This article is about the Prime Minister, for his grandson the Minister of Justice, see Fredrik Stang.Frederik Stang (4 March 1808 – 8 June 1884) was a Norwegian lawyer, public servant, and politician who served as Norway's first prime minister.Stang was born on the Nordre Rostad farm at Stokke in Vestfold, Norway.
He was the son of Lauritz Leganger Stang (1775-1836) and Johanne Margrethe Conradi (1780-1820).
His father was a procurator and later a magistrate.
At age 13, he entered the Bergen Cathedral School.
Stang, known as Friederich until the 1830s, entered the study of law at the age of 16 and passed the bar exam in 1828.In 1830, he accepted a position as lecturer of law at the University of Oslo.
During this time, he published a seminal text on Norwegian constitutional law.
He went over to private practice in 1834, where he distinguished himself as a trial attorney, especially in supreme court cases.In 1846, Stang became the most senior civil servant in the newly formed (and no longer existent) Domestic Ministry.
He served in this position until 1856, and his tenure was characterized by tireless efforts to modernize Norway's economic infrastructure.
In addition to improving the road network, harbors, canals, and lighthouses, he was in great measure responsible for Norway and Scandinavia's first railroad, from Oslo to Eidsvoll.
He also worked hard to elevate the importance and function of agriculture in Norway, initiating the formation of a university-level school of agriculture, commissioned travelling agrarians, and encouraged better breeding among Norwegian farm animals.
In 1861, after a brief stint as mayor of Oslo, Stang was appointed to the Norwegian cabinet.
His time as a political leader was characterized by considerable discord within the Norwegian parliament and between Norway and the Swedish government.
In 1865, Stang founded the Norwegian Red Cross.
In 1870, he was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Until 1873, the king of the personal union between Sweden and Norway governed Norway through two cabinets: one in Stockholm and another, led by a viceroy in Kristiania, now Oslo.
After the viceroy position had been vacant for some time, the post of prime minister for Norway was instituted in 1873, and Stang was appointed.
Although there was also a prime minister in Stockholm, the one in Norway had the most influence over state affairs.
In spite of efforts to reconcile opposing political forces, his party was reduced to a minority position during his tenure.
In a gesture of spite, the parliament cut his pension in half in 1881; the citizens of Oslo raised money to make up for the shortfall, and he donated this to a foundation to advance the study of law.