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Norway History – from 1536 to 1814

Norway History – from 1536 to 1814

In the period from 1536 to 1814 the modern state was built in Norway. Little by little the king transformed the feudal government into a royal administration, imposing on the feudatars conditions that were advantageous for the state; many small fiefdoms were reunited into large feudal dominions (later administrative districts), and free fiefdoms were transformed into fiefdoms that had to pay taxes and duties or had to make accounts. With the establishment of the hereditary monarchy, the transformation found its absolute fulfillment in Denmark and Norway, in 1660. The fiefdoms were transformed into provinces, amter, and the feudal lords became prefects (amtmenn) with a fixed salary, without military authority in the districts. The council of the Danish kingdom, which, since 1536, had also been involved in Norwegian affairs, was dissolved: the king had only powerful cabinet ministers around him, exercising absolute power himself. With the Reformation, all the ecclesiastical properties were confiscated by the crown, what served to give the state that secure economic basis which it had previously lacked; during the sec. XVII, and partly also during the XVIII, that enormous quantity of assets ended up by means of sales in the hands of private individuals and procured liquid capital for the state. At the same time ordinary state revenues increased with a series of new taxes, and customs revenues increased with ever-increasing trade. The power of the state became much greater and extended more and more into new fields. The reconstituted state defended itself externally with a strong army and a strong fleet, formed by the recruitment of peasants and citizens belonging to the lower classes, and maintained with the revenues of the kingdom.

According to topschoolsintheusa, the central administration, collegially ordered, was common to Denmark and Norway, since the admitted principle of the government was that the two kingdoms should form a unitary state, and be governed as such. The Norwegian crown council disappeared in 1536 without being formally dissolved and without any Norwegians taking a seat in the Danish one. After 1660 the colleges of government became common to both states and so did the Supreme Court, the university, the bank of issue and all the other state institutions that were gradually established. The highest officials in Norway were as a rule Danish and generally the body of officials in Norway consisted of a large number of Danes, while numerous Norwegians held offices in Denmark. The highest official in Norway from 1572 was a governor (statholder) Danish, although generally with little personal authority. When communications between Norway and Denmark were interrupted in wartime, temporary Norwegian governmental bodies were established, as Norway was always regarded as a constituted unit, a kingdom. When war broke out in 1807, Norway had its own Governing Commission, and a number of other central Norwegian bodies. All were liquidated during 1810, but as the situation became critical again in 1813, the governor Prince Christian Federico was conferred personal power of government.

Also in this period of the 16th-18th centuries, the Norwegian national economy was rebuilt on a new base and had a great development. The woods were better exploited with the use of the hydraulic saw (circa 1520) and the export of timber became a major source of Norwegian income. A series of mines and iron foundries were opened from the beginning of the century. XVI, of silver and copper from about 1620 (Kongsberg, Røros). With the use of new tools, deep sea fishing brought rich profits. Cultivation of the land also progressed, albeit more slowly. The cultivation system remained almost the same, with extensive cultivation, despite the introduction of new plants (the potato from about 1750, herbs and fruit), but the colonization of new lands increased, especially following the

The population in 1570 was about 400,000, about 730,000 in 1769, about 900,000 in 1801. The development of new industries and trade considerably increased internal and foreign exchanges. Norwegian shipping was reorganized so that ships flying the national flag first became masters of the ever-increasing national imports and exports (1600-1750) and later that they were also used on a large scale for maritime traffic between foreign nations. From 1793 to 1807 Norway enjoyed extraordinary prosperity. Most of the new economy was based on the concentration of capital, and the bourgeois of the cities made the greatest profit. Cities and bourgeois were favored by the authorities of the state with privileges and monopolies. All commercial legislation until 1770 was marked by mercantilism, until the liberal idea slowly began to make its way. A noticeable change in economic policy is signaled by the customs laws of 1796.

