Denmark–Norway

Denmark–Norway (Danish and Norwegian: Danmark–Norge), also known as the Dano–Norwegian Realm, the Oldenburg Monarchy or the Oldenburg realms, was an early modern multi-national and multi-lingual real union consisting of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Kingdom of Norway (including the Norwegian overseas possessions: the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, et cetera), the Duchy of Schleswig, and the Duchy of Holstein. The state also claimed sovereignty over two historical peoples: Wends and Goths. Denmark–Norway had several colonies, namely the Danish Gold Coast, the Nicobar Islands, Serampore, Tharangambadi, and the Danish West Indies.

The state's inhabitants were mainly Danes, Norwegians, and Germans, and also included Faroese, Icelanders and Inuit in the Norwegian overseas possessions, a Sami minority in northern Norway, as well as indigenous peoples and enslaved Africans in the colonies. The main cities of Denmark–Norway were Copenhagen, Christiania (Oslo), Altona, Bergen and Trondheim, and the primary official languages were Danish and German, but Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese, Sami and Greenlandic were also spoken locally.[5][6]

In 1380, Olaf II of Denmark inherited the Kingdom of Norway, titled as Olaf IV, after the death of his father Haakon VI of Norway, who was married to Olaf's mother Margrete I. Margrete I was ruler of Norway from her son's death in 1387 until her own death in 1412. Denmark, Norway, and Sweden established and formed the Kalmar Union in 1397. Following Sweden's departure in 1523, the union was effectively dissolved. From 1536/1537, Denmark and Norway formed a personal union that would eventually develop into the 1660 integrated state called Denmark–Norway by modern historians, at the time sometimes referred to as the "Twin Kingdoms," "the Monarchy" or simply "His Majesty". Prior to 1660, Denmark–Norway was de jure a constitutional and elective monarchy in which the King's power was somewhat limited; in that year it became one of the most stringent absolute monarchies in Europe. Even after 1660, Denmark–Norway consisted of three formally separate parts, and Norway kept its separate laws and some institutions, and separate coinage and army.

The Dano-Norwegian union lasted until 1814,[7][8] when the Treaty of Kiel decreed that Norway (except for the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Greenland) be ceded to Sweden. The treaty however, was not recognised by Norway, which successfully resisted the attempt in the 1814 Swedish–Norwegian War. Norway thereafter entered into a much looser personal union with Sweden as one of two equal kingdoms through 1905, when the union was dissolved and both kingdoms became independent.

Denmark–Norway

Danmark–Norge
1523–1533
1537–1814
Map of Denmark–Norway, c. 1780
Map of Denmark–Norway, c. 1780
StatusPersonal union (1523–1533)
Dual monarchy (Real union) (1537–1814)[1]
CapitalCopenhagen
and Oslo (Only in Norway 1523–1537)
Common languagesOfficial:
Danish, German, Renaissance Latin
Also spoken: Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese, Sami, Greenlandic
Religion
Lutheran
GovernmentMonarchy

Denmark
Elective monarchy 1523–1660
Hereditary absolute monarchy 1660–1814

Norway
Elective monarchy 1523–1537 (de facto) Hereditary monarchy 1537–1814
(Absolute from 1661)
King 
• 1524–1533
Frederick I
• 1588–1648
Christian IV
• 1648–1670
Frederick III
• 1808–1814a
Frederick VI
Legislature
Historical eraEarly modern Europe
• Gustav Vasa elected
    King of Sweden

6 June 1523
• Kalmar Union collapsed
1523
• Norwegian riksråd
    abolished

1537
• Danish rigsråd
    abolished

14 October 1660
• Lex Regia confirms
    absolutism

14 November 1665
• Treaty of Brömsebro
13 August 1645
• Treaty of Roskilde
26 February 1658
• Treaty of Kiel
14 January 1814
• Congress of Vienna
September 1814 – June 1815
Area
1780b487,476 km2 (188,216 sq mi)
Population
• 1645c
1,315,000
• 1801d
1,859,000
Currency
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kalmar Union
Denmark
Sweden–Norway
Norway
  • a: Frederick VI was regent for his father, so ruled as de facto king from 14 April 1784; he continued to rule Denmark after the Treaty of Kiel until his death on 3 December 1839.
  • b: Denmark (43,094 km2 or 16,639 sq mi), Schleswig-Holstein (15,763 km2 or 6,086 sq mi), Norway (mainland: 324,220 km2 or 125,180 sq mi), Faroes (1,399 km2 or 540 sq mi), Iceland (103,000 km2 or 40,000 sq mi). (With Greenland: additional 2,175,600 km2 or 840,000 sq mi.)
  • c: Estimated 825,000 in Denmark, 440,000 in Norway and 50,000 in Iceland[3]
  • d: 929,000 in Denmark, 883,000 in Norway and 47,000 in Iceland[4]

