Sverdrup, Johan(yōhän` svĕr`dro͝op), 1816–92, Norwegian prime minister. As a member of the Storting (1851–84) and as prime minister (1884–89) he successfully advocated parliamentary government with ministerial responsibility, trial by jury, and the political and social advancement of the farmers. His party, the Left, founded in 1869, united the various opposition groups into a single powerful majority. In 1880, Sverdrup's bill for seating the governmental ministers in the Storting was vetoed by King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway. A constitutional struggle resulted over the relative powers held by the king, the ministers, and the Storting. In 1884 the opposition succeeded in having the Conservative cabinet impeached by a special tribunal. Sverdrup became premier, and the cabinet was seated in the Storting, a move that ultimately made the ministers responsible to the Storting. He failed, however, to satisfy the extremist wing of his party and resigned in 1889.
Born July 30, 1816, in Jarlsberg og Lar-vik; died Feb. 17, 1892, in Christiania, present-day Oslo. Norwegian political figure.
A lawyer by profession, Sverdrup became a deputy to the Storting (parliament) in 1851 and served as its president from 1871 to 1884. In 1884 he helped found the liberal opposition party, the Venstre (Left), in the Storting. As prime minister from 1884 to 1889, Sverdrup pursued a conciliatory policy toward the monarchy; this policy led to a split in the Venstre in 1885 and to the fall of the Sverdrup government.