Despite the fact that Norway's history is drenched in blood; in modern times it has emerged as a peaceful nation. Whether it's about lodging a battle against the opposed elements, the undying and fearless spirit of the Vikings, the inherent influence of Christianity or the ceaseless struggle to forge an independent and sovereign identity – every event one following the other has formed one of the greatest epics in the world's history.
By 13th century, the countries constituting Shetland, Greenland, Iceland, the Orkney and the Faeroes Islands were ruled by the Norwegian empire. The rule lasted until around 1350 as the deadly epidemic of Black Death decimated over half of Norway's inhabitants.
From the period (1380-1814), the country was ruled by Denmark, thereafter it retained some mark of independence – writing its own national constitution and forming a new union with Sweden. In 1905, the parliament of Norway severed the ties with Sweden and chose its own Danish prince for the throne, who came to be known as King Haakon VII.
However, during the period of World War II, Norway was captured by the German forces. And, until the war came to an end, King Haakon and his government continued to live in exile in London. Significantly, in the late 1960s vast reserves of gas and oil were found off the Norwegian coast. It boosted the nation's economy and from past eight years, Norway has been elected by the UN as the world's ideal country to live in.
Last Updated : January 12, 2015
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