A Guide to the United States’ History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Norway


In 1814, the Treaty of Kiel transferred Norway from Danish to Swedish rule. Denmark had sided with Napoleon, while Sweden had allied itself with Napoleon’s enemies in 1812. Norway accepted union with Sweden under a common monarch, while retaining its own constitution and national assembly. Cultural nationalism led to economic nationalism in the 19th century. Norway demanded its own national flag and consular service in order to promote its maritime commerce. After Sweden was unwilling to concede these points, Norway’s national assembly (Storting) declared an end to the union with Sweden on June 7, 1905. Sweden accepted, and a treaty of separation was signed on October 26, 1905. Norway chose Prince Charles of Denmark as its king, who assumed the name of Haakon VII and ruled until 1957.

Modern Flag of Norway


U.S. Recognition of Norwegian Independence, 1905.

U.S. Secretary of State Elihu Root informed the Foreign Minister of Norway on October 30, 1905, that the United States recognized Norway’s separation from Sweden.

Consular Presence

The first U.S. Consulates established in Norway were at Christiania (Oslo since 1925) and Christiansand in 1809.

The post at Christiania became a Consulate General in 1900. The post at Christiansand closed in 1821, became a Consular Agency in 1917, a Consulate in 1917, and closed in 1919.

A Consulate was opened in Bergen in 1828. It closed in 1941 during the German occupation, reopened in 1948, and closed in 1953. Dependent posts were:

  • Trondheim (Consular Agency 1863-97; 1899-1917. Consulate 1917-21)
  • Stavanger (Consular Agency 1863-97; 1899-1905. Consulate 1905-33)
  • Tromso (Consular Agency 1866-70; 1896-99)
  • Hammerfest (Consular Agency 1866-70)

Diplomatic Relations

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, 1905.

Diplomatic relations were established on October 30, 1905,when Secretary Root also stated in his recognition message to the Foreign Minister of Norway that the United States would recognize Christian Hauge as Norway’s Chargé d’Affaires. Hauge was promoted to Minister and presented his new credentials on April 25, 1906.

First American Diplomatic Representative Accredited to Norway, 1905.

Charles H. Graves had been appointed Minister to Sweden and Norway on March 8, 1905. On November 14, 1905, he acknowledged instructions to exercise his functions toward Norway separately, which he did until August 6, 1906.

Establishment of the American Legation in Christiania (Oslo).

Hubert H. D. Peirce was appointed Minister to Norway on June 22, 1906, and presented his credentials on August 13.

American Legation in Oslo Closed, 1940.

Nazi Germany invaded Norway on April 9, 1940. The Norwegian Government immediately fled Oslo, and ultimately made its way to England. U.S. Minister Florence Jaffray Harriman left the country on April 22, 1940, and Raymond E. Cox was serving as Chargé d’Affaires when the Legation was closed on July 15, 1940.

Opening of the American Legation Near the Government of Norway in London, 1940.

Rudolf E. Schoenfeld opened the Legation Near the Government of Norway in London and made his first call as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim on August 2, 1940.

Elevation of American Legation to Embassy Status, 1942.

Anthony J. Drexel Biddle Jr. was appointed Minister to Norway on February 11, 1941, and presented his credentials on March 20, 1941. He was promoted to Ambassador on May 12, 1942, and presented his new credentials the next day. Biddle was also accredited to the governments-in-exile of Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, and Yugoslavia.

American Embassy Transferred to Oslo, 1945.

Lithgow Osborne transferred the American Embassy from London to Oslo on May 31, 1945.

Treaties & Agreements

First treaty between the United States and Norway signed, June 7, 1893.

This treaty was signed while Norway was still united with Sweden (a separate extradition treaty had been signed with Sweden on January 14, 1893). It entered into force on December 8, 1893. It was amended December 10, 1904, after Norway abolished imprisonment at hard labor.

First treaty the U.S. signed with Independent Norway, April 1908.

The first treaty that the United States signed with an independent Norway dealt with arbitration of international disputes, and was signed in Washington on April 4, 1908. It entered into force on June 24, and remained in effect until June 24, 1928.


  • Bevans, Charles I. Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America, 1776-1949. Volume 10, Nepal-Peru. Department of State Publication 8642, August 1972.
  • Department of State Country Fact Sheet: Norway
  • Department of State Country Information: Norway
  • Department of State. Foreign Relations of the United States: 1905. pp. 853-874.
  • Langer, William L. An Encyclopedia of World History. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1968.