Archaeological evidence testifies to the presence from an early date of hunter-gatherer settlements in the south-east region of Østfold, close to the Swedish border. Settlements of a similar type have been discovered in Sweden and Denmark.
c 800-1050 CE
Prior to 800 CE the regions that later became Norway were fragmented. However, with farming communities constantly under threat of attack by bands of robbers and homecoming Vikings, petty kingdoms began to evolve.
During the late 17th and 18th centuries, in the wake of regional economic developments, an urban middle class began to emerge in the Norwegian towns, challenging the government’s on-going efforts to make Copenhagen the economic hub of the two territories.
Having lost Finland to Russia during the 1807-1814 wars, Sweden resolved that it needed Norway as a buffer state on its western border. Consequently its allies pledged Norway to Sweden as one of the spoils of war.
With the dissolution of the common market with Denmark and the closure of the British market to Norwegian timber after 1814, Norway was initially plunged into economic depression.
The union with Sweden was formally brought to an end by the Karlstad Conventions of September 1905.