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© DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO 1814 – A Year of Miracles for Norwegians? Nordic Aspects of the Napoleonic Wars – The Treaty of Kiel and.

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Presentation on theme: "© DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO 1814 – A Year of Miracles for Norwegians? Nordic Aspects of the Napoleonic Wars – The Treaty of Kiel and."— Presentation transcript:

1 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO 1814 – A Year of Miracles for Norwegians? Nordic Aspects of the Napoleonic Wars – The Treaty of Kiel and Its Effects Ola Mestad Professor dr. juris Chair of the Norwegian Research Committee for the Constitution Bicentennial The Norwegian Constitution at 200 Years I Târgovite, 1 – 4 August 2014

2 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO Chronology of January Treaty of Kiel 16 Feb Meeting of high ranking men at Eidsvoll 10 April – 20 MayThe Constitutional Assembly at Eidsvoll 17 May - The Constitution adopted –Prince Christian Frederik offered the Norwegian Crown End July / Early August Swedish-Norwegian War 14 August The Moss Convention on armistice 7 Oct - 26 Nov The extraordinary Storting 4 Nov Carl 13 of Sweden elected King of Norway

3 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO What was the Peace of Kiel? Two peace treaties dated 14 January 1814 –Between Sweden and Denmark –Between Britain and Denmark Territorial restructuring in Northern Europe –Norway to be united with Sweden –Swedish Pomerania and Rügen to become part of Denmark And some effects in Asia, Africa and America A part of the end of the Napoleonic wars –Why Kiel? The capital of the Danish duchies Schleswig and Holstein

4 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO Political background Denmark-Norway allied with Napoleon since 1807 The building of alliances against Napoleon –British and Russian interests –Later Prussian and Austrian interests Sweden had lost Finland to Russia in 1809 –Coup d’état and new constitution in Sweden –New king: Carl 13 –Sweden adopted the French Marshal Bernadotte as Crown Prince in 1810 Bernadotte changed Swedish foreign policy –Rather get Norway in the West than trying to win back Finland in the East

5 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO

6 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO Swedish sucessful treaty strategy - Russia Treaty with Russia 1812 –The treaty of St. Petersburg 5 April 1812 Offensive and defensive alliance First acquire Norway for Sweden, then attack the French troops (But then Napoleon invaded Russia)

7 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO Swedish sucessful treaty strategy - Britain Treaty with Britain –The treaty of Stockholm 3 March 1813 Treaty of Concert and Subsidy, linked to the treaty with Russia British Naval co-operation Swedish-Norwegian union “with every possible regard and consideration for the happiness and liberty of the people of Norway”

8 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO Swedish sucessful warfare Völkerschlacht in Leipzig 16 – 19 October 1813 –Napoleon defeated The Army of the North under Bernadotte deviated to the North to win Norway in Holstein Occupied Holstein including Kiel 9-12 December Armistice 15 December Negotiations leading to the two treaties of Kiel 200 years ago

9 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO

10 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO Swedish Danish Kiel Treaty – main content Peace between Denmark and Sweden Alliance against Napoleonic France Cession of the Kingdom of Norway to the King of Sweden –Excluding Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands Cession of the Duchy of Swedish Pomerania and Principality of Rügen to Denmark Military withdrawal from Denmark Provisions on proclamations to the involved subjects

11 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO Reception in Norway of the Treaty in January/February 1814 Protest and regret Prince Christian Frederik, the governor, and heir to the throne, wanted to use his hereditary right and lead Norway’s independence as king 25 January he wrote: «The King has no right to renounce the inheritance of his family» The prince called for a meeting with men ”of the highest rank”

12 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO Meeting at Eidsvoll 16/17 February 21 participants of «the highest rank» –Leading lawyers, professors, officers, merchants Marcus Rosenkrantz –Declared «it to be illegal if the Prince, without the consent of the people, took the title of king» Georg Sverdrup –«No one has a better right to the crown than himself (Sverdrup) and anybody else» Prince Christian Frederik changed his mind, adopted title as regent, arranged for election to the constitutional assembly

13 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO Prince Christian Frederik ( ) Painted in 1813 Danish Norwegian prince King of Norway 19 May – 10 October 1814 King of Denmark

