and Denmark-Norway on 24 March 1813.

During his campaigns on the Continent, Charles John successfully led the Northern Army at the Battle of Leipzig
Battle of Leipzig
The Battle of Leipzig or Battle of the Nations, on 16–19 October 1813, was fought by the coalition armies of Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden against the French army of Napoleon. Napoleon's army also contained Polish and Italian troops as well as Germans from the Confederation of the Rhine...

, and then marched against Denmark to force the Danish king to surrender Norway.

Treaty of Kiel

On 7 January, about to be overrun by Swedish, Russian, and German troops under the command of the elected crown prince of Sweden, king Frederick VI of Denmark agreed to cede Norway to the king of Sweden in order to avoid an occupation of Jutland
Jutland , historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Kattegat and Skagerrak to its north, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German...


These terms were formalized and signed on 14 January at the Treaty of Kiel
Treaty of Kiel
The Treaty of Kiel or Peace of Kiel was concluded between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Kingdom of Sweden on one side and the Kingdoms of Denmark and Norway on the other side on 14 January 1814 in Kiel...

, in which Denmark negotiated to maintain sovereignty over the Norwegian possessions of the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

, Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 and Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

. Article IV of the treaty specifically stated that Norway was ceded to "the king of Sweden", and not to the kingdom of Sweden – a provision favourable to his former Norwegian subjects as well as to their future king, whose position as a former revolutionary turned heir to the Swedish throne was far from secure. Secret correspondence from the British government in the preceding days had put pressure on the negotiating parties to reach an agreement in order to avoid a full-scale invasion of Denmark. Bernadotte sent a letter to the governments of Prussia, Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, thanking them for their support, acknowledging the role of Russia in negotiating the peace, and envisaging greater stability in the Nordic region. On 18 January, the Danish king issued a letter to the Norwegian people, releasing them from their fealty to him.

Attempted coup d'état by Hereditary Prince Christian Frederik

Already in Norway, the viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

 of Norway, Hereditary Prince Christian Frederik
Christian VIII of Denmark
Christian VIII , was king of Denmark from 1839 to 1848 and, as Christian Frederick, king of Norway in 1814. He was the eldest son of Hereditary Prince Frederick of Denmark and Norway and Sophia Frederica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, born in 1786 at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen...

 resolved to preserve the integrity of the country, and if possible the union with Denmark, by taking the lead in a Norwegian insurrection. The king was informed of these plans in a secret letter of December 1813 and probably went along with them. But on the face of it, he adhered to the conditions of the Kiel Treaty by ordering Christian Frederik to surrender the border fortresses and return to Denmark. But Christian Frederik kept the contents of the letter to himself, ordering his troops to hold the fortresses. He decided to claim the throne of Norway as rightful heir, and to set up an independent government with himself at the head. On 30 January, he consulted several prominent Norwegian advisors, arguing that king Frederick had no legal right to relinquish his inheritance, asserting that he was the rightful king of Norway, and that Norway had a right to self-determination. His impromptu council agreed with him, setting the stage for an independence movement.

On 2 February the Norwegian public received the news that their country had been ceded to the king of Sweden. It caused a general indignation among most people, who disliked the idea of being subjected to Swedish rule, and enthusiastically endorsed the idea of national independence. The Swedish crown prince Bernadotte responded by threatening to send an army to occupy Norway, and to uphold the grain embargo, unless the country voluntarily complied with the provisions of the Kiel Treaty. In that case, he would call a constitutional convention. But for the time being, he was occupied with the concluding battles on the Continent, giving the Norwegians time to develop their plans.

The independence movement grows under threat of war

On 10 February, Christian Frederik invited prominent Norwegians to a meeting to be held at his friend Carsten Anker's estate at Eidsvoll
is a municipality in Akershus county, Norway. It is part of the Romerike traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Sundet.-Name:...

 to discuss the situation. He informed them of his intent to resist Swedish hegemony and claim the Norwegian crown as his inheritance. But at the emotional Eidsvoll session, his advisors convinced him that Norway's claim to independence should rather be based on the principle of self-determination, and that he should act as a regent for the time being. Back in Christiania
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

 on 19 February, Christian Frederik proclaimed himself regent of Norway. He ordered all congregations to meet on 25 February to swear loyalty to the cause of Norwegian independence and to elect delegates to a constitutional assembly to convene at Eidsvoll on 10 April.

The Swedish government immediately sent a mission to Christian Frederik, warning him that the insurrection was a violation of the treaty of Kiel and put Norway at war with the allied powers. The consequences would be famine and bankruptcy. Christian Frederik sent letters through his personal network to governments throughout Europe, assuring them that he was not leading a Danish conspiracy to reverse the terms of the treaty of Kiel, and that his efforts reflected the Norwegian will for self-determination. He also sought a secret accommodation with Napoleon.

The Swedish delegation arrived in Christiania on 24 February. Christian Frederik refused to accept a proclamation from the Swedish king but insisted instead on reading his letter to the Norwegian people, proclaiming himself regent. The Swedes characterized his decisions as reckless and illegal, and returned to Sweden. The next day, church bells in Christiania rang for a full hour, and the city's citizens convened to swear fealty to Christian Frederik.

Carsten Anker was sent to London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 to negotiate recognition by the British government, with this instruction from the regent: "Our foremost need is peace with England. If, God forbid, our hope of English support is thwarted, you must make it clear to the minister what will be the consequences of leaving an undeserving people to misery. Our first obligation will then be the most bloody revenge upon Sweden and her friends; but you must never lose the hope that England will realize the unjustice that is being done to us, and voice it until the last moment – as well as our constant wish for peace." Anker's plea for support was firmly rejected by prime minister Lord Liverpool
Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool
Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool KG PC was a British politician and the longest-serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since the Union with Ireland in 1801. He was 42 years old when he became premier in 1812 which made him younger than all of his successors to date...

, but he persisted in his mission to convince his contacts among British aristocrats and politicians of Norway's just cause. He succeeded in introducing that cause in Parliament, where Earl Grey
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, KG, PC , known as Viscount Howick between 1806 and 1807, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 22 November 1830 to 16 July 1834. A member of the Whig Party, he backed significant reform of the British government and was among the...

 spoke for almost three hours in the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 on 10 May. His arguments were also voiced in the House of Commons – after having fought for freedom in Europe for 22 years, Great Britain could not go on fighting for the forced subjugation of a free people under a foreign yoke. But the Treaty between Britain and Sweden could not be ignored, Sweden had helped the allies during the war, and promises had to be kept. Anker stayed on in London until autumn, doggedly keeping up his efforts to awaken sympathy and support for Norwegian interests.

By early March, Christian Frederik had also organized a cabinet and five government departments, though he retained all decision-making authority himself.

Christian Frederik meets increasing opposition

Count Wedel-Jarlsberg
Johan Caspar Herman Wedel-Jarlsberg
Johan Caspar Herman Wedel-Jarlsberg was a politician and a Norwegian count, one of only two titled noblemen in Norway...

