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Sweden and Norway or Sweden–Norway ( sv, Svensk-norska unionen; no, Den svensk-norske union(en)), officially the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway, and known as the United Kingdoms, was a
personal union A personal union is the combination of two or more states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The Stat ...

personal union
of the separate kingdoms of
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that ...

Sweden
and
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...

Norway
under a common monarch and common foreign policy that lasted from 1814 until its peaceful
dissolution Dissolution may refer to: Arts and entertainment Books * Dissolution (Forgotten Realms novel), ''Dissolution'' (''Forgotten Realms'' novel), a 2002 fantasy novel by Richard Lee Byers * Dissolution (Sansom novel), ''Dissolution'' (Sansom novel), a 2 ...
in 1905. The two states kept separate
constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...

constitution
s,
law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its bounda ...
s,
legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contrasted with the Executive (government), executive and Judiciary, ...
s, administrations,
state church A Christian state is a country that recognizes a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachin ...
es,
armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or pa ...
s, and
currencies A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversing" in the most specific sense is money Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed t ...

currencies
; the kings mostly resided in
Stockholm Stockholm (; ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smalle ...

Stockholm
, where foreign diplomatic representations were located. The Norwegian government was presided over by
viceroy A viceroy () is an official who runs a polity in the name of and as the representative of the monarch of the territory. The term derives from the Latin prefix ''vice-'', meaning "in the place of" and the French word ''roy'', meaning "king". A ...

viceroy
s: Swedes until 1829, Norwegians until 1856. That office was later vacant and then abolished in 1873. Foreign policy was conducted through the Swedish foreign ministry until the dissolution of the union in 1905. Norway had been in a closer union with
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
, but Denmark-Norway's alliance with
Napoleonic France The First French Empire, officially the French Republic (until 1809) then the French Empire (; ), was the empire An empire is a sovereign state consisting of several territories and peoples subject to a single ruling authority, often an e ...
caused the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
and
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...
to consent to Sweden's annexation of the realm as compensation for the loss of
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of B ...

Finland
in 1809 and as a reward for joining the alliance against Napoleon. By the 1814
Treaty of Kiel The Treaty of Kiel ( da, Kieltraktaten) or Peace of Kiel (Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland ...
, the King of Denmark-Norway was forced to cede Norway to the King of Sweden, but Norway refused to submit to the treaty provisions,
declared independence
declared independence
, and convoked a constituent assembly at
Eidsvoll (sometimes written as ''Eidsvold'') is a Municipalities of Norway, municipality in Akershus in Viken (county), Viken Counties of Norway, county, Norway. It is part of the Romerike Districts of Norway, traditional region. The administrative centr ...

Eidsvoll
in early 1814. After the adoption of the new
Constitution of Norway Constitution of Norway (complete name: Constitution of the Kingdom of Norway; Danish language, Danish: ; Norwegian language, Norwegian Bokmål: ; Norwegian Nynorsk: ) was adopted on 16 May and signed on 17 May 1814 by the Norwegian Constituent ...
on 17 May 1814, Prince
Christian Frederick Christian VIII (18 September 1786 – 20 January 1848) was the king of Denmark from 1839 to 1848 and, as Christian Frederick, King of Norway in 1814. Early years Christian was born at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen. He was the eldest so ...
was elected king. The ensuing
Swedish–Norwegian War (1814) The Swedish–Norwegian War, also known as the Campaign against Norway ( sv, Fälttåget mot Norge), War with Sweden 1814 ( no, Krigen med Sverige 1814), or the Norwegian War of Independence, was a war fought between Sweden Sweden ( sv, S ...
and the
Convention of Moss The Convention of Moss (''Mossekonvensjonen'') was a ceasefire agreement signed on 14 August 1814 between the King of Sweden The monarchy of Sweden concerns the monarchical head of state of Sweden,See the #IOG, Instrument of Government, Chapt ...
compelled Christian Frederick to abdicate after calling an extraordinary session of the Norwegian Parliament, the
Storting The Storting ( no, Stortinget ) is the supreme legislature of Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standa ...

