Interim Reflection

The following is a reflection on the Independent Study

What is exciting you so far? Honestly, how much of what I’m researching connects to world events, such as the decline of Denmark, the rise of Prussia, the Napoleonic Wars, the rise of Liberalism and Nationalism, and the unification of Germany and Italy.

What is surprising or frustrating? Honestly, it has been difficult finding sources, as many of them are in German and my Norwegian is only good enough to correct mistakes that Google Translate makes.

What are you learning about learning? It is very, very easy to fall into rabbit holes.

Where are you recording information, ideas, questions, resources, etc.? And how do you anticipate using this material, either in this project or in the future? While some parts I keep in physical spaces, such as my art, I use a word document to keep track of all my resources.

How is your time management working out? Excluding earlier issues with the technology, it has been working out very well. I’ve had plenty of time to read, write, and draw for the IS.

Is there any need for change in the way you’re approaching this course? Yes. Finding out specific information regarding Norwegian political history and art history can be quite difficult at time, but there are workarounds and I will probably be making art at an increased rate than I initially predicted.

In what ways does the reality match the proposal, and in what ways does it differ? It is still roughly the same, though I’ve abandoned the monthly art and subject concept I initially had. I’m excited to start going far more in depth with Norwegian art.

The Treaty of Kiel

What was the Treaty of Kiel and why was it important?

The 1814 Treaty of Kiel was signed between Great Britain, Denmark, and Sweden to establish peace in Scandinavia during the Napoleonic Wars. The treaty would’ve transferred Swedish Pomerania to Denmark and Norway to Sweden, while Denmark would’ve retained control of Norway’s islands. However, the Norwegians and the Danish Governor of Norway, Prince Christian Frederick (Later Christian VIII of Denmark) were both surprised and angered at this treatment of Norway as essentially a colony. Christian Frederick sent a letter to his cousin, Frederick VI of Denmark, requesting that he officially abdicate the Norwegian throne, which would allow Norway to fight against Sweden. King Frederick did abdicate, and Norway held a National Assembly that elected Christian Frederick as King of Norway and adopted a constitution, which, albeit with some modifications, has been in continuous use since 1814.

What, to the Swedish Government, must’ve seemed like open rebellion from Norway, caused Crown Prince and Regent Jean Bernadotte to reject the peace treaty and refuse to transfer Swedish Pomerania, which would later come under Prussian rule. However, the Norwegians fought hard against Sweden and forced them to accept Norway’s constitution, which led to a rebirth of Norwegian art and culture. Interestingly enough, the resulting union was referred to as Norway-Sweden in Norway, while it was called Sweden-Norway in the rest of the world.

I found this information in Hallgeir Elstad’s Religion and Patriotism in 1814 Norway, a text that, as any other source I could previously find on the subject was in German, was exciting and enlightening. My next step is to explore Norway under the Union and the growth of Norwegian Culture.