History of Denmark

By | April 28, 2022

In the 2nd floor. In the 1st millennium, small tribal groups gradually began to unite into a state. In the beginning. 9th c. tribal leader Godfred subjugated Denmark, southern Sweden and Schleswig. In the 10th century Harald Bluetooth introduced Christianity to Denmark.

Back in the 8th c. Viking raids began. These campaigns not only pursued trade goals, but were often conducted for the sake of robbery. In 811, under Godfred, the Danish Vikings attacked the army of Charlemagne, and in 994 undertook a siege of London. In the beginning. 11th c. The Danish state included the eastern part of England and Norway.

In the 12th-13th centuries. under kings Valdemar I the Great, his sons Knud VI and Valdemar II the Victorious, the Danes conquered the lands of the Pomeranian Slavs, northern Estonia and the West Estonian islands, but they failed to hold these territories for a long time.

14th c. a troubled time in Danish history. According to historyaah, the struggle of the feudal lords for the royal throne, civil strife, conspiracies, uprisings led to a weakening of centralized power. In 1332-40 there was even a period of interregnum, when the country was ruled by the nobles. German feudal lords seized part of the Danish lands. In this situation, King Valdemar IV, nicknamed Atterdag (1340-75), managed to defend the integrity of the country at the cost of a number of concessions.

The desire to create a united front in the fight against the Hanseatic League led to the political unification of the Scandinavian countries under the auspices of Denmark, enshrined in the Kalmar Union of 1397. Valdemar VI’s daughter Margarita (1375-1412) became the queen of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Under Margaret’s heir, Eric of Pomerania, from 1429, the collection of duties from ships passing through the Øresund Strait (Sund) began. The Sound Duty was the “gold mine” of the country for several centuries.

The Kalmar Union proved to be fragile. From Ser. 15th c. Danish kings effectively ceased to rule Sweden. The positions of the Danish nobility were so strengthened that the power of the king was controlled by the state council (rigsrod), which consisted of the largest landowners. King Christian II (1513-23) tried to remove this body from administration and limit the privileges of the nobles. He granted the townspeople the right to foreign trade and forbade the landlords to sell the peasants. The attack on the rights of the Swedes gave impetus to their national liberation movement, which grew into an uprising led by Gustav Vasa. It ended with the victory of the rebels and the exit of Sweden from the union. Disgruntled Danish nobles deposed Christian II and his reforms were cancelled. See ehistorylib for more about Denmark history.

In 1534–36, Denmark was engulfed in internecine war unleashed by the deposed Christian II, who enlisted the support of the Hanseatic city of Lübeck and the largest Danish cities of Copenhagen and Malmö. At the same time, the peasants in Jutland came out against the feudal lords, but this movement ended in the complete defeat of the rebels. The protégé of the nobles, King Christian III, brutally dealt with them. Under Christian III, a church reformation was carried out. Lutheranism became the state religion. The lands of the Catholic Church were confiscated mainly in favor of the nobles.

In the 17th century Denmark was defeated in several wars with Sweden, lost all territories in the south of the Scandinavian Peninsula, the islands of Gotland and Oesel, and also renounced its rights to Schleswig.

During the reign of Frederick III, an absolute monarchy was established in Denmark: from 1660, royal power was declared hereditary. The nobility was forced to pay taxes and duties.

In the 1st floor. 18th century Denmark remained a minor European state, whose position was weakened due to continuous disputes with Prussia over Schleswig and Holstein.

The participation of Denmark in the Napoleonic wars on the side of France entailed human and material losses. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1814, Denmark was forced to cede Norway to Sweden. In 1814, Denmark was the first European country to introduce compulsory schooling for all children between the ages of 7 and 14. After the abolition of the Sound tax in 1857, freedom of trade was established in the country.

Under the influence of the European revolutions of 1830 and 1848, a struggle began in Denmark for the Constitution, which was adopted in 1849 and allowed wealthy strata to take part in elections to representative assemblies of estates. In the war with Prussia in 1864, Denmark was defeated and lost Holstein, Lauenburg and almost all of Schleswig.

During the 1st World War, Denmark adhered to a policy of neutrality and successfully traded with both warring parties. According to the Treaty of Versailles in 1920, a plebiscite was held in Schleswig, as a result of which the northern part of Schleswig was annexed to Denmark. Since then, the land border of the country has not changed.

In 1924, the Social Democratic Party won the parliamentary elections, formed its own government, and since then, with short interruptions, has been the leader in government power.

During the 2nd World War, Denmark experienced the oppression of the Nazi occupation for 5 years. After the war, the ruling circles of Denmark in their policy were guided by the Western powers and joined NATO, abandoning their traditional neutrality.

During World War II, Iceland gained independence from Denmark.

The Faroe Islands have enjoyed internal autonomy since 1948 (they became part of Denmark together with Norway in 1380).

The Danish colonization of Greenland began in 1721; under the Constitution of 1953, it received the status of an overseas municipality; on May 1, 1979, Greenland was proclaimed “a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark.”

History of Denmark