, the most prominent member of the Norwegian nobility, had been in Denmark to organize food supplies for the starving population while Prince Christian Frederik staged his insurrection. On his return trip he took time off to see count Hans Henrik von Essen, newly appointed Swedish governor general of Norway. When he arrived in March, he warned the regent that he was playing a dangerous game, but was himself accused of colluding with Sweden. Public opinion was increasingly critical of the policy of the regent, who was suspected of maneuvering to bring Norway back under Danish sovereignty.

On 9 March, the Swedish mission to Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

 demanded that Christian Frederik be disinherited from succession to the Danish throne, and that European powers should go to war with Denmark unless he disassociated herself from the Norwegian independence movement. Niels Rosenkrantz, the Danish foreign minister, responded to the Swedish demands by asserting that the Danish government in no way supported Norwegian independence, but that they could not vacate border posts they did not hold. The demand for disinheriting Christian Frederik was not addressed. Swedish troops amassed along the border, and there were daily rumors of an invasion. In several letters to von Essen, commander of the Swedish forces at Norway's borders, Bernadotte referred to Christian Frederik as a rebel and ordered that all Danish officials who did not return home were to be treated as outlaws. But the regent countered by confiscating all navy vessels stationed in Norway and arresting officers who were planning to sail them to Denmark.

On 1 April, king Frederick VI of Denmark sent a letter to Christian Frederik, asking him to give up his efforts and return to Denmark. The possibility of disinheriting the crown prince was mentioned. Christian Frederik rejected the ouverture, invoking Norway's right to self-determination as well as the possibility of reuniting Norway and Denmark in the future. A few days later, Christian Frederik warned off a meeting with the Danish foreign minister, pointing out that it would fuel speculation that the prince was motivated by Danish designs on Norway.

Although the European powers refused to acknowledge the Norwegian independence movement, there were signs by early April that they were not inclined to side with Sweden in an all-out confrontation. As the constitutional convention drew closer, the independence movement gained in strength.

The constitutional convention

On 10 April, the delegates convened at Eidsvoll. Seated on uncomfortable benches, the convention elected its officers in the presence of Christian Frederik on 11 April, before the debates began the next day. Two parties were soon formed, the "Independence party", variously known as the "Danish party" or "the Prince's party", and the "Union party", also known as the "Swedish party". All delegates agreed that independence would be the ideal solution, but they disagreed on what was feasible.
  • The Independence party had the majority and argued that the mandate was limited to formalizing Norway's independence based on the popular oath of fealty earlier that year. With Christian Frederik as regent, the relationship with Denmark would be negotiated within the context of Norwegian independence.
  • The Union party, a minority of the delegates, believed that Norway would achieve a more independent status within a loose union with Sweden than as part of the Danish monarchy, and that the assembly should continue its work even after the constitution was complete.

The constitutional committee presented its proposals on 16 April, provoking a lively debate. The Independence party won the day with a majority of 78-33 to establish Norway as an independent monarchy. In the following days, mutual suspicion and distrust came to the surface within the convention. The delegates disagreed on whether to give the sentiments of the European powers consideration, and some facts may have been withheld from them.

By 20 April, the principle of the people's right to self-determination articulated by Christian Magnus Falsen
Christian Magnus Falsen
Christian Magnus Falsen was a Norwegian constitutional father, statesman, jurist, and historian. He was an important member of the constitutional assembly and was one of the writers of the constitutional laws....

 and Gunder Adler had been established as foundational for the constitution.
The first draft of the constitution was signed by the drafting committee on 1 May. Key precepts of the constitution included the assurance of individual freedom, the right to property, and equality.

Following a contentious debate on 4 May, the assembly decided that Norway would adhere to the Lutheran faith, that its monarch must always have professed himself to this faith (thereby precluding the Catholic-born Bernadotte from being a king), and that Jews and Jesuits would be barred from entering the kingdom. But the Independence party lost another battle when the assembly voted 98 to 11 to allow the monarch to reign over another country with the assent of two thirds of the legislative assembly's vote.

Although the final edit of the constitution
Constitution of Norway
The Constitution of Norway was first adopted on May 16, 1814 by the Norwegian Constituent Assembly at Eidsvoll , then signed and dated May 17...

 was signed on 18 May, the unanimous election of Christian Frederik on 17 May is considered Constitution Day
Norwegian Constitution Day
Norwegian Constitution Day is the National Day of Norway and is an official national holiday observed on May 17 each year. Among Norwegians, the day is referred to simply as syttende mai or syttande mai , Nasjonaldagen or Grunnlovsdagen , although the latter is less frequent.- Historical...

 in Norway. The election was unanimous, but several of the delegates had asked that it be postponed until the political situation had stabilized.

Seeking domestic and international legitimacy

On 22 May, the newly elected king made a triumphant entrance into Christiania. The guns of Akershus Fortress
Akershus Fortress
Akershus Fortress or Akershus Castle is a medieval castle that was built to protect Oslo, the capital of Norway. It has also been used as a prison.- Construction :...

 sounded off the royal salute, and a celebratory service was held in the Cathedral
Oslo Cathedral
Oslo Cathedral — formerly Our Savior's Church — is the main church for the Oslo bishopric of the Church of Norway, as well as the parish church for downtown Oslo. The present building dates from 1694-1697....

. There was continuing concern about the international climate, and the government decided to send two of the delegates from the constitutional assembly to join Carsten Anker in England to plead Norway's case. The first council of state convened, and established the nation's supreme court.

On 5 June, the British emissary John Philip Morier arrived in Christiania on what appeared to be an unofficial visit. He accepted the hospitality of one of Christian Frederik's ministers and agreed to meet with the king himself informally, stressing that nothing he did should be construed as a recognition of Norwegian independence. It was rumoured that Morier wanted Bernadotte deposed and exiled to the Danish island of Bornholm
Bornholm is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea located to the east of the rest of Denmark, the south of Sweden, and the north of Poland. The main industries on the island include fishing, arts and crafts like glass making and pottery using locally worked clay, and dairy farming. Tourism is...

. The king asked Great Britain to mediate between Norway and Sweden, but Morier never deviated from the British rejection of an independent Norway. He demanded that Norway subject itself to Swedish supremacy, and also that his government's position be printed in all Norwegian newspapers. On 10 June, the Norwegian army was mobilized and arms and ammunitions distributed.

On 16 June, Carsten Anker informed Christian Frederik in a letter of discussions he had recently had with a high-ranking Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

n diplomat. He learned that Prussia and Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 were waning in their support of Sweden's claims to Norway, that Tsar Alexander I of Russia
Alexander I of Russia
Alexander I of Russia , served as Emperor of Russia from 23 March 1801 to 1 December 1825 and the first Russian King of Poland from 1815 to 1825. He was also the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland and Lithuania....

 (a distant cousin of Christian Frederik's) favoured a Swedish-Norwegian union but not with Bernadotte as the king, and that Great Britain was looking for a solution to the problem that would keep Norway out of Russia's influence.

