Norway: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About the location, size, population, and government of the country Norway.



Location--Norway consists of the western and northernmost parts of the Scandinavian peninsula. It is bordered on the east by the U.S.S.R., Finland, and Sweden; on the south by the North Sea; and on the west and north by the Norwegian Sea and the Arctic Ocean. One third of Norway lies north of the Arctic Circle.

How Created--Norway has been inhabited for thousands of years, but not until the early centuries of the Christian era can tribes and individuals be identified by name by modern historians. The Norse Vikings emerged as an identifiable group in the 8th century when they began their raids on Britain. The raids of the Vikings brought to previously isolated Norway both wealth and an exposure to cultures more civilized than its own. In the 10th century, a Viking king named Harald Fairhair (Harald I) united Norway. In the 14th century Norway, Sweden, and Denmark were united under Queen Margrethe of Denmark. From the 15th to 18th centuries Norway was ruled by Danish governors. Denmark sided with France during the Napoleonic Wars and when Napoleon was defeated in 1814, Denmark was forced by European powers to cede Norway to Sweden. A Norwegian constitution was drawn up in 1814 which, as amended, is still in use today. In 1905 Norway won its independence from Sweden.

Size--125,051 sq. mi. (323,883 sq. km.).

Population--Over 4 million: Norwegian, 97.7%; Lapp, 0.6%; other, 1.7%. 96.3% Evangelical Lutheran, 1% Pentecostal, 2.7% other.

Who Rules--Norway is a constitutional monarchy led by King Olav V. The head of Government is a Prime Minister, who is chosen from the unicameral (one-house) legislature. After election, the legislature divides into 2 sections, one 3 times larger than the other. Bills are introduced in the larger section and on being passed are sent to the smaller one. If the 2 disagree, a joint session is held with a 2/3 majority required for a decision.

Who REALLY Rules--Norway is governed by its elected representatives.

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