Talk:North Atlantic Dependency

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Svalbard

Below follows the discussion about a suggestion condominium status for Svalbard. Although the proposal itself was rejected, the discussion learnt us some interesting facts.


*Here*, Svalbard is administered by Norway, but thanks to the Svalbard Treaty, the nationals of any country who have signed the treaty may move there and found businesses there. Currently (2004) only Russia and Norway do so.

I suggest that Svalbard be a condominium of Russia and the Kingdom of Norway (not the SR as such). Comments? --John Cowan 15:59, 30 Mar 2005 (PST)

Yes, two things. First of all, I like your idea of a Russian-Norwegian condominium. But why do you explicitly mention Norway instead of the SR as a whole (and simultaneously Russia as a whole instead of one of its components)?
I like the idea too. But how and (more importantly) when did it become a condominium? The time at which it became a condominium could influence who the partners are. Boreanesia 04:01, 12 May 2005 (PDT)
Let's put the question differently: which moment in history would it make likely for Norway to be one of the partners? To get this straight, Norway is no more independent within the SR then it was within Denmark-Norway, right? --IJzeren Jan 05:13, 12 May 2005 (PDT)
No. Norway is a bit more independent within the SR than *here*. Under the 1661 constitution, it was officially made a Danish province on the same level as Jutland, Zealand, and Scania. In the 1855 constitution, it was officially recognized as a state, on the same level as Denmark and Sweden, and no longer a Danish province. So if the condominium was formed between 1661 and 1855, then Denmark might also be one of the partners. Then there are the former Norwegian colonies (Iceland, the Faeroe Islands, and Greenland) and provinces (part of today's Samme), which have since been recognized as SR states. They too might be condominium partners, or they might've instead relinquished their claims on Svalbard to Norway altogether. Boreanesia 00:20, 13 May 2005 (PDT)
Well, it's up to you. If we should follow John's proposal and make it a Russian-Norwegian condominium, then I suppose sometimg during the 1880s or so would be a good time. BTW, now that you mention Samme (or was it Sapme?): when did it acquire its state as an independent member state? --IJzeren Jan 00:59, 13 May 2005 (PDT)
It's Samme, actually -- my mistake. I haven't figured when it acquired statehood, but it would likely have been quite recent. Perhaps around the same time as or later than Greenland (1979). Boreanesia 01:17, 17 May 2005 (PDT)
If so, then I take if the Færøer went in the same batch? IJzeren Jan 02:01, 17 May 2005 (PDT)
Yes, probably. I'm afraid I haven't thought about it much. Boreanesia 01:58, 18 May 2005 (PDT)
Secondly, I've been thinking about the former Dutch colony of Smeerenburg on a very tiny island called Amsterdam. *Here* it was abandoned during the 17th century and the Dutch never returned to it. *There*, lacking Indonesia as a colony, they might as well have tried to recolonise Smeerenburg. If that would be the case, there might be some Batavian presence on Spitsbergen/Svalbard as well!
The period *here* when Smeerenburg became a Dutch colony was one when Denmark-Norway was preoccupied with campaigns in the 30-Years-War and the Scanian Wars. Both of these wars never occured *there*, and I doubt Denmark-Norway would be complaisant towards Willem Barents' and other Dutch encroachments in Norwegian waters. Keep in mind that Greenland, Iceland, and the Faeroes were part of the Kingdom of Norway. Boreanesia 04:01, 12 May 2005 (PDT)
Yes, but Greenland, Iceland and the Færøer were part of Norway *here* too, weren't they? In how far would the Thirty Years War and the Scanian Wars have prevented Norway from effectively protecting its northern monopoly? Wasn't Norway occupied more than enough with Sweden in the period we're dealing with? Mind you, Smeerenburg was established around 1620, and *here*, the Dutch were equally occupied with the Thirty Years War. --IJzeren Jan 05:13, 12 May 2005 (PDT)
To answer your first question: yes they were. To answer your second: enough to leave the Icelanders and Faeroese almost completely isolated during the period. To answer your third: not as much if the Scanian Wars had taken place. Keep in mind that Sweden did not conquer Bohuslen, Harjedalen, and Jamtland from Norway *there*. The rivalry between Denmark-Norway and Sweden was just not as intence. Sweden was more preoccupied with conquering lands in the Baltic, while Denmark-Norway was more preoccupied with acquiring colonies beyond the North Sea. Boreanesia 00:20, 13 May 2005 (PDT)
Then there must have been some pretty tough rivalry over Smeerenburg! Okay, based on this and on what you write below I think we can safely state that Smeerenburg originally wás a Dutch colony, but at some point taken over by Norway. Who knows what happened next. Perhaps the Dutch leased it (which could also explain the survival of Smeerenburg, by the way), perhaps it became a Norwegian town... --IJzeren Jan 00:59, 13 May 2005 (PDT)
I say it became the Norwegian town of Smernborg. ;) Boreanesia 01:17, 17 May 2005 (PDT)
Or Smørreborg? Sounds yummy, though. Originally it was supposed to mean "Blubber Town", after the whale blubber. Anyway, good, let's have it Norwegian then! IJzeren Jan 02:01, 17 May 2005 (PDT)
