1814 – The Swedish–Norwegian War begins.
The Swedish–Norwegian War, also known as the Campaign against Norway (Swedish: Fälttåget mot Norge), War with Sweden 1814 (Norwegian: Krigen med Sverige 1814), or the Norwegian War of Independence; was a war fought between Sweden and Norway in the summer of 1814. The war resulted in Norway entering into union with Sweden, but with its own constitution and parliament.
Treaty of Kiel
As early as in 1812, prior to the Napoleonic invasion of Russia, the Swedish Crown Prince Charles John had entered into an agreement with Tsar Alexander I that Russia would support a Swedish attack on Norway in order to force Denmark-Norway to cede its northern part to Sweden. The Swedish attack against Norway was rejected, however, and Swedish forces were instead directed against France in Central Europe. The Swedish troops were deployed against Napoleon’s forces as a result of agreements between Charles John and diplomats from the United Kingdom and Prussia, which indicated that Norway would be ceded to Sweden after France and its allies (which included Denmark-Norway) were defeated.
By the Treaty of Kiel in January 1814, King Frederik VI of Denmark-Norway had to cede Norway to the King of Sweden, due to Denmark-Norway’s alliance with France, and its defeat during the later phases of the Napoleonic Wars. This treaty was however not accepted by the Norwegians.
Norwegian Constituent Assembly
Prince Christian Frederick of Denmark, heir presumptive to the thrones of Denmark and Norway and Governor-general of Norway, took the lead in the insurrection, and he called for a constitutional assembly. This adopted the liberal constitution of 17 May, which also elected Christian Frederick as the king of an independent Norway.
As the head of the new state, Christian Frederick desperately tried to gain support from the United Kingdom, or any of the other major powers within the Sixth Coalition, in order to maintain Norway’s independence. However, the foreign diplomats gave no hope for any outside support to the Norwegians.
The Norwegian Army mustered 30,000 men, and it had taken up positions away from the border with Sweden, in the fear of being outflanked. The Norwegian navy had few vessels, and most of them were stationed at the islands of Hvaler, close to Sweden.
The Swedish Army consisted of 45,000 men, experienced and well-equipped soldiers. The Swedish Navy had a number of large vessels and a capacity for moving and landing troops.
Jean Baptiste Bernadotte – former Marshal of France and heir presumptive to the Swedish throne
Magnus Fredrik Ferdinand Björnstjerna – Swedish general
Johannes Klingenberg Sejersted – Norwegian major general
Frederik Gottschalck von Haxthausen – Norwegian minister of finance and Oberhofmarschall
The hostilities opened on 26 July with a swift Swedish naval attack against the Norwegian gunboats at Hvaler. The Norwegian army was evacuated and the vessels managed to escape, but they did not take part in the rest of the war. The main Swedish offensive came across the border at Halden, bypassing and surrounding the fortress of Fredriksten, and then continuing north, while a second force of 6,000 soldiers landed at Kråkerøy outside of Fredrikstad. This town surrendered the next day. This was the start of a pincer movement around the main part of the Norwegian army at Rakkestad.
On the front towards Kongsvinger the forces were more evenly matched, and the Norwegian army eventually stopped the Swedish advance at Lier on 2 August, and won another victory at Matrand on 5 August. On 3 August, King Christian Frederick reached the front at Østfold and was persuaded to change his strategy and use the 6,000 men stationed at Rakkestad in a counterattack against the Swedes. The order to counterattack was given on the 5th of August, but the order was recalled a few hours later. The Norwegian forces therefore withdrew over the Glomma river at Langnes in Askim. The last major battle of the war was fought on 9 August at the bridgehead at Langnes, where the Swedish forces once more were driven back. Sweden then attempted to outflank the Norwegian line, and successfully did so during the battle of Kjølbergs bro on the 14th of August. The Swedes then had a clear path to Kristiania, the Norwegian capital, which made the Norwegian situation unsustainable.
Although the Norwegian Army had won at Langnes, it was nevertheless clear to both the Norwegian and Swedish military authorities that a defeat was inevitable. Even as they had managed to deliver several minor offensive blows to the Swedes, thus applying pressure on the Swedes to accept Norway as a sovereign nation, it was considered impossible to try to stop the Swedes in the long run. The Swedish offer of negotiations was therefore accepted as the war had put a heavy strain on the Norwegian finances. Every day of delay in securing Norway by the Swedes brought uncertainty to them regarding the outcome, so both parties were interested in a quick end to the war.
For the ordinary Norwegian soldier the war had seemed ill-prepared and ill-fought. The allegations of the loss were against Christian Frederick and the Norwegian general Haxthausen; the latter was accused of treason. For the Norwegian government it probably had been more of a matter of getting the best possible bargaining position, as without the support of major powers Norway’s independence was impossible to secure. But by agreeing to talks following the victory at Langnes they were in a situation where they could avoid an unconditional surrender.
On 7 August, Bernadotte presented a proposal for a cease-fire. The proposal included a major concession—Bernadotte, on behalf of the Swedish government, accepted the Eidsvoll constitution. In doing so, he tacitly gave up any claims that Norway would be merely a Swedish province. Negotiations started in Moss, Norway on 10 August 1814, and after a few days of hard negotiations, a cease fire agreement, called the Convention of Moss, was signed on 14 August 1814. King Christian Frederick was forced to abdicate, but Norway remained nominally independent within a personal union with Sweden, under the Swedish king. Its Constitution was upheld with only such amendments as were required to allow it to enter into the union, and the two united kingdoms retained separate institutions, except for the King and the foreign service and policy.