Storting
, to revise the Constitution in order to allow for a personal union with Sweden. On 4 November the Storting elected Sweden's king,
Charles XIII Charles XIII, or Carl XIII, ( sv, Karl XIII, 7 October 1748 – 5 February 1818), was King of Sweden The monarchy of Sweden concerns the monarchical head of state of Sweden,See the #IOG, Instrument of Government, Chapter 1, Article 5. which is ...
, as the
King of Norway The Norwegian monarch is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or t ...
, thereby confirming the union. Continuing differences between the two realms led to a failed attempt to create a separate Norwegian consular service and then, on 7 June 1905, to a unilateral declaration of independence by the Storting. Sweden accepted the union's dissolution on 26 October. After a
plebiscite A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct Direct may refer to: Mathematics * Directed set In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number th ...
confirming the election of Prince Carl of Denmark as the new king of Norway, he accepted the Storting's offer of the throne on 18 November and took the regnal name of Haakon VII.


Background

Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that ...

Sweden
and
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...

Norway
had been united under the same crown on two previous occasions: from 1319 to 1343 and again briefly from 1449 to 1450 in opposition to
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
of Oldenburg who was elected king of the
Kalmar Union The Kalmar Union (Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancest ...
by the
Danes Danes ( da, danskere, ) are a North Germanic The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a lang ...

Danes
. During the following centuries, Norway remained united with Denmark in close union, nominally as one kingdom, but in reality reduced to the status of a mere province ruled by Danish kings from their capital,
Copenhagen Copenhagen ( da, København ) is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. As of 1 January 2021, the city had a population of 799,033 (638,117 in Copenhagen Municipality, 103,677 in Frederiksberg Municipality, 42,670 in Tårnby Municipal ...

Copenhagen
. After the establishment of absolutism in 1660, a more centralized form of government was established, but Norway kept some separate institutions, including its own laws, army, and coinage. The united kingdoms are referred to as Denmark-Norway by later historians. Sweden broke out of the Kalmar Union permanently in 1523 under King
Gustav Vasa Gustav I, born Gustav Eriksson of the Vasa noble family and later known as Gustav Vasa (12 May 1496 – 29 September 1560), was King of Sweden The monarchy of Sweden concerns the monarchical head of state of Sweden,See the #IOG, Instrument ...

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 Gustavus Adolphus (), also known in English as Gustav II Adolf or Gustav II Adolph, was the King of Sweden The monarchy of Sweden concerns the monarchical head of state of Sweden,See the #IOG, Instrument of Government, Chapter 1, Article 5. ...
in the
Thirty Years' War The Thirty Years' War was a conflict fought largely within the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Europe, Weste ...
. The ambitious wars waged by King
Charles XII Charles XII, sometimes Carl XII ( sv, Karl XII) or Carolus Rex (17 June 1682 – 30 November 1718 O.S.), was the King of Sweden The monarchy of Sweden concerns the monarchical head of state of Sweden,See the #IOG, Instrument of Government ...
, however, led to the loss of that status after the
Great Northern War The Great Northern War (1700–1721) was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia successfully contested the supremacy of the Swedish Empire in Northern Europe, Northern, Central Europe, Central and Eastern Europe. The i ...

Great Northern War
, 1700–1721. Following the dissolution 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 to wrest the country away from the union with Denmark and either annex it or form a union. The repeated wars and invasions led to popular resentment against Sweden among Norwegians. During the eighteenth century, Norway enjoyed a period of great prosperity and became an increasingly important part of the union. The industry with the largest growth was that of the export of planks, with
Great Britain Great Britain is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), ...

Great Britain
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 favored Danish interests over that of Norway's while rejecting key Norwegian demands for the creation of important national institutions, such as a bank and a university. Some members of the "timber aristocracy" thus saw Sweden as a more natural partner, and cultivated commercial and political contacts with Sweden. Around 1800, many prominent Norwegians secretly favored a split with Denmark, without actively taking steps to promote independence. Their undeclared leader was Count
Herman Wedel-Jarlsberg Johan Caspar Herman Wedel Jarlsberg (21 September 1779 – 27 August 1840) was a Norway, Norwegian statesman and count. He played an active role in the Norwegian Constituent Assembly, constitutional assembly at Eidsvoll in Norway in 1814, 1814 and ...

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 (29 March 1792), also called ''Gustavus III'', was King of Sweden from 1771 until his assassination in 1792. He was the eldest son of Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden and Queen Louisa Ulrika of Prussia. Gustav was a vocal opponent of ...

Gustav III
(1746–1792) actively approached any circle in Norway that might favor a union with Sweden instead of with Denmark. Such endeavors on both sides of the border toward a "rapprochement" were far from realistic before the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
created conditions that caused great political upheavals in Scandinavia.


Consequences of the Napoleonic Wars

Sweden and Denmark-Norway strenuously attempted 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 ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
and
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europ ...

