/den"mahrk/, n.
a kingdom in N Europe, on the Jutland peninsula and adjacent islands. 5,268,775; 16,576 sq. mi. (42,930 sq. km). Cap.: Copenhagen.

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Introduction Denmark
Background: Once the seat of Viking raiders and later a major north European power, Denmark has evolved into a modern, prosperous nation that is participating in the general political and economic integration of Europe. However, the country has opted out of European Union's Maastricht Treaty, the European monetary system (EMU), and issues concerning certain internal affairs. Geography Denmark -
Location: Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, on a peninsula north of Germany (Jutland); also includes two major islands (Sjaelland and Fyn)
Geographic coordinates: 56 00 N, 10 00 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 43,094 sq km water: 700 sq km note: includes the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea and the rest of metropolitan Denmark (the Jutland Peninsula, and the major islands of Sjaelland and Fyn), but excludes the Faroe Islands and Greenland land: 42,394 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly less than twice the size of Massachusetts
Land boundaries: total: 68 km border countries: Germany 68 km
Coastline: 7,314 km
Maritime claims: continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation exclusive economic zone: 200 NM territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate: temperate; humid and overcast; mild, windy winters and cool summers
Terrain: low and flat to gently rolling plains
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Lammefjord -7 m highest point: Yding Skovhoej 173 m
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, fish, salt, limestone, stone, gravel and sand
Land use: arable land: 55.74% permanent crops: 0.19% other: 44.07% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 4,760 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: flooding is a threat in some areas of the country (e.g., parts of Jutland, along the southern coast of the island of Lolland) that are protected from the sea by a system of dikes Environment - current issues: air pollution, principally from vehicle and power plant emissions; nitrogen and phosphorus pollution of the North Sea; drinking and surface water becoming polluted from animal wastes and pesticides Environment - international party to: Air Pollution, Air
agreements: Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Antarctic- Environmental Protocol, Law of the Sea
Geography - note: controls Danish Straits (Skagerrak and Kattegat) linking Baltic and North Seas; about one-quarter of the population lives in greater Copenhagen People Denmark
Population: 5,368,854 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 18.7% (male 514,589; female 488,121) 15-64 years: 66.4% (male 1,806,722; female 1,760,149) 65 years and over: 14.9% (male 334,599; female 464,674) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.29% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 11.74 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate: 10.81 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate: 2.01 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/ female total population: 0.98 male(s)/ female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 4.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 76.91 years female: 79.67 years (2002 est.) male: 74.3 years
Total fertility rate: 1.73 children born/woman (2002 est.) HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.17% (1999 est.) HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 4,300 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 100 (1999 est.)
Nationality: noun: Dane(s) adjective: Danish
Ethnic groups: Scandinavian, Inuit, Faroese, German, Turkish, Iranian, Somali
Religions: Evangelical Lutheran 95%, other Protestant and Roman Catholic 3%, Muslim 2%
Languages: Danish, Faroese, Greenlandic (an Inuit dialect), German (small minority) note: English is the predominant second language
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 100% male: NA% female: NA% Government Denmark
Country name: conventional long form: Kingdom of Denmark conventional short form: Denmark local short form: Danmark local long form: Kongeriget Danmark
Government type: constitutional monarchy
Capital: Copenhagen Administrative divisions: metropolitan Denmark - 14 counties (amter, singular - amt) and 2 kommunes*; Arhus, Bornholm, Fredericksberg*, Frederiksborg, Fyn, Kobenhavn, Kobenhavns*, Nordjylland, Ribe, Ringkobing, Roskilde, Sonderjylland, Storstrom, Vejle, Vestsjalland, Viborg note: see separate entries for the Faroe Islands and Greenland, which are part of the Kingdom of Denmark and are self-governing overseas administrative divisions
Independence: first organized as a unified state in 10th century; in 1849 became a constitutional monarchy
National holiday: none designated; Constitution Day, 5 June is generally viewed as the National Day
Constitution: 1849 was the original constitution; there was a major overhaul 5 June 1953, allowing for a unicameral legislature and a female chief of state
Legal system: civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen MARGRETHE II (since 14 January 1972); Heir Apparent Crown Prince FREDERIK, elder son of the monarch (born 26 May 1968) head of government: Prime Minister Anders Fogh RASMUSSEN (since 27 November 2001) cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister and approved by Parliament elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the party that wins the most seats is usually appointed prime minister by the monarch
Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament or Folketing (179 seats, including 2 from Greenland and 2 from the Faroe Islands; members are elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms) elections: last held 20 November 2001 (next to be held by November 2005) election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Liberal Party 56, Social Democrats 52, Danish People's Party 22, Conservative Party 16, Socialist People's Party 12, Social Liberal Party 9, Christian People's Party 4, Unity List 4; note - does not include the 2 seats from Greenland and the 2 seats from the Faroe Islands
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the monarch for life) Political parties and leaders: Center Democratic Party [Mimi JAKOBSEN]; Christian People's Party [Jann SJURSEN]; Conservative Party (sometimes known as Conservative People's Party) [Bendt BENDTSEN]; Danish People's Party [Pia KJAERSGAARD]; Liberal Party [Anders Fogh RASMUSSEN]; Social Democratic Party [Poul Nyrup RASMUSSEN]; Social Liberal Party (sometimes called the Radical Left) [Marianne JELVED, leader; Johannes LEBECH, chairman]; Socialist People's Party [Holger K. NIELSEN]; Red-Green Unity List (bloc includes Left Socialist Party, Communist Party of Denmark, Socialist Workers' Party) [collective leadership] Political pressure groups and NA
leaders: International organization AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS,
participation: CBSS, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO, G- 9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MONUC, NATO, NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOGIP, UNMOP, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UNTAET, UNTSO, UPU, WEU (observer), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO, ZC Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Ulrik Andreas FEDERSPIEL consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York FAX: [1] (202) 328-1470 telephone: [1] (202) 234-4300 chancery: 3200 Whitehaven Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador Stuart
US: BERNSTEIN embassy: Dag Hammarskjolds Alle 24, 2100 Copenhagen mailing address: PSC 73, APO AE 09716 telephone: [45] 35 55 31 44 FAX: [45] 35 43 02 23
Flag description: red with a white cross that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side, and that design element of the Dannebrog (Danish flag) was subsequently adopted by the other Nordic countries of Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden Economy Denmark -
Economy - overview: This thoroughly modern market economy features high-tech agriculture, up-to-date small-scale and corporate industry, extensive government welfare measures, comfortable living standards, a stable currency, and high dependence on foreign trade. Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy and has a comfortable balance of payments surplus. The government has been successful in meeting, and even exceeding, the economic convergence criteria for participating in the third phase (a common European currency) of the European Monetary Union (EMU), but Denmark, in a September 2000 referendum, reconfirmed its decision not to join the 11 other EU members in the euro. Even so, the Danish currency remains pegged to the euro.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $149.8 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 1.1% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $28,000 (2001 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 3% industry: 22% services: 75% (2001 est.) Population below poverty line: NA% Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: 2%
percentage share: highest 10%: 24% (2000 est.) Distribution of family income - Gini 24.7 (1992)
index: Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.4% (2001 est.)
Labor force: 2.856 million (2000 est.) Labor force - by occupation: services 79%, industry 17%, agriculture 4% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate: 5.3% (2000)
Budget: revenues: $52.9 billion expenditures: $51.3 billion, including capital expenditures of $500 million (2001 est.)
Industries: food processing, machinery and equipment, textiles and clothing, chemical products, electronics, construction, furniture, and other wood products, shipbuilding, windmills Industrial production growth rate: 1% (2001 est.) Electricity - production: 35.792 billion kWh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 83.86% hydro: 0.08% other: 16.06% (2000) nuclear: 0% Electricity - consumption: 33.925 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 7.679 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 8.318 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: barley, wheat, potatoes, sugar beets; pork, dairy products; fish
Exports: $52.4 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
Exports - commodities: machinery and instruments, meat and meat products, dairy products, fish, chemicals, furniture, ships, windmills
Exports - partners: EU 65.9% (Germany 19.1%, Sweden 12.9%, UK 9.8%, France 5.0%, Netherlands 5.0%), US 5.9%, Norway 5.5% (2000)
Imports: $44.1 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, raw materials and semimanufactures for industry, chemicals, grain and foodstuffs, consumer goods
Imports - partners: EU 69.7% (Germany 21.1%, Sweden 12.3%, UK 8.6%, Netherlands 7.5%, France 5.2%, Italy 4.4%), US 4.1% (2000)
Debt - external: $21.7 billion (2000)
Economic aid - donor: ODA, $1.63 billion (1999)
Currency: Danish krone (DKK)
Currency code: DKK
Exchange rates: Danish kroner per US dollar - 8.418 (January 2002), 8.323 (2001), 8.083 (2000), 6.976 (1999), 6.701 (1998), 6.604 (1997); note - the Danes rejected the euro in a 28 September 2000 referendum
Fiscal year: calendar year Communications Denmark Telephones - main lines in use: 4.785 million (1997) Telephones - mobile cellular: 1,444,016 (1997)
Telephone system: general assessment: excellent telephone and telegraph services domestic: buried and submarine cables and microwave radio relay form trunk network, 4 cellular mobile communications systems international: 18 submarine fiber- optic cables linking Denmark with Norway, Sweden, Russia, Poland, Germany, Netherlands, UK, Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Canada; satellite earth stations - 6 Intelsat, 10 Eutelsat, 1 Orion, 1 Inmarsat (Blaavand-Atlantic-East); note - the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) share the Danish earth station and the Eik, Norway, station for worldwide Inmarsat access (1997) Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 355, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios: 6.02 million (1997) Television broadcast stations: 26 (plus 51 repeaters) (1998)
Televisions: 3.121 million (1997)
Internet country code: .dk Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 13 (2000)
Internet users: 2.93 million (2001) Transportation Denmark
Railways: total: 2,859 km (508 km privately owned and operated) standard gauge: 2,859 km 1.435- m gauge (600 km electrified; 760 km double-track) (1998 est.)
Highways: total: 71,474 km paved: 71,474 km (including 880 km of expressways) unpaved: 0 km (1999)
Waterways: 417 km
Pipelines: crude oil 110 km; petroleum products 578 km; natural gas 700 km
Ports and harbors: Abenra, Alborg, Arhus, Copenhagen, Esbjerg, Fredericia, Kolding, Odense, Roenne (Bornholm), Vejle
Merchant marine: total: 301 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 6,258,959 GRT/8,143,520 DWT note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Germany 1, Greenland 1, Indonesia 1, Netherlands 1, Norway 9, United Kingdom 1 (2002 est.) ships by type: bulk 8, cargo 105, chemical tanker 26, container 72, liquefied gas 20, livestock carrier 5, petroleum tanker 25, railcar carrier 1, refrigerated cargo 13, roll on/roll off 16, short-sea passenger 7, specialized tanker 3
Airports: 116 (2001) Airports - with paved runways: total: 28 over 3,047 m: 2 2,438 to 3,047 m: 7 1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 914 to 1,523 m: 12 under 914 m: 3 (2001) Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 88 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 7 under 914 m: 80 (2001) Military Denmark
Military branches: Royal Danish Army, Royal Danish Navy, Royal Danish Air Force, Home Guard Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age (2002 est.) Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 1,287,168 (2002 est.) Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 1,099,900 (2002
service: est.) Military manpower - reaching males: 29,212 (2002 est.)
military age annually: Military expenditures - dollar $2.47 billion (FY99/00)
figure: Military expenditures - percent of 1.4% (FY99/00)
GDP: Transnational Issues Denmark Disputes - international: Rockall continental shelf dispute involving Denmark, Iceland, and the UK (Ireland and the UK have signed a boundary agreement in the Rockall area); dispute with Iceland over the Faroe Islands' fisheries median line boundary within 200 NM; disputes with Iceland, the UK, and Ireland over the Faroe Islands continental shelf boundary outside 200 NM; Faroese are considering proposals for full independence

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officially Kingdom of Denmark

Constitutional monarchy, north-central Europe.

Area: 16,639 sq mi (43,096 sq km). Its territory includes Greenland and the Faroe Islands, which are self-governing dependencies. Population (2002 est.): 5,377,000. Capital: Copenhagen. The majority of the population is Nordic. Language: Danish (official). Religion: Evangelical Lutheranism (official). Currency: Danish krone. Lying between the North and Baltic seas, it occupies the Jutland peninsula and an archipelago to its east. The two largest islands, Zealand (Sjælland) and Funen (Fyn), together make up more than one-fourth of the country's total land area. With a 4,500-mi (7,300-km) coastline, it has a generally temperate and often wet climate. Denmark has a mixed economy based on services and manufacturing. It boasts one of the world's oldest and largest social welfare systems, and its standard of living is among the highest in the world. Its chief of state is the Danish monarch, while the head of government is the prime minister. Inhabited from 100,000 BC, it was settled by Danes, a Scandinavian branch of the Teutons, с 6th century AD. During the Viking period the Danes expanded their territory, and by the 11th century the united Danish kingdom included parts of what are now Germany, Sweden, England, and Norway. Scandinavia was united under Danish rule from 1397 until 1523, when Sweden became independent; a series of debilitating wars with Sweden in the 17th century resulted in the Treaty of Copenhagen (1660), which established the modern Scandinavian frontiers. Denmark gained and lost various other territories, including Norway, in the 19th and 20th centuries; it went through three constitutions between 1849 and 1915 and was occupied by Nazi Germany in 1940–45. A founding member of NATO (1949), Denmark adopted its current constitution in 1953. It became a member of the European Union in 1973 and modified its membership during the 1990s. The island of Zealand, on which Copenhagen stands, was connected to the central island of Funen by a rail tunnel and bridge in 1997. This ended more than 100 years of ferry service and cut the crossing time to less than 10 minutes. In the early 21st century, its handling of immigrants, though a small statistical minority, raised great debate.
(as used in expressions)
Kingdom of Denmark
Prince William of Denmark
Vesey Denmark

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▪ 2009

43,098 sq km (16,640 sq mi)
(2008 est.): 5,494,000
Chief of state:
Queen Margrethe II
Head of government:
Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen

      In the spring of 2008, the Danish Folketing (parliament) comfortably ratified the Lisbon Treaty package to reform the EU and thereby avoided a national plebiscite on the issue. The Irish rejection of the deal in June, however, forced Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen to shelve his centre-right government's plans to hold a vote on Denmark's EU opt-outs on the euro and closer cooperation in defense and law enforcement—exemptions seen by the government as serious impediments to the country's full participation in Europe. Although enjoying solid support at home, Denmark's tight immigration policies were again subjected to international criticism when the EU Commission's General Directorate for Justice (quoting a ruling by the European Court of Justice) warned that the country was in breach of EU rules on family reunification and free movement of labour. Since 2002, strict controls on the inflow of Danes' foreign spouses to Denmark had forced thousands of mixed nationality couples to reside in neighbouring Sweden, and the revelations that such couples could legally attain Danish residence after living in another EU member country for only 2–10 weeks sparked furious outbursts against the Danish immigration authorities. The prospect of EU legal action against Denmark strained the Rasmussen-led Liberal-Conservative coalition's cooperation with the far-right, anti-immigration Danish People's Party, on which the coalition relied for its parliamentary majority. In the end, however, the government toed the line; a new agreement brought Danish immigration practices into accordance with EU law while at the same time imposing tight spot checks to ensure that applicants had actually been working and living in another EU country.

      The Muhammad cartoon scandal that sparked virulent anti-Denmark protest across the Muslim world in 2006 reemerged in February 2008. After Danish police arrested three young people—two Tunisians and a Dane of Moroccan origin—suspected of plotting to kill one of the cartoonists behind the satiric cartoons, major Danish newspapers, in a show of support for freedom of speech, reprinted the infamous caricatures. This again sparked mass demonstrations by Danish Muslims and scattered protests throughout the Islamic world, culminating in June in a car bomb attack on the Danish embassy in Islamabad, Pak., in which six Pakistanis were killed and 30 injured. In an Internet statement, al-Qaeda took responsibility for the blast, warning that further action would ensue if Denmark failed to apologize for publishing the cartoons.

      Early in the year Denmark had the dubious distinction of being the first EU country to fall into recession. On the brighter side, the country's unemployment rate remained below 2%, and its state budget and current account showed solid surpluses, with public and foreign debt at low levels and self-sufficiency in oil and gas from North Sea offshore fields guaranteed for more than two decades. As the international credit crunch rocked markets in the autumn, the Danish central bank moved to safeguard bank deposits as part of a deal to set up a 30 billion kroner (1 kroner = about $0.18) liquidation fund. In September, after years of negotiation, Denmark reached agreement with Germany on the construction of the Fehmarn Belt Bridge, a 19-km (12-mi) triple-span cable-stayed road-rail bridge linking the two countries. The project was due for completion by 2018 at an estimated cost of 32.8 billion kroner.

Christopher Follett

▪ 2008

43,098 sq km (16,640 sq mi)
(2007 est.): 5,454,000
Chief of state:
Queen Margrethe II
Head of government:
Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen

      After months of political stalemate, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen's six-year-old Liberal-Conservative coalition won a third term in office in snap elections on Nov. 13, 2007, securing a 90-seat majority in the 179-seat Folketing (parliament) with the support of allies, notably the far-right anti-immigration Danish People's Party. The aim of the election was to “clear the air” prior to all-party negotiations on widespread reforms to Denmark's “womb-to-tomb” social-welfare system.

      In October EU leaders reached agreement on the Treaty of Lisbon—a package designed to reform the EU following its recent expansion. Rasmussen, citing Justice Ministry constitutional experts, rejected opposition calls for the holding of a referendum, insisting that the new treaty contained no transfer of Danish sovereignty—which would have warranted such a vote. Following his reelection, Rasmussen promised that referenda would be held on the questions of Denmark's joining the euro zone and of the country's exemptions from closer EU cooperation in defense and legal matters.

      With polls showing persistent opposition among Danes to their country's continued presence in Iraq, Denmark in August withdrew its 460-strong military force from southern Iraq, where it had been operating since 2003 under overall U.K. command. This left a squadron of four observation helicopters and 55 troops to support British forces in the Basra province. The move paved the way for Defense Minister Søren Gade to increase the size of Denmark's contingent in Afghanistan's turbulent Helmand province to 520 soldiers (an increase of 100). In September police arrested eight young people—primarily Danish citizens of Afghan, Pakistani, Somali, and Turkish origin—suspected of being members of a terrorist cell with links to al-Qaeda. In another case, two Danish muslims and an Iraqi Kurd were found guilty of having planned terrorist bomb attacks; they were given prison sentences ranging from 4 to 11 years.

      International disapproval of Denmark's tight immigration policy continued, with the Council of Europe challenging Rasmussen's government to soften its contentious stipulations for family reunification, drop stiff bank guarantees for immigrants, and call off cuts in welfare benefits for newly arrived immigrants. The UN slammed Denmark's intolerance of immigrants, while reports by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the EU Commission gave the country miserable ratings for the integration of immigrants into the labour market.

      Copenhagen experienced a protracted bout of violent youth protest in 2007 after the police evicted squatters from a youth centre—later closed and demolished by the authorities. Police in riot gear used tear gas to disperse demonstrators, some of whom torched cars and flung gasoline bombs; 650 young people (including anarchist elements from other countries) were detained in March, and another 437 arrests were made during street clashes in October.

 After Russian scientists planted a flag under the North Pole to assert Russia's claim to potentially lucrative natural resources in the Arctic, Denmark dispatched a scientific mission to gather seismic data and map the seabed below the icebound Lomonosov Ridge, off Greenland (a Danish territory). (See Map—>.) Meanwhile, Denmark enjoyed a robust economy, with almost four years of uninterrupted growth, the lowest unemployment in 33 years (about 3%), no foreign debt, and a budget surplus in excess of 3% of GDP.

 On April 21 Australian-born Crown Princess Mary, wife of Crown Prince Frederik, gave birth to a second child. Princess Isabella would be third in line to the throne after her father and older brother, Prince Christian.

Christopher Follett

▪ 2007

43,098 sq km (16,640 sq mi)
(2006 est.): 5,435,000
Chief of state:
Queen Margrethe II
Head of government:
Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen

 In 2006 Denmark found itself hurled onto the frontline of the conflict between Western liberal values and the religious tenets of the Islamic world after the publication by the country's leading broadsheet, Jyllands-Posten, of 12 satiric caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad sparked a wave of violent protest, diplomatic sanctions, and death threats. The cartoons, first published in September 2005, caused immediate affront to 11 Muslim ambassadors in Denmark, whose call for consultations were roundly rejected by Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen on the grounds that freedom of the press and of expression were unassailable rights in Danish society. The matter came to a head when in January 2006 an Arab League meeting in Tunisia called on Denmark to punish the newspaper for printing “cartoons offensive to Islam,” a move to which Rasmussen could not acquiesce. In February angry Muslim demonstrators attacked and sacked Danish embassies in Damascus, Beirut, and Tehran and staged major anticartoon protests that included the ritual burning of Danish flags across the Muslim world. Denmark was compelled to close five diplomatic missions, and several Islamic ambassadors in Copenhagen were called home for consultations over the cartoon issue. The row escalated further when the offending caricatures were reprinted in newspapers in several other European countries. The Jyllands-Posten eventually issued a formal apology, a move welcomed by the prime minister, who nonetheless staunchly reiterated his defense of the freedom of the press in Denmark and called upon Muslims to refrain from violence, urging dialogue to ward off what he described as a “global crisis” and a “clash of cultures.”

