The New International Encyclopædia/Norway

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NOR'WAY (AS. Norwæg, Norþweg, Icel. Noregr, Norvegr, Norw., Dan., Swed. Norge, ML. Norregia, Northwagia, North Way). A long, narrow coast country of Europe on the North Atlantic, constituting with Sweden the Scandinavian Peninsula. The length of the coast around the outer belt of rocks is 1700 miles, the entire shore line, including the fiords and the large islands, being about 12,000 miles, long enough to stretch half around the globe. The country extends from latitude 57° 58' to 71° 11' N. Its width in the south is about 250 miles, in the northern half about 60 miles, and in Finmarken, the extreme north, a little greater. The area is 124,129 square miles — a little more than that of New Mexico. The northern coast is washed by the Arctic Ocean; Norwegian sealers sail every year as far north as it is open. On the south the Skagerrak, connecting the North Sea with the Cattegat, separates Norway from Jutland. Toward the east Norway has a land frontier 1500 miles long, being bordered by the Russian Government of Archangel for about 50 miles, by Finland for nearly 500 miles, and by Sweden for 950 miles. The eastern boundary extends most of the way in the midst of a belt of desolate plateau land through which the boundary with Russia was defined only in 1826 and with Sweden in 1751. At three places, at the head of the Gulf of Bothnia, the Trondhjem depression, and farther south, complete land connections have been made by means of railroads across the peninsula. Two-thirds of the people live in the south.

Topography. The coasts are remarkable as a region of fiords. The shore line is everywhere broken by deep incisions of the sea into the rocky cliffs. Traces of the glacial period are found all over the land, and the fiords and islands fronting them are ascribed to the work of glaciers. Norway as a whole is a rugged plateau, with deep-cut valleys, the whole surface greatly denuded, peaks and groups of peaks rising, here and there, above the general level of the more plain-like region of the east. In the west, near the sea, are very ancient mountains worn down and rounded by denudation, and chiefly composed of hard igneous rocks that have better withstood the destructive forces which leveled the eastern districts to a plain.

In the southeast and the middle north (mainly north of Trondhjem) is the woodland rising to an average height of from 300 to 1500 feet, with forest-clad hillsides from which Norway's lumber is derived. The highland begins in the southwest with a width of 60 miles, and a plateau height which soon reaches 3000 feet, merging finally into the wide waste through which the eastern boundary passes. In the extreme west geographers distinguish three mountain ranges — the Langfjeld in the south, the Dovrefjeld between the northern and southern districts, and the Kjölen between Norway and Sweden farther north.

Hydrography. The height axis is not far from the west coast, and the western rivers therefore are short, although their volume of water is large on account of the heavy rainfall. The eastern rivers flow along fairly regular parallel valleys, which are open and flat in the mountains, but are cut deep through the plateau. A few of the eastern fluvial basins are large, that of the Glommen being 16,000 square miles, that of the Drammen 6600 square miles, and that of the Skien 4250 square miles, but the volume of water is comparatively small on account of the smaller rainfall. The slope is great and the rivers are filled with falls and rapids, which impart great beauty, but prevent navigation. The mountain highland and woodland are dotted with an enormous number of lakes, most of them narrow and long, due to the intense action of glaciers. It is supposed that in the great glacial period the inland ice must have extended even above the highest peaks. Most of the larger lakes are found in the long valleys — the largest of them, Mjösen (140 square miles, 60 miles long, 1500 feet deep), Randsfjord. Spirilen, Kröderen, and others, lying at a height of about 400 feet above the sea just outside the border of the highland in the east country.

Climate. Norway reaches 300 miles into the Arctic zone, and nearly a third of the country is in the domain of the midnight sun and winter darkness. The summer day is long and bright, but the winter day is short and dark. At Christiania, in the far south, the sun is above the horizon on the shortest day less than six hours. The west coast is warmer than the interior because it has the full effect of the westerly winds, whose temperature is modified by blowing from the temperate waters of the Atlantic. The fiords therefore do not freeze, but are navigable the year around. The land, rising from the coast into mountain tops and plateaus, in places rises into regions of perpetual snow where glaciers descend into the valleys. The line of perpetual snow, at the parallel of 62° N., is between 4500 and 5000 feet above the sea; at 66° 30' the snow line falls to 3900 feet, and at 70° to about 3000 feet.

