Marcus Møller Thrane (14 October 1817 – 30 April 1890) was the leader of the first Norwegian labour movement, later known as the Thranitter movement, which at its height had approximately 30,000 members, making it the third largest labour movement at the time, second only to those in France and the United Kingdom, and the largest counting per capita (Norway having only 1.4 million inhabitants).
In 1837, Thrane left Norway and traveled illegally to France through Germany and Switzerland. He was arrested, but released after two months. Thrane stayed in Paris for several months before returning to Norway in December 1837.
After finishing artium in 1840 and a brief period as a student of theology, Thrane and his newly wed wife Josephine (born Buch) moved to Lillehammer in 1841 where they ran a private school. In 1846, Thrane moved his teaching to Åsgårdstrand, but moved again the year after.
In March 1847, Thrane came to Åmot in Modum where he began work as a teacher for the workers children at Blaafarveværket and it was here he experienced his first political awakening. However, in April the year after the company was experiencing difficulties and Thrane together with 250 workers were sacked.
The family then moved to Drammen, the hometown of Josephine, where Thrane became the editor of the local newspaper Drammens Adresse, but because of his radical opinions, expressed in articles and editorials, he was fired after only five months. At this time, Thrane had already begun his political activities.
In May 1850, the union delivered a petition to the king signed by 13,000 members. The union asked for universal voting; universal mandatory military service (not just for those without property); equality before the law; better schools; low or no border taxes on necessary goods such as grains; and a special support for poor farmers in the form of arable land on reasonable terms.
In November, the government dismissed the petition. The labour union's national conference in February the following year sought a revolution, and although Thrane managed to stop these plans, the authorities seized the opportunity to have him arrested on June 7. Thrane and almost 200 other members were sentenced on June 25, 1855. Marcus Thrane was sentenced to four years in prison in addition to the four years that had passed before the sentence was final.