Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden have parallel histories in a lot of areas. Scandinavia became the very first settling areas for the Indo-European tribes in Europe. In fact, they were there for so long it's were the term "Nordic" came from. Norway contains some of the oldest White settlement sites in Scandinavia dating from 14,000 BC. Archaeology shows that they came from northern Germany, Finland or Russia and settled along the coastline.
Burial Mound in Karmoy
Rock carvings at Alta
Like the previously mentioned countries, most of Norway's pre-history is that of hunters and gathers. The transition to agriculture started approximately 5000 to 6000 years ago in the area around Oslofjord. By the Bronze Age (1500 - 500 BC) it is the farmers' cultural relics that dominate the archaeological finds, particularly in south Norway. Finds from this same period in north Norway show that the people were hunters. At many locations in far north Finnmark there were sizeable settlements of hunters, clear proof of seasonable cooperation between many people.
From the Roman Age ( 0 -400 A.D.) grave finds show that there were links with the civilized countries to the south. Utensils of bronze, and glass were discovered, as well as weapons. The art of writing, in the form of runic letters also became known in the Nordic lands at this time.
The migrations of 400 to 550 A.D. were a restless period of continental Europe's history, and relics found in Norway indicate that the same conditions prevailed there too. The existence of farms in marginal areas indicates that settlement had reached saturation point. Pollen analyses reveal that at this time the coastal areas to the west were deforested. The troubled times led tribes to establish defense systems such as forts, and on the eastern banks of Norway's largest lake, Mjøsa, the remains of these are evident over a stretch of 50 km.
The Vikings, known as Norsemen in Norway, ends pre-History in Norway. There were still no written sources of knowledge, and what is known about this period is largely based on archaeological remains. Nevertheless, the Sagas shed some light on this age. Although they were written down later, the Sagas were based on word of mouth tales passed down from one generation to the next. In synthesis they reveal that the Viking age must without comparison have been the richest of all the prehistoric periods in the north.
By the year 700 AD there were 29 separate tribal kingdoms. With the proximity of the sea this encouraged sailing and around 750 AD the Vikings emerged from Norway and spread out all over Northern Europe, raiding and settling Ireland, Britain, Iceland and the Orkney, Faroe, and Shetland islands. They then discovered Greenland and North America.
Oseberg Viking Ship
Viking Ship Museum, Oslo, Norway
fortified Viking town, Aros (now Aarhus, Denmark)
Bands of Vikings sailed up the rivers into what became Russia. Others settled in France, where they became known as the Normans, from 'Norse-man." The period from 800 until 1066 is known as the Viking age in Norway. Norwegian Vikings colonized Shetland, Orkney, the Faroe Islands and Iceland. From Iceland Greenland was colonized and voyages to North America were made.
The Norwegian Vikings came mostly from the south and west of the country, where the land had been utilized to the maximum it could tolerate. In southeast and north Norway, on the other hand, settlement based on agriculture and other activities spread to previously uninhabited areas, particularly in the mountains and valleys.
For their many expeditions the Vikings needed fast and seaworthy ships, and men with the skill to navigate them over open seas. The fact that these hardy men repeatedly voyaged to America and back is evidence enough of their mastery of the longships. The Sagas relate that it was Leif Eriksson who discovered "Wineland the Good" in the year 1001, but present day scholars claim that other Vikings had reached America before him. The Viking Age finally culminated in 1066 when the Norwegian King Harald Hardruler and his men were defeated at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in England.
Egypt Invaded by the North Sea Peoples - 1200 BC
Were These Vikings?
2 Jan 2008
Egypt Invaded by the North Sea Peoples 1200 BC
Again and again, as we dig into the history of Norther Europeans, (Nordic and Germanic,) we find cover ups and mis-information.
In 570 BC, Solon, one of the wisest men of Athens, brought back from Egypt an ancient Egyptian temple inscriptions and papyrus texts.
Solon had resided in Egypt for ten years. During his stay, he became very interested in the story that the Egyptian priests told, called the Atlantis Narrative.
