Denmark History

By | January 9, 2023

Denmark Flag

Denmark National Flag

Dannebrog is the flag of Denmark, a white, continuous cross on a red background.

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Denmark. Valdemar 4. Atterdags våpen i Gelres våbenbog 1370-86. A Dannebrog flag is stuck through a variety of peacock feathers on one of the helmet’s ermine – covered vessel horns. It is the oldest known colored depiction of the Danish flag. Valdemar Atterdag was probably also the first Danish king to use Dannebrog. Because of his relationship with the emperor, he became acquainted with the red flag of the Holy German-Roman Empire with a white cross; shortly before 1200 it had evolved from the kingdom’s originally all-red flag, in which the emperor put a white cross when he went on crusades.

The oldest known source for the name Dannebrog is a Dutch coat of arms (Bellenville), which is believed to have been started 1375-85 on the basis of older material. Here the form Denenbroec appears. Later sources include forms such as the Swedish Danabroka (1439) and the Danish Dannebroge (1478) as well as Danæbrogæ and Danebroggi (both 1520’s). The name is probably composed of a word corresponding to Frisian dan, which means red, and the noun brog, which means ‘clothes, fabric, cloth’. The name thus refers to the red-colored fabric of the flag. However, the meaning was early perceived as the “flag of the Danes”.

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In a Dutch våbenbog (Gelre) which has been elaborated after 1370, shows a tab with red white cross as part of the helmet designed to Valdemar 4.s arms. It is the oldest colored reproduction of Dannebrog known. In another Dutch coat of arms (Bellenville), where the oldest coats of arms seem to be attributable to the years between 1330 and 1340, a shield with a cross and the word Dannebrog is seen by the Danish royal coat of arms; the background color of the shield is indicated by a letter as red. The oldest known Dannebrog must be linked to Valdemar IV, who was king 1340-75.

Since the middle of the 12th century, the German emperor had used a completely red flag. When he went on a crusade, a white cross was put in it. From the end of the 13th century, the imperial red-and-white cross flag can be regarded as a permanent German royal flag, which it still was in the 15th century. In the Middle Ages, one could encounter a red weapon with a white cross in several places in the outskirts of the Holy Kingdom, and they relate in some way to the German emperor. An example is the Savoy’s coat of arms and corresponding flag, which reflects a close political relationship between the Emperor and the Count of the Savoy. Before Valdemar 4.became king, he was attached to the emperor and his son, the Margrave of Brandenburg. They had a decisive influence on the negotiations that in 1340 led to Valdemar being recognized as king by Denmark. He had good reason to nurture his relationship with the imperial power. By adopting the same red flag with white cross that the emperor used, he could send a political signal to those to whom the Danish kingdom was pledged, and other German princes and Hanseatic cities.

The legend of Dannebrog

According to a2zgov, Dannebrog, which fell from the sky during a battle in Estonia, is mentioned in Christiern Pedersen ‘s Danish chronicle from the beginning of the 1520’s and by the Franciscan Peder Olsen approximately 1527. The latter linked the event to the year 1208. But tradition has maintained that the flag appeared at Lyndanise on 15 June 1219. It may have been Danish clergy who in the late 15th century created the legend of the soaring flag to strengthen the monarchy. It can be traced to around 1500 in connection with the flag that King Hans lost in the defeat in Ditmarsken. Frederik 2.recaptured the flag in 1559 and had it hung in Schleswig Cathedral, where it must have hung until around 1660. The king’s historian Hans Svaning wrote in a Latin script printed in 1561 that the red national banner with white cross had been sent from heaven to Valdemar II. abroad could thus gain knowledge of the legend.

In a presumably contemporary Low German poem about King Hans’ defeat in 1500, the king’s cross banner was compared to the Roman emperor Constantine ‘s dream of the cross in 312 before the battle, when he became sole ruler of the Roman Empire and, according to tradition, converted to Christianity. This crucifixion vision, to which the words in hoc signo vinces, “under this sign you shall triumph”, is attached, was the prototype of the miracles in the form of crosses in heaven, which in the Iberian Peninsula in particular were associated with battles between Christians and infidels.. After Ditmarsken’s conquest in 1559, Dannebrog’s “holiness” played one at leastsymbolic role. In 1563, Frederik II adopted a St. George gentle rider as a weapon for the Ditmarsken. In the royal coat of arms, the field with the noble knight’s saint was placed on the Dannebrog Cross, and the cross became an expression of the crusade legend. An outstretched white cross with a red border was used by the Portuguese Order of Christ, which was instituted in 1318 during a crusade against the Moors. The Portuguese gold coin the Portuguese redeemer reproduced the Christ Cross and the words in hoc signo vinces. Christian IV minted Danish Portuguese settlers from 1591 with a similar cross, which was soon perceived as the Dannebrog Cross. In 1603 becameemperor Constantine s sentens in hoc signo vinces added. In the royal coat of arms, the Dannebrog Cross gradually took on an outward-curved shape, just like the Christ Cross. When the Order of the Dannebrog was established in 1671, this design became the rule until 1972, when the cross took on its original equilateral shape.

The historian Arild Huitfeldt mentioned the Dannebrog legend in his chronicle, published 1600-1603. He dated it to 1219 and compared it with Emperor Constantine ‘s crucifixion, but he was sober about the miraculous content of the legend. His chronicle caused the legend to have a lasting place in the consciousness of the Danes. The legend of Dannebrog’s fall from the sky in 1219 has nothing to do with the historical reality, but its existence through the centuries is a fact and part of Denmark’s history.

The growing national feeling of the 19th century

During the 19th century, the growing national feeling came to shape the perception of Dannebrog. “From Heaven you have fallen, you Sanctuary of Denmark”, wrote BS Ingemann in the war year 1807 in “Fan proud of Codan’s Wave”. Thus, he helped to enshrine the legend of Dannebrog in people’s consciousness. In 1809, CA Lorentzen painted his iconic picture of Dannebrog’s fall from the sky during the Battle of Lyndanise on June 15, 1219, which in the form of lithographs found its way to the walls of patriotic homes. “About Dannebrog I know, It fell from Heaven down”, it says in Peter Faber ‘s “Then I left Sted” from 1848.

Dannebrog at war

In wars with Sweden in the 15th century, Dannebrog was the main flag. After 1625, the army’s flags in the upper inner corner had a Dannebrog mark, which during the 17th century also appeared in the outward-curved shape. The noblest units led Dannebrog alone. Since 1842, army units have used Dannebrog with an outward-curved cross as opposed to the cross in the national flag and the war flag, where it remained equilateral. Dannebrog has been at sea since the end of the 16th century.

Split flag

Denmark. Dannebrog’s proportions. Tv. the split flag in its present form, established 1856, with the outermost fields and tongues shortened, and the stut flag (marked with dashed lines) in the elongated form permitted in 1893. Th. the war flag, as it was fixed in 1696. This and other flags belonging to the Navy are deep or dark red. The basis of the proportions is the width of the cross, which is 1/7 of the height of the flag.

According to an ordinance from 1630, the split flag was reserved for the navy. In 1635 it was emphasized that merchant ships were not allowed to fly split flags. In 1696 the proportions of the split flag were fixed; they have since been changed. It became customary for the state to fly flags with split flags on land as well. In 1748 it was definitively decided that the trade flag is a rectangular flag without a split and with certain proportions. As a general rule, the split flag is reserved for the royal house and the state. Private should use the rectangular flag without split, also called stut flag. Since 1731 has the royal flaghad the royal coat of arms in a central field, and later similar special flags were introduced for others in the royal family. Over time, for a number of services, special marks or letters have been inserted in the upper inner red box. Certain private institutions use the Dannebrog in a similar way and in some cases carry split flags. According to tradition, the war flag is deep or dark red.

The Danes’ use of Dannebrog

In 1833, flagging was banned for private individuals. However, the ban was not enforced and was lifted in 1854. In 1848-50, the population had eagerly flagged the Dannebrog. The Danes like to hoist the flag at their houses and in the allotment garden and decorate the Christmas tree with small Dannebrog flags. Sporting events are also extensively marked with Dannebrog. Royal people’s birthdays, church holidays, national and military anniversaries have been flag days since the 1880’s. Flagging on half a pole has been practiced since 1743. The use of Dannebrog has been regulated by div. regulations, regulations and royal resolutions. A proposal for a comprehensive flag law submitted to the Riksdag in the early 1930’s was not adopted.

Flag days

On certain days, flags are traditionally flown by both public authorities and private individuals. In 1886, the Ministry of War introduced that flags should be flown from military buildings on the birthdays of 13 specified royals, on the date of the signing of the Constitution of June 5, 1849, and on 7 memorial days for military battles. In 1913, the Ministry of the Navy issued its own list of flag days applicable to the Navy. In addition to regulations regarding royal persons and a number of naval battles, the provision included that flags were to be flown at the church holidays. 1922 – 1923, the two ministries supplemented their list with election dayon June 15th. At intervals, the royal house issues a list of the royal persons to be flagged for. Eventually, many private individuals embraced the military flag days.

From 1939, the annual publication Who-What-Where contained for the first time a list of “flag days”. In addition to the military regulations, only the royal birthdays are formally valid as flag days for all public authorities, as no executive order has ever been issued regarding the other flag days, eg 9 April and 5 May. These dates included Who-What-Where in 1946 in his list.

Official flag days

The Ministry of Justice publishes a circular letter on official flag days; they are used by public authorities and many private citizens. Special rules apply to military flag days.

The official flag days
Date Occasion
1st of January New Year’s Day
February 5th Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary ‘s birthday
February 6th Her Royal Highness Princess Marie ‘s birthday
Good Friday. Flags are flown at half mast all day
Easter Day
April 9 Occupation Day. Flags are flown at half-mast until 12.00, then on a full pole
April 16 Her Majesty the Queen ‘s birthday
April 29 Her Royal Highness Princess Benedict ‘s birthday
Christ’s Ascension
May 5 Liberation Day
May 26 His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik ‘s birthday
5th of June Constitution Day
June 7 His Royal Highness Prince Joachim ‘s birthday
June 15 Valdemar’s day and reunion day
June 21st Greenland ‘s national day. Flags are flown with the Greenlandic flag Erfalasorput
July 29 Faroe Islands ‘ national holiday, Olai Day. The Faroese flag Merkið is flown
5th of September Denmark’s emissary
December 25th Christmas day

In cases where birthdays in the royal house fall on Good Friday, flags are flown at half mast.

Denmark – history

Denmark – history, Prehistory

Paleolithic (until about 9300 BC). Probably Denmark was inhabited by humans already in the last interglacial period for approximately 120,000 years ago and perhaps also in warmer periods during the last ice age. The oldest preserved finds of human settlement, however, are the traces of the reindeer hunters’ settlements from the Bølling period, 12,500-12,000 BC; it was the first warm period at the end of the last ice age. During the next warm period, Allerødtid, 11,800-11,000 BC, the first open forest landscape emerged, where reindeer, elk and giant deer were the nutritional basis for a growing hunter-gatherer population. The following cold period, the Younger Dry Age, 11,000-9300 BC, brought the tundra back and again brought a sparse population of reindeer hunters to the area.

Mesolithic (approximately 9300-3900 BC). In the first period after the end of the ice age, a hunter-gatherer spread over a large area of ​​land that connected Denmark with England during the mainland. In the beginning, the forest was open to light and home to bison, wild horses, elk and aurochs. Over time, it became denser, and red deer and roe deer became the most common hunting prey. The settlements were often located on the shores of lakes, which have since been converted into bogs, and in eastern Denmark the peat bog has retained a rich selection of weapons and tools, bones of slaughtered animals and remains of dwellings, such as cabin floors of wood and bark.

In Atlantic times, 7000-3900 BC, the sea level rose so much that northern Denmark was divided into islands, and deep fjords cut into the country. A dense forest spread with the linden as the dominant tree. The population lived mainly on the coasts and lived primarily on seafood, supplemented by hunting and by catching seals and other marine mammals. Meal wastes were accumulated as kitchen wastes, rich in oyster shells. Graves such as those found on Bøgebakken in Vedbæk testify to care and respect for the dead.

Neolithic (Late Stone Age, approximately 3900-1700 BC). Agriculture and cattle breeding were introduced in Denmark approximately 3900 BC with the cultivation of wheat and barley and with a livestock herd consisting of beef, sheep, goat and pig. Large parts of the country were cultivated under the oldest peasant culture, 3900-2800 BC, and the early peasants were energetic builders. They built large gathering places, which were surrounded by moats and palisades as at Sarup on Funen, and they built the oldest grave monuments of stone, dolmens and burial chambers, which are found especially concentrated here in Denmark, where several thousand are still preserved.

A veritable industry engaged in the manufacture of elegant, sharpened flint axes, and flint mines were laid, at Hov in Thy. A large number of sacrificial finds with pottery, flint tools and amber jewelery are known, as well as evidence of sacrifices of both humans and animals. The first metal was introduced from Central Europe in the form of simple jewelry and flat ax blades of copper.

In the period approximately 2800-2300 BC the findings paint a picture of a different life pattern than in the previously ritually marked society. The knowledge of this time is almost exclusively based on finds from burial mounds, where individual burials testify to equal respect for man and woman. From this time wagons were used for transport, and larger areas were cultivated. At the same time, there was settlement along the coasts, where fishing, hunting and catching of marine mammals were the main occupation.

The last period of the Stone Age, 2400-1700 BC, coincided with the Early Bronze Age in the British Isles and Central Europe. Weapons and tools of copper and bronze kept their entrance and put the flint smith to the test. The result is seen in the form of excellent flint imitations of alien bronze daggers. At the end of the period, the manufacture of metal cases finally gained a foothold, and there are tendencies towards a new social division. This is reflected in the settlements, where both modest and very large, post-supported longhouses have been found, as well as in the grave finds, which show great variation: graves under flat ground and burials in burial chambers, in stone coffins and in burial chambers under monumental mounds.

Bronze Age (approximately 1700-500 BC). The domed burial mounds from the Early Bronze Age still characterize the Danish landscape today. The mounds contain funerals that sometimes give a realistic picture of the people of that time. The National Museum’s collection of oak coffin graves shows them still dressed in their costumes, the women with set hairstyles and with jewelry of bronze and gold, the men with weapons. High mounds and remains of monumental longhouses testify to class differences in an agricultural society, as in the Early Bronze Age, until approximately 1100 BC, increasingly included land for cultivation and especially for grazing for cattle. The fields were plowed with the ancient plow, arden, and have had an extent of between 300 m 2 and 1000 m 2. The houses of the peasants lay individually or several together and often in the same place for centuries. From the Late Bronze Age, approximately 1100-500 BC, princely burials are known as Lusehøj at Voldtofte on Funen, where, just like at Boeslunde on Zealand, there was a wealth center that is reflected in a concentration of gold finds.

Rock carvings and bronze sculptures such as Solvognen from Trundholm provide insight into the Bronze Age’s religious imaginary world. Among the motifs are frequent images of ships. The cult is also expressed through sacrificial finds with lures, bronze helmets, cult axes, weapons and women’s jewelry. Imported objects in the form of weapons, shields and bronze vessels testify to a lively connection with southern Central Europe, in particular with the Hallstatt culture.

Iron Age (approximately 500 BC-750 AD). Knowledge of the oldest Iron Age is limited. The graves were simple fire pits, and farmhouses of the same size were surrounded by fences, ie the first organized villages. Over time, the settlement changed structure, the farms increased in size, and towards the birth of Christ there are signs of an increasing social division. Closest to man himself, one comes by the miraculously preserved bogs such as the Tollund man and the Grauball man from the older Iron Age, who were people who were thrown into the lake either as punishment or as a sacrifice to the gods. The most notable finds from the pre-Roman Iron Age (500 BC-birth) also come from bogs, eg the oldest war booty, the Deer Spring Fountain, with the remains of the oldest larger vessel preserved from Denmark’s antiquity, and of the shape of the type of ship known from the Bronze Age petroglyphs. The weapon types, on the other hand, reflect Celtic forms. From the end of the period, the Dejbjerg wagons originate with Celtic-style metal fittings and the large metal vessels, Bråkedlen and Gundestrupkedlen, which are also evidence of connections with the Celts and brought home in the turbulent times when the Germanic peoples Cimbri and Teutons were on the move in Europe and attacked the Roman border..

Agriculture in the older Iron Age is illustrated by finds from well-preserved Jutlandic settlements and urban mounds from the centuries around the birth of Christ. Small fields, bounded by low ramparts, represent a form of cultivation that began in the Late Bronze Age and was used until 200-300 AD. Many of these ancient fields were abandoned in the Early Iron Age and are therefore preserved today. The abandonment of agricultural areas may have been the result of torture, or a change may have taken place in connection with the social and economic changes that occurred during the Iron Age. These led for larger farms, for other forms of operation with the main emphasis on cattle farming and for new property conditions. The development of rural areas throughout the 1st millennium AD. illuminated by large settlement excavations as at Vorbasse in southern Jutland, where you can follow the development from small adjoining farmhouses in the older Iron Age to villages with large farms in the younger Iron Age.

