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Like Germany, but unlike other European nations, Norway industrialized rather late in the nineteenth century. Compared to Germany, however, Norway has a comparatively recent history of industrially based social classes and a much longer history of rather egalitarian class relations. The origin of Norwegian egalitarian predates industrialism and the rise of the labor movement. The preindustrial economy was based largely on a small independent peasantry who combined agriculture with fishing (in the north) or with forestry (in the south). Because Norway was under foreign rule for five centuries until 1905, and because the topography is unfavorable for large estates, a strong aristocracy and landowner class did not emerge in most of Norway. There were some exceptions to this pattern, especially in the southern regions where a landowner class did exist. Norway`s early social and economic history engendered egalitarianism, although, as has been pointed out by several observers, it was an equality of poverty.