Norway the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land. Norway has a total area of 385,207 square kilometres and a population of 5,312,300; the country shares a long eastern border with Sweden. Norway is bordered by Finland and Russia to the north-east, the Skagerrak strait to the south, with Denmark on the other side. Norway has an extensive coastline, facing the Barents Sea. Harald V of the House of Glücksburg is the current King of Norway. Erna Solberg has been prime minister since 2013. A unitary sovereign state with a constitutional monarchy, Norway divides state power between the parliament, the cabinet and the supreme court, as determined by the 1814 constitution; the kingdom was established in 872 as a merger of a large number of petty kingdoms and has existed continuously for 1,147 years.
From 1537 to 1814, Norway was a part of the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway, from 1814 to 1905, it was in a personal union with the Kingdom of Sweden. Norway was neutral during the First World War. Norway remained neutral until April 1940 when the country was invaded and occupied by Germany until the end of Second World War. Norway has both administrative and political subdivisions on two levels: counties and municipalities; the Sámi people have a certain amount of self-determination and influence over traditional territories through the Sámi Parliament and the Finnmark Act. Norway maintains close ties with both the United States. Norway is a founding member of the United Nations, NATO, the European Free Trade Association, the Council of Europe, the Antarctic Treaty, the Nordic Council. Norway maintains the Nordic welfare model with universal health care and a comprehensive social security system, its values are rooted in egalitarian ideals; the Norwegian state has large ownership positions in key industrial sectors, having extensive reserves of petroleum, natural gas, lumber and fresh water.
The petroleum industry accounts for around a quarter of the country's gross domestic product. On a per-capita basis, Norway is the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas outside of the Middle East; the country has the fourth-highest per capita income in the world on the World IMF lists. On the CIA's GDP per capita list which includes autonomous territories and regions, Norway ranks as number eleven, it has the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, with a value of US$1 trillion. Norway has had the highest Human Development Index ranking in the world since 2009, a position held between 2001 and 2006, it had the highest inequality-adjusted ranking until 2018 when Iceland moved to the top of the list. Norway ranked first on the World Happiness Report for 2017 and ranks first on the OECD Better Life Index, the Index of Public Integrity, the Democracy Index. Norway has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Norway has two official names: Norge in Noreg in Nynorsk; the English name Norway comes from the Old English word Norþweg mentioned in 880, meaning "northern way" or "way leading to the north", how the Anglo-Saxons referred to the coastline of Atlantic Norway similar to scientific consensus about the origin of the Norwegian language name.
The Anglo-Saxons of Britain referred to the kingdom of Norway in 880 as Norðmanna land. There is some disagreement about whether the native name of Norway had the same etymology as the English form. According to the traditional dominant view, the first component was norðr, a cognate of English north, so the full name was Norðr vegr, "the way northwards", referring to the sailing route along the Norwegian coast, contrasting with suðrvegar "southern way" for, austrvegr "eastern way" for the Baltic. In the translation of Orosius for Alfred, the name is Norðweg, while in younger Old English sources the ð is gone. In the 10th century many Norsemen settled in Northern France, according to the sagas, in the area, called Normandy from norðmann, although not a Norwegian possession. In France normanni or northmanni referred to people of Sweden or Denmark; until around 1800 inhabitants of Western Norway where referred to as nordmenn while inhabitants of Eastern Norway where referred to as austmenn. According to another theory, the first component was a word nór, meaning "narrow" or "northern", referring to the inner-archipelago sailing route through the land.
The interpretation as "northern", as reflected in the English and Latin forms of the name, would have been due to folk etymology. This latter view originated with philologist Niels Halvorsen Trønnes in 1847; the form Nore is still used in placenames such as the village of Nore and lake Norefjorden in Buskerud county, still has the same meaning. Among other arguments in favour of the theor
Denmark the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country and the southernmost of the Scandinavian nations. Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, is bordered to the south by Germany; the Kingdom of Denmark comprises two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark proper consists of a peninsula, an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand and the North Jutlandic Island; the islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2, land area of 42,394 km2, the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2, a population of 5.8 million. The unified kingdom of Denmark emerged in the 10th century as a proficient seafaring nation in the struggle for control of the Baltic Sea. Denmark and Norway were ruled together under one sovereign ruler in the Kalmar Union, established in 1397 and ending with Swedish secession in 1523.
