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(dĕn`märk), Dan. Danmark, officially Kingdom of Denmark, kingdom (2015 est. pop. 5,689,000), 16,629 sq mi (43,069 sq km), N Europe. It borders on Germany in the south, the North Sea in the west, the Skagerrak in the north, and the Kattegat and the Øresund in the east. CopenhagenCopenhagen
, Dan. København , city (1992 pop. 464,566; metropolitan area 1,339,395), capital of Denmark and of Copenhagen co., E Denmark, on E Sjælland and N Amager islands and on the Øresund.
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 is Denmark's capital, largest city, and chief industrial center. In addition to the capital, other important cities include AalborgAalborg
, city (1992 pop. 114,970), capital of Nordjylland co., N Denmark, on both sides of the Limfjord. It is a major industrial, transportation, and cultural center. Manufactures include cement, machinery, chemicals, liquor, ships, spitirs, and textiles.
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, AarhusAarhus
, city (1992 pop. 204,139), capital of Aarhus co., central Denmark, on Aarhus Bay, an arm of the Kattegat. The second largest city in Denmark, it is a commercial, industrial, and shipping center.
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, EsbjergEsbjerg
, city (1992 pop. 72,205), Ribe co., SW Denmark, a port on the North Sea. It is a commercial and industrial center, and Denmark's largest fishing port. Esbjerg's main development came after the construction (late 19th cent.) of its harbor.
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, Frederiksberg and Gentofte (suburbs of Copenhagen), Lyngby, OdenseOdense
, city (1992 pop. 140,886), capital of Fyn co., S central Denmark, a seaport linked by canal with the Odense Fjord (an arm of the Kattegat). Denmark's third largest city, it is an important commercial, industrial, and cultural center and a rail junction.
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, and RoskildeRoskilde
, city (1992 pop. 40,928), capital of Roskilde co., E Denmark, a port on the Roskilde Fjord (an arm of the Isefjord). Manufactures of this industrial city include processed food, liquor, machines, leather goods, and pharmaceuticals.
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Land and People

The southernmost of the Scandinavian countries, Denmark proper includes most of the JutlandJutland
, Dan. Jylland, Ger. Jütland, peninsula, c.250 mi (400 km) long and up to 110 mi (177 km) wide, N Europe, comprising continental Denmark and N Schleswig-Holstein state, Germany.
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 peninsula; several major islands, notably SjællandSjælland
or Zealand
, Ger. Seeland, island (1992 pop. 1,976,882), 2,709 sq mi (7,016 sq km), E Denmark, between the Kattegat and the Baltic Sea. Denmark's largest island, it is separated from Fyn by the Store Bælt and from Sweden by the Øresund.
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, FynFyn
, Ger. Fünen, island (1992 pop. 440,261), c.1,340 sq mi (3,471 sq km), Fyn co., S central Denmark. Odense, Svendborg, Nyborg, Assens, and Middelfart are the chief cities of Fyn, which is the second largest of the Danish islands.
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, LollandLolland
or Laaland
, island (1992 pop. 72,536), 479 sq mi (1,241 sq km), SE Denmark, in the Baltic Sea, E of Langeland, S of Sjælland, and W of Falster. The island is low-lying and agricultural; sugar beets are the main crop.
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, FalsterFalster
, island (1992 pop. 42,940), 198 sq mi (513 sq km), Storstrøm co., SE Denmark, in the Baltic Sea. Nykøbing is the chief city. The island's southern tip, Gedser Odde, is the southernmost point in Denmark.
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, LangelandLangeland
, narrow island (1992 pop. 15,226), 110 sq mi (285 sq km), S Denmark, between Fyn and Lolland. Rudkøbing is the main town; other towns include Bagenkop and Lohals. The island is largely agricultural, and grain is the chief product. It is noted for its magnificent beech trees.
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, AlsAls
, Ger. Alsen, island, 121 sq mi (313 sq km), Sønderjylland co., S Denmark, in the Lille Bælt, separated from the mainland by the narrow Alensund. Sønderborg (partly situated on the mainland) is the main city; other towns include Augustenborg and Nordborg.
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, MønMøn
or Möen
, island (1992 pop. 11,187), 84 sq mi (218 sq km), SE Denmark, in the Baltic Sea, S of Sjælland and NE of Falster. Stege is the main town. Møn is largely agricultural; sugar beets are the main crop, and cattle are also raised.
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, BornholmBornholm
, county (1992 pop. 45,541), 227 sq mi (588 sq km), extreme E Denmark, in the Baltic Sea, near Sweden, consisting mainly of the island of Bornholm, which constitutes almost all of the land area and population of the county.
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, and AmagerAmager
, island (1992 pop. 148,413), 25 sq mi (65 sq km), Copenhagen co., E Denmark, in the Øresund. Northern Amager is occupied by a part of Copenhagen city that has important shipbuilding and harbor facilities. Southern Amager includes fishing ports, beach resorts, and farms.
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; and about 450 other islands. The Faeroe IslandsFaeroe Islands
or Faröe Islands
, Dan. Færøerne, Faeroese Føroyar, group of volcanic islands (2015 est. pop. 49,000), 540 sq mi (1,399 sq km), Denmark, in the N Atlantic, between Iceland and the Shetland Islands.
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 and GreenlandGreenland,
Green. Kalaallit Nunaat, Dan. Grønland, the largest island in the world (2015 est. pop. 56,000), 836,109 sq mi (2,166,086 sq km), self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark, lying largely within the Arctic Circle.
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, in the North Atlantic, are self-governing dependencies within the Danish realm. A part of the European plain, the country is almost entirely low-lying, and more than half of its land area is cultivated. The North Atlantic Drift (a warm ocean current) usually ensures a relatively mild climate, but occasionally ice closes the Baltic Sea, thus cutting off warmer waters and making the winter quite severe.

In addition to Denmark's Scandinavian majority, there are Eskimo, Faeroese, and German, minorities and, more recently, Turkish, Iranian, and Somali immigrants. Almost all the inhabitants of Denmark speak Danish (there are several dialects), and Faeroese, Greenlandic (an Eskimo dialect), and German are also spoken. The great majority of Danes belong to the established Lutheran Church; there are small minorities of other Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Muslims.


Once essentially an agricultural country and still possessing a visibly rural landscape, Denmark after 1945 greatly expanded its industrial base so that by 2006 industry contributed about 25% of the gross domestic product and agriculture less than 2% (Denmark's other traditional industries of fishing and shipbuilding have also declined). Financial and other services, trade, transportation, and communications are also important.

The main commodities raised are livestock (pigs, cattle, and poultry), root crops (potatoes and sugar beets), and cereals (barley, wheat, and oats). There is a large fishing industry, and Denmark possesses a commercial shipping fleet of considerable size. The leading industries include food processing (especially meat and dairy goods) and shipbuilding and the manufacture of iron and steel, nonferrous metals, chemicals, machinery and transportation equipment, textiles and clothing, electronics, furniture and other wood products, windmills, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment. Metal products are made almost entirely from imported raw materials, as Denmark has scant mineral resources. Tourism is also a substantial industry.

Denmark's main exports are processed foods, agricultural and industrial machinery, pharmaceuticals, furniture, and windmills; the chief imports are machinery and equipment, raw materials, chemicals, grain and foodstuffs, and consumer goods. The country's leading trade partners are Germany, Sweden, Great Britain, and other European Union countries.


Denmark is a constitutional monarchy governed under the constitution of 1953. The monarch is the head of state. The prime minister, who is the head of government, is appointed by the monarch with the approval of the People's Assembly. The 179 members of the unicameral People's Assembly or FolketingFolketing
, national parliament of Denmark. Formerly the lower house of the bicameral Rigsdag, it became the sole parliamentary body in 1953. It shares legislative power with the monarch, who can dissolve the body but cannot assume major international obligations without its
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 are elected by popular vote to four-year terms. Administratively, Denmark proper is divided into five regions, which are subdivided into 98 municipalities.


Ancient History to 1448

The Danes probably settled Jutland by c.10,000 B.C. and later (2d millennium B.C.) developed a Bronze Age culture there. However, little is known of Danish history before the age of the VikingsVikings,
Scandinavian warriors who raided the coasts of Europe and the British Isles from the 9th cent. to the 11th cent. In their language, the word "viking" originally meant a journey, as for trading or raiding; it was not until the 19th cent.
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 (9th–11th cent. A.D.), when the Danes had an important role in the Viking (or Norse) raids on Western Europe and were prominent among the invaders of England who were opposed by King Alfred (reigned 871–99) and his successors. St. Ansgar (801–65) helped convert the Danes to Christianity; Harold BluetoothHarold Bluetooth,
d. c.985, king of Denmark. Succeeding (935) his father, Gorm the Old, who had united Denmark, Harold consolidated the kingdom. He tried to assert suzerainty over Norway but was defeated by the Germans.
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 (d. c.985) was the first Christian king of Denmark. His son, SweynSweyn
, c.960–1014, king of Denmark (986–1014), son of Harold Bluetooth. Although baptized, he reverted to paganism and rebelled against his father, who was killed in battle.
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 (reigned c.986–1014), conquered England. From 1018 to 1035, Denmark, England, and Norway were united under King CanuteCanute
, 995?–1035, king of England, Norway, and Denmark. The younger son of Sweyn of Denmark, Canute accompanied his father on the expedition of 1013 that invaded England and forced Æthelred to flee to Normandy.
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 (Knut). The southern part of Sweden (Skåne, Halland, and Blekinge) was, with brief interruptions, part of Denmark until 1658.

