Christian Michelsen's Government

11. March 1905–23. October 1907

Coalition Party (Saml), Moderate Liberal Party (MV), Conservative Party (H) and Liberal Party (V)

Christian Michelsen’s Government was appointed by Crown Prince Regent Gustaf in a session of the Council of State on 11 March 1905, effective as of 12 noon the same day. It succeded Francis Hagerup’s Second Government, due to internal disagreement there on Prime Minister Hagerup's line in the negotiations to end the union between Sweden and Norway.

In a Norwegian Council of State session at Stockholm Palace on 27 May 1905, Prime Minister in Stockholm Jørgen Løvland handed over the resignation of  Christian Michelsen's Government to King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway. The reason was that the King had refused to sanction the bill on a Norwegian consular service. The King refused to accept the Government's resignation, as he saw no possibility for appointing a new government. Løvland upheld the Government's resignation. 

On 7 June 1905 Prime Minister Michelsen informed the Storting that the Government would resign. The Storting authorised the Government to exert the King's legal powers until further notice, with necessary changes caused by the dissolution of the union with Sweden, as the King was now seen by the Storting to have ceased to act as the King of Norway.

Work at the Norwegian Council of State Division in Stockholm came to an end due to the Storting’s decision of 7 June 1905. Prime Minister Løvland and Ministers Edvard Hagerup Bull and Harald Bothner became heads of ministries in Kristiania (Oslo). On 15 June 1905, Løvland became responsible for Norway’s foreign policy, with the Minstry of Trade’s Foreign Affairs Departement as a temporary Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In a referendum on 13 August 1905, the Storting and the Government gained support for their efforts to dissolve the union with Sweden. On 26 October 1905, King Oscar II signed the act dissolving the union, waiving the right to the Norwegian throne for himself and his descendants.

In a referendum on 12 and 13 November 1905, a majority supported the Government's choice of Prince Carl of Denmark as King of Norway. On 18 November 1905, the Storting elected Prince Carl as King of Norway. He took the name Haakon VIII. The King arrived in Kristiania on 25 November 1905, with Queen Maud and their son, Crown Prince Olav.

On 27 November 1905, King Haakon VII presided over his first session of the Council of State, shortly after having delivered his oath to the Storting. At the same time, the Government handed in its resignation. King Haakon did not accept the Government's resignation, and appointed all members to continue in their offices. Prime Minister Jørgen Løvland was now appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was formally established on 1 December 1905.

Minister Gunnar Knudsen had handed in his resignation and received his permission to leave the Government on 31 October 1905, since he as a republican had not agreed to the election of the King.

In a session of the Council of State on 28 October 1907, Ministers Harald Bothner and Otto Jensen handed in their resignations. Also, Prime Minister Christian Michelsen handed in his resignation, due to health reasons. Permission to leave was granted by King Haakon VII in the same session of the Council on State, effective as of the same day. The rest of the Government was reappointed with Jørgen Løvland as Prime Minister, effective as of the same day.

Secretary to the Council of State in this period:

In Kristiania
State Secretary Halfdan Lehmann, until 1 February 1906
State Secretary Nils Otto Hesselberg, from 1 February 1906

In Stockholm
Director General Agust Sibbern, until 1906

About the Government

Prime Minister:
Christian Michelsen (SMLNGSP)
Parliamentary basis:
Coalition government
Appointment reason:
Change after government crisis
Parties in the Government:
Samlingspartiet (SMLNGSP), Det Moderate Venstre (MODVNSTR), Frisinnede Venstre (FRIVNSTR), Høyre (H) og Venstre (V)