It told of the heroic stand Athens had made against the armies of Atlantis, which was situated in the North Sea, (Scandinavia and Germany. )
The Egyptian priests told Solon the story which he then copied down. They also showed him the hieroglyphic writings and temple carvings which in turn showed the War of the North Sea Peoples.
The epic fight between Atlantis (North Sea Peoples) and Athens was passed down in Critias, the elder, Socrates and finally Plato. Plato wrote about Atlantis in his dialogues, Timaeus and Critias.
Were the North Sea Peoples, the ones known as the Atlanteans in 1200 BC?
The texts and temple carvings say "yes!"
Why do we not know about this today? There is a good explanation. They were all translated by modern scholars to mask the true identity of the North Sea Peoples of 1200 BC.
The capital city of Atlantis (home of the North Sea people) lay on an island, in the estuary of great rivers. It had three harbors and was swallowed up by the sea and vanished.
The North Sea peoples (Atlanteans) were notable seafarers with a fleet of 1200 war ships.
They invaded and conquered all the Greek states except Athens.
The story of the invasion of the North Sea Peoples told Solon by the Egyptian priests states that they were repulsed from conquering Egypt by King Ramses III (1200 -1168).
During the 'Dark Ages' after 1200 BC, there was no writing in Greece. There was only the Egyptian priests recorded history.
The Aegean culture was destroyed and mixed with the North Sea People.
The North Sea People broke like a hurricane on the Mediterranean Lands using their iron weapons.
The Ancient Egyptian Inscriptions and papyrus texts (1220 BC) tell of the invasions of the North Sea People.
The Palace-Temple of Ramses III, at Medinet Habu shows the mural reliefs.
On the walls of the palace and the Temple of Ramses III (1200 BC) are his achievements in battle.
American Egyptologists J.H. Breasted, W.F. Edgerton and J. Wilson wrote 12 volumes on the mural reliefs of Ramses III.
On the walls of the ancient temple, you can see the hordes of the North in battle with Ramses Sherdan Mercenaries. It depicts the first great battle on salt water.
When you study the reliefs, you will see that the armour, clothing, weapons and equipment are those of the Northern People.
The German Egyptologist F. Bilabel (1927) called these documents, "texts of the greatest historical value!"
Why were these findings hidden away? Why do we not hear anything about them today?
In addition to the Medinet Habu Texts and murals there is a report on the reign of Ramses III, called the 'Harris Papyrus.'
The 'Go Lenischeff Papyrus' tells about he erection of a fortress to block the advance of the North Sea Peoples (1250 BC).
There is available a large body of inscriptions, mural reliefs and papyrus texts dating from 1200 BC to which the events of the Atlantean (North Sea Peoples) story has been told.
There is a mural of captive North Sea warriors in chains (Medirct Habu, 2nd courtyard)
A mural in the same place showed two North men with horned helmets on board a Northern ship.
A third, dying North Sea warrior was shown with a 'rayed crown!
In the left courtyard, a mural of Ramses III, is shown leading captured North Sea people before the God No-Amun of Thebes.
Why are there no books about this? Why are there no TV shows? Why are there no "Discovery" or "History Channel" specials about this subject? Why are there no accurate, historical representations of this in the movies such as "Gladiator", or "Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire", or "The Iliad and Odyssey"? Could it be because this subject is not politically correct, and not an idea the establishment wants to promote?
My eyes were opened to this discovery after reading "Atlantis of the North," by Jurgen Spanuth, Library of Atlantis, PO Box 1210, Pahrump, NV 89041
North Sea People with horned helmet
Medinet Habu, temple of Rameses III
Several historic works, known as the kings' sagas, were written in Norway and Iceland in the 12th and 13th centuries. These provide our main sources for the early history of Norway. And even though their accuracy for the earliest period is debated they're still a rich source for stories of an earlier time.