Prussia
in a League of Armed Neutrality in 1800. Denmark-Norway was forced to withdraw from the League after the British victory at the
First Battle of Copenhagen
First Battle of Copenhagen
in April 1801, but still stuck to a policy of neutrality. However, the league collapsed after the assassination of Tsar Paul I in 1801. Denmark-Norway was compelled into an alliance with
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...
after the second British attack on the Danish navy at the
Second Battle of Copenhagen The Second Battle of Copenhagen (or the Bombardment of Copenhagen) (16 August – 5 September 1807) was a British bombardment of the Danish capital, Copenhagen, in order to capture or destroy the Royal Dano-Norwegian Navy, Dano-Norwegian fleet d ...
. The Danish were forced 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 Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...

Napoleon
to declare war on Sweden on 29 February 1808. Because the British
naval blockade A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a Nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially ...
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 or Carl August (9 July 1768 – 28 May 1810) was a Denmark, Danish prince. He is best known for serving as Crown Prince of Sweden briefly in 1810, adopted by Charles XIII of Sweden, Charles XIII, before his sudden death from stroke ...
. 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. Christian August's greatest challenge was to secure the food supply during the blockade. When Sweden invaded Norway in the spring of 1808, he commanded the army of Southern Norway and compelled the numerically superior Swedish forces to withdraw behind the border after the battles of Toverud and Prestebakke. His success 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 King
Gustav IV Adolf Gustav IV Adolf or Gustav IV Adolph (1 November 1778 – 7 February 1837) was King of Sweden The monarchy of Sweden concerns the monarchical head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodie ...
was overthrown. One factor contributing to the poor performance of the Swedish invasion force in Norway was that Russia at the same time invaded
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of B ...

Finland
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 an official who runs a polity in the name of and as the representative of the monarch of the territory. The term derives from the Latin prefix ''vice-'', meaning "in the place of" and the French word ''roy'', meaning "king". A ...

viceroy
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 The Finnish War ( sv, Finska kriget, russian: Финляндская война, fi, Suomen sota) was fought between the Kingdom of Sweden (1721–1809), Kingdom of Sweden and the Russian Empire from 21 February 1808 to 17 September 1809. As a r ...
. 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 sv, Karl Johan Baptist Julius , spouse = , issue = Oscar I of Sweden Oscar I (born Joseph François Oscar Bernadotte; 4 July 1799 – 8 July 1859) was King of Sweden The monarchy of Sweden concerns the monarchical head of ...
, 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 of Sweden was the acquisition of Norway, and he pursued that goal by definitively renouncing Sweden's claims in Finland and joining the enemies of Napoleon. In 1812, he signed the secret Treaty of Saint Petersburg 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 neighbor. Moreover, the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

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 Norwegian adventure before the common enemy had been crushed. Only after Charles gave his word 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 Sixth is the ordinal form of the number six. * The Sixth Amendment, to the U.S. Constitution * A keg of beer, equal to 5 U.S. gallons or 1/6 barrel * A fraction (mathematics) A fraction (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical langu ...
and declaring war against France and Denmark-Norway on 24 March 1813. During his campaigns on the Continent, Charles John successfully led the Allied Army of the North in its defense of
Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the List of cities in the European Union by ...

Berlin
, defeating two separate French attempts to take the city, and at the decisive
Battle of Leipzig The Battle of Leipzig, contemporaneously called the Battle of Leipsic (french: Bataille de Leipsick; german: Völkerschlacht bei Leipzig (); sv, Slaget vid Leipzig) and later the Battle of the Nations (french: Bataille des Nations; russian: ...
. He then marched against Denmark to force the Danish King to surrender Norway.


1814


Treaty of Kiel

On 7 January, on the verge of being overrun by Swedish, Russian, and German troops under the command of the elected crown prince of Sweden, King
Frederick VI of Denmark Frederick VI (Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ...

Frederick VI of Denmark
(and of Norway) agreed to cede Norway to the King of Sweden in order to stave off an occupation of
Jutland Jutland (; da, Jylland ; german: Jütland ; ang, Ēota land ), known anciently as the Cimbric or Cimbrian Peninsula ( la, Cimbricus Chersonesus; da, Den Kimbriske Halvø, Den Jyske Halvø; german: Kimbrische Halbinsel), is a peninsula of Nort ...

Jutland
. These terms were formalized and signed on 14 January at the
Treaty of Kiel The Treaty of Kiel ( da, Kieltraktaten) or Peace of Kiel (Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland ...
, in which Denmark negotiated to maintain sovereignty over the Norwegian possessions of the
Faroe Islands The Faroe Islands ( ), or simply the Faroes or Faeroes ( fo, Føroyar ; da, Færøerne ), are a North Atlantic archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of is ...

