Denmark in the 19th Century Part I

By | December 18, 2021

While Bernstorff’s death interrupted the policy of internal reforms for a time, it also had serious repercussions in foreign policy. Having England demanded the right to visit Danish merchant ships, and Denmark having concluded a new alliance in defense of armed neutrality with Sweden, Russia and Prussia, war broke out with England. On April 2, 1801, an English fleet, under the command of Parker and Nelson, won the Danish fleet; and since the Tsar of Russia, Paul I, was assassinated at the same time, the alliance was dissolved and Denmark had to submit to the demands of England. But five years later, the conflict with England reopened. After the peace of Tilsit, Napoleon and Alexander of Russia ordered Denmark to participate in the continental block. The Danish government, faced with England’s demand that the fleet of Denmark be handed over to it for the duration of the war, ended up joining France. But Copenhagen, besieged and bombed from 2 to 4 September 1807, had to surrender to the English and Denmark was forced to hand over its entire fleet to them. The war however continued until 1814; and as the English fleet dominated the sea around Denmark, Denmark’s communications with Norway were cut off, its trade destroyed, and its finances reduced to miserable conditions. To these calamities was added that Sweden joined the enemies of Denmark: in 1810 Bernadotte, who had become crown prince of Sweden, advanced into Holstein, he defeated the Danes near Sehested and forced Denmark, in the peace of Kiel (1814), to cede Norway, having in return the Swedish Pomerania, which in the following year was exchanged with Lauenburg. At the same time, the island of Heligoland was ceded to England. The situation was also disastrous in finances, due to the excessive issuance of paper money. Only in 1818 did an improvement begin to appear. However, the debts of the state had grown enormously, so that only in 1855 it was possible to start paying them. Trade, industry and agriculture also remained in poor condition until 1830. In this situation, which characterizes the first part of the reign of F.Ederic VI (1808-1839), the government followed a frankly reactionary policy, while implementing some reforms, such as that of the school system, which formed the basis of the current system. But after 1830 great changes began: the agricultural crisis ceased, paper money regained its nominal value in 1838; trade and industry revived. For Denmark 2009, please check hyperrestaurant.com.

At the same time, the spread of liberal ideas began, even in Denmark, favored by the revolution of July 1830 in France. Frederick VI joined the movement, creating state assemblies with consultative power in each of the four parts of Denmark (islands, Jütland, Schleswig, Holstein) (order of May 28, 1831, which became definitive in 1834). The right to vote in these meetings was regulated in relation to land ownership, so that the big owners exercised the greatest influence there. The meetings, directed by a royal commissioner, were held in Roskilde, Viborg, Schleswig and Itzehoe, in 1835 and 1836 (two for each year). Thus a first division of the conservative and liberal parties was revealed; and this fact had wide repercussions on the population. In 1835, F œdrelandet (The Fatherland); at the university, HV Clausen and JF Schouw propagated liberal ideas, while Orla Lehmann created a political movement among the students. The contemporary flourishing of liberal doctrines in Schleswig and Holstein, where already in 1815 the Ridderskab (union of noble landowners) had asked in vain to be considered as a representative of the duchies, determined the requests for administrative autonomy, supported in 1830 by Uwe Jens Lornsen. Lornsen was arrested; but the movement he had raised could not be stopped; indeed, it increased when, created the assemblies of states, Schleswig and Holstein did not obtain a common representation. However, the king established a single government in Gottorp for the two duchies and a single court of appeal in Kiel: since his intention was to unite, through Schleswig, Holstein more closely with Denmark, while Holstein it seemed that Prince Federico, son of the Crown Prince, had to detach himself from it, continuing to remain childless. Indeed, in the event that the male offspring of the royal family were extinguished, the kingdom of Denmark would have to pass to the female line while the duchy of Holstein, in which the Salic law was in force, would pass to the house of Augustenborg, whose members extended their claims also on Schleswig. For the first time, these ideas were expounded in 1837 in an anonymous writing by Duke Cristiano Augusto; and they had a wide echo in the duchies and throughout Germany. Later, one of the dogmas of the Schleswig-Holsteinian movement was that the duchies should be considered as independent and non-divisible states, with the right of succession reserved for males. he would move on to the house of Augustenborg, whose members extended their claims to Schleswig as well. For the first time, these ideas were expounded in 1837 in an anonymous writing by Duke Cristiano Augusto; and they had a wide echo in the duchies and throughout Germany. Later, one of the dogmas of the Schleswig-Holsteinian movement was that the duchies should be considered as independent and non-divisible states, with the right of succession reserved for males. he would move on to the house of Augustenborg, whose members extended their claims to Schleswig as well. For the first time, these ideas were expounded in 1837 in an anonymous writing by Duke Cristiano Augusto; and they had a wide echo in the duchies and throughout Germany. Later, one of the dogmas of the Schleswig-Holsteinian movement was that the duchies should be considered as independent and non-divisible states, with the right of succession reserved for males.

Denmark Schleswig-Holsteinian movement