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Denmark

early inhabitants During the Napoleonic Wars, Denmark joined the League of Armed Neutrality, in an effort to protect shipping rights and its expressed neutrality. Britain was not pleased and they attacked Copenhagen; the Danish fleet and Copenhagen were all but destroyed. 

Now vulnerable and economically weak, the Danish-Norway Union dissolved in 1814. Norway joined with Sweden, and Denmark shuffled on alone, keeping its colonies of Greenland, Iceland and the Faeroe Islands. Denmark experienced a much-needed and timely cultural revolution in the 19th century, and in June of 1849, the Danish constitutional monarchy was formed; governmental power returned to the people and the monarchy would now play a mostly symbolic role.

Denmark remained neutral during World War I, and after Germany's defeat and the forced reparations imposed, Denmark gained control of Schleswig-Holstein, its long-lost land along the base of the Jutland Peninsula between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Though neutral during World War II, Germany invaded in 1940 and Denmark - with no significant defenses - surrendered. Besides the Island of Bornholm, most of Denmark avoided any heavy damage.

At war's end Denmark was in a weakened position, especially with its colonies; Iceland successfully declared its independence in 1948, and the Faeroe Islands and Greenland would later gain home rule. Denmark was one of the founding members of the United Nations and NATO, and in 1973 joined the EU. Regardless, Danish citizens remain unwilling to support the EU's expansion, and in 2000, firmly rejected the Euro as their currency, much to the chagrin of business leaders and the government.

frederiksborg castle This is a proud land of Viking history, and long held traditions of independence, neutrality and royalty. Tourism is a strong industry in Denmark, as visitors from around the world return time and again to enjoy its ancient ruins and castles, cultural festivals, Copenhagen and fabulous Tivoli Gardens, Legoland (for kids of all ages), Bornholm Island and the country's many islands, and picturesque towns and villages.

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.