The climate varies in different parts of the country. Southeast Norway, limited on the north by the Dovrefjeld, has a mean annual temperature varying from 44° to 31° F. July is the warmest month, with a mean temperature of 61° at Christiania. The winter is most severe in the heart of the country. At Christiania the mean winter temperature is 25°. The temperature of West Norway is fairly uniform, the mean annual temperature being highest (44° to 45°) at the extreme western ends of the land. The annual rainfall is greatest along the western coast, ranging from 50 to over 80 inches. On the southeast coast, near Grimstad, it is 48 inches, while on the Dovrefjeld it is only 12 inches. Snow is less frequent in the west than in the east on account of the milder winter temperature. The country north of the Dovrefjeld is colder than in the south, but the climate of the coast region is also modified by oceanic influences. The most varied shades of continental and maritime climates are thus represented in Norway. The inland districts of Southeast Norway and Finmarken, with their severe winters and relatively high summer temperature, their gentle breezes and small rainfall, are examples of typical inland climate. The whole coast line, with mild winters, cool summers, abundant rainfall, and unsettled weather, is an example of typical maritime climate. On the whole, the climatic conditions are favorable to the development of a strong, healthy, energetic people.

Flora. The richest vegetation is found in the southeast around Christiania Fiord and the large lakes. Considering its northerly position, Norway has a luxuriant vegetation. About 1500 species of phanerogams alone grow wild. In the southeast conifers form thick forests from sea-level to 3000 feet. Up to about 1000 feet above the sea a luxuriant growth of oak, ash, lime, maple, elm, and lowland birch is found, secondary to the conifers, but giving its characteristic stamp to the lowland flora. Above the limit of conifers is the birch zone, reaching 3500 feet above the sea, where the true mountain plants begin to be prominent. Above the birch limit the willow and the lichen zones are distinguished. In the willow zone there are no trees — only a dense growth of low bushes. Reindeer moss predominates in the lichen zone. The extreme coast region is destitute of forest, and also of some continental plants found inland, but is especially rich in mosses. The arable soil is found in narrow strips of deep valleys and around fiords and lakes. Large continuous tracts fit for cultivation do not exist, and only 1-140th of the total surface is in grain fields.

Fauna. The animal life is that of the rest of North Europe, with relics, chiefly in the north, of Arctic elements such as the mountain or Arctic fox, the ptarmigan, the snow bunting, and various insects. With its long coast line Norway is richer in species of fish than most northern lands, more than 200 species being found. There are a number of Arctic contributions, including the Greenland shark, which is fished for its liver. Very numerous are fishes which belong to the north or general European fauna, including most of the food fishes, such as cod, haddock, coalfish, pollack, torsk, herring, sprat, and mackerel. The salmon is caught along the coast and in the rivers, where it comes to spawn. Trout and red char are the most widely distributed fresh-water fish. Of the ten species of reptiles and amphibia, the lizard and the frog are found everywhere, but the viper has its northern limit at the Polar circle. The birds number 280 species, of which 190 breed in the country. Most of them are birds of passage, as the falcon, geese, and ducks. The mild climate of the south and west coasts induces the starling, blackbird, woodcock, duck, swan, etc., to winter there. Along the west and northern coasts are numerous colonies of swimming birds. The birds of the lowlands are similar to those of Europe in general. There are 67 mammals. The hedgehog is found in the south, the lynx in unfrequented forests, and the glutton, a great enemy of the reindeer, among the mountains of the north, where the reindeer grazes. Wolves, formerly numerous, have nearly disappeared, except in North Norway. Bears are gradually disappearing, and the commonest beast of prey is the fox among the mountains. The common seal and the gray seal breed on the Atlantic islands, and all the Arctic seals, and even the walrus, sometimes appear on the north coast. The lemming lives in the mountain wastes and sometimes overruns the lowlands, damaging crops. A few beavers remain, and the mountain hare, which turns white in winter, is found all over the country. The ruminants are represented only by the red deer, the elk. and the reindeer among wild animals. The wild reindeer is decreasing on account of over-hunting, but many herds of tame reindeer are kept in the north and even among the mountain wastes of the south that lie too high for general grazing.

Geology and Mining. Archæan rocks have a wide extension in Norway, particularly through the mountain regions of the west and in the districts from Lake Mjösen southward. Gneiss and granitic gneiss are the prevailing rocks in these regions. During Cambrian and Silurian time the open sea extended over the greater part of Norway, and on its bottom lime, mud, sand, and gravel were laid down, forming a series of strata rich in fossils and very thick. Cambrian and Silurian rocks are thus widely represented, particularly east of the mountains and north of Lake Mjösen, and also among the northern mountains behind the coastal areas of igneous rocks. A belt of Post-Silurian and Cambrian rocks extends from Lake Mjösen southward through the Christiania region to the south coast, forming the subsoil of that beautiful and undulating country. Over large areas of the ancient rocks are spread the deposits of the Ice Age to no great depth. Raised beaches along the outer parts of many fiords are proof of the former lower position of the land. The mining industry is not important, for Norwegian ores are not rich nor large in extent. The Kongsberg silver mines, owned by the State, yielded 898 tons of silver between 1624 and 1898. The Röros copper mines, owned by a joint stock company, yielded 73,000 tons of copper between 1647 and 1897. Iron ores occur in many places, but little is mined, and coal does not occur except on the remote island of Andö. At the end of 1000 there were about 40 mining establishments, employing 3017 workpeople, and 6 smelters, with 302 laborers. The chief mineral products of 1900 were silver, worth $88,440; copper ore, $670,487; pyrites, $630,872; and iron ore, $35,644. Fine marble, building stone, roofing slate, soapstone, and millstones are produced in large quantities and are important exports.