Harald I the Fairhair
from 14th century illustration
Around 930 AD King Harald I, called Fairhair, united the minor kingdoms of Norway. He ruled Norway from approximately 872 until 930. And although it didn't last that's who historians credit with unifying the country. It was during this time that Christianity was introduced to Norway from the British Isles. It took around two hundred years to take root in the country with missions from the churches of England, Germany and Denmark contributing to the weakening of belief in the Nordic gods. This development culminated with the three missionary kings, Håkon the Good, Olaf Trygvasson, and Olaf the Stout. The latter's martyr death, at the battle of Stiklestad in 1030 gave him saint's status. The Church had won the final victory. In 1537 the Reformation was enforced by royal decree while Norway was under Danish rule and from the early 1600s the Lutheran creed was the sole creed of Norway.
Starting in 1130 the country was in war, Civil War, which lasted until 1227. During this time the traditional secular aristocracy was replaced by a serving aristocracy. The status of the farmers changed in this period, from that of freeholder to that of tenant. However, the farmer, who usually rented his lands on a lifetime basis, enjoyed a free status that was rare indeed in most of contemporary Europe. The slaves of the Viking age also disappeared at this time.
During the reign of King Håkon V, in the 1200s, Oslo became Norway's capital. Prior to this it had been an insignificant clutch of houses in the innermost reaches of the Oslofjord. When the Black Death reached Norway, in 1350, the town allegedly housed no more than 2,000 people. At that time Bergen had a population of 7,000 and Trondheim 3,000.
Right from the 1319 to 1343 period Norway and Sweden had a joint monarchy, an institution later expanded through the arrangement of inter-Scandinavian royal marriages. Håkon VI (1340-80) -- son of the Swedish king Magnus Eriksson, and Håkon V´s daughter Ingebjørg -- was lawful heir to the throne of Norway. He married Margrete, daughter of the Danish king Valdemar Atterdag. Their son, Olav, was chosen to be Danish king on the death of Valdemar in 1375. He inherited the throne of Norway after his father in 1380, thus bringing Norway into a union with Denmark which lasted right up to 1814.
From 1450 the union with Denmark was established by treaty -- a treaty supposedly meant to ensure the power of the Norwegian Council of the Realm when a monarch was being selected, though this stipulation was never respected. The treaty was also to serve as a guarantee of the equality of the two realms. This was the theory; practice proved otherwise.
Borgund stave church
from the 12th century
In 1536 Norway ceased to be an independent kingdom. This came about at a national assembly in Copenhagen, where King Christian III had pledge to the Danish noblemen that Norway was henceforth to be subservient to the Danish Crown, like any other Danish possession. Norway's Council of the Realm was disbanded, and the Norwegian church lost its autonomy. The Danish noblemen could from then on freely take over positions as officers of the law in Norway, and could earn their incomes from Norway too.
This close political link with Denmark drew Norway unavoidably into the wars that Denmark waged with Sweden and the Baltic Sea powers. It led the Danish king to surrender Norwegian land to Sweden; Jemtland and Herjedalen in 1645, Båhuslen and the fief of Trondheim in 1658, the latter, however, was returned to Norway two years later.
An assembly of the States General at Copenhagen in 1660 acclaimed Fredrik III as heir to the throne and assigned to him the task of giving the kingdoms a new constitution. In this way the two kingdoms were subject to an absolute monarchy, a factor which affected Norway's position throughout the remaining period of the union of the two lands. Although Norway was governed from Copenhagen, the monarch was often in no position to rule.
In the late 1700s most imports were shipped through Copenhagen. The timber retailers of southeast Norway made a concerted demand for a national Norwegian bank, and at the same time supported the demands of the senior officials for a Norwegian University. These demands were denied, as the government feared any move which might give Norway a more autonomous position, and impair the strength of the union. The concept of a Norwegian University and national bank gradually came to symbolize the growing national consciousness.
The trend accelerated during the Napoleonic Wars of 1807 -1814. Denmark/Norway were allied with France, and the resulting blockade isolated Norway both from Denmark and from the market. Shipping and timber exports came to a halt, and famine and hunger spread through the land. As Norway could no longer be administered from Copenhagen, a government commission of senior officials was appointed to carry out this task. The King, Frederik VI, submitted to demands for a national university, which was consequently established in 1811. All these events formed the backdrop for what was to take place in 1814.