From the Roman Iron Age (approximately birth of 400-AD AD) many finds of Roman goods such as weapons, finer household utensils and precious metals are known. In the older Roman Iron Age (approximately birth of Christ-200 AD), imports were characterized by solid craftsmanship. The silver vessels from the Hoby find originate from Capua in southern Italy and may have been received as a gift by a significant Roman. In the Late Roman Iron Age (approximately 200-400 AD), mass-produced provincial Roman goods in particular were imported. The many import cases in Danish finds testify to close trade relations with the Roman Empire along routes that in particular seem to have followed the sea routes.

At the transition between the older and younger Roman Iron Age, a clear shift occurred in several areas. The majority of the war booty victims from Thorsbjerg, Vimose, Illerup and Nydam belong to the Late Roman period. They reflect conflicts between regional population groups on the eve of the migration period. Several of the oldest fortifications can be traced back to the Roman Iron Age. A developed naval defense has included sail barriers that consisted of connected rows of poles. The clinker-built boats from Nydam Mose were not sailing, but were rowed forward, and they represent a stage in the shipbuilding tradition that led to the Viking Age vessels. From approximately 300 AD originates from the oldest sea-facing trading posts, eg Lundeborg, and at the same time a picture emerges of a princely elite who may have had control over larger areas. Rich tombs are known from Himlingøje in East Zealand. On Funen, impressive halls were erected, as in Gudme, which was a center for trade, crafts and worship. The oldest runic inscriptions in the Old Norse language are found on weapons and tools from the war booty victims.

The gold horns from Gallehus, the most significant Danish gold find from antiquity with the longest of the older runic inscriptions, were lost by theft in 1802. The horns originated from the older part of the Germanic Iron Age (approximately 400-550 AD), which is characterized by many treasure finds with late Roman gold coins, necklaces and bracelets and gold bracteate. From the beginning of the Late Germanic Iron Age, approximately 550-750 AD, notable finds are known of gold nuggets that seem to concentrate in certain places with a central function such as Black Moldon Bornholm. It is on gold nuggets, jewelery and metal fittings that the special Nordic art style developed during the Germanic Iron Age. The semi-abstract animal ornamentation that lived on in the Viking Age was dominant. The oldest royal hall in Lejre and the oldest Dannevirke, both from the second half of the 600’s, may be an expression of the fact that in the younger Iron Age the country was ruled by a royal power.

Denmark – history (Viking Age)

Throughout its early history, Denmark has had versatile contacts with the outside world, but with the beginning of the Viking Age approximately 800, the country entered European history in earnest. Most famous were the Danes as the Vikings who plundered churches and monasteries, but behind this one-sided image hides a far more complicated political and cultural interplay.

See the entire royal line here.

National Assembly and royal power. Already around 700 a stronger royal power arose in Denmark than previously seen; a king named Angantyr (Ongendus) can probably be connected with Ribe, where just after 700 a regulated seasonal trading place was established.

Around 700, the power of the Merovingians crumbled, and the outer provinces of the Frankish kingdom became free. This gave way to Danish power in the southern North Sea area with Saxony and Friesland, and with Ribe, Denmark got its first international trading place. When the Carolingians under Charlemagne around 800 sought to restore the power of the Franks, it clashed with the Danes under Gudfred; he would give up neither his influence in Friesland nor among the abodrites, nor the tribute income which had been obtained under the weakness of the Merovingians. To secure his income, he moved the merchants from the Abodritite area to his own newly built Hedeby and fortified Denmark’s southern border with a new rampart. Gudfred’s battles with Charlemagne were not just a beach cut, it was rather a clash between empire builders.

Gudfred was assassinated in 810, after which several branches of the royal family rivaled for power. The power struggle often drove those involved into exile, and Denmark’s rulers were always exposed to threats from rivals who returned home and were strengthened by gains from Viking trains or which Harald Klak had obtained foreign support. After 827, the son of God’s son Horik I asserted himself as sole king until a bloody civil war in the mid-800’s. ended with his and many others’ deaths.

After this, the internal conditions are dark, until power around 900 was taken over by a dynasty that is believed to have returned from Sweden. Then followed the Jelling dynasty, which had also returned from abroad and came to power a little into the 900’s. Harald 1. Blåtand claims on his rune stone in Jelling that he won all of Denmark. Possibly the word “Denmark” – which first appears in the late 800’s, but is probably older – covered only the Danish lands east of the Great Belt, and Harald has then added these to his Jutland kingdom, which he had inherited from his father, Gorm the Old.

The large buildings that can be found in Denmark throughout the Viking Age, testify to a royal power that has been able to organize society’s resources for common purposes. Harald Blåtand’s government can show particularly many examples: new works on Dannevirke, the slave castles, the Ravning Enge bridge, the Jelling complex, just as Hedeby, Ribe and Århus may have been fortified during his reign. In connection with these tasks, the population must have been required to work, but there is little evidence of the organization of society. There was hardly any permanent military organization of the same nature as the later command system. The most important basis of the monarchy has probably been its control over the chiefs who had the real power at the local level. The royal hird has been the decisive instrument of power. At Knud 4. the Sainttime, a significant expansion of the monarchy was attempted, as Knud worked for the recognition of new royal rights and for private administration of justice to be replaced by public. The king has early had income from trade and probably also from coinage. There may have been a minting of sceattas in Ribe in the 720’s, and also in the time of Horik 1.s and Harald Blåtand, a Danish coin was minted. In the time of Knud II the Great, coins were found in many places in the country.

In the Viking Age, Denmark largely acquired the area it retained throughout the Middle Ages. Of the Scandinavian countries, Denmark had the largest population in the smallest area. Southern Norway was considered part of the kingdom of the Danish kings, and the Danish influence in Norway was so strong that it was only in Danish periods of weakness that it was possible for Norwegian chiefs to gather larger parts of Norway. A Swedish national assembly came even later, and Danish influence was strong in both the Viking Age and the following centuries.

The Viking expeditions, which from approximately 800 made the Scandinavians known and feared in large parts of Europe, ranging from war between states over interference in each other’s affairs to pure beaching. In the past, these expeditions were associated with a mass exodus from Scandinavia, but it is now believed that there have most often been armies of hundreds rather than thousands, who were primarily looking for prey, although some ended up settling in England and Normandy.

Internal strife in the Frankish Empire did so from approximately 830 possible for Danish chiefs, who were often exiled members of the Danish royal family, to collect tributes from the Franks; several also went into Frankish service partly in battle against other Vikings, partly as participants in the Franks’ mutual battles. These Viking expeditions culminated in the 880’s with a prolonged siege of Paris. Some chiefs received leniency from Frankish rulers at estuaries to prevent other Vikings from accessing the rivers. Only one county, Normandy, survived.

England and Ireland were haunted from approximately 800 frequently of Vikings, who at first simply took prey and then disappeared, but over time overwintered and acted as political parties in mutual struggles, not least in Ireland. In England, 865-80, a Viking army succeeded in conquering three of the four Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, and here the Danes settled permanently. Place names testify to a significant Danish influence in the North and East of England, although the Danes in a large part of the area came under English kings before 920. A resumption of the Viking expeditions to England in the late 900’s. ended with the conquest of the country by Danish kings. Svend 1. Tveskæg began to demand tribute shortly after his takeoverin England, and he got competition from several other Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Viking chiefs. He died in 1014 shortly after conquering England, but Knud the Great conquered it again in 1016. He became king of both England, Denmark and Norway and had his foot inside Sweden, but did not create any lasting empire of his kingdoms.

Trade and cities. Simultaneously with the Viking expeditions, there was extensive trade between Denmark and the rest of Europe. Already from approximately 700 Ribe existed as a seasonal trading place, and both it and Hedeby, which in the Viking Age must have had a permanent population of about 1000 and in the high season many more, developed into significant urban formations. I 1000-t. several cities had been added: Viborg and Odense, which like Ringsted were old courthouses and religious centers, where many often gathered, Århus, Ålborg, Slagelse, Roskilde, Lund and several others. Roskilde and Lund emerged as centers of royal power and church. In all these cities coins were minted; the money economy became widespread during the Viking Age. Many different goods were imported from near and far; Imported goods from Norway such as iron and soapstone as well as from Sweden and Western Europe found their way into the Danish villages. What Denmark exported is less known, perhaps perishable goods such as cattle and timber. When Arab merchants found their way all the way toHedeby, however, they soon came to buy slaves, which the Vikings also sold themselves in markets in both Europe and the Orient.

Most of the traffic took place by sea; the vikings had different types of ships, small and large warships as well as merchant ships, to the domestic waters and to the oceans. It was previously imagined that the Vikings were robbers one day and merchants the next, but a large, heavy merchant ship was a poor tool for Viking expeditions. Road traffic with carriages and in the winter sledges also played a major role, and many bridges were built in late Viking times, such as the bridge over Ravning Enge.

The Introduction of Christianity. The contact with foreign countries had strong cultural influences, not least in the religious field. Already shortly after 700, the missionary Willibrord sought to spread Christianity to the Danes. From the outset, the mission went hand in hand with politics. In addition to spreading Christianity, the Franks wanted influence in Denmark, and some of the parties in the Danish struggle for the throne met them. Harald Klak sought Ludvig 1. den Frommessupport and caused a Frankish army to enter Jutland in 815; in 826 he was baptized, but when he was expelled from Denmark the following year, his missionary, Ansgar, did not accomplish much; only 25 years later did he build churches in Hedeby and Ribe, and these only had a short life. Denmark’s transition to Christianity more than 100 years later followed political pressure from the German side. In 948, Otto the Great appointed bishops to the founders of Schleswig, Ribe and Aarhus under the archdiocese of Hamburg-Bremen. Under this pressure, Harald Bluetooth himself adopted Christianity approximately 965, but was baptized by a missionary, Poppo, who did not come from Hamburg-Bremen, and it is uncertain whether the bishops appointed in 948 came to work in Denmark. Harald’s hostile relations with Germany speak against it. Svend 1. Tveskægand Knud 2. the Great brought clergy to Denmark from England, and Knud has probably thought of organizing the Danish church in connection with the English possibly with Roskilde as archdiocese subordinate to Canterbury like York. Svend 2. Estridsen implemented around 1060 an actual church organization with eight dioceses, Schleswig, Ribe, Aarhus, Viborg, Vendsyssel, Odense, Roskilde and Lund. He also worked for the establishment of an independent Danish archdiocese, but it first reached Erik 1. Ejegod, who in 1103 had Lund elevated to the archdiocese of the whole of the Nordic countries.

The peasant society of the Viking Age. After an older view consisted society of free and equal pawns of properties in family farms size in the district of things and county settled the society’s affairs. However, it is now clear that the distribution of property was very unequal and only a small part of the population had full political rights. Land rats had considerable estates, and the land was, to a large extent, divided into large farms far above the size of the family farm, and they were in many places organized into villages. The leading men of the local communities are met on the rune stones. Glavendrupstenens Alle was a good, ie. a chief with both religious and secular functions, just like Roulv on Helnæsstenen. Such chiefs have had their own army of warriors, teams, as was also the case with the chiefs long after the Viking Age. The ordinary members of society appear only sparingly in the sources. Prisoners of war often became slaves, and slaves are known from grave finds, but we cannot estimate the extent and social significance of the slave group. Some artisans were slaves, others were certainly free and traveled from one town or market and farm to the next.

It was previously a common belief that in the Viking Age there was a significant emigration at the same time as an extensive internal colonization in Denmark. It was therefore assumed that the population was growing strongly and that the country was overpopulated. However, the internal settlement expansion, which was postponed to the Viking Age, came only later.

Viking age agriculture was predominantly based on cattle breeding, and the villages moved at intervals of a few hundred years within their resource areas. These relocations ceased in the centuries after the Viking Age, and only then began – in connection with a transition to grain cultivation, which involved a significant deforestation – the division of the lands of the large farms into smaller units, which led to the formation of the many new settlements. endings such as -torp (now -rup, -drup, -trup and -strup), -rød etc. and still characterize the map of Denmark.

Denmark – history (Middle Ages)

The Danish great men’s murder of Knud IV the Holy in 1086 put a tentative end to a radical expansion of the Danish monarchy. The kings then had to come to terms with the fact that their rule was exercised in close harmony with the interests of the great men and the clergy. The position of the church was strengthened after the establishment of an independent Danish archdiocese in Lund in 1103, and until the middle of the 1100’s. the royal power was further weakened by strife in Svend 2. Estridsen’s descendants. Ambitions for royal dignity led to a large number of murders within the ranks of the royals. In 1131, the king’s son Magnus thus killed his rival Knud Lavard in Haraldsted Skov. The period of violence did not end until 1157, when Knud Lavard’s son Valdemar I the Great overcame his rivals and ascended the throne.

The heyday of the Valdemars 1157-1241, Danish historians describe the era that followed. During the victory of Valdemar I the Great and his two sons Knud VI and Valdemar II, the central power was decisively strengthened. At the same time, the Wendish tribes that had ravaged the country were overcome and a significant expansion took place. In 1169, the Danes conquered the Slavic cult site Arkonaon Rügen and placed this island under Roskilde bishopric. In 1219, they secured Estonia as part of the Crusade of the time. Holstein was also added to the extensive kingdom of the Valdemars, and the Lübeckers paid tribute to the Danish king as overlord. Around 1200, the Danish royal power reached a peak, and Valdemar II rightly bore the nickname Victory. But soon the dominion crumbled. With his son, Valdemar was taken prisoner on Lyø and only redeemed after payment of large ransoms. The Baltic empire was lost, and the attempt to regain it led to the defeat at Bornhøved in 1227. The heyday was over.

Economic growth corresponding to that of the general European went hand in hand with the expansion of the monarchy. The administration increased its revenue through customs, coinage, and fines, and the country’s residents were increasingly able to pay in coins. One source in particular, the so-called King Valdemar’s Land Register, provides insight into the many resources that the royal power could draw on by the year 1200. The older military duty, the leadership, was partly replaced by payment, for example. At the same time, however, the king granted privileges of tax exemption to the clergy, and the military service of the lords also gave them freedom from tax.

With the support of the church, the royal power gradually gained influence over the ordinary exercise of local law, and Jyske Lov from 1241 marked the king’s desire to stand out as society’s legislator. However, the clergy, led by the archbishop of Lund, created a special ecclesiastical legal system and gained considerable independence, supported by the acquisition of estates and the introduction of tithing. It was the rich church that ensured contact with the European centers of learning, Paris. With Archbishop Anders Sunesen’s Latin poem Hexaëmeron, the country gained around 1200 an excellent expression of international theological culture, and Saxo’s official history writing in the Gesta Danorumgave at the same time a national self-understanding. For the first time, the Danes could reflect in a writing about the heroic deeds of the ancestors.

Denmark’s population grew to more than 3/4 million. people. There was still room for more mouths at new clearings and the construction of new rural settlements, but also an increasing number of cities could accommodate the growth. As part of the country’s economic prosperity, a system of market towns emerged so that every farmer could sell his produce within a day’s distance. In the cities, a society other than the aristocratic one that long ruled the country gradually formed. Where the villages were characterized by large farms with dependent small farmers under them, developed during the 1200’s. municipal forms of government with council government in bishoprics and market towns. At the same time, the nature of international trade changed. Instead of exchanging luxury goods such as skins, furs and slaves, a trade arose based on groceries. In step with this, the old Nordic-Slavic trade disappeared,

Disputes and dissolution of the kingdom in the years 1241-1340 followed the death of King Valdemar II. “With his death, the crown of the Danes’ head really fell”, says Rydårbogen aptly.

Rivalries within the royal house were expressed in two assassinations. In 1250, Duke Abel of Southern Jutland had his brother Erik IV plowed to kill Slien. Another royal assassination took place in 1286, when Erik 5. Klipping was murdered by his own men in Finderup Lade. The royal family’s internal unrest was linked to its bitter struggle with the archbishops Jakob Erlandsen and Jens Grand. A consolidation of power might seem to occur under Erik 6. Menvedaround the year 1300; but it should turn out that the monarchy instead ruled against total ruin. Attempts at expansion in northern Germany in conjunction with burdensome expenses for court and castle construction led to significant borrowing. Admittedly, the Crown tried to print new extraordinary taxes, plow taxes, and prayers, but they were only reluctantly granted by the great men. The only real resource that was available when it came to raising money for the crown was and was mortgaging land and land.