After Canute's death, Denmark fell into a period of turmoil and civil war. Later, Waldemar IWaldemar I
(Waldemar the Great) , 1131–82, king of Denmark (1157–82). In 1147, Waldemar, Sweyn III, and Canute (son of Magnus the Strong and grandson of King Niels) each claimed the Danish throne. After a war Waldemar received Jutland as his share of Danish territory.
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 (reigned 1157–82) and Waldemar IIWaldemar II,
1170–1241, king of Denmark (1202–41), second son of Waldemar I. In the reign of his brother, Canute VI, he defended Denmark from German aggression and then extended Danish control over Schwerin.
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 (reigned 1202–41) were energetic rulers who established Danish hegemony over N Europe. With the end of the Viking raids and the development of a strong and independent church, the nobles were able to impose their will on the weaker kings. In 1282, Eric V (reigned 1259–86) was forced to submit to the Great Charter, which established annual parliaments and a council of nobles who shared the king's power. This form of government persisted until 1660.

Waldemar IVWaldemar IV
(Valdemar Atterdag), c.1320–1375, king of Denmark (1340–75). He became king of a land completely dismembered by foreign rulers, but his ambition, unscrupulousness, and military ability enabled him to unite his kingdom by 1361.
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 (reigned 1340–75) again brought Danish power to a high point, but he was humiliated by the Hanseatic LeagueHanseatic League
, mercantile league of medieval German towns. It was amorphous in character; its origin cannot be dated exactly. Originally a Hansa was a company of merchants trading with foreign lands.
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 in the Treaty of Stralsund (1370). Waldemar's daughter, Queen MargaretMargaret,
1930–2002, British princess, second daughter of King George VI and sister of Queen Elizabeth II, b. Glamis, Scotland. In 1960 she married a commoner, the photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, who was created earl of Snowdon in 1961. They were divorced in 1978.
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, achieved (1397) the union of the Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish crowns in her person (see Kalmar UnionKalmar Union,
combination of the three crowns of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, effected at Kalmar, Sweden, by Queen Margaret I in 1397. Because the kingship was elective in all three countries, the union could not be maintained by inheritance.
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). Sweden soon escaped effective Danish rule, and with the accession (1523) of Gustavus I of Sweden the union was dissolved. However, the union with NorwayNorway,
Nor. Norge, officially Kingdom of Norway, constitutional monarchy (2015 est. pop. 5,200,000), 125,181 sq mi (324,219 sq km), N Europe, occupying the western part of the Scandinavian peninsula. Extending from the Skagerrak, which it borders in the south, c.
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 lasted until 1814.

Denmark and Norway

In 1448, Christian IChristian I
, 1426–81, king of Denmark (1448–81), Norway (1450–81), and Sweden (1457–64), count of Oldenburg, and founder of the Oldenburg dynasty of Danish kings.
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 became king and established on the Danish throne the house of Oldenburg, from which the present ruling family (Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg) is descended. He also united (1460) SchleswigSchleswig
, Dan. Slesvig, former duchy, N Germany and S Denmark, occupying the southern part of Jutland. The Eider River separates it from Holstein. German Schleswig forms part of Schleswig-Holstein. Danish Schleswig, known as North Schleswig (Dan.
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 and HolsteinHolstein,
former duchy, N central Germany, the part of Schleswig-Holstein S of the Eider River. Kiel and Rendsburg were the chief cities. For a description of Holstein and for its history after 1814, see Schleswig-Holstein.
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 with the Danish crown. The Reformation (early 16th cent.) gradually gained adherents in Denmark, and during the reign of Christian IIIChristian III,
1503–59, king of Denmark and Norway (1534–59). At the death of his father, Frederick I, his election was delayed because he was a Lutheran. The German city of Lübeck invaded Denmark to reinstate the deposed Christian II, and the minor nobility
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 (1534–59) Lutheranism became the established religion. In the late 16th and early 17th cent., Denmark had a brilliant court, with a brisk intellectual and cultural life; the astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546–1601) was a major figure, and the Danish Renaissance style of architecture (strongly influenced by that of the Low Countries) was developed.

The division of power in Denmark between the king and the nobles seriously handicapped the country's attempt to gain supremacy in the Baltic region. Denmark was involved in numerous wars with Sweden and other neighbors; the participation of Christian IVChristian IV,
1577–1648, king of Denmark and Norway (1588–1648), son and successor of Frederick II. After assuming (1596) personal rule from a regency, he concentrated on building the navy, industry, and commerce. He rebuilt Oslo and renamed it Christiania.
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 (reigned 1588–1648) in the Thirty Years WarThirty Years War,
1618–48, general European war fought mainly in Germany. General Character of the War

There were many territorial, dynastic, and religious issues that figured in the outbreak and conduct of the war.
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 (1618–48) and the wars of Frederick IIIFrederick III,
1609–70, king of Denmark and Norway (1648–70), son and successor of Christian IV. He at first made great concessions to the powerful nobles but later asserted his own power. In 1657 war with Sweden began anew.
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 (reigned 1648–70) with Sweden caused Denmark to lose its hegemony in the north to Sweden. The Danish-Swedish Treaty of Copenhagen (1660) confirmed most of the Danish losses imposed by the Treaty of Roskilde (1658).

The wars weakened the nobility by reducing its numbers and strengthened the monarchy by increasing the power and importance of the royal army. Frederick III and Christian VChristian V,
1646–99, king of Denmark and Norway (1670–99), son and successor of Frederick III. His minister, Griffenfeld, who until his fall in 1676 dominated Christian's reign, made the monarchy absolute.
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 (reigned 1670–99), aided by their minister Count GriffenfeldGriffenfeld, Peder Schumacher, Count
, 1635–99, Danish politician. The son of a merchant, he became (1665) secretary to Frederick III. In 1665 Griffenfeld drew up the Kongelov [king's law], which established an absolute monarchy in Denmark.
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, were able to make the kingdom an absolute monarchy with the support of the peasants and townspeople. Denmark maintained an imperial status by continuing to rule over Iceland and by establishing (late 17th cent.) the Danish West Indies (see Virgin IslandsVirgin Islands,
group of about 100 small islands, West Indies, E of Puerto Rico. The islands are divided politically between the United States and Great Britain. Although constituting the westernmost part of the Lesser Antilles, the Virgin Islands form a geological unit with
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). In the Northern WarNorthern War,
1700–1721, general European conflict, fought in N and E Europe at the same time that the War of the Spanish Succession was fought in the west and the south.
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 (1720–21) against Charles XII of Sweden, Frederick IVFrederick IV,
1671–1730, king of Denmark and Norway (1699–1730), son and successor of Christian V. He allied himself (1699) with Augustus II of Poland and Saxony and with Peter I of Russia against Charles XII of Sweden in the Northern War, but was forced to sign the
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 (reigned 1699–1730) gained some financial awards and the union of ducal Schleswig with royal Schleswig.

The later 18th cent. was marked by important social reforms carried out by the ministers Johann Hartwig Ernst BernstorffBernstorff, Johann Hartwig Ernst
, 1712–72, Danish politician, of German (Hanoverian) origin. As minister of foreign affairs (1751–70) under Frederick V and Christian VII, he successfully kept Denmark at peace.
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, Andreas Peter BernstorffBernstorff, Andreas Peter
, 1735–97, Danish politician; nephew of Johann Hartwig Ernst Bernstorff. Made (1773) foreign minister after Struensee's fall from power, he obtained from Russia the final ratification of the exchange treaty negotiated by his uncle in 1767.
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, and Johann Friedrich StruenseeStruensee, Johann Friedrich
, 1737–72, Danish politician, b. Germany. As physician to Christian VII he gained complete mastery over the insane king and became the favorite of the young queen, Caroline Matilda.
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. Serfdom was abolished (1788), and peasant proprietorship was encouraged. In the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, Denmark, having sided with Napoleon I, was twice attacked by England (see Copenhagen, battle ofCopenhagen, battle of,
1801, an important incident of the French Revolutionary Wars. In Dec., 1800, Denmark joined Russia, Sweden, and Prussia in declaring the armed neutrality of the northern powers in the French Revolutionary Wars and in announcing that they would not comply
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; CopenhagenCopenhagen
, Dan. København , city (1992 pop. 464,566; metropolitan area 1,339,395), capital of Denmark and of Copenhagen co., E Denmark, on E Sjælland and N Amager islands and on the Øresund.
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). By the Treaty of Kiel (1814), Denmark lost Norway to Sweden and Helgoland to England, but retained possession of Greenland, the Faeroe Islands, and Iceland.

1814 to the Present

In the early 19th cent., Denmark's modern system of public education was started, and there was a flowering of literature and philosophy (led by Hans Christian Andersen and Søren Kierkegaard). As a result of plans for a liberal, centralized constitution, Frederick VIIFrederick VII,
1808–63, king of Denmark, duke of Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenburg (1848–63), son and successor of Christian VIII. He accepted a liberal constitution in 1849 that ended the absolute monarchy.
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 (reigned 1848–63) became involved in a war with Prussia (1848–50) over the status of Schleswig-HolsteinSchleswig-Holstein
, state (1994 pop. 2,595,000), c.6,050 sq mi (15,670 sq km), NW Germany. Kiel (the capital and chief port), Lübeck, Flensburg, and Neumünster are the major cities.
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. Denmark was defeated and agreed in the London Protocol of 1852 to preserve a special status for the two duchies. In the meantime, a new constitution was promulgated (1849), ending the absolute monarchy and establishing wide suffrage.