The areas of Denmark and Norway remained under the same monarch until Denmark -- Norway. Beginning in the 17th century, there were several devastating wars with the Swedish Empire, ending with large cessions of territory to Sweden. After the Napoleonic Wars, Norway was ceded to Sweden, while Denmark kept the Faroe Islands and Iceland. In the 19th century there was a surge of nationalist movements, which were defeated in the 1864 Second Schleswig War. Denmark remained neutral during World War I. In April 1940, a German invasion saw brief military skirmishes while the Danish resistance movement was active from 1943 until the German surrender in May 1945. An industrialised exporter of agricultural produce in the second half of the 19th century, Denmark introduced social and labour-market reforms in the early 20th century that created the basis for the present welfare state model with a developed mixed economy; the Constitution of Denmark was signed on 5 June 1849, ending the absolute monarchy, which had begun in 1660.
It establishes a constitutional monarchy organised as a parliamentary democracy. The government and national parliament are seated in Copenhagen, the nation's capital, largest city, main commercial centre. Denmark exercises hegemonic influence in the Danish Realm, devolving powers to handle internal affairs. Home rule was established in the Faroe Islands in 1948. Denmark negotiated certain opt-outs, it is among the founding members of NATO, the Nordic Council, the OECD, OSCE, the United Nations. Denmark is considered to be one of the most economically and developed countries in the world. Danes enjoy a high standard of living and the country ranks in some metrics of national performance, including education, health care, protection of civil liberties, democratic governance and human development; the country ranks as having the world's highest social mobility, a high level of income equality, is among the countries with the lowest perceived levels of corruption in the world, the eleventh-most developed in the world, has one of the world's highest per capita incomes, one of the world's highest personal income tax rates.
The etymology of the word Denmark, the relationship between Danes and Denmark and the unifying of Denmark as one kingdom, is a subject which attracts debate. This is centered on the prefix "Dan" and whether it refers to the Dani or a historical person Dan and the exact meaning of the -"mark" ending. Most handbooks derive the first part of the word, the name of the people, from a word meaning "flat land", related to German Tenne "threshing floor", English den "cave"; the -mark is believed to mean woodland or borderland, with probable references to the border forests in south Schleswig. The first recorded use of the word Danmark within Denmark itself is found on the two Jelling stones, which are runestones believed to have been erected by Gorm the Old and Harald Bluetooth; the larger stone of the two is popularly cited as Denmark's "baptismal certificate", though both use the word "Denmark", in the form of accusative ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚢᚱᚴ tanmaurk on the large stone, genitive ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚱᚴᛅᚱ "tanmarkar" on the small stone.
The inhabitants of Denmark are there called "Danes", in the accusative. The earliest archaeological findings in Denmark date back to the Eem interglacial period from 130,000–110,000 BC. Denmark has been inhabited since around 12,500 BC and agriculture has been evident since 3900 BC; the Nordic Bronze Age in Denmark was marked by burial mounds, which left an abundance of findings including lurs and the Sun Chariot. During the Pre-Roman Iron Age, native groups began migrating south, the first tribal Danes came to the country between the Pre-Roman and the Germanic Iron Age, in the Roman Iron Age; the Roman provinces maintained trade routes and relations with native tribes in Denmark, Roman coins have been found in Denmark. Evidence of strong Celtic cultural influence dates from this period in Denmark and much of North-West Europe and is among other things reflected in the finding of the Gundestrup cauldron; the tribal Danes came from the east Danish islands and Scania and spoke an early form of North Germanic.
Historians believe that before their arrival, most of Jutland and the nearest islands were settled by tribal J
A bailiff is a manager, overseer or custodian. Bailiffs are of various kinds and their offices and duties vary greatly. Another official sometimes referred to. In the Holy Roman Empire a similar function was performed by the Amtmann. Bailiff was the term used by the Normans for what the Saxons had called a reeve: the officer responsible for executing the decisions of a court; the duty of the bailiff would thus include serving summonses and orders, executing all warrants issued out of the corresponding court. The district within which the bailiff operated was called his bailiwick to the present day. Bailiffs were outsiders and free men, that is, they were not from the bailiwick for which they were responsible. Throughout Norman England, the Saxon and Norman populations mixed, reeve came to be limited to shire-level courts, while bailiff was used in relation to the lower courts. Bailiff referred to the officer executing the decisions of manorial courts, the hundred courts. In Scotland a bailie was the chief officer of a barony, in the Channel Islands they were the principal civil officers.