NIE 1905 Norway - Norway and Sweden.jpg
COPYRIGHT, 1905, DODD, MEAD & CO.


Fisheries. Fishing is among the oldest of the country's industries. The value of the large fisheries has averaged for 31 years $5,796,400 a year. This does not include the catch (daily fishing, as the Norwegians call it) which supplies the wants of the home population. The value of all the fisheries, including the Arctic fisheries and various extra sources of profit, such as oil and fish guano, is about $13,400,000 a year. The cod is the largest fishery, the number of persons engaged in it in 1900 being 82,098, and the value of the catch $3,636,492, The largest centre of the industry is the Lofoten Islands, where, in the first few months of the year, about 40,000 men are engaged in fishing or in preparing the catch for market. The average per man for the whole of the fishing is from 900 to 1000 cod. The fish are sold partly to traders on the islands who have warehouses with salting and storing rooms, and partly to merchant vessels, which carry their purchases to other ports. The herring fisheries, next to the cod in importance, are carried on all along the coast, the summer fisheries employing over 20,000 men, and the value of the product being usually over $2,400,000. The catch in recent years has not been so large as formerly, but is now improving. The mackerel is rare north of Trondhjem Fiord, and is fished chiefly in the Skagerrak and the fiords off it. The industry in 1900 employed 2741 men, the product being worth $152,402. The salmon, sea trout, lobsters, and oysters (small yield) also figure in the total product of the large fisheries, the total value in 1899 having been $6,510,256. The mackerel is also caught in the North Sea, and the Arctic fisheries engage every season about 2000 men who sail over the Arctic Sea from Greenland and Jan Mayen Island in the west to Spitzbergen and Finmarken in the east, for sealskins and oil, whale oil, and bearskins.

Agriculture. Of the total area, 59 per cent. is bare mountain, 21 per cent. woodland, and only 10 per cent. is in pastures, hay lands, and fields. In the southeast cultivated plants and fruits ripen in the open air, but in the north and on the higher tracts there is little or no agriculture. Crop and cattle raising are usually carried on together. Oats is the chief grain, but none of the cereals suffices for the needs of the country. Barley and rye are grown much farther north than oats, but wheat is rarely found north of the Trondhjem Fiord. The area annually sown to wheat is about 10,000 acres, with a yield of about 255,000 bushels. Rye is the great bread cereal, its cultivation extending to the 70th parallel, the area annually sown being about 34,000 acres, and the yield about 900,000 bushels. Among root crops only potatoes are cultivated to a large extent, and they are one of the chief foods. The average production is about 23,000,000 bushels. The yield of the different kinds of grain is large compared with that of most European countries, due to careful cultivation and heavy manuring.

Live Stock. Norway has only about one-third of the cattle of Scandinavia, but the pastures give adequate grazing for most of the sheep. In 1900 there were in the country 172,999 horses, 950,201 cattle, 998,819 sheep, 214,594 goats, 165,348 swine, and 93,576 reindeer.

Of the two types of horses, the small fiord horse is an excellent working animal in the mountain districts, where good roads are lacking. The larger Gudbrandsdal is quick and strong as a farm and carriage horse. The cattle of several different breeds are small, but good milkers. They often seek their food over large areas of sparse pastures. Attempts to improve them by an admixture of foreign blood have not been very successful. Most of the butter and cheese is made in coöperative dairies with the best equipment, and brings the highest price in the British market. Norwegian sheep are small, slender, and fine wooled. They have been crossed with foreign breeds to their advantage. The gross return of the live stock industry annually averages about $37,520,000, which, added to the average return of $18,760,000 a year from the farm crops, gives a gross income from Norwegian husbandry of over $56,000,000 on an average. The buildings on Norwegian farms are comparatively expensive on account of the severity of the winter. Domestic animals require warm barns, and everything, including hay, must be housed. The number of farms in 1890 was 236,286.

Forest Industries. Lumbering has always been one of the greatest industries. The large forests lie far from the inhabited districts as a rule, and the timber-cutters and log-drivers live in huts, most of them being strong and hardy single men. Three-fourths of the forests are pine lands, but the Norway pines and spruces convenient to Christiania and other shipping points have been depleted in many places so that the more northern forests in Sweden are now the larger source of Scandinavian lumber. Norway's forest products, however, form about one-third of the country's total exports. The value of the unwrought or partly wrought timber exported in 1901 was $9,539,888, and of wrought timber (mostly wood pulp) $6,436,448.