Administratively, the country’s approximately 200 lords gradually been assembled into larger units, len. Each county was given as its center a royal castle, led by a bailiff or sheriff, as he was eventually called. The individual counties and whole parts of the country were now in a capitalization of power pledged to money-rich nobles and to princes. As early as 1325, about half of the counties were mortgaged, and in the kingless years 1332-40, the entire kingdom was under Holstein or Swedish rule. The monarchy was a shell without content, and in the lament over the state of the Kingdom of Denmark, decay is mourned.

During these years, Danish society experienced a radical social change and emerged as a state divided into estates. The lords became a well-defined military and land-owning class with tax freedom that gradually absorbed Europe’s courtly knightly culture. The clergy also differed from others in the acquisition of extended separate rights, and the same was true of the cities where special city courts were introduced. In the state government, it was still only the nobility and church leaders who prevailed. This happened first and foremost at the national assemblies called hof (danehof). Here taxes were granted and incoming kings demanded handcuffs guaranteeing the privileges of the nobility and the church.

Everyone had to have a lord in this estate society, and many peasants sought payment under the protection of a lord or a clergyman. These strengthened their power with extensive castle building, and in almost every parish in the country there was by the year 1330 a fortified facility. Only in 1396 could the royal power intervene against the private castles.

The rebuilding of the kingdom and the plague became the two features that came to characterize Valdemar 4. Atterdag’s reign 1340-75. ” The Black Death ” came to Denmark in 1350 and drove away large sections of the population. The plague returned in 1360 and 1368-69 and triggered crisis and social change; in the countryside many fields and farms lay desolate. At the same time, Valdemar Atterdag worked with cunning and violence to gather the mortgaged parts of the kingdom. By 1360 the goal had been reached, and a strengthened monarchy took shape. The relationship between king and people is expressed in the Peace of the Land of 1360, which in a national contract between the two parties confirmed the existing division of estates. An expansive foreign policy was attempted with the conquest of Gotland in 1361, leading to war with the northern German Hanseatic cities, which saw their privileges threatened. Although the Hanseatic League emerged victorious from the war, it was a sign that their political leadership was no longer untouched.

Valdemar Atterdag’s greatest foreign policy triumph turned out to be the marriage between his daughter Margrete and King Håkon VI of Norway. After Valdemar’s death in 1375, Margrete’s son, Oluf, was elected king of Denmark, and she took over the reign in his name. After both Håkon’s and Oluf’s deaths, Margrete allowed herself to be hailed as ruler of Denmark in 1387; the following year she was first elected regent of Norway, and soon after, the Swedish nobles also made her ruler of Sweden.

The Kalmar Union created a constitutional basis for the three-state union in 1397, when Margrete’s relative Erik VII of Pomerania was crowned king of the union. Thereafter, Norway was under the Danish king until 1814, while relations with Sweden never achieved greater firmness, as it was characterized by constant attempts at secession from the Danish supremacy. The first Swedish independence struggle was the uprising 1434-36; then the Swedish council ruled through the 1400’s. between submission under Danish rule and self-rule. Christian II’s brutal attempt to pacify Swedish resistance at the Stockholm Massacre in 1520 did the opposite. Under Gustav 1. Vasasleadership erupted in a renewed Swedish uprising that led to the definitive collapse of the union. Sweden entered a new era as a northern European kingdom in fierce competition with Denmark-Norway.

Southern Jutland or Schleswig, as the region was gradually called, had been lost to the Holsteins during the 1300’s chaotic years, and persistent attempts to regain the duchy under Valdemar Atterdag, Queen Margrete and Erik of Pomerania ended in defeat at the Peace of Vordingborg in 1435. surprisingly, however, the situation reversed in 1459, when the childless prince Adolf VIII of Schleswig-Holstein died. In 1460, the Schleswig-Holstein knighthood and the Danish king Christian 1 agreement that made him Duke of Schleswig and Count of Holstein. In return, he had to promise forever not to divide the countries, which was to have great significance in the 1800’s national struggle. An attempt to further expand the kingdom’s territory by conquering the peasant free state of Ditmarsken in 1500 failed miserably.

Late medieval society came to power after the 1300’s crisis and experienced new economic growth. The desolate farms were rebuilt during the 1400’s, and approximately 80,000 peasants sat as freer users of larger farms. The cities began to liberate themselves from the Hanseatic dominance with royal support. At the same time, the Danish king’s income shifted from the Hanseatic-dominated Skåne marketsto a duty on the many Dutch and English ships that sailed through the Sound. The royal power’s income base was otherwise improved with Valdemar Atterdag’s and Margrete’s acquisitions of crown estates, which were placed under the counties. The central administration itself was also gradually expanded, and Copenhagen increasingly gained status as the kingdom’s capital, after Erik of Pomerania had taken over the city from the Bishop of Roskilde. The central position of the city was emphasized by the construction of a university in 1479.

While the lower strata of the nobility suffered from problems with declining incomes from the peasant estate, the richest nobility gained ground and built extensive estate complexes. This part of the nobility and the clerical leaders ruled at their seat in the royal council the country along with the king. The other estates, citizens and peasants, had little to say. They were heard only at the rarely convened estate meetings, which were frequently intended to sanction royal taxes. A series of popular uprisings, culminating in the Civil War Count’s Feud 1534-36, merely strengthened the unity of the ruling social classes.

Denmark – history (Reformation and autocracy)

Today’s Denmark was only a small part of the vast empire that Christian III became king in 1536 after the victory in the Count’s Feud. At that time, Denmark also included Scania, Halland, Blekinge, Gotland and Øsel. In addition, Norway, with its extensive North Atlantic possessions, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland, had been in a personnel union with Denmark since the founding of the Kalmar Union in 1397. The Norwegian clause (art. 3) in Christian III’s handshake in 1536 even made Norway a “leader” of Denmark in line with, for example, Jutland. Finally, the Duchy of Schleswig was in county relationship with the Danish crown, and the Oldenburg monarch was also Duke of Holstein.

The period 1536-1720 does not form a whole. Economically and socially, there is a dividing line approximately in the middle of the period. 1500-t. was favored by the boom, but around the year 1600 a serious sales crisis occurred, which within a few decades developed into a prolonged recession, which only approximately 1740 sounded. In domestic politics, the year forms 1660 divisions. Christian III’s handshake had given the aristocratic royal council a decisive influence on the kingdom’s leadership. The dominance of nobility lasted until 1660-61, when it was supplanted by royal autocracy following the European model. This system change led to profound changes in the structure of society. The spiritual life of the period was marked by the church break in 1536. The church then became a Lutheran princely church. The church and school life of the time aimed to educate the Danes in the new faith and create obedient subjects.

Danish society was an estate society composed of a highly privileged nobility, of the clergy, the bourgeoisie and a large unprivileged peasantry. About the total size of the population in the 1500’s. you are not notified at all. It is known, however, that the population as a whole was steadily increasing. Around 1650, the country’s total population was approximately 800,000, when Skånelandene is included. With the loss of them, the number dropped to approximately 600,000; but in 1720 it was again up to approximately 700,000.

The farmers, who ran the country’s almost 60,000 farms, accounted for approximately 75% of the total population, the clergy approximately 5% – the same proportion as the subsistence-free. The urban population comprised approximately 100,000 people (approximately 15%), of which approximately 30,000 lived in Copenhagen, while the nobility consisted of fewer than 2,000 individuals; however, they owned almost half of the country’s land, spread over approximately 700 main farms and a large number of attachment farms.

Denmark was a distinctly agricultural country, whose only exports, grain and cattle, were mainly exported to the densely populated Netherlands. Significant industrial production did not exist, although Christian IV in a mercantilist spirit tried to start a little industry in the metropolitan area and mining in Norway. His initiatives, however, all ran into the sand, and not until the late 1600’s. under the guise of the war, there was growth in international trade. Actually non-agrarian production and international shipping on a larger scale still belonged to the future.

The aristocracyis the descriptive term for the form of government that was practiced 1536-1660. The government was constitutional in the sense that the king was formally elected by the estates, in practice by the noble royal council, which, however, always elected the king’s eldest son. In return, the king signed a treaty, which divided power between the king and the royal council. The latter was a solemn assembly of a dozen members, who also held the most important state offices. The country’s policy was created in interaction between the king and the royal council, while the rest of the population was formally without influence. This political disenfranchisement was only acceptable because the state finances were based on domain financing, which meant that the state power did not normally burden the subjects with direct taxes. In principle, state power was self-financing by virtue of crown property,

This system worked satisfactorily until the early 1600-t. Under normal circumstances, the tasks of the state were not very costly. They essentially limited themselves to maintaining law and order as well as securing the estate privileges, in addition to providing the necessary funds for the conduct of foreign policy, including the army and navy. However, they were activated only in crisis and war situations. With the many wars of the 1600’s, however, the system came under pressure, as the wars caused the need for financing to grow beyond what the traditional sources of income could bear. Increasingly, the revenue had to be supplemented by direct taxation, and this brought the Council of State into an almost insoluble dilemma. According to the privileges, the aristocratic state was tax-free, and the tax burden thus fell unilaterally on precisely the population groups that could afford the worst. After the failed German War (Imperial War) 1625-29, the frustration among those affected was obvious, and the anger was directed in particular at the Council of State, which was accused of taking care of state interests rather than the kingdom. The growing need for funding thus posed a credibility problem to the Council of State, which ultimately led to its decline at the change of system in 1660-61.

The autocracy grew out of this protracted systemic crisis, but was also a direct result of the acute state of crisis after the last Karl Gustav war. Despite a weak starting position in the royal election in 1648, the politically capable Frederik III succeeded already in the 1650’s in eliminating two of his strongest opponents in the Reichsrat, the Reichshofmester Corfitz Ulfeldt and Norway’s Governor Hannibal Sehested, who were both his brothers-in-law. The king’s heroic behavior during the siege of Copenhagen in the winter of 1659 had also made him popular in broad circles, while the nobility and the royal council were conversely put to hatred. This was the reason why the estates – the nobility only compulsorily – in October 1660 offered to make the monarchy hereditary, which freed the king from dependence on the royal council. He immediately used his new position of power to also change the form of government to autocracy, which was tentatively established by the Enevoldsareveregerings Act 10.1.1661 and 1665 carefully described in the Royal Law, the Danish autocracy’s constitution.

With the system change 1660-61, a hectic reform period began, which culminated in Christian V’s reign 1670-99 and first ebbed out under the successor Frederik 4. The aim was to consolidate the new government and transform Danish society into an orderly, hierarchically structured organism with the autocratic monarchy as the undisputed center.

The aristocracy’s modest chancery government was recast into a divisional dormitory administration. The older division of estates was replaced by a new division of ranks with the royal officials placed high on the ladder of rank. The old birth saddle was deprived of most of its privileges and supplemented with new rank saddle groups. Over the course of a lifetime, Denmark transformed from an almost self-governing medieval estate society into a modern official state. At the same time, there was a standardization of the legislation, as older and newer laws were for the first time collected in a systematically created law book, Christian 5.s Danske Lov1683, which became valid for the whole kingdom and thus replaced the old landscape laws. With Ole Rømer’s help, uniform measuring and weighting systems were introduced; but the greatest administrative achievement was a comprehensive survey and matriculation of all agricultural land, collected in the Great Land Registry 1688. The main purpose of this was to provide a uniform tax base. The matriculation was a concrete expression of the fact that the new state had definitely put the domain financing behind it and now relied heavily on direct taxation of the land’s owners and users. Although the landowners continued to play an important role in tax administration and military service, and although the first monarchs had difficulty positioning themselves politically in relation to the new great bureaucracy, the reforms of the late 1600’s created a solid foundation for 1700’s stable bureaucratic absolutism.

The spiritual life was throughout the period colored by the Reformation. The Danish Church was now subordinate to the state power, which purposefully used the widely branched organization with its school system as an effective means of instilling in the people Luther’s dogma about the holiness of all authorities. As early as the end of the 16th century, the Reformation uprising had solidified into Lutheran orthodoxy. It was not until around 1700 that a real reaction could be traced in the form of the pietistic movements that came here from Germany with demands for a more sincere personal pious life. The National Church meant a gradual breakthrough for the mother tongue, although Latin continued to play a role as a language of instruction.

Among the period’s most significant contributions in Danish can be highlighted Chancellor Arild Huitfeldt ‘s Kingdom of Denmark from the 1590’s, in which he describes in core Danish the history of the Danes from Saxo to his own time. In the middle of the 1600’s. sent the Norwegian-born Arent Berntsen his Danmarckis oc Norgis Fructbar Herlighet, the first comprehensive topographical description of the two kingdoms; it was shaped in lyrical terms, but also contained a wealth of concrete information about the country and its residents. A peak was reached in the late 1600-t. with Odense Bishop Thomas King’s hymn poetry. In practice, he demonstrated the great expressive possibilities of the Danish language when it came into knowledgeable hands. The three examples mentioned illustrate a general phenomenon of the time: A special Danish sense of identity was slowly gaining a foothold in the leading layers.

With some restrictions, foreign policy was the king’s area of ​​responsibility. During Christian III’s reign, relations with Sweden were peaceful. After the religious upheavals, the main task was to secure Denmark’s position in the Protestant camp, which is why the interest was especially directed towards German territory. Denmark was the leading power in the Nordic countries, and the Baltic Sea was still almost a closed, Danish-dominated sea, guarded by the large navy. The Danish sovereignty was most clearly marked when foreign merchant ships dutifully anchored at Elsinore to pay the Øresund duty to the Danish king.

Around 1560, a change of regent took place in both Denmark and Sweden, and this meant the end of peaceful coexistence. The Swedish leadership under Erik XIV was determined to break the Danish dominance, and Frederik II dreamed of restoring the Kalmar Union under Danish leadership. Such ambitions lay behind the Nordic Seven Years’ War (1563-70), which, however, ended in mutual exhaustion without moving borders. The next warlike clash was the Kalmar War (1611-13), which was initiated on Danish initiative. Again, the goal was to force Sweden back into dependence on Denmark, and again it failed. This war became Denmark’s last attempt to restore the old union. From then on, the balance of power in the Nordic countries shifted in favor of a dynamic Sweden under the leadership of Gustav II Adolf.

The decisive turning point in Danish foreign policy came with Christian IV’s interference 1625-29 in the Thirty Years’ War. His catastrophic defeat in 1626 at Lutter am Barenberg broke Denmark militarily. The humiliating peace treaty of 1629 and Gustav II Adolf’s military triumphs in Germany from 1630 clearly marked that Sweden was now the leading power in the Baltic Sea area, while Denmark, regardless of the territory being intact, was defeated and isolated from foreign policy. For the next 30 years, it was Denmark’s own survival as an independent state that was at stake. In the three subsequent Swedish wars, the Torstensson feud 1643-45 and the two Karl Gustav wars1657-60, it was Sweden that forcibly sought to incorporate Denmark into its Baltic empire, and after Charles X. Gustav’s legendary voyage across the ice-covered belts in February 1658, it was also close to success. The catastrophe was only prevented because foreign powers, led by the Netherlands, forced the Swedes to peace. But the price was the relinquishment to Sweden of all the East Sundish provinces with the exception of Bornholm. As a result, the country was reduced by about a third, and the main artery of the Baltic Sea trade, the Sound, also became international waters, which was in line with the interests of the Western navies.

The last two Swedish wars, the Scanian War 1675-79 and the Great Nordic War1709-20, both were initiated on Danish initiative to recapture Scania from the now ailing Swedish great power and at the same time break the annoying alliance between Sweden and Gottorp. Although both wars ended almost in Danish favor, they did not succeed in getting the Scanian countries back because the European powers opposed it. Recognizing this, and because Sweden was now again a power at the level of Denmark, the government definitely took the issue off the foreign policy agenda. The border through the Sound was fixed. When the Gottorp question at the same time found a satisfactory solution, the long-standing Danish-Swedish rivalry was soon replaced by a new community of interest in the shadow of the nascent Russian superpower. The peace of 1720 therefore heralded a long period of peaceful coexistence between the two Nordic kingdoms.

Denmark – history (1720-1814)

Denmark – history (1720-1814), The long peace and the short war (1720-1814)

With the peace in 1720, the last Swedish war ended, and the years leading up to the war with England 1807-14 became the longest period of peace that Denmark has known so far. The first years of peace were marked by a heavy repayment of the war’s debt and by a serious agricultural crisis, which we know through one of its hard-pressed tenant farmers, Holbergs Jeppe on the Mountain. However, the population of the kingdom grew slowly from approximately 710,000 in 1720 to 978,000 in 1807 and reached approximately 1 mio. in 1814, when the country regained peace. From around 1750, an ordinary European boom took hold in Denmark in the form of an increasing demand for agricultural goods and tonnage. The boom created the basis for the flourishing tradeand shipping under Denmark’s neutrality in the wars between the great naval powers. However, in 1801 this exploitation of neutrality brought Denmark into open conflict with England. The boom also helped to shape mentalities and attitudes. It was in those years that a Danish national identity developed in the bourgeois public, just as the tension between Danish and German became definitive. The Enlightenment’s thoughts on freedom and equality made thoughtful Danes question the autocracy of God’s grace, even before the message of the Revolution in France in 1789 reached Denmark.