Usage and extent

The term "Kingdom of Denmark" is sometimes used to include both countries in the period, since the political and economic power emanated from the Danish capital, Copenhagen. These terms cover the "royal territories" of the Oldenburgs as it was in 1460, excluding the "ducal territories" of Schleswig and Holstein. The administration used two official languages, Danish and German, and for several centuries both a Danish Chancellery (Danish: Danske Kancelli) and German Chancellery (Danish: Tyske Kancelli) existed.[9]

The term "Denmark–Norway" reflects the historical and legal roots of the union. It is adopted from the Oldenburg dynasty's official title. The kings always used the style "King of Denmark and Norway, the Wends and the Goths" (Konge til Danmark og Norge, de Venders og Gothers). Denmark and Norway, sometimes referred to as the "Twin Realms" (Tvillingrigerne) of Denmark–Norway, had separate legal codes and currencies, and mostly separate governing institutions. Following the introduction of absolutism in 1660, the centralisation of government meant a concentration of institutions in Copenhagen. Centralisation was supported in many parts of Norway, where the two-year attempt by Sweden to control Trøndelag had met strong local resistance and resulted in a complete failure for the Swedes and a devastation of the province. This allowed Norway to further secure itself militarily for the future through closer ties with the capital Copenhagen. The term "Sweden–Finland" is sometimes, although with less justification, applied to the contemporary Swedish realm between 1521 and 1809. Finland was never a separate kingdom, and was completely integrated with Sweden, while Denmark was the dominant component in a personal union.

Colonies

Denmark-Norway and possessions
Enlargeable map of Denmark–Norway and its possessions c. 1800

Throughout the time of Denmark–Norway, it continuously had possession over various overseas territories. At the earliest times this meant areas in Northern Europe and North America, for instance Estonia and the Norwegian possessions of Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland.

From the 17th century, the kingdoms acquired colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and India. At its height the empire was about 2,655,564.76 km2 (1,025,319 sq mi)[note 1]

India

Denmark–Norway maintained numerous colonies from the 17th to 19th centuries over various parts around India. Colonies included the town of Tranquebar and Serampore. The last towns it had control over were sold to the United Kingdom in 1845. Rights in the Nicobar Islands were sold in 1869.

Caribbean

Centred on the Virgin Islands, Denmark–Norway established the Danish West Indies. This colony was one of the longest-lived of Denmark, until it was sold to the United States in 1917. It became the U.S. Virgin Islands.

West Africa

In the Gold Coast region of West Africa, Denmark–Norway also over time had control over various colonies and forts. The last remaining forts were sold to the United Kingdom in 1850.

History

Origins of the Union

Carta Marina.jpeg
Carta marina, an early map of the Nordic countries, made around end of Kalmar Union and start of Denmark–Norway

The three kingdoms then united in the Kalmar Union in 1397. Sweden broke out of this union and re-entered it several times, until 1521, when Sweden finally left the Union, leaving Denmark–Norway (including overseas possessions in the North Atlantic and the island of Saaremaa in modern Estonia).

Northern Seven Years' War

The outbreak of the Northern Seven Years' War in 1563 is mainly attributed to Denmark's displeasure over the dismantling of the Kalmar Union in the 1520s. When the Danish-Norwegian king Christian III (reigned 1534–1559) included the traditionally Swedish insignia of three crowns into his own coat of arms, the Swedes interpreted this as a Danish claim over Sweden. In response Erik XIV of Sweden (reigned 1560–1568) added the insignia of Norway and Denmark to his own coat of arms.

After Swedish king Erik introduced obstacles in an attempt to hinder trade with Russia, Lübeck and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth joined Denmark–Norway in a war alliance. Denmark–Norway then carried out some naval attacks on Sweden, which effectively started the war. After seven years of fighting, the conflict concluded in 1570 with a status quo ante bellum.

Kalmar War

Kristian IV av Danmark, malning av Pieter Isaacsz 1611-1616
Christian IV of Denmark

Because of Denmark–Norway's dominion over the Baltic Sea (dominium maris baltici) and the North Sea, Sweden had the intention of avoiding paying Denmark's Sound Toll. Swedish king Charles IX's way of accomplishing this was to try to set up a new trade route through Lapland and northern Norway. In 1607 Charles IX declared himself "King of the Lapps in Nordland", and started collecting taxes in Norwegian territory.