With the introduction of justices of the peace, magistrates' courts acquired their own bailiffs. Courts were not only concerned with legal matters, decided administrative matters for the area within their jurisdiction. A bailiff of a manor, would oversee the manor's lands and buildings, collect its rents, manage its accounts, run its farms. In the 19th century, the administrative functions of courts were replaced by the creation of elected local authorities; the term bailiff is retained as a title by the chief officers of various towns and the keepers of royal castles, such as the High Bailiff of Westminster and the Bailiff of Dover Castle. In Scotland, bailie now refers to a municipal officer corresponding to an English alderman. In the 20th century, the court system in England was drastically re-organised, with the assize courts taking some of the powers of the shire courts, becoming the High Court of Justice; the High Court acquired the sheriffs, the county courts the bailiffs. Bailiffs were removable by the Lord Chancellor.
A bailiff could, for practical reasons, delegate his responsibilities, in regard to some particular court instruction, to other individuals. As the population expanded, the need for the services of a bailiff arose from financial disputes. By Shakespeare's time, they had acquired the nickname bum-bailiffs because they followed debtors closely behind them. To avoid confusion with their underlings, the County Courts Act 1888 renamed bailifs as high bailiffs; this act formally acknowledged right of the high bailiffs to appoint under-bailiffs as they wished, establishing that the high bailiffs retain ultimate responsibility for their actions. The High Bailiff became a purely ceremonial role, the court's clerk liaising with under-bailiffs directly; the Law of Distress Amendment Act 1888 enacts that no person may act as an under-bailiff to levy any distress for rent unless he is authorized by a county court judge to act as an under-bailiff. The County Courts Act 1888 restricted the hours an under-bailiff could execute a possession warrant, to only be between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m..
It limited the ability to bring a legal complaint against a bailiff. In the Channel Islands the bailiff is the first civil officer in each of the two bailiwicks, he is appointed by the Crown, holds office until retirement. He presides as a judge in the royal court, takes the opinions of the jurats; the bailiff in each island must, be a qualified lawyer. In England and Wales, there are a number of offices either formally titled, or referred to, as "bailiffs"; some of these bailiffs are concerned with executing the orders of the courts around the collection of debts, some exercise semi-official supervisory powers over certain activities. Those concerned with the execution of court orders are referred to as bailiffs, although reforms to the law in 2014 have renamed all these positions to alternative titles. With the 19th century renaming of bailiffs to high bailiff, their under-bailiffs came to be referred to as bailiffs themselves; the powers and responsibilities of these bailiffs depend on which type of court they take orders from.
In emulation of these responsibilities, a number of roles established by 19th century statute laws have been named bailiffs, despite not having a connection to a court. Civilian enforcement officers are employees of Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service, can seize and sell goods to recover money owed under a fine and community penalty notice, execute warrants of arrest, committal and control; these functions can be carried out by employees of private companies a
Sweden the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres, Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre; the highest concentration is in the southern half of the country. Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats and Swedes and constituting the sea peoples known as the Norsemen. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is forested. Sweden is part of the geographical area of Fennoscandia; the climate is in general mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence, that in spite of this still retains warm continental summers.
Today, the sovereign state of Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a monarch as head of state, like its neighbour Norway. The capital city is Stockholm, the most populous city in the country. Legislative power is vested in the 349-member unicameral Riksdag. Executive power is exercised by the government chaired by the prime minister. Sweden is a unitary state divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities. An independent Swedish state emerged during the early 12th century. After the Black Death in the middle of the 14th century killed about a third of the Scandinavian population, the Hanseatic League threatened Scandinavia's culture and languages; this led to the forming of the Scandinavian Kalmar Union in 1397, which Sweden left in 1523. When Sweden became involved in the Thirty Years War on the Reformist side, an expansion of its territories began and the Swedish Empire was formed; this became one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century. Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, ending with the annexation of present-day Finland by Russia in 1809.
The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Norway was militarily forced into personal union. Since Sweden has been at peace, maintaining an official policy of neutrality in foreign affairs; the union with Norway was peacefully dissolved in 1905. Sweden was formally neutral through both world wars and the Cold War, albeit Sweden has since 2009 moved towards cooperation with NATO. After the end of the Cold War, Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995, but declined NATO membership, as well as Eurozone membership following a referendum, it is a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens, it has the world's eleventh-highest per capita income and ranks in numerous metrics of national performance, including quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic competitiveness, equality and human development.
