Duchy of Schleswig

The Duchy of Schleswig (Danish: Hertugdømmet Slesvig; German: Herzogtum Schleswig; Low German: Hartogdom Sleswig; North Frisian: Härtochduum Slaswik) was a duchy in Southern Jutland (Sønderjylland) covering the area between about 60 km (35 miles) north and 70 km (45 miles) south of the current border between Germany and Denmark. The territory has been divided between the two countries since 1920, with Northern Schleswig in Denmark and Southern Schleswig in Germany. The region is also called Sleswick in English.

The area's traditional significance lies in the transfer of goods between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, connecting the trade route through Russia with the trade routes along the Rhine and the Atlantic coast (see also Kiel Canal).

Duchy of Schleswig

Hertugdømmet Slesvig  (Danish)
Herzogtum Schleswig  (German)
StatusFiefdom of the Danish Crown (partly between 1544 and 1713/20)
CapitalSchleswig, Flensburg, Copenhagen
Common languagesDanish, German, Low German, North Frisian
Catholicism, Lutheranism and Mennonitism (from 16th century), Judaism
GovernmentFeudal Duchy, Monarchy
• 1058–1095
Olaf I of Denmark
• 1863–66
Christian IX of Denmark
• Established
• Disestablished
CurrencySchleswig-Holstein speciethaler, Danish rigsdaler, Pfennig
Preceded by
Succeeded by
North Sea Empire
Province of Schleswig-Holstein
Today part of Denmark


The historic settlement areas in Schleswig/Southern Jutland.
Folkesprogene i Hertugdømmet Slesvig
Language shift in the 19th century in Southern Schleswig

Early history

Roman sources place the homeland of the tribe of Jutes north of the river Eider and that of the Angles south of it. The Angles in turn bordered the neighbouring Saxons. By the early Middle Ages, the region was inhabited by three groups:

During the 14th century, the population on Schwansen began to speak Low German alongside Danish,[1] but otherwise the ethno-linguistic borders remained remarkably stable until around 1800, with the exception of the population in the towns that became increasingly German from the 14th century onwards.

During the early Viking Age, Haithabu – Scandinavia's biggest trading centre – was located in this region, which is also the location of the interlocking fortifications known as the Danewerk or Danevirke. Its construction, and in particular its great expansion around 737, has been interpreted as an indication of the emergence of a unified Danish state.[2] In May 1931, scientists of the National Museum of Denmark announced that they had unearthed eighteen Viking graves with the remains of eighteen men in them. The discovery came during excavations in Schleswig. The skeletons indicated that the men were bigger proportioned than twentieth-century Danish men. Each of the graves was laid out from east to west. Researchers surmised that the bodies were entombed in wooden coffins originally, but only the iron nails remained.[3] Towards the end of the Early Middle Ages, Schleswig formed part of the historical Lands of Denmark as Denmark unified out of a number of petty chiefdoms in the 8th to 10th centuries in the wake of Viking expansion.

The southern boundary of Denmark in the region of the Eider River and the Danevirke was a source of continuous dispute. The Treaty of Heiligen was signed in 811 between the Danish King Hemming and Charlemagne, by which the border was established at the Eider. During the 10th century, there were several wars between East Francia and Denmark. In 1027, Conrad II and Canute the Great again fixed their mutual border at the Eider.[4]

In 1115, King Niels created his nephew Canute Lavard – a son of his predecessor Eric IEarl of Schleswig, a title used for only a short time before the recipient began to style himself Duke.[5]

In the 1230s, Southern Jutland (the Duchy of Slesvig) was allotted as an appanage to Abel Valdemarsen, Canute's great-grandson, a younger son of Valdemar II of Denmark. Abel, having wrested the Danish throne to himself for a brief period, left his duchy to his sons and their successors, who pressed claims to the throne of Denmark for much of the next century, so that the Danish kings were at odds with their cousins, the dukes of Slesvig. Feuds and marital alliances brought the Abel dynasty into a close connection with the German Duchy of Holstein by the 15th century. The latter was a fief subordinate to the Holy Roman Empire, while Schleswig remained a Danish fief. These dual loyalties were to become a main root of the dispute between the German states and Denmark in the 19th century, when the ideas of romantic nationalism and the nation-state gained popular support.