Faroe Islands
,
Iceland Iceland ( is, Ísland; ) is a Nordic Nordic most commonly refers to: * Nordic countries, written in plural as Nordics, the northwestern European countries, including Scandinavia, Fennoscandia and the List of islands in the Atlantic Ocean#N ...

Iceland
and
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an autonomous territory An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, subdivision, or territory) is a subnational administra ...

Greenland
. Article IV of the treaty stated that Norway was ceded to "the King of Sweden", and not to the Kingdom of Sweden – a provision favorable 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 ga, Rialtas na Ríochta Aontaithe sco, Govrenment o the Unitit Kinrick , image = HM Government logo.svg , image_size=220px, date_established = , state = United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, comm ...
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 (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
, and the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
, 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 an official who runs a polity in the name of and as the representative of the monarch of the territory. The term derives from the Latin prefix ''vice-'', meaning "in the place of" and the French word ''roy'', meaning "king". A ...

viceroy
of Norway, Hereditary Prince
Christian Frederik
Christian Frederik
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
Carsten Anker
's estate at
Eidsvoll (sometimes written as ''Eidsvold'') is a Municipalities of Norway, municipality in Akershus in Viken (county), Viken Counties of Norway, county, Norway. It is part of the Romerike Districts of Norway, traditional region. The administrative centr ...

Eidsvoll
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__NOTOC__ Christiania may refer to: Businesses and organizations * Christiania Bank, a former Norwegian bank * Christiania Theatre in Oslo, Norway * Christiania Spigerverk, a steel company which was founded in Oslo, Norway, in 1853 * Christiania No ...

Christiania
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 Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...

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 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 Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool, (7 June 1770 – 4 December 1828) was a British Tory The Tories were a political faction Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in gro ...
, but he persisted in his mission to convince his contacts among British aristocrats and politicians of Norway's cause. He succeeded in introducing that cause in Parliament, where
Earl Grey Earl Grey is a title in the peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1806 for General Charles Grey, 1st Earl Grey, Charles Grey, 1st Baron Grey. In 1801, he was given the title Baron Grey of Howick in the County of Northumberland, and in ...
spoke for almost three hours in the
House of Lords The House of Lords, formally The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the of the . Membership is by , or . Like the , it meets in the . ar ...

House of Lords
on 10 May. His arguments were also voiced in the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorpor ...

House of Commons
– after having fought for freedom in Europe for 22 years, the United Kingdom could not go on to support Sweden in her forced subjugation of a free people then 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 fall, doggedly maintaining 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, 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
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 ( da, København ) is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. As of 1 January 2021, the city had a population of 799,033 (638,117 in Copenhagen Municipality, 103,677 in Frederiksberg Municipality, 42,670 in Tårnby Municipal ...

Copenhagen
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 himself 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 to disinherit Christian Frederik was not addressed. Swedish troops massed 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 overture, 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 on the other hand, 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 consider the sentiments of the European powers; 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 (14 September 1782 – 13 January 1830) was a Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic group ...

Christian Magnus Falsen
and Gunder Adler had been established as the basis of 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 The right to property, or the right to own property (cf. ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive right In Anglo-Saxon law Anglo-Saxon law (Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the En ...
, and equality. Following a contentious debate on 4 May, the assembly decided that Norway would adhere to the
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Jesus Christ and was founded by Martin Luther, a 16th-century German monk and Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform the theology ...
faith, that its monarch must always have professed himself to this faith (thereby prevent the Catholic-born Bernadotte from being king) and that
Jew Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), ...

Jew
s and
Jesuit , image = Ihs-logo.svg , caption = Christogram A Christogram (Latin ') is a monogram or combination of letters that forms an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ, traditionally used as a Christian symbolism ...
s 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. Although the final edict of the
constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...
was signed on 18 May, the unanimous election of Christian Frederik on 17 May is considered
Constitution Day Constitution Day is a holiday to honor the constitution of a country. Constitution Day is often celebrated on the anniversary of the signing, promulgation or adoption of the constitution, or in some cases, to commemorate the change to constitutio ...
in Norway. The election was unanimous, but several of the delegates had asked that it be postponed until the political situation had stabilized.


Search for domestic and international legitimacy

On 22 May, the newly elected king made a triumphant entrance into Christiania. The guns of
Akershus Fortress Akershus Fortress ( no, Akershus Festning) or Akershus Castle ( no, Akershus slott) is a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentat ...

