History of Iceland

By | April 28, 2022

According to historyaah, the name Iceland (“ice country or land of ice”) was given by the Norwegian Viking Flowki. The first Scandinavian settler was Ingoulfur Adnarson, who in 874 landed in the area of ​​the current capital of Reykjavik (translated as “smoking bay”). The nature of the settlement determined the features of the social and political system of the country. The leading role was played by representatives of the clan nobility. The meeting of the nobility and free people – bonds at a national meeting – the Althing (the representative body of direct democracy was first convened c. 930) issued laws and made judicial decisions.

Isolation from the outside world and the peculiarities of economic life led to the long-term preservation of tribal traditions. In 1262-64, Iceland was subjected to the Norwegian king due to weakening due to the civil war during the period of the Sturlung era. In 1380, Iceland, together with Norway, found itself in a union with Denmark, and then (since 1397) as part of the Danish-Swedish-Norwegian Kalmar Union. With the loss of Norway’s status as a kingdom in 1537, control passed to the Danish government. The spread of the Reformation and the introduction of Lutheranism (1540) meant for the Icelanders the loss of the remnants of independence. The trading monopoly of the Danes (1602) was limited only to the end. 18th century The eruption of the Laki volcano in 1783 led to a mass death of sheep and famine.

In the beginning. 19th century Icelanders began to seek political freedom and self-government. The national liberation movement was led by Jón Sigurdsson (1811–79). The first success was the restoration of the Althing in 1843, followed by the abolition of the Danish trade monopoly in 1854 and the adoption of the Constitution in 1874. On December 1, 1918, a union treaty was concluded between Iceland and Denmark for 25 years, which recognized the formal equality of the two countries and declared their permanent neutrality. In the beginning. 2nd World War, after the occupation of Denmark by Nazi troops (April 1940), on May 10, 1940, British troops landed on the island. After the expiration of the Danish-Icelandic Union Treaty in December 1943, a referendum was held on May 20–23, 1944. The majority of Icelanders voted in favor of terminating the union and proclaiming a republic. On June 16, 1944, the Althing adopted a republican constitution, and on June 17, Iceland was proclaimed a republic. Svein Bjornsson became the first president. In 1952 he was replaced by Ausgeir Ausgeirsson, who was also elected president in 1956, 1960 and 1964. He was succeeded in 1968 by Kristjan Eldjarn, who in 1980 gave way to the first woman, President Vigdis Finnbogadottir, who served four terms until 1996. She was succeeded by the current President Olafur Grimsson, former leader of the left-wing People’s Union. See ehistorylib for more about Iceland history.

Since 1959 coalition governments have been in power. From the beginning 1990s the conservative Independence Party (PN) and the liberal Progressive Party (PP) lead the two main coalition blocs, gaining 55-65% of the vote each. The post of prime minister was held by Steingrimur Hermansson (1983-87) from the PP, from PN: Thorstein Palsson (1987-91) and David Oddsson (since 1991).

Science and culture in Iceland

The country has a high level of cultural development due to a long literary tradition and a high standard of education. In public schools, education is compulsory and free for all children from 6 to 15 years of age. In 2001, 31.5 thousand students were enrolled in primary education (from 6 to 12 years old), 12.6 thousand in secondary education (from 13 to 15 years old), and 20.7 thousand in high school students. or vocational schools, after which you can enter the University of Iceland (founded in 1911) or the new university in Akureyri. There are 12 thousand students in the country and 2 thousand abroad. All educational institutions receive subsidies from central and municipal authorities.

Sufficiently developed scientific research in the humanities and some exact sciences. The coordinating body, the National Research Council, actively participates in the organization of R&D in leading areas. The University has a Research Institute. Natural science research is carried out by the National Museum, various societies, special organizations and foundations.

History of Iceland