Early modern times

The title of Duke of Schleswig was inherited in 1460 by the hereditary kings of Norway, who were also regularly elected kings of Denmark simultaneously, and their sons (unlike Denmark, which was not hereditary). This was an anomaly – a king holding a ducal title of which he as king was the fount and liege lord. The title and anomaly survived presumably because it was already co-regally held by the king's sons. Between 1544 and 1713/20, the ducal reign had become a condominium, with the royal House of Oldenburg and its cadet branch House of Holstein-Gottorp jointly holding the stake. A third branch in the condominium, the short-lived House of Haderslev, was already extinct in 1580 by the time of John the Elder.

Following the Protestant Reformation, when Latin was replaced as the medium of church service by the vernacular languages, the diocese of Schleswig was divided and an autonomous archdeaconry of Haderslev created. On the west coast, the Danish diocese of Ribe ended about 5 km (3 miles) north of the present border. This created a new cultural dividing line in the duchy because German was used for church services and teaching in the diocese of Schleswig and Danish was used in the diocese of Ribe and the archdeaconry of Haderslev. This line corresponds remarkably closely with the present border.

In the 17th century a series of wars between Denmark and Sweden—which Denmark lost—devastated the region economically. However, the nobility responded with a new agricultural system that restored prosperity. In the period 1600 to 1800 the region experienced the growth of manorialism of the sort common in the rye-growing regions of eastern Germany. The manors were large holdings with the work done by feudal peasant farmers. They specialized in high quality dairy products. Feudal lordship was combined with technical modernization, and the distinction between unfree labour and paid work was often vague. The feudal system was gradually abolished in the late 18th century, starting with the crown lands in 1765 and later the estates of the nobility. In 1805 all serfdom was abolished and land tenure reforms allowed former peasants to own their own farms.[6]

19th century and the rise of nationalism

From around 1800 to 1840, the Danish-speaking population on the Angeln peninsula between Schleswig and Flensburg began to switch to Low German and in the same period many North Frisians also switched to Low German. This linguistic change created a new de facto dividing line between German and Danish speakers north of Tønder and south of Flensburg. From around 1830, large segments of the population began to identify with either German or Danish nationality and mobilized politically. In Denmark, the National Liberal Party used the Schleswig Question as part of their agitation and demanded that the Duchy be incorporated into the Danish kingdom under the slogan "Denmark to the Eider". This caused a conflict between Denmark and the German states over Schleswig and Holstein, which led to the Schleswig-Holstein Question of the 19th century. When the National Liberals came to power in Denmark in 1848, it provoked an uprising of ethnic Germans who supported Schleswig's ties with Holstein. This led to the First War of Schleswig. Denmark was victorious and the Prussian troops were ordered to pull out of Schleswig and Holstein following the London Protocol of 1852.

Denmark again attempted to integrate Schleswig by creating a new common constitution (the so-called November Constitution) for Denmark and Schleswig in 1863, but the German Confederation, led by Prussia and Austria, defeated the Danes in the Second War of Schleswig the following year. Prussia and Austria then assumed administration of Schleswig and Holstein respectively under the Gastein Convention of 14 August 1865. However, tensions between the two powers culminated in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. In the Peace of Prague, the victorious Prussians annexed both Schleswig and Holstein, creating the province of Schleswig-Holstein. Provision for the cession of northern Schleswig to Denmark was made pending a popular vote in favour of this. In 1878, however, Austria went back on this provision, and Denmark recognized in a Treaty of 1907 with Germany that, by the agreement between Austria and Prussia, the frontier between Prussia and Denmark had finally been settled.[7]

Since 1900

Schleswig/Slesvig with present-day administrative borders

The Treaty of Versailles provided for plebiscites to determine the ownership of the region.[8] Thus, two referenda were held in 1920, resulting in the partition of the region. Northern Schleswig voted by a majority of 75% to join Denmark, whereas Central Schleswig voted by a majority of 80% to remain part of Germany. In Southern Schleswig, no referendum was held, as the likely outcome was apparent. The name Southern Schleswig is now used for all of German Schleswig. This decision left substantial minorities on both sides of the new border.

Following the Second World War, a substantial part of the German population in Southern Schleswig changed their nationality and declared themselves as Danish. This change was caused by a number of factors, most importantly the German defeat and an influx of a large number of refugees from eastern Germany, whose culture and appearance differed from the local Germans, who were mostly descendants of Danish families who had changed their nationality in the 19th century. The change created a temporary Danish majority in the region and a demand for a new referendum from the Danish population in South Schleswig and some Danish politicians, including prime minister Knud Kristensen. However, the majority in the Danish parliament refused to support a referendum in South Schleswig, fearing that the "new Danes" were not genuine in their change of nationality. This proved to be the case and, from 1948 the Danish population began to shrink again. By the early 1950s, it had nevertheless stabilised at a level four times higher than the pre-war number.

