Falster is an island in south-eastern Denmark with an area of 486.2 km2 and 43,398 inhabitants as of 1 January 2010. Located in the Baltic sea, it is part of Region Sjælland and is administered by Guldborgsund Municipality, Falster includes Denmarks southernmost point, Gedser Odde, near Gedser. The largest town is Nykøbing Falster with over 40% of the islands inhabitants, other towns include Stubbekøbing, Nørre Alslev and Gedser. Falster has motor and railway links both to the island of Zealand to the north and to the island of Lolland to the south-west. These links lead to the islands of Masnedø and Farø. European route E47 links Copenhagen to Hamburg via Falster, from medieval times until 1766, most of Falster belonged to the crown. King Valdemars Census Book from c.1231 lists all the parishes, Falsters two main towns, Nykøbing and Stubbekøbing, were both founded towards the end of the 12th century. In medieval times, the island was marked by wars with the Wends in 1158, the census of 1509 includes only 90 of the 110 villages mentioned earlier.
By contrast, it mentions 29 new settlements mainly along the coast. In the 16th century, Falster had a number of farms which were owned by the nobility but, from 1560 to 1630. Therefore, Falster could therefore be used as the dowry for Frederick IIIs wife, Sophie Amalie but as a result of the taxes which resulted. Falster was managed as an estate from 1718 until 1766 when it was sold by auction and divided up into ten large farms. But as the fields had to be prepared through the serfdom of local peasants, the villages were replaced by the community from 1778 to 1814, and gradually moved to freehold tenants, a process which was only completed in about 1860. There was an increase in the cultivation of sugar beet which was processed in factories at Nykøbing and Stubbekøbing between 1890 and 1914, many seasonal workers, especially women, from Sweden and Poland came to help with harvesting the sugar beet and some of them stayed. With the new railway from Orehoved to Nykøbing in 1872 and railway ferries to Masnedø and Warnemünde and its position was reinforced by the construction of the Storstrøm Bridge and Farø Bridges.
Since 1975, Falster has been marked by high unemployment as a result of harder times for farming and industry. As of 2012, populations were as follows, With its marinas, sandy beaches and cycle tracks, one of the most popular resorts is Marielyst on the east coast. Nykøbing offers a number of attractions including its atmosphere with narrow streets
History of Denmark
The history of Denmark as a unified kingdom began in the 8th century, but historic documents describe the geographic area and the people living there - the Danes -, as early as 500 AD. These early documents include the writings of Jordanes and Procopius, with the Christianization of the Danes c.960 AD, it is clear that there existed a kingship in Scandinavia, controlling the current Danish territory roughly speaking. Queen Margrethe II can trace her back to the Viking kings Gorm the Old and Harald Bluetooth from this time. The area we now know as Denmark, has a rich prehistory, having been populated by prehistoric cultures and people for about 12,000 years. Denmark was long in disputes with Sweden over control of Skånelandene and with Germany over control of Schleswig, Denmark lost these conflicts and ended up ceding first Skåneland to Sweden and Schleswig-Holstein to the German Empire. After the eventual cession of Norway in 1814, Denmark retained control of the old Norwegian colonies of the Faroe Islands and Iceland.
During the 20th century, Iceland gained independence and the Faroese became integral parts of the Kingdom of Denmark and North Schleswig reunited with Denmark in 1920 after a referendum. During World War II, Denmark was occupied by Nazi Germany, in the aftermaths of World War II, and with the emergence of the subsequent Cold War, Denmark was quick to join the military alliance of NATO as a founding member in 1949. The Scandinavian region has a rich prehistory, having been populated by prehistoric cultures and people for about 12,000 years. During the ice age, all of Scandinavia was covered by glaciers most of the time, when the ice began retreating, the barren tundras were soon inhabited by reindeer and elk and Ahrenburg and Swiderian hunters from the south followed them here to hunt occasionally. The geography was very different from what we know today, as the climate warmed up, forceful rivers of meltwater started to flow and shape the virgin lands, and a more stable flora and fauna gradually began emerging in Scandinavia and Denmark in particular.
The first human settlers to inhabit Denmark and Scandinavia permanently was the Maglemosian people, residing in seasonal camps and it was not until around 6,000 BC that the geography of Denmark as we know it today had been shaped approximately. Denmark has some unique conditions for preservation of artifacts, providing a rich. The Weichsel glaciation covered all of Denmark most of the time and it ended around 13,000 years ago allowing humans to move back into the previously ice-covered territories and establish permanent habitation. During the first post-glacial millennia the landscape changed from tundra to light forest. Early pre-historic cultures uncovered in modern Denmark include the Maglemosian Culture, the Kongemose culture, the Ertebølle culture, and the Funnelbeaker culture. The Koelbjerg Man is the oldest known bog body in the world and the oldest set of bones found in Denmark. With a continuing rise in temperature the oak and hazel arrived in Denmark around 7,000 BC, now boar, red deer, and roe deer began to abound
The term Danish Realm refers to the relationship between Denmark proper, the Faroe Islands and Greenland—three countries constituting the Kingdom of Denmark. The legal nature of the Kingdom of Denmark is fundamentally one of a sovereign state. The Faroe Islands and Greenland have been part of the Crown of Denmark since 1397 when the Kalmar Union was ratified, legal matters in The Danish Realm are subject to the Danish Constitution. Beginning in 1953, state law issues within The Danish Realm has been governed by The Unity of the Realm, a less formal name for The Unity of the Realm is the Commonwealth of the Realm. In 1978, The Unity of The Realm was for the first time referred to as rigsfællesskabet. The name caught on and since the 1990s, both The Unity of The Realm and The Danish Realm itself has increasingly been referred to as simply rigsfællesskabet in daily parlance. The Danish Constitution stipulates that the foreign and security interests for all parts of the Danish Realm are the responsibility of the Danish government, the Faroes received home rule in 1948 and Greenland did so in 1979.
In 2005, the Faroes received a self-government arrangement, and in 2009 Greenland received self rule, the Danish Realms unique state of internal affairs is acted out in the principle of The Unity of the Realm. This principle is derived from Article 1 of the Danish Constitution which specifies that constitutional law applies equally to all areas of the Danish Realm, the Constitutional Act specifies that sovereignty is to continue to be exclusively with the authorities of the Realm. The language of Denmark is Danish, and the Danish state authorities are based in Denmark, the Kingdom of Denmarks parliament, with its 179 members, is located in the capital, Copenhagen. Two of the members are elected in each of Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The Government ministries are located in Copenhagen, as is the highest court, in principle, the Danish Realm constitutes a unified sovereign state, with equal status between its constituent parts. Devolution differs from federalism in that the powers of the subnational authority ultimately reside in central government.
The Self-Government Arrangements devolves political competence and responsibility from the Danish political authorities to the Faroese, the Faroese and Greenlandic authorities administer the tasks taken over from the state, enact legislation in these specific fields and have the economic responsibility for solving these tasks. The Danish government provides a grant to the Faroese and the Greenlandic authorities to cover the costs of these devolved areas. The 1948 Home Rule Act of the Faroe Islands sets out the terms of Faroese home rule, the Act states. the Faroe Islands shall constitute a self-governing community within the State of Denmark. It establishes the government of the Faroe Islands and the Faroese parliament. The Faroe Islands were previously administered as a Danish county, the Home Rule Act abolished the post of Amtmand and these powers were expanded in a 2005 Act, which named the Faroese home government as an equal partner with the Danish government
Geologically, a fjord or fiord is a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created by glacial erosion. Norways coastline is estimated at 29,000 kilometres with 1,190 fjords, a fjord is formed when a glacier cuts a U-shaped valley by ice segregation and abrasion of the surrounding bedrock. Glacial melting is accompanied by the rebounding of Earths crust as the ice load, in some cases this rebound is faster than sea level rise. Most fjords are deeper than the adjacent sea, Norway, fjords generally have a sill or shoal at their mouth caused by the previous glaciers reduced erosion rate and terminal moraine. In many cases this causes extreme currents and large saltwater rapids. Saltstraumen in Norway is often described as the worlds strongest tidal current and these characteristics distinguish fjords from rias, which are drowned valleys flooded by the rising sea. Drammensfjorden is cut almost in two by the Svelvik ridge, a moraine that during the ice cover was under sea level. During the winter there is usually little inflow of freshwater.
