Norwegian Governments (1814-present)
This overview distinguishes two different types of governments; the non-parliamentarians (prior to 1884), and the parliamentarians (since 1884).
In the non-parliamentarian period, the king appointed his ministers. The principle of the separation of powers was prevailing, and the ministers thus had no access to the Storting. The non-parliamentarian governments, except for the first and the last, are here named after the most prominent Norwegian figure in the government. This is in line with both contemporary and modern overviews (see Bætzmann (1885) and Østang (1996)).
Note anyhow that the transition from one non-parliamentarian government to another often was gradual, i.e. the ministers could act across governments without further formal appointments. The same ministerial post (i.e. minister + department + time in office) may thus occur twice in the overviews. In the parliamentarian period the ministerial posts are unique by definition.
How and when a new parliamentarian government is formed is defined according to (more) formal criteria. First and foremost a new government is formed if there is a change of prime minister. Principally, a new government is also formed if the party composition of the government changes. In NSD’s overview there are two exceptions to this rule. 1) Johan Sverdrup’s Government here counts as one even though it may be argued that a new government was formed when the Liberals withdrew from the government in the spring of 1888. 2) Johan Nygaardsvold’s Government could also be considered as two governments since the government in April 1940 ("the London Government") was supplemented with advisory ministers from the Conservatives, the Liberals and the Agrarian party.
However, in the political science literature it is also common to define a new government if the parliamentarian basis changes, i.e. the government goes from having a majority to a minority or vice versa. This definition is not made use of here, since we think the government line that would follow from this view somewhat would break with the prevailing understanding of Norwegian governments. Anyhow, the governments that are listed with more than one “government type” are the ones which would be divided if the above mentioned definition were applied.
In the absence of the king the Council of State Division in Christiania was until 1873 led by the governor, or, on a few occasions, the viceroy. During periods where no governor (or viceroy) was appointed, the oldest Norwegian minister in Christiania acted as first minister. Fredrik Stang was the first (and only) who was officially appointed First Minister. In 1873 the governor office in Christiania was abandoned, and the first minister's office transformed to a prime minister's office. However, there had been a Norwegian prime minister at the Council of State Division in Stockholm since 1814. In the period 1873-1905 there thus existed two Norwegian prime ministers, one in Stockholm, and one in Kristiania. The latter ranked first and had the most prestige.
The ordering of ministries and ministers on these pages must not be interpreted as the official rank between them.
Some sorting regulators however exist: The heads of government are always placed at the top, while the Norwegian Councils of State Division in Stockholm (the non-parliamentarian period) are always at the bottom. In addition, the oldest ministries are tried to be put above the younger ministries in a given government.
The ministers’ time in office in the non-parliamentarian governments are often approximate in the sense that the start and the end dates are mainly set to the first and the last day of the month. A minister that took office in September 1843 and resigned in September 1844 thus would have 01.09.1843 as start date, and 31.08.1844 as end date. (Since a new minister normally also would follow in September 1844, we avoid having overlapping ministers by setting the former’s end date to the last day of August).
For the ministers (and the state secretaries) in the parliamentarian governments the time in office is exact, with few exceptions. However, we here also remove one day from the end date to avoid overlapping. (Note that these days are included in our seniority rankings.) Overlapping will (often) anyhow occur in the cases where a minister has leave of absence and another minister fills in.
The cause(s) of a government’s resignation is described in the form of keywords. (In Norwegian we have also described the resignations somewhat more descriptive.) The keywords are based upon Rasch (2001). The causes are defined as ‘internal affairs’, ‘motion of confidence’, ‘negative majority’, ‘motion of no confidence’, ‘anticipated non-confidence’ (i.e. election defeat), and ‘other’ (i.e. personal causes, external relations, governmental (party) expansion, or “plebiscitary motion of confidence”).
