January 19, 2005


In the early 1800s Sweden lost control of Finland and
gained control of Norway. The Norwegians had some
autonomy during this time (their own parlaiment but a
Swedish king) and worked at building their own culture and
identity, now that they were free from Denmark. This
culminated in a movement to be free from Sweden, which
succeeded in 1905. Norway has been quite lucky in the 20th century, in part due
to the discovery of oil in the north sea. Some experts found
that if the oil money was let loose in the Norwegian
economy, it would cause havoc-- inflation, unemployment.
They decided that it could in fact even be worse than
socialism. Instead they put the money in a national trust
fund with a strict rule that it can only be invested outside the
country. It is forecast that the value of this fund will soon
grow in size to be large enough to buy the entire Swedish
national debt. According to the forecast this will occur on
June 7 this year, 100 years exactly from the day when the
Norwegian parliament notified the Swedish parlaiment that
they considered the Swedish-Norwegian union to be

Lots of Norwegians emigrated to the US of course. In the
1800s the population of Norway increased from 883,000 to
2,240,000. The economy grew as well, but not enough to
provide opportunities for everyone. Opportunity called from
farming in the American Midwest, and relative to its size,
Norway sent the most emigrants to the US of any other
european country except for Ireland.


At November 22, 2005 9:18 PM , Anonymous Emil Arvelo said...

are you serious?


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