However, the foreign policy that ensured the state and peace was far from problem-free. Although the great power Sweden in 1720 had been reduced to a power on a par with Denmark, Denmark still wrote off further plans for a recapture of the provinces east of the Sound by military means. With the Inheritance Tributein 1721, Frederik IV incorporated the Gottorp parts of Schleswig into the royal parts, but it came to require a long and cohesive political and diplomatic effort before the Gottorp question found a final, for Denmark satisfactory solution. This did not happen until 1773 with the Treaty of Stomach Change, in which the Duke of Gottorp relinquished his Schleswig possessions and exchanged his parts of Holstein for the Danish royal family’s ancestral land Oldenborg. At that time, however, Gustav III’s coup d’etat in 1772 had created far more serious problems for the Danish-Norwegian Helstat. The strengthened Swedish monarchy embarked on a consistent policy of seizing Norway. Denmark responded by entering into the Eternal Alliance with Russia in 1773, in which the two powers mutually guaranteed each other’s territory. In the alliance with the great power Russia, Denmark was the client and had to pursue a foreign policy that did not conflict with significant Russian interests. Until the final phase of the Napoleonic Wars in 1812, however, the alliance gave Denmark the desired security; and until 1807 the Danish government could concentrate its resources on a policy of neutrality in favor of trade and shipping under the Danish flag.

The dictatorshipwas constitutionally soundly grounded in the Enevoldsarveregerings Act of 1661 and the Royal Act of 1665, and its principles were incorporated into Danish law in 1683. As a political system, however, the Danish autocracy changed in step with society’s changes. Frederik IV could still rule his kingdom as a fictitious landowner; but under Christian 6. the actual political leadership began to go from the majesty over to the ministers of the council. Frederik V actually handed over political power to his Supreme Court Marshal, AG Moltke, who ruled in good understanding with the ministers. The crisis of the Danish autocracy occurred when it became clear to the inner circle that the young Christian VII was insane. His physician, who was at the same time the queen’s lover, JF Struensee, assumed all power in 1770 and ruled through cabinet orders, which was signed by the King or issued with his authority. The circle that overthrew Struensee in 1772 had the king ordain a new political institution, the Secret State Council, where the king, after listening to his ministers, had to make his decisions. The Constitutional Constitution remained in power until the fall of autocracy in 1848, but behind the scenes, actual power shifted between the court, the Cabinet, and the Council of State. The young Crown Prince Frederik took power in a coup in 1784 precisely to weaken the court and cabinet government and strengthen the cabinet. But he himself went from the end of the 1790’s to a cabinet rule, which lasted until 1814, when the cabinet rule was re-established and this time permanently. where the king, after listening to his ministers, had to make his decisions. The Constitutional Constitution remained in power until the fall of autocracy in 1848, but behind the scenes, actual power shifted between the court, the Cabinet, and the Council of State. The young Crown Prince Frederik took power in a coup in 1784 precisely to weaken the court and cabinet government and strengthen the cabinet. But he himself went from the end of the 1790’s to a cabinet rule, which lasted until 1814, when the cabinet rule was re-established and this time permanently. where the king, after listening to his ministers, had to make his decisions. The Constitutional Constitution remained in power until the fall of autocracy in 1848, but behind the scenes, actual power shifted between the court, the Cabinet, and the Council of State. The young Crown Prince Frederik took power in a coup in 1784 precisely to weaken the court and cabinet government and strengthen the cabinet. But he himself went from the end of the 1790’s to a cabinet rule, which lasted until 1814, when the cabinet rule was re-established and this time permanently.

While the professional office in the central administration slowly gained real political influence, it was a characteristic feature of the Danish autocracy that the large rural population did not meet the king’s officials at local level, so to speak. In order to function at all, the autocracy had delegated the tax collection and the discharge of soldiers and to a large extent also the law enforcement to the Danish landowners. First in connection with the agrarian reforms of the late 1700’s. the autocracy began to withdraw this delegated authority and establish a state local government with popular participation.

Economicthe long peace of the first 50 years was marked by quiet growth and institutional modernization, which was to form the basis of the subsequent boom and agrarian reforms. Agricultural production grew in line with the slow increase in population. But during the agricultural crisis of the 1730’s, autocracy deliberately strengthened the landowners at the expense of the subsistence farmers. Among other things. introduced in 1733 the staff band, which cut off the male peasant population from relocating the food without the permission of the landowners; in addition to ensuring sufficient manpower for the land militia, which was the official rationale for the introduction, the staff band ensured the landowners cheap labor. The dictatorship also closed its eyes to the increase in hovering that began already during the crisis and continued in step with the boom. At the same time, a number of institutions were established: the Commercial College 1735, the Kurant Bank 1736 and the Grosserersocietetet 1742, which were to serve as instruments for the economic management of urban society, which the autocracy launched in good accordance with the mercantilist thinking of the time. It was governance through support schemes, privileges and monopolies, which was only gradually phased out in the late 1700’s, when companies had become viable over time and a liberal policy proved more appropriate.

Agricultureunderwent in the last 35 years of the long peace a revolutionary restructuring through the great agrarian reforms. In almost all the more than 5000 villages, the medieval land community was abolished, and each farm had its fields gathered in one plot. Nearly 15,000 of the total of almost 60,000 farms were demolished and rebuilt on the new lots, and at the same time bought approximately half of the subsistence farmers their farms and thus became self-employed. The restructuring took place mainly on the initiative of the landowners and subsistence farmers, who regarded the conversion as a prerequisite for increased agricultural production. In this process, autocracy played a withdrawn role partly out of respect for the landowners’ property and disposition rights, and partly because the state was only to a limited extent able to make loan capital available for the freehold purchases. In fact, the most significant effort of the autocracy became the legal protection of the farmers who remained tenants. In the eyes of contemporaries, the most significant reform was the abolition in 1788 of the staff band, which the freedom-enthusiastic and landowner-hating Copenhagen bourgeoisie’s official and merchant bourgeoisie marked with the raising of the Freedom Support. In the long run, the restructuring was significant by dissolving the old feudal bonds between the landowners and users and by creating the independent and self-sufficient class of farmers and thus the new, sharp distinctions between the middle class of the rural community and its underclass of homesteaders and farm workers. as the freedom-enthusiastic and landowner-hostile Copenhagen citizenship and trade marked with the raising of the Freedom Support. In the long run, the restructuring was significant by dissolving the old feudal bonds between the landowners and users and by creating the independent and self-sufficient class of farmers and thus the new, sharp distinctions between the middle class of the rural community and its underclass of homesteaders and farm workers. as the freedom-loving and landowner-hostile Copenhagen citizenship marked with the raising of the Freedom Support. In the long run, the restructuring was significant by dissolving the old feudal bonds between the landowners and users and by creating the independent and self-sufficient class of farmers and thus the new, sharp distinctions between the middle class of the rural community and its underclass of homesteaders and farm workers.

The flourishing trade had made the Copenhagen bourgeoisie in particular prosperous and thus gave it a political self-awareness. The basis of the wealth was the combination of an international boom for trade and shipping and the Danish policy of neutrality that made Dannebrog in demand on the world’s oceans, as well as the huge quantities of overseas goods that were released to the European market through Copenhagen, and freight earnings under the neutral Danish flag. A special but smaller branch of the flourishing trade was the transport of slaves from Africa to the Caribbean. The Danish king’s ban in 1792 on Danish participation in this human trafficking attracted international attention. In reality, however, there was a deliberate and economically rational settlement of a form of trade before the great powers would force Denmark to do so.

Freedom of expressionin 1700’s Denmark was limited by the official censorship and by the self-censorship that most writers imposed on themselves so as not to bring themselves into disrepute with those in power and patrons. Censorship, on the other hand, contradicted the Enlightenment’s demands for a free exchange of opinions, and under Frederik V it was therefore administered easily. However, it attracted European attention when Struensee in 1770 had Christian VII abolish censorship with a stroke of the pen. In the following years, the law emphasized on several occasions that the authors were accountable under the law for what they wrote, and if they wrote anonymously, the printer would be held accountable. Nevertheless, Denmark experienced in the last 15 years of the 1700’s. an extensive freedom of speech, and controversial topics such as religion, the church, autocracy, and the structure of society became the subject of a fairly free debate. The debate was carried in newspapers, magazines and in the bourgeois clubs; it was in those years that concepts likethe king was replaced by the state and subordinated by the citizen. The phenomenon has been described as opinion-driven autocracy. In 1799, however, those in power lost patience and significantly curtailed freedom of speech, and during the war of 1807-14, even actual censorship was reintroduced.

A national identitydeveloped as early as the mid-1700’s, which is early in relation to the rest of Europe. Before, it had been the men of power who identified with the homeland and its past, while the horizons of ordinary people were limited to the city, the parish and the region. As early as the 1740’s, however, young, well-educated bourgeois sons identified themselves mentally and emotionally with their homeland, with its language and its history. This happened in part as a reaction against the foreign upper class at court and in the political leadership and against the domestic upper class, which appropriated the language and culture of the foreigners and openly regarded Denmark as a culturally underdeveloped country. The showdown with Struensee also included a critique of his German language and foreign birth. The circle that overthrew him in 1772, deliberately sought to stabilize their own power by pursuing a Danish and a bourgeois policy. This national policy culminated in 1776 with the enactment of the Law of Citizenship, which gave the natives exclusive rights to the offices of the state. At the same time, the Citizenship Act was also an attempt to stem the burgeoning contradictions between the state’s Danish, Norwegian and German population groups through a constructed whole-state patriotism. In particular, the Danish-German hostility did not allow itself to be tamed. In the spring of 1789, these contradictions exploded in the so-called German feud, which definitely made the German enemy image a sad but true component of Danish identity. At the same time, the Citizenship Act was also an attempt to stem the burgeoning contradictions between the state’s Danish, Norwegian and German population groups through a constructed whole-state patriotism. In particular, the Danish-German hostility did not allow itself to be tamed. In the spring of 1789, these contradictions exploded in the so-called German feud, which definitely made the German enemy image a sad but true component of Danish identity. At the same time, the Citizenship Act was also an attempt to stem the burgeoning contradictions between the state’s Danish, Norwegian and German population groups through a constructed whole-state patriotism. In particular, the Danish-German hostility did not allow itself to be tamed. In the spring of 1789, these contradictions exploded in the so-called German feud, which definitely made the German enemy image a sad but true component of Danish identity.

The war came in 1807, when England invaded Denmark, bombed Copenhagen and sailed away with the entire Danish fleet. As early as 1798, Denmark had challenged England by letting its warships provide convoy protection for the many, not always equally neutral activities that took place under the Danish flag. The convoy conflict was triggered in July 1800 with the Freya affair, during which England forced Denmark to stop the convoys. When Denmark then sought support from Russia and joined the Armed Forces of Neutrality in December 1800, England responded again with war. On April 2, 1801, Admiral Nelson defeated the Danish line of defense in Kongedybet in the Battle of the Nest.

Denmark – history (1814-1900)

Estates and Constitutions (1814-1849)

After the Peace of Kiel, the Danish monarchy consisted of four parts: the Kingdom of Denmark (including the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland) and the Duchies of Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg. Denmark was reduced to a small state that had to relax in foreign policy after the great powers. The colonies in India and Africa were sold in 1845 and 1850. The Faroe Islands and Greenland were ruled from Copenhagen, while in 1843 Iceland was restored to an advisory Althing, which in 1874 became legislative for Icelandic affairs.

The post-Napoleonic Wars were marked by stagnation; Frederik VI’s leading minister was JS Møsting, and P.Chr. From 1827 onwards, Stemann also gained great influence. The war had hit economic life hard; trade and shipping experienced a sharp decline, and after the State Bankruptcy in 1813 followed sharp inflation, which, however, was counteracted when Danmarks Nationalbank in Copenhagen from 1818 was given the exclusive right to issue banknotes. Agriculture was hit by British import duties on grain and from 1818 by sharp price falls. In the late 1820’s, however, conditions stabilized, and in the 1830’s, agriculture again experienced a boom that gradually had a contagious effect on the urban industries.

Holsten had in 1815 been given a stand constitution in view, and under the impression of the July Revolution in France in 1830, demands were made in the duchies for the introduction of a Schleswig-Holstein estate assembly. In order to fulfill the obligation to Holstein and at the same time maintain the unity of the kingdom, Frederik VI’s government decided with the Estates Ordinance of 18.5.1831 to introduce advisory estates assemblies for resp. Holstein, Schleswig, Jutland and the Islands. The condition for suffrage and eligibility was possession of real estate, which gave three electoral groups: landowners, landowners in the cities and smaller property owners in the countryside, ie. larger farmers. Despite censorship, a public political debate gradually took shape, through the newspapers. The estate assemblies first met in 1835-36, and in collaboration with the government, among other things, municipal self-government for Copenhagen (1837), for the market towns (1840) and for the rural municipalities (1841) as well as a revised customs law (1838). In general, the estates wanted control over and frugality in public finances; the peasants demanded the continuation of the agrarian reforms, while the liberals, with the support of academics and urban traders in particular, demanded faster economic liberalization, expanded freedom of the press, and increased influence for the estate assemblies.

The 1840’s became a decisive turning point in Danish society. There was a broad mobilization of both urban and rural populations to participate in the affairs of society. In the duchies, the national conflict intensified, and the liberal opposition became in the 1840’s with Orla Lehmann as the main political figure for the National Liberals. At the same time, the economic recovery took off in earnest. Agriculture was still the country’s main occupation, but especially in Copenhagen a certain industrialization began. Great Britain became the main market for Danish agriculture, and the terms of trade for the country as a whole and agriculture in particular developed positively over many years.

At the same time, a peasant movement appeared on Zealand and Lolland-Falster, which demanded intervention in the relationship between landowners and tenants. The demands characterized the estate assembly in Roskilde in 1844, and in November 1845 the government felt compelled to use the Peasants’ Circular to hamper the political activity of the peasant movement. The circular contributed to a rapprochement between the hitherto royalist peasants and the National Liberals. In 1846, the Peasant Friends ‘ Society was established as a body for the peasant movement.

Christian VIII was met with great expectations at his accession to the throne in 1839; as king of Norway, he had in 1814 passed the Eidsvoll Constitution, which introduced a constitutional monarchy in Norway. As Danish king, however, he rejected restrictions on autocracy. However, he implemented administrative reforms and in 1842 appointed the moderately liberal AS Ørsted prime minister. However, political developments gradually created a broad recognition that autocracy could not survive a change of throne. Before his death, Christian VIII had thus prepared a constitutional amendment, and after the election on 5.10.1848, the Constituent Assembly was convened. Negotiations for a free constitution was lengthy, but June 5, 1849 could Frederik 7. sign Denmark’s first constitution, June Constitution. For its time, it was far from democratic in securing civil liberties and a two-chamber system (Folketing and Landsting) with ordinary suffrage for men, but with eligibility restrictions for the Landsting. Already now the main political dividing lines appeared between the Peasants’ Friends on the one hand and the National Liberals and more moderate forces on the other.

Under the June Constitution (1849-64)

From the first parliamentary sessions, the peasants’ representatives increasingly appeared as one party, while the situation with the other elected representatives was different; at the center stood a large group of liberals who did not have an actual party structure but were gathered around a number of personalities now with DG Monrad as the central figure. The group had a strong academic touch, but was quite heterogeneous. To the right of this stood a small group of older officials and landowners who were opposed to the Constitution.

From around the middle of the 1800’s. economic life was liberalized. The Trade Act of 1857 erased the old distinction between country and city, the Øresund Customs was repealed the same year, and the Customs Act of 1863 was a moderate-liberal reform. The expansion of railways and telegraphs gained momentum in the 1850’s, gasworks were established in the larger cities, and in 1857 CF Tietgen founded Privatbanken as the first modern Danish commercial bank.

The political motto of the peasant friends was the abolition of the attachment system, but it only led to legal adjustments in the relationship between tenants and landowners in 1861. In return, farmers and larger farmers experienced a significant increase in living standards.