Prelude to war

On 26 June, emissaries from Russia, Prussia, Austria, and Great Britain arrived in Vänersborg
Vänersborg is a locality and the seat of Vänersborg Municipality, Västra Götaland County, Sweden with 21,672 inhabitants in 2005. Until 1997 it was the capital of Älvsborg County, which was dissolved in 1998. Since 1999 Vänersborg is the seat of the regional parliament of Västra Götaland County...

 in Sweden to persuade Christian Frederik to comply with the provisions of the treaty of Kiel. There they conferred with von Essen, who told them that 65,000 Swedish troops were ready to invade Norway. On 30 June the emissaries arrived in Christiania, where they rudely turned down Christian Frederik's hospitality. Meeting with the Norwegian council of state the following day, the Russian emissary Orlov put the choice to those present: Norway could subject itself to the Swedish crown or face war with the rest of Europe. When Christian Frederik argued that the Norwegian people had a right to determine its own destiny, the Austrian emissary August Ernst Steigentesch made the famous comment: "The people? What do they have to say against the will of their rulers? That would be to put the world on its head."

In the course of the negotiations Christian Frederik offered to relinquish the throne and return to Denmark, provided the Norwegians have a say in their future through an extraordinary session of the Storting. But he refused to surrender the Norwegian border forts to Swedish troops. The four-power delegation rejected Christian Frederik's proposal that Norway's constitution form the basis for negotiations about a union with Sweden, but promised to put the proposal to the Swedish king for consideration.

On 20 July, Bernadotte sent a letter to his "cousin" Christian Frederik, accusing him of intrigues and foolhardy adventurism. Two days later he met with the delegation that had been in Norway. They encouraged him to consider Christian Frederik's proposed terms for a union with Sweden, but the crown prince was outraged. He reiterated his ultimatum that Christian Frederik either relinquish all rights to the throne and abandon the border posts, or face war. On 27 July, a Swedish fleet took over the islands of Hvaler
Hvaler is a municipality that is a group of islands in the southwestern part of Østfold county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Skjærhalden, on the island of Kirkeøy. The only police station in the municipality is located in Skjærhalden...

, effectively putting Sweden at war with Norway. The day after, Christian Frederik rejected the Swedish ultimatum, saying that surrender would constitute treason against the people. On 29 July, Swedish forces invaded Norway.

A short war with two winners

Swedish forces met with little resistance as they advanced northward into Norway, bypassing the fortress of Fredriksten
-History:This Fortresses was constructed ny Denmark-Norway in the 17th century as a replacement for the border fortress at Bohus, which had been lost when the province of Bohuslän was ceded to Sweden by the terms of the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658...

. The first hostilities were short and ended with decisive victories for Sweden. By 4 August, the fortified city of Fredrikstad
is a city and municipality in Østfold county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the city of Fredrikstad....

 surrendered. Christian Frederik ordered a retreat to the river Glomma
The Glomma or Glåma is the longest and largest river in Norway. The long river has a drainage basin that covers a full 13% of Norway's area, all in the southern part of Norway.-Geography:...

. The Swedish Army, trying to intercept the retreat, was stopped at the battle of Langnes
Battle of Langnes
The Battle of Langnes, or the Battle of Langnes Entrenchment, was a battle fought between Norway and Sweden as a part of the Swedish-Norwegian War of 1814...

, an important tactical victory by the Norwegians. The Swedish assaults from the east were effectively resisted near Kongsvinger
is a town and is a municipality in Hedmark county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Glåmdal. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Kongsvinger....


On 3 August Christian Frederik announced his political will in a cabinet meeting in Moss
Moss, Norway
is a coastal city and a municipality in Østfold county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Moss. The city of Moss was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838...

. On 7 August a delegation from Bernadotte arrived at the Norwegian military headquarters in Spydeberg
Spydeberg is a municipality in Østfold county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Spydeberg. It is divided into the parishes Spydeberg, Heli, and Hovin. Spydeberg was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 .The village of Spydeberg has approximately...

 with a cease-fire offer based on the promise of a union with respect for the Norwegian constitution. The day after, Christian Frederik expressed himself in favour of the terms, allowing Swedish troops to remain in positions east of Glomma. Hostilities broke out at Glomma, resulting in casualties, but the Norwegian forces were ordered to retreat. Peace negotiations with Swedish envoys began in the town of Moss
Mosses are small, soft plants that are typically 1–10 cm tall, though some species are much larger. They commonly grow close together in clumps or mats in damp or shady locations. They do not have flowers or seeds, and their simple leaves cover the thin wiry stems...

 on 10 August. On 14 August, the Convention of Moss
Convention of Moss
The Convention of Moss was a cease fire agreement, signed August 14, 1814, between the Swedish King and the Norwegian Storting. It followed the Swedish-Norwegian War due to Norway's claim to sovereignty...

 was concluded, a general cease-fire based on terms that effectively were terms of peace.

Christian Frederik succeeded in excluding from the text any indication that Norway had recognized the Treaty of Kiel, and Sweden accepted that it was not to be considered a premise of the future union between the two states. Understanding the advantage of avoiding a costly war, and of letting Norway enter into a union voluntarily instead of being annexed as a conquered territory, something that, historically, the Swedes had never managed to do, Bernadotte offered favourable peace terms. He promised to recognize the Norwegian Constitution, with only those amendments that were necessary to open up for a union of the two countries. Christian Frederik agreed to call an extraordinary session of the Storting in September or October. He would then have to transfer his powers to the elected representatives of the people, who would negotiate the terms of the union with Sweden, and finally relinquish all claims to the Norwegian throne and leave the country.

An uneasy cease-fire

The news hit the Norwegian public hard, and reactions included anger at the "cowardice" and "treason" of the military commanders, despair over the prospects of Norwegian independence, and confusion about the country's options. Christian Frederik confirmed his willingness to abdicate the throne for "reasons of health", leaving his authority with the state council as agreed in a secret protocol at Moss. In a letter dated August 28, he ordered the council to accept orders from the "highest authority", implicitly referring to the Swedish king. Two days later, the Swedish king proclaimed himself the ruler of both Sweden and Norway.

On September 3, the British announced that the naval blockade of Norway was lifted. Postal service between Norway and Sweden was resumed. The Swedish general in the occupied border regions of Norway, Magnus Fredrik Ferdinand Björnstjerna, threatened to resume hostilities if the Norwegians would not abide by the armistice agreement and willingly accept the union with Sweden. Christian Frederik was reputed to have fallen into a deep depression and was variously blamed for the battleground defeats.

In late September, a dispute arose between Swedish authorities and the Norwegian council of state over the distribution of grain among the poor in Christiania. The grain was intended as a gift from the "Norwegian" king to his new subjects, but it became a matter of principle for the Norwegian council to avoid the appearance that Norway had a new king until the transition was formalized. Björnstjerna sent several missives threatening to resume hostilities.