Other Indistries. About 50,000 persons are engaged in the manufacturing and other industries outside of those mentioned above. The production of lumber and wooden ware is the oldest and largest branch, employing in 1895 12,073 work people. There are many saw and planing mills, chiefly along the rivers. The most important machine shops are in Christiania. Iron ships are built and there are carriage and car works. In machine production Norway has yet much to learn from other countries. The textile industries, spinning and weaving mills, jersey factories and roperies, employ about 9000 persons, and number 64 establishments, most of them situated in the outskirts of the towns. Paper-making derives its importance from the large resources of wood pulp. Small tanneries and flour mills are scattered all over the country. Breweries, tobacco and tinning works, are chiefly in the larger towns, and particularly in Christiania. Potteries, china factories, iron foundries, nail-rolling and wire mills, have a considerable output. Only about 2000 persons are employed in making articles of attire. As the country is deficient in industrial development, the imports of manufactures are large.

Commerce. The growth and average annual amount of Norway's trade may be seen from the following table:


 1881-85   1891-95  1901




Imports  $40,500,000   $59,500,000   $76,900,000
Exports   28,500,000  35,000,000  41,400,000

The aggregate foreign commerce since the middle of the nineteenth century has more than quadrupled. The imports largely exceed the exports, but this difference is covered to a great extent by the profits from the shipping trade, as Norway is a great carrier of freight for foreign countries. Articles of food and drink are the largest imports. Nearly half the value of the imports is represented by cereals, rye being the chief item, with barley, wheat flour, rye flour, and wheat following, Groceries, particularly sugar and coffee, are large imports. Bacon and other meats are brought chiefly from the United States. Cotton and woolen goods and yam are the chief textile purchases. Among the imports of raw material are coal, hides and skins, iron and steel, cotton, wool and hemp. The country buys over 1,250,000 tons of coal every year. Oils, particularly kerosene, hempseed, and linseed, amount to about $1,500,000 a year. Steam-engines, locomotives, metal goods, and vessels are also large imports. Timber and fishery products are the most important exports. About one-fourth of the timber is sent abroad as deals and boards. Some 350,000 tons of wood pulp are annually sold. The increased sales of the products of agriculture and cattle-raising, which have quadrupled since 1871-75, are especially due to exports of butter and condensed milk. Among other important exports are packing paper, ships, ice, dressed stone, iron and steel nails, and metal and ores. The United Kingdom and Germany are most important in Norwegian commerce, the United Kingdom commanding about one-third and Germany one-fourth of the entire trade, while Sweden has less than a tenth. The sales to the United States are very small, as the latter country produces in great abundance most of the export commodities of Norway; but Norway buys from this country cotton, wheat, provisions, tools, machinery, fertilizers, locomotives, and leather goods to the value of several million dollars a year. The foreign commerce is carried on chiefly through the ports of Christiania, Bergen, and Trondhjem, the timber-trading towns of Fredrikstad and Drammen being also especially important. Christiansand is widely known for its export of salted and dried fish.

Transportation and Communications. The Norwegians are a race of sailors. Their merchant marine is the fourth largest in the world, and in proportion to population it heads the list. While the natural commerce is comparatively small, Norwegian vessels and sailors are conspicuous in the sea carriage of freight for foreign nations. A considerable number of their vessels are engaged in the fruit trade between the United States and Latin America. In 1902 the mercantile marine included 5445 sailing vessels (935,947 tons) and 1223 steamers (531,142 tons), or a total of 6668 vessels with a tonnage of l,467,089. The total length of railroads in 1901 was 1308 miles, of which the State railroads had a mileage of 1168.

Banks. The right to issue paper money is reserved to the Bank of Norway (Norges Bank), a joint stock bank owned in part by the State. The bank has charge of the money transactions of the State, and does business as a loan, circulation, discount, and deposit institution. The head office is at Christiania, and it has twelve branch offices in the most important towns. The balance sheets for 1901 showed total assets of $26,578,926. The Mortgage Bank of the Kingdom of Norway, “Kongeriget Norges Hypothekbank,” makes loans on real estate. The capital of the bank is partly supplied by the State, and amounted in 1901 to $4,690,000; the loans on mortgage at the end of 1901, $36,159,560, of which about one-fourth had been granted on town and three-fourths on country property; the total amount of bonds issued was $34,062,671. There were 78 private joint stock banks, with a paid up capital of $11,373,492. The number of chartered savings banks, all controlled by the Ministry of Finance, was 421, with 695,524 depositors and $86,292,423 deposits.