The Schleswig question

A central issue from the turn of the century until 1864 was the position of the duchies in the monarchy. Of the total population in Denmark and the duchies after 1815 was approximately 1/3 German, and Holstein was economically more developed than the kingdom itself. Holstein and Lauenburg both participated in the German Confederation and were both linguistically and culturally German, while Schleswig was nationally divided; most landowners, the bourgeoisie in the cities and the peasants in most of southern Schleswig were German-minded, while the northern Schleswig peasants were predominantly Danish-minded. Demands from the Duchy of Liberals in 1830 for a free constitution for a united Schleswig-Holstein were rejected by Frederik VI’s autocratic government, and the most ardent Schleswig-Holstein spokesman, Uwe Jens Lornsen, was imprisoned. With the Estates Constitution of 1831, an attempt was made to preserve the unity of the kingdom; the question of an estate constitution for Holstein was resolved, and the separation between the two duchies maintained. The contradictions between Danish and German persisted, however, and the notion of a German Schleswig-Holstein found support in Duke Christian August of Augustenborg’s inheritance claim on the two duchies at the expected extinction of the ruling Oldenburg men’s line. In November 1842, there was an open conflict over the national question, when P. Hiort Lorenzen from Haderslev asserted his right to speak Danish in the estate assembly in Schleswig. A Danish and a Schleswig-Holstein movement now quickly took shape. and the notion of a German Schleswig-Holstein found support in Duke Christian August of Augustenborg’s inheritance claim on the two duchies at the expected extinction of the ruling Oldenburg men’s line. In November 1842, there was an open conflict over the national question, when P. Hiort Lorenzen from Haderslev asserted his right to speak Danish in the estate assembly in Schleswig. A Danish and a Schleswig-Holstein movement now quickly took shape. and the notion of a German Schleswig-Holstein found support in Duke Christian August of Augustenborg’s inheritance claim on the two duchies at the expected extinction of the ruling Oldenburg men’s line. In November 1842, there was an open conflict over the national question, when P. Hiort Lorenzen from Haderslev asserted his right to speak Danish in the estate assembly in Schleswig. A Danish and a Schleswig-Holstein movement now quickly took shape.

In Denmark, the liberal opposition took on the Danish cause in Schleswig, which Orla Lehmann in 1842 demanded more closely linked to the kingdom by proclaiming “Denmark to the Eider”. Faced with increasingly strong efforts for German unity, Danish nationalism also found support in a new experience of Nordic cohesion, Scandinavianism. The government sought to mediate between Danish and German, but had to reject the Duke of Augustenborg’s inheritance claim. In the Open Letter from 1846, Christian VIII maintained the Oldenburg line’s right of inheritance and the whole state’s continued maintenance, but rejected the Danish National Liberals’ demands for a closer connection to Schleswig, the so-called Eider policy.

After the death of Christian VIII in January 1848, the government envisioned a constitutional amendment that maintained the separation between the kingdom and the duchies. The February Revolution in Paris the same year sent a revolutionary wave across Europe, and the national opposition in both camps was rapidly radicalized. At a meeting in Rendsburg, the participants demanded a free Schleswig-Holstein constitution and Schleswig’s admission to the German Confederation. Intelligence of the meeting led to demands from the National Liberals for a change of government, and on March 22 a new government took office under the leadership of AW Moltkeand with national liberal participation; the Schleswig-Holstein demands were rejected, and Schleswig’s connection to Denmark was maintained. The next day a German Provisional Government of Schleswig-Holstein was formed in Kiel; on March 24, the fortress of Rendsburg was captured, and with it the civil war broke out.

The Three Years’ War 1848-51. Two weeks after a victory at Bov on April 9, the Danish army was defeated at Schleswig by a united Schleswig-Holstein-Prussian army. The troops were then withdrawn to Als and Fyn. After Russian pressure in particular, however, Prussia withdrew and in July entered into a ceasefire agreement with Denmark, which had then strengthened its position. The ceasefire did not include Schleswig-Holstein, which in September introduced a democratic constitution. With the exception of Dybbøl and Als, the Schleswig-Holstein government had control of the whole of Schleswig.

In April, 1849, war broke out again; the Danish navy suffered losses in an attack on Eckernförde, and after battles at Kolding the Danish troops had to retreat north. On July 6, however, Denmark added a decisive defeat at Fredericia to its opponents. Prussia entered into a new ceasefire and in July 1850 concluded a final peace on its own behalf and on behalf of the German Confederation. Schleswig-Holstein, on the other hand, continued the battle, and the Battle of Isted 24-25. July s.å. became an expensive Danish victory. It was not until New Year 1851 that the rebels finally laid down their arms. Despite the defeat of Schleswig-Holstein, the Three Years’ War was not a Danish victory. The whole state lived on with a built-in bitter national conflict, and the German-minded population increasingly perceived Denmark as an occupying power. The language scripts, which in 1851 introduced Danish church and school language in Middle Schleswig, was perceived by the German-minded as an assault. The peace arrangement was dictated by the great powers, first and foremost Russia, and in 1851-52 Denmark had to agree not to link Schleswig closer to itself than Holstein; in return, Prince Christian (9th) of Glücksborg was recognized as heir to the entire monarchy. A common constitution for all parts of the kingdom never came to fruition and was formally repealed in 1858 for Holsten and Lauenburg.

War 1864. Denmark, which after agreements with the great powers 1851-52 had to come to terms with German influence in matters concerning the duchies, sought under CC Hall’s leadership from 1857 to get Schleswig re-attached to the kingdom. In 1863, the Danish government took the decisive step: Holstein was separated, and a joint constitution for Denmark and Schleswig, the November Constitution, was adopted on 13 November. Two days later, Frederik VII died, but Christian IX signed the new constitution. It was a clear challenge to the German powers, and on February 1, 1864, Prussia and Austria declared war on Denmark. The Danish army evacuated Dannevirke and took a position on Dybbøl, which was captured by the Prussians on 18 April. A ceasefire, during which the German troops occupied Jutland, was broken by Denmark. In late July, German troops captured Als. The war was irrevocably lost, and at the peace in Vienna on October 30, Denmark had to cede Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg.

The Danish-German conflict had dominated Danish politics for a lifetime. The interests of the great powers had limited Denmark’s opportunities for action, and after 1864 Danish foreign policy was completely determined by the relationship with the militarily superior Germany, a relationship which was further complicated by the Danish population in Schleswig. After 1864, changing Danish governments maintained neutrality as a guiding principle in relations with the outside world; the defeat was an emphasis on Danish political powerlessness externally, but also became a spur to internal recovery.

The modern breakthrough (1864-1901)

Agriculture implemented major changes in the latter half of the 1800’s; new land was cultivated and production was reorganized. The conversion from grain to animal products was already underway, but took off in earnest when agriculture around 1875 was hit by falling grain prices. From being an exporter, Denmark now became an importer of grain, and exports to the UK were reorganized into processed goods such as butter and from approximately 1890 pork and eggs. Agricultural products accounted for 85-90% of exports, and production rose sharply. The estates had led the way until then, but in the 1880’s the farmers organized themselves into cooperative dairies and cooperative pig slaughterhouses.

The cooperative movement became the strongest expression of the organization of agriculture and the rural community, which took place in the latter part of the 1800’s; the medium-sized and small farms thus gained a leading position in agricultural production, and with the farmers as their core, a characteristic agricultural culture was formed from the 1860’s, which in addition to widespread self-organization in the cooperative movement included professional work, church and school. By the turn of the century, it had replaced the old peasant culture with a modern, self-reliant mentality with the farm and the family as the mainstays.

The ecclesiastical directions were an essential element of this development. As early as the 1820’s, parts of the rural population, especially on Funen and Zealand, became involved in divine revivals, which, through widespread lay preaching, demanded a personal appropriation of the truth of Christianity. After being founded as a lay association in 1853, the Inner Mission in the 1860’s took the form of a revival movement within the People’s Church. It had a background in pietism and was characterized by the demand for personal repentance and had a great impact, especially in the 1890’s. Grundtvigianism, which was based on Grundtvig’s thoughts on baptism, the sacrament and the creed as the most important elements in the conception of Christianity, also developed in the latter half of the 1800’s. to a broad popular movement, which through independent schools and folk high schools and through the formation of electoral and free churches gained great importance for the culture of the rural population.

Urban development accelerated during this period, and the rural population’s share of the population fell from almost 80 to just over 60%. Corresponding to this was a development in the urban industries, especially in crafts, service trades and small-scale industry, which worked for the domestic market. Industrialization, which had hitherto been concentrated around Copenhagen and the larger cities, reached the smaller market towns in the 1890’s.

The political lifechanged character after 1864. First and foremost, the National Liberals lost their leadership position, and as a replacement for the Danish-Schleswig joint constitution, a new constitution was adopted on 28 July 1866, which gave the Landsting a composition that strengthened the influence of the great landowners. The National Liberals gradually joined the Conservative Party, which united the social forces, while various left-wing groups in 1870 gathered in the United Left, which in 1872 gained a majority in Parliament and demanded the reintroduction of the June Constitution, parliamentary parliamentarism and reforms. The Conservatives, however, maintained the equality of the Riksdag and the Folketing as well as the king’s right to freely elect his ministers. The fronts had thus been drawn up to a conflict between the right-wing government and the left-wing majority of the Folketing, which came to characterize the period 1872-94.

Behind the conflict was the opposition between the hitherto ruling layers, ie. the officials and the landowners, and the peasants. The right-wing governments of 1875-94, led by Council President JBS Estrup, stood firm in their views, and the conflict developed into a bitter strife. In 1877, the first Provisional Finance Act was implemented, and in the period 1885-94, the Provisional Period, the Conservatives ruled using Provisional Finance Acts, to complete the fortification of Copenhagen 1886-94. The Liberal Party sought to obstruct Estrup’s policy through a so-called withering policy, but was weakened by internal contradictions between the moderates under Frede Bojsen and the radicals under Christen Berg and Viggo Hørup. Furthermore, the radicals were blown up in the 1880’s in Bergs danske and HørupsEuropean Left.

Despite progress in the elections until 1884 and constant storms against Estrup’s government, the Liberal Party failed to achieve a system change. In the late 1880’s, moderate leftists began a policy of negotiation with the Conservatives. In 1891 a number of social laws were passed by a political majority in the Reichstag, and in March 1894 a settlement was reached between the moderate forces on both sides. Estrup resigned, but the Conservatives retained government power until 1901, however, with increasing dependence on the left majority. In 1895, the opposition opponents in the Liberal Party were united in the Liberal Reform Party, whose leading figure was JC Christensen. In the spring of 1901, the possibilities for a right-wing ministry were exhausted, and in July the Left Reform Party formed a government under JH Deuntzer.

The labor movement in Denmark developed to a large extent on the basis of the strong urban growth, the abolition from 1857 of the old low system and the beginning of industrialization. At the initiative of Louis Piofounded in 1871 a socialist workers’ movement, which was built as a unitary organization of trade union sections and a political party, later the Social Democrats. The movement was met with strong opposition from the authorities and the leaders, Louis Pio, Poul Geleff and Harald Brix, were arrested. On May 5, 1872, there was a direct confrontation between workers and police in the Battle of Fælleden. After a short period of prosperity, the movement experienced a new crisis from 1877, after Pio and Geleff had been bribed by the police to emigrate to the United States. From approximately In 1880, however, the labor movement succeeded in reorganizing, and in 1884 the first Social Democrats were elected to the Folketing, where they followed the Liberal Party. A trade union movement was built up, which during the 1890’s gained considerable support in Copenhagen and the market towns.The September Settlement, which established the right of the trade union movement to represent the workers and the right of employers to direct and distribute labor. At the turn of the century, the labor movement was still growing, and in 1901 the Social Democrats won 14 of 114 seats in the Folketing. Politically, the Social Democrats followed the Left until 1901, but tensions between the parties increased in the late 1890’s.

The big ham change

The period 1864-1901 meant a change of heart for Danish society; The shift had begun earlier in many areas, but during this period the changes deeply affected the lives of most Danes. Life in 1901 differed in almost every area from life in 1814; the population had grown sharply, and living conditions generally improved. With the School Act of 1814, ordinary schooling was introduced, and approximately By 1850, illiteracy had been eradicated. Better nutrition, hygiene and medical advances increased life expectancy.

There was a physical upheaval with a population migration from country to city, just as many, though fewer than in Sweden and Norway, emigrated to especially the United States. There was a break with old ideas and ways of life and a blurring of traditional cultural forms. It has been strikingly expressed that change became a state. The estate society was formally abolished in 1849, and the inherited boundaries between the estates were transformed into a social stratification according to possession and income. The peasantry was divided into farmers, homesteaders, and day laborers, and in the cities employer-employee relations were established; society’s increasing demands for services fostered the emergence of a stratum of salaried employees and new groups of self-employed.

Women had not yet been given a share in political rights, but incipient legislation secured their rights better than before, and by the end of the 1800’s, women were entering the labor market, not least in the service professions.

Denmark – History (1901-40)

Denmark – history (1901-40), System change and reform policy, 1901-13

With the change of system in 1901, the state custom was initiated that a government cannot continue if it is met with a vote of no confidence from a majority in the Folketing. Government power fell to the Left Reform Party, which until 1906 had an absolute majority in the Folketing. In the Landsting, the Conservatives and Free Conservatives still had a majority, which forced the government to reach an agreement with one of these groups to pass laws. In 1906, the Left Reform Party lost its majority. as a result of the split in 1905 and the formation of the Radical Left, which soon gained a central position in Danish politics. With this, the future pattern in Danish politics was determined with four large parties, none of which has ever had an absolute majority; changing governments have therefore only been able to implement their policies in cooperation with one or more other parties.

The period until World War I became rich in reforms. Under the real leadership of the eminent tactician JC Christensen, the left-wing governments implemented significant parts of the party’s program: a tax reform in 1903, which replaced property and hartcorn taxes with income and wealth tax and introduced a property debt. In the same year, the three-year high school was created, which was connected to the primary school through a middle school. In addition, a law on elected ward councils was passed, and women were given the right to vote. In 1908, the Riksdag passed a law on universal suffrage also for women to the municipal councils. In the labor market, a number of laws supplemented the collective bargaining system. In 1907, state recognition and support for unemployment funds was adopted, and in 1910, conciliator institutions and the Permanent Court of Arbitration (today the Labor Court) were introduced.

At the revelation in 1908 of the extensive frauds of the Minister of Justice PA Alberti, the Liberal Party and in particular JC Christensen were weakened, even though he was acquitted in a subsequent federal court case. Shortly afterwards, lengthy negotiations began on a revision of the Constitution. They only ended during World War I with the Constitution of 1915 as the crown of the period’s major reform work with the abolition of the privileged suffrage to the Landsting, implementation of universal suffrage for women and servants and proportional representation to the Folketing, which enabled a more equal distribution of seats.

The economic background for the reforms was favorable. Agriculture and industry experienced strong growth and the number of workers in industry, trade and transport increased significantly. In several areas, Danish industry was an international leader, for example in the development of diesel engines for ships. Agriculture benefited from the conversion to animal production, and even in 1914, agricultural products amounted to approximately 90% of Danish exports with butter and bacon to the British market as the most important goods.

In foreign policy, Denmark was in a double position. Economically, the country was dependent on exports to Britain, security-wise on its neighborly relationship with the politically and militarily increasingly stronger Germany. The latter was further complicated by the consideration for the Danes in Schleswig. They were at times subjected to harsh repression, which gave the period’s Danish nationalism a strong anti-German touch. In big politics, all Danish governments had a low profile. There was agreement on a continuation of the policy of neutrality and a tacit recognition that it had to be practiced with special regard to Germany.

Within this framework, the parties marked great disagreement about defense policy, which ranged from the Conservatives’ demands for continued expansion of a strong military defense to the radicals’ and Social Democrats’ desire for full or partial disarmament. In 1909, the Conservatives and Liberals entered into a settlement that strengthened the defense and Copenhagen’s sea fortifications. The parliamentary elections in 1913 gave rise to both the Radical Left and the Social Democrats, and with the support of the Social Democrats a radical government could be formed under the leadership of C.Th. Zahle, who retained power until 1920.

Neutrality, regulatory policy and political conflicts (1914-20)

During World War I, Denmark managed to maintain neutrality, which, however, was largely adapted to German wishes; Among other things, the Great Belt was blocked by mines despite an international obligation to keep the passage open. A larger security force was called in and concentrated around Copenhagen. The Danes did not remain untouched by the war; 275 of the merchant navy’s ships were sunk, approximately 700 sailors lost their lives, and approximately 6,000 Danish southern Jews fell in German war service. Economically, the country balanced between the warring parties by concluding separate trade agreements, which entailed an export ban, so that the blockades were not circumvented by re-exporting from Denmark.

Domestically, the parties entered into a peace treaty that largely endured the war. Based on the August Acts of 1914, the government and parliament built a comprehensive system of regulation in almost all economic and social areas: price policy, supply and rationing policy and to some extent distribution policy, which entailed a strong expansion of state power.

