Swedish-Norwegian Union of 1814–1905

Swedish-Norwegian Union of 1814–1905

 

the legal merger of the Swedish and Norwegian states on the basis of an actual union. Sweden imposed the union on Norway by force of arms. The union went into effect on Nov. 4, 1814, with the election of the Swedish king Charles XIII as king of Norway.

The relations between the parties in the union were regulated by the Riksakt (Act of State) adopted by the parliaments of both countries on Aug. 6, 1815. Sweden and Norway had a common foreign office, but each country retained its own laws, administration, courts, and church. The Norwegian Army, all of whose officers were Norwegians, was under the command of the king but could not be used outside Norway without the approval of the Norwegian Storting. A law passed by three convocations of the Storting went into force despite the king’s veto. The king appointed the members of the Norwegian government on recommendation from the Storting, which also retained the right to manage the country’s finances and to grant Norwegian citizenship.

The Storting became the focal point of Norwegian resistance to the union. Russian and British support for Norway was another factor promoting the annulment of the union. On June 7, 1905, the Storting passed a resolution abolishing the union. In a plebiscite held in Norway on Aug. 13, 1905, about 369,000 persons voted to sever the union and 184 to preserve it. The union was formally dissolved that year by the Karlstad Treaty, concluded between Sweden and Norway.

REFERENCES

Priznanie Rossiei norvezhskogo nezavisimogo gosudarstva: Sb. dokumentov. Moscow, 1958.
Kliuchnikov, Iu. V., and I. A. Sabanin. Mezhdunarodnaia politika noveishego vremeni v dogovorakh, notakh i deklaratsiiakh, part 1. Moscow, 1925.
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