Convention of Moss was a cease fire agreement,
signed August 14, 1814, between the Swedish King and the Norwegian
It followed a brief Swedish campaign against Norway
to Norway's claim to sovereignty. It also became the de
peace agreement and formed the basis for the personal union
between Sweden and Norway that
lasted until Norway declared
the dissolution of the union
In 1814, Denmark-Norway
was on the
losing side in the Napoleonic wars
On January 14, 1814, at the Treaty of
, Norway was ceded to the king of Sweden. In an attempt to take
control of their destiny the Norwegians convened a constitutional assembly at Eidsvoll and on May
17, 1814 signed the Constitution
The vice-roy and heir to the thrones of
Denmark and Norway, prince Christian Frederik
, was elected by
the assembly as king.
Swedish king, Karl XIII
rejected the premise of an independent Norway and launched a
military campaign on July 27, 1814 with an attack on the Hvaler islands and
the city of Fredrikstad.
The Swedish army was superior in numbers,
was better equipped and trained, and was led by one of Napoleon's
foremost generals, the newly elected Swedish crown prince, Charles John
The hostilities opened on 26 July with a swift Swedish naval attack
against the Norwegian gunboats at Hvaler. The Norwegian vessels
managed to escape, but they did not take part in the rest of the
war. The main Swedish thrust 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 pincers movement around the main part
of the Norwegian army at Rakkestad. The Norwegian army delivered
several offensive blows to the Swedes, thus applying pressure on
the Swedes to accept Norway as a sovereign nation, and opening up
negotiations. Armistice negotiations concluded at Moss on August 14, 1814.
In the peace negotiations, Christian Frederik agreed to relinquish
claims to the Norwegian crown and return to Denmark if Sweden would
accept the democratic
constitution and a loose
. The convention comprised four documents, all
written in French, with the following main points:
- The agreement was entered into between the Swedish crown prince
on behalf of the Swedish King, and the Norwegian parliament. The
Swedes did not recognize Christian Frederik's claim to the
Norwegian throne, so he was not a party to the official agreement.
(Though a secret agreement was also executed ordering him to return
- The Norwegian parliament was to convene by the end of
September, or the beginning of October, to ratify the
- The King of Sweden accepted the Norwegian constitution, with
only such amendments as were necessary to accommodate the union
with Sweden. All changes were to be accepted by the Norwegian
- Christian Frederik should abandon all claims to the Norwegian
crown and leave Norway.
were shocked by their government's concessions, and when the
Swedish general Magnus
Björnstjerna, who had led the Swedish negotiations, arrived in
Norway, he got an unfriendly welcome.
The Moss Ironworks main office - where
the Convention of Moss was negotiated and signed.
also directed their resentment toward their own leaders and what
they perceived as spineless military defense. Over time, public
opinion shifted. The convention was a significant improvement over
the terms dictated to Denmark-Norway at the treaty of Kiel.
Notably, Norway was no longer to be treated as a Swedish conquest
but rather as an equal party in a union of two independent states.
Both the principle and substance of the Norwegian Constitution were
accepted, and Norway retained its own parliament and separate
institutions, except for the common king and foreign service. This
was the last war between Sweden and Norway, and Sweden's last