Denmark and King Christian IV of Denmark protested against the Swedish actions, as they had no intentions of letting another independent trade route open, Christian IV also had an intent of forcing Sweden to rejoin its union with Denmark. In 1611 Denmark finally invaded Sweden with 6000 men and took the city of Kalmar. On 20 January 1613, the Treaty of Knäred was signed in which Norway's land route from Sweden was regained by incorporating Lapland into Norway, and Swedish payment of the Älvsborg Ransom for two fortresses which Denmark had taken in the war. However, Sweden achieved an exemption from the Sound Toll, which had only previously been secured by Britain and Holland.

Aftermath of the Älvsborg Ransom

The great ransom paid by Sweden (called the Älvsborg Ransom) was used by Christian IV, among many other things, to found the cities of Glückstadt, Christiania (refounded after a fire), Christianshave, Christianstad and Christianssand. He also founded the Danish East India Company which led to the establishment of numerous Danish colonies in India.

Thirty Years' War

Not long after the Kalmar war, Denmark–Norway got involved in another greater war, in which they fought together with the mainly north German and other Protestant states against the Catholic states led by German Catholic League.

Christian IV sought to become the leader of the north German Lutheran states, however following the Battle of Lutter in 1626 Denmark met a crushing defeat. This led to most of the German Protestant states ceasing their support for Christian IV. After another defeat at the Battle of Wolgast and following the Treaty of Lübeck in 1629, which forbade Denmark–Norway from future intervening in German affairs, Denmark–Norways's participation in the war came to an end.

Torstenson War

Scandinavia 1645
Treaty of Brömsebro, 1645.
  Denmark–Norway
  Sweden
  The provinces of Jemtland, Herjedalen, Idre & Serna and the Baltic Sea islands of Gotland and Ösel, which were ceded to Sweden
  The province of Halland, ceded for 30 years.

Sweden was very successful during the Thirty Years' War, while Denmark–Norway was a failure. Sweden saw an opportunity of a change of power in the region. Denmark–Norway had a threatening territory surrounding Sweden, and the Sound Dues were a continuing irritation for the Swedes. In 1643 the Swedish Privy Council determined Swedish territorial gain in an eventual war against Denmark–Norway to have good chances. Not long after this, Sweden invaded Denmark–Norway.

Denmark was poorly prepared for the war, and Norway was reluctant to attack Sweden, which left the Swedes in a good position.

The war ended as foreseen with Swedish victory, and with the Treaty of Brömsebro in 1645, Denmark–Norway had to cede some of their territories, including Norwegian territories Jemtland, Herjedalen and Idre & Serna, and the Danish Baltic Sea islands of Gotland and Ösel. The Thirty Years' War thus began the rise of Sweden as a great power, while it marked the start of decline for the Danish.

Scandinavia 1658
Treaty of Roskilde, 1658.
  Halland, occupied by Sweden for a 30-year period under the terms of the Peace of Brömsebro negotiated in 1645, was now ceded
  the Scanian lands and Båhus County were ceded
  Trøndelag and Bornholm provinces, which were ceded in 1658, but which rebelled against Sweden and returned to Danish rule in 1660

Second Northern Wars

The Dano-Swedish War (1657–1658), a part of the Second Northern War, was one of the most devastating wars for the Dano-Norwegian kingdom. After a huge loss in the war, Denmark–Norway was forced in the Treaty of Roskilde to give Sweden nearly half its territory. This included Norwegian province of Trøndelag and Båhuslen, all remaining Danish provinces on the Swedish mainland, and the island of Bornholm.

However, two years later, in 1660, there was a follow-up treaty, the Treaty of Copenhagen, which gave Trøndelag and Bornholm back to Denmark–Norway.

Royal absolutist state

In the aftermath of Sweden's final secession from the Kalmar Union in 1521, civil war and Protestant Reformation followed in Denmark and Norway. When things had settled down, the Rigsraad (High Council) of Denmark became weakened, and was abolished in 1660, the Norwegian Riksråd was de facto already abolished in 1537 (the Norwegian Riksråd was assembled for the last time in 1537) when king Christian III of Denmark–Norway did a coup d'état in Norway and made it a hereditary kingdom in a real union with Denmark. Norway kept its separate laws and some institutions, such as a royal chancellor, and separate coinage and army. Norway also had its own royal standard flag until 1748, after that the Dannebrog became the only official merchant flag in the union.[10] Denmark–Norway became an absolutist state and Denmark a hereditary monarchy, as Norway de jure had been since the Middle Ages. These changes were confirmed in the Lex Regia signed on 14 November 1665, stipulating that all power lay in the hands of the king, who was only responsible towards God.[11]

Scanian War

Denmark had lost its provinces in Scania after the Treaty of Roskilde and was always eager to retrieve them, but as Sweden had grown into a great power it would not be an easy task. However, Christian V saw an opportunity when Sweden got involved in the Franco-Dutch War, and after some hesitation Denmark–Norway invaded Sweden in 1675.

