Denmark (Danish: Danmark, pronounced [ˈdanmɑɡ] ( listen)), officially the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country and the southernmost of the Scandinavian nations. The sovereign state is south-west of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark also comprises two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark proper consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand, Funen and the North Jutlandic Island. The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2 (16,573 sq mi), land area of 42,394 km2 (16,368 sq mi), and the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2 (853,509 sq mi), and a population of 5,781,190 ().
The unified kingdom of Denmark emerged in the 10th century as a proficient seafaring nation in the struggle for control of the Baltic Sea. Denmark, Sweden, and Norway were ruled together as one realm under the Kalmar Union, established in 1397 and ending with Swedish secession in 1523. The areas of Denmark and Norway remained under the same monarch until 1814, often referred to as the Dano-Norwegian Realm, or simply Denmark-Norway. After the Napoleonic Wars, Norway was ceded to Sweden, while Denmark kept the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Iceland. Beginning in the 17th century, there were several devastating wars with the Swedish Empire, ending with large cessions of territory to Sweden. In the 19th century there was a surge of nationalist movements, which were defeated in the 1864 Second Schleswig War. Denmark remained neutral during World War I. In April 1940, a German invasion saw brief military skirmishes while the Danish resistance movement was active from 1943 until the German surrender in May 1945. An industrialised exporter of agricultural produce in the second half of the 19th century, Denmark introduced social and labour-market reforms in the early 20th century that created the basis for the present welfare state model with a highly developed mixed economy.
The Constitution of Denmark was signed on 5 June 1849, ending the absolute monarchy, which had begun in 1660. It establishes a constitutional monarchy organised as a parliamentary democracy. The government and national parliament are seated in Copenhagen, the nation's capital, largest city, and main commercial centre. Denmark exercises hegemonic influence in the Danish Realm, devolving powers to handle internal affairs. Home rule was established in the Faroe Islands
in 1948; in Greenland home rule was established in 1979 and further autonomy in 2009. Denmark became a member of the European Economic Community (now the EU) in 1973, maintaining certain opt-outs; it retains its own currency, the krone. It is among the founding members of NATO, the Nordic Council, the OECD, OSCE, and the United Nations; it is also part of the Schengen Area.
Nikolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig (8 September 1783 – 2 September 1872) was a Danish teacher, writer, poet, philosopher, historian, minister, and even politician. He is one of the most influential people in Danish history, his philosophy giving rise to a new form of non-aggressive nationalism in Denmark in the last half of the 19th century. He was married three times, the last time in his seventy-sixth year.
Grundtvig and his followers, Grundtvigians, are credited with being very influential in the formulation of modern Danish national consciousness. Their attitude is well illustrated in the very different reaction of Danes to their national defeat in 1864 against Prussia versus the national trauma of German defeat in World War I.
Recently selected: Ole Rømer – Hans Christian Ørsted – Bjørn Lomborg
Otto Bache: "The conspirators riding from Finderup barn following the murder of Eric Klipping".
Image credit: Otto Bache (1882). Image located at the Frederiksborg Museum.
The Count's Feud
), also called the Count's War
, was a civil war
that raged in Denmark
and brought about the Reformation
The Count's Feud takes its name from the Protestant Count Christopher of Oldenburg, who supported the Catholic King Christian II, deposed in 1523 and at that time being held in prison.
After Frederick I's death in 1533, the Jutland nobility proclaimed his son, then Duke Christian of Gottorp, as King under the name Christian III. Meanwhile, Count Christoffer organized an uprising against the new king, demanding that Christian II be set free. Supported by Lübeck and troops from Oldenburg and Mecklenburg, parts of the Zealand and Scania nobilities rose up, together with cities such as Copenhagen and Malmö. The violence itself began in 1534, when a privateer captain who had earlier been in Christian II's service, Klemen Andersen, called Skipper Clement, at Count Christoffer's request instigated the peasants of Vendsyssel and North Jutland to rise up against the nobles. The headquarters for the revolt came to be in Aalborg. A large number of plantations were burned down in northern and western Jutland.
, is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood and Anarchist community
of about 850 residents, covering 34 hectares (85 acres) in the borough of Christianshavn
in the Danish
. Civic authorities in Copenhagen regard Christiania as a large commune
, but the area has a unique status in that it is regulated by a special law, the Christiania Law of 1989 which transfers parts of the supervision of the area from the municipality of Copenhagen
to the state. The rules forbid stealing, violence, guns, knives, bulletproof vests, hard drugs and bikers' colors
Famous for its main drag, known as Pusher Street, where hash and skunk weed were sold openly from permanent stands until 2004, it nevertheless does have rules forbidding 'hard drugs', such as cocaine, amphetamine, ecstasy and heroin. The region negotiated an arrangement with the Danish defence ministry (which still owns the land) in 1995. Since 1994, residents have paid taxes and fees for water, electricity, trash disposal, etc. The future of the area remains in doubt, though, as Danish authorities push for its removal.
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