Surface water and deeper water are mixed during winter because of the cooling of the surface. In the deep there is still fresh water from the summer with less density than the saltier water along the coast. Offshore wind, common in the areas during winter, sets up a current on the surface from the inner to the outer parts. This current on the surface in turn pulls dense salt water from the coast across the fjord threshold, during the summer season there is usually a large inflow of river water in the inner areas. This freshwater gets mixed with saltwater creating a layer of water with a slightly higher surface than the ocean which in turn sets up a current from the river mouths towards the ocean. This current is more salty towards the coast and right under the surface current there is a reverse current of saltier water from the coast. In the deeper parts of the fjord the cold water remaining from winter is still, fjords with a shallow threshold this deep water is not replaced every year and low oxygen concentration makes the deep water unsuitable for fish and animals.
In the most extreme cases there is a constant barrier of freshwater on the surface, gaupnefjorden branch of Sognefjorden is strongly affected by freshwater as glacial river flow in. Velfjorden has little inflow of freshwater, as late as 2000, some coral reefs were discovered along the bottoms of the Norwegian fjords. These reefs were found in fjords from the north of Norway to the south, the marine life on the reefs is believed to be one of the most important reasons why the Norwegian coastline is such a generous fishing ground
Helsingborg is a town and the seat of Helsingborg Municipality, Sweden. It had 132,989 inhabitants in 2013, Helsingborg is the centre of the northern part of western Scania. This makes Helsingborg the fourth largest population area in Sweden, the city is Swedens closest point to Denmark, with the Danish city Helsingør clearly visible on the other side of the Øresund about 4 km to the west, closer than to the citys own remoter areas. If including all population around the part of Øresund, as a Helsingborg-Helsingør metropolitan area. The busy ferry route, known as the HH Ferry route has through history been operated by shipping lines. As of 2014 more than 70 car ferries departures from each harbour every day, following the Swedish orthography reform of 1906 many place names in Sweden got a modernized spelling. In 1912 it was decided to use the form Hälsingborg, in preparation for the local government reform 1971 the Hälsingborg city council proposed that the new, enlarged municipality should be spelled with an e.
This was the decision of the Government of Sweden, effective from 1 January 1971, historic Helsingborg, with its many old buildings, is a scenic coastal city. The buildings are a blend of old-style stone-built churches and a 600-year-old medieval fortress in the city centre, the streets vary from wide avenues to small alley-ways. Kullagatan, the pedestrian shopping street in the city, was the first pedestrian shopping street in Sweden. Helsingborg is one of the oldest cities of what is now Sweden and it has been the site of permanent settlement officially since 21 May 1085. Helsingborgs geographical position at the narrowest part of Øresund made it important for Denmark. From 1429 Eric of Pomerania introduced the Øresundstolden, a levy on all trading vessels passing through the sound between Elsinore and Helsingborg and this was one of the main incomes for the Danish Crown. Crossing traffic, like fishermen, was not subject to the tax, the Sound Dues primarily made Helsingør flourish, but quite a bit spilled over to Helsingborg.
Evidence of this is William Shakespeares masterpiece Hamlet, which unfolda at Kronborg, and the Prince of Denmark may well have hidden himself from his evil uncle in Helsingborg. In any case, the Renaissance was a period for the Kingdom of Denmark. But towards the middle of the 17th Century, dark clouds appeared from the North, following the Dano-Swedish War and the Treaty of Roskilde Denmark had to give up all territory on the southern Scandinavian peninsula, and Helsingborg became submitted to new rulers. King Charles X Gustav of Sweden landed here on 5 March 1658 to take possession of the Scanian lands and was met by a delegation led by the bishop of the Diocese of Lund
Postage stamps and postal history of Denmark
This is an overview of the postage stamps and postal history of Denmark. Denmarks postal history begins with an ordinance of 24 December 1624 by King Christian IV and this service consisted of nine main routes, and was to be operated by the mayor of Copenhagen and several guilds. Initially the mail was carried by foot, with riders being used after 1640, the service was turned over to a Paul Klingenberg on 16 July 1653, who introduced a number of innovations, including mail coaches able to carry parcels, and service to Norway. He ran the service until 14 March 1685, when he handed it over to Count Christian Gyldenløve, the Gyldenløve family continued in control until 1711, in 1694 new routes and rates were established. The state took control in 1711. The first steamship carrying mail was the SS Caledonia, which began carrying mail between Copenhagen and Kiel on 1 July 1819, the first postage stamps were introduced on 1 April 1851, by a law passed on 11 March. The first value was a four rigsbankskilling stamp printed in brown, a design with a crown, sword.