1919 – James Lovelock, English biologist and chemist
James Ephraim Lovelock CH CBE FRS (born 26 July 1919) is an independent scientist, environmentalist and futurist who lives in Devon, England. He is best known for proposing the Gaia hypothesis, which postulates that the Earth functions as a self-regulating system.
James Lovelock was born in Letchworth Garden City in Hertfordshire, England, to working class parents who were strong believers in education. Nell, his mother, started work at 13 in a pickle factory. His father, Tom, had served six months hard labour for poaching in his teens and was illiterate until attending technical college. The family moved to London, where Lovelock’s dislike of authority made him, by his own account, an unhappy pupil at Strand School. Lovelock could not afford to go to university after school, something which he believes helped prevent him becoming over-specialised and aided the development of Gaia theory. He worked at a photography firm, attending Birkbeck College during the evenings, before being accepted to study chemistry at the University of Manchester, where he was a student of the Nobel Prize laureate Professor Alexander Todd. Lovelock worked at a Quaker farm before a recommendation from his professor led to him taking up a Medical Research Council post, working on ways of shielding soldiers from burns. Lovelock refused to use the shaved and anaesthetised rabbits that were used as burn victims, and exposed his own skin to heat radiation instead, an experience he describes as “exquisitely painful”. His student status enabled temporary deferment of military service during the Second World War, but he registered as a conscientious objector. He later abandoned this position in the light of Nazi atrocities, and tried to enlist in the armed forces, but was told that his medical research was too valuable for the enlistment to be approved. In 1948 Lovelock received a PhD degree in medicine at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In the United States, he has conducted research at Yale, Baylor College of Medicine, and Harvard University.
A lifelong inventor, Lovelock has created and developed many scientific instruments, some of which were designed for NASA in its program of planetary exploration. It was while working as a consultant for NASA that Lovelock developed the Gaia hypothesis, for which he is most widely known.
In early 1961, Lovelock was engaged by NASA to develop sensitive instruments for the analysis of extraterrestrial atmospheres and planetary surfaces. The Viking program, which visited Mars in the late 1970s, was motivated in part to determine whether Mars supported life, and many of the sensors and experiments that were ultimately deployed aimed to resolve this issue. During work on a precursor of this program, Lovelock became interested in the composition of the Martian atmosphere, reasoning that many life forms on Mars would be obliged to make use of it (and, thus, alter it). However, the atmosphere was found to be in a stable condition close to its chemical equilibrium, with very little oxygen, methane, or hydrogen, but with an overwhelming abundance of carbon dioxide. To Lovelock, the stark contrast between the Martian atmosphere and chemically dynamic mixture of that of the Earth’s biosphere was strongly indicative of the absence of life on the planet. However, when they were finally launched to Mars, the Viking probes still searched (unsuccessfully) for extant life there.
Electron capture detector developed by Lovelock, and in the Science Museum, London
Lovelock invented the electron capture detector, which ultimately assisted in discoveries about the persistence of CFCs and their role in stratospheric ozone depletion. After studying the operation of the Earth’s sulphur cycle, Lovelock and his colleagues, Robert Jay Charlson, Meinrat Andreae and Stephen G. Warren developed the CLAW hypothesis as a possible example of biological control of the Earth’s climate.
Lovelock was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1974. He served as the president of the Marine Biological Association (MBA) from 1986 to 1990, and has been an Honorary Visiting Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford (formerly Green College, Oxford) since 1994. He has been awarded a number of prestigious prizes including the Tswett Medal (1975), an American Chemical Society chromatography award (1980), the World Meteorological Organization Norbert Gerbier Prize (1988), the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for the Environment (1990) and the Royal Geographical Society Discovery Lifetime award (2001). In 2006 he received the Wollaston Medal, the Geological Society’s highest Award, whose previous recipients include Charles Darwin . He became a Commander of the Order of the British Empire CBE in 1990, and a member of the Companions of Honour in 2003. He is a patron of population concern charity Population Matters.
As an independent scientist, inventor, and author, Lovelock worked out of a barn-turned-laboratory he called his “experimental station” located in a wooded valley on the Devon/Cornwall border in the south-west of England.
On 8 May 2012, he appeared on the Radio Four series “The Life Scientific”, talking to Jim al-Khalili about the Gaia hypothesis. On the program, he mentioned how his ideas had been received by various people, including Jonathan Porritt. He also mentioned how he had a claim for inventing the microwave oven. He later explained this claim in an interview with The Manchester Magazine. Lovelock said that he did create an instrument during his time studying causes of damage to living cells and tissue, which had, according to him, “almost everything you would expect in an ordinary microwave oven”. He invented the instrument for the purpose of heating up frozen hamsters in a way that caused less suffering to the animals, as opposed to the traditional way which involved putting red hot spoons on the animals’ chest to heat them up. He believes that at the time, nobody had gone that far and made an embodiment of an actual microwave oven. However, he does not claim to have been the first person to have the idea of using microwaves for cooking.
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