Akershus Fortress
sounded the royal salute, and a celebratory service was held in the
Cathedral A cathedral is a church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities. The term is used ...

Cathedral
. 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 rumored that Morier wanted Bernadotte deposed and exiled to the Danish island of
Bornholm Bornholm (; non, Burgundaholmr) is a Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people ...

Bornholm
. The king asked the United Kingdom to mediate between Norway and Sweden, but Morier never deviated from the official British government position of rejecting an independent Norway. He stated that that Norway should subject itself to a Swedish union, 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 wrote to Christian Frederik about his recent discussions with a high-ranking
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europ ...

Prussia
n diplomat. He learned that Prussia and
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
were waning in their support of Sweden's claims to Norway, that Tsar
Alexander I of Russia Alexander I (; – ) was the Emperor of Russia (Tsar) from 1801, the first King of Congress Poland from 1815, and the Grand Duke of Finland from 1809 to his death. He was the eldest son of Emperor Paul I and Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg. Bor ...

Alexander I of Russia
(a distant cousin of Christian Frederik) favored a Swedish-Norwegian union but without Bernadotte as king, and that the United Kingdom was looking for a solution that would keep Norway out of Russia's sphere of influence.


Prelude to war

On 26 June, emissaries from Russia, Prussia, Austria, and the United Kingdom arrived in
Vänersborg
Vänersborg
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 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 their 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 had a say in their future through an extraordinary session of the Storting. However 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 court 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 Municipalities of Norway, municipality that is a group of islands in the southern part of Viken (county), Viken Counties of Norway, County, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Skjærhalden, on the is ...

Hvaler
, effectively putting Sweden at war with Norway. The following day, 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 little resistance as they advanced northward into Norway, bypassing the fortress of
FredrikstenFredriksten is a fortress A fortification is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and maintaine ...
. The first hostilities were short and ended with decisive victories for Sweden. By 4 August, the fortified city of
Fredrikstad Fredrikstad (; previously ''Frederiksstad''; literally "Fredrik's Town") is a List of cities in Norway, city and Municipalities of Norway, municipality in Viken (county), Viken Counties of Norway, county, Norway. The administrative centre of ...

Fredrikstad
surrendered. Christian Frederik ordered a retreat to the
Glomma The Glomma, or Glåma, is Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegi ...
river. The Swedish Army, in trying to intercept the retreat, was stopped at the battle of Langnes, an important tactical victory for the Norwegians. The Swedish assaults from the east were effectively resisted near
Kongsvinger is a town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than city, cities, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world. Origin and use The ...
. On 3 August Christian Frederik announced his political will in a cabinet meeting in
Moss Mosses are small, non-vascular flower A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom Cherry blossoms in Paris in full bloom. In botany, blossoms are the flowers of stone fruit fruit tree, trees (genus ''Prunus'') and of some other plant ...

Moss
. On 7 August, a delegation from Bernadotte arrived at the Norwegian military headquarters in
Spydeberg Spydeberg was a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is subor ...
with a ceasefire offer based on the promise of a union with respect for the Norwegian constitution. The following day, Christian Frederik expressed himself in favor 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 Moss on 10 August. On 14 August, the
Convention of Moss The Convention of Moss (''Mossekonvensjonen'') was a ceasefire agreement signed on 14 August 1814 between the King of Sweden The monarchy of Sweden concerns the monarchical head of state of Sweden,See the #IOG, Instrument of Government, Chapt ...
was concluded: a general ceasefire based effectively on 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 a 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, Bernadotte offered favorable peace terms. He promised to recognize the Norwegian Constitution, with only those amendments that were necessary to enable 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 he would 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 28 August 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 3 September 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
Storting The Storting ( no, Stortinget ) is the supreme legislature of Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standa ...

Storting
convened. Delegates from areas occupied by Sweden in
Østfold Østfold is a traditional region, a former Counties of Norway, county and a current electoral district in southeastern Norway. It borders Akershus and southwestern Sweden (Västra Götaland County and Värmland), while Buskerud and Vestfold are ...
were admitted only after submitting assurances that they had no loyalty to the Swedish authorities. On 10 October, Christian Frederik 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, or Carl XIII, ( sv, Karl XIII, 7 October 1748 – 5 February 1818), was King of Sweden The monarchy of Sweden concerns the monarchical head of state of Sweden,See the #IOG, Instrument of Government, Chapter 1, Article 5. which is ...

