Thrane Movement of 1848–51

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Thrane Movement of 1848–51


a mass democratic movement in Norway named for its initiator, M. Thrane. From 1848 to 1850 workers’ associations were organized throughout the country (in 1850 there were 273 associations with 20,000 members), consisting primarily of husmenn (tenant farmers) and miners.

The associations’ demands were of a broadly democratic nature and included universal suffrage, complete freedom of trade, and reforms improving the status of the husmenn. The mass movement developed on the basis of these demands. It began with petitions submitted to the king and the Storting; after 1850 the movement assumed a revolutionary character, with participants refusing to pay taxes, going on strike, attempting to seize property, demonstrating, and clashing with government troops. In 1849 publication of the central organ of the Thrane movement, the newspaper Arbeider-foreningernes Blad, began in the city of Drammen. In 1850 and 1851 members of the movement held two congresses in Christiania (now Oslo).

In 1851 the Thrane movement was suppressed by the authorities, who disbanded the workers’ associations; 123 leaders of the movement were put on trial, and almost all of them were given prison sentences.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.