Although the Danish-Norwegian assault began as a great success, the Swedes led by 19-year-old Charles XI counter-attacked and took back the land that was being occupied. The war was concluded with the French dictating peace, with no permanent gains or losses to either of the countries.

Napoleonic Wars and end of the Union

Gunboat battle near Alvøen Norway
Battle between the frigate HMS Tartar and Norwegian gunboats near Bergen in 1808.

During the French Revolutionary Wars Denmark–Norway at first tried to stay neutral, so it could continue its trade with both France and the United Kingdom, but when it entered the League of Armed Neutrality, the British considered it a hostile action, and attacked Copenhagen in 1801 and again in 1807. In the 1807 attack on Copenhagen the British army confiscated the entire Dano-Norwegian navy on the grounds that Denmark–Norway was about to launch an attack on Britain. The Dano-Norwegian navy had been the only navy left in Europe able to challenge the British navy after the destruction of the Spanish–French navy in the Battle of Trafalgar. The Dano-Norwegian navy was however not prepared for any military operation and the British soldiers found the Dano-Norwegian navy still in dock after the winter season. The Dano-Norwegians were more concerned about preserving their continued neutrality and the entire Dano-Norwegian army was therefore gathered at Danevirke in the event of a French attack, leaving Copenhagen vulnerable to a British attack. The British attack on Danish neutrality effectively forced the Dano-Norwegians into an alliance with Napoleon, and Denmark–Norway allied itself with France.

Denmark–Norway was defeated and had to cede the Kingdom of Norway to the King of Sweden at the Treaty of Kiel. Norway's overseas possessions were kept by Denmark. But the Norwegians objected to the terms of this treaty, and a constitutional assembly declared Norwegian independence on 17 May 1814 and elected the Crown Prince Christian Frederik as king of independent Norway. Following a Swedish invasion, Norway was forced to accept a personal union between Sweden and Norway, but retained its liberal constitution and separate institutions, except for the foreign service. The union was dissolved in 1905.

Religion

Denmark–Norway was among the countries to follow Martin Luther after the Protestant Reformation, and thus established Lutheran Protestantism as official religion in place of Roman Catholicism. Lutheran Protestantism prevailed through most of the union's life span.

There was however one other religious "reformation" in the kingdom during the rule of Christian VI, a follower of Pietism. The period from 1735 until his death in 1746 has been nicknamed "the State Pietism", as new laws and regulations were established in favor of Pietism. Though Pietism did not last for a substantial time, numerous new small pietistic resurrections occurred over the next 200 years. In the end, Pietism was never firmly established as a lasting religious grouping.

Legacy

Although the Dano–Norwegian union was generally viewed favourably in Norway at the time of its dissolution in 1814, some 19th century Norwegian writers disparaged the union as a "400-year night." Historians describe the idea of a "400-year night" as a myth that was created as a rhetorical device in the struggle against the Swedish–Norwegian union, inspired by 19th century national romanticist ideas. Since the late 19th century the Danish–Norwegian union was increasingly viewed in a more nuanced and favourable light in Norway with a stronger focus on empirical research, and historians have highlighted that the Norwegian economy thrived and that Norway was one of the world's wealthiest countries during the entire period of real union with Denmark. Historians have also pointed out that Norway was a separate state, with its own army, legal system and other institutions, with significant autonomy in its internal affairs, and that it was primarily governed by a local elite of civil servants who identified as Norwegian, albeit in the name of the somewhat distant King. Norwegians were also well represented in the military, civil service and business elites of Denmark–Norway, and in the administration of the colonies in the Caribbean and elsewhere. Norway benefited militarily from the combined strength of Denmark–Norway in the wars with Sweden and economically from its trade relationship with Denmark in which Norwegian industry enjoyed a legal monopoly in Denmark while Denmark supplied Norway with agricultural products.[12][13]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Possessions of Denmark–Norway (as of 1800)

References

  1. ^ Slagstad, Rune (2004), "Shifting Knowledge Regimes: the Metamorphoses of Norwegian Reformism", Thesis Eleven, 77 (1): 65–83, doi:10.1177/0725513604044236
  2. ^ regjeringen.no (5 July 2011). "A Forerunner to the Norwegian Council of State". Government.no.
  3. ^ Historisk Tidsskrift: Nyt om Trediveårskrigen (in Danish)
  4. ^ Tacitus.no – Skandinaviens befolkning (in Swedish)
  5. ^ Scandinavian Dialect Syntax. Network for Scandinavian Dialect Syntax. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  6. ^ [1].Scandinavian Language. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Denmark". World Statesmen. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
  8. ^ "Norway". World Statesmen. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
  9. ^ Rigsarkivets Samlinger. Arkivalier før 1848. Danske kancelli 1454–1848 Archived 2006-02-12 at the Wayback Machine; Rigsarkivets Samlinger. Arkivalier før 1848. Tyske kancelli Archived 2006-02-12 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ Krig og Enevælde: 1648–1746 Archived 2011-10-04 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "1655 Lex Regia (Kongelov) for Kongerigerne Danmark og Norge, Hertugdømmerne Slesvig og Holsten etc". thomasthorsen.dk.
  12. ^ Myten om 400-årsnatten
  13. ^ Hvor mørk var "400-års-natten"?

