Today our Borders series is back to the North, for the 1905 referendum for the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden, held in Noway on the 13th August 1905. This is a very interesting example of dissolution & border reorganisation happening without violence.
Under the terms of the union, Norway and Sweden shared a common foreign policy. In May 1905, the Storting, the“local” Norwegian parliament, passed a bill, supported by the government, to establish a separate Norwegian consulate. When King Oscar II of Sweden vetoed the bill, the government resigned. The king vetoed the bill and refused to accept the resignation; as a countermove, the Storting claimed that by failing to appoint a new government, Oscar II had abandoned his functions as King of Norway. The Swedish government then accepted the dissolution, but only if the people of Norway agreed to in a referendum. The referendum (only open to male voters) was approved by almost 100% of voters, with just 184 voting against the proposal out of over 371,000 votes cast.
The Arkiv i Nordland holds the documents related to this peaceful resolution of a conflict played around negotiations and the rule of law.
Consult them on Archives Portal Europe: