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Fact file : Denmark
head of state  Queen Margrethe II
government  parliamentary democracy
number of regions  5
number of local authorities  98 kommuner
self-governing territories
  Greenland, Faroe Islands
More facts about Denmark:
www.denmark.dk
Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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Denmark
Part of our Low Carbon Copenhagen project ... project index >
An historical timeline
Denmark is one of the oldest independent states in Europe.
Its temperate climate and pivotal trading-route location have helped establish it as an exporter of agricultural and industrial goods.
It is now self-sufficient in energy, and exports oil, gas and electricity. Its trading partners are mostly European, and the value of exports almost equals imports. Denmark is the world's largest exporter of wind turbines.
Government
Denmark is a parliamentary democracy with a royal head of state and runs as a capitalist system of economic liberalism. State and public authorities have considerable regulatory control, and they provide comprehensive public services.
Government initiatives have ensured that energy consumption has been reduced substantially while the growth rate and low unemployment have been maintained — paid for through higher personal and business taxes.
History
Denmark is the land of the Vikings. From 8th-11th century they travelled the world, sailing to the Caspian Sea, Greenland, North America and North Africa. In the 10th century, the country was united under King Harold I Bluetooth, after whom the Bluetooth wireless computer protocol is named.
The Danes ruled England from AD 1013-42, when Sweyn I, Canute I and Hardicanute ruled over an Anglo-Danish kingdom. Following the Danish civil wars of the first half of the 12th Century, Valdemar I reunified the kingdom.
1157 Valdemar I enacts Denmark's first written laws: Jutland Code
1227 Battle of Bornhoved: Germany wins over Denmark
1282 The end of imprisonment without just cause
1350 Bubonic plague arrives in Denmark around this time
1360 The first Danish Supreme Court is established
1397 The Kalmar Union — which unites Denmark, Norway and Sweden and their territories under a single monarch — is created to counter the dominance of the Hanseatic League, an alliance of merchant guilds with a trade monopoly and its own laws and mutual protection arrangments
1523 End of the Kalmar Union
1526 The Danish church splits from Rome, Lutheranism becomes the official religion
1658 Treaty of Roskilde, Denmark loses territories on the Swedish mainland
1660 Hereditory absolute monarchy established, prior to this they were elected by the nobility
1665 Colonies established on the Virgin Islands
Frederick III passes the Royal Act, putting the sovereign beyond the law and inferior only to God
1675-9 Denmark at war with Sweden
1709-20 Denmark at war with Sweden, ended with a peace treaty
1713 Issue of the first Danish banknote
1788 The abolition of serfdom in Denmark
1800-14 Denmark at war with Britain and forms an alliance with France against Spain
1813 The State Treasury is declared bankrupt
1814 Kiel Peace Treaty: Denmark loses Norwegian territories to Sweden
1848 Frederick VII renounces absolute power
New constitution makes Denmark a democrary with guaranteed freedom of speech
1864 Denmark defeated by Prussia and Austria in a war over the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein
1873 Child labour is banned
1884 The first Social Democrats are elected to parliament
1901 Denmark adopts a democratic parliamentary government
1917 Virgin Island colonies sold to the USA
1920 Schleswig-Holstein referendum returns the northern part to Denmark, southern part remains with Germany
1940 Germany invades Denmark (World War II), occupation lasts til 1945
1943 The Danish resistance movement ends cooperation with German forces
1945 Denmark recognised as an Allied Force and joins the United Nations
1948 Letter å added to Danish alphabet, now 29 letters
1949 Denmark a co-founder of NATO
1953 New constitution &mdash' single-chamber parliament introduced along with cognatic primogenature, which allows women to inherit the throne in their own right if there is no male heir
1958 Lego system of interlocking bricks patented (Patent No.92683, invented by Ole Godtfred Christiansen) — the block connection remains the same today, and its name is derived from 'leg godt' which means 'play well'
1960 Denmark joins EFTA
1973 Denmark joins the Common Market (now the European Union)
1992 A referendum rejects the Maastrict Treaty
1999 The independent institution Court Administration takes over the running of the courts from the Ministry of Justice
2000 Denmark rejects the adoption of the Euro (87% against)
2007 Ministry of Climate & Energy founded
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Geography
Denmark is the most westerly of the Scandanavian countries. It spreads across 406 islands, only 78 of which are inhabited, covering 43,093 sq km. The coastline is 7,314km long and the population 5.5 million.
The terrain is generally flat with some rolling hills and plenty of lakes. The highest point is 170.68m and no one is more than 50km from the sea. The average yearly windforce is 7.6m per second.