Fulfilling the conditions of the Convention of Moss

In early October, Norwegians again refused to accept a shipment of corn from Bernadotte, and Norwegian merchants instead took up loans to purchase food and other necessities from Denmark. However, by early October, it was generally accepted that the union with Sweden was inevitable. On 7 October, an extraordinary session of the Norwegian parliament convened. Delegates from areas occupied by Sweden in Østfold
is a county in southeastern Norway, bordering Akershus and southwestern Sweden , while Buskerud and Vestfold is on the other side of the bay. The seat of the county administration is Sarpsborg, and Fredrikstad is the largest city.Many manufacturing facilities are situated here. Moss and...

 were admitted only after submitting assurances that they had no loyalty to the Swedish authorities. On 10 October, Christian Frederik formally abdicated according to the conditions agreed on at Moss and embarked for Denmark. Executive powers were provisionally assigned to the Storting, until the necessary amendments to the Constitution could be enacted.

One day before the cease-fire would expire, the Storting voted 72 to 5 to join Sweden in a personal union, but a motion to elect Charles XIII
Charles XIII of Sweden
Charles XIII & II also Carl, , was King of Sweden from 1809 and King of Norway from 1814 until his death...

 king of Norway failed to pass. The issue was tabled pending the necessary constitutional amendments. In the following days, the parliament passed several resolutions to assert as much sovereignty as possible within the union. On November 1, they voted 52 to 25 that Norway would not appoint its own consuls, a decision that later would have serious consequences. The Storting adopted the constitutional amendments that were required to allow for the union on November 4, and unanimously elected Charles XIII king of Norway, rather than acknowledging him as such.

The Union

The new king never set foot in his Norwegian kingdom, but his adopted heir Charles John
Charles XIV John of Sweden
Charles XIV & III John, also Carl John, Swedish and Norwegian: Karl Johan was King of Sweden and King of Norway from 1818 until his death...

 arrived in Christiania on November 18, 1814. In his meeting with the Storting, he accepted the election and swore to uphold the constitution on behalf of the king. In his speech, the crown prince emphasized that the Union was a league that the king had entered into with the people of Norway, and that "he had chosen to take on the obligations that were of greater value to his heart, those that expressed the love of the people, rather than the privileges that were acquired through solemn treaties." His renouncement of the treaty of Kiel as the legal basis for the Union was endorsed by the Swedish Riksdag
Parliament of Sweden
The Riksdag is the national legislative assembly of Sweden. The riksdag is a unicameral assembly with 349 members , who are elected on a proportional basis to serve fixed terms of four years...

 in the preamble to the Act of Union on August 15, 1815. In order to understand the nature of the Union, it is necessary to know the historical events that led to its establishment. These demonstrate clearly that Sweden, aided by the major powers, forced Norway to enter the Union. But on the other hand that Norway, aided by the same powers, essentially dictated the terms of the Union.

Seeds of discord were of course inherent in a constitutional association of two parties based on such conflicting calculations. Sweden saw it as the realisation of an idea that had been nursed for centuries, and that had been strengthened by the recent loss of Finland. It was hoped that with time, the reluctant Norwegians would accept a closer relationship. The Norwegians, however, as the weaker part, demanded strict adherence to the conditions that had been agreed on, and jealously guarded the consistent observance of all details that confirmed the equality between the two states.
An important feature of the Union was that Norway had a more democratic constitution than Sweden. The Norwegian constitution of 1814 adhered more strictly to the principle of separation of powers
Separation of powers
The separation of powers, often imprecisely used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the governance of a state. The model was first developed in ancient Greece and came into widespread use by the Roman Republic as part of the unmodified Constitution of the Roman Republic...

 between the executive
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

, legislative
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

 and judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 branches. Norway had a modified unicameral legislature, and more (male) citizens (around 40 %) had the right to vote than in the socially more stratified Sweden. During the early years of the Union, an influential class of civil servants dominated Norwegian politics. But they were few in number, and could easily lose their grip if the new electors chose to take advantage of their numerical superiority by electing members from the lower social strata. To preserve their hegemony, civil servants formed an alliance with prosperous farmers in the regions. A policy favourable to agriculture and rural interests secured their loyalty for the time being. But with the constitutional provision that 2/3 of the members of parliament were to be elected from rural districts, more farmers would eventually be elected. Legislation that encouraged popular participation in local government culminated with the introduction of local self-government in 1837, creating the 373 rural Formannskapsdistrikt
Formannskapsdistrikt was the name for a Norwegian local self-government districts put into force in 1838. This system of municipality was created in a bill approved by the Storting and signed into law by King Carl Johan on 14 January 1837...

, corresponding to the parishes of the State Church of Norway
Church of Norway
The Church of Norway is the state church of Norway, established after the Lutheran reformation in Denmark-Norway in 1536-1537 broke the ties to the Holy See. The church confesses the Lutheran Christian faith...

. Popular participation in government gave more citizens administrative and political experience, and they would eventually promote their own causes, often in opposition to the class of civil servants.

The increasing democratization of Norway would in time tend to drive the political systems of Norway and Sweden farther apart, complicate the cooperation between the two countries, and ultimately lead to the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden in 1905. A watershed in this process was the introduction of parliamentarism in Norway in 1884. The executive power, which in the constitution is consistently attributed to the King, came increasingly to rest in his Council of State
Cabinet (government)
A Cabinet is a body of high ranking government officials, typically representing the executive branch. It can also sometimes be referred to as the Council of Ministers, an Executive Council, or an Executive Committee.- Overview :...

 (statsråd). After 1884, the Council was effectively chosen by general election, and the King could only appoint members of the party or coalition having a majority in the Storting. The Council also became answerable to the Storting, so that a failed vote of confidence would cause the government to resign.

The Act of Union

The lack of a common constitutional foundation for the Union was felt strongly by crown prince Charles John during its first year. The fundamental documents were only the Convention of Moss and the revised Norwegian constitution of 4 November 1814. But the conservative Swedish Riksdag had not allowed the Swedish constitution to be revised. Therefore, a bilateral treaty had to be negotiated in order to clarify procedures for treating constitutional questions that had to be decided jointly by both governments. The Act of Union (Riksakten) was negotiated during the spring of 1815, with prime minister Peder Anker leading the Norwegian delegation. The treaty contained twelve articles dealing with the king's authority, the relationship between the two legislatures, how the executive power was to be exercised if the king should die before the crown prince had attained majority, and the relationship between the cabinets. It also confirmed the practice of treating questions of foreign policy in the Swedish cabinet, with the Norwegian prime minister present. Vital questions pertaining to the Union were to be treated in a joint cabinet meeting, where all the Norwegian ministers in Stockholm would be present. The Act was passed by the Storting 31 July 1815 and by the Riksdag 6 August, and sanctioned by the king on 15 August. In Sweden the Act of Union was a set of provisions under regular law, but the Norwegian Storting gave it constitutional status, so that its provisions could only be revised according to the procedures laid down in the constitution.

The Union in practice

The conditions of the Union as laid down in the Convention of Moss, the revised Norwegian constitution, and the Act of Union, secured for Norway more independence than was intended in the Treaty of Kiel. To all appearances, Norway had entered the Union voluntarily (but in reality under duress), and steadfastly denied Swedish superiority, while many Swedes saw Norway as an inferior partner, and as a deserved prize of war.

