Torkel Halvorsen Aschehoug

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Torkel Halvorsen Aschehoug

Torkel Halvorsen Aschehoug (27 June 1822 – 20 January 1909) was a prominent Norwegian professor, legal scholar, historian and social economist. He also served as a conservative politician and Member of the Norwegian Parliament. [1]



Torkel Halvorsen Aschehoug was born at Idd (now Halden) in Østfold, Norway. He grew up in a professional family in which his father and grandfather were both parish priests. He attended Fredrikshalds lærde skole in Halden. In 1839, he entered Royal Frederick University (now University of Oslo), where he later became a professor. In 1844, Aschehoug graduated with a law degree. He subsequently studied abroad with stops including England and Sweden. [2]

Idd former municipality of Norway

Idd is a parish and former municipality in Halden, Østfold county, Norway.

Halden Municipality in Østfold, Norway

Halden , between 1665 and 1928 known as Frederikshald, is both a town and a municipality in Østfold county, Norway. The municipality borders Sarpsborg to the northwest, Rakkestad to the north and Aremark to the east, as well as the Swedish municipalities Strömstad, Tanum and Dals-Ed respectively to the southwest, south and southeast.

Østfold County (fylke) of Norway

Østfold[²œstfɔl](listen) is a county in southeastern Norway, bordering Akershus and southwestern Sweden, while Buskerud and Vestfold are on the other side of Oslofjord. The county's administrative seat is Sarpsborg.

In 1852, Aschehoug began an over fifty-year career at the University of Oslo. He was Professor of Jurisprudence, National Economics and Statistics at the Faculty of Law (1862–1889), and also served as the Dean of the Faculty of Law and the elected Chairman of the Collegium Academicum (the governing body of the university). [3]

He also served as a Member of Parliament 1868–1892 and played a central role in the controversy surrounding the adoption of a parliamentary system in which the Cabinet was responsible to parliament instead of being merely appointed by the King. In 1883, he founded Statsøkonomisk Forening, an association to advance the study and understanding of socio-economic issues. [4]

Parliamentary system form of government

A parliamentary system is a system of democratic governance of a state where the executive derives its democratic legitimacy from its ability to command the confidence of the legislature, typically a parliament, and is also held accountable to that parliament. In a parliamentary system, the head of state is usually a person distinct from the head of government. This is in contrast to a presidential system, where the head of state often is also the head of government and, most importantly, the executive does not derive its democratic legitimacy from the legislature.

His major works include Norges offentlige ret and Norges nuværende statsforfatning. [5]

He was elected as a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1890 and received the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Olav in 1895. In 1908, he received Norway's highest civilian award, the Borgerdådsmedal in gold. [6]

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences or Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien is one of the royal academies of Sweden. It is an independent, non-governmental scientific organisation which takes special responsibility for the natural sciences and mathematics, but endeavours to promote the exchange of ideas between various disciplines.

Order of St. Olav chivalric order

The Royal Norwegian Order of Saint Olav is a Norwegian order of chivalry instituted by King Oscar I on August 21, 1847. It is named after King Olav II, known to posterity as St. Olav.

Selected Works

Personal life

Torkel Halvorsen Aschehoug was married twice; 1) Anna Cathrine Marie Aschehoug (1822-1854) 2) Johanne Bolette Aschehoug (1832–1904). He was the father of Halvard Aschehoug (1851-1880), who together with his cousin Hieronymus Aschehoug (1846–1902), co-founder of H. Aschehoug & Co. [7]

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  1. Jon Gisle. "Torkel Halvorsen Aschehoug". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  2. Dag Michalsen. "Torkel Halvorsen Aschehoug". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  3. Francis Hagerup (1913). "Torkel Halvorsen Aschehoug". Aschehoug. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  4. Olav Garvik. "Statsøkonomisk Forening". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  5. Torkel Halvorsen Aschehoug, Salmonsens konversationsleksikon
  6. Jon Gunnar Arntzen. "Borgerdådsmedaljen". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  7. "Aschehoug forlag". Retrieved May 1, 2017.