Saturday, November 16, 2019

History Of Oslo Essay Example for Free

History Of Oslo Essay Oslo is Norway’s capital city. Oslo came from the Old Norse word â€Å"†¦os meaning mountain and lo meaning plain or river â€Å". In other words, Oslo can be described as a place beneath the mountains (â€Å"Oslo† 2006). People of German origin may have settled in the settlements along the Oslo Fjord who moved up to the north from mainland Europe (Zelko 63). The first evident settlement in Oslo was in the 8th century. (â€Å"Oslo† 2006). The first people of who inhabited Oslo lived in â€Å"humble wooden houses with turf roofs† that was surrounded with pens or sheds for goats, sheep and cows (â€Å"Oslo: City† 2006). Like all the other settlers of Norway, the people were grouped together in the form of a tribe and those who were landowners met with his other landed neighbors in a public assembly called Thing. Legislative assemblies were called Lagtings (Zelko 63). During the Viking age, AD800-1000 Oslo settlers grew rapidly as it had become the center for trade and shipbuilding activities and later it earned the name the† Viking Capital† (â€Å"Oslo† 2006). Viking means â€Å"a man from â€Å"Vik†, a huge bay between the Cape Lindesnes in Norway and the mouth of Gota River in Sweden (Britannica 1033). Norwegian Vikings, like other Vikings of Denmark and Sweden, were feared all over Europe as they had â€Å"superior ships and weapons as well developed military organization†. They were basically endowed with extraordinary hunger for adventure (Britannica 1034). Norwegian Vikings were known to be ruthless and brave fighters who killed their victims and greedily loots their conquered settlements and when they were done plundering destroyed the place with fire. They changed the face of Europe as they engaged in raiding and trade and then finally attracted by their conquered lands settled to live there. Their target places were mostly western European countries such as England, Scotland, and Iceland. Their active participation in trading had renewed the neglected European commerce of the middle Ages. Their contact with Western Europe was instrumental for their Christianization and eventually unification of Norway (Britannica 1033). In 885 the first Viking Monarch, Harold the Fair-haired united Norway (Halsey 239). During his reign the settlers of Norway, including Oslo, were commonly engaged in blood feuds, fightings that involve almost, if not all, disagreeing families. Even minor disputes can trigger the killing and maiming of both members of the quarreling families and if not settled can start an endless round of retaliation. The violence can be finally stopped when offending families pay the wronged families which they called â€Å"bot†. Sometimes family feuds were brought to the attention of the Lagtings who will decide the outcome of the disputes and impose penalties. The worst penalty they can give at that time was known as outlawry—a sentence that regarded the offender as if he died already. All his goods were taken away from him and he cannot exercise or claim any legal rights. In fact, anyone can kill him without facing the risk of penalty. These condemned people were left with no choice but to leave their homeland or live in the forest as an outlaw (Tseng 24). In 1050 Harald Hardrade or King Harald III officially founded Oslo and made it the center of southern Norway. This site was located at the eastern side of the harbor on the left bank of the small Akers River (Halsey 239). Harald died in 1066 and his death ended the Viking period as raidings stopped (â€Å"Norway† 2007). Oslo experienced a great era during the reign of Haakon V who was crowned in 1299. He decided to build the Akershus fortress in Olso to serve as his home with his wife Euphemia of Rugens, a Northern German princess (â€Å"Oslo† 2006). He made Oslo the capital of Norway replacing Bergen. This time Oslo and the rest of Norway enjoyed relative peace (â€Å"Norway† 2007). In 1318 Norway was united with the kingdom of Sweden when Duke Erik of Sweden married Princess Ingebjorg, daughter of Queen Euphemia and Hakon V Magnusson. The unification of both countries was officially signed in the Bishops castle; now presently know as Oslo Ladergard (â€Å"Oslo: City† 2006). The saddest event that occurred in the early history of Oslo was the Black Death that terrorized the world in 1349. It was estimated that half of Oslo’s population died during the time of the Black Death or â€Å"bubonic† plague. Bubonic plague was carried by fleas in rats from England (â€Å"Oslo† 2006). Because of the loss of its inhabitants and damage to agriculture Norway united together with Denmark and Sweden via the Union of Kalmar 1397(â€Å"Norway† 2007). During this time Copenhagen, instead of Oslo, was selected as the actual capital of Norway. Consequently Oslo lost it political importance and was only regarded as a provincial administrative center while the kings lived in Copenhagen and Stockholm from 1400-1500 (â€Å"Oslo: City† 2006). In 1523, however, Sweden dropped out of the union, and weaker Norway was left in the care of Danish Kings(â€Å"Norway† 2007). Part 2 Modern Era Reformation Period Like the rest of mainland Europe, Oslo was greatly affected by the Lutheran Protestant Reformation of 1537 when the German Monk Martin Luther questioned the laws of Roman Catholic Church and sought to reform the religious beliefs of the