Political map of the Arctic & the Far North 07 June 1905 (Norwegian Independence): After more than ninety years of personal union, Norway split from Sweden in 1905 (Dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden). Despite initial tensions, war was averted when the Swedes backed down and recognized Norwegian independence. Already Norway was asserting itself in the Arctic, with the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen becoming the first to make the long-sought Northwest Passage even as independence negotiations were underway.