Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Today in History: Treaty of Kiel

Today we are going to party like its 1999 1814! I bet you are asking yourself "why?"

Simple. January 14th is 195th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Kiel. Ok, now before you start yawning at what you think is going to be a boring history lesson remember that this event played a huge roll in the independence of Norway.

Basically it goes like this:

At the end of the Napoleonic Wars the Danish King, Frederick VI found himself on the losing side of the conflict. When the time came for everyone to make nice again, Denmark was required to cede Norway to the king of Sweden. However the treaty became a moot point because Norway didn't appreciate being treated like a proverbial baseball card.

So much so, in fact, that this treaty became a huge catalyst in the founding of Norway's independence movement. Barely four months passed before Norway declared its independence and, before year's end, elected its own monarch.

Ironic, isn't it, that Napoleon's thirst for conquest resulted in the independence of one of the most modern and peace-loving countries in the world?

In other historical news, do you remember when I wrote about Queen Maud Land a couple weeks ago? Well, today is special because it is the 60th anniversary of Queen Maud Land being named a dependent territory of Norway.

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