Erik the Red's Land

Claiming the Far North

the Arctic 1932.0712

Erik the Red's Land

Arctic exploration, colonization of Greenland and Northern Canada, Erik the Red's Land (12 July 1932)

Historical Map of the Arctic & the Far North

In return for Denmark abandoning any claims on Svalbard, Norway had agreed to recognize Danish sovereignty over Greenland. However, northeast Greenland remained dominated by Norwegian whalers and trappers and in 1931 declared itself for Norway as Erik the Red's Land. The dispute was brought before the World Court in 1933, which ruled against Norway and led it to abandon the claim.

Main Events

Labrador settlement

The border between Labrador in the Dominion of Newfoundland, and the Province of Quebec in the Dominion of Canada was settled by a British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Rather than tightly follow the coast, as claimed by Quebec, the boundary was set to include most of the coastal watershed, with part of the southern stretch being defined by the 52nd parallel north.

Annexation of Franz Josef Land

The Soviet Sedov Expedition established a base at Tikhaya Bay, Hooker Island, and declared Franz Josef Land part of the Soviet Union.

Wall Street Crash

Between opening on 24 October 1929 ("Black Thursday") and close on 29 October ("Black Tuesday"), the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped in value from 305.85 to 230.07 in the most devastating stock market crash in United States history. The crash would bring an abrupt end to the Roaring Twenties and signal the beginning of the Great Depression.

Norwegian claim to Victoria I.

The Norwegian Bratvaag Expedition, led by Dr. Gunnar Horn, landed on Victoria Island, between Svalbard and Franz Josef Land, claiming it for Norway. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, however, decided not to officially back this claim in face of expected Soviet opposition.

Sverdrup Islands compromise

Norway recognized Canadian sovereignty over the Sverdrup Islands in return for British and Canadian recognition of Norwegian sovereignty over Jan Mayen island.

Erik the Red's Land

On 27 June 1931, five Norwegian hunters including Hallvard Devold raised the Norwegian flag at Myggbukta, eastern Greenland, declaring Greenland between Carlsberg Fjord in the south and Besselfjord in the north as occupied by Norway. On 10 July, a Norwegian royal proclamation claimed Eastern Greenland - named Erik the Red's Land - as Norwegian territory, with explorer Helge Ingstad serving as governor.

Japanese invasion of Manchuria

Following the Mukden Incident, the Kwantung Army of the Empire of Japan invaded Manchuria - the semi-independent northeast provinces of the Republic of China under the governorship of Zhang Xueliang. After occupying the southern provinces of Liaoning and Kirin, the Japanese advanced north into Heilongjiang, completing its conquest in February 1932.

Statute of Westminster

The Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the Statute of Westminster, establishing legislative independence of the self-governing Dominions of the British Empire from the United Kingdom. The act was effective immediately in Canada and the Union of South Africa, and was considered irrelevant by the Irish Free State. Of the remaining Dominions, Australia and New Zealand would ratify the act in the 1940s, while Newfoundland would never adopt it due to financial difficulties.

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