In the Copenhagen-Bonn declaration of 1955, West Germany (later Germany as a whole) and Denmark promised to uphold the rights of each other's minority population. Today, both parts co-operate as a Euroregion, despite a national border dividing the former duchy. As Denmark and Germany are both part of the Schengen Area, there are no controls at the border.

Name and naming dispute

The term "Sønderjylland" was forbidden by the Prussians in 1895. The picture shows two girls in costumes of the islands Föhr and Als before the Dannevirke
Danish Map of Southern Jutland (1918)

In the 19th century, there was a naming dispute concerning the use of Schleswig or Slesvig and Sønderjylland (Southern Jutland). Originally the duchy was called Sønderjylland (Southern Jutland) but in the late 14th century the name of the city Slesvig (now Schleswig) started to be used for the whole territory. The term "Sønderjylland" was hardly used between the 16th and 19th centuries, and in this period the name "Schleswig" had no special political connotations. But around 1830, some Danes started to re-introduce the archaic term Sønderjylland to emphasize the area's history before its association with Holstein and its connection with the rest of Jutland. Its revival and widespread use in the 19th century therefore had a clear Danish nationalist connotation of laying a claim to the territory and objecting to the German claims. "Olsen's Map", published by the Danish cartographer Olsen in the 1830s, used this term, arousing a storm of protests by the duchy's German inhabitants. Even though many Danish nationalists, such as the National Liberal ideologue and agitator Orla Lehmann, used the name "Schleswig", it began to assume a clear German nationalist character in the mid 19th century – especially when included in the combined term "Schleswig-Holstein". A central element of the German nationalistic claim was the insistence on Schleswig and Holstein being a single, indivisible entity. Since Holstein was legally part of the German Confederation, and ethnically entirely German with no Danish population, use of that name implied that both provinces should belong to Germany and that their connection with Denmark should be weakened or altogether severed.

After the German conquest in 1864, the term Sønderjylland became increasingly dominant among the Danish population, even though most Danes still had no objection to the use of "Schleswig" as such (it is etymologically of Danish origin) and many of them still used it themselves in its Danish version "Slesvig". An example is the founding of De Nordslesvigske Landboforeninger (The North Schleswig Farmers Association). In 1866 Schleswig and Holstein were legally merged into the Prussian province of Schleswig-Holstein. The naming dispute was resolved with the 1920 plebiscites and partition, each side applying its preferred name to the part of the territory remaining in its possession – though both terms can, in principle, still refer to the entire region. Northern Schleswig was, after the 1920 plebiscites, officially named the Southern Jutland districts (de sønderjyske landsdele), while Southern Schleswig then remained a part of the Prussian province, which became the German state of Schleswig-Holstein in 1946.

See also


  1. ^ Peter Treschow Hanson: Reise durch einen Theil von Sachsen und Dänemark, Altona 1813, p. 44
  2. ^ Michaelsen, Karsten Kjer, "Politikens bog om Danmarks oldtid", Politikens Forlag (1. bogklubudgave), 2002, ISBN 87-00-69328-6, pp. 122-123 (in Danish)
  3. ^ "Viking Find Reported", The New York Times, May 17, 1931, p. 5.
  4. ^ Meyers Konversationslexikon, 4th edition (1885-90), entry: "Eider" [1] (in German)
  5. ^ Danmarkshistoriens hvornår skete det, Copenhagen: Politiken, 1966, p. 65 (in Danish)
  6. ^ Carsten Porskrog Rasmussen, "Innovative Feudalism. The development of dairy farming and Koppelwirtschaft on manors in Schleswig-Holstein in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries," Agricultural History Review (2010) 58#2 pp 172-190.
  7. ^ Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Schleswig" . Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York.
  8. ^  Reynolds, Francis J., ed. (1921). "Schleswig (duchy)" . Collier's New Encyclopedia. New York: P.F. Collier & Son Company.

Coordinates: 55°10′N 9°15′E / 55.167°N 9.250°E

1848 Danish Constituent Assembly election

Elections for the Constituent Assembly were held in Denmark on 5 October 1848. Of the 158 seats in the Assembly, 114 were elected and 44 appointed by the King (of which 38 were from Denmark proper, five from Iceland and one from the Faroe Islands). An additional 31 candidates were to come from the Duchy of Schleswig but were not elected due to the First Schleswig War.