This was followed on 1 May by a 2rbs value in using the denomination as the design. Both stamps were typographed and imperforate, and distinctive for having a yellow-brown burelage printed on top of the design, the 2rbs prepaid the local postage rate in København, while the 4rbs was the national rate. Four rbs stamps were introduced on 1 May 1851 for use in the Duchy of Slesvig. The design and first printings were made by M. W. Ferslew, but he died, few of the 2rbs values were printed, and today copies are priced at around 3,000 US$ unused and $1,000 used. The 4rbs was more common, with unused at $700 and used copies at just $40, values of 2s, 4s, 8s, and 16s were issued at various times from 1854 to 1857. In 1858 the dotted pattern in the background was replaced with wavy lines, in 1863 a larger crown was used in the watermark and the stamps were rouletted. Along with postage stamps, the use of numeral cancellations was adopted, consisting of a number with several concentric circles,1 was Copenhagen,2 the office in Hamburg,5 Aarhus, and so forth.
Values of 2s, 3s, 4s, 8s, and 16s came out between May 1864 and 1868 and these were the first Danish stamps to be perforated. In 1870 the first of the long-running numeral issue appeared, the design was an oval with the denomination in large numerals in the center, surrounded by an ornate frame in a different color. The frame is very nearly symmetric, but not entirely, some of the inverts are quite common, the employees at the printing plant presumably having difficulties knowing which way was up. In 1873, the currency was changed to the decimal kroner, the perforation spacing was changed in 1895, and the watermark in 1902
The Skagerrak contains some of the busiest shipping routes in the world, with vessels from every corner of the globe. It supports a fishing industry. The ecosystem is strained and negatively affected by human activities. Oslo is the large city in the Skagerrak region. The meaning of Skagerrak is most likely the Skagen Channel/Straight, Skagen is a town near the northern cape of Denmark. Rak means straight waterway, it is cognate with reach, the ultimate source of this syllable is the Proto-Indo-European root *reg-, straight. Rak means straight as in straight ahead in both modern Norwegian and Swedish, råk in modern Norwegian refers to a channel or opening of water in an otherwise ice covered body of water. There is no evidence to suggest a connection with the modern Danish word rak, the Skagerrak is 240 km long and between 80 and 140 km wide. It deepens toward the Norwegian coast, reaching over 700 metres at the Norwegian Trench, some ports along the Skagerrak are Oslo and Kristiansand in Norway and Uddevalla and Strömstad in Sweden.
The Skagerrak has a salinity of 30 practical salinity units, which is very low, close to that of brackish water. The area available to biomass is about 3,600 km2 and includes a variety of habitats, from shallow sandy and stony reefs in Sweden. The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Skagerrak as follows, a line joining Hanstholm and the Naze. The Northern limit of the Kattegat, older names for the combined Skagerrak and Kattegat were the Norwegian Sea or Jutland Sea, the latter appears in the Knýtlinga saga. Until the construction of the Eider Canal in 1784, Skagerrak was the way in. For this reason the strait has had a heavy international seatraffic for centuries, after the industrialization, the traffic has only increased and today Skagerrak is among the busiest straits in the world. In 1862, the Thyborøn Channel at the Limfjord was constructed in Denmark, the Limfjord only supports minor transports though. In both the wars, the Skagerrak was strategically very important for Germany.
The biggest sea battle of World War I, the Battle of Jutland, known as the Battle of the Skagerrak, both of these naval engagements have contributed to the large number of shipwrecks in the Skagerrak
Duchy of Schleswig
The region is called Sleswick in English. Roman sources place the homeland of the Jute tribe north of the river Eider and that of the Angles to its south, who in turn abutted the neighbouring Saxons. During the early Viking Age, Haithabu - Scandinavias biggest trading centre - was located in this region and its construction, and in particular its great expansion around 737, has been interpreted as an indication of the emergence of a unified Danish state. In May 1931 scientists of the National Museum of Denmark announced the finding of 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, 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.