The new government attempted (1855) to incorporate Schleswig into the Danish constitutional system, and soon after the accession (1863) of Christian IXChristian IX,
1818–1906, king of Denmark (1863–1906). A member of the cadet line of Sonderburg-Glücksburg, he succeeded Frederick VII, last of the direct line of Oldenburg.
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 war broke out again (1864), this time with Prussia and Austria. Denmark was defeated badly and lost Schleswig-Holstein. This loss of about one third of the Danish territory was, however, offset by great economic gains that transformed Denmark, in the second half of the 19th cent., from a land of poor peasants into the nation with the most prosperous small farmers in Europe. This change was achieved largely by persuading the farmers to specialize in dairy and pork products rather than in grain (which was more expensive to produce than the grain imported from the United States). The folk high schoolsfolk high school,
type of adult education that in its most widely known form originated in Denmark in the middle of the 19th cent. The idea as originally conceived by Bishop Nikolai Grundtvig was to stimulate the intellectual life of young adults (generally from 18 to 25 years
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, originated by N. F. S. GrundtvigGrundtvig, Nikolai Frederik Severin
, 1783–1872, Danish educator, minister, and writer, founder of the Danish folk high school. He came into doctrinal conflict with church authorities and was forbidden to preach but was reinstated (1832) and became titular bishop (1861).
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 (1783–1872), played an important role in reeducating the Danish farmers. At the same time, the cooperative movement flourished in Denmark. Electoral reforms (1914–15) granted suffrage to the lower classes and to women and strengthened the lower chamber of the legislature.

Denmark remained neutral in World War I and recovered North Schleswig after a plebiscite in 1920. In the interwar period and after World War II, Denmark adopted much social welfare legislation and a system of progressive taxation. Although the Social Democratic government of Denmark had signed a 10-year nonaggression pact with Germany in 1939, the country was occupied by German forces in Apr., 1940. Christian XChristian X,
1870–1947, king of Denmark (1912–47) and Iceland (1912–44), son and successor of Frederick VIII and brother of King Haakon VII of Norway. He granted (1915) a new constitution that included the enfranchisement of women.
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 (reigned 1912–47) and his government remained, but in Aug., 1943, the Germans established martial law, arrested the government, and placed the king under house arrest.

Most of the Jewish population (including refugees from other countries) escaped, with Danish help, to Sweden. Among the escapees was Neils BohrBohr, Niels Henrik David
, 1885–1962, Danish physicist, one of the foremost scientists of modern physics. He studied at the Univ. of Copenhagen (Ph.D. 1911) and carried on research on the structure of the atom at Cambridge under Sir James J.
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, the Danish physicist who went on to the United States and worked on the atomic bomb project at Los Alamos. The Danish minister in Washington, although disavowed by his government, signed an agreement granting the United States military bases in Greenland. Danish merchant vessels served under the Allies, and a Danish resistance force operated (1945) under the supreme Allied command. Denmark was liberated by British troops in May, 1945. After the war, Denmark recovered quickly, and its economy, especially the manufacturing sector, expanded considerably.

Denmark became (1945) a charter member of the United Nations and, breaking a long tradition of neutrality, joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Frederick IXFrederick IX,
1899–1972, king of Denmark (1947–72), son and successor of Christian X. He married (1935) Princess Ingrid of Sweden. Because he did not have a son the constitution was amended in 1953 to allow for a female heir to the throne; Frederick was succeeded by
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 became king in 1947. In 1960, Denmark became part of the European Free Trade Association, which it left in 1972 in order to join the European Community (now the European Union). Denmark granted independence to Iceland in 1944 and home rule to the Faeroe Islands in 1948 and to Greenland in 1979. Frederick IX died in 1972 and was succeeded by Margaret IIMargaret II
(Margrethe), 1940–, queen of Denmark (1972–). The oldest daughter of King Frederick IX and Queen Ingrid (the daughter of King Gustavus VI of Sweden), Princess Margrethe's right to the throne was established (1953) through a new constitution that allowed
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. In 1982, the first Conservative-led government since 1894, a center-right coalition headed by Poul SchlüterSchlüter, Poul Holmskov,
1929–, Danish political leader, prime minister of Denmark (1982–93). A member of the Conservative People's party, he served in the Danish parliament (1964–94) and became party chairman (1974–77, 1981–93).
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, came to power.

Having initially rejected (June, 1992) the European Community's Maastricht Treaty, an agreement that represented a major step toward European unification, Danish voters approved the treaty with exemptions in May, 1993. In 1993, Schlüter resigned; Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, a Social Democrat, became prime minister, heading a center-left coalition that was returned to office in 1998. In a blow to Rasmussen, Danish voters rejected adoption of the euro (see European Monetary SystemEuropean Monetary System,
arrangement by which most nations of the European Union (EU) linked their currencies to prevent large fluctuations relative to one another. It was organized in 1979 to stabilize foreign exchange and counter inflation among members.
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) in a referendum in Sept., 2000. Parliamentary elections in 2001 brought a Liberal party–led conservative coalition to power, and Anders Fogh RasmussenRasmussen, Anders Fogh
, 1953–, Danish political leader, prime minister of Denmark (2001–9), b. Ginnerup. Trained as an economist at the Univ. of Aarhus, he joined the Danish Folketing (parliament) as a member of the Liberal party in 1978 at age 25, becoming the
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 became prime minister in the minority government. The government remained in office after the 2005 elections.

The publication of cartoons with images of the Prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper in Sept., 2005, brought protests from Danish Muslims and ambassadors from Muslim nations, because of Islamic prohibitions on any representation of Muhammad. The protests initially drew tepid responses from the newspaper and Danish officials. The subsequent distribution by Muslim clerics of the cartoons combined with even more offensive images, and the republication of the original cartoons in some other Western and non-Western papers, sparked sometimes violent anti-Danish and anti-Western protests and boycotts of Danish goods in many Muslim nations in early 2006, and led to apologies from the newspaper and Denmark.

After snap parliamentary elections in Nov., 2007, the Liberal-led government remained in office. Rasmussen stepped down in Apr., 2009, to become NATO's secretary-general (beginning in August); Lars Løkke RasmussenRasmussen, Lars Løkke
, 1964–, Danish political leader, grad Univ. of Copenhagen (1992). A member of the center-right Liberal party, he was county mayor of Frederiksborg county (1998–2001), then held ministerial posts under Anders Fogh Rasmussen, including interior
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, the finance minister, succeeded him as prime minister. Parliamentary elections in Sept., 2011, resulted in a narrow victory for a three-party center-left alliance led by the Social Democrats, and Social Democratic leader Helle Thorning-SchmidtThorning-Schmidt, Helle
1966–, Danish political leader, grad. Univ. of Copenhagen (1994). A Social Democrat, she was a member of the European parliament from 1999 to 2004.
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 subsequently became prime minister (and the first woman to hold the post). The June, 2015, elections were won by the Liberal-led center-right coalition, but after Lars Løkke Rasmussen failed to reach an agreement with other center-right parties, he formed a Liberal party minority government; it became a three-party center-right minority government in Nov., 2016. In the June, 2019, elections the Social Democrats won a plurality and formed a minority government with Mette FrederiksenFrederiksen, Mette,
1977–, Danish political leader. A Social Democrat, she was first elected to Denmark's parliament in 2001, and later served as employment minister (2011–14) and justice minister (2014–15).
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 as prime minister.


See K. E. Miller, Government and Politics in Denmark (1968); W. G. Jones, Denmark (1970); P. V. Glob, Denmark: An Archaeological History (tr. 1971); S. Oakley, A Short History of Denmark (1972); H. C. Johansen, The Danish Economy in the Twentieth Century (1986); P. Lauring, Denmark (tr., 7th ed. 1986); K. E. Miller, ed., Denmark (1987).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Danmark), Kingdom of Denmark (Kongeriget Danmark).

Denmark is a state in Western Europe, located on the Jutland (Jylland) Peninsula and the Danish Archipelago, the largest islands of which are Sjælland (Zealand), Fyn, Lolland, Falster, and Møn, as well as Bornholm Island in the Baltic Sea. In the west it is on the North Sea and in the east, on the Baltic Sea; the Skagerrak separates Denmark from Norway, and the Kattegat and the Øresund separate it from Sweden. In the south, Denmark borders on the

Table 1. Administrative divisions
AmtArea(sq km)Population(1970)Administrative center

Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). The area of Denmark proper is 43,000 sq km. The population is 5 million (1971). The capital is the city of Copenhagen.

Administratively Denmark is divided into 14 administrative units called amter (counties; see Table 1). Denmark’s territory includes the island of Greenland (2.2 million sq km; population. over 47,000 in 1970) and the self-governing Faeroe Islands (1.400 sq km: population, 38.500).

Denmark is a constitutional monarchy. The present constitution was adopted on June 5. 1953. The head of state is the king (or queen), who exercises supreme power through the government; he appoints and dismisses the prime minister and the ministers upon the written declaration of the prime minister or upon suggestion by the chairman of the parliament or the leaders of the parliamentary factions, and has also the right to dissolve the parliament. The head of state is also supreme commander in chief of the armed forces and the head of the official state church.

The supreme body of legislative authority is the single-chamber parliament (Folketing). which is elected by the population for a four-year term. It is composed of 179 members of whom 135 are elected by proportional representation on the basis of universal suffrage in 23 electoral districts; 40 seats (so-called additional seats) are distributed among candidates that have not received enough votes in their districts; two members of the Folketing are elected from the Faeroe Islands and two from Greenland. Franchise is granted to men and women who have reached the age of 21 and are permanent residents of Denmark.

The king exercises executive power through the government (cabinet of ministers), which is composed (as of 1971) of 19 members and is headed by the prime minister. The government is responsible to the Folketing. A meeting of all the ministers constitutes the State Council, which is attended by the king and the heir to the throne and at which the most important bills and government measures are discussed.

Each amt is headed by a sheriff (amtmand), who is appointed by the king, and each also has an elected council. Rural communities elect councils headed by an elected chairman; cities are governed by city councils, which are headed by a burgomaster.

The judicial system includes the Supreme Court, two superior courts (for Jutland and for the islands), and lower courts. The senior members of the Supreme Court and judges specially elected by the Folketing for six years form the State Court, which hears cases concerning the indictment of ministers for high treason.


Denmark is located in the northern part of the Central European Plain. In the west and northwest the shores are level and low, with a belt of sand drifts separating the lagoons Ringk0bing Fjord and Nissum Fjord from the North Sea, with which they are connected only by narrow channels. The southwestern shore is covered by marshes and tidal marshes. The eastern coast is strongly dissected by sandbars and other aggradational Iandforms.