Government. Norway, though united to Sweden since 1815, under the same King, retains its own Government with a separate Ministry and Legislature. The law of succession to the crown is the same in both countries, and commissioners appointed by the two Parliaments regulate the questions touching the transmission of the crown. Affairs common to the two governments are attended to by a Council of State composed of both Swedes and Norwegians. The form of government in Norway is fixed by the Constitution or fundamental law of May 17, 1814, which has undergone several subsequent modifications. The Norwegian State is a constitutional monarchy with the parliamentary or responsible system of government. The legislative power is vested in a Parliament or Storthing, which, upon assembling, divides itself for legislative purposes into two chambers, the Odelsthing and the Lagthing. The former consists of three-fourths of the whole number of members chosen to the Parliament. The members include representatives from the cities and representatives from the country, all chosen for a period of three years and renewed integrally. All male citizens twenty-five years of age who have resided in the State for a period of five years are qualified to vote for members of the Storthing unless disqualified for special causes. To be eligible to membership in the Storthing one must be a male citizen thirty years of age, and must have resided in Norway for a period of ten years. Certain high State functionaries are disqualified. The elections are indirect and in the second degree. A certain number of primary electors in the country choose one secondary elector; the secondary electors then assemble in the chief towns of the electoral district and choose a certain number from their own body to serve as representatives in the Storthing. The Storthing meets annually, but cannot remain in session for a longer period than three months without the authorization of the King. The King may call extraordinary sessions of the Storthing and dissolve it, but he does not have power to dissolve the ordinary sessions and order new elections. The members receive a compensation of about $3 per day during the session.

After the separation of the Storthing into two chambers, each meets separately, chooses its own officers, and is the judge of the election and qualifications of its members. Bills are first presented to the Odelsthing by its own members or by the Government, and after passage are sent to the Lagthing, which must either accept or reject them in toto. In case of a deadlock between the two chambers they come together in united session and deliberate and vote as a single assembly. The chief powers of the Storthing are to enact laws, impose taxes, raise loans, supervise the finances, vote appropriations, and approve treaties concluded with foreign powers. The Lagthing has the exclusive right of choosing the justices of the High Court, while to the Odelsthing belongs the right to inspect the public accounts and to prefer impeachments against public officials, including members of the Storthing. The members of the Lagthing, together with the justices of the Supreme Court, form a court (Rigsret) for the trial of ministers, members of the Storthing, and justices of the Supreme Court. To the King belongs the right of sanctioning laws passed by the Storthing. If, however, he withholds his sanction and the law is passed a third time by the Storthing, it becomes valid without the royal approval. The King is commander of the army and navy, may declare defensive war, make treaties, levy troops, etc. He is declared to be inviolable and irresponsible. He exercises his authority through a Council of State composed of two Ministers and at least seven Councilors, appointed by himself from among Norwegians. One of the Ministers, together with two of the Councilors (who change annually), form a “delegation,” which resides permanently at Stockholm near the King. The King can take no official action without consulting the Council of State or that part of the Norwegian Government which has its seat at Christiania. The Ministers and Councilors preside over the departments of administration and have access to the Storthing, where they are allowed to take part in the deliberations, but with no right to vote. The departments are as follows: Worship and Education; Justice; Interior; Public Works; Finance and Customs; Defense; Public Accounts.

The judicial system consists in the first place of a Supreme Court (Höiesteret) , composed of a president and at least six other justices, elected by the Lagthing, and having a territorial jurisdiction embracing the whole Kingdom. There are also three Superior Courts (Steftesverretter), each consisting of a bench of three justices, one of whom bears the title of Chief Justice. For the administration of civil justice Norway is divided into 111 districts, each with an inferior court. There is also a court of mediation, so called, in each town and district, composed of two laymen popularly elected and before whom, as a rule, civil cases must first be brought. According to the new code of criminal procedure, adopted in 1887, all criminal cases must be tried before a jury court (Lagmandsret) consisting of three judges and ten jurors, or before the Meddomsret, a tribunal consisting of one professional judge and two lay assistants, summoned for each case. The former has jurisdiction of the more important offenses, while the latter is a court of first instance for the trial of misdemeanors. For the purposes of local government, Norway is divided into 20 districts, in each of which is an executive officer called an amtmana. These districts embrace the two cities of Christiania and Bergen and 18 counties (aemter). Smaller administrative divisions are the communes and wards. Each commune has a representative assembly (its size varying according to the population of the commune), and a smaller council, chosen by the representatives from their own body. They also elect triennially a chairman. All the chairmen of an amt form with the amtmana a sort of county diet, which meets annually under the presidency of the amtmana to fix the amt budget. The members of the local governing bodies are chosen by an electorate more narrow than that which chooses the members of the Storthing.

Finance. The total revenue in the year 1902-03 was $27,403,000. A little over a third of it is derived from the customs, and less than a tenth from the railroads. The other sources of income include the excise tax, stamps, income tax, post office, State telegraphs, State mines, and other State property. The total debt in 1901 was $61,300,756. Gold is the standard of value. The crown (26 4.5 cents) is the unit of coinage. The metric system of weights and measures is obligatory.