      Danish exports to the Middle East were hit hard. The Confederation of Danish Industries estimated that exports to 25 Islamic countries plummeted by 15.5%, or 935 million kroner (about $160 million) in the February–June period, as a result of the Muhammad cartoon outrage.

      At home, the leading author Klaus Rifbjerg and other intellectuals denounced the publication of the cartoons as a “childish and uncalled for provocation” and slammed Rasmussen's centre-right Liberal Party administration and its ally, the far-right Danish People's Party (DPP), for conducting a “misanthropic and blatantly nationalistic” immigration policy. Denmark drew criticism from international bodies, notably the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance and the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, for breaches of humanitarian conventions, including the country's immigrant family reunification restrictions, its (often shabby) treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, and its disappointing efforts at integration. The xenophobic, racist tone of the debate in Denmark concerning foreigners in general and Muslim immigrants in particular also came under censure as the country, once considered a beacon of tolerance, wallowed in its identity crisis.

      The Muhammad cartoon row resurfaced in the autumn when the state-owned Danish TV2 channel showed a video depicting DPP youths at a summer camp singing, dancing, and participating in a ribald competition to draw blasphemous images of the Prophet. The incident was denounced as an insult to Islam and sparked protests from the Muslim Brotherhood in Iran and Egypt. The ongoing Muhammad cartoon spat, coupled with the presence of some 530 Danish troops in Iraq and 290 soldiers under NATO command in southern Afghanistan, helped keep the terrorism threat on the agenda. Public fears were compounded by two major police raids, in Copenhagen and Odense, on suspected terrorist cells, which were found to be linked to international terrorist networks, in possession of explosives, and allegedly plotting attacks in Denmark and abroad.

Christopher Follett

▪ 2006

43,098 sq km (16,640 sq mi)
(2005 est.): 5,416,000
Chief of state:
Queen Margrethe II
Head of government:
Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen

      The incumbent centre-right Liberal-Conservative coalition of Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen won the February 2005 general elections comfortably, trouncing the opposition Social Democrats, who scored their worst result since 1973. The outcome gave Rasmussen's bloc—including the government's far-right ally, the ultranationalistic, anti-immigration Danish People's Party (DF)—a total of 95 seats in the 179-seat Folketing (parliament) and left the opposition in tatters. Social Democrat leader Mogens Lykketoft tendered his resignation as party chairman, and Helle Thorning-Schmidt became the party's first woman leader; she pledged to adopt a more centrist political line. Since the economy was booming, the main themes of the election were immigration and the maintenance of Denmark's streamlined womb-to-tomb welfare state. The new government was quick to pass legislation further tightening control on immigrants, including the establishment of a so-called integration pact that required immigrants to make an active effort to learn Danish, find employment, and eschew criminal activity on pain of having state social benefits withdrawn. Although the refugee and foreigner inflow had dipped dramatically owing to the government's restrictive policies, immigration—especially when involving Muslims —remained a major issue. The matter was underscored by an (abortive) arsonist attack on the home of Refugees, Immigration and Integration Affairs Minister Rikke Hvilshøj and the racist tone of much of the DF's political rhetoric.

      In early July, U.S. Pres. George W. Bush paid a 17-hour visit to Copenhagen ahead of the Group of Eight summit in Scotland to thank Denmark for its military support in Iraq. The visit sparked demonstrations to protest the U.S. intervention in Iraq and Denmark's involvement. President Bush's stopover in Denmark took place just one day before the terrorist bombings in London, and fears were triggered among Danes that Copenhagen could be next on the bombers' list; in a statement posted on the Internet, the Group of al-Qaeda of Jihad Organization in Europe, the group claiming responsibility for the London blasts, threatened similar attacks against “crusader” states with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, mentioning Denmark by name. As a result, the government intensified security throughout the transport system.

      In the realm of European affairs, Denmark postponed a planned September 27 national referendum on the EU's new constitution, following the rejection of the treaty by French and Dutch voters in the late spring and the subsequent decision by EU heads of state to hold a “pause for thought” on the issue. Faced with strong public resistance to Turkish membership in the EU, Prime Minister Rasmussen urged consolidation rather than enlargement of the current union.

 On the cultural front, two events dominated all else: the opening in January of Copenhagen's stunning new opera house, designed by leading architect Henning Larsen, and events throughout the year to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of fairy-tale writer Hans Christian Andersen (1805–75). On October 15, amid a wave of patriotic fervour, Crown Prince Frederik, heir to the Danish throne, and Australian-born Crown Princess Mary announced the birth of their first child, a boy to be named Prince Christian, who would be second in line to the throne, after his father.

Christopher Follett

▪ 2005

43,098 sq km (16,640 sq mi)
(2004 est.): 5,401,000
Chief of state:
Queen Margrethe II
Head of government:
Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen

      Denmark's involvement in Iraq, where it had 500 troops under U.K. command, continued to divide Danes in 2004. Following newspaper leaks indicating that the Danish government had deliberately ignored intelligence reports that the likelihood of finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was minimal, the Folketing (parliament) Foreign Policy Committee held a one-day hearing at which Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen staunchly defended Denmark's participation in the war, dismissing opposition accusations that Denmark had blindly followed the Americans and British into Iraq. In an embarrassing sequel, commanders of the Danish battalion in Iraq had to be summoned home amid an alleged abuse scandal involving Danish troops and Iraqi detainees at Denmark's base in southern Iraq, but the government reiterated its unflinching determination to maintain the Danish military presence in Iraq. The general feeling of unease about Denmark's pro-Washington stance was further exacerbated by allegations by a Danish national that he was tortured and humiliated by American soldiers in Afghanistan prior to being sent to the U.S. base at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba for two years of detention. In a vote seen as a backlash against the ruling Liberal-Conservative government for its support of the war in Iraq, the opposition Social Democrats almost doubled their support in the European Parliament in June, with their main candidate, former prime minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, netting an all-time record number of votes.

      Denmark's ultratight immigration policies continued to attract international criticism. Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Álvaro Gil-Robles concluded in a report issued in July that Denmark's restrictive immigration laws—notably the notorious family-reunification requirements preventing young people from marrying or bringing in foreigners under the age of 24—were in breach of international human rights conventions. This criticism was later corroborated by the independent Danish Institute for Human Rights. A general mood of hostility toward foreigners, notably Muslims, prevailed in racially homogenous Denmark, a nominally Lutheran country where Muslims accounted for only 3% of the population, or about 170,000 people.

      Aided by a spring economic-stimulus package of tax cuts designed to kick-start the economy and consumer spending after growth had slumped to a 10-year low in 2003, Denmark drew accolades from the IMF for its robust economic recovery, with growth in 2004 at a four-year high and solid current-account and state-budget surpluses. Exports stayed sluggish owing to a deterioration in competitiveness, however, and the labour market remained in the doldrums with unemployment at around 6% of the workforce.

      The highlight of the year was the royal wedding of Crown Prince Frederik—elder son of Queen Margrethe and heir to the Danish throne—and Australian commoner Mary Donaldson, which took place at a glittering ceremony in Copenhagen Cathedral on May 14 and was watched by 180 million television viewers worldwide. Euphoria over the royal nuptials was dented by the announcement in September that Prince Joachim, the queen's younger son (nicknamed the “party prince” by the media for his fondness for wild partying and fast cars), and his Hong Kong-born wife, Princess Alexandra, were to separate—the first divorce in the Danish royal family in 165 years.

Christopher Follett

▪ 2004

43,098 sq km (16,640 sq mi)
(2003 est.): 5,387,000
Chief of state:
Queen Margrethe II
Head of government:
Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen

      The political debate in late 2003 focused on Denmark's future as a member of the European Union—a thorny issue for a country known for its profound skepticism about Brussels. The failure of the EU summit in mid-December to agree on a new constitution for the enlarged 25-member union meant that Denmark's plans to hold a referendum on the issue—possibly in 2004—had to be put on hold pending a clarification of the situation. A “no” vote would in all likelihood signal the end of Denmark's membership in the bloc. In 1993 Danes had voted “yes” to the Maastricht Treaty on the formation of the European Union but had secured clauses that allowed Denmark to opt out of participation in the single European currency (the euro), joint defense, justice cooperation, and union citizenship. These exemptions, supported by most of the Danish people but anathema to almost the entire political establishment, deeply split the country on the European question and condemned Denmark to a marginal role in the EU. The main political parties had long wanted to eradicate the exemptions; Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen hatched a plan to attach an amended version of the justice-cooperation exemption to the referendum on the EU constitution. The model would allow Denmark to maintain its notoriously stringent immigration policy, but the Folketing (parliament) would be empowered to decide on legal issues on a case-by-case basis.

      Opinion polls showed that Danes seemed willing to forgo the other exemptions, but they remained adamant on tight immigration controls. The Liberal-Conservative government's stringent immigration controls—worked out in close cooperation with the far-right, nationalist Danish People's Party and therefore supported by a parliamentary majority—continued to draw criticism from human rights organizations. The infamous family-reunifications stipulation—preventing young people from marrying or bringing in foreigners under the age of 24—achieved its aim; the number of asylum seekers and mixed marriages was slashed by two-thirds, although an amendment was made to allow Danes to bring their foreign-born spouses back with them to live in Denmark. Hundreds of couples had been forced to live in exile in south Sweden.

      On the international front, Denmark, one of the few EU nations to actively support the U.S.-led war in Iraq, made the symbolic contribution of a warship and a submarine to the conflict. A Danish soldier, one of 500 who had been sent to support British troops in southern Iraq, was killed in an exchange of gunfire near Basra in August, becoming the first fatality from forces other than those of the Americans and British. Mystery shrouded the disappearance from house arrest near Copenhagen of Iraqi Gen. Nizar al-Khazraji, Saddam Hussein's former chief of staff and the most senior officer to have defected from Baghdad prior to the war. Khazraji was being held in Denmark on war-crime charges for alleged chemical-weapon attacks on Iraqi Kurds in the 1980s; he had applied for political asylum in 1999, and he vanished in March 2003.

      In September the royal palace announced the engagement of Crown Prince Frederik, heir to the Danish throne, to Australian Mary Donaldson. The wedding was to take place on May 14, 2004, in Copenhagen Cathedral.

Christopher Follett

▪ 2003

43,098 sq km (16,640 sq mi)
(2002 est.): 5,377,000
Chief of state:
Queen Margrethe II
Head of government:
Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen

      In 2002, after storming to power in November 2001 following the biggest swing to the right in Danish politics since the 1920s, the Liberal-Conservative coalition government of Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen—with backing from the populist, nationalist Danish People's Party—introduced tighter immigration controls and sweeping expenditure cuts, denting Denmark's image abroad as a bastion of tolerance and humanitarianism. Budgets for overseas development aid were trimmed; expenditures for cultural activities were slashed; and more than 100 government think tanks, advisory committees, and similar bodies were axed, rationalized, or merged. One of the most significant cuts was that of the Board for Ethnic Equality, a forum for communication with ethnic minority groups.

      On the issue of asylum, the government abolished the concept of de facto refugees, stipulating that only individuals entitled to protection under international conventions were to be allowed to live in Denmark. Refugees and immigrants would receive 30% less in social benefits than native Danes; family-reunification rules were tightened: young people could not marry and bring in foreigners under the age of 24, and access to family reunions with parents over the age of 60 was abolished (unless the child was under 18 years of age); permanent-residence permits could be obtained by foreigners only after seven years (previously three); permits would be denied to foreigners guilty of serious crime; and stringent tests in the Danish language and culture were imposed, coupled with a program of incentives to gain employment and integrate into society. The government's package—which came under heavy criticism from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees—reflected a crisis of national identity in a small country fearful of becoming a multiethnic society in an ever-more-globalized world.

      In 2001, 12,512 asylum seekers entered the country, mainly from Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Yugoslavia; just over half were granted asylum, but the influx fell sharply in 2002. Foreign citizens accounted for barely 5% of the population in homogenous Denmark (only 1.7% were of non-European extraction)—a lower percentage than that in most European countries. (See Australia: Special Report (Strangers at the Gates: The Immigration Backlash ).)

      Denmark held the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union in the second half of the year. Topping the list of priorities was EU enlargement—an epic task for Copenhagen. After an intense two-day summit in Copenhagen on December 12–13, EU leaders agreed on a landmark accord opening the union's doors to 10 mostly Eastern European countries and paving the way for the largest expansion in the bloc's 45-year history.

      In early December the diplomatic atmosphere between Copenhagen and Moscow plummeted to the freezing point when Denmark's Justice Ministry released Akhmed Zakayev, a leading Chechen separatist, while Russia sought his extradition. The ministry said that evidence received from Russian authorities was insufficient. At the request of the Russian prosecutor general, Zakayev had been taken into custody by Danish police on October 30, only days after Chechen gunmen took hundreds of hostages in a Moscow theatre. Moscow wanted Zakayev to be extradited to stand trial for crimes he allegedly committed in the late 1990s in connection with the war in Chechnya.

      Meanwhile, the transformation of Copenhagen into a modern metropolis and economic hub continued with the opening of a new Italian-designed state-of-the-art driverless underground railway system. To the south of the city centre, near the airport, a new town—dubbed Ørestad—mushroomed; the University of Copenhagen, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (including a stunning new concert hall designed by French architect Jean Nouvel), and a huge shopping mall were to become part of the city.

Christopher Follett

▪ 2002

43,096 sq km (16,639 sq mi)
(2001 est.): 5,358,000
Chief of state:
Queen Margrethe II
Head of government:
Prime Ministers Poul Nyrup Rasmussen and, from November 27, Anders Fogh Rasmussen

      The issue of immigration topped the agenda in Denmark in 2001. The country's impeccable record as a bastion of democracy, human rights, and egalitarianism was tarnished by a barrage of international criticism that cited racial intolerance and maltreatment of asylum seekers amid an atmosphere of growing xenophobia at home. Government plans, though later scrapped after much furor, to confine asylum seekers on remote islands while their applications were being processed, coupled with the revelation that many would-be immigrants were being housed in container homes (albeit well-appointed), further dented Denmark's reputation abroad. In addition, fewer than 5% of Denmark's population were foreigners, and most of that figure represented citizens from European Union (EU) states or the U.S.; there were only about 165,000 Muslims in the country.

      The prevailing trepidation among many Danes about their country's becoming a multiethnic society and fears that their culture or “Danishness” were threatened helped anti-immigration groups gain a foothold, notably the xenophobic Danish People's Party (DF) led by Pia Kjaersgaard. The DF—campaigning on a direct anti-Muslim, antiforeigner platform—made solid progress in opinion polls and forced other parties, including the ruling Social Democrats and the main opposition Liberals, to adopt tougher stances on immigration. Taxes and dwindling welfare services were the other main themes of a short and bitter campaign, which ended as predicted with a landslide victory for the Liberal Party of Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The Liberals, with the support of the Conservatives and centrist and rightist groups, won 98 seats in Folketing (parliament); the Social Democrats and the centre-left bloc garnered 77 seats, down from the 89 held in the previous parliament. On November 27 Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced that he would head a Liberal-Conservative minority-rightist coalition government, which called for a major tightening of immigration laws, cuts in overseas development aid, an income-tax freeze, improvements in hospital services and social welfare, tougher law-and-order provisions, and a reduction by half of Denmark's $70 billion gross public debt by 2002.

      On the economic front, Denmark's historic “no” vote in 2000 to participation in the European Economic and Monetary Union did not have the predicted damaging effect—unemployment hit its lowest level in 25 years; inflation was moderate; the krone currency remained firm; and foreign trade and current account surpluses stayed buoyant. A draft budget for 2002 showed a surplus in state finances for the sixth consecutive year amid forecasts that Denmark would not be as hard hit by the world economic downturn as some of its neighbours.

      Following the September terrorist attacks in the U.S., the Danish government pledged to take action to abolish Denmark's exemptions from joint defense and legal cooperation within the EU, citing the need for closer international efforts to fight terrorism.

      Relations between Denmark and the Faroe Islands remained strained following the postponement in the spring of a planned local referendum on the issue of independence. Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen had threatened to cut off Copenhagen's annual $120 million grant to the islands, about one-third of Faroese public expenditure. Undeterred by this development and the inconclusive results from the first test drillings for oil off the islands, the Faroese home-rule government announced plans to phase out Danish aid and influence gradually, starting in 2002.

Christopher Follett

▪ 2001

43,096 sq km (16,639 sq mi)
(2000 est.): 5,339,000
Chief of state:
Queen Margrethe II
Head of government:
Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen

      After a closely fought six-month campaign, Danes delivered a bruising blow to the euro, the European Union's (EU's) beleaguered single currency. On Sept. 28, 2000, a national referendum was held in which participation in the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) was voted down by a resounding 53–47%.

      The “no” vote—which split Danes into two almost equal camps—came in defiance of Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen's seven-year-old Social Democrat-led government, a majority of parliamentary parties, the central bank, industry, commerce, the media, and the establishment, all of which had strongly urged a “yes” vote. Bemused analysts attributed the rejection of the measure to several factors, including a feel-good factor at a time of economic upturn, which made a change of currency seem superfluous. Denmark's “no” to the euro also stirred up memories of 1992, when Danes triggered a Europe-wide crisis by rejecting the Maastricht Treaty. This time finance markets had braced for a rejection, and the EU and the euro were scarcely rocked.

      Political analysts observed that the rejection had no impact on the EMU but that Denmark could become a difficult EU partner when the EU carried out reforms necessary to take in new Central and Eastern European members in 2001. The rejection was also seen as delaying similar votes on euro participation in the two other EMU outsider member nations, the U.K. and Sweden.

      In October Prime Minister Rasmussen stressed Copenhagen's determination to work for a speedy EU enlargement and pursue constructive pro-EU policies. He also pledged that any referenda exempting Denmark from European cooperation would be in the distant future. Denmark would also keep its local krone currency pegged tightly to the EU's single currency—the krone was fixed to the euro with a plus/minus 2.25% fluctuation band.

      On the economic home front, the upturn in prosperity continued. Inflation was moderate; unemployment was forecast at 5.3% for 2000, a 25-year low; and current account, foreign trade, and state budget surpluses, as well as purchasing power, were at an all-time high. On July 1 Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden opened the 16.4-km (10.2-mi) Øresund Fixed Link, a more than $3 billion road-railway tunnel-bridge project that linked Copenhagen with the Swedish city of Malmö.

      Independence talks between Denmark and its North Atlantic province—the Faroe Islands—were deadlocked, and a September referendum on the issue was postponed until April 2001. The failure of test drilling to find oil or gas off the coast of Arctic Greenland put a damper on devolution plans of the vast island's home-rule government. In the summer Greenland celebrated the 1,000th anniversary of its conversion to Christianity by Norse explorer Leif Eriksson the Lucky and of his voyage of discovery to Vinland. (See Canada: Sidebar, (Vikings of 2000 ) above.)

      In November Denmark was plunged into a state of mourning, following the death of much-loved Swedish-born Queen Ingrid, who died quietly in her sleep. (See Obituaries (Ingrid ).)

Christopher Follett

▪ 2000

43,094 sq km (16,639 sq mi)
(1999 est.): 5,311,111
Chief of state:
Queen Margrethe II
Head of government:
Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen

      Denmark's economic upsurge continued in 1999, with an austerity package effectively scotching signs of overheating and curbing excessive private consumption that led to a balance of payments deficit in 1998 for the first time in a decade. Cheered by indications of a swift return to current account surplus, continuing falling unemployment at around 5.5% of the workforce (a 20-year low), and a generally positive economic outlook, the Social Democrat–led minority government unveiled a state budget for 2000 neutral for fiscal activity and showing a healthy surplus for the fourth year running.

      In politics the focus was firmly on Danish membership of the euro—the European single currency—which was launched in 11 European Union (EU) member states in January. (See European Union: Sidebar. (Euro's First Birthday )) Opinion polls showed solid support among the electorate for euro participation, but Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, wary of Danes' traditional “Euroskepticism,” insisted that a thorough national debate on the pros and cons of the euro was vital before any plebiscite could be called. Alliance-member Denmark staunchly backed the NATO air offensive against Yugoslavia, committing eight F-16 fighters to the operations. Opinion polls indicated overwhelming public support.

      In the summer a record low 49.9% of Danes turned out to vote in European parliamentary elections. The opposition Liberals emerged victors with 5 of Denmark's 16 seats in the Strasbourg assembly, but anti-EU groupings took a combined 4 seats.

      Denmark's North Atlantic provinces were in the limelight during the year, with Rasmussen formally apologizing for Denmark's forcing Inuit out of their homes in Thule, Greenland, in 1953 to make way for the expansion of a U.S. air base at the height of the Cold War. The apology came after a court ruling in favour of 53 Inuit who sued the Danish government for the loss of their homes and hunting grounds on behalf of 611 families—the plaintiffs won collective compensation. The Faroe Islands were poised to hold a referendum on independence from Copenhagen in spring 2000 after the home-rule government issued a report in support of local sovereignty.