Terrain and geological structure. The lowland landscape is conditioned by its location in a platform composed of late Cretaceous and earlier sediments (except the rocky Born-holm Island and the edge of the Baltic shield). There are well-preserved traces of the glaciers, which covered Denmark in the Pleistocene era. The west of Jutland has large sandy, outwash, and moraine plains; the north and east of the country are characterized by hilly terrain with ridges of terminal moraines, with altitudes of up to 172 m and numerous lakes. The north of Denmark has terraced submarine plains.

Climate, rivers, and lakes. Denmark has a temperate maritime climate with a mild and unstable winter, a cool summer, and prolonged transitional seasons. The average temperature is 0° C in February and 15–16° C in July. Annual precipitation is 750–800 mm in the west of the country and 600 mm in the east (90 percent in the form of rain). The maximum precipitation is in the autumn, and the minimum in spring and early summer. Fog occurs frequently.

Most of the rivers are small and rain-fed; the largest is the Gudenå River. There are strong winter freshets, the rivers becoming shallow in the summer. The country has many small running-water lakes, mainly of glacial origin. The many swamps are being extensively drained.

Soil and flora. The west of the country has mainly podzolic soils; the east. heavily cultivated brown wood soils. Alluvial meadow soils are widespread on the lowland maritime coast.

The flora has been greatly changed by man. Forests cover about 10 percent of Denmark. In the west some heath wastelands and oak forests still remain, and many pine and spruce trees have been planted. In the east there are cultivated beech and oak forests. A large part of Denmark is used for agriculture.

Fauna. The forests are inhabited by the fallow deer, sika deer, red deer, roe deer, squirrel, and pheasant. The European hare and various species of birds and rodents live on agricultural fields. The bird fauna is rich along the coasts.

Preserves. The largest preserves are the Randbøl Hede, Skallingen, Tipperne, and Klasgbanken preserves. They are charged with the protection of dunes, heathlands, and areas for waterfowl to nest and fly.

Internal distinctions. The western Jutland region was not covered by the last glaciation. The climate is more humid than in other regions of Denmark. The region has heathland massifs, large coniferous plantings, and luxurious meadows and marshes. The region of eastern Denmark (eastern Jutland and the Danish Archipelago) is strongly dissected by the sea and is the most developed. There are many lakes, which are often connected by rivers. The hills are covered with massifs of heavily cultivated oak and beech forests. The northern region of Denmark (north Jutland and Vendsyssel Island) is dominated by terraced submarine plains and has small massifs of oak forests. The Bornholm region is dominated by the crystalline rock of the Baltic shield, which has become bare in the center and in the north of the island. The southeastern and western shores are covered with dunes. Vegetation includes deciduous forests and beech, fir, and pine plantings.


Serebriannyi. L. R. Fizicheskaia geogrqfiia i chetvertichnaia geologiia Danii. Moscow, 1967.
Danmarks natur, vol. 1: Landskabernes opståen. Copenhagen, 1967.

According to a 1970 estimate over 98 percent of Denmark’s population are Danes. Germans live in the south of the country (about 40,000), the Faeroe Islands are inhabited by Faeroese (38,000), and the island of Greenland by Greenland-ers (Eskimo; over 40,000 persons). There are small groups of Swedes (about 10,000). The official language is Danish. By religion almost all believers are Protestants (Lutherans). The Julian calendar was in use until Feb. 18, 1700; the Gregorian calendar was adopted on Feb. 19, 1700 Old Style—that is, Mar. 1, 1700 New Style.

From 1963 to 1969 the average annual population increase was 0.7 percent, mainly through natural growth. The population more than trebled in one century (second half of the 19th century and first half of the 20th). Of the total number of the economically active population (2.1 million people in 1970). 29 percent are engaged in industry and crafts; 9 percent in construction; 11 percent in agriculture, forestry, and fishing; 7 percent in transportation and communication; 13 percent in trade; and 31 percent in other service spheres. The population is unevenly distributed in the country; the greatest population density is found on the island of Sjælland (density, over 250 people per sq km) and Fyn (over 100 people per sq km). More than two-thirds of the people live in cities, including (1970) about 30 percent in Greater Copenhagen (1.4 million inhabitants, including the suburbs of Frederiksborg and Gen-tofte). Other big cities are Århus (110,000), Odense (103.000), and Ålborg (82.000).

Antiquity and the period of early feudalism (to the middle of the 13th century). The settlement of Denmark’s territory by man started in the south in the late Paleolithic period, immediately after the recession of the glacier. Characteristic for the Mesolithic is the ancient Maglemosean culture. KΦkkenmΦddinger (kitchen middens) have been found on the site of many Neolithic settlements. Villages discovered mainly along the shores of rivers and lakes show that the ancient population practiced hunting and fishing. In the Neolithic period (from 3,000 to 2,500 B.C.)farming and livestock raising spread. During the Bronze Age (approximately from 1,500 to 400 B.C.)Denmark reached exceptional prosperity. Barter trade developed greatly in this period, and the clan structure began to disintegrate. In the last few centuries before and at the beginning of the Common Era, sedentary farming became of prime importance among the Germanic tribes (Jutes, Angles, Heruli. Haruds, and others). and the use of iron spread gradually. In the middle of the fifth century the Angles and Jutes began to resettle in Britain: Denmark was resettled in the fifth and sixth centuries by the Danes, from whom the country received the name Denmark. The Danes. merging with the remnants of the Jutes and other tribes, gradually became the predominant tribe in Denmark. In the late eighth to early ninth century the major social strata in Denmark were free villagers (called bonders). the clan aristocracy, and slaves; the clan structure had outlived itself. One manifestation of this process from the late eighth through the middle of the 11th century was the semipiratical, semicommercial naval expeditions of the Vikings, which were headed by the clan aristocracy and later by kings. The Danes who participated in the Viking campaigns attacked the northern coastal regions of the Frankish state and sailed for England (conquering northeastern England in the second half of the ninth century) and northern France (participating in its conquest in the early tenth century). The political unification of Denmark began in the Viking period. The first attempt, which yielded no stable results, to unite southern Denmark under the rule of one konung (tribal chief) was made in the late eighth and early ninth centuries by Konung Gudfred (who died about 810). Hedeby (Haithabu), the site of one of the most important centers of through trade on the routes from Western Europe to Scandinavia and eastward across the Baltic, was in southern Jutland. In the tenth century a united Danish kingdom was formed with a royal residence in Jelling in southern Jutland (King Gorm the Old, died about 950, and his son Harold I Bluetooth. died about 985). The Danish kingdom included the Jutland Peninsula, the islands of the Danish Archipelago, and Skåne—the southern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. which was more suitable for farming. (It remained part of Denmark through the 17th century.) In the first third of the llth century during the reign of Canute I the Great (king of Denmark, 1018–35). Denmark. England, and Norway were united for a short time under the rule of the Danish king. The military aristocracy was the main basis of royal power and inspired campaigns of conquest. The royal power was also strengthened by an alliance with the Christian church. (The first attempt to spread Christianity in Denmark was made by the Frankish missionary Ansgar in 826: the official date of the adoption of Christianity in Denmark is the baptism of King Harold I at about 960. but paganism remained strong for a long time.) The development of feudal relations in Denmark. which never had a slaveholding system (although patriarchal slavery became very developed), took place more slowly than in the countries of Western Europe but faster than in the other countries of Northern Europe. This was partly to be explained by the fact that Denmark had relatively vast areas suitable for farming and had closer relations with Western Europe than did the other countries of Northern Europe. In the 11th and 12th centuries, in the process of the development of feudalism, the old clan aristocracy was replaced by a landowning aristocracy, which was composed of people who served the king, bonders who had become rich, and especially the Catholic clergy, who by that time had concentrated the large estates in their hands. Some of the peasants became dependent on feudal landowners. others were declared crown peasants, and the rest remained free. However, none of the peasants enjoyed full equality of rights; they were subject to a military tax and were kept away from military service, which became the monopoly of the knighthood; the knighthood and the clergy were exempt from taxes. The development of feudal forms of dependency was accompanied by the abolition of the ancient slavery. The increase in requisitions caused the first peasant uprising in Denmark (1086), during which King Canute II was killed; a large peasant uprising took place in 1180–81 in Skåne.

During the reigns of King Waldemar I (1157–82), Canute VI (1182–1202), and Waldemar II (1202–41) the Danish kingdom gained considerably in strength. At the same time there was a new broad military expansion by Denmark, which ended with its conquest of the Slavic and German coast of the Baltic Sea (these areas were lost, except for Rugen Island, as early as 1227 after the defeat of the Danes at Bornhøved) and of northern Estonia (1219; remained under Danish rule until 1346).

Developed feudalism (from the mid-13th to the mid-17th century). The strengthening and development of feudalism in Denmark from the middle of the 13th to the middle of the 14th century took place during a bitter struggle between individual groupings of the feudal class, including the church, which was Denmark’s biggest feudal lord, acting at that time in alliance with the oligarchy of nobles against the king. In 1282 the aristocracy compelled King Eric Klipping to sign a charter that limited royal power. The king’s attempt to forbid the implementation of this charter and to suppress the opposition with the use of hired German troops plunged Denmark into long internecine wars, which ended in the 1320’s with the victory of the feudal oligarchy and the temporary end of royal power. The feudal anarchy and the internecine strife created favorable conditions for an offensive by the feudal lords against the peasantry: it was actually in this period that the bulk of the peasantry that had still remained free and part of the crown peasants became dependent on the church and individual feudal lords. The subsequent development of feudalism in Denmark involved a gradual enserfment of the peasants and a subsequent trend toward the formation of large private seigneurial domains. (This trend was much more pronounced in Denmark than in Sweden and even more so than in Norway.)

