Union between Sweden and Norway
Sweden and Norway or Sweden–Norway (Swedish: Svensk-norska unionen; Norwegian: Den svensk-norske union(en)), officially the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway, and known as the United Kingdoms, was a personal union of the separate kingdoms of Sweden and Norway under a common monarch and common foreign policy that lasted from 1814 until its peaceful dissolution in 1905.
United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway
Norges Skaal (1814–1820)
Sønner af Norge (1820–1864)
Ja, vi elsker dette landet (de facto)
Du gamla, du fria (de facto)
|Capital||Stockholm and Christiania[a]|
|Common languages||Swedish, Norwegian,[b] Danish, Sámi, Finnish|
Church of Norway (state religion)
Church of Sweden (state religion)
|King of Sweden and Norway|
|Charles XIV/III John|
• Swedish legislature
• Norwegian legislature
|Historical era||Between Napoleonic Wars and World War I|
|14 January 1814|
|4 November 1814|
|16 October 1875|
|26 October 1905|
|Today part of||Sweden|
a. ^ The king resided alternately in Stockholm (mostly) and Christiania (usually some months each year). He received ministers from both countries in Union council, or separately in purely Swedish or Norwegian councils. The majority of the Norwegian cabinet ministers convened in Christiania when the king was absent.
b. ^ The written Norwegian language ceased to exist in the first half of the 16th century and was replaced by Danish. Written Danish was still used during the union with Sweden, but was slightly norwegianized through the creation of Nynorsk in the latter half of the 19th century. In 1885, the Storting accepted Landsmål as an official written language on par with Danish.
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The two states kept separate constitutions, laws, legislatures, administrations, state churches, armed forces, and currencies; the kings mostly resided in Stockholm, where foreign diplomatic representations were located. The Norwegian government was presided over by viceroys: Swedes until 1829, Norwegians until 1856. That office was later vacant and then abolished in 1873. Foreign policy was conducted through the Swedish foreign ministry until the dissolution of the union in 1905.
Norway had been in a closer union with Denmark, but Denmark-Norway's alliance with Napoleonic France caused the United Kingdom and Russia to consent to Sweden's annexation of the realm as compensation for the loss of Finland in 1809 and as a reward for joining the alliance against Napoleon. By the 1814 Treaty of Kiel, the King of Denmark-Norway was forced to cede Norway to the King of Sweden, but Norway refused to submit to the treaty provisions, declared independence, and convoked a constituent assembly at Eidsvoll in early 1814.
After the adoption of the new Constitution of Norway on 17 May 1814, Prince Christian Frederick was elected king. The ensuing Swedish–Norwegian War (1814) and the Convention of Moss compelled Christian Frederick to abdicate after calling an extraordinary session of the Norwegian Parliament, the Storting, to revise the Constitution in order to allow for a personal union with Sweden. On 4 November the Storting elected Sweden's king, Charles XIII, as the King of Norway, thereby confirming the union. Continuing differences between the two realms led to a failed attempt to create a separate Norwegian consular service and then, on 7 June 1905, to a unilateral declaration of independence by the Storting. Sweden accepted the union's dissolution on 26 October. After a plebiscite confirming the election of Prince Carl of Denmark as the new king of Norway, he accepted the Storting's offer of the throne on 18 November and took the regnal name of Haakon VII.