Denmark History

Denmark History

Unification of the empire and the Kalmar Union

After bloody civil wars (from 1131) and turmoil of the throne (from 1146) Waldemar I restored peace and unity to the country in 1157. He and his sons Canute VI. as well as Waldemar II. subjugated the pagan turns of the Mecklenburg-Pomerania Baltic coast, in 1201 the German Holstein and in 1219 Estonia; the Wendish-German conquests were lost again by the defeat against the north German princes at Bornhöved (1227). After the death of Waldemar II (1241) there was again a period of civil wars up to the election of Waldemar IV. Atterdag (1340), who succeeded in regaining the lost territories. In 1346 he sold the Duchy of Estonia to the Teutonic Order, conquered Scania back from Sweden in 1360 and occupied Gotland in 1361 (taking Visby). There were repeated conflicts with the German Hanseatic League, which ended in the Peace of Stralsund in 1370 with the Danish recognition of the dominance of the Hanseatic League in the Baltic Sea. Visit weddinginfashion for Prehistory of Northern Europe.

His underage grandson and successor Olaf was under the tutelage of his mother Margarete, who became regent in Denmark and Norway in 1387. After they had also acquired Sweden in 1389, they brought about the Kalmar Union of the Three Kingdoms in 1397, which existed with interruptions until 1521/23. After the queen’s death (1412), her nephew, Erich VII of Pomerania, succeeded her rule in the three countries. He had to wage war against the Holstein counts, who were later supported by the Hanseatic cities. Between 1439 and 1442 King was Erich dropped in all three countries. Eric’s nephew and successor Christoph III. (from Bavaria) could still maintain the union, but after his death (1448) the Swedes elected Charles VIII Knutsson, the Danes Christian I as king.

World War II and post-war period

In 1939 Denmark signed a non-aggression pact with the German Reich; nevertheless it was occupied by German troops on April 9, 1940. The Stauning government protested, but remained in office. In 1941 Denmark joined the Anti-Comintern Pact under German pressure. The policy of negotiation and cooperation with the occupying power were increasingly rejected by the Danish population; In October 1943, in an unprecedented action, the Jews (around 7,000) who were threatened with deportation to extermination camps in their country helped them to flee to Sweden. The Danish Freedom Council, founded in 1943, increasingly coordinated the resistance. A state of emergency was declared on August 29, 1943. The government resigned, King Christian X. was imprisoned at Amalienborg Palace, the army disarmed. The Danish fleet sank itself. At the end of the war, Denmark was recognized as an ally of the victorious powers. In 1944 Iceland dissolved the union with Denmark.

In 1945, Vilhelm Buhl (* 1881, † 1954) formed a government from among the parties and the resistance, which annulled all laws passed under German pressure and took measures against collaborators. In 1945 Denmark was a co-founder of the UN and participated in the occupation of Germany. Under the government of the liberal Knud Kristensen (* 1895, † 1962; 1945-47) efforts to annex parts of Schleswig failed due to the resistance of the Folketing. In 1947 Friedrich IX ascended the throne.

Orientation towards the West and Euroscepticism

1947–50, 1953–55 was headed the government by the social democrat Hans Hedtoft (* 1903, † 1955), 1950–53 by the liberal Erik Eriksen (* 1902, † 1972). During this time the Faroe Islands received self-government (1948), Greenland became part of Denmark (1953) and received self-government in 1979. In 1953 a new constitution came into force (unicameral system, female succession). In 1955, Denmark and the Federal Republic of Germany signed the Bonn-Copenhagen Declaration on the national minorities of both sides. In 1949 Denmark joined the Council of Europe and joined the North Atlantic Pact. In 1960 it became a member of EFTA, but at the same time applied for admission to the European Economic Community.

From 1955–68 the Social Democrats H. C. Hansen (1955–60), Viggo Kampmann (* 1910, † 1976; 1960–62) and J. O. Krag (1962–68) led the government. Contrary to Denmark’s official position to be a nuclear weapon-free territory, the then Prime Minister Hansen had in 1957In a secret letter from the US (only made public in 1995), it allowed the storage of nuclear weapons at its Greenland military base in Thule and the flight over the area with nuclear-armed aircraft. When an American military aircraft of the type B-52 with four hydrogen bombs on board crashed near the base in 1968, the area around the accident site was severely radioactive and hundreds of workers involved in the rescue and clean-up operations were exposed to dangerous radiation (only 1995 decision, to pay severance payments to the 300–400 survivors).

1968–71 Hilmar Baunsgaard (* 1920, † 1989) was Prime Minister (Radical Venstre, Conservative; defense and administrative reform). 1971–72 again led Krag, 1972–73 his social democratic party friend A. Jørgensen, the government 1972 Margaret II ascended the throne. In 1973 Denmark joined the European Communities (at the same time membership of the EFTA expired). After the parliamentary elections of 1973, in which the traditional parties suffered heavy losses in favor of the Progress Party founded in protest against tax legislation, the liberal Poul Hartling (* 1914, † 2000) 1973-75 was Prime Minister of a minority government; he followed 1975-82 Jørgensen as head of government in minority cabinets. In September 1982 Poul Schlüter (* 1920; Conservative Party) replaced him as Prime Minister (resignation in January 1993). Contrary to the positive vote of the Folketing (13.5.1992) on the Maastricht Treaty, the population rejected these contracts by 50.7% in a referendum on June 2, 1992. Only after a summit conference of the EC member states had granted Denmark special conditions in December 1992 (e.g. on questions of the planned monetary union and defense cooperation) did the Danes agree to the Maastricht Treaty with 56.8% in a second referendum on May 18, 1993.

Denmark History

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