      In late summer Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden—heirs to their neighbour countries' respective thrones—inaugurated a road-rail bridge linking their two countries for the first time in more than 7,000 years (since Denmark and Sweden were linked). The 16-km (10-mi) Øresund fixed link, a $2 billion, four-year project, was scheduled to open for traffic in July 2000. On August 29 the first royal birth in 30 years sparked a bout of royalist fever—a son born to Prince Joachim, Queen Margrethe's younger son, and his Hong Kong–British wife, Princess Alexandra. The new royal baby was third in line of succession to the Danish throne.

      On the arts front, two world-renowned Rembrandt and Bellini paintings, worth in excess of $15 million and stolen from Nivaagaard Art Gallery near Elsinore, were recovered after a seven-month-long international hunt. Seven arrests were made after a ransom payment of about $250,000.

Christopher Follett

▪ 1999

      Area: 43,094 sq km (16,639 sq mi)

      Population (1998 est.): 5,303,000

      Capital: Copenhagen

      Chief of state: Queen Margrethe II

      Head of government: Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen

      In Denmark 1998 was an eventful year, with parliamentary elections and an important referendum on Europe dominating the political scene. In a very close contest, the ruling centre-left Social Democratic-Radical Liberal minority government of Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, prime minister since 1993, proved the pollsters wrong by clinging to power in a general election in March. In the vote Rasmussen's centre-left government and its leftist allies held on to a total of 90 seats in the 179-seat Folketing (parliament), including two members from the North Atlantic territories of the Faroe Islands and Greenland; the centre-right opposition bloc, headed by the Liberals, won 89 seats. The big winner at the polls was the far-right Danish People's Party; campaigning on an anti-immigration platform, it more than tripled its representation to 13 seats.

      After the March elections the focus switched to Europe. In April, after a lengthy hearing, the nation's Supreme Court unanimously threw out a petition from a citizens' group questioning the constitutionality of Denmark's membership in the European Union (EU). This ruling paved the way for a nationwide referendum on May 28 on the country's adhesion to the Amsterdam Treaty, signed in 1997 at an EU summit in the Dutch capital. The Amsterdam Treaty made job creation a formal EU goal, supported increased cooperation in foreign affairs, and allowed for the EU to expand in order to take in countries in Eastern Europe. Much to the relief of the EU and Denmark's political establishment, the notoriously "Euroskeptical" Danes voted by a clear 55% to 45% in favour of the treaty.

      In May the government intervened to pass legislation putting an end to the country's biggest strike since 1985—an 11-day action by about 500,000 private-sector workers—which crippled manufacturing industries, construction, and transportation and cost Denmark about a billion kroner a day in lost output. In June a major economic austerity package was imposed to prevent the economy from overheating, but late in the year the pace of the country's otherwise impressive economic upturn was clearly becoming dented by the global financial crisis, which caused a particularly severe drop in agricultural exports.

      On a more bizarre level, Copenhagen made world headlines in January when the Little Mermaid statue, the Danish capital's tourist icon located on the city's waterfront, suffered its second decapitation in 35 years. The mermaid's severed head was quickly retrieved—in fairly good condition—after it was found in a box outside a local television station, and a Danish TV cameraman was later jailed for the act of vandalism on Denmark's 85-year-old landmark.


▪ 1998

      Area: 43,094 sq km (16,639 sq mi)

      Population (1997 est.): 5,284,000

      Capital: Copenhagen

      Chief of state: Queen Margrethe II

      Head of government: Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen

      Political concern in Denmark throughout 1997 focused primarily on the country's relationship with the European Union (EU). At a summit in Amsterdam in June, Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen and the other heads of government of EU member states agreed on the Amsterdam Treaty, amendments to the Maastricht Treaty, which included making job creation a formal EU goal and increasing cooperation in matters of security and foreign affairs. In a speech to the Folketing (national legislature) in October, Rasmussen announced that a national referendum would be held on the Amsterdam Treaty in May 1998, after a Supreme Court ruling on the constitutional legality of existing EU treaties. An opinion poll showed 46% of Danes in favour of ratifying the treaty, 31% opposed, and the remainder undecided.

      A premature general election was averted in the fall when the opposition Liberal and Conservative parties reached an agreement with Denmark's Social Democrat-led government on a compulsory pension savings scheme that was part of an austerity package to cool the overheated economy. The package, designed to curb galloping private consumption, also included increased stamp duties on housing loans and extra public expenditure cuts in the state budget for 1998.

      In local elections that took place throughout the nation in November, the Social Democratic Party retained its position as Denmark's strongest party. Its level of support, however, fell from 34.1% in the 1993 local polls to 33.1%. Contesting its first election, the far-right Danish People's Party won 6.8% of the vote.

      The year brought hope of peace in the four-year-old feud between rival motorcycle gangs in Scandinavia. In September leather-clad leaders of the Hell's Angels and Bandidos gangs appeared on television to announce a truce and pledged to work on a pact to end their conflict, which had killed 10 people and wounded over 70 in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway since the summer of 1993. Danish authorities were unimpressed by the truce, however. Tight legislation curbing biker activity remained in force, and police surveillance of the gangs continued amid fears that the end of the feud might mean an escalation of gang involvement in drug trafficking, arms trading, and prostitution. Police efforts had also attracted attention earlier in the year when seven suspected neo-Nazis were arrested in Copenhagen on January 18 for allegedly planning to send letter bombs to British left-wing activists and to sports personalities in racially mixed marriages.

      In June Queen Margrethe II inaugurated the $5 billion, 18-km (11-mi) Great Belt (Storebælt) rail tunnel and bridge connecting the eastern island of Zealand, on which Copenhagen stands, and the central island of Funen. The completion of the construction project ended 114 years of ferry service across the Store Strait and cut the crossing time from more than one hour to just seven minutes. In addition, a suspension bridge spanning the strait was due to open in 1998, and work was well under way on building a road and railroad bridge-tunnel link over The Sound (Øresund) between Copenhagen and southern Sweden, which was scheduled to open in 2000.

      During 1997 Denmark held the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, steering a program of peace promotion in countries of the former Soviet Union. On July 12 U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton visited Copenhagen to thank Denmark for its stalwart championing of the independence of the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) after the breakup of the Soviet Union and for its participation in multinational peacekeeping operations in former Yugoslavia. Clinton's visit drew a tumultuous response from Danes, tens of thousands of whom flocked to hear his open-air address in the heart of the capital. It was the first time that a U.S. president had visited Denmark while in office.

      This article updates Denmark, history of (Denmark).

▪ 1997

      A constitutional monarchy of north-central Europe, Denmark lies between the North and Baltic seas. Area: 43,094 sq km (16,639 sq mi), excluding the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Pop. (1996 est.): 5,244,000. Cap.: Copenhagen. Monetary unit: Danish krone (crown), with (Oct. 11, 1996) a free rate of 5.87 kroner to U.S. $1 (9.25 kroner = £1 sterling). Queen, Margrethe II; prime minister in 1996, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen.

      Denmark's domestic peace was shattered in 1996 by an escalating conflict involving rival motorcycle gangs, which prompted Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen to launch a major offensive against the feuding bikers. In a speech to the Folketing (national legislature) in October, he declared war on the Hell's Angels and the rival Bandidos gang and presented emergency legislation barring gang members from setting up bases in residential areas. The bill gave police the power to forbid members or associates of a particular group to occupy or visit a designated property "where there is an estimated risk that it will be attacked, placing in danger persons living or passing through the vicinity." The bill's sweeping powers stirred strong criticism among jurists in a country in which the freedom and rights of the individual were near-sacrosanct. The legislation was enacted after Copenhagen residents staged protests demanding the eviction of Hell's Angels in the wake of a spate of bomb, grenade, gun, and antitank missile attacks on biker clubhouses that often adjoined family homes in heavily populated urban districts.

      Otherwise, Rasmussen's speech pledged improved womb-to-tomb health and welfare services, a reduction in the size of the government, a more just society, better schools, and more parish priests for the government-financed Lutheran Church. In regard to the economy, Denmark seemed poised for an upturn after a period of relative stagnation, with low inflation, the lowest central bank discount rate in 60 years, current-account and foreign-trade surpluses, growing investment and private consumption, and reduced unemployment.

      Concerning foreign relations, Denmark remained a lukewarm European Union (EU) member, with polls revealing a majority of Danes opposed to joining the European economic and monetary union (EMU). Danes had voted in a 1993 referendum to endorse the Maastricht Treaty on the condition that Denmark would not participate in the EMU. Opposition to the treaty continued, however, as 11 Danish citizens won a Supreme Court ruling allowing them to mount a high court challenge to its constitutional legality in Denmark. Most analysts believed it was inconceivable for the government to lose the case, but some legal experts feared that if the 11 won, it could at worst eventually mean Denmark's exit from the EU and at best complicate the country's ratification of any revisions to the Maastricht Treaty emerging in 1997 from the EU's intergovernmental conference.

      A major dispute over fishing rights in the Denmark Strait between Iceland and Greenland intensified during the year, with little sign of any compromise between Denmark and Iceland in sight. On the cultural front Copenhagen basked in the limelight throughout the year as European "capital of culture," the 12th host for an impressive 13-month arts festival involving 50,000 participants and attended by more than five million visitors. (CHRISTOPHER FOLLETT)

▪ 1996

      A constitutional monarchy of north-central Europe, Denmark lies between the North and Baltic seas. Area: 43,094 sq km (16,639 sq m), excluding the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Pop. (1995 est.): 5,223,000. Cap.: Copenhagen. Monetary unit: Danish krone (crown), with (Oct. 6, 1995) a free rate of 5.55 kroner to U.S. $1 (8.77 kroner = £1 sterling). Queen, Margrethe II; prime minister in 1995, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen.

      Political debate in Denmark in 1995 centred on the survival and upholding of one of the world's most sophisticated cradle-to-grave social welfare systems, in a country that levied more tax in relation to gross domestic product (GDP)—51.2%—than any other European Union (EU) member state. At the opening of the new session of the Folketing (parliament) in October, Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen announced plans to tighten the generous welfare benefits that many blamed for the country's chronic unemployment. "The welfare state should not just be a safety net," he said. "It should also be a springboard of opportunity." A poll indicated that most Danes had misgivings about their role in the EU, however.

      In November Denmark's Social Democrat-led government reached an accord with the opposition Conservative People's Party on a 1996 budget that modestly tightened fiscal policy to ensure a soft landing after a powerful economic upswing. The budget forecast GDP growth falling to 2.9% in 1996 from 3.9% in 1995 and 4.4% in 1994, when fiscal policy was eased to increase private consumption and promote growth after a long recession. The budget was designed to tighten government spending, with cuts corresponding to 0.5% of GDP in a move aimed at countering financial market fears that the economy might overheat and cause inflation to rise. It called for a deficit of 29 billion kroner for 1996, a tightening of unemployment benefits, and small cuts in military spending. The target date for a balanced budget was set at 1997. Denmark's impressive economic recovery continued in 1995, with inflation at a low rate of just over 2%, solid trade and balance of payments surpluses, and unemployment—the government's chief concern—falling to just over 10% from 12.5%, thanks to government job-activation schemes.

      In Denmark's first impeachment trial in 85 years, former justice minister Erik Ninn-Hansen was found guilty of having violated refugee legislation and sentenced to a provisional four months in prison by a special 20-judge tribunal. Ninn-Hansen stood accused of having broken the law in 1987 when as justice minister he ordered a halt to family reunifications for Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, Denmark's Supreme Court upheld an eight-year prison sentence on a Bosnian Muslim refugee found guilty by a lower court of having tortured other Muslims to death at a Croatian-run prisoner-of-war camp in Bosnia and Herzegovina; the verdict was the first delivered in a series of war crime trials being held outside former Yugoslavia.

      In March Copenhagen served as host to one of the major global gatherings of the year, the weeklong UN World Summit for Social Development, a forum that assembled to address goals of eradicating poverty, creating jobs, and ensuring the well-being and security of peoples in the post-Cold War era. It was attended by approximately 20,000 participants from some 180 nations. Copenhagen was also to be European City of Culture in 1996, the 12th host for this yearlong, 1 billion kroner, 600-event arts jamboree.


▪ 1995

      A constitutional monarchy of north-central Europe, Denmark lies between the North and Baltic seas. Area: 43,094 sq km (16,639 sq mi), excluding the Faeroe Islands and Greenland. Pop. (1994 est.): 5,205,000. Cap.: Copenhagen. Monetary unit: Danish krone, with (Oct. 7, 1994) a free rate of 6.03 kroner to U.S. $1 (9.59 kroner = £1 sterling). Queen, Margrethe II; prime minister in 1994, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen.

      National elections in September 1994 returned Social Democrat Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen to power at the head of a new three-party centre-left minority coalition government. Rasmussen's first government, a four-party centre-left grouping with a one-seat majority in the 179-seat Folketing (parliament) was formed in January 1993 without elections being called when the 10-year-old Conservative-Liberal government fell because of a refugee scandal.

      Gaining major advances in the election were the right-wing opposition Liberals of former foreign minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, who increased their representation in the Folketing to 42 from 29. They thus became Denmark's second biggest political party, after the Social Democrats, who lost seven seats for a total of 62. When combined with two small centrist parties, the Radical Liberals and the Centre Democrats, Rasmussen's Social Democrat-led coalition had 75 seats. Thus, it was able to continue in power only with the tacit support of two leftist opposition parties. These parties, the Socialist People's Party and the Unity List, held a total of 19 seats.

      The most surprising winner was comedian Jacob Haugaard, who was elected as an independent on a campaign platform of shorter lines at supermarkets, better weather, nicer Christmas presents, a tailwind for cyclists, free kettles for old-age pensioners, and the right of men to be impotent. Haugaard, from the western city of Aarhus, won 23,000 personal votes to sweep into the house as Denmark's third independent ever to be elected to the Folketing.

      With no burning issues, political controversies, or crises and Denmark's economic outlook bright, the election was a tame affair, with the main themes being the preservation of Denmark's cradle-to-grave welfare system and the ensuring of the momentum of the economic revival. Opening the Folketing in October, Rasmussen said that his government would seek consensus for a steady economic policy and a cautious approach in relations with the European Union. He was expected to seek economic and foreign policy deals with the mainstream opposition to the right, the Conservatives and the Liberals.

      The Danish economic recovery continued apace, with a growth rate forecast for 1994 of 4.4% of gross domestic product, a strong currency, inflation of only about 2%, and solid trade and balance of payments surpluses. The budget deficit remained high, however, and unemployment stubbornly remained at around 12% of the workforce in defiance of government schemes, including elaborate job-rotation programs. (One such plan for the Copenhagen bus drivers, as reported by the Financial Times, involved, in addition to the normal paid vacation, one week of leave in every nine weeks on a rotation basis, during which period the drivers would receive 80% of the maximum Danish unemployment benefit.) With financial markets fearing that Denmark's economic boom would spark higher inflation, Rasmussen proposed a marginal fiscal tightening in his 1995 budget and further measures later if necessary to keep the country's economic upturn on track. Long-serving National Bank director Erik Hoffmeyer retired at the end of the year.

      In international affairs Denmark continued to make a solid contribution to UN activities, with some 1,400 peacekeepers in former Yugoslavia. It also sent observer teams to the troubled West Bank town of Hebron as part of a 160-strong monitor force requested by the Palestine Liberation Organization. (CHRISTOPHER FOLLETT)

▪ 1994

      A constitutional monarchy of north-central Europe, Denmark lies between the North and Baltic seas. Area: 43,094 sq km (16,639 sq mi), excluding the Faeroe Islands and Greenland. Pop. (1993 est.): 5,187,000. Cap.: Copenhagen. Monetary unit: Danish krone, with (Oct. 4, 1993) a free rate of 6.57 kroner to U.S. $1 (9.96 kroner = £1 sterling). Queen, Margrethe II; prime ministers in 1993, Poul Schlüter and, from January 25, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen.

       Denmark mended its fences with the European Community (EC) in 1993 following the dramatic Danish rejection the previous summer of the Maastricht Treaty on closer European political union. The year also saw the return to power of the opposition Social Democratic Party at the head of a four-party centre-left majority coalition after a decade of minority Conservative-Liberal rule under veteran prime minister Poul Schlüter.

      Denmark's six-month term in the EC's rotating presidency was marred shortly after it got under way in January when a long-running political scandal came to a head. Prime Minister Schlüter resigned on January 14 after a judicial inquiry accused him of deliberately misleading the Folketing (parliament) regarding measures that were taken to prevent Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka from entering Denmark. In addition, the 6,000-page report, released after a 32-month investigation, blamed Schlüter for failing to recognize that Ministry of Justice restrictions on immigrants had been illegal. Schlüter's former minister of justice, Erik Ninn-Hansen, faced impeachment charges over the scandal.

      After 11 days of a political vacuum, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen (see BIOGRAPHIES (Rasmussen, Poul Nyrup )), leader of the Social Democrats, Denmark's biggest political party, formed a new coalition along with three small centrist groupings, the Radical Liberal Party, the Centre Democrats, and the Christian People's Party. Denmark's first majority coalition since 1971, the new government had a one-seat majority in the 179-seat Folketing.

      The most pressing task of the new administration was to clarify Denmark's future role in Europe. May 18 was set as the date for the country's second Maastricht referendum. A major campaign was launched to secure a resounding "yes" from the "Euro-skeptical" Danish electorate. A complex accommodation arrangement approved by Denmark's 11 EC partners at the summit in Edinburgh in December 1992 would permit the Danes to opt out of plans for a common EC currency, joint defense, union citizenship, and supranational legal cooperation—aspects of the Maastricht Treaty unpalatable to the Danish electorate. Despite support from seven of the eight parties represented in the Folketing, powerful industrial and agricultural lobbies, and virtually the entire press, the exemption deal met major opposition from grassroots organizations. In the event, the May referendum ended with 56.8% of doubting Danes voting rather reluctantly for Maastricht with the opt-out clauses while 43.2% opposed the treaty. The outcome sparked two nights of riots—called the worst in Danish history—involving disenchanted squatter youths and police in Copenhagen's Nørrebro working-class district.

      The new government also addressed the issue of tax reform, Denmark being the EC country with the highest level of income tax. The plan aimed to reduce taxes broadly to 38-58% of income, compared with the current 52-68%, in the period 1994-98. Revenue lost through cuts in the country's exceptionally high marginal tax rates was to be offset by "green" levies on gasoline, motor vehicles, energy, and water consumption, coupled with increased social security contributions.

      The Danish economy—showing a solid balance of payments, foreign trade surpluses, and ultralow inflation—continued to perform remarkably well throughout the year despite the general European recession, currency turmoil within the European exchange-rate mechanism, high interest rates, and sluggish growth in gross domestic product. The government identified unemployment—at around 12% of the workforce, its highest point since the 1930s—as Denmark's most serious problem.

      Autumn saw the marking of the 50th anniversary of the miraculous evacuation rescue by Danish fishermen of 7,000 Jews from roundup and deportation by Nazi occupiers during World War II. That feat had earned Denmark the eternal gratitude of the international Jewish community. (CHRISTOPHER FOLLETT)

* * *

Denmark, flag of   country occupying the peninsula of Jutland (Jylland), which extends northward from the centre of continental western Europe, and an archipelago of more than 400 islands to the east of the peninsula. Jutland makes up more than two-thirds of the country's total land area; the largest of the islands are Zealand (Sjælland; 2,715 square miles [7,031 square km]) and Funen (Fyn; 1,152 square miles [2,984 square km]). Along with Norway and Sweden, Denmark is a part of the northern European region known as Scandinavia. The country's capital, Copenhagen (København), is located primarily on Zealand; the second largest city, Århus, is the major urban centre of Jutland.

      Though small in territory and population, Denmark has nonetheless played a notable role in European history. In prehistoric times, Danes and other Scandinavians reconfigured European society when the Vikings (Viking) undertook marauding, trading, and colonizing expeditions. During the Middle Ages, the Danish crown dominated northwestern Europe through the power of the Kalmar Union. In later centuries, shaped by geographic conditions favouring maritime industries, Denmark established trading alliances throughout northern and western Europe and beyond, particularly with Great Britain and the United States. Making an important contribution to world culture, Denmark also developed humane governmental institutions and cooperative, nonviolent approaches to problem solving.

      This article covers principally the land and people of continental Denmark. However, the Kingdom of Denmark also encompasses the Faroe Islands and the island of Greenland, both located in the North Atlantic Ocean. Each area is distinctive in history, language, and culture. Home rule was granted to the Faroes in 1948 and to Greenland in 1979, though foreign policy and defense remain under Danish control.