"Blubber Town" would be Spækkborg in Scandinavian. But Smørreborg would be better marketing! Sorta like how Greenland applies to a land that's not so green. Boreanesia 01:58, 18 May 2005 (PDT)
Okay, let's have it then! The name could simply be explained as a Scandinavian misunderstanding of the Dutch world "smeer". As for other placenames: I suppose Barentsborg could still work (as it was Willem Barentsz who discovered it). And how about Longyearbyen? If Norway successfully managed to lock off the archipelago from foreigners, I suppose John Munroe Longyear certainly wasn't the one who founded the city. IJzeren Jan 04:55, 18 May 2005 (PDT)
Another thing to consider (but this has little to do with your proposal) is that apparently the North Pole has been colonised to a higher degree than *here*. Just look at the fact that the Franz Josef Islands (New Dalmatia) actually have a population! The same might go for Spitsbergen too! If so, I suppose Longyearbyen and Barentsburg might be towns or even cities rather than villages. They could serve as the Norwegian resp. Russian capital of the archipel. --IJzeren Jan 12:04, 1 Apr 2005 (PST)
Yes, that could be, in fact, Antarctica is the Scandinavian equivalent to New Dalmatia. But I doubt there's a "Barentsburg" *there*. Boreanesia 04:01, 12 May 2005 (PDT)
I can't of course look in the head of Mr. Barentsz, but if you ask me, he was the kind of guy who would have gone anyway, Norway or not. --IJzeren Jan 05:13, 12 May 2005 (PDT)
Perhaps Barents did discover Svalbard, and perhaps Smeerenburg was established. But once Denmark-Norway becomes aware of the Dutch colony, the Danish-Norwegians would have quickly tried to expelled the Dutch from the colony and establish their own. This would have been easy for the Norwegians since Svalbard is located in what is essentially Norway's backyard. Now that I think of it, the entire Kola Peninsula was Norwegian *there*, so I'm beginning to doubt if the Russians would have been successful either. One oughta wonder also how New Dalmatia ever got off the ground. Boreanesia 00:20, 13 May 2005 (PDT)
Regarding Smeerenburg, I'd go for that solution. In whatever hand it is now, it would be nice to have it a real city! Regarding the Russians, yes, that might be sort of a problem. In the first place I've never been particularly happy with Kola not being Russian, but even then, couldn't they simply have left from Arkhangelsk? Now that you mention Kola, I wonder if it couldn't have been Russian at some point. --IJzeren Jan 00:59, 13 May 2005 (PDT)
The Kola was disputed once between Denmark-Norway and Moscow. I'm sure Moscow claimed it first as it did *here* in 1478 when it establish a trading center in Murmansk.
In 1555, Arkhangelsk was established. At around the same time, there were Danish-Norwegian privateers around Murmansk, which forced Moscow to transfer all international trade from Murmansk to Arkhangelsk in 1585. I'd say that it was around this time that the Kola became Norwegian *there*. So by the time Svalbard was discovered in 1596, the Kola was Norwegian, and Svalbard was Norway's backyard.
The Russian's, as you say, could have left from Arkhangelsk -- and they certainly would have faired better than the Dutch. But keep in mind that before Peter the Great, Russia had no sea-going vessels of her own. It was the foreign sea traders that came to Arkhangelsk, and not the other way around. It would not be until 1693 that Peter the Great orders the creation of a state shipyard in Arkhangelsk -- Russia's first. By that time, Svalbard would have been truly in Danish-Norwegian control. Boreanesia 01:17, 17 May 2005 (PDT)
Would it? I agree that Svalbard is Norway's backyard *there* even more than *here*. But the situation *here* is that it practically belonged to no one in particular (a bit like Antarctica, I think), and that Norway's sovereignty over the archipelago was recognised only in 1920. If the situation *there* is similar, Russians and others might have come there at any time between 1693 and 1920.
Good point! Boreanesia 01:58, 18 May 2005 (PDT)
But I suppose you are right: with the SR being as strong as it is and with Svalbard being entirely in its backyard, the Russian might not have stood a good chance against it. Bye bye Barentsburg! Bye bye condominium! IJzeren Jan 02:01, 17 May 2005 (PDT)
If the Russian's could not prevent the Dalmatians from taking New Dalmatia, then it's not likely that they'd be able to prevent the Scandinavians from taking Svalbard.
Don't get me wrong, I do like the idea of a condominium. But it needed to be explained and consistent with what's already established as QSS. So unless anyone else can come up with something that would substantiate this proposal, then I don't think it can be ratified at present. Boreanesia 01:58, 18 May 2005 (PDT)
Actually, New Dalmatia wás taken by the Russians in the 1920s (after having been colonised by the Austrian in 1873). Of course, they could simply do so as a result of the collapse of Austro-Dalmatia. If you look at the situation *here*, Russia díd set foot on Svalbard, while Franz Joseph Land was Austro-Hungarian.
(But I realise my defenses are getting weaker and weaker. Unless someone else has something substantial to weigh in, I'll accept a purely Norwegian Svalbard. John?)
--IJzeren Jan 04:55, 18 May 2005 (PDT)
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