Marcus Thrane

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Marcus Thrane
BirthplaceChristiania, Norway

Thrane, Marcus


Born Oct. 14, 1817, in Christiania (now Oslo); died Apr. 30, 1890, in Eau Claire, Wis. One of the pioneers of the Norwegian workers’ movement.

Thrane, the son of a merchant, was a journalist by profession. While in France and Germany, he was influenced by Utopian socialists, particularly the Comte de Saint-Simon and W. Weitling. From 1848 to 1850 he traveled throughout Norway, organizing workers’ associations that advanced the cause of the Norwegian workers’ movement. Thrane supported the establishment of universal suffrage and universal military service, the improvement of the status of husmenn (tenant farmers), the abolition of import duties, and the democratization of courts and schools. He advanced ideas for moral improvement in the spirit of Christian socialism.

In 1851, Thrane was arrested and sentenced to four years in prison. In 1863 he emigrated to the USA, where he contributed to the local Scandinavian workers’ press.


Marcus Thrane og thraniterbevegelsen. Oslo [1949].


Nissen, B.A. “Thrane.” In Norsk biografisk leksikon, vol. 16. Oslo, 1949.
Björklund, O. Maraw Thrane. [Oslo] 1951.


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of Washington) provides translations of six plays by Norwegian playwright Marcus Thrane (1817-1890).