Land (Denmark)
  Denmark is attached directly to continental Europe at Jutland's 42-mile (68-km) boundary with Germany. Other than this connection, all the frontiers with surrounding countries are maritime, including that with the United Kingdom to the west across the North Sea. Norway and Sweden lie to the north, separated from Denmark by sea lanes linking the North Sea to the Baltic Sea. From west to east, these passages are called the Skagerrak, the Kattegat, and The Sound (Sound, The) (Øresund). Eastward in the Baltic Sea lies the Danish island of Bornholm.

      Denmark proper is a lowland area that lies, on average, not more than 100 feet (30 metres) above sea level. The country's highest point, reaching only 568 feet (173 metres), is Yding Forest Hill (Yding Skovhøj) in east-central Jutland.

      The basic contours of the Danish landscape were shaped at the end of the Pleistocene Epoch (about 1,600,000 to about 10,000 years ago) by the so-called Weichsel glaciation (Weichsel Glacial Stage). This great glacial mass withdrew temporarily during several warmer interstadial periods, but it repeatedly returned to cover the land until it retreated to the Arctic north for the last time about 10,000 years ago. As a result, the barren layers of chalk and limestone that earlier constituted the land surface acquired a covering of soil that built up as the Weichsel retreated, forming low, hilly, and generally fertile moraines that diversify the otherwise flat landscape.

      A scenic boundary representing the extreme limit reached by the Scandinavian and Baltic ice sheets runs from Nissum Fjord on the western coast of Jutland eastward toward Viborg, from there swinging sharply south down the spine of the peninsula toward Åbenrå and the German city of Flensburg, just beyond the Danish frontier. The ice front is clearly marked in the contrast between the flat western Jutland region, composed of sands and gravels strewn by meltwaters that poured west from the shrinking ice sheet, and the fertile loam plains and hills of eastern and northern Denmark, which become markedly sandier toward the prehistoric ice front. (See also Scandinavian Ice Sheet.)

      In northern Jutland, where the long Lim Fjord separates the northern tip from the rest of the peninsula, there are numerous flat areas of sand and gravel, some of which became stagnant bogs. Burials and ritual deposits interred in these bogs in antiquity—especially during the Bronze Age and the Iron Age—have been recovered by archaeologists. In more recent centuries these bogs were a valued source of peat for fuel. In the 20th century they were drained to serve as grazing areas for livestock.

      In places along the northern and southwestern coasts of Jutland, salt marshes were formed by the evaporation of an inland sea that existed during the Late Permian Epoch (approximately 260 to 251 million years ago). Senonian chalk, deposited about 100 million years ago, is exposed in southeastern Zealand, at the base of Stevns Cliff (Stevns Klint) and Møns Cliff (Møns Klint), and at Bulbjerg, in northwestern Jutland. Younger limestone of the Danian Age (about 65 million years old) is quarried in southeastern Zealand.

      On Bornholm, outcroppings reveal close affinities with geologic formations in southern Sweden. Precambrian granites more than 570 million years old—among the oldest on the Earth's surface—are exposed across extensive areas on the northern half of the island. On the southern half, sandstone and shales of the Cambrian Period (about 542 to 488.3 million years ago) overlie the older granites.

      The longest river in Denmark is the Gudenå. It flows a distance of 98 miles (158 km) from its source just northwest of Tørring, in east-central Jutland, through the Silkeborg Lakes (Silkeborg Langsø) and then northeast to empty in the Randers Fjord on the east coast. There are many small lakes; the largest is Arresø on Zealand. Large lagoons have formed behind the coastal dunes in the west, such as at the Ringkøbing and Nissum fjords.

      In most of Denmark the soil rests on glacially deposited gravel, sand, and clay, under which lie ancient chalk and limestone. The subterranean limestone resulted in a permeation of the soil with calcium, which diminished its value for agriculture when it was first brought under cultivation in the Neolithic Period. Through millennia of cultivation, however, the soil improved greatly, so that more than half of the land surface is excellent for farming.

      Denmark experiences changeable weather because it is located in the temperate zone at the meeting point of diverse air masses from the Atlantic, the Arctic, and eastern Europe. The west coast faces the inhospitable North Sea, but the terminal section of the warm Gulf Stream (the North Atlantic Current) moderates the climate. Lakes may freeze and snow frequently falls during the cold winters, yet the mean temperature in February, the coldest month, is about 32 °F (0 °C), which is roughly 12 °F (7 °C) higher than the worldwide average for that latitude. Summers are mild, featuring episodes of cloudy weather interrupted by sunny days. The mean temperature in July, which is the warmest month, is approximately 60 °F (16 °C).

      Rain falls throughout the year but is relatively light in winter and spring and greatest from late summer through autumn. The annual precipitation of approximately 25 inches (635 mm) ranges from about 32 inches (810 mm) in southwestern Jutland to about 16 inches (405 mm) in parts of the archipelago.

Plant and animal life
      In prehistoric times, before fields were cleared for cultivation, much of the land was covered with a deciduous forest of oak, elm, lime (linden), and beech trees. The original forest did not survive, but highly valued areas were reforested later to break up the expanses of agricultural fields that dominate the landscape. Denmark borders the coniferous belt and has therefore been receptive to the establishment of plantations of spruce and fir, particularly in parts of Jutland where extensive wastelands of dune vegetation and heather were reclaimed for forestry. In all, about one-tenth of the land is forested.

      Abundant postglacial herds of large mammals, including elks, brown bears, wild boars, and aurochs (a now extinct species of wild ox), died out under the pressures of human expansion and an intensive agricultural system. Roe deer, however, occupy the countryside in growing numbers, and large-antlered red deer can be found in the forests of Jutland. The country also is home to smaller mammals, such as hares and hedgehogs. Birds are abundant, numbering more than 300 species, of which about half breed in the country. Storks—common summer residents in the early 20th century—migrate each year from their winter home in Africa, but they are now almost extinct. Fish, particularly cod, herring, and plaice, are abundant in Danish waters and form the basis for a large fishing industry.

People (Denmark)

Ethnic groups
      Denmark is almost entirely inhabited by ethnic Danes. Few Faroese or Greenlanders have settled in continental Denmark, despite their status as Danish citizens. Small minorities of Germans and Poles, on the other hand, have been long established and are substantially assimilated. In the early 21st century important ethnic minorities in the country included Turks, Germans, Iraqis, Swedes, Norwegians, Bosniacs (Muslims from Bosnia and Herzegovina), Iranians, and Somalis.

      Danish (Danish language), or Dansk, is the official language. It is closely related to Norwegian (Norwegian language), with which it is mutually intelligible, especially in the written form. Although the other Scandinavian languages are close relatives, they are sufficiently different to be understood easily only by those schooled or experienced in the effort. Many educated or urban Danes have learned to speak a second language, particularly English. Turkish, Arabic, German, and other minority languages are spoken by members of the country's various ethnic groups.

      Religious freedom is an essentially unchallenged value in Denmark. Roman Catholic churches and Jewish synagogues have long existed in the larger cities, and the first mosque in the country was built in 1967. By the early 21st century Islam had become an increasingly important minority religion, and a significant number of Danes were not religious at all. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of Danes remained at least nominally members of the state church, the Evangelical Lutheran People's Church of Denmark (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) (folkekirken).

      Lutheranism replaced Roman Catholicism as the country's official religion in 1536, during the Reformation. In the 19th century, at a time when Danish Lutheranism had become very formal and ritualistic, a revitalization movement known as “Grundtvigianism” inspired a new sense of Christian awareness. The founder of the movement, Danish bishop N.F.S. Grundtvig (Grundtvig, N.F.S.), provided a philosophical, religious, and organizational basis for “educating and awakening” the impoverished peasantry. This was achieved by establishing folk high schools (folk high school) in which Christian belief and peasant culture were taught as a basis for creating pride in the Danish heritage. A separate revival movement also was organized within the framework of the Danish church. Known as the Home Mission (Indre Mission), it was founded by a clergyman, Vilhelm Beck, in the mid-19th century. The Home Mission survives as a contemporary evangelical expression of Lutheran Pietism, which had won converts in the 18th century. Today members of the Home Mission constitute a minority within the church; they place emphasis on the importance of individual Bible study, personal faith, and a sin-free style of living.

Settlement patterns
 The vast majority of the Danish population lives in urban areas. The largest city is Copenhagen (located on the islands of Zealand and Amager), followed by Århus (in eastern Jutland), Odense (on Funen), Ålborg (in northern Jutland), and Esbjerg (in southwestern Jutland). More than one-tenth of Danes continue to inhabit rural areas, but the country's relatively small size and its excellent transportation network mean that no farm or village is truly isolated.

      Agriculturalists established a village settlement pattern early in the prehistory of Denmark. From at least the Middle Ages until the 18th century, these settlements were organized under the rules of an open-field system, the dominant feature of which was communalism (commune). Most individual landholders were tenant (tenant farming) farmers (fæstebønder), whose farm buildings and land belonged to the local manor house (herregård). The scattered plots of tenanted land were located in each of two or three large fields, which were farmed collectively by the tenants; therefore, it was essential that villagers agree on the nature and timing of plowing, harrowing, planting, and harvesting. Meeting at a central place in the village, family heads discussed common problems of field management and agreed on mutual responsibilities and cooperation. Each family received harvests from its own plots but worked with the others to manage the fields. They shared resources in order to assemble large wheeled plows, each drawn by six or eight horses. Livestock were grazed as a single village herd on the stubble of harvested fields. Shared decisions also were made on the use of communal facilities, such as the meadow, commons, village square, pond, and church. Danish peasants cooperated in much of what they did, and a communal spirit was the product.

      The open-field system was replaced by the consolidation of fields (udskiftningen) and the purchase of farms (frikøbet) as a result of the great land reforms (land reform) (de store landboreformer) put into place by reform-minded estate owners. By the beginning of the 19th century, the wheeled plow had been replaced by a lightweight plow that could be pulled by a single horse, which most farmers could afford. The bulk of the economy shifted from subsistence to commercial farming. The result was the dismantlement of the old open-field system and an end to village communalism. As small scattered plots were consolidated into larger individual holdings, some landowners moved their farmsteads away from the village to be closer to their fields, obscuring the pattern of village settlements. Subsequently, an economic shift to light industry and trade was associated with a growth in the size of towns and cities.

Demographic trends
      Denmark's population remained nearly stable during the late 20th century, but in the early 21st century it began growing slowly. As in neighbouring countries, the total fertility rate (average number of births for each childbearing woman) has been under two—below the world average—since the 1970s. The age distribution also has shifted as a consequence of this low level of fertility, with more residents of Denmark over age 60 than under age 15.

      However, population losses owing to low fertility and emigration have been offset by slight increases in immigration. In the 1960s an economic expansion required more labour than the country could supply, and “guest workers” (gæstearbejdere) from such countries as Turkey, Pakistan, and Yugoslavia made their way into Denmark. Many of these workers settled permanently in the country. Later in the century, refugees from the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Somalia, and elsewhere arrived.

      Within the country, movement from rural areas to cities has continued, but migration to smaller urban centres grew disproportionately in the late 20th century. Migrants to larger urban areas now commonly settle in suburban residential communities rather than in the cities as such.

      Denmark supports a high standard of living—its per capita gross national product is among the highest in the world—with well-developed social services. The economy is based primarily on service industries, trade, and manufacturing; only a tiny percentage of the population is engaged in agriculture and fishing. Small enterprises are dominant.

      The first of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) to do so, Denmark joined the European Economic Community (European Community) (EEC; now the European Community, a component of the European Union [EU]) in 1973, at the same time as the United Kingdom, then its most important trading partner. Long-standing economic collaboration between Denmark and the other Nordic countries—including those that have not joined the EU—also continues today. Uniform commercial legislation in the Nordic countries dates to the 19th century.

      In the Danish mixed welfare-state economy, private sector expenditures account for more than half of the net national income. Public expenditure is directed primarily toward health and social services, education, economic affairs, foreign affairs, and national defense. The government does not have significant commercial or industrial income.

Agriculture and fishing
 Next to its well-educated labour force, the soil is still Denmark's most important raw material. About half of the land is intensively exploited and extensively fertilized. More than half of the cultivated land is devoted to cereals, with barley and wheat accounting for a large percentage of the total grain harvest. Sugar beets are another leading crop. Oats, rye, turnips, and potatoes are grown in western Jutland, where the soil is less fertile.

      Domesticated animals are an important feature of life in Denmark. Dairy cattle, pigs, and poultry are raised in great numbers to supply both the domestic and the foreign markets. Fur farming, especially of minks and foxes, is economically important as well.

      At the end of the 19th century, a time of poverty and economic depression, Danish farmers survived by establishing agricultural and dairy cooperatives. Producer cooperatives were partly disbanded after 1950, however, and farms today are generally small or medium-size family-owned enterprises. Fertilization and the application of scientific animal husbandry help to maintain the viability of small farm operations. In addition, the agricultural sector is heavily subsidized by the EU.

      The fishing industry remains economically important, and Denmark is among the world's largest exporters of fish products. Herring, cod, and plaice (flatfish) account for most of the total catch; other important species include salmon and eel. Danish commercial fishing also extends into foreign waters in search of Atlantic cod, Norwegian pout, and North Sea sprat (bristling). Aquaculture accounts for a small portion of fish production.

Resources and power
      Danish natural resources are limited. The country has a small mining and quarrying industry. Local boulder clays are molded and baked to make bricks and tiles. Moler (marine diatomaceous earth) is mined for use in insulating materials for the building industry, and white chalk is essential for the manufacture of cement.

      During the early 1970s the economy suffered from dependence on imported petroleum for the vast majority of its energy needs. The discovery of oil and natural gas fields in the Danish sector of the North Sea later permitted self-sufficiency in this regard. The country also began using coal-fired power plants to produce most of the country's electricity. The switch from petroleum was accompanied by economies of production: the otherwise-wasted heat that results from the production of electricity began to be used to heat water that is piped to homes and factories. By the early 21st century Denmark was exporting more electricity, oil, and gas than it was importing. (Imports included nuclear and hydroelectric power.) In addition, the Danish government had moved toward more environmentally friendly power sources. The construction of additional coal-burning power plants was banned, and some plants began using biofuels. The government also subsidized wind farms, which now provide a growing portion of the country's electricity.

      Though not as important as the service sector, manufacturing still accounts for a significant portion of the gross domestic product. Large manufacturers include the food-processing industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and the producers of metal products, transport equipment, and machinery. Notably, Danish concerns manufacture a substantial portion of the world's windmills. Producers of footwear, clothing, wood and wood products, furniture, and electronic equipment also provide substantial employment. In the second half of the 20th century most of the manufacturing industry moved out of the biggest cities and into thinly populated areas, particularly in Jutland. Many plants are found in small towns.

      In 1846 the first commercial bank was established in Denmark. In 1975 commercial and savings banks became equal in status, and foreign banks, which theretofore had maintained representative offices in Copenhagen, were permitted to establish full branches. All banks are under government supervision.

      The national currency is the krone; though a member of the EU, Denmark has not adopted the euro, the EU's common currency. (In a 2000 referendum 53 percent of voters rejected adoption of the euro.) The National Bank of Denmark (Danmarks Nationalbank) is responsible for issuing the currency and enjoys a special status as a self-governing institution under government supervision. Profits revert to the state treasury. The national stock exchange, established in 1861, is located in Copenhagen. In the early 21st century the exchange became part of OMX, a Nordic-Baltic common stock exchange, which was subsequently purchased by NASDAQ in 2008.

      Imports of raw materials and fuel formerly were balanced largely by exports of agricultural products, supplemented by income from shipping and tourism. In the late 20th century the overseas trade pattern shifted to a major reliance on the export of industrial products, including industrial machinery, electronic equipment, and chemical products. These goods—along with fish, dairy products, meat, petroleum, and natural gas—remained important exports into the early 21st century. Denmark also has created an export market for household furniture, toys, silverware, ceramics, plastics, textiles, clothing, and other goods notable for their creative modern design.

      As a member of the EU, Denmark relies heavily upon foreign trade within Europe. Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Norway are major trading partners.

 In the late 20th and early 21st centuries the service sector dominated Denmark's economy. A substantial portion of service jobs are in public administration, education, and health and social services. Tourism is a growing industry, but it is mostly limited to the summer months. The Tivoli park and entertainment complex and the hippie community known as Christiania—both in Copenhagen—attract large numbers of tourists. The capital city's harbour is a major cruise port as well.

Labour and taxation
      In the early 21st century the vast majority of workers were employed in public and private services, and the unemployment rate remained low. The country's main association of employees is the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsorganisationen); the principal association of employers is the Danish Confederation of Employers (Dansk Arbejdsgiverforening). Membership in unions is normally based upon the particular skills of the workers.

      Public income is derived primarily from taxes on real estate, personal income, and capital as well as through customs and excise duties. The heaviest indirect tax, which goes to the national government, is the value-added tax (VAT). Denmark has one of the highest tax burdens in the world; this fact is widely accepted among Danes.

Transportation and telecommunications
      An extensive road and highway system serves the country. The number of private automobiles in use rose rapidly in the decades after World War II. Bicycles, once a common mode of transport, are still popular. Cities and towns maintain bicycle lanes located parallel to roads and sidewalks.

      Bus and coach routes extend throughout the country; they are organized regionally by private firms and by local government authorities. A comparatively large railroad network was established during the last half of the 19th century. In the late 1990s work began on a fully automated subway system in Copenhagen, and the first link opened in 2002.

 Characteristic features of the Danish transportation system are its many bridges and harbours. Of particular importance are two bridge and tunnel systems: the Great Belt, which links Zealand with Funen (via the small island of Sprogø), and the Øresund Link, which connects Copenhagen with Malmö, Swed., across The Sound (Sound, The) (opened 1997–98 and 2000, respectively). Several bridges also connect Funen and Jutland. Many good harbours provide favourable conditions for both domestic and international shipping.

      Kastrup, near Copenhagen, is one of the busiest airports in Europe; it is a centre for international air traffic. The bridge and tunnel link across The Sound lands right by the airport, making Kastrup easily accessible for many Swedes. The Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS), a joint Danish-Norwegian-Swedish enterprise, flies European and intercontinental routes. SAS and smaller airlines also operate services between Copenhagen and other cities on Jutland, Bornholm, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland.

      Denmark possesses a highly advanced telecommunications network that features satellite, cable, fibre-optic, and microwave radio links. In the early 21st century cell phones were far more common than traditional telephones; in fact, there was approximately one cell phone subscription for every person in the country. The rate of Internet use, though lower than the rates in other Scandinavian countries, was significantly higher than the overall European average.

Government and society

Constitutional framework
 The constitution of June 5, 1953, provides for a unicameral legislature, the Folketing, with not more than 179 members (including two from the Faroe Islands and two from Greenland). The prime minister heads the government, which is composed additionally of cabinet ministers who run the various departments, such as justice, finance, and agriculture. The ceremonial head of state, the monarch, appoints the prime minister (generally the leader of the largest party or coalition in the Folketing) and the cabinet ministers in consultation with the legislature. The monarch also signs acts passed by the Folketing upon the recommendation of the cabinet sitting as the Council of State. To become law, the acts must be countersigned by at least one cabinet member. Faced with a vote of no confidence, the cabinet must resign.

      In addition to establishing unicameralism, the 1953 constitution mandates popular referenda (used, for example, to secure public approval for Danish entry into the EEC, now part of the EU) and postulates the creation of an ombudsman office—the first outside Sweden, its country of origin. The Succession to the Throne Act, which accompanied the 1953 constitution, provides for female succession. This allowed the accession of Queen Margrethe II in 1972.

Local government
      Before 1970, local government in Denmark was carried out by a system of county council districts, boroughs, and parishes. A reform in that year reduced the number of counties and replaced the boroughs and parishes with a system of municipalities. In 2007 a further reform replaced the counties with a small number of administrative regions, which encompass the various municipalities. Regions and municipalities are governed by elected councils.

      Most criminal charges and civil disputes fall within the jurisdiction of district courts. Two High Courts hear appeals from the district courts and serve as courts of original jurisdiction in serious criminal cases, in which 12-person juries are impaneled. In some nonjury criminal cases, lay judges sit alongside professional judges and have an equal vote. The Special Court of Indictment and Revision may reopen a criminal case and order a new trial. In Copenhagen there is a Maritime and Commercial Court, which also uses lay judges. The Supreme Court sits at the apex of the legal system.

Political process
      Denmark has universal adult suffrage by voluntary and secret ballot, with a voting age of 18 for both national and local elections. All voters are eligible to run for office. The voter turnout in national elections historically has been quite high. Elections are held on the basis of proportional representation, in which each political party gains seats in the Folketing in proportion to its strength among the voters. As a result, the national government often has been composed of a coalition of parties that does not enjoy a majority. Members of the Folketing are elected to a four-year term, but the prime minister may dissolve the legislature and call for new elections at any time. Despite the splintering of parties, Denmark has enjoyed stable government, with new elections on an average of once every three years.

