In late April and early May of 2012, the Norwegian government and the National Farmers Union were negotiating about governmental support for agriculture. The National Farmers Union asked for 2.2 billion kroner in subsidies and other support to farmers, but when the government offered only 900 million kroner ($152 million USD) the union cut off the negotiations completely—the first time the union had done so since the year 2000. The union argued that the proposed government subsidies would have widened the wage gap between farmers and other sectors of the economy.
In the latter part of the nineteenth century Norway was marginal in Europe, a part of the Swedish kingdom, with a scarcity of resources, little industrial development, and massive poverty. Although the country had parliamentary forms, it was ruled by the owning class; the Norwegian army was used to suppress strikes.