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Reconstruction of a longhouse at Lofoten The Viking Age was a period of Scandinavian expansion through trade, colonization and raids. One of the first raid was against Lindisfarne in and is considered the beginning of the Viking Age. In addition to gold and silver, an important outcome from the raids were thrallswhich were brought to the Norwegian farms as a slave workforce.
While the men were out at sea, the management of the farm was under the control of the women. Their arrival caused the petty Celtic kings to ally, and by they had driven out the Essay about the country norway.
Harald Fairhair started the process of unifying Norway when he entered an alliance with the Earls of Lade and was able to unify the country after the decisive Battle of Hafrsfjord circa — Icelandthen uninhabited, was discovered by Norwegians during the late 9th century.
By the island had been divided among Norse chieftains. He also established the ledanga conscription-based military. After his death inwar broke out between the Fairhair dynasty and the Earls of Lade in alliance with Danish kings.
Unlike Greenland, no permanent settlement was established there. The two sides met in the Battle of Stiklestadwhere Haraldsson was killed. For periods there could be peace, before a lesser son allied himself with a chieftain and started a new conflict.
The Archdiocese of Nidaros was created in and attempted to control the appointment of kings. While in the Viking Age all farmers owned their own land, by seventy percent of the land was owned by the king, the church, or the aristocracy. This was a gradual process which took place because of farmers borrowing money in poor times and not being able to repay.
However, tenants always remained free men and the large distances and often scattered ownership meant that they enjoyed much more freedom than continental serfs. Throughout the High Middle Ages the king established Norway as a sovereign state with a central administration and local representatives.
Later plagues reduced the population to half the starting point by Many communities were entirely wiped out, resulting in an abundance of land, allowing farmers to switch to more animal husbandry. High tithes to church made it increasingly powerful and the archbishop became a member of the Council of State.
In Olaf Haakonsson inherited both the Norwegian and Danish thrones, creating a union between the two countries. She waged war against the Germans, resulting in a trade blockade and higher taxation on Norwegians, which resulted in a rebellion.
However, the Norwegian Council of State was too weak to pull out of the union. The Hanseatic merchants formed a state within a state in Bergen for generations. There was one revolt under Knut Alvsson in Norway took no part in the events which led to Swedish independence from Denmark in the s.
Initially, Frederick agreed not to try to introduce Protestantism to Norway but in he changed his mind. Christian returned but he and his army were defeated and Christian spent the rest of his life in prison. When Frederick died and a three-way war of succession broke out between the supporters of his eldest son Christian IIIhis younger Catholic brother Hans and the followers of Christian II.
Olaf Engelbrektsson again tried to lead a Catholic Norwegian resistance movement. All church valuables were sent to Copenhagen and the forty percent of the land, which was owned by the church, came under the control of the king.
Danish was introduced as a written language, although Norwegian remained distinct dialects. Professional administration was now needed and power shifted from the provincial nobility to the royal administration: In a governor-general was appointed for Norway with a seat at Akershus Fortress in Oslo.
From the s professional military officers were employed.
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