Kingdom of Norway
The Kingdom of Norway is located on the western most part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. Geographically, it extends northward from the North Sea over 1,000 miles along the Norwegian Sea and into the Arctic Circle, farther north than any other European country. Norway shares its east and northeast borders with Sweden, Finland, and Russia. With a total area of over 124,000 square miles, Norway is slightly larger than New Mexico however the majority of the land has very little vegetation, is covered by mountains, rivers, and glaciers, and for the most part is uninhabitable. Its numerous deep fjords give it over 12,000 miles of ...view middle of the document...
4 Norway's government is a constitutional monarchy, with King Harald V as its monarch. The monarch shares its executive power with a Cabinet composed of a Prime Minister and seven other members. Norway's Parliament, the Storting or â€œGreat Councilâ€, has 169 members who are elected by proportional representation. (Storing 1963, 39, 46-47, 73) Major political parties in Norway include the Labor party, led by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, the Conservative Party, the Christian Democrats, the Center Party, the Socialist Left Party, and the Party of Progress.5 Norway has one of the highest standards of living in the world, but it is also extremely expensive even when compared to the rest of Scandinavia. The gross national product is close to $60 billion, and the country has experienced low unemployment for the last decade at less than 3 Â½%. The per capita income is high as well at almost $14,000. The Norwegian labor force is composed of 4% agriculture workers, 22% industrial workers, and 74% service workers. (CIA World Factbook) Norway has extensive hydroelectric power resources upon which its industry is based. (Storing 1963, 1-2) The discovery of the North Sea oil fields has also attributed to Norway's wealth too. A 200-nautical-mile zone off Norway's shores gives the government control over these and other valuable resources in one of the most productive sea areas on earth.6 Norway has an extensive merchant marine force with over 715 ships; making it one of the worlds largest. Only 3-4% of the country's surface area is cultivatable and therefore most grain is imported. The majority of the country's forests are owned privately and feed the large timber, furniture, and paper industries. Norway exports oil and gas, metals, chemicals, and fish. In addition, paper products, ships, and oilrigs are exported; Norway's chief trading partners are the European Common Market, other Nordic countries, the U.S., and Japan. Exports account for almost 40% of the gross national product. The population of Norway is a stable 4.2 million people. Most Norwegians live near the coast, as much of the interior is uninhabitable. As a result, the overall population density is at a low 33.6 persons per square mile. (CIA world Factbook)
Coastal City (Stock photo)
Norwegians, like the Danes and Swedes, are of Teutonic decent. The Norsemen, also known as Vikings, were known to have ravaged the coasts of northwest Europe from the 8th to the 11th century and were ruled by local chieftains. Olaf II Haraldsson became the first effective king of Norway in 1015 and began converting the Norwegians to Christianity. After 1442, Danish kings ruled Norway until 1814, when Norway was united with Sweden. Norway retained a degree of independence and received a new constitution but it was an uneasy partnership. In 1905, the Norwegian parliament arranged a peaceful separation and invited a Danish prince to the Norwegian throne named King Haakon VII. A treaty with...