      The Social Democratic Party (Socialdemokratiet), historically the largest Danish political party, led most Danish governments from the 1930s to the early 1980s. Coalitions of nonsocialist parties headed by the Conservative People's Party (Konservative Folkeparti) and the Liberal Party (Venstre) ruled until 1993, when the Social Democrats regained power. In 2001, however, a centre-right Liberal-Conservative coalition took the reins of government. Other prominent parties include the right-wing Danish People's Party (Dansk Folkeparti), which expresses anti-immigration sentiments, and the left-wing Socialist People's Party (Socialistisk Folkeparti), which at first opposed Danish membership in the EU but later modified its hard-line stance. Smaller parties and alliances also maintain seats in the legislature.

Health and welfare
      Danes on the whole enjoy excellent health. Aggressive public health programs are directed against the threats of infectious diseases. Public health nurses provide free advice and assistance to mothers, which, with good nutrition and housing, has contributed to a low infant mortality rate. The vast majority of the cost of the health care system is paid for by national and local authorities and employers.

      Danish citizens may choose between two primary health care options. Most Danes opt for completely free care that is provided by a general practitioner; some, however, prefer to pay a portion of their medical bills out of pocket for the privilege of choosing any family physician or specialist they wish. Additional, private health insurance also is available.

      Denmark's comprehensive social welfare system offers unemployment, disability, old-age, and survivorship benefits at virtually no charge to all Danes. According to the Danish constitution, “Any person unable to support himself or his dependants shall, where no other person is responsible for his or their maintenance, be entitled to receive public assistance.” The state welfare programs of Denmark should not be thought of as institutionalized charity, however. They are recognized both legally and in public opinion as morally just social rights that have been paid for by taxes and assessments.

      Education in Denmark is free, and virtually the entire adult population is literate. Nine years of school attendance for children ages 7 to 16 is compulsory. Preschool and kindergarten education is optional but available to all children.

      After reaching the 9th grade, students may leave school to enter the workforce, but the majority continue their education. Some undertake vocational or training programs, while others enroll in a general upper secondary school (gymnasium) or another institution offering a higher preparatory education. While many graduates of these schools subsequently enter the workforce, many others continue on to universities or to schools and academies of university rank that specialize in technical and artistic fields. Some Danes choose to attend Danish folk high schools, which were first established in the 19th century and continue to offer nonformal educational programs to adults.

      At the pinnacle of higher education are the University of Copenhagen (founded in 1479), the University of Aarhus (1928), and the University of Southern Denmark (1966), all state supported. Additional universities were established at Roskilde in 1972 and at Ålborg in 1974.

Cultural life

Daily life and social customs
      Danes traditionally faced life from the security of the nuclear family, as has been true throughout Europe, but during the late 20th century, substantial changes took place. For example, marriage lost its status as an almost inevitable social institution. In earlier centuries the Danes easily tolerated sexual relations between individuals who were engaged to be married, and it was not uncommon for marriage to take place after a baby was born—although it was considered immoral and unacceptable not to marry eventually. By the early 21st century, however, cohabitation without the formalities of engagement and wedding was quite common, and nearly half of all live births took place out of wedlock. Consistent with the decline of contracted marriages, the incidence of divorce also rose. In addition, in 1989 Denmark became the first country to establish registered partnerships for same-sex couples, which offered the same rights and duties as marriage.

The arts and sciences
 Although Denmark is a small country, Danes have contributed much to the growth of world civilization, particularly in the humanities. In the late 12th–early 13th centuries Saxo Grammaticus wrote the first major book (Danish literature) of Danish history, Gesta Danorum (“Story of the Danes”), Denmark's first contribution to world literature. Rasmus Rask (Rask, Rasmus) (1787–1832) founded comparative philology, while N.F.S. Grundtvig (Grundtvig, N.F.S.) (1783–1872) founded a theological movement and was a pioneer in education. Søren Kierkegaard (Kierkegaard, Søren) (1813–55) helped to shape existentialist philosophy. Bertel Thorvaldsen (Thorvaldsen, Bertel) (1770?–1844) achieved renown as a sculptor in a Neoclassical style, and Carl Nielsen (Nielsen, Carl) (1865–1931) composed classical music of international fame. Jørn Utzon (Utzon, Jørn) won world recognition as the architect of the Sydney Opera House (completed 1973) in Australia. In motion pictures, the director Carl Theodor Dreyer (Dreyer, Carl Theodor) (1889–1968) became known for his distinctive style, while a number of Danish filmmakers won international renown in the late 20th and early 21st centuries—notably Bille August and Lars von Trier. In the realm of Danish literature, Hans Christian Andersen (Andersen, Hans Christian) (1805–75) authored fairy tales that are known throughout the world, and Karen Christence Dinesen, Baroness Blixen-Finecke (1885–1962), achieved world acclaim writing under the name of Isak Dinesen (Dinesen, Isak). The Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to the novelist Henrik Pontoppidan (Pontoppidan, Henrik) (1857–1943) in 1917 and to Johannes V. Jensen (Jensen, Johannes V.) (1873–1950), whose works included the novel The Long Journey, in 1944.

      Many Danes have expanded scientific knowledge as well. Tycho Brahe (Brahe, Tycho) (1546–1601) was a major figure in the early telescopic exploration of the universe; Thomas Bartholin (Bartholin, Thomas) (1616–80) was the first anatomist to describe the human lymphatic system; Nicolaus Steno (Steno, Nicolaus) (1638–86) was instrumental in the establishment of geology as a science; Ole Rømer (Rømer, Ole) (1644–1710) demonstrated that light travels at a determinable speed; Caspar Thomeson Bartholin, Jr. (1655–1738), discovered the ductus sublingualis major and the glandula vestibularis major, both of which bear his name as Bartholin's duct and gland; and Hans Christian Ørsted (Ørsted, Hans Christian) (1777–1851) discovered electromagnetism. In the 20th century, Niels Ryberg Finsen (Finsen, Niels Ryberg) (1860–1904) won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his work on the medical uses of ultraviolet rays, and Johannes Fibiger (Fibiger, Johannes) (1867–1928) won the same award for his research on cancer; Valdemar Poulsen (Poulsen, Valdemar) (1869–1942) developed a device for generating radio waves; Niels Bohr (Bohr, Niels) (1885–1962) won the Nobel Prize for Physics for his achievements in quantum physics, and the same prize was later won by his son, Aage N. Bohr (Bohr, Aage N.); Henrik Dam (Dam, Henrik) (1895–1976) won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of vitamin K; and Jens C. Skou (Skou, Jens C.) (1918– ) won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his discovery of an enzyme that maintains sodium and potassium levels in the cells of animals.

Cultural institutions
      The first Danish-speaking theatre was opened in Copenhagen in 1722; it was followed in 1748 by the Royal Theatre (Det Kongelige Teater), which remained under court patronage for a century. In 1848 it was taken over by the state, and it is now administered by the Danish Ministry of Culture. Besides a relatively large number of classical and modern Danish plays, the repertoire includes much that is current in Britain, the United States, Germany, and France.

      A resident ballet company, which also performs in the Royal Theatre, was founded in the 18th century. Only through a young generation of dancers in the style of choreographer August Bournonville (Bournonville, August) (1805–79) did it become internationally acclaimed as the Royal Danish Ballet.

      Denmark supports a number of symphony orchestras; two of the more important are the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Orchestra. Musicians and singers are trained at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen and other conservatories and at the Opera Academy. Several important music festivals take place in the country; among them are the Roskilde Festival of rock music, the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, and the Tønder Festival of folk music.

      The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts was established in 1754. It produced the 19th-century sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (Thorvaldsen, Bertel) and, in the 20th century, the sculptor Robert Jacobsen and the architects Arne Jacobsen (Jacobsen, Arne) and Henning Larsen. Famous craft concerns include the firm of silversmith Georg Jensen (Jensen, Georg), the Royal Copenhagen (Royal Copenhagen porcelain) and Bing and Grøndahl porcelain manufacturers, Holmegaard Glassworks, and the furniture manufacturer Fritz Hansens Eftf.

Sports and recreation
      The pursuit of sport became popular after defeat in the Danish-Prussian War of 1863–64 as Danes turned to an interest in small arms and physical training. Soon every part of Denmark had established shooting, gymnastics, and athletic clubs. Rowing was organized at a national level as early as 1886. Football (football (soccer)) (soccer) was introduced to Denmark by British engineers who came to design the railroad system in the 1870s. Football became an organized sport when the Copenhagen Ball Club was established in 1876, and it remains an extremely popular national sport.

      The country has competed in every Olympic Games except the 1904 Games in St. Louis, Mo., U.S. Danish athletes have won Olympic gold medals in such events as canoeing, shooting, swimming, rowing, cycling, and handball. During the 1936 Games 12-year-old Inge Sørensen became the youngest athlete to win an Olympic medal in an individual event when she won a bronze in the 200-metre breaststroke competition. Yachtsman Paul Elvstrøm (Elvstrøm, Paul) gained distinction for winning Olympic gold medals in four consecutive Games (1948–60).

      These and many other sports appeal to Danes, particularly in the summer months. In addition, Danes and foreign tourists alike often pay visits to the many well-tended parks, forests, and beaches that honeycomb the country.

Media and publishing
      The publicly held Danish Broadcasting Corporation offers Danish programming on several radio stations and television channels. The owners of radios and televisions pay a license fee, which finances public broadcasting operations. Several commercial television channels, most available via cable or satellite, and a large number of local and commercial radio stations also operate in the country. In addition, in most parts of Denmark it is possible to receive strong radio signals from neighbouring countries, particularly Sweden in the north and Germany in the south.

      Complete freedom of the press is guaranteed under the constitution. Dozens of newspapers under private ownership are published throughout the country. Many were once associated with political parties, but now the majority of newspapers are independent. Among the largest dailies are Ekstra Bladet, BT, Berlingske Tidende, and Politiken. Free, advertising-funded newspapers have gained importance since the turn of the 21st century.

Robert T. Anderson Stanley Victor Anderson Hans Folke

      The history of the people of Denmark, like that of all humankind, can be divided into prehistoric and historic eras. Sufficient written historical sources for Danish history do not become available before the establishment of medieval church institutions, notably monasteries, where monks recorded orally transmitted stories from the Viking era and earlier times. To be sure, there are older documents, such as the Roman historian Tacitus's Germania, as well as northern European church documents from the 9th and 10th centuries, but these give only incomplete information and nothing about the earliest periods. However, the work of archaeologists and other specialists, especially those of the 19th and 20th centuries, has revealed a good deal about the lives of the earliest peoples of what is now Denmark.

Prehistoric and Viking-era Denmark
Earliest inhabitants
      By about 12,000 BC, as the climate warmed and the great glaciers of the Pleistocene Epoch (about 1,806,000 to about 11,800 years ago) were receding, the first nomadic hunters moved into what is now Denmark, bringing tools and weapons of the Paleolithic Period (Old Stone Age) with them. Shell mounds (shell mound) (refuse heaps also known as kitchen middens) reveal the gradual development of a nomadic hunter-gatherer society, whose tools and weapons continued to progress in sophistication and complexity. Beginning in the 4th millennium BC, during the Neolithic Period (New Stone Age), a peasant culture emerged in Denmark as the people living there further developed their stone tools, began keeping livestock, and adopted agriculture. Those first farmers began to clear land in the forests for fields and villages, and after about 3500 BC they built large, common, megalithic graves. By about 2800 BC a single-grave culture emerged, but whether this shift indicates a change in local custom or another group moving into the area is not clear. In the last phase of the Stone Age in Denmark, the so-called Dagger period (c. 2400–1700 BC), flint working reached its apogee with the production of technical masterpieces, including daggers and spearheads modeled after metal weapons that were being imported at the time.

      The growing wealth of the region, particularly of the elite portion of society, in the Bronze Age (c. 1700–500 BC) is illustrated by the fine metalworking skills seen in the spiral decorations on the bronzes of the period—notably the famous Late Bronze Age lurs (long curved, metal horns, often found in pairs), created about 1000–800 BC. During the same period, increasingly varied and improved tools, such as the bronze sickle, enabled better exploitation of cultivated areas. It was also during the Bronze Age that woolen cloth began to be produced in Denmark. (Sheep raised prior to this period were used for their milk and their meat rather than for their wool.)

      After 500 BC, bronze was gradually replaced by iron (Iron Age), and a more complex village society developed in a landscape of bogs, meadows, and woods with large clearings. Iron Age farm buildings, generally smaller than those of the Bronze Age, appear to have been moved every generation or so, and the empty plots were then cultivated. That buildings might be reerected on former plots suggests that the population remained in a given area. Objects of great value, as well as people, continued to be laid as offerings in the bogs. The so-called Tollund Man, the well-preserved body of an Iron Age man found in 1950 in a bog near Silkeborg, Den., is probably the most famous of these discoveries. Along with evidence of human offerings, there are indications that slavery was practiced during this period.

      More-or-less-fixed trading connections were established with the Romans during the Iron Age, and by about AD 200 the first runic (runic alphabet) inscription appeared—likely inspired by the Etruscan alphabet of northern Italy and possibly also influenced by the Latin alphabet. The Late Iron Age (c. 400–800) appears to have been a time of decline and unrest, and, in the 6th century, bubonic plague raged. Toward the very end of the Iron Age, the first trading towns appeared at Hedeby (near what is now Schleswig, Ger.) and Ribe.

The Viking era
  Viking Viking society, which had developed by the 9th century, included the peoples that lived in what are now Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and, from the 10th century, Iceland. In the beginning, political power was relatively diffused, but it eventually became centralized in the respective Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish kingdoms—a process that helped to bring about the end of the Viking era. Although a lot more is known about Viking society than about the earlier peoples in Denmark, the society was not a literate one, runic inscriptions notwithstanding. Some information about the era has thus been gleaned from the Vikings' apparently rich oral tradition, portions of which were later recorded in poems such as Beowulf and in sagas such as Heimskringla.

 The Vikings were superb shipbuilders and sailors. Although they are thought of primarily as raiders, they also engaged in a great deal of trade. In both capacities they traveled widely along routes that stretched from Greenland and North America in the west to Novgorod (now in Russia), Kiev (now in Ukraine), and Constantinople (now Istanbul, Tur.) in the east, as well as from north of the Arctic Circle south to the Mediterranean Sea. The Viking trade routes, especially those along the Russian river system, linked northern Europe to both the Arab trading network and the Byzantine Empire. The major goods moving east were slaves, furs, and amber while those traveling west included precious metals, jewels, textiles, and glassware. Danes, for the most part, occupied the centre of this system; they generally traveled west to England and south along the coast of France and the Iberian Peninsula.

 In addition to raiding and trading, Vikings established settlements, which at first may have served mainly as winter quarters while abroad. The Danes moved primarily to the eastern part of England that came to be called the Danelaw; this region stretched from the River Thames (Thames, River) north through what became known as Yorkshire. It appears that a good number of Scandinavian women accompanied their men to England and also settled there. The other major area of Danish Viking settlement was in Normandy, France. In 911 the Viking leader Rollo became the first duke of Normandy, as a vassal of Charles III of France. While the nationality of Rollo is in dispute—some sources say Norwegian and others say Danish—there is no question that most of his followers were Danes, many from the Danelaw area. Unlike the Danes in England, Rollo's men did not bring many Viking women to France; most of the warriors married local women, resulting in a mixed Danish-Celtic culture in Normandy (see also Celt).

 In the midst of the Viking era, in the first half of the 10th century, the kingdom of Denmark coalesced in Jutland (Jylland) under King Gorm the Old. Gorm's son and successor, Harald I (Bluetooth), claimed to have unified Denmark, conquered Norway, and Christianized the Danes. His accomplishments are inscribed in runic on a huge gravestone at Jelling, one of the so-called Jelling stones. Harald's conquest of Norway was short-lived, however, and his son Sweyn I (Forkbeard) was forced to rewin the country. Sweyn also exhausted England in annual raids and was finally accepted as king of that country, but he died shortly thereafter. Sweyn's son Canute I (Canute (I)) (the Great) reconquered Norway, which had been lost around the time of Sweyn's death in 1014, and forged an Anglo-Danish kingdom that lasted until his own death in 1035. Various contenders fought for the throne of England and held it for short periods until the question of the succession was settled in 1066 by one of Rollo's descendants, William I (the Conqueror), who led the Norman forces to victory over the last Anglo-Saxon king of England, Harold II, at the Battle of Hastings (Hastings, Battle of) (see Norman Conquest).

      Throughout the Viking period, Danish social structures evolved. Society was likely divided into three main groups: the elite, free men and women, and thralls (slaves). Over time, differences among members of the elite increased, and by the end of the period the concept of royalty had emerged, the status of the elite was becoming inheritable, and the gap between the elite and the free peasantry had widened. Slavery did not last past the Middle Ages.

      There has been much debate among scholars about the role and status of Viking women. Though the society was clearly patriarchal, women could initiate divorce and own property, and some exceptional women assumed leadership roles in their home communities. Women also played important economic roles, as in the production of woolen cloth.

      While no clear line can be drawn, the Viking era had ended by the middle of the 11th century. Many have credited the Christianization (Christianity) of the Scandinavians with bringing about the end of Viking depredations, but the centralization of temporal power also contributed significantly to the decline of the Vikings. Canute the Great, for example, gathered relatively large armies under his control rather than allowing small warrior bands to join him at will—as was the Viking tradition. In fact, Canute and other Nordic kings—behaving more like feudal overlords than mere head warriors—worked to inhibit the formation of independent warrior bands in the Scandinavian homelands. The increasing power of the Mongols on the Eurasian Steppe (Steppe, the) also affected the Vikings' dominance. As the Mongols moved farther west, they closed the Vikings' eastern river routes, which southern and central European merchants increasingly replaced with overland and Mediterranean routes. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that the Christian church shaped the emerging society and culture of medieval Denmark and of Scandinavia as a whole.

Medieval Denmark
The High Middle Ages
      During the course of what historians have called the High Middle Ages, beginning about the 11th century, the political, social, and economic structures that scholars have associated with medieval European society came to Denmark, as well as to the rest of Viking Scandinavia. By the end of the 13th century, the systems now known as feudalism and manorialism framed many people's lives, and the Christian church had become firmly established. However, defining the powers of the country's rulers was fraught with difficulties. The ensuing battles for the throne, as well as struggles for power between the nobles and the king, would persist for centuries. Defining the kingdom's borders presented problems as well, and Danish kings were forced to defend their territory against various outside forces.

The monarchy
  Sweyn II Estridsen (reigned 1047–74?) was on the throne during the transition from Viking to feudal society. When he took power, the royal succession was largely in the hands of the things, or local assemblies of freemen, which also legislated on various issues. Five of Sweyn's sons succeeded each other on the throne: Harald Hén (ruled 1074–80), Canute IV (the Holy; 1080–86), Oluf Hunger (1086–95), Erik Ejegod (1095–1103), and Niels (1104–34). Their reigns were marked by conflict over the extent of the king's power, and both Canute and Niels were assassinated. By 1146 civil war had divided the kingdom between three contenders.

 After protracted struggles, one of these contenders, Valdemar I (the Great), was acknowledged as the sole king in 1157. Valdemar initially recognized Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I (Barbarossa) as his overlord but later rejected the relationship, thereby emphasizing the independence of the Danish kingdom. Valdemar's reign (1157–82) was followed by those of several other strong rulers, including that of his son Valdemar II (the Victorious; 1202–41). During Valdemar II's reign, two essential works appeared: a code of law and the Jordebog (“Land Book”), a cadastre, or land register. In addition, a parliament, the hof, was established by the high prelates and aristocrats as a check against royal misuse of power; it met at short intervals and also functioned as the highest court. After Valdemar II's death, peace and stability disintegrated. Power disputes culminated in two instances of regicide: King Erik IV (Plowpenny) was murdered in 1250 and King Erik V (Glipping, or Klipping) in 1286.

      During the reign of Erik V, in 1282, the nobility succeeded in formally limiting the king's power. A charter between the great Danish lords and the king recognized the power of the lords in exchange for their support of the monarch. It forbade the king from imprisoning nobles purely on suspicion and also forced the king to call an annual meeting of the hof. This document (the haandfaestning) may be viewed as Denmark's first constitution—albeit, like the Magna Carta in England, a feudal not a democratic one. Indeed, the charter resulted in a loss of power for the peasantry and the local things.

The kingdom
      With one notable exception, establishing the frontiers of the Danish realm had proved to be much easier than determining the extent of the king's power. The inclusion of various islands within the Danish kingdom was fairly straightforward. In the southern Scandinavian Peninsula, in what is now the southern tip of Sweden, Denmark's territory also encompassed the regions of Skåne, Halland, and Blekinge; these remained part of the Danish kingdom until their loss to Sweden in the 17th century.

      In the peninsula of Jutland, however, the placement of the kingdom's southern border remained problematic until the current boundary was drawn in 1920. At issue was whether the regions of Schleswig (Slesvig) and Holstein (Holsten) should be part of Denmark or of the constellation of German states. To be sure, there was the Danewirk, a rampart in southern Jutland begun in about 808 to protect Denmark from German incursions, but the Danish-German border seldom coincided with this wall. The problem was complicated by two other factors. Because of their importance, not least militarily, the rulers of Schleswig and Holstein, powerful nobles and often members of the Danish royal family, competed for control within Denmark. In addition, the relationship of the Danish king and the rulers of Schleswig and Holstein to the rulers of the German states and especially to the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, left the issue of sovereignty of the southern parts of Jutland unclear.

