Gerson Digital : Denmark


1. Short History of Denmark

A Short Survey of the History of Denmark, c. 800 tot 18601

Jan Kosten

Translated by Hein and Annètje Horn

When representative Europeans are asked to say something about Denmark, they will probably refer to the role of the medieval Vikings, who sewed death and destruction all over Europe, or else they will say that it is a small kingdom (in fact Europe’s oldest monarchy) and a model of democratic prosperity, tranquillity and order. And indeed, the history of the smallest Scandinavian country is situated between these two antipodes.


From: J. Hondius, Atlas Minor Gerardi Mercatoris Amsterdam 1607


1 This short survey of Danish history is heavily indebted to W. Glyn Jones, Denmark: a modern history, London 1986 (2nd ed.), K.J.V. Jespersen, A history of Denmark, Basingstoke 2011 (2nd ed.) and to a lesser extent to H. Seidelin Jacobsen, An outline history of Denmark, Copenhagen 1986. For the complex history of Denmark, Prussia and the German Confederation 1815-1864 the relevant chapters of J. Steinberg, Bismarck: a life, Oxford 2011, were used.

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