Since Norway legally had the status of an independent state, the only institutions common to both countries were the king and the foreign service. All other ministries and government institutions were separate to each state, even the armies, navies and treasuries. The foreign service was directly subordinate to the king, an arrangement that was embodied already in the Norwegian constitution of 17 May 1814, before the revision of 4 November. An unforeseen effect was that foreign policy was decided in the Swedish cabinet and conducted by the Swedish ministry of foreign affairs. When matters of foreign policy were discussed in cabinet meetings, the only Norwegian present who could plead Norway's case was the prime minister. The Swedish Riksdag could indirectly influence foreign policy, but not the Norwegian Storting. Because the representations abroad were appointed by the Swedish government and mostly staffed with Swedes, the Union was often seen by foreigners to be more like a single state than two sovereign states. It is important to note, however, that the Union was no political entity; no one was a subject or citizen of the Union. This is clearly expressed in its official designation: The United Kingdoms.

According to the Norwegian constitution, the king was to appoint his own cabinet. Because the king mostly resided in Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

, a section of the cabinet led by the prime minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 had to be present there, accompanied by two ministers. The first prime minister was Peder Anker
Peder Anker
Peder Anker was a Norwegian businessman and politician. He served as Prime Minister of Norway from 1814 until 1822.-Biography:...

, who had been prominent among the Norwegians who framed the constitution, and had openly declared himself to be in favour of the Union. The Norwegian government acquired a splendid town house, Pechlinska huset, as the residence of the cabinet section in Stockholm, and as an informal "embassy" of Norway. The other six Christiania-based ministers were in charge of their respective government departments. In the king's absence, meetings of the Christiania cabinet were chaired by the viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

 (stattholder), appointed by the king as his representative. The first to hold that office was count Hans Henrik von Essen, who had already at the conclusion of the Kiel treaty been appointed governor-general of Norway when the expected Swedish occupation would be effective.

The next viceroys were also Swedes, and this consistent policy during the first 15 years of the Union was resented in Norway. From 1829 on, the viceroys were Norwegians, until the office was left vacant after 1856, and finally abolished in 1873.

Amalgamation or separation

After the accession of Charles John in 1818, he tried to bring the two countries closer together and to strengthen the executive power. These efforts were mostly resisted by the Norwegian Storting. In 1821, the king proposed constitutional amendments that would give him absolute veto
A veto, Latin for "I forbid", is the power of an officer of the state to unilaterally stop an official action, especially enactment of a piece of legislation...

, widened authority over his ministers, the right to rule by decree, and extended control over the Storting. A further provocation was his efforts to establish a new hereditary nobility in Norway. He put pressure on the Storting by arranging military manoeuvres close to Christiania while it was in session. All of his propositions were given thorough consideration, and then rejected. They were received just as negatively by the next Storting in 1824, and then shelved, except for the question of an extended veto. That demand was repeatedly put before every Storting during the king's lifetime.

The most controversial political issue during the early reign of Charles John was the question of how to settle the national debt of Denmark-Norway. The impoverished Norwegian state tried to defer or reduce the payment of 3 million speciedaler to Denmark, the amount that had been agreed upon. This led to a bitter conflict between the king and the Norwegian government. Though the debt was finally paid by means of a foreign loan, the disagreement that it had provoked led to the resignation of count Wedel-Jarlsberg as minister of finance in 1821. His father-in-law, prime minister Peder Anker, resigned soon after because he felt mistrusted by the king.

The answer from Norwegian politicians to all royal advances was a strict adherence to a policy of constitutional conservatism, consistently opposing amendments that would extend royal power or lead to closer ties and eventual amalgamation with Sweden.

The differences and mistrust of these early years gradually became less pronounced, and Charles John's increasingly accommodating attitude made him more popular. After riots in Stockholm in the autumn of 1838, the king found Christiania more convivial, and while there, he agreed to several demands. In a joint meeting of the Swedish and Norwegian cabinets on 30 January 1839, a Union committee with 4 members from each country was appointed to solve contested questions between them. When the Storting of 1839 convened in his presence, he was received with great affection by the politicians and the public.

National symbols

Another bone of contention was the question of national symbols – flags
Flag of Norway
The flag of Norway is red with an indigo blue Scandinavian cross outlined in white that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog, the flag of Denmark.- History :...

, coats of arms, royal titles, and the celebration of 17 May as the national day. Charles John strongly opposed the public commemoration of the May constitution, which he suspected of being a celebration of the election of Christian Frederik. Instead, but unsuccessfully, he encouraged the celebration of the revised constitution of 4 November, which was also the day when the Union was established. This conflict culminated with the Battle of the Square
Battle of the Square
The Battle of the Square was a skirmish between Norwegian demonstrators and forces of the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway that that took place in Christiania in the evening of 17 May 1829....

 (torvslaget) in Christiania on 17 May 1829, when peaceful celebrations escalated into demonstrations, and the chief of police read the Riot Act and ordered the crowd to disperse. Finally, army and cavalry units were called in to restore order with some violence. The public outcry over this provocation was so great that the king had to acquiesce to the celebration of the national day from then on.

Soon after the Treaty of Kiel, Sweden had included the Coat of Arms of Norway
Coat of arms of Norway
The coat of arms of Norway is a crowned, golden lion rampant holding an axe with an argent blade, on a crowned, triangular and red escutcheon. Its elements originate from personal insignias for the royal house in the High Middle Ages, thus being among the oldest in Europe...

 in the greater Coat of Arms of Sweden
Coat of arms of Sweden
The greater national coat of arms and the lesser national coat of arms are the official coats of arms of Sweden.- Escutcheon :...

. Norwegians considered it offensive that it was also displayed on Swedish coins and government documents, as if Norway was an integral part of Sweden. They also resented the fact that the king's title on Norwegian coins until 1819 was king of Sweden and Norway. All of these questions were resolved after the accession of king Oscar I in 1844. He immediately began to use the title king of Norway and Sweden in all documents relating to Norwegian matters. The proposals of a joint committee with regard to flags and arm were enacted for both countries. A Union badge
Union badge of Norway and Sweden
The Union badge was inserted into the canton of Swedish and Norwegian flags in 1844 to denote their partnership in the personal Union, which they entered in 1814. It combined the flag colours of both kingdoms, equally distributed, to reflect their equal status within the Union...

 was placed in the canton of all flags in both nations, combining the flag colours of both countries, equally distributed. The two countries obtained separate, but parallel flag systems, clearly manifesting their equality. Norwegians were pleased to find the former common war flag and naval ensign replaced by separate flags. The Norwegian arms were removed from the greater arms of Sweden, and common Union and royal arms were created to be used exclusively by the royal family, by the foreign service, and on documents pertaining to both countries. A significant detail of the Union arms is that two royal crowns were placed above the escutcheon to show that it was a union between two sovereign kingdoms.