After 1660 the nobility ceases to exist, and the bourgeoisie rises to domination as a result of its wealth and its relations with foreign countries. The bourgeoisie represented European culture in Norway, and most of the officials came from the bourgeoisie. The peasants were greatly exploited: they were forced, for example, to lend their work in the mines at a wage imposed by the government; moreover, the freedom of industry and commerce was in many ways restricted in favor of the cities and the bourgeoisie. Many peasants, being indebted to the bourgeois, found themselves in a state of dependence. Nevertheless, the peasants in Norway enjoyed much greater freedom in comparison with the bourgeoisie and officials than in any other country, since for the most part they owned the farms they cultivated.

The relatively secure economic position of the peasants gave them a need for independence which later constituted a force in the country’s history. This period also marks great progress for the farmers of Norway.

As the Norwegians gained greater wealth and independence, discontent grew over Norway’s subordinate position vis-à-vis Denmark. The bourgeoisie, in which the national movement had its strongest roots, demanded for Norway its own colleges of government, its own university, its own bank of issue, its own fleet; the peasants asked for Norwegian officials who knew the conditions of the country. There was also an economic contrast between Denmark and Norway, since Norway’s foreign trade was essentially linked to England, while that of Denmark to Germany, France and North America.

In 1807 this contrast, fatal to Norwegian trade, gave rise to the need for a separate Norwegian foreign policy.

The government resisted Norwegian aspirations, thinking they were against the unitary state. However, a series of restrictions on industries and trade was lifted, the Danish monopoly on the import of wheat in southern Norway was lifted; Norway finally had a university (Cristiania, 1811), but, all in all, the government continued the unitary policy until 1814. A real action against this policy, with the aim of bringing about the end of the union, was taken after the 1807 under the leadership of Count Herman Wedel Jalsberg. The government, to reconcile the Norwegians, made a generally milder tax policy for the people than was the one followed in Denmark. Especially after 1770 the taxes were generally not very burdensome in comparison with the possibilities of payment.

Norway History - from 1536 to 1814

Travel to Norway

Travel to Norway

Area: 385,207 sq km
Population: 5,328,212 (1 January 2019)
Population density: 14 E / km²
Government: hereditary monarchy
system of government: constitutional monarchy
Neighboring countries: Sweden, Finland, Russia
state capital: Oslo
Language: Norwegian
Regional official languages: Sami, Finnish
82 % Lutheran State Church,
3.7% other Protestants,
1.6% Muslims,
1.1% Catholics,
0.2% Jehovah’s Witnesses,
0.2% Buddhists
Currency: Norwegian krone (NOK)
1 NOK = 100 Øre
Exchange rates:
1 EUR = 10.32 NOK
1 NOK = 0.097 EUR
1 CHF = 9.50 NOK
1 NOK = 0.105 CHF
(rate from 13.07.2021)
Telephone area code: +47
Time zone: UTC + 1 CET
UTC + 2 CEST (March to Oct)

In 2020, 923 Germans officially emigrated to Norway and 694 came back to their homeland. Within the 10 years from 2010 to 2019, 12,464 Germans officially emigrated to Norway and 8,383 moved back to Germany. This Scandinavian country landed on the 7th place on the satisfaction list of all emigration destinations.

Around 700,000 immigrants currently live in Norway and are very welcome here. Many of the 25,287 (in 2020) Germans live especially in the larger cities (Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger) and the metropolitan areas (in and around Fredrikstad and Sarpsborg as well as in and around Drammen and Øvre Eiker). The most densely populated (about 80 percent of the only 5.3 million residents) is the south of the country, as it offers more connections to other countries on the European continent and a milder climate than the rest of the country.

The Scandinavian Mountains, which run parallel to the Atlantic coast from southwest to northeast, divide Norway into two climate zones. The 2,650 km long coastal region has a maritime climate with a lot of precipitation and relatively mild temperatures. The sea is largely ice-free even in winter, as the passing North Atlantic current is quite warm. On the east side of the mountains, the continental climate results in less precipitation, colder winters and warmer summers.