14 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO Christian Frederik’s declaration of 19 February 1814 “The Norwegian people, absolved from its oath to the mighty, high born Prince, Frederik the Sixth … [is] … accordingly given back the full right of a free and independent people to decide itself its constitution of government.” A declaration of independence and call for a constitutional assembly The Constitution to be adopted by the “people” with no formal role of the regent Christian Frederik

15 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO What made the Prince change his mind? Was it modern theory of sovereignty of the people? –Based on Rousseau, The Social Contract (1762) »Sovereignty rests always with the people and cannot be transferred, only delegated »It is unalienable and indivisible Or was it the absolutist contract theory of Denmark-Norway? In Denmark-Norway absolutism was formally established through oaths by the people in

16 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO Establishment of absolutism - Separate Norweigan oath Oath of allegiance at the old castle of Akershus 5 August persons signed the documents in Christiania [now Oslo] –17 noblemen –3 bishops –82 priests and canons –9 judges (lagmenn) –36 mayors and burghers –408 peasants

17 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO Lex Regia 1665 Transfer of absolute power to the King confirmed for “our two realms Denmark and Norway”. This includes “all Jura Majestatis, absolute power, sovereignty and all Royal special rights and Regalia” “Our hereditary realms Denmark and Norway … shall be and remain … undivided and continue under one hereditary absolutist king of Denmark and Norway” Contract theory: Hugo Grotius, Henning Arnisæus

18 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO Danish constitutional theory under absolutism Ludvig Holberg –Follower of Samuel Pufendorf –Contracts of association and of subjection Jens Schielderup Sneedorff ( ) Andreas Schytte ( ) Lauritz Nørregaard ( ) –Follower of Christian Wolff Johan Frederik Wilhelm Schlegel ( ) –Follower of Immanuel Kant All of them: Natural law social contract theory

19 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO J.F.W. Schlegel’s opinion Schlegel ( ) –Law professor in Copenhagen, teacher of the founding fathers «A people who has transferred the sovereignty, cannot take it back because that would in itself be an act of sovereignty… The one who holds the sovereignty, may voluntarily return it again, if the people will accept it. To others than the people, he may not transfer it, because it is a restricted personal right (jus mere personale)…» –Schlegel 1798

20 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO Kiel Treaty – the effect of Article IV In Article IV, the Norwegians were absolved from their oath of allegiance to the Danish King and the Crown of Denmark This was also repeated in the proclamation from the King to the people This dissolution of the bond between subjects and sovereign was understood by the Norwegians to return the sovereignty to the people of Norway

21 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO Christian Frederik’s declaration of 19 February 1814 “The Norwegian people, absolved from its oath to the mighty, high born Prince, Frederik the Sixth … [is] … accordingly given back the full right of a free and independent people to decide itself its constitution of government.” A declaration of independence and call for a constitutional assembly

22 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO Was this possible effect known in Kiel? Yes Norway could not be ceded to Sweden without consent from the Norwegian and Danish estates – Letter 10 April 1813 from Frederik 6 to the Swedish chargé d’affaires Also the instructions dated 31 December 1813 to the Danish negotiator Bourke in Kiel appears to assume the effect of absolving the Norwegians from their oath And, there was also a related law of nations argument – Grotius, Pufendorf, Emer de Vattel

23 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO What did the Treaty of Kiel do? Intended consequences –Tore apart the old Danish-Norwegian State –Split the old Kingdom of Norway in two »The mainland became Norway, and entered a weak union with Sweden »The old Norwegian provinces Iceland, Greenland and the Faroes staid with Denmark Unintended consequences –Gave the sovereignty back to the Norwegian people –Started the development of Norway as a constitutional democracy

24 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO

25 © DET JURIDISKE FAKULTET UNIVERSITETET I OSLO What else did it lead to? Swedish Pomerania and Rügen sold to Prussia by Denmark during the Congress of Vienna –Part of Prussian Northbound expansion Marshal Bernadotte became King Carl Johan of Sweden and Norway ( ) Christian Frederik became King of Denmark as Christian 8 ( ) From August 1814 and for 200 years there has been peace between the Nordic states


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