Coordinates: 55°40′N 12°34′E / 55.667°N 12.567°E

Christian III of Denmark

Christian III (12 August 1503 – 1 January 1559) reigned as King of Denmark from 1534 until his death, and King of Norway from 1537 until his death. During his reign, Christian established Lutheranism as the state religion within his realms as part of the Protestant Reformation.

Christian II of Denmark

Christian II (1 July 1481 – 25 January 1559) was a Scandinavian monarch under the Kalmar Union. He reigned as King of Denmark and Norway from 1513 until 1523 and of Sweden from 1520 until 1521. From 1513 to 1523, he was concurrently Duke of Schleswig and Holstein in joint rule with his uncle Frederick.

Christian was the oldest son of King John and belonged to the House of Oldenburg. Denmark was then an elective monarchy in which the nobility elected the new king (from among the sons or close male relatives of the previous monarch), who had to share his power with them. He came into conflict with the Danish nobility when he was forced to sign a charter, more strict than any previous, to ensure his access to the throne. Through domestic reforms he later sought to evade the restrictions of the charter.

Internationally, he tried to maintain the Kalmar Union between the Scandinavian countries which brought him to war with Sweden, lasting between 1518 and 1523. Though he captured the country in 1520, his slaughter of leading Swedish nobility afterwards (known as the Stockholm Bloodbath) made him despised and after a short reign in Sweden, where to this day he is known as Christian the Tyrant (Kristian Tyrann), he was deposed in a rebellion led by the nobleman and later king of Sweden Gustav Vasa. His problems grew as he tried to limit the influence of foreign trading nations in Denmark. His reign in Denmark and Norway was cut short in 1523 when his uncle deposed him and took the thrones as Frederick I.

Christian was exiled to the Netherlands, ruled by his brother-in-law, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. After attempting to reclaim the thrones in 1531, he was arrested and held in captivity for the rest of his life, first in Sønderborg Castle and later at Kalundborg Castle. As a captive, he was treated well and as he grew older he was gradually given more freedom. He died aged 77, outliving his uncle and his cousin, King Christian III. Supporters tried to restore him to power both during his exile and his imprisonment but they were defeated decisively during the Count's Feud in 1536.Personally, he was intelligent but irresolute (he could not decide between Protestantism and Catholicism for instance), which is also part of his legacy in literature. In 1515, he married Isabella of Austria, granddaughter of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor. However, he is most known for his relation with Dyveke Sigbritsdatter, a commoner of Dutch ancestry who became his mistress before his marriage and whose mother became his closest advisor. When Dyveke suddenly died in 1517, Christian had the nobleman Torben Oxe executed, on dubious grounds, for having poisoned her. Dyveke’s mother would follow Christian in exile but his in-laws forced him to break their friendship. His wife was invited to remain in Denmark rather than live in exile but declined and died in 1526, after which her family took Christian's children from him. Christian tried to have his son John recognized as heir to the throne; however, this was denied and John died a year later. His daughters, Dorothea and Christina, the children of his to survive childhood, also made claims to the throne on behalf of themselves or their children but likewise in vain.

Christian I of Denmark

Christian I (February 1426 – 21 May 1481) was a Scandinavian monarch under the Kalmar Union. He was King of Denmark (1448–1481), Norway (1450–1481) and Sweden (1457–1464). From 1460 to 1481, he was also Duke of Schleswig (within Denmark) and Count (after 1474, Duke) of Holstein (within the Holy Roman Empire). He was the first Danish monarch of the House of Oldenburg.In the power vacuum that arose following the death of King Christopher of Bavaria (1416–1448) without a direct heir, Sweden elected Charles VIII of Sweden (1408-1470) king with the intent to reestablish the union under a Swedish king. Charles was elected king of Norway in the following year. However the counts of Holstein made the Danish Privy Council appoint Christian as king of Denmark. His subsequent accessions to the thrones of Norway (in 1450) and Sweden (in 1457), restored the unity of the Kalmar Union for a short period. In 1463, Sweden broke away from the union and Christian's attempt at a reconquest resulted in his defeat to the Swedish regent Sten Sture the Elder at the Battle of Brunkeberg in 1471.In 1460, following the death of his uncle, Duke Adolphus of Schleswig, Count of Holstein, Christian also became Duke of Schleswig and Count of Holstein.