In the middle of the 14th century, under Waldemar IV Atterdag (reigned 1340–75), royal power, which was supported by the small gentry, was again restored and strengthened. The attempt to consolidate the king’s power by dominating the western Baltic economically led to an open conflict between Waldemar IV and the North German Han-seatic League. A war with the Hanseatic League (1367–70) ended in Denmark’s defeat. The Peace of Stralsund of 1370 established the Hanseatic League’s supremacy in the Baltic Sea and its right to interfere in the election of the Danish kings. The Danish medieval cities (the most important of which were Copenhagen, Roskilde, and Malmö) were relatively weak and could not compete with the Hanseatic cities. But of all the Scandinavian states Denmark was economically the most developed and politically the strongest. In 1380 a union between Denmark and Norway was established (which existed until 1814), and in 1397, during the reign of Margaret of Denmark, the Union of Kalmar of Denmark. Sweden, and Norway (with Iceland) was concluded, as a result of which all the Scandinavian countries were in fact under the rule of the king of Denmark. In 1460 the election of the Danish king Christian I (ruled in 1448–81) as duke of Schleswig and count of Holstein established a personal union between these principalities and Denmark.

At the turn of the 16th century royal power in Denmark was under the complete control of the Rigsråd, the organ of the feudal lords (secular and ecclesiastical). The members of the Rigsråd elected the king (beginning in 1448, from the Oldenburg dynasty). Each new king confirmed the privileges of the feudal aristocracy and of the Rigsråd in a special charter, the so-called capitulation. The estate-representative assembly—the Rigsdag (first convened in 1468 and attended by representatives of the nobility, the clergy, the burghers, and the free peasantry)—did not acquire an importance of its own. The attempt of King Christian II (reigned 1513–23) to undermine the rule of the aristocracy by relying on the rank-and-file gentry and the burghers (to whom he granted a number of privileges) led to his deposition and exile from the country. The popular movement that unfolded in the 1530’s attests to the acute social and political contradictions in Denmark related to the increase of feudal oppression and the growing economic and political aggressiveness of the Danish burghers. This movement, like the events of the 1520’s in Germany, developed under the banner of the Reformation and became mixed up in a struggle within the ruling class (called the Count’s War of 1534–36). After suppressing the peasants’ and burghers’ uprising, Christian III (reigned 1534–59), who was a protégé of the nobility, tried to use his victory to strengthen the economic and political position of royal power by carrying out a royal Lutheran Reformation (1536). The landed estates of the church passed into the hands of the king. However, already by the second half of the 16th century there was the beginning of the rapid growth of large private landholdings by the nobility; this process reached its culmination between 1660 and the early 1680’s.

Denmark occupied key positions on important trade routes on the Baltic and North seas and gained significant material advantages from its geographical position. (Between 1430 and 1857 the so-called Sound toll was collected for the passage of foreign merchant vessels through the (Øresund.) Denmark took active part in the struggle of the European powers for commercial and political domination on the Baltic Sea; this struggle greatly intensified in the second half of the 16th century in view of the growing importance of the Baltic trade. However, the relatively weak Danish burghers were unable to take advantage of the decline of the Hanseatic League, which began in the second half of the 15th century, to strengthen their position in maritime commerce. The position that the Hanseatics occupied was assumed by Dutch merchants, who by the late 16th century had also cornered the market on almost all the grain and livestock (oxen and horses) in Denmark itself. Sweden (which was in a union with Denmark that lasted only a short time from 1448 until Sweden definitively dissolved it in 1523) became Denmark’s rival in the Baltic Sea in the second half of the 16th century. The numerous wars between Denmark and Sweden that Denmark waged to retain Sweden in the union (Stockholm Bloodbath of 1520) and to gain domination over the Baltic Sea were at first successful for Denmark (Seven Years War of the North, 1563–70, and the Kalmar War, 1611–13) but ended in Denmark’s defeat (wars of 1643–45, 1657–58, 1658–60, and 1675–79), its loss of Skåne and eastern Norway (Peace of Brömsebro of 1645, Peace of Roskilde of 1658, and Peace of Copenhagen of 1660), and the establishment of Swedish hegemony in the Baltic. In the 16th century Denmark lost Holstein. (It acquired it again in 1773 upon an agreement with Catherine II.) Denmark’s participation (in 1625–29) in the Thirty Years War (1616–48), which involved all of Europe, under Christian IV (reigned 1588–1648) was also unsuccessful.

Late feudalism and beginnings of capitalist relations (from the mid-nth to the mid-19th century). The first factories appeared in Denmark in the 17th century. At first they were owned by the king, were centralized, and served mainly the needs of the state in weapons, gunpowder, and military uniforms. Later, factories owned by private capital arose. The burghers were gradually becoming stronger, and the first elements of a bourgeoisie appeared (wealthy merchants and ship and factory owners); Danish trading companies were established and embarked on colonial conquests (the conquest of Tran-quebar in India in 1616, part of the Virgin Islands in 1671, and other territories; later they were lost). However, the Danish bourgeoisie remained weak. Until the middle of the 17th century Denmark was dominated by the numerically small but economically and politically strong aristocracy, which in fact ruled the country through the Rigsråd. In the mid-17th century, in the face of the major military defeats of Denmark, a strong burgher and bourgeois opposition formed against the domination of the aristocracy. Upon the insistence of the opposition, which the Protestant clergy joined, the Rigsdag was convoked in 1660. Supported by the mass of the peasantry, the opposition presented demands for the abolition of a number of the privileges of the nobility. In 1660, Denmark was declared a hereditary monarchy, and by the law of 1665 issued by Frederick III (reigned 1648–70), Denmark was legally formed into an absolute monarchy. The Rigsråd was abolished, and even the convocation of the Rigsdag was discontinued. A number of measures were carried out toward the centralization of the country (in particular, a collection of laws for all of Denmark was published in 1683). The nobility lost its monopoly over landownership, was taxed, and was denied its monopoly of political rule (persons of burgher origin began to be appointed to government positions). However, Denmark remained an absolutist state run by the nobility. The policy of mercantilism pursued by Count Bernstorff the Elder (who was in fact head of the government from 1751 to 1770) ended in failure and merely led to a drastic deterioration in Denmark’s economic position. During the reign of Christian VII (1766–1808) reforms in the spirit of so-called enlightened absolutism were undertaken in 1770–72 upon the initiative of the privy cabinet minister J. F. Struensee. These reforms included the abolition of the right of ministers to give posts to aristocratic relatives; the simplification of the administrative apparatus, the finance administration, and the courts; the abolition of press censorship and torture; the regulation of the amount of the corvée; and the replacement of the métayage by money compensation. As a result of an aristocratic conspiracy Struensee was removed from his post (and later executed), and the reforms were abolished. The preservation of feudal-serfdom relations not only was contrary to the interests of the popular masses and the bourgeoisie but also caused dissatisfaction among those landowners who were adopting new and more rational measures of economic management. Denmark’s active participation in overseas commerce and transshipping (promoted by a policy of armed neutrality) was accompanied by the growing role of the commercial and industrial bourgeoisie in the country’s economic and political life. In 1784 all power passed into the hands of the regent, Prince Frederick (King Frederick VI, 1808–39), and his ministers, drawn from progressive noblemen and nongentry officials (such as A. Bernstorff and C. von Reventlow), who resumed a policy of reforms in the spirit of so-called enlightened absolutism. Peasant actions, which became stronger in the 1780’s, contributed to the partial abolition of serfdom in 1788 and to its complete abolition in 1800. This, along with the liquidation of the rural commune and a relatively liberal economic policy (custom tariffs of 1797), opened the way for wider penetration of capitalist relations into Denmark’s economy.

Forced participation in the Napoleonic wars on the side of France brought Denmark military defeats and territorial losses, including Norway and the island of Helgoland. (When the union between Denmark and Norway lasting from 1380 to 1814 was dissolved, Iceland, the Faeroe Islands, and Greenland remained possessions of the Danish monarchy.) In addition to the loss of territory, Denmark suffered a great disruption of the economy, which lasted until the late 1820’s. This led to a weakening of the positions of the bourgeoisie and to general stagnation in Denmark’s social and political life, which provided for the preservation of the absolute monarchy until the middle of the 19th century. In the 1830’s and 1840’s, under the influence of the bourgeois revolutions in France and Germany, a liberal opposition movement of the commercial and industrial bourgeoisie began developing in Denmark. In the first half of the 1830’s, under the pressure of the bourgeois movement, King Frederick VI agreed to convoke provincial estate assemblies with consultative functions. The reforms of 184(M1 (the abolition of villenage, the introduction of rural self-government, and others) were a further step toward eliminating the vestiges of feudalism in rural Denmark. In 1840 the National Liberal Party was founded. (It was dissolved in the late 1870’s.) In 1846 the Society of Friends of the Peasants was founded, which later, in 1870, was one of the founders of the Venstre Party. In March 1848 there was a revolutionary upswing, as a result of which the National Liberals came to power. In accordance with the June Constitution of 1849, Denmark became a limited monarchy with a two-chamber parliament (Rigsdag) and universal suffrage (for men reaching the age of 30) in elections to the lower chamber (Folketing) but with a government responsible to the king. In 1849 the conservative party (the Højre Party) was founded; this party, which expressed the interests of the large landowners, existed until the early 20th century.

The strengthening of capitalist relations and the emergence of imperialism (mid-19th to early 20th century). In the 1850’s and 1860’s the remnants of feudalism were eliminated in Denmark, and the main portion of the agricultural area was bought up by the peasants from the landowners, which opened the way for the improvement of Danish agriculture. In the late 19th century livestock raising became more important than farming, which led to substantial changes in the structure of the economy; branches of industry connected with the processing of local livestock products appeared, as well as branches producing equipment for the food industry and for agriculture; the role of foreign trade and navigation increased. The first railroad was built in 1847. The first private banks were founded in the 1850’s. Freedom of commerce and trade was introduced in 1857. All this accelerated the consolidation of capitalist relations in Denmark. The increased economic power of the bourgeoisie was secured by the November Constitution of 1863. After a war with Prussia in 1848–50 and a war with Austria and Prussia in 1864, Denmark lost Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenburg and became a nationally homogeneous state. The struggle for political power that broke out in Denmark in the early 1870’s between the Højre Party and the Venstre Party (which represented the interests of the rural bourgeoisie and the affluent peasantry) led in the mid-1890’s to the predominance of the latter in parliament.