      Beyond these core areas of the kingdom—Jutland, the Danish islands, and the southern Scandinavian Peninsula—other areas also came under the Danish crown in the High Middle Ages. During this period the Danes' Viking-era orientation toward the North Sea and Norway shifted east and south. Strong rulers in both England and Norway, as well as other interests, forced the attention of the Danes toward the Baltic Sea in particular.

      In the early 11th century the Wends (Wend), pagan Slavic tribes who lived along the Baltic east of the Elbe River, increasingly attacked merchant shipping in the sea and among the southern Danish islands. Not until the 12th-century campaigns of Valdemar I, combined with the often competing, sometimes cooperating efforts of the Saxons (Saxon) from west of the Elbe, were the Wends Christianized and the piracy and raiding stopped. Although Valdemar claimed Danish hegemony over Wendish lands, Saxon settlers, not Danish ones, moved into the area.

      Valdemar I's sons continued his eastern policy and conquered north German lands in the western Baltic region, such as Holstein, part of Mecklenburg, and Pomerania. Competing with various German rulers and the Teutonic Order for converts and territory, the Danes also sent missionaries along the trade route from Schleswig to Novgorod.

      Valdemar II turned his attention farther east. In 1219 he took his army on what was designated as a crusade to what is now Estonia, where the Danes besieged and captured Tallinn and converted many to Christianity. But again, Germans rather than Danes moved into the area—making the Danish hold tenuous. In 1225, after Valdemar had been taken prisoner by one of his north German vassals, he promised to give up all the conquered areas except Estonia and the island of Rügen. A final attempt to win back the lost areas led to his decisive defeat in 1227, and the Danish empire in the western Baltic came to an end.

The church
      The establishment of the Christian church in Denmark went hand in hand with the consolidation of royal power and the determining of the Danish frontiers. Under German auspices, a few bishoprics subordinate to the archdiocese of Hamburg-Bremen had been established in Danish territory as early as the 10th century (see also Hamburg; Bremen). In the 11th century Sweyn II (Sweyn II Estridsen) worked with the church to strengthen royal authority. During his reign Denmark was divided into eight bishoprics under the archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen: Schleswig, Ribe, Århus, Viborg, Vendsyssel (part of Vendsyssel-Thy), Odense, Roskilde, and Lund (now in Sweden). In 1103, however, the pope established Lund as the seat of a new, Nordic archbishop—thus liberating the church in Denmark from the influences of German prelates.

      Subsequently, a great Romanesque (Romanesque art) cathedral was built in Lund, and a church-building program began in earnest. Small wooden churches had existed in Denmark since the introduction of Christianity, but during the course of the 12th century hundreds of stone and brick churches were constructed. The monastery system came to Denmark during this period as well. Most of the first monasteries were connected to a cathedral. The Cistercians (Cistercian) founded their first monastery in 1144 in Skåne. Later in the 12th century the Cistercians founded great monasteries at Esrum and Sorø in Zealand (Sjælland) and at Løgum in southern Jutland. In addition, the Cistercians founded three houses for women before 1200, in the bishopric of Roskilde, in Slangerup in northern Zealand, and in Bergen on the island of Rügen (then under the Danish crown and now part of Germany).

      A number of notable individuals oversaw the church in Denmark during this era. Eskil became archbishop of Lund in 1138 and as such oversaw the completion of the cathedral; it was also at his behest that the first Cistercians came north. Absalon, bishop of Roskilde from 1134, wrote the church law of Zealand in 1171 and then in 1177 became archbishop of Lund. Absalon also was a key advocate of the Valdemar dynasty. He ruled as coregent during Canute VI's minority (1170–82) and helped lead Denmark's expansionist campaigns. Aside from serving as a royal adviser, he was the patron of Saxo Grammaticus, who wrote Gesta Danorum, the first important work on the history of Denmark. These men and others were responsible for the basic structures of the Danish church that endured until the 16th-century Reformation and, in some measure, beyond.

      The church in Denmark eventually amassed significant wealth and power. By the end of the 13th century, the crown and the church controlled the vast majority of land in the realm. The church derived a huge income from its lands and farms and drew still greater revenues from the tithes on the entire grain production of the country—one-third going to the bishops, one-third to the parish churches, and one-third to the parish priests.

      In the early days, the objectives of church and crown were in alignment. High-level offices such as abbots and bishops were usually held by the younger sons of nobles, appointed by the Danish king or the pope, and there was seldom enough agreement among bishops in order to confront royal power effectively. Occasionally, however, the administrative apparatus of the church came into competition with the government's, and during the latter half of the 13th century, contention between church and state increased sharply. Three serious confrontations ultimately took place.

      The first one began during the reign of Erik IV (1241–50), who disagreed with the pope's installation of Jakob Erlandsen as bishop of Roskilde. The conflict lasted through the reign of Christopher I (1252–59) and Erlandsen's appointment as archbishop of Lund. Christopher's imprisonment of the prelate caused several German rulers to attack Denmark, and in the ensuing war the king died.

      The second great confrontation between church and state, which took place in the late 13th century, highlights the conflicting sacred and secular duties of the bishops. The root of the conflict lay in Archbishop Jens Grand's refusal to meet his feudal military obligations: instead of supporting the king, the archbishop had sided with several outlawed magnates who were raiding the Danish coasts. The king, Erik VI (Menved), jailed the archbishop, who subsequently escaped and took his case to the papal court. In 1303 Erik reached a settlement with the pope, who decided in favour of the archbishop but moved him to Riga (now in Latvia).

      The third conflict began in the early 14th century, when a new archbishop, Esger Juul, who had been appointed jointly by the king and the pope to the see in Lund, issued bulls against the king for the return of properties lost during the fight with Jens Grand. Ultimately, Juul lost his backing from the other Danish bishops, and in 1317 he fled to Hammershus, a castle on the island of Bornholm, and filed suit in the papal court. King Christopher II eventually reached a settlement with Juul out of court.

      Thereafter, relations between church and state remained relatively calm until the Reformation. Not only was the papal position weaker, but the king's role in appointing high church officials grew stronger. By the mid-14th century the Danish government essentially chose Denmark's bishops.

The Late Middle Ages

Declining royal power and Holstein rule
      The battle between nobles and kings largely defined late medieval politics. Following the murder of King Erik V in 1286, the guardians of Erik's heir, Erik VI, still a minor, consolidated their power around the young prince and established a nearly absolutist regime. Upon reaching his majority, the king became involved in military adventures abroad, particularly in northern Germany, and by his death in 1319 the country was deeply in debt.

      The childless Erik VI was succeeded by his brother, Christopher II, who was forced by the nobles to sign a strict coronation charter; he was also the first king to accept the hof as a permanent institution. He did not abide by the charter, however, and was driven into exile after a battle with the magnates and the count of Holstein.

      By this point the kingdom's creditors, mostly great lords from Denmark and the north German states, had acquired significant power. From 1326 to 1330 the young duke of South Jutland, Valdemar, ruled under the regency of the count of Holstein. Christopher II returned to the throne during 1330–32, but during his reign the kingdom was split by a peasant uprising, church discord, and the struggle with Holstein, which received almost all of the country in pawn.

      After the death of Christopher in 1332, no new king was chosen. The counts of Holstein ruled the country until 1340, when Gerhard of Holstein, to speed up tax collection, moved his army into Jutland, where he was murdered. Christopher's son then ascended the throne as Valdemar IV Atterdag.

Reunion under Valdemar IV (Valdemar IV Atterdag)
 The new king married the sister of the duke of South Jutland, who gave the northern quarter of North Jutland as her dowry; he began his reign with the reunion of Denmark as his first priority. By selling Estonia (1346) and collecting extra taxes, he reclaimed some of the pawned areas and brought others back through negotiations or force of arms. In 1360 he conquered Skåne, which had come under Swedish rule, and, a year later, the Swedish island of Gotland. Denmark was thus reunited.

      Royal power was strengthened during Valdemar IV's reign. The king succeeded in quelling a series of revolts by leading magnates, and at a hof in 1360, a “great national peace” was agreed between the monarch and the people. The hof was replaced by the Rigsråd (Council of the Realm)—a national council of the archbishop, the bishops, and the lensmænd (vassals) from the main castles—and the king's Retterting (Court of Law) became the supreme court. Valdemar also attacked major economic problems: after the Black Death pandemic in 1350, he confiscated ownerless estates and regained royal estates that had been lost during the interregnum; additionally, the army was reorganized.

      Valdemar's war on Gotland and the fall of the island's wealthy town of Visby brought him into conflict with Sweden and the Hanseatic League, a powerful organization of mostly north German trading towns, which declared war on Denmark. In 1367 the league, the princes of Mecklenburg and Holstein, and some of the Jutland magnates attacked Valdemar at sea and on land. The king went to Germany to find allies in the rear of his powerful German enemies and succeeded in obtaining a rather favourable peace treaty at Stralsund in 1370, which gave the Hanseatic League trading rights in Denmark and pawned parts of Skåne to the league for 15 years. Valdemar returned home and continued his work of stabilizing the crown's hold on the country until he died in 1375.

      Valdemar's heirs brought the kingdom to its medieval apogee. His youngest and only surviving child, Margaret I (Margrethe I), had married a prince of Sweden, Haakon VI Magnusson, then king of Norway. Their son Olaf (Olaf IV Haakonsson) (Oluf) was chosen as king of Denmark in 1376. Margaret, as guardian and regent, followed a policy of peace abroad and strengthening the crown internally. In 1380, when Haakon died, Olaf, still a minor, was chosen as king of Norway as well. This brought not only Norway but also Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland under the Danish crown. Margaret also pushed Olaf's claim to the Swedish throne, as he was last in the male line of Swedish kings. Before she could win the crown for him, however, Olaf died in 1387. Margaret was soon acknowledged as regent in Denmark and Norway, and rebellious Swedish nobles, dissatisfied with the rule of Albert of Mecklenburg, hailed her as regent in Sweden as well. War between the supporters of Margaret and Albert continued until 1398, when Albert's forces finally surrendered Stockholm to Margaret.

 Margaret's rule was predicated on her control of the succession, and so she had adopted her great-nephew Erik of Pomerania. In 1397 at Kalmar, Swed., Margaret oversaw the coronation of Erik as king of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden—thus establishing the Kalmar Union of the three Scandinavian states. Although Erik, known as Erik VII in Danish history, was the titular king, Margaret retained actual power until her death in 1412.

      The policies of Erik VII and the subsequent rulers of the Kalmar Union aimed to consolidate and hold together this rather disparate collection of territory. In 1434 a rebellion broke out in Sweden, and the spirit of revolt spread to the king's enemies in Denmark and Norway. He was deposed in 1439 by the Danish and Swedish councils of the realm and in 1442 by Norway. The joint crown was offered to Erik's nephew Christopher III, but his reign did little to strengthen the union, which was temporarily dissolved after his death in 1448. Christian I, founder of the Oldenburg dynasty, succeeded to the Danish and Norwegian thrones, but efforts to bring Sweden back into the union were only intermittently successful, and when Christian died in 1481, he did not rule that country. He was succeeded by his son John (Hans), whose coronation charter of 1483 acknowledged him as king of all three countries, but he actually held the Swedish throne only from 1497 to 1501.

 Swedish revolts continued into the reign of Christian II, who succeeded his father, John, as king of Denmark and Norway in 1513. After defeating the army of the Swedish regent in 1520, Christian was crowned king of Sweden. Following his coronation, he executed more than 80 opponents of his regime in what became known as the Stockholm Bloodbath. Outrage over the massacre encouraged a final rebellion by the Swedes, who declared independence in 1523—marking a permanent end to the Kalmar Union. Opposition to the king grew in Denmark as well; the nobles of Jutland deposed him that year and drove him into exile. The Danish and Norwegian crowns then passed to Christian's uncle, Frederick I.

Late medieval society
      During the Late Middle Ages the Danish people became more sharply divided into social classes. The nobility in particular developed the characteristics of a caste. Prior to the 15th century any Dane could become a noble, provided he could render military services to the king at his own expense, particularly by providing a prescribed number of men-at-arms. In return, he was exempted from all taxes. From the 15th century, however, he had to show that his forefathers had enjoyed tax exemptions for at least three generations. In addition, the king sought to assume the right to issue titles of nobility. These measures helped to limit the number of nobles in the kingdom. During the 15th century the nobility comprised 264 families, but this number fell to 230 in 1500 and to 140 (including at most 3,000 persons) in 1650; the Gyldenstjerne and Rosenkrantz families (whose names are commemorated in William Shakespeare (Shakespeare, William)'s Hamlet) were among the most important.

      Agriculture remained the principal industry. The cultivated land, apart from about 1,000 manors, consisted of about 80,000 farms, clustered together in groups of 5 to 20 as villages. These were managed by peasant farmers in common, whether they held their farms as freeholds or as copyholds. In 1500 about 12,000 peasants owned farms, about 18,000 were copyholding peasants on crown lands, and about 30,000 were copyhold tenants (serfdom) of lands belonging to the church or the nobles.

      The peasantry suffered a decline during the Late Middle Ages. Such factors as the outbreak of plague in the mid-14th century, the expropriation of peasant lands, and the migration of young people from farms to towns led to a shortage of labour and a drop in agricultural production. A significant number of peasant farms and even whole villages were abandoned. The nobles—especially on Zealand, Funen (Fyn), and the smaller islands—responded to the crisis by establishing vornedskab, an institution that, like serfdom, tied peasant men and women to the estate of their birth.

      Meanwhile, under the Kalmar Union, Danish towns prospered, and the influence of the burghers, or townspeople, grew. By 1500 there were approximately 80 towns, most of them fortified but all of them small; Copenhagen had at most 10,000 inhabitants. A monopoly on internal trade granted by King Erik VII improved the economic position of the burghers, and many German merchants took out citizenship in the towns in order to compete.

Reformation and war
      King Frederick I reigned during the early years of the Reformation, the religious revolution that resulted in the establishment of Protestantism as a major branch of Christianity. Frederick had promised Denmark's Roman Catholic bishops that he would fight heresy, but he in fact invited Lutheran preachers to the country, most probably to expand royal power at the expense of the church. After Frederick died in 1533, the bishops and other members of the predominantly Catholic Rigsråd postponed the election of a new king; they feared that the obvious candidate, Frederick's son Prince Christian (later King Christian III), if chosen, would immediately introduce Lutheranism. They tried unsuccessfully to sponsor his younger brother Hans.

      Civil war broke out in 1534, when the mayors of Malmö (now in Sweden) and Copenhagen accepted help from the north German city of Lübeck, an important member of the Hanseatic League. The Lübeckers, under the pretext of restoring the exiled Christian II, hoped to regain their declining mercantile supremacy and take control of The Sound (Sound, The), the strait between Zealand and Skåne that was controlled by Denmark. The landing of Lübeck troops, led by Count Christopher of Oldenburg (Christopher, count of Oldenburg), in Zealand in the summer of 1534 roused the Jutland nobility as well as the Catholic bishops, who came out in favour of Christian III. The leader of Christian III's forces, Johan Rantzau, duke of Holstein and a Lutheran, subdued a revolt of the Jutland peasants and then moved across Funen and Zealand to besiege Copenhagen, Count Christopher's last holdout. Finally, in the summer of 1536, Copenhagen capitulated, ending the so-called Count's War.

 Following the war, to consolidate his position as king, Christian III arrested the Catholic bishops and confiscated all church property. The latter act brought vast estates to the crown, though in the following years many were sold or given to creditors to reduce the government's debts. In October 1536 the Danish Lutheran Church was established. The following year, new bishops, all of the burgher class, were appointed. They had little political influence, however, as bishops no longer sat in the Rigsråd. The organization of the new state church was finalized in 1539.

      The Rigsråd, now made up only of members of the high nobility, soon asserted itself. The coronation charter that it negotiated with Christian III differed only slightly from earlier ones with regard to its constitutional power and the privileges of the nobility. In accordance with the king's wish to make the throne fully hereditary, the charter named Prince Frederick (later Frederick II) as his father's successor and provided that a Danish prince should always be chosen as king. The latter provision, however, was omitted in Frederick II's charter. The Rigsråd thus suffered no permanent loss of elective power.

      The central government of Denmark was decisively strengthened by the Count's War, primarily by the elimination of the church as an independent and occasionally competing administrative structure, as well as by the expropriation of church assets. The further development of a central administrative apparatus, which included a chancery and a new finance department (the Rentekammer), also bolstered the strength of the state. The power of the nobility grew as well: membership in the Rigsråd and most leadership positions in the new administrative structures were reserved for nobles, and many new royal manors and estates were created. Although the merchants of Copenhagen and Malmö had fought Christian III, they nonetheless favoured a strong central government that would protect their interests in the Baltic trade. The centralization of power that took place during Christian's peaceful reign prepared the way for the establishment of absolutism a century later.

      Denmark's central government remained strong during the reign of Frederick II (1559–88). Frederick aimed to reinstate the Kalmar Union, and in 1563 he was able to convince the Rigsråd to agree to a war with Sweden (Norway was still part of the Danish kingdom). At the conclusion of the so-called Seven Years' War of the North, however, Sweden remained independent, and Denmark was left deeply in debt. The strain on public finances was relieved partly through heavier taxation but mainly through a duty charged on shipping in The Sound, an important passage for the growing trade in the Baltic. Originally a fixed fee per ship, the duty later became a fee based on tonnage; it was at the king's own disposal, out of reach of the council. The process of collecting taxes and duties led to a more efficient financial administration. Meanwhile, Frederick focused his military policies on the navy and on establishing Danish dominance of the Baltic.

      Upon the death of Frederick II in 1588, his son Christian IV succeeded to the throne at the age of 10. An aristocratic regency, headed by the aging chancellor Niels Kaas, governed the country and educated the future ruler for seven years. The first half of Christian's personal reign was in every respect a success, marked by the dynamic king's many initiatives: establishing trading companies, acquiring overseas possessions, investing in a colony in India at Tranquebar, founding new towns, and erecting monumental buildings in the capital and elsewhere. A particularly important focus of his foreign policy was to secure Danish control of the Baltic. When Sweden began expanding its influence into the sea, Christian reacted by intervening in the Thirty Years' War; in addition to securing a broad sphere of interest in Germany as a counterweight to Swedish expansion, he also wished to strengthen the position of Protestantism. After disastrous battle losses and a devastating occupation of Jutland by German Catholics, the Danes signed a separate peace with the Holy Roman Empire in 1629. Despite this reversal, the king's national government, public administration, jurisdiction, and promotion of business and new industries had great importance for Denmark's future.

 Christian IV has been regarded as Denmark's Renaissance ruler as well as one of the greatest Danish monarchs; he was a central figure in later drama, poetry, and art. In reality, however, the military catastrophes of his reign weakened the position of the monarchy, so the high nobility of the Rigsråd decided to curtail the power of his son and successor, Frederick III (1648–70).

      In 1657, as part of the First Northern War (Northern War, First), hostilities with Sweden broke out again. In the exceptionally cold winter of 1657–58, the Swedish king Charles X Gustav attacked Jutland from the south and marched his troops to Zealand over the frozen sounds of Funen, after which the Danes signed the humiliating Treaty of Roskilde (1658). That summer Charles again invaded Denmark. Copenhagen, assisted by the Dutch, held out against the Swedes and defeated them in February 1659, but the war continued until 1660. The resulting Treaty of Copenhagen (Copenhagen, Treaty of), imposed on Denmark by the great powers of Europe, led to the permanent loss of Halland, Skåne, and Blekinge to Sweden.

Danish absolutism
      The military debacles of the second half of the 17th century were seen as proof that the nobles were unable to handle the central government; their refusal to pay taxes also angered the crown. Exploiting the situation, the king's councillors drafted a new law that eliminated the special political privileges of the nobility and proclaimed the crown fully inheritable, thus giving the king de facto absolute power. This inheritance law—along with the secret King's Law of 1665, among the most absolutist of all European expressions of absolutism—remained in force until 1848 with only minor modifications.

      Absolutist Denmark was governed by a bureaucracy that continued to rely on political leaders from the class of great landowners, although wealth, not noble birth, now gave increased access to this class. The government in Copenhagen consisted of colleges—i.e., the chancelleries; the treasury college (descended from the old Rentekammer); and colleges for war, the navy, and, some years later, commerce. All major decisions were made by a secret council consisting of the leaders of the colleges, who could easily influence the king. Local administration remained largely unchanged after 1660, but the government took pains to curtail the military power of the new county governors (amtmænd).

      During this period the crown further reduced its properties through sales to its bourgeois creditors, who thus joined the ranks of the large landowners. The state compensated for the loss of income from former crown lands by increasing taxes on the value of peasant land, though the nobles still paid the taxes for the peasants on their estates. Assessments of land values based both on area and on productivity were first made in 1662, and by 1688 surveyors had completed a nationwide register that served as the basis of taxation in both Denmark and Norway until the 19th century. The legal system was overhauled and regularized as well, and already in 1661 a supreme court, with jurisdiction over the entire kingdom, had replaced the old system whereby the king and the Rigsråd heard legal appeals. Each part of the country had had its own law codes, but under Christian V, who succeeded Frederick III, his father, in 1670, national law was codified.