Charles XIII
king of Norway failed to pass. The issue was set aside pending the necessary constitutional amendments. In the following days, the Storting passed several resolutions to assert as much sovereignty as possible within the union. On 1 November 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 4 November 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 arrived in
Christiania__NOTOC__ Christiania may refer to: Businesses and organizations * Christiania Bank, a former Norwegian bank * Christiania Theatre in Oslo, Norway * Christiania Spigerverk, a steel company which was founded in Oslo, Norway, in 1853 * Christiania No ...

Christiania
on 18 November 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 of the Estates Riksdag of the Estates (formally sv, Riksens ständer; informally sv, Ståndsriksdagen) was the name used for the Estates The Estates, also known as the States (french: États, german: Landstände, nl, Staten), was the assembly of the repres ...
in the preamble to the Act of Union on 15 August 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. On the other hand, 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 the Union as the realization of an idea that had been nursed for centuries, one 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 party, 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 refers to the division of a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' ...
between the
executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government) The executive (short for executive branch or executive power) is the part of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organiz ...
,
legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure ...
and
judicial The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judiciative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government i ...
branches. Norway had a modified unicameral legislature with more authority than any other legislature in Europe. In contrast, Sweden's king was a near-autocrat; the 1809 Instrument of Government stated unequivocally that "the king alone shall govern the realm." More (male) citizens in Norway (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; however, 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 conducive to agriculture and rural interests secured the loyalty of farmers. But with the constitutional provision that ⅔ of the members of parliament were to be elected from rural districts, more farmers would eventually be elected, thus portending a potential fracture in the alliance. Legislation that encouraged popular participation in local government culminated with the introduction of local self-government in 1837, creating the 373 rural ''
Formannskapsdistrikt () is the name for Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway *Demographics of Norway *The Norw ...
'', corresponding to the parishes of the State
Church of Norway The Church of Norway ( nb, Den norske kirke, nn, Den norske kyrkja, se, Norgga girku, sma, Nöörjen gærhkoe) is an evangelical Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christiani ...
. 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 The dissolution of the union ( nb, Unionsoppløsningen; nn, Unionsoppløysinga; Høgnorsk, Landsmål: ''Unionsoppløysingi''; sv, Unionsupplösningen) between the kingdoms of Norway and Sweden under the House of Bernadotte, was set in motion by ...
. For instance, while the king had the power of absolute veto in Sweden, he only had a suspending veto in Norway. Charles John demanded that the Storting grant him an absolute veto, but was forced to back down. While the constitution vested executive power in the King, in practice it came increasingly to rest in his
Council of State A Council of State is a governmental body in a country, or a subdivision of a country, with a function that varies by jurisdiction. It may be the formal name for the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-sha ...
(statsråd). A watershed in this process came in 1884, when Norway became the first Scandinavian monarchy to adopt parliamentary rule. After 1884, the king was no longer able to appoint a government entirely of his own choosing or keep it in office against the will of the Storting. Instead, he 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. By comparison, parliamentary rule was not established in Sweden until 1905—just before the end of the union.


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 Convention of Moss (''Mossekonvensjonen'') was a ceasefire agreement signed on 14 August 1814 between the King of Sweden The monarchy of Sweden concerns the monarchical head of state of Sweden,See the #IOG, Instrument of Government, Chapt ...
, 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 and steadfastly denied Swedish superiority, while many Swedes saw Norway as an inferior partner and a prize of war. Legally, Norway had the status of an independent constitutional monarchy, with more internal independence than it had enjoyed in over 400 years. While it shared a common monarch and a common foreign policy with Sweden, all other ministries and government institutions were separate from each state. Norway had its own army, navy and treasury. 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 as functioning like a single state rather than two sovereign states. Over time, however, it became less common to refer to the union as "Sweden" and instead to jointly reference it as "Sweden and Norway". According to the Norwegian constitution, the king was to appoint his own cabinet. Because the king mostly resided in
Stockholm Stockholm (; ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smalle ...