The southern boundary of Denmark in the region of the Eider River, 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 wars between East Francia and Denmark. In 1027, Conrad II and Canute the Great again settled their mutual border at the Eider. In 1115, king Niels created his nephew Canute Lavard - a son of his predecessor Eric I - Earl of Schleswig, in the 1230s, Southern Jutland was allotted as an appanage to Abel Valdemarsen, Canutes great-grandson, a younger son of Valdemar II of Denmark. Feuds and marital alliances brought the Abel dynasty into a connection with the German Duchy of Holstein by the 15th century. The latter was a subordinate to the Holy Roman Empire. The title Duke of Schleswig was inherited in 1460 by the kings of Norway who were regularly elected kings of Denmark simultaneously. This was an anomaly – a king holding a ducal title, the title and anomaly survived presumably because it was already co-regally held by the kings sons.
Between 1544 and 1713/20 the ducal reign had become a condominium, with the royal House of Oldenburg, a third branch in the condominium, the short-lived House of Haderslev, was already extinct in 1580 by the time of John the Elder. On the west coast the Danish diocese of Ribe stopped about 5 km north of the present border and this line corresponds remarkably well 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 common in the rye-growing regions of eastern Germany
The Baltic Sea drains into the Kattegat through the Danish Straits. The sea area is a continuation of the Skagerrak and may be seen as a bay of the Baltic Sea or the North Sea or, as in traditional Scandinavian usage, neither of these. The Kattegat is a shallow sea and can be very difficult and dangerous to navigate, due to the many sandy and stony reefs. There are several cities and major ports in the Kattegat, including Gothenburg, Aalborg and Frederikshavn, mentioned by descending size. The main islands of the Kattegat are Samsø, Læsø and Anholt, since the 1950s, a bridge project usually referred to as Kattegatbroen connecting Jutland and Zealand across the Kattegat has been considered. Since the late 2000s, the project has seen a renewed interest from several politicians in Denmark. The bridge is usually envisioned as connecting Hov with Samsø and Kalundborg, on the South, The limits of the Baltic Sea in the Belts and Sound, In the Little Belt, A line joining Falshöft and Vejsnæs Nakke. In the Great Belt, A line joining Gulstav and Kappel Kirke on the island of Laaland, in the Sound, A line joining Stevns Lighthouse and Falsterbo Point.
According to Den Store Danske Encyklopædi and Nudansk Ordbog, the name derives from the Dutch words kat and gat, at one point, the passable waters were a mere 3.84 km wide. The name of the Copenhagen street Kattesundet has a comparable etymological meaning, an archaic name for both the Skagerrak and Kattegat was the Norwegian Sea or Jutland Sea. Its ancient Latin name was Sinus Codanus, Control of the Kattegat, and access to it, have been important throughout the history of international seafaring. Until the completion of the Eider Canal in 1784, the Kattegat was the water route into. The dues were eventually lifted in 1857, in the Kattegat, the salinity has a pronounced two-layer structure. The upper layer has a salinity between 18‰ and 26‰ and the lower layer – separated by a strong halocline at around 15 m – has a salinity between 32‰ and 34‰. These two opposing flows transport a net surplus of 475 km3 seawater from the Baltic to the Skagerrak every year. During stronger winds, the layers in the Kattegat are completely mixed in some places, such as the Great Belt and this sets some unique conditions for the sealife here.
The Kattegat was one of the first marine dead zones to be noted in the 1970s, in recent years studies and research, has provided much insight into processes like eutrophication, and how to deal with it. The action plans sums up a range of initiatives and includes the so-called Nitrate Directives
Danish colonization of the Americas
Denmark and the former political union of Denmark–Norway had a colonial empire from the 17th through the 20th centuries, large portions of which were found in the Americas. Denmark and Norway in one form or another maintained land claims in Greenland since the 13th century, which had been settled by the Norsemen in the 980s, submitted to Norwegian rule in 1261. Norway entered the Kalmar Union with Denmark and Sweden in 1397, scandinavian settlement in Greenland declined over the years and the last written record is a marriage recorded in 1408, although the Norwegian claims to the land remained. Despite the decline of European settlement and the loss of contact, between the years 1605-1607, King Christian IV of Denmark commissioned three expeditions to Greenland. These expeditions were conducted in order to locate the lost Norse Eastern Settlement as well as to reassert Danish sovereignty over Greenland, the expeditions were largely unsuccessful, partly due to its leaders lacking experience with the arctic ice and difficult weather conditions.