Christian VII of Denmark

Christian VII (29 January 1749 – 13 March 1808) was a monarch of the House of Oldenburg who was King of Denmark–Norway and Duke of Schleswig and Holstein from 1766 until his death. For his motto he chose: "Gloria ex amore patriae" ("glory through love of the fatherland").Christian VII's reign was marked by mental illness and for most of his reign Christian was only nominally king. His half-brother Frederick was designated as regent of Denmark in 1772. From 1784 until Christian VII's death in 1808, Christian's son, later Frederick VI, acted as unofficial regent.

Christian VI of Denmark

Christian VI (30 November 1699 – 6 August 1746) was King of Denmark and Norway from 1730 to 1746. The eldest surviving son of King Frederick IV and Louise of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, he is considered one of Denmark-Norway's more anonymous kings, but he was a skilled politician, best known for his authoritarian regime. He was the first king of the Oldenburg dynasty to refrain from entering in any war. He was married to Sophie Magdalene of Brandenburg-Kulmbach and was the father of Frederick V. His chosen motto was "deo et populo" (for God and the people).

Denmark–Norway relations

Denmark–Norway relations are foreign relations between Denmark and Norway. The countries have a very long history together: they were both part of the Kalmar Union between 1397 and 1523, and Norway was in Union with Denmark between 1524 and 1814.

The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1905, after Norway ended its union with Sweden. Denmark has an embassy in Oslo. Norway has an embassy in Copenhagen.

Both countries are full members of the Nordic Council, Council of the Baltic Sea States, of NATO, and of the Council of Europe. There are around 15,000 Norwegians living in Denmark and around 20,000 Danes living in Norway.

Frederick III of Denmark

Frederick III (Danish: Frederik; 18 March 1609 – 9 February 1670) was king of Denmark and Norway from 1648 until his death in 1670. He also governed under the name Frederick II as diocesan administrator (colloquially referred to as prince-bishop) of the Prince-Bishopric of Verden (1623–29 and again 1634–44), and the Prince-Archbishopric of Bremen (1635–45).He instituted absolute monarchy in Denmark-Norway in 1660, confirmed by law in 1665 as the first in Western historiography. He also ordered the creation of the Throne Chair of Denmark. He was born the second-eldest son of Christian IV and Anne Catherine of Brandenburg. Frederick was only considered an heir to the throne after the death of his older brother Prince Christian in 1647.

In order to be elected king after the death of his father, Frederick conceded significant influence to the nobility. As king, he fought two wars against Sweden. He was defeated in the Dano-Swedish War of 1657–1658, but attained great popularity when he weathered the 1659 Assault on Copenhagen and won the Dano-Swedish War of 1658–1660. Later that year, Frederick used his popularity to disband the elective monarchy in favour of absolute monarchy, which lasted until 1848 in Denmark. He married Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg, with whom he fathered Christian V of Denmark.

Frederick II of Denmark

Frederick II (1 July 1534 – 4 April 1588) was King of Denmark and Norway and Duke of Schleswig from 1559 until his death.

Frederick IV of Denmark

Frederick IV (11 October 1671 – 12 October 1730) was the king of Denmark and Norway from 1699 until his death. Frederick was the son of King Christian V of Denmark-Norway and his consort Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel.

Frederick VI of Denmark

Frederick VI (Danish and Norwegian: Frederik; 28 January 1768 – 3 December 1839) was King of Denmark from 13 March 1808 to 3 December 1839 and King of Norway from 13 March 1808 to 7 February 1814, making him the last king of Denmark–Norway. From 1784 until his accession, he served as regent during his father's mental illness and was referred to as the "Crown Prince Regent" (kronprinsregent). For his motto he chose God and the just cause (Danish: Gud og den retfærdige sag) and since the time of his reign, succeeding Danish monarchs have also chosen mottos in the Danish language rather than the formerly customary Latin.

Frederick V of Denmark

Frederick V (Danish and Norwegian: Frederik; 31 March 1723 – 14 January 1766) was king of Denmark–Norway and Duke of Schleswig-Holstein from 1746 until his death. He was the son of Christian VI of Denmark and Sophie Magdalene of Brandenburg-Kulmbach.

John, King of Denmark

John (Danish, Norwegian and Swedish: Hans; né Johannes) (2 February 1455 – 20 February 1513) was a Scandinavian monarch under the Kalmar Union. He was king of Denmark (1481–1513), Norway (1483–1513) and as John II (Swedish: Johan II) Sweden (1497–1501). From 1482 to 1513, he was concurrently duke of Schleswig and Holstein in joint rule with his brother Frederick.