During World War I, the area around the Danish West Indies gained increased strategic importance. The United States was concerned about German companies’ interest in the Danish islands and therefore in 1915 contacted the Danish government to buy the islands. The following year, a sale price of DKK 25 million was agreed. dollars, and the sale was finally approved by a referendum in December. The transfer of the islands took place on April 1, 1917.

Immediately after the end of World War I, political peace broke down. The opposition, the Left and the Conservative People’s Party, demanded that the regulatory policy be phased out as soon as possible, but the government hesitated for the sake of the social balance and due to the fear of a post-war crisis. Despite these contradictions, a comprehensive set of land laws could be passed in 1919, which changed the property form of the large estates and included land for the creation of approximately 6000 homesteads.

To the left of the political spectrum, in the last years of the war, a militant political and trade union opposition to the Social Democrats and its moderate political course emerged. The unrest was partly inspired by the revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe and intensified by widespread social distress. The militant workers enforced the 1918-19 demands of the labor movement since 1889 for an eight-hour working day, and this, together with improved cost-time regulation, was incorporated into the agreement between the Danish Employers’ Association and the Cooperative Trade Unions in 1919.

The collapse of Germany created an opportunity for a solution to the South Jutland question. Voting took place within the framework of the Versailles peace treaties. At the first vote in North Schleswig as a whole on 10 February 1920, 3/4 voted for and 1/4 against an association with Denmark; a vote on March 14 s.å. in Central Schleswig, including Flensburg, gave the opposite result. The votes triggered strong national sentiment on both sides. As early as 1919, the Dannevirke movement had agitated for a border along Dannevirke, and after the second vote, nationalist circles built a strong movement for Flensburg’s return despite the result of the vote.

At the end of March 1920, the bourgeois dissatisfaction with the policy of regulation and the anger of the nationalists over the impending demarcation north of Flensburg merged in a violent attack on the government and in a pressure on Christian 10. to make him dismiss it. This triggered the Easter crisis: On March 29, King Zahle’s government resigned while the Folketing was on Easter holiday, and thus without a majority being found against it. The next day, the king appointed a business ministry, which was tasked with printing elections. Christian 10.’s move was perceived by radicals and social democrats as a coup, and in particular the labor movement made massive efforts to get parliamentary conditions reintroduced, by threatening a general strike. During large demonstrations, the workers demanded the establishment of a republic. The prospect of a major conflict in the labor market also contributed to exacerbating the situation. After intense negotiations, the party leaders reached a settlement on Easter morning, which involved the appointment of a new business ministry with the sole task of calling elections.

Between liberalism and state interventionism (1920-29)

The April 1920 election brought a left-wing government to power, which was supported by the Conservative People’s Party. It was given difficult conditions as a result of a post-war crisis that affected both agriculture and industry and created almost chaotic conditions in the banking sector; several banks cracked, in 1922 Scandinavia’s largest bank, Landmandsbanken, which had to be reconstructed with the help of the state. The crisis was exacerbated by a hasty revaluation of the krone. The 1920’s were marked by high unemployment, especially in 1922-23 and 1925-28, and by very extensive conflicts in the labor market. In 1924, the left-wing government was replaced by the country’s first Social Democratic government with the strong and tactically capable Th. Stunningas Prime Minister. It also faced major problems, especially in the currency area. During a major conflict in 1925, it prepared for a state intervention, but it was not launched. The following year, a comprehensive crisis plan suffered shipwreck. At the subsequent election, the majority changed, and the Liberal Party formed a new government. Prime Minister became the strongly liberalist Th. Madsen-Mygdal; his crisis resolution program was public spending cuts, tax cuts, and labor market interventions.

Despite economic difficulties, considerable modernization was carried out in both agriculture and industry in these years; Among other things, founded Ford Motor Company Europe’s first assembly line car factory in Denmark.

The 1920’s were also marked by sharp ideological contradictions between the liberalism of the peasants and the Left and the wishes of the workers and the Social Democrats for an active state power, a desire which to some extent was shared by the Conservative People’s Party. The contradictions sometimes assumed the character of a confrontation between country and city.

In foreign policy, the 1920’s became a quiet decade. For a time, Denmark was not threatened by any great power. Against the Soviet Union, Denmark participated in the western sanctions policy until 1924, after which we recognized the communist regime. In 1920, Denmark became a member of the League of Nations, but, like the other Nordic countries, had problems with the policy of neutrality in relation to the League of Nations’ collective security system, which meant that the country would be drawn into a conflict with a peacemaker. On the other hand, the association’s disarmament ideas fell in line with the wishes of a majority of the Danish population. Still, it was a dispute over the defense that overthrew the government in 1929, when the Conservatives under the leadership of Christmas Mollerin dissatisfaction with the defense appropriations abstained from voting for the Finance Act; The Radicals also abstained, while the Social Democrats voted against.

Economic crisis and political stability (1929-40)

The election in April 1929 gave a majority to the Social Democrats and the Radical Left, which formed a coalition government with Th. Stauning and P. Munch as resp. Minister of State and Foreign Affairs. It became the longest-serving government of the century. However, its comprehensive reform program was slowed down when the world economic crisis of mid-1930 hit Denmark, initially agriculture, which had problems with sales and prices. In the first half of the 1930’s, many farmers were hit by the debt crisis and subsequent foreclosure. In 1931, the urban industries also felt the crisis in the form of business crashes and massive unemployment, which in 1932 rose to over 40%. Externally, the government sought to ease the crisis through trade agreements with Britain and Germany, internally through a series of crisis settlements between the government and one or both opposition parties.

The economic crisis and the rise of the fascist/Nazi movements in Europe created fertile ground for growth on the political outer wings. The Communist Party of Denmark (DKP) experienced some progress and in 1932 had two representatives elected to the Folketing, one was the party’s longtime chairman Aksel Larsen. On the right wing, the very activist Farmers’ Association (LS) was formed in 1931, which arranged the Peasant Train to Copenhagen to influence the Reichstag and the king. Parts of the LS were part of the extreme right-wing groups of fascist or Nazi observance that formed and split in this decade. In terms of numbers, the support was extremely modest, and it was not until 1939 that they gained representation in the Folketing. In the face of the right-wing groups’ criticism of democracy for inefficiency, the major parties acted by showing the actionability of democracy through conciliation. The most significant, the Kanslergade settlement, named after Stauning’s residence, was concluded between the government and the Liberal Party and finally completed on January 30, 1933, the same day that Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. It involved a number of concrete interventions, including a contract extension by law, the first of many since, a devaluation of the crown and crisis aid to agriculture; furthermore, it was included in the settlement that the Liberal Party gave up its opposition to the major social reform, which Minister of Social Affairs KK Steincke had sought to implement for several years. The social reform of 1933 simplified complicated legislation and definitely established both the legal principle and fixed rates for social benefits. When the government also gained a majority in the Landsting in 1936, its reform policy was significantly facilitated. However, a proposal for a new constitution, drafted in collaboration between the governing parties and the Conservatives, was rejected in a 1939 referendum. Steincke for several years had sought to get implemented. The social reform of 1933 simplified complicated legislation and definitely established both the legal principle and fixed rates for social benefits. When the government also gained a majority in the Landsting in 1936, its reform policy was significantly facilitated. However, a proposal for a new constitution, drafted in collaboration between the governing parties and the Conservatives, was rejected in a 1939 referendum. Steincke for several years had sought to get implemented. The social reform of 1933 simplified complicated legislation and definitely established both the legal principle and fixed rates for social benefits. When the government also gained a majority in the Landsting in 1936, its reform policy was considerably eased. However, a proposal for a new constitution, drafted in collaboration between the governing parties and the Conservatives, was rejected in a 1939 referendum.

Through the crisis settlements, the ideological edges were to some extent sharpened by the parties. Most striking was the decline of the purely liberal ideas, while conversely the Social Democrats abandoned their original socialist goal and became a workers’ and people’s party with appeal to broad sections of the population, as marked in Stauning’s program from 1934, Denmark for the People. Another effect of the crisis policy was an ever closer cooperation between the government, the administration, the business organizations and the social partners.

Foreign policy in the 1930’s was completely dominated by relations with Germany. After Hitler took power in 1933, Germany’s withdrawal from the League of Nations the same year and the obvious rearmament in 1935, Danish security and neutrality policy had to be redesigned not to bother the big neighbor. Furthermore, the British government made it very clear that Denmark could not expect military support in the event of a conflict with Germany. The Nordic countries sought to reconcile their policy of neutrality, but had too divergent interests to be able to co-operate on security policy. There was still no agreement on a significant strengthening of the defense. A settlement in 1937 provided a little more equipment and personnel, but it did not suffice for more than ascertaining and asserting neutrality. There could be no question of a struggle for existence. In 1939, Germany proposed a non-aggression pact to the Nordic countries. The other countries refused, while a few months before the outbreak of war, Denmark signed a non-aggression pact, the value of which had no illusions.

At the outbreak of war in September 1939, Denmark declared itself neutral. But both the political and the economic balance in relations with Germany and Britain became extremely precarious.

Denmark – History (1940-45)

Denmark – History (1940-45), The Occupation

Denmark was occupied by German troops during a few morning hours on April 9, 1940. The attack was accompanied by an ultimatum not to offer resistance. In return, Germany would respect the country’s political independence; the king and the government bowed. Thus began a “peace occupation” of the country, during which the illusion of independence was maintained. The connection between the two countries went with few exceptions near via the foreign ministries.

England responded by occupying the Faroe Islands itself on 12 April, just as England sought to seize the merchant navy; 2/3 of it thus eventually came to sail in Allied service. The envoy to London, E. Reventlow, retained diplomatic status. H. Kauffmann in Washington, on the other hand, made reservations and in April 1941 concluded an agreement on the establishment of American bases in Greenland, which had been under US protection since the beginning of the war.

Political and economic cooperation. The German military demanded in principle that cases in which it was involved should be decided before its own courts of war. On the Danish side, it was conversely claimed that Danish citizens in sovereign Denmark should always be convicted by Danish law. When the sabotage increased in 1942, the problem became topical and the dual jurisdiction became a millstone around the neck of the co-operation policy.

The policy of co-operation with Germany had its counterpart inwardly in the co-operation between the parties. Representatives of the Conservative People’s Party and the Liberal Party joined the Social Democratic government as ministers without a portfolio. In July 1940, an actual unity government was established with a few ministers without party affiliation, including Erik Scavenius as foreign minister. The gathering at Christiansborg had general support among the population, and a wave of Danishness and national feeling swept across the country at the same time with the king as the nation’s father figure and gathering mark.

The Danish government feared that the Germans would let the Danish Nazi party come to power. The danger of this was not real, however, as the Germans only used the Danish Nazis as a scare image. However, this was not known either in the government or among the “re-travel” circles that worked to create an alternative government without a parliamentary basis consisting of professionals and experts.

Foreign trade had to be turned over to Germany, which wanted to buy agricultural exports at good prices and in return supply e.g. coal. Price increases at the outbreak of the war were mitigated by an automatic wage adjustment according to the price figure, but wage freezes were then introduced, which was otherwise in accordance with German policy; the Germans thus did not want the workers of the occupied countries to have a higher standard of living than the workers of Germany. The result was good times for agriculture, while real income in the cities in 1940 fell by approximately 20% and unemployment rose. During the occupation, trade with Germany created a Danish export surplus of approximately 3 billion DKK in the money of the time and thus an pumping out of purchasing power in Danish society. The construction work of the German military, especially airfields and fortifications on the West Coast, cost approximately 5 billion kr.

The disadvantage of the cooperation policy was its dependence on Germany. Restrictions on press freedom and other demands had to be complied with, and “hetzers” such as the conservative Christmas Møller and the Social Democrat Hans Hedtoft had to be removed from political life. The actions of the Danish Nazis had to be tolerated despite the current ban on meetings. The advantage of the co-operation policy was that, unlike in other occupied countries, there was no Nazification of society. Army, navy and police were under Danish leadership. Democracy continued to function at the central and local levels, and no one interfered in the education sector. The professional organizations and all other association life remained unaffected.

In connection with Germany’s military attack on the Soviet Union 22.6. In 1941, the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact (1939-41), which had hitherto protected Danish Communists from being persecuted by the German occupying power, lapsed; the Germans now demanded that leading Danish communists be interned. This was complied with to a far greater extent than required, and in continuation of this violation of the Constitution, the Danish Communist Party (DKP) was banned, just as attempts were made to purge the trade union movement of communists. The party went underground and continued its activities, which was the beginning of the organized illegal work in Denmark.

At German demands, the government accepted the establishment of Frikorps Danmark to fight on the German side against Bolshevism and Danish accession to the Anti-Comintern Pact. When Prime Minister Stauning died in May 1942, party colleague Vilhelm Buhl became his successor. The economic situation found its rent, the price level stabilized, unemployment declined, because German construction work in Denmark absorbed a lot of labor, and we managed to get the krone revalued by approximately 8% in relation to the German Reichsmark.

Cooperation policy under pressure. The burden of co-operation policy came during 1942 with the illegal activities. After the German breach of the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, the Communists became a significant force in the resistance movement. They established in collaboration with circles from the Conservative People’s Party the resistance movement and the magazine Free Denmark and began from April 1942 on sabotage actions. Christmas Møller’s trip to England at the beginning of May 1942 and subsequent radio speeches to Denmark attracted a great deal of attention. From the turn of the year 1941-42, the British organization SOE began(Special Operations Executive) to drop paratroopers in the country, which happened in collaboration with people from the party Dansk Samling. However, there was still little popular support behind the illegals, whose numbers were very modest.

The autumn of 1942 was marked by German dissatisfaction with the situation in Denmark, after riots during the Free Corps’ leave, but also due to the need for a strengthening of the German invasion defense. A diplomatic crisis was triggered by a very brief telegram of thanks from the king to Hitler in connection with the king’s birthday, the Telegram crisis, and led to Hitler personally intervening in Danish affairs. The Plenipotentiary, Renthe-Fink, was replaced by Werner Best, and a new Commander-in-Chief, General von Hanneken, was sent to Denmark in November, just as Foreign Minister Scavenius was also required to be Prime Minister and the illegal activities were combated; von Hanneken also demanded that Jutland be evacuated by the Danish military.

Werner Best continued the German policy in close cooperation with Scavenius, because it partly gave Germany the best utilization of the country’s production – agricultural exports corresponded to approximately one month’s consumption in Germany – partly maintained calm and order with a minimal effort of German resources. It was agreed that the German side did not oppose the holding of an ordinary election to the Riksdag on 23 March 1943. The election was a test of strength between the cooperating parties and the activists. With a record turnout of 89.5%, the former received 93.4% of the vote; 2.1% voted for Dansk Samling, while 3.3% of the votes went to Nazis etc. DKP was banned, but participated indirectly in the election together with Frit Danmark with a campaign to vote blank, a call which was followed by 1.2% of voters.

A change of mood was on the way during the spring and summer of 1943, caused partly by ordinary “obsession fatigue”, partly by the German defeats on the fronts from the end of 1942. The number of strikes increased; so did the sabotage operations, which from the spring of 1943 took place with explosives supplied from England.

Yet the August Uprising came behind all parties. In 17 cities strikes broke out with the Communists as organizers, and factories, offices, and shops closed, accompanied by great unrest; However, Copenhagen only came to the turmoil stage. The political and professional authorities did their best to bring the movement to a halt, the German military showed moderation in the strike cities, but wanted the Danish army disarmed, and Werner Best downplayed the scope of the pipe towards Berlin.

Hitler intervened demanding that the Danish government introduce a state of emergency and the death penalty for sabotage. The response from the Danish side was negative. On 29 August, the government submitted its resignation to the king, the German side disarmed and detained the Danish army and the navy, which, however, sank itself, and von Hanneken declared a state of military emergency throughout the country.

Departmental government and resistance struggle. On August 29 and then, it was perceived as the decisive turning point in the relationship between Denmark and Germany. The co-operation policy had ceased; as Best put it: “The political parade horse Denmark is dead”.

The country was administered until the liberation by the heads of department through legislation approved by the Supreme Court. The co-operation continued at the administrative level, and Danish society was not subject to Nazism.

The events sharpened the anti-German sentiments, and they were further accentuated when the Germans carried out an action against the Danish Jews on the night of October 2, 1943. Among other things. thanks to Best’s double play, it was a failure. Fewer than 500 Jews were captured and taken to Theresienstadt, where the vast majority survived. approximately 7000 fled to Sweden.

In mid-September, the Freedom Council was formed to lead the struggle for the country’s liberation. The council included representatives of the most important illegal groups, namely the Communists and Free Denmark, Dansk Samling and Ringen with resp. Børge Houmann, Mogens Fog, Arne Sørensen and Frode Jakobsenas the main members. The unity of the struggle was alienated by directives from the SOE; in December, orders were issued for the establishment of military groups to act in the back of the German forces in the event of an invasion. This created a unitary organization for the individual movements. The group formation was first organized by the Communists and people from the Danish Assembly, then increasingly by members of the Ring, among others. because many of the pioneers disappeared either in German prisons and concentration camps or in the Frøslev camp (approximately 10,000) or as refugees to Sweden (approximately 10,000).