Additionally expeditions were searching on the east coast of Greenland, in the 1660s, a polar bear was added to the royal coat of arms. Around this same time Dano-Norwegian ships, joined by ships from various other European countries, began journeying to Greenland to hunt bowhead whales, egede led three boats to Baals River and established Hope Colony on Kangeq with his family and a few dozen colonists. Finding no Norse survivors, he started a mission among the Inuit, his settlers had been ravaged by scurvy and the Dutch attacked and burnt a whaling station erected on Nipisat. The Bergen company went bankrupt in 1727, the death of Egedes wife prompted his return to Denmark, with his son Paul left in charge of the settlement. He was succeeded by the General Trade Company, both were granted armed ships and full monopolies over trade around their settlements, to prevent better-armed, lower-priced, and better-quality Dutch goods from bankrupting the enterprise. One effect was that construction of new settlements was effectively suspended after Nennortalik for a century until the establishment of Amassalik on the shore in 1894.
The 1782 Instructions established separate governing councils for North and South Greenland, repeated inquiries into the Greenlandic trade and the end of absolutism in Denmark did not end the KGHs monopolies. In 1857, the administrators did set up parsissaets, local councils conducted in Kalaallisut with minor control over spending decisions at each station, in 1912, Royal Greenlands independence was ended and its operations were folded into the Ministry of the Interior. Arctic exploration placed claims of Danish sovereignty over the whole of Greenland in doubt, Norway – which had become independent of Sweden in 1905 – eventually protested and claimed Erik the Reds Land in eastern Greenland during 1931. The Permanent Court of International Justice ruled against Norway two years later, albeit on questionable grounds, the fall of Denmark in early 1940 increased the power and importance of the governors greatly, but by 1941 the island had become an American protectorate. Following the war, the corporate policy was discontinued, the North and South Greenland colonies were united.
In 1953, Greenlands colonial status was ended and it was made a part of the Kingdom of Denmark with representation in the Folketing. In 1979, the Folketing granted the island home rule and, in 2009, all other than defense
The Viking Age is the period from the late 8th century to the mid-11th century in European history, especially Northern European and Scandinavian history, following the Germanic Iron Age. It is the period of history when Scandinavian Norsemen explored Europe by its seas and rivers for trade, raids and conquest. Three Viking ships had beached in Weymouth Bay four years earlier, the Viking devastation of Northumbrias Holy Island was reported by the Northumbrian scholar Alcuin of York, who wrote, Never before in Britain has such a terror appeared. Vikings were portrayed as violent and bloodthirsty by their enemies. The chronicles of medieval England portrayed them as rapacious wolves among sheep, the first challenges to the many anti-Viking images in Britain emerged in the 17th century. Pioneering scholarly works on the Viking Age reached a readership in Britain. Archaeologists began to dig up Britains Viking past, linguistics traced the Viking-Age origins of rural idioms and proverbs. New dictionaries of the Old Norse language enabled more Victorians to read the Icelandic Sagas, the Vikings who invaded western and eastern Europe were chiefly pagans from Denmark and Sweden.
They settled in the Faroe Islands, Iceland, peripheral Scotland and their North Germanic language, Old Norse, became the mother-tongue of present-day Scandinavian languages. By 801, a central authority appears to have been established in Jutland. In Norway, mountainous terrain and fjords formed strong natural boundaries, communities there remained independent of each other, unlike the situation in Denmark which is lowland. By 800, some 30 small kingdoms existed in Norway, the sea was the easiest way of communication between the Norwegian kingdoms and the outside world. It was in the 8th century that Scandinavians began to build ships of war, the North Sea rovers were traders and explorers as well as plunderers. There are various theories concerning the causes of the Viking invasions, for people living along the coast, it would seem natural to seek new land by the sea. Another reason was that during this period England and Ireland, the Franks, had well-defended coasts and heavily fortified ports and harbours.
Pure thirst for adventure may have been a factor, a reason for the raids is believed by some to be over-population caused by technological advances, such as the use of iron, or a shortage of women due to selective female infanticide. Although another cause could well have been caused by the Frankish expansion to the south of Scandinavia. Consequently, these Vikings became raiders, in search of subsistence, There is ongoing debate among scholars as to why the Scandinavians began to expand during the 8th through 11th centuries