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In the Treaty of Kiel of 1814, Norway was essentially given from Denmark to Sweden as a "sorry we were on the other side", but Iceland was not a part of this deal at all. This is in spite of the fact that Iceland had been a part of Norway since 1261 AD and then later part of Denmark-Norway in 1380 or so. So why was Iceland (and indeed other Norwegian "colonies", such as Greenland) excluded from the treaty?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Norway shares the so-called "Scandinavian" peninsula with Sweden, and the two are contiguous. Therefore, the latter country was eager to make sure that it was in "friendly" hands.

Apart from that, Sweden had an "eastern" (e.g. Baltic), facing strategy, unlike Denmark, which was more west-facing. As such, Iceland (and Greenland) to the west were not of particularly great interest to Sweden, but were of interest to Denmark.

Norway could form an important part of Sweden's "east-facing" strategy, because the northern part goes to the Barents Sea, and from there, Archangel, Russia. Also to the (formerly) Finnish nickel mines in Petsamo.

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So basically Sweden didn't 'want' the western facing islands? Or rather, Denmark argued so well that it just didn't have to give it up? – noocyte Oct 13 '11 at 13:15
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@noocyte: I'd say a little bit of both. In a negotiation, there is a certain amount of give and take. Actually, Sweden offered Swedish Pomerania (the coast of the former East Germany) for Norway, which Germany eventually got. Essentially, Sweden had run out of bargaining chips, so Denmark got to keep Iceland. – Tom Au Oct 13 '11 at 13:18
    
Thanx for clearing this up for me. – noocyte Oct 17 '11 at 7:16
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@LennartRegebro:OK, took about the part about bargained hard. – Tom Au Feb 4 '14 at 13:41

(Old question, but it is now the 200 years "celebrations" coming up...)

I also think that at least one of the countries supporting the Swedish claim, Great Britain, was not interested in having a new great sea power in the north.

Balance of power, etc.

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There is nothing that supports this claim. Sweden simply did not ask for Iceland. It's that easy.Ref: svd.se/kultur/understrecket/… – Lennart Regebro Feb 3 '14 at 23:45
    
Things maybe look different from different sides? In the Danish historical magazine Historisk Tidsskrift, Bind 16. række, 4 (1995) 1 link we can read about how the general view has been that the Danish diplomat Edmund Bourke outsmarted the Swedish von Wettersten in this case since he did not have sufficient historical knowledge about the islands. Some research tries to prove that the British diplomat Edward Thornton got the addendum to the article into the treaty to serve the long time interests of Britain. – tetra Jul 21 at 0:55
    
Sorry, I got the name wrong, it should be Baron von Wetterstedt – tetra Jul 21 at 1:06
    
The article I linked to debunks the story that von Wetterstedt was "fooled". Sweden (or at least von Wettersted) simply did not want those islands, as they didn't think they were valuable. And you can't exactly claim he was wrong. :-) von Wetterstedt's lack of historical knowledge is a fact, but didn't change anything. Sweden explicitly asked only for mainland Norway. – Lennart Regebro Jul 21 at 10:27

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