Erik the Red's Land

Erik the Red's Land
Eirik Raudes Land
Erik the Red's Land
Unrecognized territory of Norway

Location of Erik the Red's Land
Erik the Red's Land
Capital Myggbukta (unofficial)
(Meterological Station)
King of Norway
 - 1931-1933 Haakon VII
 - 1932-1933 Helge Ingstad
 - Royal Norwegian
10 July 1931
 - The International Court
at the Hague awarded
the territory to Denmark
5 April 1933

Erik the Red's Land (Norwegian: Eirik Raudes Land) was the name given by Norwegians to an area on the coast of eastern Greenland occupied by Norway in the early 1930s. It was named after Erik the Red, the founder of the first Norse settlements in Greenland in the 10th century. The Permanent Court of International Justice ruled against Norway in 1933 and the country subsequently abandoned its claims.[1]


Origin of the claim

The first European settlement in Greenland was established by Norse colonists from Iceland around the year 1000. There were two main Norse settlements on Greenland, but both were on the southwestern coast of the island, far away from the area that later became Eirik the Red's Land. From the 1260s the Norse colony in Greenland recognized the King of Norway as its overlord. When Norway was under Danish rule, as part of Denmark-Norway, from the Middle Ages until 1814, official documents made it clear that Greenland was part of Norway.[citation needed] However, contact with the settlements there was lost in the late Middle Ages and the Norse population died out, possibly around 1500.

Centuries later a Dano-Norwegian evangelist, Hans Egede, heard about a Viking colony on Greenland. He then asked King Frederick IV of Denmark for permission to try to find the long-lost colony and eventually to establish a Protestant Christian mission there to convert the population of the land, who were presumed, if any survived, to still be Catholic or to have completely lost the Christian faith. Egede reached Greenland in 1721 and found no Norse population there. He then started his mission among the Inuit people. This led to his becoming known as "The Apostle of Greenland" and appointed Bishop of Greenland. He founded the current capital of Greenland, called Godthaab. In 1723 Det Bergenske Grønlandskompani (The Bergen Greenland Company) received a concession for all trade with Greenland.[2]

For the remainder of the union between Norway and Denmark, the relationship between Greenland and the state was organised in different ways. Modern historians disagree as to what point in history Greenland went from being a Norwegian possession to being a Danish one. However, the Treaty of Kiel, signed in 1814, indicates that Greenland was at least politically regarded as having been Norwegian: "...the Kingdom of Norway ... as well as the dependencies (Greenland, the Faroes and Iceland not included) ... shall for the future belong to ... His Majesty the King of Sweden ...".[3] Norway never recognised the validity of the Treaty of Kiel.


The early Norwegian hunting and telegraph station in Myggbukta, Eirik Raudes Land

In 1919 Denmark claimed the whole of Greenland as its territory, with Norway's acquiescence (see Ihlen Declaration).

However, in 1921 Denmark proposed to exclude all foreigners from Greenland, creating diplomatic conflict until July 1924, when Denmark agreed that Norwegians could establish hunting and scientific settlements north of 60°27' N.

In June 1931 Hallvard Devold, Chairman of the Norwegian Arctic Trading Company, raised the Norwegian flag at Myggbukta and on 10 July 1931 a Norwegian royal proclamation was issued, claiming Eastern Greenland as Norwegian territory. Norway claimed that the area was terra nullius: it had no permanent inhabitants and was for the most part used by Norwegian whalers and trappers. The area was defined as "situated between Carlsberg Fjord in the South and Bessel Fjord in the North", extending from latitude 71°30' to latitutde 75°40'N. Although it was not explicitly stated in the proclamation itself, it was assumed that the area was limited to the eastern coast, so that the Inland Ice constituted its western limit. (The Inland Ice covers five sixths of Greenland's total area, so that only a narrow strip of varying width along the coast is free of permanent ice.)

Norway and Denmark agreed to settle their dispute over Eastern Greenland at the Permanent Court of International Justice in 1933. Norway lost and after the ruling it abandoned its claim.

During Norway's 1940-1945 occupation by Nazi Germany in World War II, the territorial claim was briefly revived by the puppet Quisling regime, who extended it to cover all of Greenland. A small-scale invasion to "reconquer" the island for Norway was proposed by Vidkun Quisling, but the Germans rejected this after deeming it unfeasible in light of the then-ongoing Battle of the Atlantic.[4]


  1. ^ Legal Status of Eastern Greenland, PCIJ Series A/B No. 53 (1933)
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Dessa Biskopsdömen, Stift och Provinser, innefattande hela Konunga-Riket Norrige med alla dess Inbyggare, Städer, Hamnar, Fästningar, Byar och Öar utmed hela detta Rikes kuster, tillika med deras tillhörigheter (Grönland, Ferröarne och Island här under likwäl icke inbegripne); äfwensom de med alla förmoner, rättigheter och afkastningar skola hädanefter under full ägo och öfwerherreskap tillhöra Hans Maj:t Konungen af Swerige, och utgöra ett Konunga-Rike förenadt med Swerige.", The Treaty of Kiel (Swedish)
  4. ^ Buskø-affæren - hvordan ei norsk selfangstskute ble USAs første fangst i andre verdenskrig, Artikkel i tidsskriftet Historie nr 1, 2007

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Erik the Red — (950–c. 1003) (Old Norse: Eiríkr rauði; Icelandic: Eiríkur rauði; Norwegian: Eirik Raude; Danish: Erik den Røde;Swedish: Erik Röde; Faroese: Eirikur (hin) reyði) founded the first Nordic settlement in Greenland. Born in the Jæren district of… …   Wikipedia

  • Erik the Red — orig. Erik Thorvaldson flourished 10th century, Norway Founder of the first European settlement on Greenland (с 986) and father of Leif Eriksson. A native of Norway, Erik grew up in Iceland; exiled for manslaughter с 980, he set sail and landed… …   Universalium

  • The opera corpus — is a list of nearly 2,500 works by more than 775 individual opera composers. Some of the works listed below are still being performed today   but many are not. The principal works of the major composers are given as well as those of historical… …   Wikipedia

  • Danish colonization of the Americas — European colonization of the Americas First colonization British colonization Courlandish colonization Danish colonization Dutch colonization …   Wikipedia

  • Eirik Raudes Land — Karte von Grönland mit Eirik Raudes Land Eirik Raudes Land war der offizielle norwegische Name eines Territoriums auf Grönland, welches von Norwegen vom 27. Juni 1931 bis zum 5. April 1933 besetzt gehalten wurde. Norwegen betrachtete Grönland… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Red Dead Redemption — cover Developer(s) Rockstar San Diego Rockstar North …   Wikipedia

  • Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite — is an assemblage of fossil dinosaur footprints discovered in 1997 on public land near Shell, Wyoming by [ kvalee Erik P. Kvale] , a research geologist from the Indiana Geological Survey. The tracks are believed to have been …   Wikipedia

  • Red House Children's Book Award — The Red House Children s Book Award is a series of literary prizes for works of children s literature published during the previous year. The prize was known as the Children s Book Award from its inauguration in 1981. The award was established by …   Wikipedia

  • Erik der Rote — Darstellung Eriks des Roten in Arngrímur Jónsson s Gronlandia Erik „der Rote“ Thorvaldsson (altnord./isländ. Eiríkr rauði Þorvaldsson, norweg. Eirik Raude, * um 950 in Jæren, Norwegen; † um 1003 in Brattahlíð, Grönland) war ein norwegisch… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Red fox — For other uses, see Red fox (disambiguation). Red fox Temporal range: Mid Pleistocene–Recent European red fox (V. v. crucigera) Conservation status …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”