At the Battle of Leipzig in 1813 Napoleon suffered heavy defeat. One of his opponents on the battlefield, the kingdom of Sweden, had previously lost Finland to the czardom to the east, and now wished to have Norway as a safeguard on its western border. Sweden's allies had therefore pledged Norway to it as one of the spoils of war.
The allied victory at Leipzig was followed by diplomatic pressure in Copenhagen and a military attack on the double monarchy, by way of Holstein. In January 1814 Fredrik VI surrendered, cut the links with Napoleon, and handed Norway over to his Swedish opponents. In this way ended 434 years of union between Norway and Denmark.
However, the agreement between Denmark and its opponents contained political elements that were of major importance to Norway. The terms firmly established that Norway was again to take its place among the independent states, in union with Sweden. In a subsequent proclamation from the Swedish king Carl XIII, it was stated that Norway was to have the status of an independent state, with its own free constitution, national representation, its own government and the right to levy taxes.
The Norwegians were not immediately agreeable to accepting this state of affairs. Governing Norway at that time was the nephew of the Danish King, Prince Christian Frederik. In understanding with his uncle, the governor paved the way for a Norwegian revolt, to prevent a Swedish takeover and presumably also to secure a reunion of Denmark and Norway.
The governor's action led to the convening of an assembly whose purpose was to forge a constitution. They met at Eidsvoll, some 70 km north of Oslo and on May 17 1814 formally adopted the constitution, choosing Christian Frederik as Norwegian king. To this day, May 17 is celebrated as the Norwegian national day.
The victors of the Napoleonic Wars however, were unwilling to accept any deviation from the terms of the agreement. The Swedes exerted diplomatic pressure, and when this proved to be of no avail, they launched a military campaign of trained troops who rapidly subdued the Norwegians. In August an agreement was signed at Moss, south of Oslo, whereby the Swedes accepted the Norwegian Constitution signed at Eidsvoll, with the amendments made necessary by the Union of the two kingdoms. King Christian Frederik relinquished his power on 10 October 1814, and left the country. Norway had entered into another Union, with Sweden.
The foundation for modern industry in Norway was laid in the 1840s, with the establishment of the first textile factories and engineering workshops. Between 1850 and 1880 the size of the Norwegian merchant fleet increased drastically.
The antagonism felt towards the Swedish monarchy soon became apparent in the Union, not least because foreign policy was led in its entirety from Stockholm. The really major struggle against the Swedish monarchy was linked to the introduction of parliamentarianism, the constitutional principle that a government must have the support of the national assembly if it is to remain in power. As a condition for this, the Storting passed amendments to the constitution in 1874, 1879 and 1880, giving ministers of the crown access to the sessions of the Storting. On each occasion the King refused to sanction the proposal.
This raised the issue of whether constitutional amendments in fact needed the consent of both the King and the Storting. Both the government and the Conservative representatives asserted that they did. However, the Liberals were determined to bring matters to a head through an impeachment process. After an election campaign in 1882, conducted with a vehemence so far unparalleled, the Liberals returned 82 representatives to the Storting, as against the Conservative's 32. The government of Prime Minister Selmer was impeached, and in 1884 sentenced to partial loss of office, primarily for having advised the King not to sanction the constitutional amendments. After a period of interim Conservative government, the King saw no option but to request Liberal leader, Johan Sverdrup to become prime minister. Parliamentarianism had finally won through in Norway.
The Liberals put several of their leading issues through parliament, including the jury system, new military arrangements and a law on primary schooling.
Towards the end of the century clashes on the subject of the union intensified. A Swedish demand that the union's foreign minister must be Swedish, and the Norwegians´ demand for their own consulates sparked bitter disagreement. Swedish troops prevented the Norwegians from achieving their desires. In return, the Norwegians spent the final years of the century building up their military power.