In the early 1870’s social democratic workers’ organizations were founded in Denmark as sections of the First International but were immediately disbanded by the government. The reformist Social Democratic Party of Denmark (SDPD; leaders T. Stauning and Borgbjerg) was founded in 1871, the first trade unions arose in the 1870’s, and the Central Federation of Trade Unions of Denmark was founded in 1898.

In 1901, King Christian IX (reigned 1863–1906) agreed to form a government by the parliamentary method. The party that came to power was the Venstre (prime minister, J. C. Christensen), which had become a party of landowners and rich peasants and also of some strata of the urban bourgeoisie. The introduction of parliamentarism virtually completed the process of the bourgeois transformation. The political and social changes that took place in Denmark in the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century were reflected in the bourgeois-democratic constitution of 1915.

In the early 20th century Danish capitalism entered into the imperialist stage of development. But in its economic structure Denmark remained an agrarian country. In the early 20th century agricultural output accounted for 90 percent of export. (Denmark was virtually the dairy farm of Europe.) Cooperatives became very important in the processing and marketing of agricultural output, especially from the 1880’s on. At the turn of the 20th century Danish capitalism, orienting itself toward the delivery of products of livestock raising to industrially developed countries (mainly Great Britain and Germany), had accumulated considerable sums, which were concentrated in the Landmandsbank and Privatbank. These accumulations were used to set up large monopolistic associations that began exporting capital abroad (in particular to Russia). Danish capital became more active in Denmark’s possessions (Iceland, Greenland, and the Faeroe Islands) and in Asia (East Asiatic Company, founded in 1897). The interests of the Danish bourgeoisie were closely linked with the interests of the British, as well as the German, bourgeoisie. This fact formed the basis for Denmark’s neutrality in World War I (1914–18) and its successful maneuvering between the Entente and the powers of the Austro-German bloc. German submarine warfare and the resulting reduction in the import of fodder and industrial raw materials to Denmark caused a drastic fall in the volume of Danish output. By the end of World War I unemployment had risen, and the real wages of the workers had fallen.

The period of the general crisis of the capitalist system. 1918–1939. After World War I (1914–18), Denmark joined the ranks of agrarian and industrial countries. The distinctive feature of the Danish economy remained a narrow specialization in the output of livestock products and the branches of industry closely related to livestock raising. The Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia had a strong impact on the labor movement in Denmark. The strike movement of the Danish working class increased in intensity in 1918. Between 1918 and 1920 workers gained an eight-hour day in the majority of the industrial enterprises. The upswing of the labor movement strengthened the revolutionary wing in the SDPD; in April 1918 this revolutionary wing formed the Socialist Workers’ Party of Denmark (SWPD). In November 1919 the Left Socialist Party of Denmark was founded as an outgrowth of the SWPD. After joining the Comintern, the new party took the name of the Communist Party of Denmark (CPD) in November 1920. In 1918 the ruling circles of Denmark, under the pressure of the national movement in Iceland, were compelled to grant the latter independence within the framework of the Danish-Icelandic Union; which lasted from 1918 to 1944. In March 1920 the conservative circles of Denmark, frightened by the growth of the democratic movement, brought about the resignation of the government of the Radical C. Zahle (who was in power from 1913 to 1920). In violation of the constitution, Christian X (king, 1912–47) appointed a so-called business government of Conservatives. Conservative-monarchist circles organized chauvinistic agitation for the union of all of Schleswig with Denmark, whereas the moderate circles of the Danish bourgeoisie limited themselves to demanding only the incorporation of the northern part, which was inhabited by Danes and which went to Denmark after the plebiscite of 1920. In May 1920 a government came to power which was formed by N. Neergård, the right-wing leader of the Venstre Party. The dissatisfaction of the popular masses with the Neergård government’s economic policy brought about in April 1924 its resignation and the formation of a government by right-wing Social Democrats headed by T. Stauning, which remained in power (with an interruption in 1926–29) until early 1942. In June 1924 diplomatic relations were established between Denmark and the USSR.

In 1931 during the world economic crisis Denmark found itself in a difficult financial and economic situation. In 1933 there were more than 200,000 unemployed in the country. A polarization of the class forces was taking place, manifesting itself, on the one hand, in the formation of extreme right-wing political groupings (fascist parties) and, on the other hand, in a marked swing of the working class to the left. The influence of the CPD on the toiling masses increased. In the 1932 elections the CPD for the first time elected two deputies to the Folketing. Mindful of the situation that arose in Denmark in the mid-1930’s, the leaders of the SDPD campaigned in the 1935 election with an antifascist program, which brought them, together with the Radicals, a majority in the lower house and in 1936 a majority in the upper house. The right-wing leaders of the SDPD tried to take advantage of their political position within the country to gain state monopoly regulation of agriculture and to establish “class peace” in the country. In the 1930’s an industrialization of the country took place; several branches of machine building and the chemical and rubber industries were created; Denmark became one of the big suppliers of diesel engines, ships, and cement equipment to the world market.

The social democratic government of Denmark, afraid of losing North Slesvig again and trying to ease the rising tension with Germany, in 1936 concluded a Danish-German trade agreement on exporting without cash transfer unlimited amounts of agricultural products to fascist Germany and in 1939 signed a Danish-German nonaggression pact. On the eve of World War II the CPD was the only political party of Denmark that consistently fought against the fascist threat.

1940–45. On Apr. 9, 1940, fascist Germany occupied Denmark and turned it into its own food supply base. During the occupation (from Apr. 9, 1940, to May 5, 1945) the fascist German authorities hauled out of Denmark without compensation 11 billion kroner worth of products, mainly agricultural output. In August 1941 the CPD was outlawed and 400 of its members arrested. On June 22, 1941, the Danish government broke diplomatic relations with the USSR. In November 1941, Denmark joined the Anti-Comintern Pact. In 1942 the Resistance Movement began to unfold in Denmark on a large scale; Communists made the most significant contribution to this development. Upon their initiative a united front against the occupation forces was set up in 1942; the front maintained close contact with the Danish Council, which was formed in Great Britain in September 1940. The victories of the armed forces of the USSR in 1942–43 in the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) contributed to the development of the Resistance Movement in Denmark. In August 1943 a wave of antifascist strikes swept through Ålborg, Odense, Esbjerg, and other cities. The fascist German occupation forces (August 1943) removed the Danish government of E. Scavenius (which had taken over in November 1942). Power in the country passed to the hands of the German occupation administration, which issued an order on disarming the Danish Army. In reply to this act, Danish sailors scuttled part of the Danish Navy and brought another part to Sweden, where it was interned. In 1943 a total of 1,140 acts of sabotage (129 in 1942) were carried out in Denmark. On Sept. 16, 1943, the Freedom Council was formed in Denmark (with the participation of Communists). The council became the directing body of the Resistance. In the autumn of 1943 the Freedom Council began organizing a Danish underground army, which reached a strength of 6,200 men in 1944 and 43,000 men in April 1945. On May 5, 1945, this army, jointly with British troops, disarmed the fascist German troops, which had capitulated. On May 9, 1945, Soviet troops liberated Bornholm Island.

AFTER 1945. After the end of the war the CPD headed the struggle of the toiling people for the improvement of material conditions, for democratic rights, and for the political renewal of the country. The first postwar government, which was formed by the social democrat V. Buhl and which included representatives of the Resistance (including Communists), adopted a law on purging the state apparatus of people who had collaborated with the occupation forces and also implemented a monetary reform and a general wage increase. The Danish government supported the decisions of the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition. Diplomatic relations with the USSR were restored between May 10 and May 16, 1945. In the same year Denmark became a founding member of the UN.

In the election of Oct. 30, 1945, to the Folketing, the CPD received 18 seats. Afraid of the growing authority of the CPD, the right-wing leaders of the SDPD refused to form a labor government. The new government was formed by K. Kristensen, the leader of the Venstre Party (1945–47). In the memorandum of Jan. 30, 1947, to the great powers, the Danish government emphasized Denmark’s special interest in “the complete disarmament of Germany and the eradication of German militarism once and for all.” The Danish government (prime minister, Social Democrat H. Hedtoff, 1947–50) refused to participate in the Brussels Pact of 1948, which created a military and political alliance between Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. However, the ruling circles of the USA and Great Britain, taking advantage of Denmark’s postwar economic difficulties, succeeded in making it economically dependent on them. The so-called Marshall Plan, which was imposed on Denmark in 1948, played a large role in creating this dependence. As a result of the Marshall Plan a devaluation of the Danish krone by 30.5 percent was carried out in Denmark in 1949. Denmark’s economic dependence on the Western powers led to its political and military dependence. On Apr. 4, 1949, Denmark joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Having decided to join NATO, the Danish government at the same time announced its refusal to allow the stationing of foreign troops and nuclear weapons in the country in peacetime. However, an agreement on “military aid” was signed between Denmark and the USA in 1950. On Apr. 27, 1951, the USA made Denmark conclude a treaty on the “defense of Greenland,” which legalized the actual occupation of the island by American troops. Denmark approved the aggression (1950–53) of American imperialism against the Korean People’s Democratic Republic and an agreement signed in Paris in 1954, which created the military alliance between the FRG and the USA, Great Britain, France, Italy, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. On June 5, 1953, a new constitution came into force in Denmark. The new constitution introduced a one-chamber parliament (Folketing), lowered the voting age, almost completely abolished property qualifications, and so on. At the same time the constitution (§ 20) permits the transfer of part of national sovereignty to international bodies.