1920 Schleswig plebiscites

The Schleswig plebiscites were two plebiscites, organized according to section XII, articles 109 to 114 of the Treaty of Versailles of 28 June 1919, in order to determine the future border between Denmark and Germany through the former duchy of Schleswig. The process was monitored by a commission with representatives from France, the United Kingdom, Norway and Sweden.

The plebiscites were held on 10 February and 14 March 1920, and the result was that the larger northern portion (Zone I) voted to join Denmark, while the smaller southern portion (Zone II) voted to remain part of Germany.

Christian Scriver

Christian Scriver (2 January 1629 – 5 April 1693) was a German Lutheran minister and devotional writer.

Coat of arms of Schleswig

The coat of arms of Schleswig or Southern Jutland (Danish: Sønderjylland or Slesvig ) depicts two blue lions in a golden shield. It is the heraldic symbol of the former Duchy of Schleswig, originally a Danish province but later disputed between Danes and Germans. The region has been divided between Germany and Denmark since 1920 and the symbol consequently appears in official heraldry in both countries. It is derived from the national coat of arms of Denmark and has been dated to the middle of the 13th century, first known from the arms of Erik Abelsøn, Duke of Schleswig. Throughout the ages, the design has featured both crowned and uncrowned lions, the lions have occasionally been accompanied by heraldic hearts, and usage between heraldic lions and leopards has shifted. The far most common version was to omit both crowns and hearts and this version has been used exclusively for several centuries.

The blazon in heraldic terms is: Or, two lions passant in pale Azure armed Or langued Gules.

Duchy of Holstein

The Duchy of Holstein (German: Herzogtum Holstein, Danish: Hertugdømmet Holsten) was the northernmost state of the Holy Roman Empire, located in the present German state of Schleswig-Holstein. It was established when King Christian I of Denmark had his County of Holstein-Rendsburg elevated to a duchy by Emperor Frederick III in 1474. Holstein was ruled jointly with the Duchy of Schleswig by members of the Danish House of Oldenburg for its entire existence.

From 1490 to 1523 and again from 1544 to 1773 the Duchy was partitioned between various Oldenburg branches, most notably the dukes of Holstein-Glückstadt (identical with the Kings of Denmark) and Holstein-Gottorp. The Duchy ceased to exist when it was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia in 1866 after the Second Schleswig War.

Duke of Holstein-Gottorp

Holstein-Gottorp or Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp is the historiographical name, as well as contemporary shorthand name, for the parts of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, also known as Ducal Holstein, that were ruled by the dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp. Other parts of the duchies were ruled by the kings of Denmark.

The territories of Gottorp are located in present-day Denmark and Germany. The main seat of the dukes was Gottorf Castle in the city of Schleswig in the duchy of Schleswig. It is also the name of the ducal house, which ascended to several thrones. For this reason, genealogists and historians sometimes use the name of Holstein-Gottorp for related dynasties of other countries.

The formal title adopted by these rulers was "Duke of Schleswig, Holstein, Dithmarschen and Stormarn", but that title was also used by his kinsmen, the kings of Denmark and their cadet branches, as it was the common property of all these agnates. The Gottorp branch held Landeshoheit (territorial superiority) over the duchy of Holstein in the Holy Roman Empire and over the duchy of Schleswig in the kingdom of Denmark. For the sake of convenience, the name Holstein-Gottorp is used instead of the technically more correct "Duke of Schleswig and Holstein in/at Gottorp".The oldest of the ducal titles was that of Schleswig, which had been confirmed in fief to a royal kinsman by the regent Queen Margaret I of Denmark, Sweden and Norway in 1386 on behalf of her son, Olaf II of Denmark. The kings of Denmark were granted Holstein as an imperial fief by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III in 1474.

Edward S. Salomon

Edward Selig Salomon (December 25, 1836 – July 18, 1913) was a German Jew who immigrated to the United States and served as a lieutenant colonel in Union in the American Civil War. After nomination for appointment to the grade of brevet brigadier general of volunteers to rank from March 13, 1865, by President Andrew Johnson on January 13, 1866, the United States Senate confirmed the appointment on March 12, 1866. Salomon later became governor of Washington Territory and a California legislator.