Army and Navy. See the articles Armies and Navies. The six strongest fortresses are Oskarsborg, Tönsberg, Bergen, Fredriksten, Ogdenes, Christiansand.

Population. By the census of 1900 the population was 2,239,880, or 18 to the square mile. Norway is thus the most thinly populated country in Europe. About two-thirds of the entire population live upon the coast and along the fiords; about a fourth in the interior lowland districts; the remainder belong to the mountain districts. Three-fourths of the inhabitants dwell in the rural districts. Nearly all the sixty-one towns in Norway are small. The population of Christiania (the capital) and Bergen together is about half the town population of the country. A small proportion of the inhabitants are of foreign birth.

The list of the political districts, with areas and populations, is as follows:


DISTRICTS Area,
 square miles 
Population
 Dec. 3, 1900 



Christiania (town) 227,626
Akershus 2,017  116,228
Smaalenene 1,600  136,886
Hedemarken 10,600  126,182
Kristians 9,785  116,280
Buskerud 5,721  112,676
Jarlsberg and Laurvik   896  104,554
Bratsberg 5,865  99,052
Nedenes 3,610  79,935
Lister and Mandal 2,805  81,567
Stavanger 3,532  127,592
Söndre Bergenhus 6,026  135,752
Bergen (town) 72,251
Nordre Bergenhus 7,136  89,041
Romsdal 5,788  136,137
Söndre Trondhjem 7,185  135,382
Nordre Trondhjem 8,696  83,433
Nordland 14,804  152,144
Tromsö 10,l34  74,362
Finmarken 17,918  32,800


 Total 124,129  2,239,880


Emigration. In the nineteenth century Norway lost by emigration to the United States a comparatively larger part of its population than any other country in Europe excepting Ireland. Most of them made their new homes in the Northwestern United States. Emigration has greatly fallen off in the past few years, and amounted to only 12,488 in 1901.

Education. The Norwegian primary school has a seven years' course adapted for children between seven and fourteen years of age. Every child that does not receive an education equivalent to the primary course by its fifteenth year may be compelled to attend these elementary schools, which in 1898 numbered 5971, with 259,460 pupils in the country, and 73,313 in the towns. Secondary schools numbering 86, of which 30 are private, give a higher course of instruction, and have about 16,000 pupils. The Royal Frederick University in Christiania has 63 professors and 1400 students.

Religion. The Evangelical Lutheran creed is the State religion, and the Church is called the Norwegian Established Church, most of the inhabitants being members. All other religions are tolerated. Norway is divided into bishoprics, and each diocese into deaneries, which are again subdivided into livings at present numbering 478. The total number of parishes is 956. The dissenters in 1900 numbered 52,680, including 1969 Roman Catholics and 10,286 Methodists.

The poor are provided for by local taxes, though the counties and the State assist. The number of persons receiving relief of any kind in 1899 was 80,730.

Ethnology. Since Neolithic times Norway has been mainly inhabited by tall, blonde longheads, of Teutonic stock, who are believed to have come from the Caucasian steppes during the prehistoric migrations. Because of the great ice cap which lingered on the mountains, Norway was peopled much later than Sweden, which shows Paleolithic inhabitation, while the former has revealed only the Neolithic. There were three land bridges by which man may have come to the Scandinavian peninsula, one on the west joining the British Isles to Norway; the second from Rügen in North Germany to Scania in Sweden; and a third much later bridge from Finland to East Sweden. By the middle bridge Sweden and Norway received the red deer and the Teutonic longhead population, which is almost pure in the former country. Whatever Finnic elements are present may have come by the Bothnia bridge. On the west there came a dark, short type of probably Round Barrow or Pictish origin. It would seem that these people brought the Shetland pony. The longheads coming in from Sweden around the southwest coast lowlands occupied the interior of the country after the melting away of the ice cap. This region was never touched by that tremendous wave of migration of short, dark longheads called ‘Mediterraneans’ by Sergi, coming, it is conjectured, originally from North Africa. Thus there has been forming here for a long period from these light and dark elements a virile race in an environment whose stress was a spur to the education of manly qualities for which the Norwegians have excelled since they came in the purview of history.

The Norwegians prefer a country life, but little of the modern movement toward cities being noticed until recently. They are of tall stature (5 ft. 8 in.), with strong, well-knit frames, and good muscular development. Fair skin, blue eyes, and light flaxen hair characterize the hulk of the population, but the dark type is often recognized. Among the children flaxen hair is almost universal, but with development the hair, eyes, and skin become darker in a majority of cases. As a people the Norwegians are remarkably hardy and show a preference for athletic sports which require great endurance. For this reason they are typical explorers. In character they are frank, yet cautious and reserved, honest, and religious. While modified Danish is the literary language, the old Norse survives in a few districts, as it does in Iceland. Since the peasants speak various dialects of Old Norse, and many of the educated consider the presence of the Danish language an anomaly, efforts to revive Norse have been zealously prosecuted for many years.