The three most important political goals of King John were the restoration of the Kalmar Union, reduction of the dominance of the Hanseatic League, and the building of a strong Danish royal power.

Kalmar Union

The Kalmar Union (Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish: Kalmarunionen; Latin: Unio Calmariensis) was a personal union that from 1397 to 1523 joined under a single monarch the three kingdoms of Denmark, Sweden (then including most of Finland's populated areas), and Norway, together with Norway's overseas dependencies (then including Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and the Northern Isles). The union was not quite continuous; there were several short interruptions. Legally, the countries remained separate sovereign states, but with their domestic and foreign policies being directed by a common monarch.

One main impetus for its formation was to block German expansion northward into the Baltic region. The main reason for its failure to survive was the perpetual struggle between the monarch, who wanted a strong unified state, and the Swedish and Danish nobility, which did not. Diverging interests (especially the Swedish nobility's dissatisfaction with the dominant role played by Denmark and Holstein) gave rise to a conflict that would hamper the union in several intervals from the 1430s until its definitive breakup in 1523, when Gustav Vasa was elected as king of Sweden.Norway continued to remain a part of the realm of Denmark–Norway under the Oldenburg dynasty for nearly three centuries, until its dissolution in 1814. The ensuing loose union between Sweden and Norway lasted until 1905, when a grandson of the incumbent king of Denmark was elected as king of Norway; his direct descendants still reign in Norway.

Margaret I of Denmark

Margaret I (Danish: Margrete Valdemarsdatter, Bokmål: Margrete Valdemarsdatter, Nynorsk: Margrete Valdemarsdotter, Swedish: Margareta Valdemarsdotter, Icelandic: Margrét Valdimarsdóttir; 15 March 1353 – 28 October 1412) was queen consort of Norway (1363–1380) and Sweden (1363–1364) and later ruler in her own right of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, from which later period there are ambiguities regarding her specific titles. She was the founder of the Kalmar Union, which spanned Scandinavia for over a century. Margaret was known as a wise, energetic and capable leader, who governed with "farsighted tact and caution," earning the nickname "Semiramis of the North". She was derisively called "King Breechless", one of several mean nicknames invented by her rival Albert of Mecklenburg, but was also known by her subjects as "the Lady King", which became widely used in recognition of her capabilities. Knut Gjerset calls her "the first great ruling queen in European history."The youngest daughter of King Valdemar IV of Denmark, Margaret was born at the Søborg Castle. She was a practical, patient administrator and diplomat, albeit one of high aspirations and a strong will, who intended to unite Scandinavia forever into one single entity with the strength to resist and compete against the might of the Hanseatic League. She died childless, having survived her only son, Olaf II, though some historians suggest she had an illegitimate daughter with Abraham Brodersson. Margaret was ultimately succeeded by a string of incompetent monarchs, despite her efforts to raise and educate her heir Eric of Pomerania and his bride Philippa of England. Philippa in particular was an excellent pupil, but died young. "Although Eric came of age in 1401, Margaret continued for the remaining 11 years of her life to be sole ruler in all but name. [Her] second regency marked the beginning of a Dano-Norwegian Union which was to last for more than four centuries." Ultimately, the Union into which she put so much effort and hope gradually disintegrated.

Some historians have criticized Margaret for favouring Denmark and being too autocratic, though she is generally thought to have been highly regarded in Norway and respected in Denmark and Sweden. She was painted in a negative light in contemporary religious chronicles, as she had no qualms suppressing the Church to promote royal power.Margaret is known in Denmark as "Margrethe I" to distinguish her from the current queen, who chose to be known as Margrethe II in recognition of her predecessor.

Operation Weserübung

Operation Weserübung (German: Unternehmen Weserübung [ˈveːsɐˌʔyːbʊŋ]) was the code name for Germany's assault on Denmark and Norway during the Second World War and the opening operation of the Norwegian Campaign. The name comes from the German for "Operation Weser-Exercise", the Weser being a German river.

In the early morning of 9 April 1940 (Wesertag, "Weser Day"), Germany occupied Denmark and invaded Norway, ostensibly as a preventive manoeuvre against a planned, and openly discussed, Franco-British occupation of Norway known as Plan R 4. After the occupation of Denmark (the danish military was ordered to stand down as Denmark did not declare war with Germany), envoys of the Germans informed the governments of Denmark and Norway that the Wehrmacht had come to protect the countries' neutrality against Franco-British aggression. Significant differences in geography, location and climate between the two nations made the actual military operations very dissimilar.

