Denmark Old History

By | July 4, 2020

During the ice age three times the ice went down to cover the whole territory of Denmark. After these periods of terrible cold, however, spring times alternated. And in one of these Denmark began to populate. The first inhabitants were members of barbarian tribes from Asia. And they were undoubtedly hunters, given the relics of axes, swords, helmets with horns, which reached us. And no doubt warriors. The Romans were aware of this because precisely these warriors, of Germanic origin, contributed in the fifth century after Christ to the fall of the Roman Empire. They were tall, blond men and in war they attacked screaming wildly.

But their war power proved above all by sea. They had very fast sailing ships with several rows of rowers; they plunged on the coasts of the northern countries by plundering and plundering everything they found. Almost always the rulers of the threatened countries preferred to pay very strong tributes to these barbarians as long as they were left in peace. But in the ninth century after Christ they too knew the bitter taste of defeat: the Danish army, under the orders of King Gotfred, was routed by the army of Charlemagne, king of the Franks. And from him they were forced to cede a large part of their territory to France.

When they were independent again, from 1018 to 1035, they were under the orders of one of the greatest kings in their history, Canute the Great. In fact, he led them to conquer England and Norway. But their dominion was short-lived because at the death of the sovereign the two powers rebelled and managed to get rid of the conquerors. See Countryaah for population and country facts about Denmark.


The population consists almost entirely of Danes. The German-speaking minority in southern Jutland (North Schleswig), estimated at 35,000 people, has special political rights, just like the Danish minority in Schleswig-Holstein on the other side of the border, in this case even its own representation in parliament.

More than 85% of all Danes live in urban settlements, more than a third of them in and around Copenhagen. Other large cities with more than 100,000 residents are Århus, Odense and Ålborg. Education, health and other areas of public life are very well developed and make Denmark a welfare state.

Denmark Population by Year (Historical)

But the Danes still had a great aspiration, that of being able to reign over the Scandinavian countries. And this succeeded them during the reign of Queen Margaret, who sat on the throne from 1387 to 1412. Thus Sweden and Norway were subjugated. Yet still their domination ended with the death of the queen because her successors were unable to maintain the positions reached.

In the seventeenth century, in fact, Sweden, defeating Denmark forced it to abandon all the Scandinavian territories.

When wars against Napoleon broke out in Europe, Denmark was also involved. The British almost forced her to team up with them fearing that the mighty Danish fleet might fall into the hands of the French.

Denmark Old History

Since, however, Denmark refused to adhere to the rather peremptory English request, England moved its armies towards the Danish coasts and bombed Copenhagen, the capital, from the sea for three days in a row. Unable to resist beyond this state of affairs, the governor of the city capitulated and then the Danish fleet passed to the command of the English navy. Of course Denmark rebelled, allied itself with Napoleon and immediately began to rebuild its fleet.

But when Napoleon was defeated at the end of historic tumultuous events, Denmark was also involved in the defeat. In 1814 King Frederick VI of Denmark signed the peace of Kiel, with which he was forced to cede part of his territories.

And as had already happened in other European states, and not, the principles of freedom proclaimed by the French Revolution broke the hearts of all peoples, including the Danish one who, fighting hard battles, managed to ensure that the reigning absolute monarchy was transformed into a constitutional monarchy. And since then the life of the kingdom of Denmark was no longer shaken by particular historical events. At the outbreak of the First World War he declared himself neutral; not so in the second so much that it was immediately occupied by the Germans. He returned free at the end of the war in 1945.

The struggle that Denmark waged against the invading Germans was tough. Strikes, unrest, acts of sabotage, partisan struggle and so on, even the categorical refusal of the Danish police to swear allegiance to the Nazis. The Danish people fought with every means to free themselves from the Nazi yoke and on May 5, 1945, with the capitulation of Germany, it returned to being a sovereign and independent state. And in October of that year free elections were called which were won by the Social Democrats who, however, not having an absolute majority, formed a government with the liberals and the communists, chaired by Knud Kristensen, head of the liberals.

This government lasted until October 1947 when Kristensen, having failed to gain confidence in Parliament, was forced to resign. The elections were repeated on October 28th and these assigned the majority to the Social Democrats who, therefore, formed a government supported by the Labor Party and chaired by Hans Hedtoft, Foreign Minister was Gustav Rasmussen. On April 20, 1947, King Christian X died and was succeeded by Frederick IX.

Hedtoft, while adhering to the Marshall Plan, solemnly declared on February 3, 1948 that he did not want to join any of the political blocs that had formed in the meantime. Then, with the negative experience made during the Second World War, when despite the neutrality Denmark had been invaded by the Germans, not only joined the Atlantic Pact in April 1949, but together with the other northern states, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, proposed and organized a Nordic Council, which became operational in early 1953.

This Nordic agreement was a very important point for all the political movements that Denmark went on to carry out. But his adhesion to the Atlantic Pact provoked a negative reaction in Moscow, especially after the Lisbon Conference of February 1952. With this Conference the establishment of military bases on Danish territory was foreseen, with the possibility that they would be occupied by Anglo-American forces in the event of any conflict.

The Danish government sought to mitigate the harsh tones of Soviet diplomacy in this regard by broadening trade relations with the Soviet Union and sending its Prime Minister to Moscow to visit in March 1956.

In the meantime, the Constitution had been revised and, with the approval of the four main Danish political parties, it was decided, among other things, that: 1) – the succession to the throne would also be extended to the female line, given that the ruling sovereign he had only three daughters; 2) -the Upper Chamber was to be abolished; 3) – Greenland, from colony, would become Danish county.