In the postwar years there has been a broad movement of Denmark’s toiling people against the offensive of reaction. Mass actions of workers took place in 1949 and 1950 against tax increases and in 1950 and 1951 against the introduction of the so-called system of compulsory saving. In March and April 1956 there was a strike of industrial workers and in April and May 1961, a strike of 150,000 metal and transportation workers. Protest marches against atomic weapons were held from 1960 to 1962. In 1961 a joint Danish-West German command for Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein was set up. In 1965 the Social Democratic government of J. O. Krag (in power, 1962–68) yielded to the pressure of the FRG and allowed a unit of the Bundeswehr to take part in maneuvers in Denmark. The Danish government approved Denmark’s continuing membership in NATO under the condition that it maintain its right to leave NATO upon prior notification of one year. The country’s membership in NATO led to an increase in military expenditures: 354 million kroner in 1949–57, 1.5 billion kroner in 1962–63, and 3 billion kroner in 1971–72. By the end of 1970, Denmark’s total foreign debt exceeded 16 billion kroner. The attempts of H. Baunsgård’s bourgeois coalition government (in power, 1968–71) to solve the economic difficulties at the expense of the toiling people (the total sum of taxes rose from 28 to 38.5 billion kroner from 1968 to 1970) brought forth a mighty wave of strikes (late 1969 and early 1970). Along with the economic demands, the workers also advanced political demands (change of government, revision of labor legislation, abolition of the so-called labor court, etc.). In August 1969 demonstrations were held in Copenhagen and other Danish cities against the country’s membership in NATO. In October 1971 the bourgeois coalition government was replaced by a one-party Social Democratic government headed by J. O. Krag. In January 1972, Princess Margrethe, daughter of Frederick XI (reigned 1947 to January 1972), who had just died, was proclaimed queen of Denmark.

From the early 1960’s foreign capital, mainly American, British, West German, and Swedish, began aggressively penetrating into Denmark’s economy, in which industry had become the dominant branch in the postwar years. This penetration led to the absorption of many Danish firms into foreign firms.

In January 1960, Denmark joined the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which was set up in the same year upon the initiative of British industrial and commercial circles as a counterweight to the Common Market. Membership in EFTA did not bring Denmark the desired results; one of the most pressing problems of the economy, the marketing of agricultural output, was not solved, and the export of this output to the Common Market countries was made difficult in every possible way. Taking advantage of this, the ruling circles of the FRG intensified their pressure on Denmark with a view to drawing it into the Common Market. Denmark’s economic dependence on Great Britain, the main importer of Danish agricultural output, compelled the ruling circles in 1961–62 to make Denmark’s entry into the Common Market conditional on Great Britain’s admission to it. This was strongly opposed by France, one of the chief participants in the Common Market. In subsequent years the question of marketing Denmark’s agricultural output became still more acute. Thus, its export to the FRG dropped from 1,400 million kroner in 1959 to 865 million in 1967. In May 1967, Denmark jointly with Great Britain again applied for admission to the Common Market. In 1967 at a session of the Common Market countries in Brussels the question of the possibility of admitting Denmark was postponed indefinitely. In view of this, at a February 1968 session of the Nordic Council (an intergovernmental consultative organization for economic, social, legal, and cultural cooperation among the countries of Northern Europe) Denmark proposed setting up the Organization of Nordic Economic Cooperation (NORDEK), which was to serve as a bridge for entry into the Common Market by the countries of Northern Europe. In 1970, Denmark reaffirmed its interest in joining the Common Market together with Great Britain but took a negative stance on the question of military cooperation within the Common Market. In February 1971 a variant of the NORDEK plan was rejected by representatives of Sweden and Finland at a session of the Nordic Council.

In January 1972, Denmark, with Great Britain, Ireland, and Norway, signed documents on entry into the Common Market, the European Coal and Steel Community, and the European Atomic Energy Society. On Jan. 1, 1973, Denmark became a member of these organizations. Soon afterward the Danish government was compelled to abolish state subsidies for the production of some agricultural products, and this led to an increase (over 15 percent per year) in the prices of foodstuffs and to a lowering of wages. In March and April 1973 over 260,000 people participated in strikes in Denmark. Workers won a 7.5 percent increase in hourly pay, equal pay for men and women, and other benefits. Over 500,000 shipbuilders, seamen, polygraphic workers, and workers in the metalworking and machine-building industries went on strike in August 1973 to protest a refusal by the owners of the Howdi Computer Corporation international trust to sign an employment agreement. The dissatisfaction of the popular masses with the policy pursued by the Social Democrats and traditional bourgeois parties manifested itself in the parliamentary elections of Dec. 4, 1973. The SDPD won 46 seats in the Folketing (it had 70 before the elections); the Venstre Liberal Party, 22 (30); the Radical Venstre Party, 20 (27); the Conservative People’s Party, 16 (31); and the Socialist People’s Party, 11 (17). New party factions were formed in the Parliament; the Progress Party faction, which for demagogic purposes used the popular slogan of a sharp reduction in taxes, won 28 seats in the Folketing (previously it had none). Considerable success was achieved by the CPD (six seats in the Folketing). The new government was formed on Dec. 19, 1973, by P. Hartling (the Venstre Liberal Party).

Soviet-Danish postwar relations are best described by the facts themselves: On Apr. 5, 1946, Soviet troops were removed from Bornholm Island. On Aug. 17, 1946, a treaty on trade and navigation was signed between Denmark and the USSR. In 1963 and 1967 the USSR declared that it could pledge to respect Denmark’s neutrality and to join other powers in guaranteeing Denmark’s security and territorial inviolability. A number of agreements have been signed between Denmark and the USSR, including agreements on air communications (1956); on cultural cooperation (1962); on settling mutual financial claims (1964); on cooperation in scientific agricultural research (1965) and in the peaceful use of atomic energy (1968); on civil construction (1968); on economic, scientific, and technological cooperation (1970); on the development of cooperation in the field of radio and television (1970); on international motor vehicle transportation (1971); and on navigation and cooperation in providing safety in navigation (1973). A trade agreement for 1970–75 was concluded in 1969.

In 1970 the Danish government expressed its support for the continuing stationing of US armed forces in Europe. At the same time Danish representatives took part in the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, which opened in 1973. Denmark took part (deliberative vote) in the negotiations on the reduction of armed forces and armaments in Central Europe. Without openly condemning the aggression of the USA in Indochina, the Danish government declared in February 1971 that “a settlement of this conflict through negotiations is the only way out.” In November 1971, Denmark established diplomatic relations with the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and in January 1973 with the GDR. In September 1973, Denmark recognized the government of the military junta in Chile.


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Dänische Wirtschaftsgeschichte.[Edited] by A. Nielsen. Jena, 1933.
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V. V. POKHLEBKIN (to 1945) and P. VASIL’EV (after 1945)

Political parties. The Social Democratic Party of Denmark (SDPD; Socialdemokratisk Forbund Danmark) was founded in 1871. It had 160.000 members in 1973. It unites considerable numbers of manual and office workers, as well as representatives of the petite bourgeoisie and the bourgeois intelligentsia. Venstre, the Liberal Party of Denmark (VLPD, Venstre, Danmarks Liberale Parti), was founded in 1870. (Until September 1963 it was called the Venstre Party.) It had 114,000 members in 1973. It expresses the interest of big and medium landowners and of part of the industrial bourgeoisie. The Conservative People’s Party (CPP; Det Konservative Folkeparti) was founded in 1915. It had 91,000 members in 1973. It expresses the interest of the big financial and industrial bourgeoisie, the landowners, and the hereditary nobility. The Radical Venstre Party (RPV; Det Radikale Venstre) was founded in 1905 as a result of a split in the Venstre Party. It had about 26,000 members in 1973. It expresses the interests of the urban and rural petite bourgeoisie and of a certain part of the intelligentsia. The Socialist People’s Party (SPP; Socialistik Folkeparti) was founded in 1959. The Christian People’s Party (CPP: Kristeligt Folkeparti) was founded in 1970; it is the bourgeois clerical party. The Progress Party (PP; Fremskridtspartiet) was founded in 1970: basically it unites conservatives and circles of the urban petite bourgeoisie that are indifferent to politics. The Center Democrats (CD: Centrums-Demokraterne) was founded at the end of 1973 and beginning of 1974 by a group of right-wingers who left the SDPD, CPP, and CPP. The Left Socialists (Venstre Socialisterne) was founded in 1967 by a group of left-wingers who left the SPP. The Communist Party of Denmark (CPD: Danmarks Kommunistiske Parti) was founded in 1919.( From November 1919 to November 1920 it was called the Left Socialist Party of Denmark.)

Trade unions and other social organizations. The first trade unions arose in Denmark in the 1870’s. The Central Federation of Trade Unions of Denmark (CFTUD) was founded in 1898. In 1973 the CFTUD included 49 branch trade unions of workers with a total membership of more than 920.000. The CFTUD has been a member of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions since 1949. In 1973 there were six trade union organizations with a total membership of 37.000 that were not members of the CFTUD. The Society for Cooperation Between Denmark and the USSR was founded in 1945 through a merger of the Society of Danish-Soviet Cooperation, which was founded in 1924. and the Society of Friends of the Soviet Union, also founded in 1924. The All-Danish Conference in Defense of Peace was founded in 1954. The Democratic Union of Women of Denmark was founded in 1948. It is a member of the Women’s International Democratic Federation. The Union of Former Prisoners of War and Participants in the Resistance Movement, founded in 1945, unites several Danish organizations of the Resistance Movement. The Communist Youth League of Denmark was founded in 1920. The All-Danish Youth Council, which was founded in 1940. is a coordinating center for the youth movement in Denmark. It unites more than 35 various political, religious, cultural, and other youth organizations (total membership, over 500,000 in 1971). Vietnam-69, a movement of solidarity with the people of fighting Vietnam, was founded in 1969. It unites members of trade unions and members of many political parties and youth organizations.