The invasion fleet's nominal landing time, Weserzeit ("Weser Time"), was set to 05:15.

Reformation in Denmark–Norway and Holstein

The Reformation in Denmark–Norway and Holstein was the transition from Catholicism to Lutheranism in the realms ruled by the Danish-based House of Oldenburg in the first half of the sixteenth century. After the break-up of the Kalmar Union in 1521/1523, these realms included the kingdoms of Denmark (inclusive the former east Danish provinces in Skåneland) and Norway (inclusive Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands) and the Duchies of Schleswig (a Danish fief) and Holstein (a German fief), whereby Denmark also extended over today's Gotland (now part of Sweden) and Øsel in Estonia.

The Protestant Reformation was initiated by Martin Luther's Ninety-five Theses in 1517, and reached Holstein and Denmark in the 1520s. Lutheran figures like Hans Tausen gained considerable support in the population and from Christian II, and though the latter's successor Frederick I officially condemned the reformatory ideas, he tolerated their spread. His son Christian III officially introduced Lutheranism into his possessions in 1528, and on becoming king in 1536 after the Count's War, Lutheranism became official in all of Denmark–Norway. The Catholic bishops were removed and arrested, and the church was reorganized based on Lutheran church orders drawn under the aegis of Luther's friend Johannes Bugenhagen in 1537 (Denmark–Norway) and 1542 (Holstein).

The Lutheran order established during the Protestant reformation is the common root of the Church of Denmark, the Church of Norway, the Church of Iceland and the Church of the Faroe Islands. It also triggered Denmark's unsuccessful involvement in the Thirty Years' War under Christian IV, who led the defense of a Protestant coalition against the Catholic League's Counter-Reformation.

Scandinavia

Scandinavia ( SKAN-dih-NAY-vee-ə) is a region in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. The term Scandinavia in local usage covers the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The majority national languages of these three, belong to the Scandinavian dialect continuum, and are mutually intelligible North Germanic languages. In English usage, Scandinavia also sometimes refers to the Scandinavian Peninsula, or to the broader region including Finland and Iceland, which is always known locally as the Nordic countries.While part of the Nordic countries, the remote Norwegian islands of Svalbard and Jan Mayen are not in Scandinavia, nor is Greenland, a constituent country within the Kingdom of Denmark. The Faroe Islands are sometimes included.

Treaty of Kiel

The Treaty of Kiel (Norwegian: Kieltraktaten) or Peace of Kiel (Swedish and Norwegian: Kielfreden or freden i Kiel) was concluded between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Kingdom of Sweden on one side and the Kingdoms of Denmark and Norway on the other side on 14 January 1814 in Kiel. It ended the hostilities between the parties in the ongoing Napoleonic Wars, where the United Kingdom and Sweden were part of the anti-French camp (the Sixth Coalition) while Denmark–Norway was allied to Napoleon Bonaparte.Frederick VI of Denmark joined the anti-French alliance, ceded Heligoland to George III of the United Kingdom, and further ceded the Kingdom of Norway to Charles XIII of Sweden in return for Swedish Pomerania. Specifically excluded from the exchange were the Norwegian dependencies of Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, which remained in the union with Denmark. (Norway would unsuccessfully contest the Danish claim to all of Greenland in the Eastern Greenland Case of 1931–33.)

However, not all provisions of the treaty would come into force. Norway declared its independence, adopted a constitution and elected Crown Prince Christian Frederik as its own king. Sweden therefore refused to hand over Swedish Pomerania, which instead passed to Prussia after the Congress of Vienna in 1815. After a short war with Sweden, Norway accepted entering into a personal union with Sweden at the Convention of Moss. King Christian Frederik abdicated after convening an extraordinary Storting, which revised the Constitution to allow for the Union. It was formally established when the Storting elected Charles XIII as king of Norway on 4 November 1814.

Treaty of Roskilde

The Treaty of Roskilde was concluded on 26 February (OS) or 8 March 1658 (NS) during the Second Northern War between Frederick III of Denmark–Norway and Charles X Gustav of Sweden in the Danish city of Roskilde. After a devastating defeat, Denmark-Norway was forced to give up a third of its territory to save the rest, the ceded lands comprising Blekinge, Bornholm, Bohuslän (Båhuslen), Scania (Skåne) and Trøndelag, as well as her claims to Halland.After the treaty entered into force, Swedish forces continued to campaign in the remainder of Denmark-Norway, but had to withdraw from the Danish isles and Trøndelag in face of a Danish-Norwegian-Dutch alliance. The Treaty of Copenhagen restored Bornholm to Denmark and Trøndelag to Norway in 1660, while the other provinces transferred in Roskilde remain Swedish.

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