Denmark History

Denmark under the House of Oldenburg

With Christian I began the series of kings from the House of Oldenburg; In 1460 the estates of Schleswig and Holstein also elected him to their rulership. After repeated attempts to shake off the rule of the Danish kings (Engelbrecht Engelbrechtsson’s revolt in 1434 and 1436, disputes over Charles VIII Knutsson, who was elevated to king in Sweden in 1448, 1464/65 and 1467, Danish defeat on Brunkeberg in 1471 against the Swedish ruler Sten Sture), Sweden gained its independence through the uprising of Gustav Vasa in 1520-23, while Norway was increasingly linked to Denmark. Christian III In the “Count Feud” (1533–36) foiled the reinstatement of his cousin Christian II, who had been overthrown in 1523, supported by Lübeck, and in 1536 introduced the Lutheran Reformation. The kingship saw itself more and more restricted by the nobility: every new king had to buy his election through concessions from the Imperial Council. Frederick II led the seven-year three-crown war (1563–70) against Sweden, which ended in the Peace of Stettin (1570) without any results.

Christian IV intervened unsuccessfully in the Thirty Years’ War on behalf of the German Protestants; he lost to Sweden in the Peace of Brömsebro (1645) Jämtland and Härjedalen, the islands of Ösel and Gotland and (pledged for 30 years) Halland; after the conquest of all of Denmark except Copenhagen by Charles X. of Sweden, Frederick III. cede the eastern provinces of Scania, Blekinge and Halland in the Peace of Roskilde (1658).

These defeats resulted in a domestic political upheaval: at a diet in Copenhagen in 1660 the clergy, the bourgeoisie and the peasantry transferred full hereditary sovereignty to the king; the new constitution was laid down in the royal law of 1665 (Lex Regia). Foreign policy was then directed again against Sweden and the Dukes of Holstein-Gottorp, who were allied with him and who, as an Oldenburg branch line, had a share in the holdings of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. The counties of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst came to Denmark by inheritance contract in 1667. The participation of Denmark in the 2nd Northern War (1700-21) against Charles XII. of Sweden was not very successful; in the Peace of Frederiksborg (1720), Frederick IV achievedthe union of gottorp. Part of Schleswig with the royal Danish part. In 1773 the gottorp. Possessions and claims in Schleswig and Holstein exchanged for Oldenburg and Delmenhorst. The divided lordships of the Sonderburger line and the imperial county of Rantzau also fell to the Danish royal house by inheritance treaty, so that in 1779 Schleswig and Holstein, with the sole exception of the Augustburg part, were again connected to Denmark and Norway under one ruler.

In the second half of the 18th century, enlightened absolutism found its representatives in Denmark (J. H. E. von Bernstorff and A. P. von Bernstorff, J. F. Struensee). The last quarter of the 18th century was the heyday of legislation. The peasant class was liberated (1788), elementary schools were introduced, and the privileges of the nobility were restricted. Friedrich VI. (Regent since 1784) had to surrender the Danish fleet after two British sea attacks on Copenhagen in 1801 and 1807 (bombardment of Copenhagen); he then joined Napoleon I. and after its defeat in the Peace of Kiel in 1814, it lost Heligoland to Great Britain, Norway – apart from Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland – to Sweden and in 1815 received the small German Duchy of Lauenburg as a replacement, which, like the Duchy of Holstein, became a member of the German Confederation.

Parliamentarization and conflicts with Germany

When after the death of Frederick VI. In 1839 his cousin Christian VIII ascended the throne, the liberal party entered into open opposition to the government. Scandinavianism). The king, to whom the national contradiction seemed dangerous for the future of the monarchy, had a draft for an overall state constitution, including Schleswig-Holstein, drawn up, which was published by his son and successor Friedrich VII in 1848. The conflict between the Danish and German national movements triggered the German-Danish War of 1848–50. Visit for Denmark destinations.

In Denmark, the democratic constitution of 5 June 1849 was introduced during the war, which secured civil liberties and recognized universal suffrage. In the London Protocol of 8 May 1852, the question of succession for the entire Danish state was settled by the great powers in favor of Prince Christian von Sonderburg-Glücksburg. The first government act of Christian IX. was, however, the sanctioning of the new Basic Law, which provided for the complete amalgamation of Schleswig and Denmark. This step led to the German-Danish War of 1864. In the Peace of Vienna (October 30, 1864) Denmark had to cede the three duchies of Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg to Austria and Prussia. It lost almost a third of the national territory granted to it in 1814.

Outwardly, the consequence of the war of 1864 was a policy of neutrality (which was also strictly adhered to during the First World War); internally, agrarian interests came into play in a new constitution (1866) (creation of a bicameral parliament, the Landsting determined by the landowners, and the Folketing as a representative of the popular parties), and the conservatives took over the government: under Prime Minister J. B. S. Estrup (1875–94) the political and economic reconstruction took place. The influence of the Liberals (Venstre; the strongest party in the Folketing since 1872) and the Social Democrats grew.

Denmark History