Denmark–Norway

Dansk kvinne, Danmark og Norge

Denmark–Norway (Danish and Norwegian: Danmark–Norge) (also known as the Oldenburg Monarchy or the Oldenburg realms) was an early modern multi-national and multi-lingual real union consisting of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Kingdom of Norway (including Norwegian overseas possessions Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, et cetera), the Duchy of Schleswig, and the Duchy of Holstein. The state also claimed sovereignty over two historical peoples: Wends and Goths. In addition, the state included colonies: St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix, Ghana, Tharangambadi, Serampore, and Nicobar Islands. The state’s inhabitants were mainly Danes, Norwegians, and Germans, and also included Faroese, Icelanders and Inuit in the Norwegian overseas possessions, a Sami minority in northern Norway, as well as indigenous peoples and enslaved Africans in the colonies. The state’s main cities were Copenhagen, Christiania (Oslo), Altona, Bergen and Trondheim. The state’s primary official languages were Danish and German.

Olaf II of Denmark inherited the Kingdom of Norway titled as Olaf IV in 1380 after the death of his father, Haakon VI of Norway, who was married to Olaf’s mother Margrete I. Margrete I was ruler of Norway from her son’s death in 1387 until her own death in 1412.

In 1397, Denmark, Norway and Sweden established and formed the Kalmar Union. Following Sweden’s departure in 1523, the union was effectively dissolved. From 1536/1537, Denmark and Norway formed a personal union that would eventually develop into the 1660 integrated state called Denmark–Norway. Prior to 1660 Denmark–Norway was a constitutional and elective monarchy in which the King’s power was limited; in 1660 it became one of the most stringent absolute monarchies in Europe.

The union lasted until 1814, when the Treaty of Kiel decreed that Norway (except for the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Greenland) be “ceded” to Sweden; this however was not recognised by Norway, which successfully resisted the attempt in the 1814 Swedish–Norwegian War and afterwards entered into a much looser personal union with Sweden as one of two equal kingdoms.

In Norway the 434 year union from 1380 until 1814 with Denmark is called the 400 Year Night (400-årsnatten).

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