History. The early history of Norway is preserved only in the legendary sagas. The most recent archæological researches show that the Scandinavian people were probably the autochthonous inhabitants of the peninsula. The historical period of Norway reaches no further back than the ninth century. The petty tribal kingdoms which existed here as in all northern countries were united under Harald Haarfagr or Fair-hair (died c.933), who in the last third of that century established the seat of government at Trondhjem in the north. At this time the Danes and Norwegians (see Normans) were the terror of Europe through their plundering expeditions and invasions.

The introduction of Christianity, the result of the intercourse which the Norwegians had with the more civilized parts of Europe through their maritime expeditions, was gradually effected in the hundred years that followed the death of Harald Haarfagr. Haakon the Good, son of Harald Haarfagr, attempted vainly to establish it; but this result was brought about by Olaf Trygvasson (995-1000) and Olaf the Saint (c.1015-1030), wild northern missionaries who bore the cross in one hand and the sword in the other. Olaf the Saint zealously prosecuted the conversion of his countrymen and raised himself to supreme power in the land by the subjection of the small kings or chieftains who in the times of heathenism had subdivided the Kingdom among them. In 1028 Olaf was driven out by Canute the Great of Denmark, and, having attempted to recover his throne, was defeated and slain in 1030. On the death of Canute in 1035, Olaf's son, Magnus I., recovered possession of the throne, and thenceforth, till 1319, Norway continued to be governed by native kings. Of these the most noteworthy were Sverre Sigurdson (1184-1202), a statesman of considerable ability who was put in power by the nationalist democrat party, who after years of bitter strife had overcome the party of the nobles and clergy, and Haakon the Old (1217-63), in whose reign independent Norway reached the height of its prosperity. During these centuries the Norse adventurers had established permanent colonies in Iceland and Greenland, and for a time the Orkney and Shetland islands and the Hebrides were in the possession of the Norwegian kings, whose last inroad into Scotland was repelled in 1263. The thirteenth century saw the beginning of written Norse literature and law. The death of Haakon V. without male heirs, in 1319, threw the election of a new king into the hands of the national assembly, who made choice of Magnus of Sweden, surnamed Smek, the son of Haakon's daughter. He was in turn succeeded by his son, Haakon, and the latter's son, Olaf, after having been elected King of Denmark in 1376, became ruler of both Scandinavian kingdoms on the death of his father in 1380. This young king, who exercised only a nominal sway under the guidance of his mother, Queen Margaret (q.v.), the only child of Valdemar IV. of Denmark, died without heirs in 1387. The ambitious and capable Margaret succeeded to the thrones of Denmark and Norway, and in 1389 she became mistress also of Sweden, and the three kingdoms were bound together by the Union of Calmar in 1397.

From the Union of Calmar till 1814 Xorway continued united with Denmark; but while it shared in the general fortunes of the latter State, it retained its own constitutional mode of government, and exercised its right of electing the sovereign until, like the sister kingdom, it agreed of its own free will to relinquish this privilege in favor of hereditary succession to the throne. (See Denmark.) Norway declined in prosperity and energy after the fourteenth century, in the middle of which the Black Death swept over it, leaving the land exhausted and partially depopulated. Oppressed by Denmark, her colonies and her commerce lost, there seemed to be little left of the national life. The Napoleonic wars severed the union which had existed for more than 400 years; for Denmark, after having given unequivocal proofs of adhesion to the cause of Bonaparte, was compelled, after the triumph of the Allies, to purchase peace by abandoning its sovereignty over Norway. Crippled in her resources and also bankrupt, she saw herself constrained to sign the Treaty of Kiel in 1814, by which it was stipulated that she should cede Norway to Sweden, receiving by way of indemnity Swedish Pomerania and the island of Rügen, which were subsequently exchanged with Prussia for Lauenburg. The Norwegians refused to admit the validity of the Treaty of Kiel, and a National Diet, assembled at Eidsvold, tendered the crown of Norway, as an independent kingdom, to the Danish Crown Prince Christian Frederick (the future Christian VIII.). This Assembly drew up a constitution based on the French Constitution of 1791. These measures found, however, neither supporters nor sympathizers among the other nations; and with the sanction of the Great Powers, Bernadotte, Crown Prince of Sweden, led an army into Norway, and after taking Frederikstad and Frederikshald, threatened Christiania. Denmark being unable to support the cause of Prince Christian, and Norway being utterly destitute of the means necessary for prosecuting a war, resistance was of no avail, and the Norwegians were glad to accept the proposals made to them by the Swedish King for a union with Sweden on the understanding that they should retain the newly promulgated Constitution, and enjoy full liberty and independence within their own boundaries. These conditions were agreed to, and strictly maintained; a few unimportant alterations in the Constitution, necessitated by the altered conditions of the new union, being the only changes introduced in the machinery of government.