The creation of the military groups made the resistance movement large (at the turn of the year 1944-45 about 20,000, at the liberation about 50,000), and they were armed with small arms from England or Sweden. On the other hand, the sabotage groups (in Copenhagen BOPA and Holger Danske, in the province including the Valther group in Odense) made up only a modest fraction of the total number. The actions were directed at the railways (approximately 1500), at industrial enterprises working for the Germans, as well as at ships and shipyards (a total of approximately 2800); the latter posed a threat which was taken very seriously by the German side.

In parallel with the Freedom Council, the army operated, whose crew was released in October 1943. The officers were concentrated in special groups in Copenhagen, and in Sweden a brigade, Danforce, was established. Officers were deployed to most leadership positions in the regional apparatus, and from June 1944 the illegal work was secretly funded by the Treasury.

After the People’s Strike in Copenhagen in the days around 1 July 1944, there was a rapprochement between the Freedom Council and politicians. It resulted partly in a joint appeal to the Allies to get Denmark recognized as an ally, which, however, stalled on Russian reluctance, partly in negotiations on the joint formation of the first government after the liberation, which ended with half of the ministerial posts for each party.

The investigation of illegal activity had after 29.8.1943 been handed over to the German police, the Gestapo. From New Year 1944, it was supplemented by the so-called “counter-terrorism”, clearing murders and schalburgtage, in response to assassinations of members of the armed forces and sabotage. German efforts to get the Danish police to take part in the fight against sabotage and maintain order during strikes failed and led to the dissolution of the police on 19 September 1944 and the subsequent placement of police officers in concentration camps. The war and the occupation cost a total of approximately 7000 Danish life.

The last months of the occupation were marked by increased shortages of goods, poorer quality of goods, clashes between resistance fighters and Danes in German service and rising crime. From February 1945 came approximately 200,000 German refugees from East Prussia to Denmark. However, the end of the war was in sight. The German troops in Denmark capitulated to the English with effect from 5 May 1945 – except on Bornholm, which was in the Russian sphere of operation. For the same reason, the island first joined the total capitulation on May 8, 1945, and Rønne and Nexø were exposed to Russian air bombardment in the days before.

Denmark – history (1945-2001)

Denmark in the international community

Despite its unclear position during World War II, Denmark achieved status as an ally and founding member of the UN in 1945. Many saw this new institution as a guarantor of peace, but with the beginning of the Cold War in 1946/47, this view changed. The division of Europe created a new security policy situation for Denmark. A new superpower, the Soviet Union, was now close to the country’s borders, and the classical isolated neutrality no longer struck. Initially, efforts were made to establish a Nordic defense alliance, but negotiations on such an alliance broke down in early 1949, after which Denmark, like Norway, participated in the establishment of NATO in April 1949.. A considerable skepticism in the population and the hesitation among the politicians in the first years made Denmark an “ally with reservations”. The reservations primarily concerned the placement of nuclear weapons on Danish soil as well as West Germany’s rearmament and accession to NATO.

The Liberation Government, whose leader was Vilhelm Buhl, stated at the presentation of its program on 9 May 1945 that Denmark’s border was fixed. Nevertheless, a fierce domestic political showdown arose over the border with Germany, but in 1947 it became clear that the border was not changed. In the following years, relations with West Germany improved, and in 1955 the good neighborhood was sealed by the Copenhagen-Bonn declarations on minority conditions in the border country. In 1961, a Danish-German Unity Command was established for NATO’s northern region.

In January 1968, the Danish government requested a renewed guarantee from the United States that the ban on nuclear weapons on Danish territory would not be violated. The background was that a US nuclear-armed B-52 bomber had crashed near Thule in Greenland. However, it was not ruled out that this could be an isolated case as a result of an emergency. However, the case gained new relevance when the Danish government in 1995 released unprecedented information that Minister of State and Foreign Affairs HC Hansenin 1958, despite official Danish policy, had given the United States permission to fly over and land with nuclear-armed aircraft in Greenland. The Danish workers, who in 1968 had participated in the clean-up work after the Thule accident, thus got a further argument in their fight for compensation for physical and mental injuries, demands which were later met.

Prime Ministers and governments of Denmark since 1848
Year Government
1848 AW Moltke (Government of Officials with the Participation of National Liberals)
1848-51 AW Moltke (Government of Officials with Conservatives and National Liberals)
1851-52 AW Moltke (Government of Officials with Conservative Participation)
1852-53 CA Bluhme (Conservative)
1853-54 AS Ørsted (conservative)
1854-56 PG Bang (Conservative and National Liberal)
1856-57 CG Andræ (Conservative and National Liberal)
1857-59 CC Hall (National Liberals and Conservatives)
1859-60 CE Rotwitt (Peasant Friends and National Liberals)
1860-63 CC Hall (predominantly National Liberal)
1863-64 DG Monrad (National Liberals)
1864-65 CA Bluhme (Conservative)
1865-70 CE Free (conservative)
1870-74 Ludvig Holstein-Holsteinborg (Conservative and National Liberal)
1874-75 CA Fonnesbech (Conservative and National Liberal)
1875-94 JBS Estrup (Right)
1894-97 Take the Reedtz-Thott (Right)
1897-1900 Hugo Hørring (Right)
1900-01 Hannibal Sehested (Right)
1901-05 JH Deuntzer (Left Reform Party)
1905-08 JC Christensen (F)
1908-09 Niels Neergaard (F)
1909 Ludvig Holstein-Ledreborg (F)
1909-10 C.Th. Numbers (B)
1910-13 Klaus Berntsen (F)
1913-20 C.Th. Numbers (B)
1920 Otto Liebe (Ministry of Commerce)
1920 MP Friis (Ministry of Business)
1920-24 Niels Neergaard (F)
1924-26 Thorvald Stauning (A)
1926-29 Thomas Madsen-Mygdal (F)
1929-40 Thorvald Stauning (A, B)
1940-42 Thorvald Stauning (coalition government)
1942 Vilhelm Buhl (coalition government)
1942-43 Erik Scavenius (coalition government)
1943-45 The Board of Ministers
1945 Vilhelm Buhl (coalition government)
1945-47 Knud Kristensen (F)
1947-50 Hans Hedtoft (A)
1950-53 Erik Eriksen (V, C)
1953-55 Hans Hedtoft (A)
1955-57 HC Hansen (A)
1957-60 HC Hansen (A, B, E)
1960 Viggo Kampmann (A, B, E)
1960-62 Viggo Kampmann (A, B)
1962-64 Jens Otto Krag (A, B)
1964-68 Jens Otto Krag (A)
1968-71 Hilmar Baunsgaard (B, C, V)
1971-72 Jens Otto Krag (A)
1972-73 Anker Jørgensen (A)
1973-75 Poul Hartling (F)
1975-78 Anker Jørgensen (A)
1978-79 Anker Jørgensen (A, V)
1979-82 Anker Jørgensen (A)
1982-88 Poul Schlüter (C, V, D, Q)
1988-90 Poul Schlüter (C, V, B)
1990-93 Poul Schlüter (C, F)
1993-94 Poul Nyrup Rasmussen (A, D, B, Q)
1994-1998 Poul Nyrup Rasmussen (A, B, D)
1998-2001 Poul Nyrup Rasmussen (A, B)
2001-05 Anders Fogh Rasmussen (F, C)
2005-07 Anders Fogh Rasmussen (F, C)
2007-09 Anders Fogh Rasmussen (F, C)
2009-11 Lars Løkke Rasmussen (V, C)
2011-14 Helle Thorning-Schmidt (A, F, B)
2014-15 Helle Thorning-Schmidt (A, B)
2015-16 Lars Løkke Rasmussen (V)
2016-19 Lars Løkke Rasmussen (V, LA, K)
2019- Mette Frederiksen (A)
Parties:· A: The Social Democrats

· B: The Radical Left

· C: The Conservative People’s Party

· D: Center-Democrats

· E: Danmarks Retsforbund

· F: Socialist People’s Party

· LA: Liberal Alliance

· Q: Christian People’s Party

· V: Left

The first party designation corresponds to the party to which the Prime Minister belongs.

In parallel with the NATO engagement from 1949, Denmark, together with the other Nordic countries, made a significant contribution to the UN’s peacekeeping work by, among other things, to make forces available in Suez 1956-57, in Congo 1960-64 and in Cyprus from 1964. Since 1961, Denmark has provided development aid to an increasing extent and is now one of the countries that provides relatively most. Thus, since 1992, Denmark has fulfilled the UN’s requirement that at least 1% of gross national income must go to development aid.

Economically, from 1948 Denmark received a share in the Marshall Aid, which partly eased the country’s currency problems, partly foreign imports of raw materials and machinery and thus contributed to a significant modernization and rationalization of both agriculture and industry. Through membership of the OEEC (now the OECD), Denmark was involved in the general internationalization of the economy with the abolition of trade and currency restrictions. Denmark did not take part in the establishment of the European institutions leading to the European Economic Community (EC) of the Treaty of Rome in 1957-59, but was involved in the negotiations on the European Free Trade Area (EFTA).), which was established in 1960. The problem was that Danish exports were almost evenly distributed between the two areas, and when Britain in 1961 applied for membership in the EC, Denmark immediately followed, but gave up when the British were rejected. After another failed attempt in 1967, negotiations were established for the establishment of a Nordic Economic Union (NORDEK). The experiment sank in 1969, when the application for admission to the EC was reopened. In 1972, after an intense debate, a majority voted in a binding referendum for Danish membership of the EC, which came into force on New Year 1973. However, the question of the further development of European co-operation split the population into two almost equal parts.

The welfare state under construction

Already during the occupation, a liberation government with equal representation from the Freedom Council and the political parties had been prepared. When it took office in May 1945, it initiated a legal settlement with collaborators. However, it was mainly the actual Nazis, henchmen and smaller, economic collaborators who were convicted.

The government’s second task was a normalization of political life with the holding of elections to the Folketing in October 1945. Here the DKP was strongly strengthened at the expense of the Social Democrats. The Liberal Party went forward and, with the support of conservatives and radicals, formed a minority government, led by Knud Kristensen. It fell on a personal vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister due to his agitation for a border move. At the election in 1947, the Social Democrats regained some of its strength, and the party formed under Hans Hedtoft’sleadership a minority government that, like the previous one, ran into problems due to the country’s difficult economic situation, and after the election in 1950, it preferred to step down on a question of easing the butter rationing. The successor was a government of the Liberals and Conservatives, led by Erik Eriksen, whose main effort was the implementation of a major constitutional amendment in 1953. This abolished the Landsting, parliamentarism was enshrined in the constitution, sovereignty was opened, referendums were introduced and established an institution of ombudsman. In connection with the Constitution, a succession law was passed, which gave the right of inheritance for women to the Danish throne; the Succession Act does not, however, imply full equality, as a younger son precedes an older daughter.

After the adoption of the constitutional amendment, the government was replaced by Social Democratic minority governments with radical support, first led by Hans Hedtoft and after his death in 1955 by HC Hansen. After the election in 1957, HC Hansen formed a majority coalition of the Social Democrats, the Radical Left and the Legal Association (the Georgians). It became the first government to benefit from the international boom and domestic economic growth. Until 1968, Denmark had Social Democratic-led governments, 1960-62 with Viggo Kampmann as prime minister, from 1962 with JO Krag. The governments were most often based on cooperation with the Radical Left, 1966-68, however, supported by the Socialist People’s Party (SF), which had been formed in 1959 after a profound split of the DKP. In 1968, a bourgeois three-party government was formed by the Radical Left, the Conservative People’s Party and the Left with the radical Hilmar Baunsgaard as Prime Minister. In 1971, JO Krag again became the leader of a Social Democratic government; After a majority in the referendum in 1972 had voted for Denmark’s accession to the EC, he handed over the post of Prime Minister to Anker Jørgensen.

By the end of World War II, almost all parties had drawn up comprehensive programs; most comprehensive was that of the Social Democrats with a welfare strategy that affected all areas of society. The economic problems of the first decade after 1945 blocked a reform policy, but from the mid-1950’s alternating coalitions in the Folketing implemented a welfare policy that included national pension (1956), sick pay scheme (1960), disability insurance (1965) and sharp increases in support. to the Unemployed and a Social Administration Act (1970). This happened in connection with the Local Government Reform, which reduced the number of municipalities from 1386 to 275. In 1971-73, a reform of the unemployment benefit scheme was implemented due to illness and a health insurance law that abolished the sickness funds and made health insurance tax-financed.

In the field of education there was a tremendous expansion. The primary school was fundamentally changed in 1958, the high schools, vocational educations and the higher educations experienced an explosive growth in the approach. In the cultural field, public efforts were strengthened, especially after the establishment of the Ministry of Culture in 1961, and laws on theaters, libraries, a film fund and the Statens Kunstfond in the first half of the 1960’s.

Welfare legislation was based on the principle of universalism, ie. not just the right of the particularly needy, but the right of all citizens to benefits in all sectors. This principle characterizes the Nordic welfare societies and is one of the reasons for the high degree of consensus between parties and social classes that has characterized the legislation. Another reason is the absence of an absolute majority for a single party. Another principle in welfare legislation has been the financing over taxes; until the 1980’s, this relationship spawned an explosive increase in government spending and taxes.

The reforms were based on very strong economic growth from approximately 1958 and in major structural changes in the Danish business community and in the labor market. In both agriculture and industry, productivity increased sharply, which in agriculture led to a reduction in the number of uses and labor force, while industry expanded, and from the early 1960’s the value of industrial exports exceeded that of agriculture. However, the number of salaried employees in the service sector, in the private sector and especially in the public sector grew the strongest. Both here and in industry, it was women in particular who conquered the new labor market.

This second industrial revolution is characterized by the industry moving to the west, i.e. away from the old centers and into rural areas and into smaller provincial towns with the exploitation of the labor force that was pushed out of agriculture. This led to completely new housing patterns in relation to the old urban working class, a kind of urbanization of the country. Everywhere new detached house neighborhoods sprang up; many families got a car and went on a charter trip. Consumption patterns changed sharply, and people created new ways of life that gave rise to cultural clashes and ultimately the violent shifts in the political pattern that Denmark experienced in the first half of the 1970’s. One warning was the so-called rindalism debate in the mid-1960’s, prompted by the first distribution from the Statens Kunstfond.

However, the most marked political-cultural clashes in the 1960’s and early 1970’s took place between the new generation of young people, raised during welfare, and the older generation with experiences from before and during the war. Themes in this youth uprising were many: protests against nuclear armaments, against the US war in Vietnam, and more generally against hardened democratic processes. The watchwords were democratization and co-determination at all levels of society, initially with the greatest effect on the higher education institutions with the introduction of a Government Act(1970), which gave students and younger teachers co-influence. During the same period, the political and cultural debate was re-ideologised, with strong elements of Marxism and other radical ideologies. The new activism manifested itself in untraditional extra-parliamentary forms, in protest marches, occupations of houses, factories and universities, so-called wildcat strikes, street theater and happenings.

Political upheavals, economic crisis and renewed progress

After 1973, Denmark’s foreign policy and economy have become increasingly internationalized. Both under the auspices of the UN and bilaterally, development aid has increased steadily, and Denmark continues to contribute with peacekeeping forces, in the 1990’s in the former Yugoslavia. Despite a broad consensus on NATO membership, disagreement arose for a number of years over the concrete stance on the Alliance’s strategy. From 1977/78, a majority supported the idea of ​​a nuclear-weapon-free Nordic region. NATO’s “double decision” in 1979 meant that new missile systems would be set up in Europe unless the Warsaw Pact and NATO agreed to limit such weapons. The consequences of this were met with great skepticism in Denmark, and the disagreements culminated in 1982-88, when a so-called alternative majority, supported by a strong popular peace movement, in a number of cases, the government required reservations about NATO decisions, the so-called footnote policy. In the second half of the 1980’s, the opposition diminished, partly when the Radical Left, which had formed part of the footnote majority, entered into government co-operation in 1988, partly as a result of the relaxation policy and the collapse of communist regimes in Eastern and Central Europe.

Relations with the EC, from 1993 to the EU, have been a point of contention since 1972. Despite a solid majority in the Folketing for continued membership and expanded integration, the population has been divided almost in the middle of the three referendums that have been held. The vote on the common internal market in 1986 resulted in a majority of just over 56%, but the Maastricht Treaty on Enlarged Integration fell in a referendum on 2 June 1992 with 50.7% no votes. After that, supporters and opponents parties entered into a “national compromise”, and on that basis, Denmark obtained in the Edinburgh decision some exemption provisions, which led to the Treaty being adopted by a new vote on 18 May 1993 with 56.8% of the vote.