The many narrow and deep bays (fjords) result in an approximately 25,000 km long coastline. In addition, around 150,000 islands surround the country. Large parts of the coast are rocky. There is only a little sandy beach in sheltered places. The landscape of Norway is characterized by the Scandinavian mountains with mountain ranges and barren plateaus. The highest point is Galdhøpiggen at 2,469 meters.

Over 40,000 lakes and far more moors and wetlands in extensive forest areas as well as a lot of untouched nature offer many animals and plants enough living space. Over 1,300 species of seed plants and ferns, 12,000 species of lichen, over 800 species of moss and around 10,000 species of mushrooms live here. Moose, musk ox, arctic fox, reindeer and wolverine are just as indigenous as many bird species.

What makes Norway so popular

According to allcitycodes, Norway is known as a rough country, but for many it is a natural paradise between the fjords, the Arctic Circle and the North Sea. It attracts with very well-paid jobs and a very high standard of living, where you can even put up with the higher prices. A first-class level of education, good social services and excellent medical care ensure stability with the good economy. And besides work, there is still enough serenity, being together with the family and free time in nature.

Family is very important in Norway. There are hardly any couples without children. Several children are also not uncommon. Family-friendly working hours and understanding employers make such a life possible. The school system is also very good, so that the little ones don’t lack anything.

School attendance is compulsory up to the age of 16. Many children then go on to school and attend the preparatory school branch, the upper level of the gymnasium. Alternatively, there is the preparatory school branch, comparable to an apprenticeship and vocational school. You learn in Norwegian. The country offers free language lessons for immigrant children. Each municipality must also provide enough places for foreign children. Most of the studies are in English. Norwegian students are entitled to a student loan for a living. There are also many options for adult education.

There are no big metropolises. Even the largest cities do not have many residents, but they spread a special charm with their branched alleys and small huts or stately wooden houses as well as with their tranquil shops and cafés. The residents spend a lot of time outdoors, hiking or on the terraces. Every sunlight is used. If you drive into the country, you can hike for hours in many places without seeing a person.

As a north Germanic people, the Norwegians are closely related to the Germans. 40% of the words in Norwegian, including many of the most common words, are of Low German origin. This makes it easy to learn Norwegian as a German speaker. German is also taught as a foreign language in schools in many places. Another important foreign language here is English.

Popular cities

You can feel the international flair most clearly in the Oslo conurbation (capital) with its almost 1 million residents. Around 30% of all residents are foreigners. There is the largest range of jobs and leisure opportunities here. Due to the largest university in Norway, many students and young people also live here.

Also Bergen has a university. Almost 300,000 people live in this second largest city in Norway. Bergen is particularly known for its port, from which many cruise ships leave for the Hurtigruten. The small, colorful houses with many shops and souvenir shops running along the quay are unmistakable. The houses have been a World Heritage Site since 1979.

Stavanger, with around 130,000 residents, is often the starting point for one of the many ski areas. Another attraction for tourists is the Pulpit Rock, a large overhanging rock from which you can dangle your legs hundreds of meters deep in the air. Stavanger is also known for its cathedral, the country’s longest sandy beach and the annual jazz festival. As the former European Capital of Culture, Stavanger has a lot to offer culturally.

Trondheim is a city with a good 190,000 residents on the Trondheimer Fjord in central Norway. Many of the approximately 30,000 students are enrolled at the NTNU Technical University. Trondheim is the center for retail in the northern region and an important transport hub where the Hurtigruten ships also dock. The rich cultural offer includes the symphony orchestra, theaters and museums as well as jazz.

General travel regulations (up to the corona pandemic)

EU residents do not need a residence permit or work permit for Norway. You can take up a job or study. For a longer stay, it is advisable to enter the country with a passport, as the identity card is not recognized by many Norwegian authorities.

Travel to Norway