The Zenith of the Union 1844-1860

The middle years of the 19th century were peaceful ones for the Union. All the symbolic questions had been settled, Norway had obtained more influence on foreign policy, the office of viceroy or governor was kept vacant or filled by Norwegian Severin Løvenskiold
Severin Løvenskiold
Severin Løvenskiold, the younger , was a Norwegian nobleman and a politician.-Early life:...

, and trade between the countries prospered from treaties (mellomriksloven) that promoted free trade and effectively abolished protective tariff walls. The completion of the Kongsvinger Line, the first railway connection across the border, greatly speeded up communications. A political climate of conciliation was advanced by Swedish concessions on the issue of equality between the countries.

Scandinavism and Nordism are literary and political movements that support various degrees of cooperation between the Scandinavian or Nordic countries...

 was at its height during this period and contributed to increasing rapprochement between the Union partners. It supported the idea of Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

 as a unified region or a single nation, based on the common linguistic, political and cultural heritage of the Scandinavian countries. (These three countries are referred to as "three brothers" in the sixth stanza of the national anthem of Norway
Ja, vi elsker dette landet
is the national anthem of Norway. It is commonly referred to as just "Ja, vi elsker" . The lyrics were written by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson between 1859 and 1868, and the melody was written by his cousin Rikard Nordraak in 1864. It was first performed publicly on 17 May 1864 in connection with the 50th...

.) This elite movement was initiated by Danish and Swedish university students in the 1840s. In the beginning, the political establishments in the two countries were suspicious of the movement. However, when Oscar I
Oscar I of Sweden
Oscar I was King of Sweden and Norway from 1844 to his death. When, in August 1810, his father Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte was elected Crown Prince of Sweden, Oscar and his mother moved from Paris to Stockholm . Oscar's father was the first ruler of the current House of Bernadotte...

 became king of Sweden and Norway in 1844, the relationship with Denmark improved and the movement started to gain support. Norwegian students joined in 1845 and participated in annual meetings alternating between the countries. During the war between Denmark and Prussia in 1848, king Oscar offered support in the form of a Norwegian-Swedish expeditionary force, though the force never actually saw combat. The movement received a blow from which it never fully recovered after the second Danish-German war
Second War of Schleswig
The Second Schleswig War was the second military conflict as a result of the Schleswig-Holstein Question. It began on 1 February 1864, when Prussian forces crossed the border into Schleswig.Denmark fought Prussia and Austria...

 over Schleswig in 1864, when the Swedish and Norwegian governments jointly forced king Charles XV to retract the promise of military support that he had given to the king of Denmark without consulting his cabinets.

By then, the Union had lost its support among Norwegians because of the setback caused by the question of finally abolishing the office of viceroy. King Charles XV was in favour of this Norwegian demand, and after his accession in 1859 promised his Norwegian cabinet that he would sanction a decision of the Storting to this effect. The proposition to do away with this detested symbol of dependency and replace it with the office of a prime minister in Christiania was nearly unanimously carried. When the king returned to Stockholm, he was met by an unsuspectedly strong reaction from the Swedish nationalist press. Nya Dagligt Allehanda cried out that Norway had strayed from the path of lawfulness and turned toward revolution. The Riksdag demanded to have its say on the question. The crux of the matter was whether it was purely Norwegian or of concern to both countries. The conservative Swedish majority proclaimed Sweden's "rightful superior position in the Union". King Charles was forced to retreat when the Swedish cabinet threatened to resign. He chose not to sanction the law, but as a concession to wounded Norwegian sentiments, he did it in a Norwegian cabinet meeting. But he had inadvertently confirmed that he was more Swedish than Norwegian, despite his good intentions.

On 24 April 1860 the Norwegian Storting reacted to the Swedish claim to supremacy by unanimously resolving that the Norwegian state had the sole right to amend its own constitution, and that any revision of the conditions of the Union had to be based on the principle of complete equality. This resolution would for many years block any attempts to revise the Act of Union. A new joint committee was appointed in 1866, but its proposals were rejected in 1871 because it did not provide for equal influence on foreign policy, and would pave the way for a federal state
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...


Prelude to dissolution

The relations with Norway during the reign of King Oscar II
Oscar II of Sweden
Oscar II , baptised Oscar Fredrik was King of Sweden from 1872 until his death and King of Norway from 1872 until 1905. The third son of King Oscar I of Sweden and Josephine of Leuchtenberg, he was a descendant of Gustav I of Sweden through his mother.-Early life:At his birth in Stockholm, Oscar...

 (1872–1907) had great influence on political life in Sweden, and more than once it seemed as if the union between the two countries was on the point of being wrecked. The dissensions chiefly had their origin in the demand by Norway for separate consuls and eventually a separate foreign service. Norway had, according to the revised constitution of 1814, the right to separate consular offices, but had not exercised that right partly for financial reasons, partly because the consuls appointed by the Swedish foreign office generally did a satisfactory job of representing Norway. During the late 19th century, however, Norway's merchant marine grew rapidly to become one of the world's largest, and one of the most important factors of the national economy. It was increasingly felt that Norway needed separate consuls who could assist shipping and national interests abroad. Partly, the demand for separate consuls also became a symbolic one, a way to assert the growing disillusionment with the Union.

Internally in Norway, dissension on constitutional questions led to the de facto adoption of parliamentarism in 1884, after an impeachment process against the conservative cabinet of Christian August Selmer
Christian August Selmer
Christian August Selmer was a Norwegian politician who served as a member of the Norwegian parliament, minister of defense, minister of justice, and prime minister...

, accused of assisting the king in obstructing reform by veto. The new liberal government of Johan Sverdrup
Johan Sverdrup
Johan Sverdrup was a Norwegian politician from the Liberal Party. He was the first Prime Minister of Norway after the introduction of parliamentarism. Sverdrup was Prime Minister from 1884 to 1889.- Early years :...

 was reluctantly installed by King Oscar, and immediately implemented important reforms, among them extended suffrage
Suffrage, political franchise, or simply the franchise, distinct from mere voting rights, is the civil right to vote gained through the democratic process...

 and compulsory military service. The two opposite groups established formal political parties in 1884, Venstre (Left) for the liberals, who wanted to dissolve the Union, and Højre (Right) for conservatives, who wanted to retain a Union of two equal states.

The liberals won a great majority in the elections of 1891 on a program of universal suffrage for all men and a separate Norwegian foreign service. As a first step, the new Steen
Johannes Steen
Johannes Wilhelm Christian Steen was a Norwegian politician, Prime Minister of Norway from 1891 to 1893 and from 1898 to 1902....

 government proposed separate consular services, and negotiations with Sweden were initiated. But royal opposition caused a series of cabinet crises, until a coalition government was formed in 1895 with Francis Hagerup
Francis Hagerup
George Francis Hagerup was a Norwegian lawyer, diplomat and politician for the Conservative Party. He was Prime Minister of Norway from 14 October 1895 to 17 February 1898 and from 22 October 1903 to 11 March 1905.Francis Hagerup grew up in Trondheim...

 as prime minister. That year the third joint Union committee was appointed, with 7 members from each country, but it never agreed on the crucial issues and was disbanded in 1898. Faced with sabre-rattling in militarily superior Sweden, Norway had to withdraw the demands for separate consuls in 1895. That miserable retreat convinced the government that the armed forces had been neglected too long, and rapid rearmament was initiated. Four dreadnought
The dreadnought was the predominant type of 20th-century battleship. The first of the kind, the Royal Navy's had such an impact when launched in 1906 that similar battleships built after her were referred to as "dreadnoughts", and earlier battleships became known as pre-dreadnoughts...

s were ordered from Great Britain, and border fortifications were constructed.