Europeans. Oslo citizens were engaged in religious conflicts(Thodock 2003). The catholic bishop of Oslo, Hans Rev was converted to Protestantism despite the reluctance of the citizens( â€Å"Oslo:City† 2006). Since Oslo had slightly lost its political and economic importance as a city at this time as it was being ruled by Denmark most of the buildings constructed there was only made of wood so that the city was easily destroyed by fire in 1624. King Christian IV of Denmark and Norway decided to move the town to the right bank of the Akers River and rebuild it near the Akershus Fortress. The city buildings were constructed in a Renaissance city style with rectangular blocks and renamed it Christiania (Halsey). Scientific Revolution The scientific revolution changed the world’s beliefs entirely, and Norway is in the heart of it Religious beliefs were proven to be wrong and questions were answered. Copernicus first with his opinion on the heliocentric theory, Galileo second with proof of Copernicus theory, and Newton third with the laws of gravity to explain how and why the planets revolved around the sun. Enlightenment During the 1700’s the Age of Reason or the Enlightenment flourished in Europe particularly to the Norwegian trading partners of Great Britain and Holland. In these places people were trying to improve their lives with the use of reason instead of following traditional religious or accepted beliefs. Contact with the â€Å"enlightened† British and Dutch affected the daily life of the inhabitants of Christiania. Norwegian traders brought home with them not only the prized cargoes of tobacco, coffee, tea and spices but also enlightened ideas. They constructed luxurious houses with magnificent gardens in accordance with the style western Europe (â€Å"Oslo: City† 2006). Napoleonic wars At first, Denmark and Norway attempted to remain neutral in the Napoleonic wars between France and England and their respective allies in 1805. However, England attacked the entire Danish fleet in 1807 as a result Denmark joined with France against Britain (Britannica 1034). Britain cut-off trading with Norway and set up a continental blockade against Denmark and Norway wherein British navy prevented the goods from both Norway and Denmark in reaching its trading partners . This action greatly affected the economy of Norway. The export of fish and timber from Christiania as well as the import of grain from Denmark were blocked. As a result, citizens of Christiania faced an economic crisis and suffered hunger. To end their trouble, Britain loosened up its blockade against Norway in 1810-13(â€Å"Oslo† 1991). In 1814 the king of Denmark was forced to give up Norway to Sweden in a Treaty of Kiel when Napoleon I was defeated (â€Å"Oslo† 2006). Eager to rebuild their government the Norwegian created its first constitution on May 17 the same year and Christiania became the capital city. In time, Christiania replaced its rival Bergen as Norway’s largest city. The people celebrated with joy as Christiania was expected to reclaim its old glory without giving much thought at first that they were still under the control of a foreigner, Sweden. As a capital city, Christiania once again becomes important politically and economically. For its newly acquired role, new monumental buildings were erected as a venue for important functions. . They were the Royal Palace, Bank of Norway and the stock exchange Oslo Bors. Later, most Christiania citizens joined with the rest of Norway in demanding for a complete control of their own affairs. They did not want to recognize the provisions of the Treaty of Kiel and instead preferred a Danish King to rule them. Because of the political unrest , Sweden was forced to make the Act of Union of 1815,that gave Norway the privilege of having its own army, navy and parliament(Storting) and was permitted to control their own internal affairs in exchange for their strict compliance to the Treaty of Kiel(â€Å"Oslo† 2006). Renaissance Period Because of their internal independence, Christiania’ economic and political power rose. By mid 1800’s, Christiania grew into a major administrative, economic and military center. The economic success brought about by the shipping and agricultural industry made Christiania a dominant economic city of Norway (World Book 1981). The site of rapid industrial revolution in Oslo started at the Aker River around 1840. The development of Industries relied in the electricity provided by this River. Old buildings along the River were demolished and replaced with concrete large textile industrial buildings . Because of the increased jobs offered by industries the population of Christiania increased as peasants and rural populace moved to the cities hoping find work. In the beginning of the Industrial Revolution Christiania’s industrial workers, like most of European industrial cities, lived in poverty since income was low. They mostly lived in crowded houses meant for workers in which sanitation was bad. As a result, sickness was common and spread easily. To augment family income, the children aged below ten were forced to work in the industries, an environment that was not conducive for their well-balanced growth. In fact, industries were noisy and dusty. They caused water and air pollution. Because of this, the health of the children suffered and their resistance to sickness decreased as they lacked the