In this post you will find a list of Norway’s 15 main historical eras – from the ice age to our modern day.
Category page: history timeline
The land that we call Norway was once covered by a massive sheet of ice. In places, the glaciers were as much as 3,000 metres thick.
The Stone age people were master hunters, fishers, and gatherers. The lived with the seasons and followed the prey.
With the Bronze age came a new and important phase in human history and development: mankind learned how to make tools and other objects from a metal they called bronze.
In Norway, the first traces of iron date back to 400-300 BC. The country has significant iron resources, and making tools and weapons from this new metal was a significant step forward.
With the High middle ages came expansion and progress. But everything was about to change, in the most brutal way imaginable.
After the Black Death, it took the Norwegian communities centuries to recover. And soon, the country also lost its independence.
In the year AD 1537, King Christian 3 of Denmark-Norway embraced the Lutheran Reformation, and the Norwegians went from being Catholics to Protestants. The king confiscated the Catholic Church’s considerable wealth, a welcomed addition to the royal coffers. Norway more or less ceased to exist as a sovereign state and became a province under Denmark.
17 May 1814 is regarded as the birth of the modern-day Norwegian state. But it took almost another hundred years before the Norwegians could declare complete independence.
In this period, Norway was still primarily a nation of farmers, fishermen and hunters. In AD 1801, 90% of the population lived in rural areas.
Norway’s full independence came in AD 1905, and was the culmination of a process that had lasted for several decades.
On 18 November 1905, after a supportive referendum, the Norwegian parliament unanimously elected the Danish Prince Carl as the country’s new king.
On 9 April 1940, German forces attacked Norway in the early hours of the morning. The Norwegian armed forces attempted to stave off the attack, but they were in no way prepared for this monumental task.
After the end of World War 2, the Norwegians all took part in lifting their country well and truly into the 20th century.
During the AD 1970s, both an increased female participation in the labour market, and the green movement, were causes firmly added to the agenda. There was a heightened focus on maternity leave, access to kindergarten, and maternity benefits.
With a growing population and public sector, Norway pushed through significant reforms in several areas: public structure and organisation, welfare, health care, tax, policing, public services, and more.