Stockholm
, a section of the cabinet led by the
prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
had to be present there, accompanied by two ministers. The first prime minister was
Peder Anker Peder Anker (8 December 1749 – 10 December 1824) was a prominent Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic gro ...
, who had been prominent among the Norwegians who framed the constitution, and had openly declared himself to be in favor of the Union. The Norwegian government acquired a splendid town house, ''Pechlinska huset'', as the residence of the cabinet section in Stockholm, which also served 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 an official who runs a polity in the name of and as the representative of the monarch of the territory. The term derives from the Latin prefix ''vice-'', meaning "in the place of" and the French word ''roy'', meaning "king". A ...

viceroy
(''stattholder''), appointed by the king as his representative. The first to hold that office was count
Hans Henrik von Essen
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 onwards, 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 Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relatio ...
, 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 maneuvers close to Christiania while it was in session. Nonetheless, 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, save for the question of an extended veto. That demand was repeatedly put before every Storting during the king's lifetime to no avail. 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
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 that he was distrusted 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, instead favoring
regional autonomyRegional autonomy is decentralization Decentralization or decentralisation is the process by which the activities of an organization, particularly those regarding planning and decision making, are distributed or delegated away from a central, aut ...
. The differences and distrust 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 fall 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 four 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 A flag is a piece of fabric A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking network of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting ...

flags
, 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 (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 in the greater Coat of arms of Sweden. 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 of Sweden, 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 mark was placed in the Canton (flag), 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 (heraldry), escutcheon to show that it was a union between two sovereign kingdoms.


Flags

File:Naval Ensign of Sweden.svg, State flag of Sweden (Pre-1814-1815) File:Flag of the Kingdom of Norway (1814).svg, Flag of Norway (1814–1821) File:Swedish and Norwegian merchant flag 1818-1844.svg, Flag of Sweden and Norway (1818–1844) File:Swedish and Norwegian naval ensign (1815–1844).svg, State flag and naval ensign of Sweden and Norway (1815–1844) File:Union Jack of Sweden and Norway (1844-1905).svg, Union naval jack and diplomatic flag (1844–1905) File:Swedish norwegian union flag.svg, Flag of Sweden (1844–1905) File:Flag_of_Norway_(1821–1844).svg, Flag of Norway (1821–1844) File:Norge-Unionsflagg-1844.svg, Flag of Norway (1844–1899) File:Flag of Norway.svg, Flag of Norway (1899–present) File:Naval Ensign of Sweden (1844-1905).svg, State flag and naval ensign of Sweden (1844–1905) File:Naval Ensign of Norway (1844-1905).svg, Naval ensign of Norway (1844–1905) and state flag (1844–1899) File:Flag of Norway, state.svg, State flag of Norway (1899–present) File:Royal Standard of Sweden (1844–1905).svg, Royal standard in Sweden (1844–1905) File:Royal Standard of Norway (1844-1905).svg, Royal standard in Norway (1844–1905)


Heraldry

File:Coat of Arms of the Union between Sweden and Norway 1814-1844.svg, Royal Swedish coat of arms (1814–1844) File:Coat of Arms of the Union between Sweden and Norway.svg, Union and royal coat of arms (1844–1905)


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, 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 sped up communications. A political climate of conciliation was advanced by Swedish concessions on the issue of equality between the countries. Scandinavism was at its height during this period and contributed to increasing rapprochement between the Union partners. It supported the idea of Scandinavia 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 Ja, vi elsker dette landet, national anthem of Norway.) 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 of Sweden, Oscar I 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 saw combat. The movement received a blow from which it never fully recovered after the second Second War of Schleswig, Danish-German war over Duchy of Schleswig, 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 issue of abolishing the office of viceroy. King Charles XV was in favor 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 instead 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 anyway in a Norwegian cabinet meeting. But his actions 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 Federation, federal state.Seip, Anne-Lise, 1997: "Nasjonen bygges 1830–1870". In: ''Aschehougs Norges Historie'', Vol. 8, pp. 201–203, Oslo.