|1814||First Norwegian Council of State|
|1814||First Wedel Government|
|1836||Second Wedel Government and its continuation|
|Start||Government||Parties in government||Type of government||Cause of resignation|
|1884||Johan Sverdrup's Government||Lib. (MLP)||Majority, minority||Internal affairs|
|1889||Emil Stang's First Government||Cons.||Minority||Motion of Confidence|
|1891||Johannes W.C. Steen's First Government||Lib.||Majority||Other|
|1893||Emil Stang's Second Government||Cons.||Minority||Anticipated non-confidence|
|1895||Francis Hagerup's First Government||Cons.+MLP+Lib.||Majority||Anticipated non-confidence|
|1898||Johannes W.C. Steen's Second Government||Lib.||Majority||Other|
|1902||Otto A. Blehr's First Government||Lib.||Majority||Anticipated non-confidence|
|1903||Francis Hagerup's Second Government||Cons.+MLP+Coal.||Majority||Internal affairs|
|1905||Christian Michelsen's Government||Lib.+Cons.+MLP+Coal.||Grand coalition, minority||Other|
|1907||Jørgen G. Løvland's Government||Lib.+MLP||Minority||Negative majority|
|1908||Gunnar Knudsen's First Government||Lib.+WD||Minority||Anticipated non-confidence|
|1910||Wollert Konow's (S.B.) Government||Cons.+LLP||Majority||Internal affairs|
|1912||Jens K. M. Bratlie's Government||Cons.+LLP||Majority||Anticipated non-confidence|
|1913||Gunnar Knudsen's Second Government||Lib.+WD||Majority, minority||Motion of Confidence|
|1920||Otto B. Halvorsen's First Government||Cons.+LLP||Minority||Motion of Confidence|
|1921||Otto A. Blehr's Second Government||Lib.||Minority||Motion of Confidence|
|1923||Otto B. Halvorsen's Second Government||Cons.+LLP||Minority||Other|
|1923||Abraham T. Berge's Government||Cons.+LLP||Minority||Motion of Confidence|
|1924||Johan Ludvig Mowinckel's First Government||Lib.||Minority||Negative majority|
|1926||Ivar Lykke's Government||Cons.+LLP||Minority||Anticipated non-confidence|
|1928||Christopher Hornsrud's Government||Lab.||Minority||Motion of No Confidence|
|1928||Johan Ludvig Mowinckel's Second Government||Lib.||Minority||Motion of Confidence|
|1931||Peder L. Kolstad's Government||AP||Minority||Other|
|1932||Jens Hundseid's Government||AP||Minority||Motion of Confidence|
|1933||Johan Ludvig Mowinckel's Third Government||Lib.||Minority||Motion of Confidence|
|1935||Johan Nygaardsvold's Government||Lab. (+Cons.+AP+Lib.+HF)||Minority, grand coalition||Other|
|1945||Einar Gerhardsen's First Government||Lab.+Cons.+AP+Lib.+Com.+HF||Grand coalition||Other|
|1945||Einar Gerhardsen's Second Government||Lab.||Majority||Other|
|1951||Oscar F. Torp's Government||Lab.||Majority||Other|
|1955||Einar Gerhardsen's Third Government||Lab.||Majority, minority||Motion of No Confidence|
|1963||John Lyng's Government||Cons.+Cent.+CDP+Lib.||Minority||Negative majority|
|1963||Einar Gerhardsen's Fourth Government||Lab.||Minority||Anticipated non-confidence|
|1965||Per Borten's Government||Cons.+Cent.+CDP+Lib.||Majority||Internal affairs|
|1971||Trygve Bratteli's First Government||Lab.||Minority||Other|
|1972||Lars Korvald's Government||Cent.+CDP+Lib.||Minority||Anticipated non-confidence|
|1973||Trygve Bratteli's Second Government||Lab.||Minority||Other|
|1976||Odvar Nordli's Government||Lab.||Minority||Other|
|1981||Gro Harlem Brundtland's First Government||Lab.||Minority||Anticipated non-confidence|
|1981||Kåre Willoch's First Government||Cons.||Minority||Other|
|1983||Kåre Willoch's Second Government||Cons.+Cent.+CDP||Majority, minority||Motion of Confidence|
|1986||Gro Harlem Brundtland's Second Government||Lab.||Minority||Anticipated non-confidence|
|1989||Jan P. Syse's Government||Cons.+Cent.+CDP||Minority||Internal affairs|
|1990||Gro Harlem Brundtland's Third Government||Lab.||Minority||Other|
|1996||Thorbjørn Jagland's Government||Lab.||Minority||Other|
|1997||Kjell Magne Bondevik's First Government||Cent.+CDP+Lib.||Minority||Motion of Confidence|
|2000||Jens Stoltenberg's First Government||Lab.||Minority||Anticipated non-confidence|
|2001||Kjell Magne Bondevik's Second Government||Cons.+CDP+Lib.||Minority||Anticipated non-confidence|
|2005||Jens Stoltenberg's Second Government||Lab.+SLP+Cent.||Majority|
Note: The colours on the government parties illustrate whether or not the governments were left-leaning (red) or right-leaning (blueish). Black equals neutral.
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