The 16th and 17th centuries in Norway were characterized by three central developments:

1.     The introduction of the Reformation in Norway, which led to the establishment of the school system in the 17th century. Reading and understanding faith in one’s own language became important, and many people learned to read and write. However, Protestantism also resulted in witch-hunts during the 17th century, where individuals were accused and killed for being “witches.”

2.     Centralization of the power of the Danish king. Danish noblemen and the Danish king gained more power in Norway during the 16th and 17th centuries. Danish began to replace Norwegian as the written language, but people still spoke their own Norwegian dialects.

3.     Economic development in Norway. Norway acquired two important industries during this period: timber trade and mining. Timber trade involved cutting down trees and selling timber, while mining involved extracting minerals, such as iron, from mines. These industries were crucial for exporting goods to other countries.

From 1660, Denmark-Norway became an absolute monarchy, similar to France under Louis XIV. Absolute monarchy means that the king has all the power, or more precisely, all power is derived from the king. The period from 1660 to 1780 was characterized by:

1.     European colonization and the introduction of new plants and goods to Norway, such as tobacco, potatoes, and spices. Potatoes, in particular, became important for Norway. Additionally, Denmark-Norway established its own colonies in Africa, India, and the Caribbean.

2.     Wars with Sweden. During this period, there were several major wars between Denmark-Norway and Sweden. The wars usually ended in a relatively even manner, with both sides weakened. However, Sweden managed to take Skåne from Denmark (present-day southern Sweden) and Jemtland, Herjedalen, and Båhuslen from Norway.



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