The name Sweden was loaned from Dutch in the 17th century to refer to Sweden as an emerging great power. Before Sweden's imperial expansion, Early Modern English used Swedeland. Sweden is derived through back-formation from Old English Swēoþēod, which meant "people of the Swedes"; this word is derived from Sweon/Sweonas. The Swedish name Sverige means "realm of the Swedes", excluding the Geats in Götaland. Variations of the name Sweden are used in most languages, with the exception of Danish and Norwegian using Sverige, Faroese Svøríki, Icelandic Svíþjóð, the more notable exception of some Finnic languages where Ruotsi and Rootsi are used, names considered as referring to the people from the coastal areas of Roslagen, who were known as the Rus', through them etymologically related to the English name for Russia; the etymology of Swedes, thus Sweden, is not agreed upon but may derive from Proto-Germanic Swihoniz meaning "one's own", referring to one's own Germanic tribe. Sweden's prehistory begins in the Allerød oscillation, a warm period around 12,000 BC, with Late Palaeolithic reindeer-hunting camps of the Bromme culture at the edge of the ice in what is now the country's southernmost province, Scania.
This period was characterised by small bands of hunter-gatherer-fishers using flint technology. Sweden is first described in a written source in Germania by Tacitus in 98 AD. In Germania 44 and 45 he mentions the Swedes as a powerful tribe with ships that had a prow at each end. Which kings ruled these Suiones is unknown, but Norse mythology presents a long line of legendary and semi-legendary kings going back to the last centuries BC; as for literacy in Sweden itself, the runic script was in use among the south Scandinavian elite by at least the 2nd century AD, but all that has come down to the present from the Roman Period is curt inscriptions on artefacts of male names, demonstrating th
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe, with strong historical and linguistic ties. The term Scandinavia in local usage covers the three kingdoms of Denmark and Sweden; the majority national languages of these three, belong to the Scandinavian dialect continuum, are mutually intelligible North Germanic languages. In English usage, Scandinavia sometimes refers to the Scandinavian Peninsula, or to the broader region including Finland and Iceland, 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. The name Scandinavia referred to the former Danish, now Swedish, region of Scania. Scandinavia and Scandinavian entered usage in the late 18th century, being introduced by the early linguistic and cultural Scandinavist movement; the majority of the population of Scandinavia are descended from several North Germanic tribes who inhabited the southern part of Scandinavia and spoke a Germanic language that evolved into Old Norse.
Icelanders and the Faroese are to a significant extent descended from the Norse and are therefore seen as Scandinavian. Finland is populated by Finns, with a minority of 5% of Swedish speakers. A small minority of Sami people live in the extreme north of Scandinavia; the Danish and Swedish languages form a dialect continuum and are known as the Scandinavian languages—all of which are considered mutually intelligible with one another. Faroese and Icelandic, sometimes referred to as insular Scandinavian languages, are intelligible in continental Scandinavian languages only to a limited extent. Finnish and Meänkieli are related to each other and more distantly to the Sami languages, but are unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. Apart from these, German and Romani are recognized minority languages in parts of Scandinavia. "Scandinavia" refers to Denmark and Sweden. Some sources argue for the inclusion of the Faroe Islands and Iceland, though that broader region is known by the countries concerned as Norden, or the Nordic countries.
The use of "Scandinavia" as a convenient general term for Denmark and Sweden is recent. According to some historians, it was adopted and introduced in the eighteenth century, at a time when the ideas about a common heritage started to appear and develop into early literary and linguistic Scandinavism. Before this time, the term "Scandinavia" was familiar to classical scholars through Pliny the Elder's writings and was used vaguely for Scania and the southern region of the peninsula; as a political term, Scandinavia was first used by students agitating for pan-Scandinavianism in the 1830s. The popular usage of the term in Sweden and Norway as a unifying concept became established in the nineteenth century through poems such as Hans Christian Andersen's "I am a Scandinavian" of 1839. After a visit to Sweden, Andersen became a supporter of early political Scandinavism. In a letter describing the poem to a friend, he wrote: "All at once I understood how related the Swedes, the Danes and the Norwegians are, with this feeling I wrote the poem after my return:'We are one people, we are called Scandinavians!'".
The clearest example of the use of Scandinavia is Finland, based on the fact that most of modern-day Finland was part of the Swedish kingdom for hundreds of years, thus to much of the world associating Finland with all of Scandinavia. However, the creation of a Finnish identity is unique in the region in that it was formed in relation to two different imperial models, the Swedish and the Russian, as described by the University of Jyväskylä based editorial board of the Finnish journal Yearbook of Political Thought and Conceptual History. Various promotional agencies of the Nordic countries in the United States serve to promote market and tourism interests in the region. Today, the five Nordic heads of state act as the organization's patrons and according to the official statement by the organization its mission is "to promote the Nordic region as a whole while increasing the visibility of Denmark, Iceland and Sweden in New York City and the United States"; the official tourist boards of Scandinavia sometimes cooperate under one umbrella, such as the Scandinavian Tourist Board.