The 18th century
      The 18th century brought a measure of balance in Denmark's foreign relations. The Second Northern War (Northern War, Second) (Great Northern War (Northern War, Second); 1700–21) demonstrated that, even with alliances, Denmark had no hope of recapturing the territories lost to Sweden in the preceding century. Sweden, moreover, no longer had the strength to invade Denmark from the south in alliance with the dukes of Schleswig or Holstein. King Frederick IV (1699–1730) decided on a foreign policy of keeping a balance of power in the north and safeguarding communications between Denmark and Norway. This necessitated alliances with Russia and the Netherlands and, from time to time, France. This policy succeeded for the rest of the 18th century, probably because of the common European need for free access to the Baltic. Finally, in the 1770s, the Gottorp lands in Schleswig and Holstein were brought under the rule of the Danish crown.

      During the 18th century, Denmark-Norway acquired an important merchant marine and a navy. Freedom of the seas had become a vital issue and a difficult problem, complicated especially by the export of Norwegian timber to Great Britain. During wars in the middle of the century, Denmark-Norway had to bow to the British claim of ruling the waves. In 1780, during the American Revolution (1775–83), the Danish foreign minister Andreas Peter, greve (count) af Bernstorff (Bernstorff, Andreas Peter, Greve (count) von), negotiated an armed neutrality treaty with Russia, the Netherlands, and Sweden, whose King Gustav III had married a Danish princess. However, because Norwegian export interests would have been threatened if Britain had considered these treaties hostile, Bernstorff also concluded a special treaty with Britain, much to the annoyance of Russia. The French revolutionary wars (French revolutionary and Napoleonic wars) led Denmark and Sweden to extend the treaty in 1794, but Danish neutrality did not last much longer. After 1800 it became impossible for Denmark to maintain its access to world shipping lanes unimpeded, its efforts to placate the British notwithstanding.

The economy and agricultural reforms
      In the 18th century, Denmark, poor in natural resources except for its soil, nonetheless made important economic gains in international trade and agriculture. No important industries, on the other hand, developed during this period.

      Following mercantilist (mercantilism) theory, the government supported trade, particularly shipping, to the benefit of Copenhagen merchants. Denmark, however, lacked the political strength to exploit the strategic position of Copenhagen. In the 1730s eastern Norway was made an outlet for Danish grain, but the grain was inferior and normally could not compete with Baltic grain on the western European markets. Besides grain, oxen, and meat, Denmark had very little else to export, so transit trade predominated.

      At the beginning of the century, Danish agriculture, like peasant agriculture elsewhere in Europe, was not very productive. Some 300 landlords controlled 800 to 900 estates—about 90 percent of the arable land. Danish landlords, like all European elites, wanted to participate in the generally rising standard of living. To do so, they needed to increase the incomes from their estates. A price depression beginning in the 1720s enabled the landlords to use their position to pressure the peasants further by increasing the corvée (obligatory work owed by peasants to their landlords) to an average of three days a week and by eliminating villages and turning peasants into landless cottars who worked the lord's own farmland. While some peasants, especially in western and northern Jutland, continued to own their farms, the vast majority held their farms as copyholds on an estate. So landlords could better control their labour, it became law for male peasants between 4 and 40 years of age to remain on the estate of their birth, unless they had the landlord's permission to move or they had served six years in the army or navy. Because conscription was controlled by the landlord, he could threaten a young peasant with at least six years of military service if he did not accept a copyhold farm or cottage. Peasants had no right to demand a contract when they took over a holding, nor could they demand payment for improvements they might have made on the holding when the copyhold expired, usually at the death or bankruptcy of the peasant. Each landlord also had the right of petty jurisdiction on his estate. Under this system, despite the changes, productivity remained low. Nevertheless, except for the hog and cattle raisers of Jutland, the estates were the only farms to produce an exportable surplus of agricultural goods.

      During the course of the century, influenced by the writings of the French physiocrats (physiocrat), who believed that the wealth of a country came from agriculture, not trade, and by the experiences of Dutch farmers, a reform movement took root and flourished in the kingdom. In 1755 freedom of the press regarding economic and agricultural issues led to a lively debate. It became clear that if agriculture were to become productive, both technical changes—i.e., better tools, farming methods, seed, and stock—and social changes would be necessary. Technical change could occur fairly easily on land under the control of one person, but it was quite difficult in areas of joint tillage. As a consequence, agricultural improvements came first to the estates and then to the glebes (church farmlands) of enlightened Lutheran pastors, although they were not unknown in the peasant villages.

      In 1759 some of the first enclosures (enclosure) were instituted—i.e., all the land belonging to one farm was enclosed by a more-or-less-permanent fence, hedge, or stone wall—and the peasants' corvée was replaced by a monetary payment. Elsewhere similar experiments were carried out by reform-minded landlords, many of them nobles. In 1769 the Royal Danish Agricultural Society was founded to encourage and disseminate information about technical improvements in a number of fields, including agriculture.

      The land reform movement reached its apogee between the years 1784 and 1797. Danish politics of those years were led by the foreign minister Bernstorff; Christian Ditlev, Greve (count) Reventlow (Reventlow, Christian Ditlev Frederik, Greve (count)); and Ernst Schimmelmann, all from the landlord class. The politics were also led by the Norwegian jurist Christian Colbjørnsen and the crown prince Frederick (later King Frederick VI), whose father, King Christian VII, was incapable of ruling. Between 1784 and 1788 the Great Agricultural Commission studied the Danish agricultural situation, and its recommendations led to a number of sweeping reforms. Its recognition of the importance of peasant ownership of land led to the availability of low-interest, government-backed loans as well as to a law ending adscription (the tying of the peasants to the estate of their birth). The work of the commission also stimulated a relatively rapid enclosure of farmland in Denmark. Between 1790 and 1814 all but a few villages were surveyed for enclosure, and the majority of the farms became freeholds. (The remaining copyholds were converted later in the 19th century.) Landlords were compensated for the rights they lost, and, together with the new landowning farmers, they were assured a stable labour force by strict legislation of the small tenant farmers.

      The land reforms (land reform) were possible because of a continuous rise in grain prices between 1750 and 1815 and because the politicians of 1784 had carried out successful reforms on their own estates. These leaders also had an insight into the benefits of a mild inflation and a liberal allocation of state credit, with which they guided the transition to peasant landownership. The land reforms ultimately led to an effective agricultural sector that delivered high-quality products for domestic use and for export.

The 19th century
The Napoleonic Wars and their aftermath
      The Napoleonic Wars (French revolutionary and Napoleonic wars) of the early 19th century ended an era of peace for Denmark and Norway that had lasted since the 1720s. The armed neutrality treaty of 1794 between Denmark and Sweden, which Russia and Prussia joined in 1800, was considered hostile by Great Britain. In 1801 British navy ships entered The Sound and destroyed much of the Danish fleet in a battle in the Copenhagen harbour. When the British fleet next proceeded to threaten the Swedish naval port of Karlskrona, Russia started negotiations with Britain. The result was a compromise, which Sweden was forced to adopt in 1802. While the Danish policy of armed neutrality had failed, Denmark nevertheless managed to keep out of the wars until 1807 and to profit from trade with the belligerents.

      The Treaty of Tilsit (Tilsit, Treaties of) (1807) between France and Russia worsened the situation. In 1805 France had lost its fleet to the British at the Battle of Trafalgar (Trafalgar, Battle of). The British thus feared that the continental powers might force Denmark to join them so that the Danish navy could be used to invade Britain. To eliminate this threat, the British resorted not to diplomacy but to force. In August 1807 British troops invaded and occupied Zealand; in September British ships bombarded Copenhagen with grenades and incendiary bombs, destroying three-fourths of the city and killing thousands. Denmark, not prepared for war, was forced to capitulate, and the British expropriated the Danish fleet.

      On Oct. 31, 1807, Denmark joined the continental alliance against Britain. In response, Britain blockaded the sea route connecting Denmark and Norway. Grain shipments from Denmark to Norway stopped, and Norwegian exports could not get out. Britain somewhat relaxed its blockade after 1810, but the years of isolation, economic crisis, and hunger in Norway nevertheless convinced leading groups there of the necessity of Norwegian independence.

      In 1813 Sweden, which had become an ally of Britain, attacked Denmark from the south, through Schleswig-Holstein. Hostilities between the two countries were ended on Jan. 14, 1814, by the Treaty of Kiel (Kiel, Treaty of), but Denmark was forced to cede Norway to Sweden. (However, Denmark maintained its rule of the old Norwegian dependencies of Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland.) Unhappy at the prospect of Swedish rule, leading Norwegians assembled at the Norwegian village of Eidsvoll, where they adopted a constitution and elected the Danish crown prince and governor of Norway, Christian Frederick (later Christian VIII), to the Norwegian throne. Sweden promptly attacked Norway, however, and Christian Frederick stepped down. Compelled to accept Swedish rule, Norway could not fully implement the Eidsvoll constitution until 1905, when it finally gained independence.

      The Napoleonic Wars proved to be economically catastrophic for Denmark. Trade had been seriously affected, and the widespread overseas connections that formerly had played so large a part in the economic life of Denmark could not be resumed. Copenhagen had been devastated, and its role as an international financial and trading centre was soon taken over by Hamburg. Inflation further contributed to the economic crisis. In 1813 the state was forced to make a formal declaration of bankruptcy.

      Denmark's considerable economic problems were worsened by low grain prices across Europe. The loss of Norway and the high import duties on grain that Great Britain imposed at this time deprived Denmark of its surest markets for grain export. The agricultural crisis resulted in the compulsory auctioning of many estates and farms; it also brought the implementation of agrarian reforms to a complete standstill.

      It was not until 1818, when an independent national bank with the sole right to issue banknotes was established, that economic stability became possible. From 1830, economic life decidedly took a turn for the better. Prices for agricultural goods improved, and the earlier land reforms were beginning to show results. In fact, the 1830s saw a significant expansion in the agricultural sector of the economy.

The liberal (liberalism) movement
 Denmark's government under Frederick VI (1808–39) can be described as a patriarchal autocracy. In the Privy Council, which was regularly convened after 1814, Poul Christian Stemann (Stemann, Poul Christian) became the leading figure and was responsible for the government's strongly conservative policies until 1848. His close colleague Anders Sandøe Ørsted pleaded for a somewhat more liberal policy, at least on economic questions.

      After the July Revolution (1830) in France, leading men, particularly wealthy merchants and professionals, demanded a liberal constitution. The government was forced to make concessions, and in 1834 consultative assemblies were established in the kingdom as well as in Schleswig and Holstein. Being composed only of wealthy men, however, these were not representative bodies, and their function was only advisory. As the liberal movement grew in strength, especially in the academic world and among the middle classes, the liberal press, whose leading journal was Fædrelandet (“The Fatherland”; established in 1834), subjected the monarchy and its conservative administration to severe criticism. When the popular Frederick VI died in 1839, the liberals had great hopes for his successor, Christian VIII, who, during his youth as governor in Norway, had appeared as the spokesman for liberal politics. Over the years, however, Christian VIII had become much more conservative and, as king of Denmark, did not consider the time ripe to moderate the absolute monarchy. He confined himself, therefore, to modernizing the administration, especially between 1837 and 1841, through a program of establishing local government and granting some independence to parishes and counties.

      As the liberals gained a political voice, so did the farmers. The farmers' movement started as a religious one, but it soon became dominated by social and political ideas, with agitators such as Jens Andersen Hansen (Hansen, Jens Andersen) leading the way. When the government intervened, the liberals and the farmers joined forces against the common adversary. In 1846 the farmers' case received further support when a group of liberal reformers led by Anton Frederik Tscherning (Tscherning, Anton Frederik) founded the Society of the Friends of the Farmer (Bondevennernes Selskab), which later developed into the Liberal Party (Venstre; “Left”).

 After the death of Christian VIII in January 1848 and under the influence of the Revolutions of 1848 (1848, Revolutions of) in France, Germany, and elsewhere, the new king, Frederick VII (1848–63), installed the so-called March Cabinet, in which Orla Lehmann (Lehmann, Orla) and Ditlev Gothard Monrad (Monrad, Ditlev Gothard), leaders of the newly formed National Liberal Party, were given seats. After a constituent assembly had been summoned, the absolute monarchy was abolished; it was replaced by the so-called June constitution of June 5, 1849. Together with the king and his ministers, there was now also a parliament with two chambers: the Folketing and the Landsting. Both were elected by popular vote, but seats in the Landsting had a relatively high property-owning qualification. The parliament shared legislative power with the king and the cabinet, while the courts independently exercised judicial power. The constitution also secured the freedom of the press, religious freedom, and the right to hold meetings and form associations.

The Schleswig-Holstein question
      Alongside liberalism, nationalism was another important movement in 19th-century Denmark. National feelings were particularly inflamed by the Schleswig-Holstein question. After the loss of Norway in 1814, the Danish monarchy consisted of three main parts: the kingdom of Denmark, Schleswig, and Holstein, the last of which was a member of the German Confederation. Whereas Holstein was German, Schleswig was linguistically and culturally divided between a Danish and a German population. When the liberal German-speaking population in Schleswig opposed autocratic rule and demanded a free constitution as well as affiliation with Holstein and the German Confederation, the emerging Danish National Liberal movement called for Schleswig to be incorporated into Denmark. This demand came to be called the Eider Program, named for the Eider River, which formed the southern boundary of Schleswig.

      When the National Liberal government officially adopted this policy in 1848, the people of Schleswig and Holstein resorted to arms, with Prussia supplying military aid. Although the Danish army defeated the rebels in 1851, subsequent agreements in 1851 and 1852, supported by the great powers of Europe, compelled Denmark to take no measures to tie Schleswig any closer to itself than Holstein was. The Eider Program was thus abandoned; the June constitution of 1849 applied only to Denmark, not to either of the duchies.

      The National Liberal government was succeeded in 1852 by the Conservative (Højre; “Right”) government under Christian Albrecht Bluhme. Nevertheless, the influence of Pan-Scandinavianism and the German Confederation's constant interference in constitutional matters in Schleswig and Holstein caused the Eider Program to win ground once again. The replacement of the Conservative government in 1857 by a moderate National Liberal government, led by Carl Christian Hall (Hall, Carl Christian), further revived the program. In 1863, in the belief that Prussia was preoccupied with a Polish rebellion against Russia and in expectation of support from Sweden, the Danish government separated Holstein from the rest of the kingdom and applied a constitution to both Denmark and Schleswig. This “November constitution” effectively meant that Schleswig was annexed to Denmark, in contravention of the agreements of 1851 and 1852.

      Under the leadership of Otto von Bismarck (Bismarck, Otto von), Prussia reacted immediately: in February 1864, war broke out between Denmark on one side and Prussia and Austria on the other. After the Danish defeat at Dybbøl, in Schleswig, and the consequent occupation of the whole of Jutland, Denmark was forced by the Treaty of Vienna in October to surrender almost all of Schleswig and Holstein to Prussia and Austria.

The Right and the Left
 Denmark's defeat in 1864 led to the fall of the National Liberal government. Under Christian IX (1863–1906) a Conservative government was appointed, and in 1866 a new constitution was adopted. It introduced electoral rules that gave weighted votes to great landowners and civil servants, thus securing the distinctly conservative leaning of the Landsting. By 1870 the National Liberals had merged with the Conservatives to form the Right (Højre) Party.

      To counter Højre, several groups that represented farmers combined in 1870 to form the United Left (Forenede Venstre), which in 1872 secured a majority in the Folketing. The Left demanded a return to the June constitution of 1849 as well as a number of other reforms, such as making the government responsible to the parliament instead of to the king. The Social Democratic Party (Socialdemokratiet), which actually fell further left than the Left on the political spectrum, formed in the 1870s as well.

      However, with Jacob Brønnum Scavenius Estrup (Estrup, Jacob Brønnum Scavenius), a member of Højre and a great landowner, as prime minister (1875–94), a strictly conservative policy was pursued. Despite the opposing parliamentary majority in the Folketing, the government, with a majority in the Landsting, forced its conservative policies through by means of provisory laws and with support from the king. The result was that all reforms came to a standstill. The crisis was not resolved until 1894, when a compromise between the Left and the Right was reached, at which time Estrup himself left the government. The Left's demand for parliamentary democracy was not granted until the 1901 election, however, when the Left Reform Party (Venstrereformparti), an offshoot of the Left, came to power and what has become known in Denmark as the “Change of System” was introduced.

      Meanwhile, particularly after Germany emerged from the Franco-German War of 1870–71 as a powerful unified state, Danish foreign policy was developed along neutral lines. Yet the Right and the Left strongly disagreed on how Danish neutrality should be carried out. The Conservatives demanded a strong defense policy while, within the Left itself, the most radical viewpoint was held by Viggo Hørup (Hørup, Viggo), who advocated complete disarmament.

      The increasing popularity of the Left and the formation of the Social Democratic Party occurred in the context of great economic and social changes. Industrial production began in the capital and in some of the major towns in the provinces, and, in the last quarter of the 19th century, the percentage of the population living in urban areas increased dramatically. The first rail line was built in 1847; in the late 1860s the government took over railroad building, and, by the end of the 1870s, the trunk lines had been completed. The rapid development of harbours, steamships, and foreign trade facilitated the importation of raw materials needed for industry, especially coal and iron. There also was a steady stream of foreign capital into Denmark. By the end of the century, trade unions and employers' associations had spread across the kingdom. As industry grew, agriculture evolved as well. The implementation of the reforms of the 18th century resumed, and new reforms were adopted. As world grain prices dropped beginning in the 1860s, Danish farmers increasingly shifted to the production of dairy products and meat. The organization of cooperative dairies, starting in 1882, made it possible for even smallholders to produce for export. Eventually cooperative slaughterhouses also were established. By the end of the century, a significant percentage of the butter and bacon consumed in England came from Denmark.

      The comparative sophistication and flexibility of Danish farmers in assessing and responding to the market was grounded in several factors, especially the folk high schools, open to both men and women, that were established in the 19th century. Such education made it possible for farmers to use more effectively the technical information made available through the Royal Agricultural Association.

Michael I.A. Linton Christian Nokkentved

The 20th century
Parliamentary democracy and war, c. 1900–45
 The Left Reform government that came to power under the Change of System in 1901 went swiftly to work on a number of reforms. Parliamentary supremacy, requiring the king to appoint a parliament-approved government, began in that year. A free-trade law that corresponded to the agricultural export interests was passed. In conformity with the ideas of N.F.S. Grundtvig (Grundtvig, N.F.S.), the state church was transformed into a folk church, with parochial church councils; the educational system was also democratized. In addition, the reformers changed the tax law so that income, not land, was the main criterion for taxation.

      Despite the victory over the Conservatives, it soon became apparent that it was impossible for the Left Reformers, led by Jens Christian Christensen, to remain united. In 1905 a radical faction broke away to become the Radical Left Party (Radikale Venstre), the most important members of which were Peter Rochegune Munch (Munch, Peter Rochegune) and Ove Rode.

      Between 1913 and 1920 the Radicals, supported by the Social Democrats, were in power. In 1915 the constitution was revised, and the privileged franchise to the Landsting was revoked, although the electoral qualifying age of 35 was retained. At the same time, the franchise to both the Folketing and the Landsting was extended to women, servants, and farmhands. The right-wing majority in the Landsting agreed to the constitutional reform on condition that the single-member constituency be replaced by proportional representation. There followed a number of reforms, including trial by jury and a land reform bill that aimed to redistribute land from large estates to increase the size of smallholders' farms.

      In the years leading up to World War I, it became increasingly important to define Germany's intended attitude toward Denmark in the event of a European conflict. The Germans were well aware that the Schleswig affair had left a good many Danes with a loathing for everything German, and the constant friction between the Danish minority and the German administration in Schleswig increased the tension between the two countries. Danish governments after 1901 made persistent efforts to assure Germany of Denmark's benevolent neutrality, but the disagreement over this policy's implementation remained unreconciled. At the outbreak of war in 1914, Germany insisted that Denmark lay mines in the Great Belt, a strait between several Danish islands that connects the Baltic Sea with an arm of the North Sea. However, as the British fleet made no serious attempts to break through, neutrality was maintained.

      World War I gave Denmark and other neutral countries good export markets in the belligerent countries, but the conflict also led to a shortage of supplies. With a widespread overseas trade, the country's economic life was vulnerable. It became especially so in 1917, after Germany opted for unrestricted submarine warfare. (Some of Denmark's exports to Great Britain were thereby reoriented to Germany.) There was a deficit of raw materials in both agriculture and industry, and the government rationed a number of consumer goods.

      The Treaty of Versailles (Versailles, Treaty of), signed at the end of the war, included a clause stating that part of Schleswig should revert to Denmark in accordance with the principle of self-determination. The boundary was determined by a plebiscite in 1920. The discontent that nonetheless arose as a consequence of the drawing of the boundary, coupled with labour unrest and dissatisfaction with remaining wartime restrictions, led to the fall of the government in the same year. A Left government, supported by the Conservatives, then came to power.