Domestically, the 1970’s became a turbulent decade. The parliamentary elections in 1973, the so-called landslide elections, turned the party structure upside down. The support of the four old parties fell from approximately 90% to approximately 58%, and many new parties were represented, first and foremost the Progress Party and the Center Democrats, who with resp. approximately 16% and approximately 8% of the vote gathered a quarter of voters. The Progress Party, led by Mogens Glistrup, represented a revolt against the welfare state, in particular the increased tax burden and growth in the public sector. Political life was then characterized by frequent elections, complicated government formations and a narrow parliamentary base for governments. 1973-75 the Liberals ruled under Poul Hartlingat only 22 seats. Until 1982, the Social Democrats under Anker Jørgensen formed minority governments, 1978-79 in coalition with the Liberal Party. The political life of the 1970’s was further colored by a number of broad social movements that, in individual areas such as the environment and nuclear power, “green” politics, sought to influence political decisions. Among these movements, the women’s movement was undoubtedly the most influential.

The impact of the international economic crisis in Denmark from 1974 in the following decade created major problems for the changing governments. Stagnant economic growth and unemployment were accompanied by significant inflation, which was sought to be counteracted through income policy and alternating measures. The Social Democratic government’s crisis-political settlement options were exhausted in 1982, and a coalition of bourgeois parties, the “four-leaf clover government”, consisting of the Conservative People’s Party, the Left, the Center Democrats and the Christian People’s Party, took power under Conservative Poul Schlüter.

Schlüter was the leader of alternate bourgeois governments until 1993 and thus the longest-serving prime minister since Stauning. In 1988, the “four-leaf clover government” was replaced by a “three-leaf clover” consisting of the Conservative People’s Party, the Left and the Radical Left, and in 1990, government cooperation was reduced to include only the Conservatives and the Left. Although the bourgeois coalition governments declined in every election, they achieved significant results in a number of areas, not least through cooperation with the Social Democrats. An energetic anti-inflationary economic policy was implemented, removing the automatic cost-of-living adjustment, tightening public spending and increasing the cost of consumer loans. Competitiveness was improved, the crown strengthened, and more than 200,000 new jobs were created, but unemployment continued to rise, as did foreign debt and tax pressures. Inflation, on the other hand, slowed down, and from the end of the 1980’s a number of factors contributed to improving the Danish economy: the international economy turned, the trade balance improved and the Danish external debt gradually diminished, e.g. as a result of almost complete self-sufficiency in energy by virtue of oil and gas from the North Sea.

During this incipient progress, the bourgeois government had to resign in January 1993 due to Minister of Justice Erik Ninn-Hansen’s violation of the Immigration Act (Tamil case), a matter that was later ruled in the first Danish state court case in 80 years. Poul Schlüters succeeds the Prime Minister, the Social Democrat Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, first led a four-party government of the Social Democrats, the Radical Left, the Center Democrats and the Christian People’s Party; in the September 1994 election, the Unity List, an association of parties and groups on the left, was represented, while the Christian People’s Party did not gain representation. Nyrup Rasmussen continued as Prime Minister of a three-party government of the Social Democrats, the Radical Left and the Center Democrats, which left the government in 1996. The intensified international competition, European integration and the goal of reducing the state’s debt have set a narrow framework for governments of the past decade. economic options. One of the main themes in Danish politics from the mid-1990’s has therefore been about the conditions and forms of maintaining and expanding the welfare society.

Through an expansive economic policy, Nyrup Rasmussen’s government succeeded in reducing unemployment, and a number of important reforms were implemented in the welfare system and labor market policy based on a desire to draw as many recipients of public benefits into the labor market as possible. As part of this strategy, the government reached an agreement with the bourgeois parties in 1998 on a change to the early retirement scheme. It should help to postpone the time of withdrawal from the labor market. Despite a modest scope, the change led to a violent crisis of confidence for the Social Democrats and especially Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen.

In the parliamentary elections in March 1998, the Conservative People’s Party experienced a serious setback, which was partly caused by internal strife over the leadership of the party. The Christian People’s Party again gained representation, and the Danish People’s Party and the Center Democrats made significant progress. Immediately after the election, the Liberal Party’s leader, Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, and the Conservative leader, Per Stig Møller, resigned. They were replaced by Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Pia Christmas-Møller, who were replaced in 1999 by Bendt Bendtsen. On the basis of a slim majority, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen was able to form a government in coalition with the Radical Left.

System change 2001

The election result in November 2001 created the most radical changes in the political balance of power since the election in 1973. The entire left wing and especially the Social Democrats declined sharply. The Center Democrats lost all their seats, while the Liberal Party and the Danish People’s Party achieved massive progress. The Liberal Party became Denmark’s largest party, and with parliamentary support from the Danish People’s Party, the Liberal Party’s chairman, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in 2001 prime minister of a government of the Left and the Conservative People’s Party. With the support of the Danish People’s Party, the government implemented significant and highly controversial austerity measures in the area of ​​refugees and immigrants in 2002. In order to ensure fulfillment of the election promise of a tax freeze and of strengthening the core areas of the welfare state, the government majority implemented reductions in public expenditure by e.g. large savings on development aid and in the field of the environment. The tone of Danish politics sharpened in the time after the change of government. The political struggle became more and more marked by a struggle for values ​​and cultural attitudes. Shortly after the Social Democrats’ election defeat, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen resigned as party chairman and was replaced by Mogens Lykketoft.

In 2003, the government majority decided that Denmark should join the international coalition, which under the leadership of the United States carried out an invasion of Iraq with a view to forcing a regime change. Thus, for the first time since 1864, Denmark was at war. The international engagement also included the deployment of troops to Afghanistan.

In the parliamentary elections in February 2005, the governing majority of the Liberal Party, the Conservative People’s Party and the Danish People’s Party consolidated its position, while the Social Democrats (the Social Democrats’ term since 2002) could not regain the loss from 2001. As a consequence, Mogens Lykketoft resigned immediately after the election., and to his successor, party members elected Helle Thorning-Schmidt after an intense battle against Frank Jensen. However, the Social Democrats continued to have great difficulty in formulating a unifying political vision and gaining prosperity among the electorate.

The government and the Danish People’s Party continued to support participation in the US-led coalition’s occupation of Iraq. In 2005-06, Denmark went through a serious international crisis. It was caused by some caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in the morning newspaper Jyllands-Posten (see the Muhammad cartoons). They aroused great anger and indignation in Muslim circles, and in a number of countries in the Middle East, Danish representations were attacked. The crisis also developed into a heated domestic political showdown over whether or not one should respect faith and religious feelings in the exercise of freedom of expression.

In domestic policy, two far-reaching reforms were implemented in 2005-06. After preparation in a structural commission, a reform was adopted which, with effect from 2007, reduced the number of municipalities and replaced the county municipalities with five regions, whose main tasks were the administration of the hospital system (see the structural reform). In early 2006, a Welfare Commission issued a report with comprehensive proposals for changes to a number of welfare schemes. Some of these proposals were used as a basis for a settlement between the government parties, the Danish People’s Party, the Social Democrats and the Radical Left, which in particular raised the age limit for early retirement recipients, raised the retirement age and introduced early activation of unemployed and incentives for students to accelerate. the studies. The main goal was to ensure that as many people work in the labor market for as long as possible. With the desire for greater parliamentary cooperation on the project, the government called parliamentary elections in the autumn of 2007; it resulted in a historically different re-election for a Liberal-led government.

Denmark – history (after 2000)

With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the conditions for Europe’s development changed. This also applies to Denmark, which has since changed in several ways in relation to the society that was the result of the Cold War and the time before. The development can be summed up in one word in the upheaval that has taken place in the years around the turn of the century, both internally in the country and in Denmark’s relationship with the outside world, which seems increasingly present, also in the individual Dane’s everyday life. The break-up, which is being felt in almost all areas of society and daily life, has met with a strong reaction from the existing one. At the beginning of the new millennium, Denmark was thus marked by the tension between a new global reality, globalization, and growing focus on the national, the ethnic and the religious. It is this very tension, the opposition between a world in disarray and the desire to maintain known patterns and values ​​that has characterized Denmark since the early 1990’s.

When it comes to foreign policy and the defense of Denmark’s sovereignty, globalization is seen in the form of a number of new international commitments, which range from democracy and reform support to military interventions. At the same time, the “drawing crisis” 2005-06 has shown that the outside world also takes a critical part in the development in Denmark (see the Muhammad drawings). The Danish side developed a strong political and economic commitment in the Baltic region during the 1990’s, and Denmark was among the countries that most consistently supported the EU’s and NATO’s accession of the Eastern and Central European countries as full members. Since then, the country has also strengthened its efforts for development, democracy and human rights in other parts of the world. At the same time, Danish forces based on Denmark’s active,The 1991 Gulf War became increasingly involved, first in the peacekeeping operation in Bosnia in 1992, in the air war against Serbia in 1999 and in the NATO force in Kosovo, etc., then in the international coalition in the war in Afghanistan following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 and finally from March 2003 to August 2007 as a member of the multinational coalition in Iraq. From the summer of 2006, military involvement in Afghanistan increased. It has been characteristic that Denmark, with this military participation, has moved ever closer to an active intervention policy, based more on alliance policy and consideration for human rights than on a more traditional binding on the UN and classical international law.

Conversely, changing Danish governments in the same period in referendums have encountered opposition to a constant deepening of Denmark’s participation in the European integration process, translated into reservations regarding full participation in some of the parts of European co-operation that appear most dynamic during the period., in particular the economic-monetary, security and legal fields. With a flimsy no in the 1992 referendum on Denmark’s ratification of the Maastricht Treaty on the European Union, a yes the following year to the Treaty with four Danish reservations and a no in 2000 to Denmark’s participation in the third phase of Economic and Monetary Union, a development process has been drawn. notwithstanding the ratification in 1998 of the Amsterdam Treaty and in 2001 ofThe Treaty of Nicehas created uncertainty about Denmark’s anchoring in the core of countries that want to participate in a stronger and more binding European cooperation. The EU’s pause for reflection “following the failure of France and the Netherlands to ratify the European Constitutional Treaty in 2005 and the prospect of a further expansion of the EU membership’s current issues regarding Denmark’s overall European orientation in general and the political position on the reservations in particular. There still seems to be a division in the population about how Denmark’s sovereignty and welfare are best defended and developed: For some, the starting point is that Denmark should hold back in the European integration process in order to ensure national self-determination in as many areas of society as possible. Others believe that Denmark can only, through full participation in the European development process, assert the interests that together constitute the country’s sovereignty. At the same time, the course of the drawing crisis and a more critical international commentary on aspects of national development have exposed the country’s vulnerability in a globalized world and the importance of support from related countries. It is not clear how this experience in the long term will affect the population’s view of Denmark’s position in European co-operation and other international engagement. At the same time, the course of the drawing crisis and a more critical international commentary on aspects of national development have exposed the country’s vulnerability in a globalized world and the importance of support from related countries. It is not clear how this experience in the long term will affect the population’s view of Denmark’s position in European co-operation and other international engagement. At the same time, the course of the drawing crisis and a more critical international commentary on aspects of national development have exposed the country’s vulnerability in a globalized world and the importance of support from related countries. It is not clear how this experience in the long term will affect the population’s view of Denmark’s position in European co-operation and other international engagement.

Overall, the country is thus in its relationship with the outside world in the paradoxical situation that it is both deeper and more actively politically, economically and militarily connected with the outside world than ever before, and at the same time in significant areas unresolved both in relation to European development and above for the growing international commitment to development nationally in Denmark.

A similar fracture is found in domestic politics. Here the settlement of the Cold War meantloss of external pressure, which for more than 100 years was a prerequisite for Danish politics and societal development. The change of domestic political opinion could therefore unfold in the years around the turn of the millennium without the compelling consideration of changing external threats of previous decades. At the same time, with a strong focus on the issues of globalization, it has moved away from the well-known opposition between easily recognizable views on the left and right wings, respectively. As a result, the large group of publicly and privately employed wage workers has also changed its role and attitude. The group increasingly sees itself as critical citizens and volatile voters in a welfare society whose political parties with toned-down ideological profiles compete for who can most credibly manage and further develop welfare. Overall, from the beginning of the 1990’s, Denmark has experienced significant economic progress, where material welfare and consumption have increased, driven both by a significant increase in production and exports and by rising revenues from oil and natural gas. The image of Denmark in the world is marked in contrast by respect for the distinctive and successful economic-social model that unites adaptability, dynamism and security, internationally known asflexicurity, and a growing critique of Denmark’s refugee and immigration policy.

At the same time, globalization, with the breakdown of known structures and the opening up of the country to people, goods, capital and culture, has underlined the uncertainty of where development is heading. The focus is on the often problematic encounter between Danish culture and immigrant culture and a renewed interest in religiously conditioned values, not least in the clash between secular society and Islam. Both tendencies have contributed to weakening the political parties’ anchoring in certain population groups. The democratic power struggle has in a new way opened up for nationally conditioned changes of mood, such as it has been expressed with the building of the Danish People’s Party as a significant political factor with both parliamentary and economic co-responsibility and with the changes in several of the other parties’ mutual balance of power and positioning. At the same time, the advancement of information technology in itself changes the supporting structures of society, just as access to the Internet and satellite TV has created new sub- and mass cultures that permeate both locally, nationally and globally and enable Danes with ethnic ties to other countries and cultures. to maintain close contact with like-minded people all over the globe. Thanks to this development, the former, nationally entrenched common worldview has to some extent been replaced by a plurality of competing, internationally entrenched views of the world and its development. The tendency has been that the established political system on that basis tries to focus on continued improvement and rationalization of the welfare society within the supranational cooperation, which increasingly determines external and internal conditions for the development of society. The incipient outsourcing and liquidation of state monopolies and ownership of infrastructure are examples of this effort. The ambitious investments of the 1990’s in the major bridges and Ørestad as well as the work in the middle of the new millennium’s first decade with globalization strategies and long-term welfare reforms can also be seen as part of the efforts to secure the future of “Welfare State Denmark”.

In this situation, the population is again divided between different notions of how Denmark as a nation and state can and should relate to the challenges of globalization. This schism, which transcends well-known party divisions and conflicts of interest, has increasingly set the political agenda. On the one hand, globalization itself with the opening of borders and changes in the composition of the population is perceived as a starting point for a modernist social project that is probably based on old values, but which has definitely abandoned the notion that the Denmark of the future will be a reflection of the past. In this perspective, change is not seen as a threat, but as a necessity. Immigrantsis similarly seen as a resource whose quality and active participation in the labor market are crucial parameters for the functioning of society and future competitiveness in the global market. The Danish are perceived less as something ethnically and culturally local and more as a set of values ​​that belong to a modern, open welfare society. The vision will be a multi-ethnic Denmark based on integration, not assimilation. On the other hand, the increasingly radical opening of Denmark to the world is perceived as a growing threat, not least for the population groups that have the most difficulty in benefiting from the globalization that, among other things, means that one tenth of all Danish jobs disappear annually and approximately one third of all workers, a total of approximately 800,000, every year have to change jobs. Immigration, the growing role of Islam, binding international co-operation and the flagging out of the jobs of the least educated, here, come to symbolize an image of the enemy, which ultimately results in the perception that the near and well-known, even the very values ​​of democracy, are threatened by it. strangers and strangers. It will be for these often socially disadvantaged sections of the population and for the parties that want to represent them, a goal in itself to shield Denmark from further immigration and external adaptation requirements. The perspective of a multi-ethnic Denmark is rejected, as is Denmark’s further participation in the European integration process. In relation to the rapid globalization of the surrounding countries, this effort may be slowing down. It is also characteristic here that the international and cosmopolitan thrive in contradictory interactions with the local and the near, and that the conflict between “them” and “us” has been given a more prominent place in a polarized political debate. In relation to the rapid globalization of the surrounding countries, this effort may be slowing down. It is also characteristic here that the international and cosmopolitan thrive in contradictory interactions with the local and the near, and that the conflict between “them” and “us” has been given a more prominent place in a polarized political debate. In relation to the rapid globalization of the surrounding countries, this effort may be slowing down. It is also characteristic here that the international and cosmopolitan thrive in contradictory interactions with the local and the near, and that the conflict between “them” and “us” has been given a more prominent place in a polarized political debate.

The world has come closer to Denmark since the turn of the millennium, and Denmark has made its first experiences with a global public that has its own perception of development and its own agendas for how it is interpreted. While Denmark in the economic and business field has had outstanding success with globalization, the meeting with the outside world still gives rise to serious tensions when it comes to foreign policy, integration, culture and the cohesion of society.