The cooperation was introduced for the Asian market in 1986, when the Swedish national tourist board joined the Danish national tourist board to coordinate intergovernmental promotion of the two countries. Norway's government entered one year later. All five Nordic governments participate in the joint promotional efforts in the United States through the Scandinavian Tourist Board of North America. While the term "Scandinavia" is used for Denmark and Sweden, the term "Nordic countries" is used unambiguously for Denmark, Sweden and Iceland, including their associated territories. Scandinavia can thus be considered a subset of the Nordic countries. Furthermore, the term Fennoscandia refers to Scandinavia and Karelia, excluding Denmark and overseas territories, but the usage of this term is restricted to geology when speaking of the Fennoscandian Shield. In addition to the mainland Scandinavian countries of: Denmark Norway (constitutional monarchy with a parliament
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 Procopius. With the Christianization of the Danes c. 960 AD, it is clear. Queen Margrethe II can trace her lineage back to the Viking kings Gorm the Old and Harald Bluetooth from this time, thus making the Monarchy of Denmark the oldest in Europe; the area now known as Denmark has a rich prehistory, having been populated by several prehistoric cultures and people for about 12,000 years, since the end of the last ice age. Denmark's history has been influenced by its geographical location between the North and Baltic seas, a strategically and economically important placement between Sweden and Germany, at the center of mutual struggles for control of the Baltic Sea. Denmark was long in disputes with Sweden over control of Skånelandene and with Germany over control of Schleswig and Holstein.
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, but was liberated by British forces of the Allies in 1945, after which it joined the United Nations. In the aftermath of World War II, 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 several prehistoric cultures and people for about 12,000 years, since the end of the last ice age. During the ice age, all of Scandinavia was covered by glaciers most of the time, except for the southwestern parts of what we now know as Denmark.
When the ice began retreating, the barren tundras were soon inhabited by reindeer and elk, Ahrenburg and Swiderian hunters from the south followed them here to hunt occasionally. The geography was different from what we know today. Sea levels were much lower; as the climate warmed up, forceful rivers of meltwater started to flow and shape the virgin lands, more stable flora and fauna began emerging in Scandinavia, Denmark in particular. The first human settlers to inhabit Denmark and Scandinavia permanently were the Maglemosian people, residing in seasonal camps and exploiting the land, sea and lakes, it was not until around 6,000 BC that the approximate geography of Denmark as we know it today had been shaped. Denmark has some unique natural conditions for preservation of artifacts, providing a rich and diverse archeological record from which to understand the prehistoric cultures of this area; the Weichsel glaciation covered all of Denmark most of the time, except the western coasts of Jutland.
It ended around 13,000 years ago, allowing humans to move back into the ice-covered territories and establish permanent habitation. During the first post-glacial millennia, the landscape changed from tundra to light forest, varied fauna including now-extinct megafauna appeared. Early prehistoric cultures uncovered in modern Denmark include the Maglemosian Culture; the first inhabitants of this early post-glacial landscape in the so-called Boreal period, were small and scattered populations living from hunting of reindeer and other land mammals and gathering whatever fruits the climate was able to offer. Around 8,300 BC the temperature rose drastically, now with summer temperatures around 15 degrees Celsius, the landscape changed into dense forests of aspen and pine and the reindeer moved north, while aurochs and elk arrived from the south; the Koelbjerg Man is the oldest known bog body in the world and the oldest set of human bones found in Denmark, dated to the time of the Maglemosian culture around 8,000 BC.
With a continuing rise in temperature the oak and hazel arrived in Denmark around 7,000 BC. Now boar, red deer, roe deer began to abound. A burial from Bøgebakken at Vedbæk dates to c. 6,000 BC and contains 22 persons - including four newborns and one toddler. Eight of the 22 had died before reaching 20 years of age - testifying to the hardness of hunter-gatherer life in the cold north. Based on estimates of the amount of game animals, scholars estimate the population of Denmark to have been between 3,300-8,000 persons in the time around 7,000 BC, it is believed that the early hunter-gatherers lived nomadically, exploiting different environments at different times of the year shifting to the use of semi permanent base camps. With the rising temperatures, sea levels rose, during the Atlantic period, Denmark evolved from a contiguous landmass around 11,000 BC to a series of islands by 4,500 BC; the inhabitants shifted to a seafood based diet, which allowed the population to increase. Agricultural settlers made inroads around 3,000 BC.
Many dolmens and rock tombs date from this period. The Nordic Bronze Age period in Denmar