List of possessions of Norway
This is a list of territorial possessions of Norway.
- 1 Current overseas territories
- 2 Former dependencies and homelands
- 2.1 Dependencies ceded to Scotland (1st phase)
- 2.2 National homelands ceded to Sweden (2nd phase)
- 2.3 Dependencies ceded to Denmark (3rd phase)
- 3 Former Norse kingdoms outside Scandinavia
- 4 Former contested possessions and claims
- 5 See also
- 6 References
Current overseas territories
- Svalbard (including Bear Island), in the Arctic, part of Norway since 1920.
- Jan Mayen, in the Arctic, part of Norway since 1929.
Current dependencies of Norway are all in the southern polar region:
- Peter I Island, in the Antarctic, possession since 1929.
- Bouvet Island, in the Subantarctic and South Atlantic, possession since 1930.
- Queen Maud Land, in the Antarctic, possession since 1939.
Former dependencies and homelands
The so-called Greater Norway includes these entities:
Dependencies ceded to Scotland (1st phase)
- Hebrides, colonized from 700s to 1100s, part of an earldom, crown dependencies from 1100s to 1266, ceded by the Treaty of Perth.
- Man, colonized from 850s to 1152, part of an earldom, crown dependency from 1152 to 1266, ceded by the Treaty of Perth.
- Orkney, colonized from 800s to 875, earldom from 875 to 1100s, crown dependency from 1100s to 1469, pledged by Christian I.
- Shetland, colonized from 700s to 900s, earldom from 900s to 1195, crown dependency from 1195 to 1469, pledged by Christian I .
- Earldom of Orkney, earldom from 875 to 1266.
Briefly-ruled Welsh homeland
- Anglesey, crown dependency from 1098 to 1099, reverted to Kingdom of Gwynedd as of lack of settlements.
National homelands ceded to Sweden (2nd phase)
- Bohuslän, integrated from 800s to 1523, again from 1532 to 1658, ceded by the Treaty of Roskilde.
- Idre & Särna, integrated from ??? to 1645, ceded by the Second Treaty of Brömsebro, border not formally delineated until 1751.
- Jämtland, integrated from 1100s to 1645, ceded the Second Treaty of Brömsebro.
- Härjedalen, integrated from 1200s to 1563, again from 1570 to 1645, ceded by the Second Treaty of Brömsebro.
- Värmland, from as early as 820 (pre-unification) to about 1000, before being integrated into Sweden.
Briefly-ruled Danish homelands
- Kungsbacka, Varberg & Falkenberg, historical Northern Halland, part of the kingdom from 1287 to 1305.
Briefly-ruled Swedish homelands
Dependencies ceded to Denmark (3rd phase)
- Faroe Islands, settled and colonized pre-1035 and crown dependencies from 1035 to 1814, ceded by the Treaty of Kiel.
- Greenland, colonized pre-1261 and crown dependency from 1261 to 1814, ceded by the Treaty of Kiel.
- Iceland, settled and colonized pre-1262 and crown dependencies from 1262 to 1814, ceded by the Treaty of Kiel.
Ceding era explained
The actual time of cession of the islands is somewhat disputed. Denmark claims it took place with the Union of Denmark and Norway in 1536, as the possessions of the Norwegian crown were claimed by the Danish king. Nevertheless, they were still referred to as "dependencies of Norway" in later official documents. Also the Treaty of Kiel states: "...and provinces, constituting the kingdom of Norway, [..], together with their dependencies (Greenland, the Faroe Isles, and Iceland, excepted); [...] shall belong in full and sovereign property to the King of Sweden,...", clearly indicating that they were until 1814 regarded as a part of Norway.
Eastern Greenland Case
- Erik the Red's Land, northeast coast of Greenland, claimed (27. June) and annexed (10. July) from 1931 until awarded to Denmark by a court decision in 1933.
Briefly-ruled Danish kingdom
- Denmark inc. Halland, Scania & Blekinge of present-day Sweden - historically Skåneland, part of the kingdom from 1042 to 1047.
Norwegian legacy kingdoms subsequently integrated into Norway and Ireland:
- Kingdom of Mann and the Isles, kingdom from 836 to 1266.
- Kingdom of Dublin, kingdom from 839 to 1170.
- Earldom of Orkney, earldom from 875 to 1266.
- Icelandic Commonwealth, state from 930 to 1262.
Joint kingdom entities with the Danes
Dano-Norwegian legacy kingdoms subsequently integrated into England and France:
- County of Rouen, fief ruled by Norwegians and Danes from 911 to 996.
- Duchy of Normandy, duchy ruled by Norwegians, Danes and their descendants from 911 to 1259.
- Kingdom of Northumbria, kingdom ruled by Norwegians from 914 to 954.
- Kingdom of York, kingdom ruled first by Danes and later by Norwegians from 876 to 954.
Former contested possessions and claims
- The Kingdom of England, now part of United Kingdom, claimed by several Norwegian kings (Hardrada dynasty) in the 11th century.
- The Kingdom of Denmark, claimed by several Norwegian kings (Hardrada dynasty) in the 11th century.
Unsuccessful throne successions
The throne successior Margaret, Maid of Norway (Hardrada dynasty) reigned as the Queen of Scots from mainland Norway between 1286 and 1290, and was supposed to be crowned in Scotland 1290, but died on the journey in Orkney before the coronation.
The spread of Norwegian whaling industry to Antarctica in the early 20th century motivated Norway, right after its independence from Sweden in 1905, to pursue territorial expansion not only in the Arctic claiming Jan Mayen and Sverdrup Islands, but also in Antarctica. Norway claimed Bouvet Island and looked further south, formally inquiring with Foreign Office about the international status of the area between 45° and 65° south latitude and 35° and 80° west longitude. Following a second such diplomatic démarche by the Norwegian Government dated 4 March 1907, Britain replied that the areas were British based on discoveries made in the first half of the 19th century, and issued the 1908 Letters Patent incorporating the British Falkland Islands Dependencies with a permanent local administration in Grytviken established in 1909.
In Arctic and Northern America
- Fridtjof Nansen Land, now part of Russia, claimed from 1926 to around 1929, rejecting a claim of the Soviet Union.
- Sverdrup Islands, now part of Canada, claimed from 1928 (1902?), Canadian sovereignty recognised in 1930, as part of an agreement with the British Empire, for the British to recognise Svalbard as Norwegian territory.
- Erik the Red's Land, northeast coast of Greenland, claimed and annexed from 1931 until awarded to Denmark by a court decision in 1933.
In Finland and Russia
- Inari and Petsamo, now part of Finland and Russia, claimed from Finland from about 1942 to 1945 by the Quisling regime during the Nazi occupation of Norway.
- Murmansk and Arkhangelsk as Bjarmland, now part of Russia, claimed from the Soviet Union from about 1942 to 1945 by the Quisling regime, and was earlier also claimed by Norway in the High Middle Ages and Late Middle Ages.
- Odd Gunnar Skagestad. Norsk Polar Politikk: Hovedtrekk og Utvikslingslinier, 1905–1974. Oslo: Dreyers Forlag, 1975
- Thorleif Tobias Thorleifsson. Bi-polar international diplomacy: The Sverdrup Islands question, 1902–1930. Master of Arts Thesis, Simon Fraser University, 2004.