In the midst of vain negotiations and discussions, the Swedish government in 1895 gave notice to Norway that the current commercial treaty of 1874, which had provided for a promising common market, would lapse in July 1897. When Sweden reverted to protectionism, Norway also raised customs duties, and the result was a considerable diminution of trade across the border. Count Lewenhaupt, the Swedish minister of foreign affairs, who was considered to be too friendly towards the Norwegians, resigned and was replaced by Count Ludvig Douglas
Ludvig Douglas
Ludvig Vilhelm August Douglas, Count of Mühlhausen, Gondelsheim, Skenninge and Stjernorp, Lord of Langenstein and Stjernorp castles , was a conservative Swedish politician and official...

, who represented the opinion of the majority in the First Chamber. However, when the Storting in 1898 for the third time passed a bill for a "pure" flag without the Union badge, it became law without royal sanction.

The new elections to the Riksdag of 1900 showed clearly that the Swedish people were not inclined to follow the ultraconservative "patriotic" party, which resulted in the resignation of the two leaders of that party, Professor Oscar Alin
Oscar Alin
Oscar Josef Alin was a Swedish historian and politician.Alin was born in Falun. In 1872 he completed his doctorate and became docent of political science, and in 1882 professor skytteanus of Government and Eloquence at Uppsala University...

 and Court Marshal (Hofmarschall
The Hofmarschall was the administrative official in charge of a princely German court, supervising all its economic affairs....

) Patric Reuterswärd as members of the First Chamber. On the other hand, ex-Professor E. Carlson, of the Gothenburg University
Gothenburg University
The University of Gothenburg is a university in Sweden's second largest city, Gothenburg.- Character :The University of Gothenburg is the third-oldest Swedish university, and with 24,900 full-time students it is also among the largest universities in the Nordic countries...

, succeeded in forming a party of Liberals and Radicals to the number of about 90 members, who besides being in favour of the extension of the franchise, advocated full equality of Norway with Sweden in the management of foreign affairs. The Norwegian elections of the same year with extended franchise gave the Liberals (Venstre) a great majority for their program of a separate foreign service as well as separate consuls. Steen stayed on as prime minister, but was succeeded by Otto Blehr
Otto Blehr
Otto Albert Blehr was a Norwegian attorney and politician representing the Liberal Party. He served as Prime Minister of Norway from 1902 to 1903 during the Union between Sweden and Norway and from 1921 to 1923 following the Dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden.He served as...

 in 1902.

Final attempts to save the Union

The question of separate consuls for Norway soon came up again. In 1902 foreign minister Lagerheim in a joint council of state proposed separate consular services, while keeping the common foreign service. The Norwegian government agreed to the appointment of yet another joint committee to consider the question. The promising results of these negotiations was published in a "communiqué" of March 24, 1903. It proposed that the relations of the separate consuls to the joint ministry of foreign affairs and the embassies should be arranged by identical laws, which could not be altered or repealed without the consent of the governments of both countries. But it was no formal agreement, only a preliminary sketch, not binding on the governments. In the elections of 1903, the Conservatives (Højre) won many votes with their program of reconciliation and negotiations. A new coalition government under Hagerup was formed in October 1903, backed by a national consensus on the need conclude the negotiations by joint action. The proposals of the communiqué were presented to the joint council of state on December 11, raising hopes that a solution was imminent. King Oscar asked the governments to work out proposals for identical laws.

The Norwegian draft for identical laws was submitted in May 1904. It was met with total silence from Stockholm. While Norway had never had a Storting and a cabinet more friendly to the Union, it turned out that political opinion in Sweden had moved in the other direction. The spokesman for the communiqué, foreign minister Lagerheim, resigned on November 7 because of diasgreement with prime minister Erik Gustaf Boström
Erik Gustaf Boström
Erik Gustaf Bernhard Boström was a Swedish landowner and politician, who was a member of the Swedish Parliament and Prime Minister of Sweden twice . He was also known as E.G. Boström or E. Gust...

 and his other colleagues. Boström now appeared on his own in Christiania and presented his unexpected principles or conditions for a settlement. His government had reverted to the stand that the Swedish foreign minister should retain control over the Norwegian consuls and, if necessary, remove them, and that Sweden should always be mentioned before Norway in official documents (a break with the practice introduced in 1844). The Norwegian government found these demands unacceptable and incompatible with the sovereignty of Norway. As the foreign minister was to be Swedish, he could not exercise authority over a Norwegian institution. Further negotiations on such terms would be purposeless.

A counterproposal by the Swedish government was likewise rejected, and on February 7, 1905 the King in joint council decided to break off the negotiations that he had initiated in 1903. Notwithstanding this, the exhausted king still hoped for an agreement. On the next day crown prince Gustaf was appointed regent, and on February 13 appeared in Christiania to try to save the Union. During his month in Christiania, he had several meetings with the government and the parliamentary Special Committee that had been formed on February 18 to work out the details on national legislation to establish Norwegian consuls. He begged them not to take steps that would lead to a break between the countries. But to no avail, as the Special Committee recommended on March 6 to go ahead with the work in progress, and the conciliatory Hagerup cabinet was replaced with the more unyielding cabinet of Christian Michelsen
Christian Michelsen
Peter Christian Hersleb Kjerschow Michelsen was a Norwegian shipping magnate and statesman. He was the first Prime Minister of an independent Norway from 1905 to 1907...


Back in Stockholm on March 14, crown prince Gustaf called a joint council on April 5 to appeal to both governments to return to the negotiation table and work out a solution based on full equality between the two kingdoms. He proposed reforms of both the foreign and consular services, with the express reservation that a joint foreign minister — Swedish or Norwegian — was a precondition for the existence of the Union. The Norwegian government rejected his proposal on April 17, referring to earlier fruitless attempts, and declared that it would go on with preparations for a separate consular service. But both chambers of the Riksdag approved the proposal of the crown prince on May 2, 1905. In a last attempt to placate the recalcitrant Norwegians, Boström, considered to be an obstacle to better relations, was succeeded by Johan Ramstedt
Johan Ramstedt
Johan Olof Ramstedt , was Prime Minister of Sweden from April to August 1905.-Biography:Johan Ramstedt was born in Stockholm, son to clothing manufacturer Reinhold Ramstedt and his wife Maria Sofia Haeggström...