 In 1924 the Social Democrats, under Thorvald Stauning (Stauning, Thorvald), formed a minority government with support from the Radicals. This was the first working-class government in Denmark. The cabinet included the historian Nina Bang as the minister of education; she was the first woman to serve as a minister in a democratically elected Danish government. The years 1926 to 1929 saw the Left, supported by the Conservatives, in power again; however, the Social Democrats scored another victory at the polls in 1929, and a coalition government under Stauning was formed with the Radical Party.

      Critical economic conditions, including the periodic high unemployment rate that followed World War I, were a recurring problem for the governments of the 1920s. In 1922 the country's largest private bank, Landmandsbanken, failed. The subsequent decade was no easier. High rates of unemployment resulted from the Great Depression of the early 1930s: in 1933 about 40 percent of organized industrial workers were affected. When Great Britain abandoned the gold standard in 1931, Denmark had followed suit. The greatest blow to the Danish economy, however, was Britain's establishment in 1932 of a system of preferential tariffs for members of the British Commonwealth.

      To cope with the crisis, the government subjected foreign trade to stringent control by the establishment of a “currency centre” and won the support of the Left in the Kanslergade Agreement, by which it was agreed to devalue the Danish currency, the krone, and to freeze existing wage agreements by law. In addition, the Left agreed to support social reforms that included old-age pensions and health, unemployment, and accident insurance. A number of measures also were adopted in support of agriculture.

      The general election of 1935 showed broad support for the Social Democrats' program, and they stayed in power. After the elections to the Landsting in 1936, the government coalition of Social Democrats and Radicals held the majority in both the Folketing and the Landsting for the first time since the inception of democracy. Trade improved, and, during the late 1930s, industry again began to expand.

      Denmark had joined the League of Nations (Nations, League of) in 1920 and had worked for a peaceful solution to international problems during the interwar period. In the 1930s, however, foreign policy was complicated by events in Germany. When Adolf Hitler (Hitler, Adolf) came to power and Germany began to rearm, Denmark's position again became vulnerable. Although Germany had never recognized the alterations in its boundaries as laid down by the Treaty of Versailles, Denmark tried in vain to obtain German recognition of the Schleswig boundary. At the same time, it avoided measures that could offend its powerful neighbour. When in June 1939 Hitler offered nonaggression pacts to those countries that might feel threatened by Germany's expansionist policy, Denmark, in contrast to the other Scandinavian countries, accepted the offer. In September of that year, at the outbreak of World War II, Denmark—this time together with the other Nordic countries—issued a declaration of neutrality.

      Denmark was not allowed to remain neutral, however. On April 9, 1940, German troops crossed the border, and after token resistance the Danish government submitted to a military occupation of the country. Unlike other occupied countries, Denmark formally remained a sovereign state until Aug. 29, 1943. The major parties formed a national unity government, with Stauning (Stauning, Thorvald) as leader, and in July 1940 Erik Scavenius became foreign minister. In 1941, when Germany attacked the Soviet Union, the Danish government was forced to allow the formation of a Danish volunteer corps to fight on the Eastern Front and to outlaw all communist activity in the country. In November 1941 Denmark signed the Anti-Comintern Pact.

      Denmark's policy of accommodation did not last. After Stauning's successor, Vilhelm Buhl (Buhl, Vilhelm), was forced to resign in November 1942 under pressure from the Germans, Scavenius, who advocated cooperation with the German authorities, became prime minister. However, the elections of 1943 proved that the Danish people supported the democratic parties of Denmark, not Nazism. At the same time, the resistance movement, first organized in 1940, was growing: thousands of Danes—about 50,000 by the end of the war—joined armed resistance groups, and numerous acts of sabotage were carried out.

      Germany's military defeats paved the way for demands for an open breach with the powers of occupation. Dissatisfaction caused by consumer shortages and inflation, combined with the growing opposition to German occupation, led to a series of strikes in the summer of 1943 that in August culminated in actions aimed directly at the Germans. When the Danish government refused to introduce the death penalty for sabotage, to allow the persecution of Jews, or to use force against the strikers, the Germans declared a state of emergency. The Danish government, still under Scavenius's leadership, refused further cooperation, and the German Reichskommissar assumed political control. The Danish army and navy were disbanded, but not before many of the ships were scuttled by their own crews to prevent the Germans from using them.

      With the end of Danish accommodation, the relationship between the Danes and the occupying Germans deteriorated even further. In September 1943 the Danish Freedom Council was formed; under its leadership the activities of the various resistance groups could be coordinated, and cooperation between the resistance and leading politicians could be maintained. The major activities of the resistance groups included producing illegal newspapers, running a comprehensive intelligence service, smuggling fugitives to Sweden, and committing acts of sabotage. The Danish resistance movement is perhaps best known for its rescue of nearly all the Jews in Denmark, including Danes who were Jewish as well as Jewish refugees. To maintain the goodwill of the Danish people, the German occupiers had not engaged in any overtly anti-Semitic acts, but that attitude changed when accommodation ceased. In the fall of 1943 the Germans prepared to round up the approximately 7,000 Jews in the country, but fewer than 500 were ultimately arrested. The remainder of the Jewish population had been successfully hidden, and over the following weeks they escaped to Sweden.

      During the last year of the war, the Freedom Council and leading Danish politicians cooperated more closely. When the Germans surrendered on May 5, 1945, a new government—half of which consisted of representatives of the Freedom Council and the other half of politicians from the old political parties—was formed. Elections in the autumn of 1945 brought a Left government, led by Knud Kristensen (Kristensen, Knud), to power.

Postwar Denmark, 1945–c. 1990
      Following the war, the question of Denmark's southern border arose once again as the Danish minority in German-controlled South Schleswig called for incorporation with Denmark. The idea won strong support among the local population, but in Denmark opinion was divided. In the autumn of 1946, after the United Kingdom formally requested the Danish government to state its intentions regarding South Schleswig, all parties agreed to the October Note of 1946, which rejected any alteration of the 1920 boundary between Denmark and Germany. Once the Social Democrats, under the leadership of Hans Hedtoft (Hedtoft, Hans), returned to power in 1947, all remaining plans to pursue the boundary question were abandoned.

      Meanwhile, the Danish government had made the defense of the realm a top priority in the immediate postwar period. Denmark joined the United Nations in June 1945 and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)) in April 1949. Its military defenses were considerably strengthened by statutes passed in 1950 and 1951 and were further complemented by armaments from the United States. Denmark nevertheless rejected a request by the United States to establish air bases on Danish territory. With West Germany's admission to NATO, Denmark succeeded in obtaining guarantees—formalized in the Bonn Protocol of 1955—for the rights of the Danish minority in South Schleswig.

Postwar politics
      A number of political reforms were instituted in the postwar era. In 1953 the constitution was substantially revised. Female succession to the throne was introduced, allowing Margrethe II to assume the throne in 1972 upon the death of her father, King Frederick IX. In addition, the new constitution reduced the national legislature to one chamber, the Folketing, whose membership was increased to 179—including two seats for Greenland and two for the Faroe Islands. All members of the Folketing were to be elected based on proportional representation, thus making a wide spectrum of political parties possible. On the other hand, it became almost impossible for any one party to secure an absolute majority. As a result, subsequent governments have tended to be either minority governments or coalitions of two, three, or even four parties.

      The postwar political scene was dominated by the so-called “old” parties: the Conservative People's Party (Konservative Folkeparti), the Left (known after 1964 as the Liberal Party), the Radical Left, and the Social Democratic Party (which remained more leftist in its outlook than the so-called Left parties). However, a number of smaller parties also gained influence and complicated the political situation.

      The Social Democratic Party was the leading party of the 1950s, '60s, and '70s. From 1953 to 1968 it was in power, either alone or in coalition with the Radicals and, for a short period, the Justice Party (Retsforbundet; a party based on the ideas of the economist Henry George (George, Henry)), and always with a Social Democrat as prime minister. The major results were new tax laws, particularly the institution of a general value-added consumer tax as well as a new type of income taxation that deducted taxes from income as it was earned rather than at a later date. This kind of income taxation enabled the government to stimulate or restrain spending by lowering or raising the level of taxation.

      In the 1968 election, the majority shifted to the right. The Radical Left's leader, Hilmar Baunsgaard (Baunsgaard, Hilmar), deserted the Social Democrats and headed a coalition with the Conservatives and the Liberals (the Left) until 1971, when Jens Otto Krag (Krag, Jens Otto) again formed a Social Democratic government.

      Krag unexpectedly resigned in 1972, leaving the post of prime minister to Anker Jørgensen, who had to call an election in November 1973. An electoral landslide resulted in heavy losses for the four “old” parties and the emergence of three new parties: the Centre Democrats (Centrum-Demokraterne), the Christian People's Party (Kristeligt Folkeparti), and the Progress Party (Fremskridtspartiet), an antitax party. A weak minority government under Poul Hartling of the Liberal Party tried to solve the country's growing economic problems, but his austerity program resulted in protests from trade unions and the opposition. In 1975 Jørgensen again came to power (from 1978 in coalition with the Liberals), rejecting support from the left-wing Socialist People's Party (Socialistisk Folkeparti), which opposed Danish membership in NATO.

      The end of the 1970s brought a deteriorating economic situation and the political system's inability to reach a consensus on measures to solve the problems. Increased indirect taxes to reduce the foreign debt and the deficit on the balance of payments met with strong opposition from the trade unions, many of which staged strikes and demonstrations; in 1979 Jørgensen was again forced to resign. After the election in October, however, he formed a Social Democratic minority government, which introduced what was called the most stringent wage-and-price-freeze program since World War II.

      After a new general election in December 1981, the voting age having been reduced from 20 to 18 following a referendum, Jørgensen again lost seats in the Folketing, but he continued as leader of a weak minority government that faced many problems, especially high unemployment, which had risen to about 10 percent. He was once more forced to resign—this time, however, without an election—in September 1982. The leader of the Conservative Party, Poul Schlüter, formed a minority government with three other centre-right parties: the Liberals, the Centre Democrats, and the Christian People's Party. Together, they had only 66 seats in the Folketing.

      The Conservatives remained in power through the 1980s and into the 1990s. Schlüter, the first Conservative prime minister since 1901, introduced a counterinflationary and economic recovery program that yielded results in 1985–86, but the country's foreign debt and balance-of-payments deficit continued to cause serious concern during the 1980s. Schlüter was consequently forced to call several general elections (1984, 1987, 1988), carry out government reshuffles (1986, 1987, 1988, 1989), and threaten to call elections or resign. He survived 23 no-confidence votes concerning foreign and defense policy, brought by the Social Democrats in tactical attempts to force him from office.

      When Schlüter reshuffled the government in 1988, he incorporated the Radical Left and excluded the Christian People's Party and the Centre Democrats. The coalition government came under greater pressure from the left-wing Socialist People's Party and the right-wing Progress Party, both of which gained seats in the Folketing at the end of the 1980s; the Progress Party advocated substantial cuts in the public sector and a more restrictive policy toward the dramatically increased number of refugees. It was a scandal over Tamil refugees that forced Schlüter's resignation in 1993 and brought a coalition government under the leadership of Social Democrat Poul Nyrup Rasmussen to power.

Postwar economics
      While the postwar period saw its share of economic difficulties, it was also a time of an overall rise in the standard of living. During the early 1950s the Danish economy suffered a large deficit in the trade balance, but the situation improved later in the decade as the result of lower import prices for raw materials, a considerable increase in industrial production, and the stabilization of prices for agricultural export products. The period from 1957 to 1965 saw rapidly rising prosperity. Within the framework of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (European Economic Co-operation, Organisation for), Denmark, during the 1950s, abolished most of the regulations that had restricted its foreign trade, and it was one of the founding members of the European Free Trade Association in 1959.

      During the 1960s, however, the balance-of-payments deficit became larger, and the government was forced to intervene in an attempt to control rising consumption. This was done by instituting the value-added tax, by compulsory savings, by intervention in labour conflicts, and by the regulation of wages and prices. Nevertheless, economic problems worsened in the 1970s. The various Danish governments attempted to impose stringent measures, such as harsh savings programs, but strong opposition to some plans led to the dissolution of the Folketing on several occasions. After 1973, rising oil prices and the international recession badly affected the Danish economy and led to a dramatic increase in unemployment.

      In 1972 Denmark was offered membership in the European Economic Community (EEC; now the European Community, a part of the European Union). In a referendum that year, 63 percent of Danish voters approved EEC membership, which became effective on Jan. 1, 1973.

      Austerity measures introduced by Prime Minister Schlüter in the early 1980s led to lower inflation, recovery in business confidence and investments, growth of employment in the private sector, and increasing economic activity. It proved difficult, however, to eliminate the budget deficit, and in 1986 the government was forced to increase energy and payroll taxes and to impose new austerity measures to curb private consumption, stimulate saving, and make private borrowing less attractive. The early 1990s brought a gradual recovery in the Danish economy, including a balance-of-payments surplus, despite the general European recession.

Michael I.A. Linton Christian Nokkentved

Denmark since the 1990s
      During the 1990s, while the economy improved and unemployment dropped, Danes struggled with three key political and economic issues. First, political controversy surrounded the status of immigrants and refugees in Denmark. A violation of refugees' rights led the prime minister to resign in 1993; right-wing parties adopted anti-immigration platforms; and rioting followed the expulsion in 1999 from Denmark of a Danish-born man of Turkish descent. Second, while most Danes supported maintaining the country's strong social welfare programs, some Danes sought to decrease the programs' high cost in taxes while others opposed any cuts in benefits. Third, Danes also were divided during the 1990s over closer economic ties with the European Community (EC). In 1992 Danish voters rejected the Maastricht Treaty, which provided the framework for an expanded European Union (EU) that would subsume the EC. A second referendum in 1993 approved Danish membership in the EU, but only after Denmark had negotiated exemptions from certain provisions of the treaty that many Danes thought might erode Danish social benefits or environmental protections. In a 2000 referendum, Danish voters rejected the single European currency, the euro.

      These issues remained political touchstones in the early 21st century. A centre-right coalition of the Liberal and Conservative parties assumed power following the defeat of the Social Democrats in the 2001 elections, which also marked the ascendancy of the far-right Danish People's Party (Dansk Folkeparti), a nationalist organization focused on immigration control. The new government immediately instituted policies further restricting immigration, including rules preventing would-be immigrants younger than age 24 from being naturalized as a result of marriage to, or sponsorship by, a Danish citizen. Despite its domestic popularity, this immigration crackdown was criticized by international observers, who noted that immigrants (primarily about 170,000 Muslims) constituted less than 5 percent of Denmark's population. Also indicative of Denmark's new conservatism, social welfare programs were slashed as expenditures overall were curtailed, though political debates on improving social welfare continued. The Liberal-Conservative coalition, under Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, was reelected in 2005 and 2007.

      In foreign affairs, the country struggled to define its role as a limited member of the EU. Government policy reflected most Danes' continued opposition to the single currency, joint defense, and EU citizenship, yet Denmark showed more enthusiasm than many of its European neighbours in its support of the Iraq War in 2003, though this stance was losing its popular appeal by mid-decade. The country withdrew most of its troops from Iraq in 2007.

 Denmark became the locus of both a domestic and an international controversy following the 2005 publication in a Danish newspaper of cartoon caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. The images provoked violent protests by Muslims worldwide and death threats against the cartoonists; the controversy also resulted in the recall of several Islamic ambassadors to Denmark and a sharp drop in Danish exports to Islamic countries. Although the newspaper eventually apologized for printing the cartoons, Prime Minister Rasmussen defended the freedom of the press throughout the crisis.

      Despite these difficult issues, Denmark's economy prospered in the early 21st century, with a solid national currency, a good trade balance, and an enviable budget surplus. The strength of its information and environmental technologies promised a bright future for the country.


Additional Reading

Kenneth E. Miller (compiler), Denmark (1987), contains an annotated bibliography of various 19th- and 20th-century publications. Judith Friedman Hansen, We Are a Little Land: Cultural Assumptions in Danish Everyday Life (1980), describes the social and cultural values that characterize the Danish lifestyle as a distinctive variant of modern Euro-American civilization. Robert T. Anderson and Barbara Gallatin Anderson, The Vanishing Village: A Danish Maritime Community (1964), is an easy-to-read study of Danish life in a village as it changed from that of a small inner-focused community to that of a mid-20th-century suburb of Copenhagen. Clemens Pedersen (ed.), The Danish Co-operative Movement, trans. from Danish (1977), offers an authoritative history of how Danish cooperatives first became influential in shaping the modernization of agriculture in Denmark. Thomas Rørdam, The Danish Folk High Schools, 2nd rev. ed., trans. from Danish (1980), describes historically the movement initiated by N.S.F. Grundtvig that culminated in the folk high school movement as a means of putting education to the service of defining national goals of equality and self-respect for a peasant ancestry. Eric S. Einhorn and John Logue, Modern Welfare States: Politics and Policies in Social Democratic Scandinavia (1989), extensively describes and analyzes the expansion of the public sector in developing and managing the social welfare system that characterizes Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Erik Allardt et al., Nordic Democracy (1981), is a well-documented, densely informative description of political institutions in Scandinavia. Stanley V. Anderson, The Nordic Council: A Study of Scandinavian Regionalism (1967), a rather technical account from the perspective of political science and international law, studies how Danish communal values find expression through international cooperation with other Scandinavian nations.

General works include Stewart Oakley, A Short History of Denmark (also published as The Story of Denmark, 1972), a readable work; W. Glyn Jones, Denmark: A Modern History, rev. ed. (1986), a well-written survey; Palle Lauring, A History of Denmark, 7th ed. (1986); and Bent Rying, Danish in the South and the North, vol. 2, Denmark: History, trans. from Danish (1988), which deals with the development from the Stone Age to the 20th century, with excellent pictures. More-advanced studies are Olaf Olsen (ed.), Gyldendal og Politikens Danmarkshistorie, 16 vol. (1988–91); Aksel E. Christensen (ed.), Danmarks historie, 10 vol. (1977–92), especially good for its thorough source criticism; and the series “Dansk socialhistorie,” 7 vol. (1979–82), on social history from the Stone Age to 1978 (vol. 1 has appeared in an English trans. as The Prehistory of Denmark, by Jørgen Jensen [1982]).Danish prehistory and archaeology are examined in Palle Lauring, Land of the Tollund Man (1957; originally published in Danish, 1954), covering the first settlers of hunting nomads to the Vikings; P.V. Glob, Denmark: An Archaeological History from the Stone Age to the Vikings (also published as Danish Prehistoric Monuments, 1971; originally published in Danish, 1942), a scholarly survey, The Mound People: Danish Bronze-Age Man Preserved (1974, reissued 1983; originally published in Danish, 1970), a thoroughly illustrated technical monograph, and The Bog People: Iron Age Man Preserved (1969, reissued 1988; originally published in Danish, 1965); Else Roesdahl, Viking Age Denmark (1982; originally published in Danish, 1980), an extensive description of Viking activities; and James Graham-Campbell (ed.), Cultural Atlas of the Viking World (1994), an admirable coverage of Viking geography. Jenny Jochens, Women in Old Norse Society (1995), takes us further in uncovering the history of Viking women.Brian Patrick McGuire, The Cistercians in Denmark: Their Attitudes, Roles, and Functions in Medieval Society (1982), presents a good example of the role of monasticism in medieval Denmark. Ruth Mazo Karras, Slavery and Society in Medieval Scandinavia (1988), draws on a wide variety of primary sources and archaeological data about the social, legal, and economic aspects of slavery. Svend Ellehøj (ed.), Christian IVs verden (1988), correlates the findings and views of modern scholarship on the king and his times; and John Robert Christianson, On Tycho's Island: Tycho Brahe and His Assistants, 1570–1601 (2000), gives a detailed look at intellectual life in Christian IV's time. Svend Aage Hansen, Økonomisk vækst i Danmark, 2 vol. (1972–74), gives a broad view of the economic growth in the period 1720–1970, with statistics. Fridlev Skrubbeltrang, Agricultural Development and Rural Reform in Denmark (1953); and Jens Christensen, Rural Denmark, 1750–1980, ed. by Claus Bjorn (1983), concern agriculture. Jørgen Hæstrup, Secret Alliance: A Study of the Danish Resistance Movement, 1940–1945, 3 vol. (1976–77; originally published in Danish, 1954), analyzes the movement in detail, based on “illegal” documents and personal accounts by leading members of the Resistance; and Erik Kjersgaard, Besættelsen 1940–45, 2 vol. (1980–81), describes the lives of ordinary people during the occupation. Harry Haue, Jørgen Olsen, and Jørn Aarup-Kristensen, Det ny Danmark 1890–1985: Udviklingslinjer og tendens, 3rd ed. (1985), deals with modern history. For current research, three journals are useful: The Scandinavian Economic History Review (3/yr.); Scandinavian Journal of History (quarterly); and Scandinavian Political Studies (quarterly).Christian Nokkentved

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Universalium. 2010.

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