Frederik Stang

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Frederik Stang
MP
Frederik Stang by Olsen.png
1st Prime Minister of Norway in Christiania
In office
1873–1880
Monarch Oscar II
Preceded by Hans Christian Petersen

(Prime Minister of Norway-Sweden)

Succeeded by Christian August Selmer
Personal details
Born Frederik Stang
(1802-06-14)14 June 1802
Stokke
Died 8 June 1884(1884-06-08) (aged 76)
Bærum
Nationality Norwegian
Spouse(s) Augusta Julie Georgine von Munthe af Morgenstierne
Children Emil Stang
Occupation Politician
Profession lawyer
Religion Church of Norway
This article is about the Prime Minister, for his grandson the Minister of Justice, see Fredrik Stang.

Frederik Stang (4 March 1808, Stokke - 1884) was a Norwegian lawyer, public servant, and politician who served as Norway's first prime minister.

Frederik Stang, prime minister of Norway

Stang, known as Friederich until the 1830s, entered the study of law at the age of 16 and graduated by the time he was 20. At 22, he accepted a position as lecturer of law at the University of Oslo. During this time, he published a seminal text on Norwegian constitutional law. He went over to private practice in 1834, where he distinguished himself as a trial attorney, especially in supreme court cases.

In 1846, Stang became the most senior civil servant in the newly formed (and no longer existent) Domestic Ministry. He served in this position until 1856, and his tenure was characterized by tireless efforts to modernize Norway's economic infrastructure. In addition to improving the road network, harbors, canals, and lighthouses, he was in great measure responsible for Norway and Scandinavia's first railroad, from Oslo to Eidsvoll. He also worked hard to elevate the importance and function of agriculture in Norway, initiating the formation of a university-level school of agriculture, commissioned travelling agrarians, and encouraged better breeding among Norwegian farm animals.

In 1861, after a brief stint as mayor of Oslo, Stang was appointed to the Norwegian cabinet. His time as a political leader was characterized by considerable discord within the Norwegian parliament and between Norway and the Swedish government.

In 1865, Stang founded the Norwegian Red Cross. In 1870, he was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Until 1873, the king of the personal union between Sweden and Norway governed Norway through two cabinets: one in Stockholm and another, led by a viceroy in Kristiania, now Oslo. After the viceroy position had been vacant for some time, the post of prime minister for Norway was instituted in 1873, and Stang was appointed. Although there was also a prime minister in Stockholm, the one in Norway had the most influence over state affairs.

In spite of his great efforts to reconcile opposing political forces in his time, his own party[clarification needed] was reduced to a minority position during his tenure. In a gesture of spite, the parliament cut his pension in half in 1881; the citizens of Oslo raised money to make up for the shortfall, and he donated this to a foundation to advance the study of law.

Frederik Stang's name is often misspelled Fredrik Stang, who was his grandson and also a famous jurist.

Honours and awards[edit]

Frederik Stang became a member of The Royal Norwegian Scientific Society in 1846, the "Videnskabs-Selskabet" in Christiania at its founding in 1857 and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm. He was appointed Commander of the Order of St. Olav at its founding in 1847 and was awarded the Grand Cross in 1853. Four years later, he received the highest award in the country, Bürgerverdienstmedallie in gold. He was a Knight of the Swedish Royal Order of the Seraphim and had the Grand Cross of the Order of the Dannebrog and other foreign orders.

References[edit]


Political offices
Preceded by
Ulrik Anton Motzfeldt
Mayor of Oslo
1861
Succeeded by
Christian Birch-Reichenwald
Preceded by
Hans Christian Petersen
Prime Minister of Norway
1861–1880
Succeeded by
Christian August Selmer