Development of a Nation
How Norway became
and how the Norwegians became Norwegian.

the Norwegians as a people, and the country of Norway as a nation-state,
evolved and materialized into current form, in terms of ancestral
bloodlines, the Norwegian language, borders, culture, and even how they
received their name.

Ancestral Background
Development of Language
Formation of Borders
Etymology (How Name Received)
Norway in 2008

Distribution of Germanic peoples by 750 BC

  1. Began with the Germanic people which originated in
    Scandinavia. Those that remain in the north after the Germanic
    migrations into mainland Europe (Scandinavia: modern Norway, Sweden,
    Denmark) comprise the North Germanic tribes. The North Germanic
    tribes splinter into the Swede and Geat tribes scattered throughout
    modern Norway and Sweden.
  2. By the 9th century, the homogenous
    Swede and Geat tribes throughout Scandinavia begin to subdivide into
    an eastern group (Norway) and western group (Sweden). The
    Scandinavian Mountains, which form the modern boundary between
    Norway and Sweden, served as a partition for the two groups, as the western group
    (Norse) became more closely affiliated due to more accessibility to one
    another, and a common interest in the fishing trade. This would serve as
    the beginnings of distinct Norwegian and Swedish nationalities, homogenous
    but decentralized tribes that were largely subdivided by a mountain
    range running north-south, laying the
    groundwork for two separate “nations”.

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Development of Norwegian Language:

  1. Norse Kingdom
    Proto-Germanic (direct branch from
  2. Proto-Norse, a branch from Proto-Germanic,
    spoken in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark) in the 3rd
    – 7th centuries.
  3. Evolved into Old Norse, spoken in Scandinavia
    through 13th century.
  4. Old East Norse develops largely in Sweden and
    Denmark, while Old West Norse develops largely in Norway and
    Iceland. Danes and Swedes share common/similar language at this
  5. Even as Old Norse branches off from
    Proto-Norse, the Norwegian and Icelandic languages begin diverging
    from one another in the 13th century, developing into the
    modern, distinct languages they are today. All Scandinavian
    languages (Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish) are mutually

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Formation of Norwegian Borders:

  1. Norse and Swedes
    North Germanics in Scandinavia (Norway and
    Sweden) are a largely homogenous, yet highly decentralized network of
    tribes throughout the region, known as Swedes and Geats.
  2. In the 9th century, the
    Scandinavian Mountains, which serve as the basis for the modern
    Norway-Sweden border, cause a barrier between Swedes on the east and
    west sides. Consequently, two distinct nationalities materialize,
    with the Norse on the west, and the Swedes on the east side of the
    mountain range. Those on the west side are more accessible to one
    another, developing a common interest in the fishing industry, while developing an
    offshoot language distinct from the Swedes from who they splintered
  3. Queen Margaret of Denmark marries the King of
    Norway, joining the two kingdoms under personal union in 1380. The
    kingdoms were autonomous, but combined their respective foreign
    policies. Sweden was mired by civil war, and the nobles sided with
    Queen Margaret (King of Norway husband had since died), in joining
    Sweden to the personal union as well, forming a pan-Nordic kingdom.
    This was finalized as the Kalmar Union in 1397. Each kingdom was
    autonomous, but foreign policy was dictated by the monarch. Norway
    included Iceland and Greenland, and Sweden included western Finland.
    The union was dominated by Denmark.

    Europe 1500 AD
  4. The Swedes grew unhappy with the
    Danish-dominated government, and the frequent wars they were dragged
    into, compelling them into an armed revolt. Independence of Sweden
    (and their territory in Finland) was achieved in 1523. Denmark and
    Norway remain under personal union, as the Kingdom of
  5. After Denmark-Norway was defeated by France in
    the Napoleonic Wars, Denmark was forced to cede Norway to Sweden in 1814. However,
    Denmark kept Iceland and Greenland, as they were considered property
    of the monarch of Denmark-Norway, the monarch being Danish, as had
    always been the case in the Danish-dominated union. Norway is now
    under Swedish rule.
  6. Norway remained under personal union with
    Sweden until the union was peacefully dissolved in 1905, making
    Norway a sovereign nation with its modern borders, which has
    remained unchanged ever since, with the exception of the Nazi
    occupation during WWII. – The World’s Largest Maps Store!

Etymology (How
Name Received:

Norway means “northward
route” or “way to the north” (anglicized). This term would have begun to be used
sometime before the 9th century.

Norwegian Culture:

It’s long coastal territories, and lack of natural resources in its
interior, has always compelled the Norse to maintain a culture closely
linked with the sea, with fishing being a mainstay of Norwegian culture
throughout history and into modern times.

Like other Scandinavian
countries, Norway has evolved into a neo-liberal society, with
egalitarian ideals such as equality, and acceptance of all cultures and
lifestyles that do not impose harm or oppression upon others. Along
these lines, Norway has risen to the status of a peacemaker in the
world, offering its services to nations in need of mediation.

Norway in 2008:

Welfare capitalism. A
welfare state with a free market economy. Rich in natural resources,
including fish and oil. World’s third largest exporter of oil (next to
Saudi Arabia and Russia). Strong, highly advanced economy, due to
characteristics of a Nordic/western economy (service-oriented), but with
fortune of massive oil reservoirs. Most western economies are net
importers of oil and natural gas (by a large margin), while most oil
production economies are not very advanced. Norway has the best of both
worlds, putting it in a premium position for the modern global economy.

Government: Constitutional monarchy (democracy with monarch still
in place).
Religion: Church of Norway is the state religion, 86% belong,
most of the rest belong to other Christian churches. Survey: 32% believe
in God, 47% in some other form of intelligent design, 17%
atheist/agnostic. Low religious activity as becoming much more secular
like other Nordic/western nations. Church membership primarily used for
life/traditional events such as baptism, marriage, funerals.
Demographics: Vast majority (85+%) are Norwegian.
Foreign Policy: Fostering cooperation among Nordic nations,
participating and supporting EU and UN, serving as 3rd party mediator
among warring nations/factions.
Population: 4,644,457 (2008)

Formation of Nations (All European Nations)

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