Prelude to dissolution

The relations with Norway during the reign of King Oscar II of Sweden, Oscar II (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 ending. 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. 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. The cabinet was accused of assisting the king in obstructing reform by veto. The new liberal government of Johan Sverdrup was reluctantly installed by King Oscar. It immediately implemented important reforms, among them extended suffrage 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 Johannes Steen, Steen 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 as prime minister. That year, the third joint Union committee was appointed, with seven members from each country, but it never agreed on crucial issues and was promptly disbanded in 1898. Faced with saber-rattling from 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 Pre-dreadnought battleship, battleships were ordered from the United Kingdom, and border fortifications were constructed. In the midst of negotiations and discussions that were in vain, in 1895 the Swedish government 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, who represented the opinion of the majority in the Forsta kammaren, 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 and Court Marshal (Hofmarschall) Patric Reuterswärd as members of the First Chamber. On the other hand, ex-Professor E. Carlson, of the Gothenburg University, succeeded in forming a party of Liberals and Radicals to the number of about 90 members, who asides from being in favor 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 and separate consuls. Steen stayed on as prime minister, but was succeeded by Otto Blehr 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 another joint committee to consider the question. The promising results of these negotiations was published in a "communiqué" of 24 March 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 11 December, 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 7 November because of disagreement with prime minister Erik Gustaf Boström 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 counter-proposal by the Swedish government was likewise rejected, and on 7 February 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 Gustav V of Sweden, Gustaf was appointed regent, and on 13 February 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 18 February 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 6 March to go ahead with the work in progress, and the conciliatory Hagerup cabinet was replaced with the more unyielding cabinet of Christian Michelsen. Back in Stockholm on 14 March, Crown Prince Gustaf called a joint council on 5 April 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 17 April, 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 2 May 1905. In a last attempt to placate the recalcitrant Norwegians, Boström, considered to be an obstacle to better relations, was succeeded by Johan Ramstedt. But these overtures 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 23 May 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 27 May, 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 7 June. The ministers placed their resignations in its hands, and the Storting unanimously adopted a planned resolution declaring the union with Sweden dissolved because Oscar had effectively "ceased to act as King of Norway" by refusing to form a new government. It further stated that, as the king had declared himself unable to form a government, the constitutional royal power "ceased to be operative." Thus, Michelsen and his ministers were instructed to remain in office as a caretaker government. Pending further instructions, they were vested with the executive power normally vested in the king pending the amendments necessary to reflect the fact that the union had been dissolved. Swedish reactions to the action of the Storting were strong. The king solemnly protested and called an extraordinary session of the Riksdag for 20 June 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 themselves in favor. The Riksdag also voted for 100 million Swedish krona, kronor to be available as the Riksdag might decide the matter. 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 from France, for the same unstated purpose. The Norwegian government knew in advance of the Swedish demands, and forestalled it by declaring 1905 Norwegian union dissolution referendum, a plebiscite for 13 August—before the formal Swedish demand for a plebiscite was made, thus forestalling any claim that the referendum was made in response to demands from Stockholm. 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 368,392 votes for the dissolution and only 184 against, an overwhelming majority of over 99.9 percent. After a request from the Storting for Swedish cooperation to repeal the Act of Union, delegates from both countries convened at Karlstad on 31 August. The talks were temporarily interrupted along the way. At the same time, troop concentrations in Sweden made the Norwegian government mobilize its army and navy on 13 September. Agreement was nevertheless reached on 23 September. The main points were that disputes between the countries should in the future be referred to the permanent court of arbitration at The Hague, 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 16 October. Ten days later, King Oscar renounced all claims to the Norwegian crown for himself and his successors. The Storting asked Oscar to allow a House of Bernadotte, Bernadotte prince to accede to the Norwegian throne in hopes of reconciliation, but Oscar turned this offer down. The Storting then offered the vacant throne to Prince Carl of Denmark, who accepted after 1905 Norwegian monarchy referendum, another plebiscite had confirmed the monarchy. He arrived in Norway on 25 November 1905, taking the name Haakon VII.


See also

* List of Swedish monarchs * List of Norwegian monarchs * History of Norway * History of Sweden * History of Denmark * History of Scandinavia * Norway in 1814 * Sweden in Union with Norway * Union Dissolution Day


Notes


References


Further reading

* Barton, H. Arnold. ''Sweden and Visions of Norway: Politics and Culture, 1814-1905'' (SIU Press, 2003). * Stråth, Bo (2005): ''Union och demokrati: de förenade rikena Sverige och Norge 1814–1905''. Nora, Nya Doxa. (Swedish edition) * Stråth, Bo (2005): ''Union og demokrati: Dei sameinte rika Noreg-Sverige 1814–1905''. Oslo, Pax Forlag. (Norwegian edition) * *


External links


"Debating the Treaty of Stockholm, 3d March 1813"
hosted at the University of Oslo and including the texts of the Treaties of Stockholm (1813) and St. Petersburg (1813)
"Treaty between Her Majesty, the Emperor of the French, and the King of Sweden and Norway. Signed at Stockholm, November 21, 1855"
hosted at Google Books {{DEFAULTSORT:Union between Sweden and Norway United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway, 19th century in Norway 19th century in Sweden 1900s in Norway 1900s in Sweden Scandinavian history Political history of Sweden Political history of Norway Norwegian monarchy Swedish monarchy 1814 establishments in Sweden 1905 disestablishments in Sweden 1814 establishments in Norway 1905 disestablishments in Norway 1814 establishments in Europe 1905 disestablishments in Europe Norway–Sweden relations Personal unions