time to play and sleep. In fact, schoolwork was unavoidably neglected (â€Å"Off â€Å"2007). Revolutions of 1848 The political revolutions in Europe in 1848 had increased the desire of Norway to demand for independence from Sweden. In the late 1800’s popular Norwegian playwrights Henrik Ibsen and Bjornstjerne Bjorjornson staged a play in Christiania’s theater with a theme about political hypocrisy, rights of women and social problems. These plays helped Norwegians develop a sense of nationalism. In 1901 the city of Christiania was selected by the notable Swedish inventor, Alfred Nobel to be the site for the awarding of the most prestigious Noble Peace Prize (Lundestad 2001). By 1905 Sweden granted independence to Norway and Christiania at last was freed from foreign interference that began 1300’s (Halsey 240). Industrial Revolution World War One was inevitable due to industrialization and the desire each country had to become supreme. Firstly, relationships between the nations of the world were dramatically altered by the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century. Tensions between the industrial powers began to rise. The intensity between the industrial powers grew more and more as each country sought to expand its sphere of influence at the expense of others. Secondly, there was a growing desire by ethnic populations within the larger countries to become independent nations. Norway separated from Sweden and revolts occurred in colonies such as China, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Ireland. War broke out in the Balkans in 1912 and again in 1913, as Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia, and Greece fought first the Ottoman Empire and then Austria-Hungary. Lastly, Colonies around the world were a valuable asset for supporting the host countrys economy. The great European powers needed raw materials and outlets for their goods. They wanted to expand into new colonies while still protecting the ones they already had. World War I The economy of Christiania steadily grew until before World War I. When the First World War broke out in 1914 Norway declared its neutrality. However, Christiania benefited economically from the war by carrying British cargoes inspite the loss of Norwegian lives and ships that were caught in the war (Compton 610). After the war Christiania settled back to its normal life. In 1924, Christiania was renamed back to Oslo (â€Å"Oslo: City† 2006). World War II. On April 9, 1940 Oslo was defeated by the Germans almost with only a slight resistance due the betrayal of Norwegian Officer and Fascist politician Vidkun Quisling who collaborated with the Nazis. As a result, the city was only slightly damaged during the war (Halsey 239). In 1942 Germany installed a puppet government in Norway under National Union leader Vidkun Quisling. However, the Norwegians resisted the Germans and its puppet regime. Oslo became a place of opposition strikes. Other citizens were secretly involved in the large-scale industrial sabotage and espionage on behalf of the allied powers. (â€Å"Oslo† 2006). During their occupation of the city the Nazis used Akershus as a prison and place of execution for those convicted of allied conspiracy and today its the site of Norways Resistance Museum, which provided a detailed account of German takeover and the Norwegian struggle against it (Thodock 2003). The German forces that overrun Norway surrendered in May 8, 1945 enabling the exiled King Hakon VII to return to Norway from London in June. Oslo then began to rebuild its ruin buildings while at the same time prosecuted â€Å"about 90,000 alleged cases of treason and defection†. Convicted traitors faced execution foremost of which was Vidkun Quisling (â€Å"Oslo† 2006). War had been going on for a very long time when it came to The Cold War, the postwar to World War II. After World War II, as the Cold War began two major alliances were created. Although, in World War I a systems of alliances did not work, the systems of alliances that formed after World War II were bigger and they werent buddy-buddy alliances. These two alliances were formed to bring peace throughout the world, to end The Cold War, and to prevent anymore future high scale wars. Toward the end of the war, hostility between Norwegians and the German occupying forces grew considerably stronger. A prime cause was the German withdrawal from all fronts. Retreating German units from the fronts in the north, the USSR and Finland, withdrew to Norwegian territory. In the autumn of 1944, the Red Army followed the Germans into Finnmark, where it liberated Kirkenes and the northeastern areas. As the occupying troops retreated, they ordered an evacuation of the entire Norwegian population in Finnmark and in Troms south to Lyngen. In Lyngen, three German army corps dug in. Then the entire region north of Lyngen was burned and destroyed. The destruction included 10,400 homes, bridges, power stations, factories, fishing vessels, telephone facilities and other types of infrastructure. The scorched earth area was much larger than all of Denmark. After the Soviet Red Army crossed into North Norway, a Norwegian military mission and a small number of Norwegian soldiers from Great Britain and Sweden followed. The Russians withdrew from Norway in September 1945, a few months after the German capitulation.

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