Eiderstedt Frisian

Eiderstedt Frisian (German: Eiderstedter Friesisch, Danish: Ejderstedfrisisk) was a dialect of the North Frisian language which was originally spoken on Eiderstedt, formerly part of the Danish Duchy of Schleswig. The Frisian language became extinct on Eiderstedt in mid-18th-Century.In contrast to the northern hundreds, Eiderstedt was economically strong and wealthy and was oriented towards the southern, Low German parts of Holstein. During the 16th century there was moreover a strong Dutch immigration.Eiderstedt Frisian is attributed to the insular dialects, but there are also characteristics of the mainland dialects. The difference between the insular and the mainland dialects dates back to the Frisian immigrants during several different centuries.


Hainshallig (also spelled Hayenshallig) was a small Hallig in the North Frisian Wadden Sea, located east of the Hallig of Hooge, that was flooded and sank in 1860. At the time, Hainshallig was leased to a Hooge resident as part of a leasehold estate and was used for the production of hay. A levee may have once led from Hooge to Hainshallig. The area belonged to the Duchy of Schleswig, which was a fiefdom of the Danish crown, now Germany.

Herman Wilhelm Bissen

Herman Wilhelm Bissen (13 October 1798 – 10 March 1868) was a Danish sculptor.


Holstein (German pronunciation: [ˈhɔlʃtaɪn]; Northern Low Saxon: Holsteen; Danish: Holsten; Latin and historical English: Holsatia) is the region between the rivers Elbe and Eider. It is the southern half of Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost state of Germany.

Holstein once existed as the German County of Holstein (German: Grafschaft Holstein; 811–1474), the later Duchy of Holstein (German: Herzogtum Holstein; 1474–1866), and was the northernmost territory of the Holy Roman Empire. The history of Holstein is closely intertwined with the history of the Danish Duchy of Schleswig (Danish: Slesvig). The capital of Holstein is Kiel.

Holstein's name comes from the Holcetae, a Saxon tribe mentioned by Adam of Bremen as living on the north bank of the Elbe, to the west of Hamburg. The name means "dwellers in the wood" (Northern Low Saxon: Hol(t)saten; German: Holzsassen).

Johannes Nikolaus Tetens

Johannes Nikolaus Tetens (also Johann; Danish: Johan Nicolai Tetens; 16 September 1736 – 17 August 1807) was a German-Danish philosopher, statistician and scientist.

He has been called the "German Locke," on the basis of a comparison of his major work Philosophische Versuche über die menschliche Natur und ihre Entwickelung (1777) with the work of John Locke. He is considered to have been an influence on Immanuel Kant.

John II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg

John the Younger or John of Denmark (Danish: Hans; German: Johann; 25 March 1545 – 9 October 1622) was the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg.

Peter Andreas Hansen

Peter Andreas Hansen (born December 8, 1795, Tønder, Schleswig, Denmark – died March 28, 1874, Gotha, Thuringia, Germany) was a Danish German astronomer.


Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg was the name of a branch line of the House of Oldenburg as well as the name of their land. It existed from 1564 until 1668 and was a titular duchy under the King of Denmark, rather than a true territorial dukedom in its own right. The seat of the duke was Sønderborg. Parts of the domain were located in Denmark (in the Duchy of Schleswig), mainly on the islands of Als and Ærø and around Glücksburg, whilst other lands were part of the Holy Roman Empire (in the Duchy of Holstein), including the Ämter of Plön, Ahrensbök, and Reinfeld. As a result of various inheritance arrangements it fragmented into numerous small territories which were eventually absorbed into Greater Denmark in the 18th century.


The Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön (German: Herzogtum Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön), also Schleswig-Holstein-Plön, Holstein-Plön or just Duchy of Plön, was a small sub-duchy (Teilherzogtum) created by the physical division of the Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg. Today, its remaining significance is primarily the building of Plön Castle. The Duchy of Plön was not a territorial dukedom in its own right, but a sub-division within the state structure of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. The scattered territorial dominion lay mostly in the southeast part of present-day German state of Schleswig-Holstein.