. But these ouvertures did not convince the Norwegians. Norwegians of all political convictions had come to the conclusion that a fair solution to the conflict was impossible, and there was now a general consensus that the Union had to be dissolved. Michelsen's new coalition cabinet worked closely with the Storting on a plan to force the issue by means of the consular question.

Dissolution of the Union

On May 23, the Storting passed the government's proposal for the establishment of separate Norwegian consuls. King Oscar, who again had resumed the government, made use of his constitutional right to veto the bill on May 27, and according to plan, the Norwegian ministry tendered their resignation. The king, however, declared he could not accept their resignation, "as no other cabinet can now be formed". The ministers refused to obey his demand that they countersign his decision, and immediately left for Christiania.

No further steps were taken by the King to restore normal constitutional conditions. In the meantime, the formal dissolution was set to be staged at a sitting of the Storting on June 7. The ministry placed their resignation in its hands, and the Storting unanimously adopted a pre-planned resolution stating that, as the king had declared himself unable to form a government, the constitutional royal power "ceased to be operative", whereupon the ministers were requested, until further instructions, to exercise the power vested in the King according to the Constitution — "with such amendments that will be required, since the Union with Sweden under one King is dissolved, because the King has ceased to act as the King of Norway".

Swedish reactions to the action of the Storting were strong. The king solemnly protested and called an extraordinary session of the Riksdag for June 20 to consider what measures should be taken after the "revolt" of the Norwegians. The Riksdag declared that it was willing to negotiate the conditions for the dissolution of the Union if the Norwegian people, through a plebiscite, had declared in favour of it. The Riksdag also voted 100 million kronor
Swedish krona
The krona has been the currency of Sweden since 1873. Both the ISO code "SEK" and currency sign "kr" are in common use; the former precedes or follows the value, the latter usually follows it, but especially in the past, it sometimes preceded the value...

 to be available as the Riksdag might decide. It was understood, but not openly stated, that the amount was held in readiness in case of war. The unlikely threat of war was seen as real on both sides, and Norway answered by borrowing 40 million kroner in France, for the same unstated purpose.

The Norwegian government knew in advance of the Swedish demands, and forestalled it by declaring the plebiscite for August 13, thereby deciding the question to be voted on. The people were not asked to answer yes or no to the dissolution, but to "confirm the dissolution that had already taken place". The response was an overwhelming majority of 368,392 votes for the dissolution, and only 184 against. After a request from the Storting for Swedish cooperation to repeal the Act of Union, delegates from both countries convened at Karlstad
Karlstad is a city, the seat of Karlstad Municipality, the capital of Värmland County, and the largest city in the province Värmland in Sweden. The city had 61,685 inhabitants in 2010 out of a municipal total that during the first quarter 2010 was 84,885 inhabitants...

 on August 31. The talks were temporarily interrupted along the way. At the same time, troop concentrations in Sweden made the Norwegian government mobilize the army and navy on September 13. Agreement was nevertheless reached on September 23. The main points were that disputes between the countries should in the future be referred to the permanent court of arbitration at The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

, that a neutral zone should be established on both sides of the border, and that the Norwegian fortifications in the zone were to be demolished.

Both parliaments soon ratified the agreement and revoked the Act of Union on October 16 and ten days later, King Oscar recognised Norway as an independent state, and renounced his right to the Norwegian crown on behalf of himself and his successors. He also declined a request from the Storting to allow a Bernadotte
The House of Bernadotte, the current royal house of Sweden, has reigned since 1818. Between 1818 and 1905, it was also the royal house of the Norway...

 prince to accede to the Norwegian throne. The Storting then offered the vacant throne to Prince Carl
Haakon VII of Norway
Haakon VII , known as Prince Carl of Denmark until 1905, was the first king of Norway after the 1905 dissolution of the personal union with Sweden. He was a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg...

 of Denmark, who accepted after another plebiscite had confirmed the monarchy. He arrived in Norway on 25 November 1905, taking the name Haakon VII.

1905 in retrospect

The events of 1905 put an end to the uneasy Union between Sweden and Norway that was entered into in 1814 — reluctantly by Norway, coerced by superior Swedish force. The events of both years have much in common, but there are significant differences:
  • In 1814 the Norwegian struggle for independence was an elite project with scant popular support. In 1905 it was driven forward by popular consensus and elected representatives of the people.

  • The Union of 1814 was the result of a Swedish initiative, while the dissolution of 1905 came about because Norway took the initiative.

  • The crisis of 1814 was triggered because Sweden saw Norway as legitimate booty of war, that of 1905 because that interpretation continued to have a wide following.

  • In 1814 Norway was an underdeveloped country with non-existing or weak infrastructure and institutions. In 1905 Norway was a well-developed state with 91 years' experience of independent government.

  • The great powers viewed Norwegian independence more favourably in 1905 than in 1814.

See also

  • Union Dissolution Day
    Union Dissolution Day
    The Union Dissolution Day, observed in Norway on June 7 , is marked in remembrance of the Norwegian parliament's 1905 declaration of dissolution of the union with Sweden, a personal union which had existed since 1814....

  • History of Norway
    History of Norway
    The history of human settlement in what is present day Norway goes back at least 11,000 years, to the late Paleolithic. Archaeological finds in the county of Møre og Romsdal have been dated to 9,200 BC and are probably the remains of settlers from Doggerland, an area now submerged in the North Sea,...

  • History of Denmark
    History of Denmark
    The history of Denmark dates back about 12,000 years, to the end of the last ice age, with the earliest evidence of human inhabitation. The Danes were first documented in written sources around 500 AD, including in the writings of Jordanes and Procopius. With the Christianization of the Danes c...

  • History of Sweden
    History of Sweden
    Modern Sweden started out of the Kalmar Union formed in 1397 and by the unification of the country by King Gustav Vasa in the 16th century. In the 17th century Sweden expanded its territories to form the Swedish empire. Most of these conquered territories had to be given up during the 18th century...

  • Norway in 1814
    Norway in 1814
    1814 was a pivotal year in the history of Norway. It started with Norway in a union with the Kingdom of Denmark subject to a naval blockade being ceded to the king of Sweden. In May a constitutional convention declared Norway an independent kingdom. By the end of the year the Norwegian parliament...

  • Sweden in Union with Norway
    Sweden in Union with Norway
    The Union between Sweden and Norway is an overriding theme of the history of Sweden in the 19th century. On 4 November 1814, the kingdoms of Sweden and Norway formed a personal union under one king...

  • History of Scandinavia
    History of Scandinavia
    The history of Scandinavia is the history of the region of northern Europe known in English as Scandinavia, particularly in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.- Pre-historic age :...

  • Union badge of Norway and Sweden
    Union badge of Norway and Sweden
    The Union badge was inserted into the canton of Swedish and Norwegian flags in 1844 to denote their partnership in the personal Union, which they entered in 1814. It combined the flag colours of both kingdoms, equally distributed, to reflect their equal status within the Union...

  • Kalmar Union
    Kalmar Union
    The Kalmar Union is a historiographical term meaning a series of personal unions that united the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway , and Sweden under a single monarch, though intermittently and with a population...

  • Denmark-Norway
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