Norway has firmly resisted every attempt on the part of the Swedish monarchs to infringe upon the constitutional prerogatives of the nation, and the feeling of national autonomy has been intensified by a striking difference between the democratic population of Norway and the more conservative population of Sweden, where the aristocracy still exercises considerable influence on the Government. The national movement, which continued throughout the nineteenth century in spite of repeated attempts on the part of the sovereign to mediate between the Norwegian and Swedish parliaments, had as its ultimate aim the reduction of the bond between the two kingdoms to a mere personal union. Conservative, Liberal, and Radical ministries succeeded each other in rapid alternation, but while the two former parties were too weak to effect any permanent arrangement, the Radicals, who were as a rule in a decided majority, failed in their policy against the resolute resistance of the Swedish Landsthing. The Norwegian Parliament, the Storthing, for some time before 1890, sought to enforce its policy by refusing to vote adequate supplies for the defense of the united kingdoms, and attempted to organize the military strength of the nation in the form of a militia and volunteer corps, on whose sympathy the Storthing might depend. After 1890 the policy of the Radical Party, which in secret was aiming at complete separation from Sweden, crystallized in the demand for a special Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Norway as well as a distinct diplomatic and consular service. This, however, the sovereign refused to concede. A temporary truce was concluded in 1895, when a new law regulating the commercial relations of the two countries went into effect, and a joint committee composed of Swedish and Norwegian representatives was intrusted with the execution of its provisions; but in the election of 1897 the Radical Party gained an overwhelming victory, and the conflict was renewed with increased ardor. In 1899 King Oscar II. finally gave his consent to a law removing the emblem of Sweden from the flag of Norway, which thus resumed the use of its old ensign. A bill, however, tending toward the final establishment of a separate consular service for Norway failed of the royal approval in 1900. In 1898 a law providing for direct election to the Storthing by universal manhood suffrage went into effect. This was supplemented by a law in 1901 dealing with communal electors, by which the suffrage was granted to all adult males and such women as paid a tax on an income of more than 300 kroner.

Bibliography. In addition to the numerous official publications, all printed in the Norwegian language, Norway, printed in English by the Government in 1900 for the Paris Exposition, is one of the fullest and most accurate sources of information. Other works are: Forbes, Norway and Its Glaciers (London, 1853); Enault, La Norvège (Paris, 1857); Bowden, Norway; Its People, Products, and Institutions (London, 1867); De Mombynes, Constitutions européennes (Paris, 1881); Du Chaillu, The Land of the Midnight Sun (New York, 1882); Ballon, Due North, or Glimpses of Scandinavia and Russia (Boston, 1887); Collet, Bird Life in Arctic Norway (London, 1894); Bradshaw, Norway: Its Fjords, Fields, and Fosses (ib., 1896); Chapman, Wild Norway (ib., 1897); Seignobos, Histoire politique de l'Europe contemporaine (Paris, 1897); Hyne, Through Arctic Lapland (London, 1899); Lee, Peaks and Pines (ib., 1899); Ruge, Norwegen (Leipzig, 1899); Quillardet, Suèdois et Norvégiens chez eux (Paris, 1899); Gandolphe, La vie et l'art des Scandinaves (ib., 1899); Konow and Fischer, Norway (Christiania, 1900); Spender, Two Winters in Norway (London, 1902).

For the ethnology, consult: Schrader, Prehistoric Antiquities of the Aryan Race, trans. from the German; Penka, Die Herkunft der Arier (Vienna, 1880); Topinard, Arbo and Faye, “Sur la couleur des yeux et des cheveux en Norvège,” Revue d'Anthropologie, 3d series, vol. iv. (Paris, 1899); Barth, Crania antiqua, etc. (Christiania, 1896); S. O. Müller, Nordische Altertumskunde (Strassburg, 1897); Undset, “Aus der jüngeren Eisenzeit in Norwegen, 800-1000 A.D.” in Archiv für Anthropologie, vol. xx. (Brunswick, 1891); and for the history: Dunham, History of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway (London, 1839-40); Overland, Illustreret Norges Historie (Christiania, 1885-94); Keary, Norway and the Norwegians (New York, 1892); Laing (trans.), The Sagas of the Kings of Norway (London, 1889); Fabricius, Minder fra Nordens Historie (Odense, 1898); Munch, Det Norske Folks Historie (Christiania, 1852-63); Nielsen, Norges Historie efter 1814 (ib., 1882); Geffroy, Histoire des états scandinaves (Paris, 1851); Le Bas, Suède et Norvège (ib., 1841); Carlyle, The Early Kings of Norway (London, 1875); Boyesen, The Story of Norway (ib., 1886); Otté, Scandinavian History (ib., 1875); Sörensen, Norway (New York, 1901).