17.-Torgslaget 17. mai 1829

The Battle of the Square, 17 May 1829

On 17 May 1829, the post shipConstitutiondocked in Christiania. A crowd gathered to cheer theConstitutionin a thinly veiled celebration of the Norwegian Constitution of 17 May, rather than the one from 4 November.

When the crowd refused to disperse, the police chief called for military assistance. The Governor-General decided that force should be used to break up the demonstration. The commander at the Akershus garrison sent cavalry and infantry to the square in Christiania. After the magistrate had read out the public order act three times, the troops were set on the people.

The Battle of the Square generated a great deal of ill will in Norway. Governor-General Baltzar von Platen was held responsible for the use of force against unarmed Norwegian civilians. The incident brought to an end the system of having a Swedish commander-in-chief in Norway.

As a consequence of the Battle of the Square on 17 May 1829, the command structure was made more Norwegian and Norway’s armed forces given more independence.