In the end it was the consulate issue that triggered the final conflict between the two countries. On March 11, 1905, the government of Prime Minister Michelsen was formed to push the consulate issue through as a unilateral Norwegian action. On June 7 the government placed its power in the hands of the Storting. The latter, however, requested the government to continue temporarily, in accordance with the Constitution and current law "with the amendments made necessary in that the union with Sweden under one King is dissolved as the King no longer functions as a Norwegian monarch."
Thus, the Norwegian view was that the union was now dissolved. However, the Swedes demanded a referendum to clarify whether the nation as a whole was in agreement with this move. Further, Sweden demanded negotiations on the conditions for a dissolution of the union.
The referendum took place in August of 1905. 368,392 Norwegians voted to end the union, 184 were against it.
The negotiations with Sweden were held at Karlstad in August/September. The result was an agreement on a peaceful dissolution under certain conditions.
The issue of Norway's future form of government was hotly disputed. A referendum showed a large majority in favor of a monarchy rather than a republic. On 18 November 1905 the Storting chose the Danish prince Carl as King of Norway. He took the name Håkon VII, and entered his new kingdom at Oslo on 25 November, together with his English Queen Maud, the daughter of Edward VII, and the infant Crown Prince Olav, who later became King Olav V. The country's present monarch, King Harald, is the son of King Olav V, who passed away in 1991.
Coronation of King Haakon VII and Queen Maud
1814 Constitutional Assembly
During WWI Norway remained neutral.
In 1920 Norway became a member of the League of Nations, thus departing from its policy of isolation.
At the outbreak of WWII in 1939 Norway again proclaimed its neutrality. On 9 April 1940 German forces attacked Norway, which after a two-month struggle was subdued, despite some military assistance from Great Britain and France. The royal family, the government and some of the heads of the Ministry of Defense and the civil administration left for Great Britain, along with the withdrawing allied troops. During the war the Norwegian government carried out its work in exile.
L'Anse aux Meadows, located on the northern tip of Newfoundland, Canada, is the only authenticated Norse site in North America. About 1000 years ago, Norse men and woman lived and worked here. The site is operated by Parks Canada as a national park, and it is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It contains the remains of eight Norse buildings, as well as a modern reproduction of a Norse longhouse. A number of Norse artifacts were found on this site
The L'Anse aux Meadows site was most probably a ship repair station, and a waypoint on the voyage to Vínland. The site contains the remains of three Norse longhouses used to house the ships crews. (The largest of these remains is shown in the photo to the right, and is about 20 meters (65 feet) long.) The remains of the walls clearly outline the floor plan of the buildings
Leifur Eiríksson decided to mount an expedition to this new land in 995. His first landfall was rocky and desolate, and he called it Helluland. The second landfall was forested, so he called it Markland. They wintered over at their third landfall. Because grapes and vines were found during explorations of the new land, Leifur called it Vínland. He returned to Greenland in the spring with a cargo of grapes and timber
A coin found in Maine in 1957 at an important Native American archaeological site has been identified as a Norwegian coin from the 11th century
NORWEGIAN IMMIGRATION TO AMERICA
In 1821 Cleng Peerson traveled to America as an agent for pioneer emigrants. On July 4, 1825 the sailing sloop Restauration sailed from the southwestern coast of Norway and landed in New York on Oct 9, 1825 with 53 immigrants, one of them a baby girl born on the 14 week voyage.
Annual emigration commenced in 1836. By 1865 almost 80,000 Norwegians had entered the United States, mostly rural folk with strong family values.
By 1873, in the course of only eight years, 110,000 Norwegians left their homeland for what they dreamed would be a better life in a country with land. Wisconsin remained the center of Norwegian American activity up until the Civil War. After 1850 landseekers began moving into Iowa and Minnesota, and then the Dakotas by the 1870s. Soon the upper Midwest became the home for most immigrants.
Some of this information came from www.visitnorway.com and http://www.norway.org/history/ and http://www.historyworld.net/ and http://www.bergen-guide.com/347.htm