Schleswig-Holstein Question

The Schleswig-Holstein Question (German: Schleswig-Holsteinische Frage; Danish: Spørgsmålet om Sønderjylland og Holsten) was a complex set of diplomatic and other issues arising in the 19th century from the relations of two duchies, Schleswig (Danish: Sønderjylland/Slesvig) and Holstein (Danish: Holsten), to the Danish crown and to the German Confederation. The British statesman Lord Palmerston is reported to have said: “Only three people have ever really understood the Schleswig-Holstein business—the Prince Consort, who is dead—a German professor, who has gone mad—and I, who have forgotten all about it."Schleswig was a part of Denmark during the Viking Age, and became a Danish duchy in the 12th century. Denmark repeatedly tried to reintegrate the Duchy of Schleswig into the Danish kingdom. On March 27, 1848, Frederick VII of Denmark announced to the people of Schleswig the promulgation of a liberal constitution under which the duchy, while preserving its local autonomy, would become an integral part of Denmark. This led to an open uprising by Schleswig-Holstein's large German majority in support of independence from Denmark and of close association with the German Confederation. The military intervention of the Kingdom of Prussia supported the uprising: the Prussian army drove Denmark's troops from Schleswig and Holstein, beginning the First Schleswig War (1848–51), which ended in a Danish victory at Idstedt. The second attempt to reintegrate the Duchy of Schleswig into the Danish kingdom, initiated by the signing by King Christian IX of Denmark of the November Constitution in 1863, was seen as a violation of the London Protocol and led to the Second Schleswig War of 1864.Even though Schleswig, Holstein, and Denmark had all had the same hereditary ruler for some centuries, the inheritance rules in the three territories were not the same. The Dukedoms of Schleswig and Holstein were inherited under the Salic law which ignored females: the Kingdom of Denmark had a different inheritance law which permitted male heirs to inherit through the female line. In the 19th century, this difference in inheritance law meant that when the childless King Frederick VII of Denmark died, the Kingdom of Denmark would be separated from the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, because one man would inherit the Kingship and another the Dukedoms. This is what happened on the death of Frederick VII in 1863.

The central question was whether the duchy of Schleswig was or was not an integral part of the dominions of the Danish crown, with which it had been associated in the Danish monarchy for centuries or whether Schleswig should, together with Holstein, become an independent part of the German Confederation. Schleswig itself was a fiefdom of Denmark, as the duchy of Holstein had been a fief of the Holy Roman Empire until 1806, and become a component state of the German Confederation with the Danish king as duke. This involved the question, raised by the death of the last common male heir to both Denmark and the two duchies, as to the proper succession in the duchies, and the constitutional questions arising out of the relations of the duchies to the Danish crown, to each other, and of Holstein to the German Confederation.

Much of the history of Schleswig-Holstein has a bearing on this question. Following the defeat of Germany in World War I, the Danish majority area of Northern Schleswig was finally unified with Denmark after two plebiscites organised by the Allied powers. A small minority of ethnic Germans still lives in Northern Schleswig, while a Danish minority remains in South Schleswig.

Southern Schleswig

Southern Schleswig (German: Südschleswig or Landesteil Schleswig, Danish: Sydslesvig) is the southern half of the former Duchy of Schleswig in Germany on the Jutland Peninsula. The geographical area today covers the large area between the Eider river in the south and the Flensburg Fjord in the north, where it borders Denmark. Northern Schleswig, congruent with the former South Jutland County, forms the southernmost part of Denmark. The area belonged to the Crown of Denmark until Prussia and Austria declared war on Denmark in 1864. Denmark wanted to give away the German-speaking Holsten and set the new border at the small river Ejderen. Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck concluded that this justified a war, and even proclaimed it a "holy war". The German chancellor also turned to the Emperor of Austria, Franz Joseph I of Austria for help. A similar war in 1848 had gone poorly for the Prussians. With help from both the Austrians and the Danish-born General Moltke, the Danish army was destroyed or forced to make a disorderly retreat. And the Prussian-Danish border was moved from the Elbe up in Jutland to the creek Kongeåen.

After the First World War, two referendums decided a new border.

The northern part reverted to Denmark as Nordslesvig (North Slesvig). But the middle and southern part, including Schleswig's only city, Flensburg, remained in what, since the unification of Germany, had become German hands. In Denmark, the loss of Flensborg caused a political crisis, Påskekrisen or the Easter Crisis, as it happened during the Easter of 1920. After the Second World War the area remained as German territory and, with Holstein, formed the new state of Schleswig-Holstein as a part of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) in 1948.

Strand (island)

Strand was an island on the west coast of Nordfriesland in the Duchy of Schleswig, which was a fiefdom of the Danish crown. Now, the area belongs to Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany.

Coastlines along the Dutch-German-Danish coasts were significantly changed during and by a huge storm tide, St. Marcellus's Flood - also referred to as Grote Mandrenke - that occurred on 16 January 1362. Many villages and towns were lost forever. The outlines of Strand changed significantly, nowadays legendary Rungholt reportedly being amongst the now sunken places. The island of Südfall was separated from the mainland.

In 1634, the Burchardi flood finally split Strand island into Nordstrand, Pellworm, and Nordstrandischmoor.

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