General state of the economy. Denmark is an industrial and agrarian country with a high level of development of capitalism; it is actively involved in international economic relations. Denmark accounts for 0.2 percent of the population of the capitalist world, 0.7 percent of the value of industrial output, and 1.3 percent of the foreign trade turnover. Denmark holds the fifth or sixth place among the capitalist countries in the size of the per capita gross national product ($3,500 in 1970). Denmark’s international specialization is reflected in its large agricultural output and in the production of machines for agriculture and the food industry, ship fittings, ships, and a number of products of the chemical and electronics industries.

Since World War II the economy, along with the further intensification of industrialization. has been characterized by more intensive development of the infrastructure (the power industry, transportation, and communications), and since the mid-1960’s, by growth in the service sector. In the structure of the gross national product (in 1969) industry, including crafts, and the power industry accounted for 42 percent (compared with 35 percent in 1938); agriculture, forestry, and fishing made up 12 percent (24 percent in 1938); and transportation, trade, and other service branches accounted for the remainder.

Inherent in Denmark’s economy are traits of a state monopoly system with big monopoly associations, such as the concerns Burmeister og Wain and Danfoss in machine building, the East Asiatic Company in navigation and foreign trade, and Dansk Svovlsyre og Superfosfatfabrik in the chemical industry. More than one-half of bank assets are concentrated in three banks: the Landmandsbank (the Danish Agricultural Bank). the Handelsbank (the Copenhagen Commercial Bank), and the Privatbank (the Private Bank in Copenhagen). The branches of the infrastructure form the sphere of activity for the state sector. Agriculture is almost completely under the control of the system of capitalist cooperatives, which are closely linked with the largest banks. Foreign capital holds strong positions, and a substantial part of industry is in its sphere of influence: foreign capital controls petroleum refining and supply (for instance, the American concern Exxon and the Anglo-Dutch concern Shell) and is widely represented in machine building (automobiles, tractors. and agricultural machines are assembled by the American companies General Motors and Ford), as well as in the chemical industry and the oil and fat industry (the Anglo-Dutch concern Unilever). West German and Swedish capital investments are growing. In 1960–69 foreign capital investment in industry amounted to more than 3.5 billion kroner; the total volume of foreign capital investment in Denmark’s industry reached 8 billion kroner.

Industry. After World War II important structural changes took place in industry, which were manifested in the increasing development of machine building, which took the lead in volume of output, and in the rapid development (since the 1960’s) of the chemical industry and of petroleum refining. (See Table 2.)

The extracting industry has almost no mineral raw-materials base, and the power industry has no fuel resources. Brown coal (lignite) mined in southern Jutland is used only by a local steam power plant. Imports of petroleum and petroleum products cover eight-tenths of the fuel requirement. The annual capacity of the petroleum refineries (located in the cities of Kalundborg and Fredericia) was about 10 million tons in 1969. Electric power is generated mainly by steam power plants, the largest of which is Asnæsværket near Kalundborg, with a capacity of 500 megawatts. There is a hydroelectric power plant on the Gudenå River.

With regard to the manufacturing industry, metallurgy is not of great significance. In terms of output volume, shipbuilding, which is the oldest Danish industry, holds a prominent place in the group that includes the machine-building and metalworking branches. (The orders for ships in Denmark

Table 2. Industry in 19681
 Number or employeesDistributionemployees(percent)Gross output(billions ofkroner)Distributionoutput(percent)
1Including enterprises with live or more employees. excluding plants producing electric power tor general use
Metallurgy, metalworking. and machine building...............143,00037.111.427.9
Food and condiments................65,00016.912.430.3
Chemicals and petroleum refining................27,0007.05.212.7
Textiles, clothing, and footwear................46,00012.03.38.1
Building materials (including glass and ceramics)................24,0006.21.94.6
Paper and printing...............37,0009.63.27.8

for October 1970 were estimated at 3.8 million registered tons; in 1970 the export of ships made up 4.8 percent of the world export and amounted to 487.000 registered tons, compared with 153,000 registered tons in 1960.) The biggest ship-building centers are Copenhagen. Odense, Helsingør. and Nakskov. There is now production on a large scale of ship diesel engines, equipment for the cement industry (such as crushing units and rotary furnaces), and equipment for the food industry (milk condensers, churns, meat- and fish-processing machines, and slaughter apparatus). Electrical machine building (electric motors, transformers, radio receivers, television sets, and phonographs) and instrument-making are well developed. Medical instruments, calculating and duplicating machines, and refrigeration units are produced. The chemical industry specializes in the production of phosphate fertilizers (Copenhagen), nitrogen fertilizers (Grenå), synthetic resins, and plastics. Development has been proceeding in the pharmaceutical industry (medicines, biochemical preparations, etc.), the building-materials industry (the cement industry is located mainly in the northeast of Jutland—in Ålborg and elsewhere), and the glass and ceramics industry. Copenhagen is the site of large porcelain plants, which are famous for products of high artistic quality. The major centers of the textile, knitted goods, and clothing industry have developed in the east and north of Jutland (the cities of Vejle, Herning, Viborg, etc.). The products of the leather industry are known for their high quality. Numerous enterprises of the dairy and meat industry are located all over the country; enterprises of the sugar industry are predominantly in the southeast, mainly on the islands of Lolland and Falster; fish-processing enterprises are located on the coast of Jutland (the cities of Esbjerg, Skagen, Frederikshavn. and others). The famous so-called Danish design, related to industry

Table 3. Output of major types of Industrial goods
1Statistical Yearbook 1970. UN, 1971 ’ 1970
Electrical power (in millions of kilowatt-hours)...............1,1005,20016,600
Brown coal (in thousands of tons)...............2,700400
Oil products (in thousands of tons)...............8,600
Cast Iron (In tons)...............69,000207.000
Steel (In tons)...............26,000317,000482,000
Ships (launched; in gross registered tons)...............158,000219,000519,0002
Diesel ship engines(in horsepower)...............123,000
Radio receivers...............208,000131,000
Television sets...............233,00079,000
Phosphate fertilizers (in tons. according to content of P2O3)...............59,00088,00094,0002
Cement (in thousands of tons)...............6001,4002,600
Margarine (in tons)...............81,00088.00090,700
Sugar (in tons)...............165.000345,000304,000

and crafts, involves the making of artistically designed models of industrially produced articles of wood, silver, porcelain, ceramics, and other materials. (See Table 3.)

Agriculture. Agriculture is distinguished by a high level of productivity and marketability. The decisive elements in agriculture are large and medium capitalist farms (each with 15 hectares [ha] or more) that are engaged in livestock raising and farming, as well as the processing of agricultural raw materials. Small farms (with land plots of 0.5–10 ha), which constituted one-third of all farms in 1970, account for about 10 percent of agricultural land and cattle.

The postwar years have been characterized by the intensification of the process of amalgamation in agricultural production, which has been accompanied by the impoverishment of small farms and a drastic reduction in their number; from 1951 to 1970 the number of farms dropped from 205,800 to 140,000, whereas the number of small farms (0.5–10 ha) dropped from 98.000 to 44,000. In 1970 34,000 workers were employed in agriculture. Farming is distinguished by a high degree of mechanization (one tractor per 17 ha of cultivated land) and chemicalization (the use of fertilizers reaches 142 kg of nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium per ha of farmed area). In 1970 there were 175,000 tractors and 42,000 grain combines in use in agriculture. The farms have electricity, and nine-tenths of them use electric engines.

According to 1969 figures, fields used for agriculture cover 70 percent of Denmark (or 3 million ha), of which 2.7 million ha are cultivated and 0.3 million ha are used for natural pastures and meadows. Products of livestock raising account for nine-tenths of the total value of the agricultural commodity output, of which meat products total about 60 percent and dairy products more than 25 percent.

Denmark holds second place among the capitalist countries of the world (after New Zealand) in the per capita output of milk. butter. and meat. The average milk yield is about 4,000 liters per cow (with a butterfat content of 4.2–4.4 percent). (See Table 4.)

Table 4. Livestock in millions of head
Milk cows...............

Poultry raising is also developed. In 1970 there were about 20 million hens. (See Table 5.)

In farming, the predominant crops are fodder crops, which cover about nine-tenths of the cultivated area. (See Table 6.)

In 1970 the harvest yield of wheat was 45 centners per ha, of barley 44 centners per ha, and of oats 35 centners per ha.

Special farms are engaged in fur farming (raising mainly mink).

Fishing is carried on primarily in the North Sea and the

Table 5. Output in tons of major livestock and poultry products
1Average per year 21969
Animal fat...............182,000167,000132,000
Pork and bacon...............342.000651,000770,000
Poultry meat...............27,00056,00069.0002
Eggs (in billions)...............2.31.5

North Atlantic (in the coastal waters of Greenland and the Faeroe Islands) and to a lesser extent in the Baltic Sea (Born-holm Island). The annual fish catch is about 1.5 million tons, primarily herring, cod, and flounder. The number of people engaged in fishing was 16,400 in 1969. The major bases of the fishing fleet are Esbjerg, Tyborøn, Hirtshals, Skagen, and Frederikshavn. Whaling is carried on near Greenland.

Transportation. The length of the railroad network was 3.200 km in 1969. The railroad and ferry system connects the Jutland Peninsula with the islands, as well as with Sweden. Norway. the German Democratic Republic, and the FRG; the total length of ferry lines is about 700 km. Several islands are connected by bridges and dikes. The total length of paved highways is 8,500 km. In 1969, Denmark had more than 1.2 million motor vehicles, primarily passenger cars. Maritime transport accounts for more than one-half of the domestic and four-fifths of the foreign trade haulage. On July I. 1970, the tonnage of the merchant marine was 3.3 million gross registered tons. Of the total freight turnover of Danish seaports. one-fifth takes place in Copenhagen (about 10 million tons in 1969). Denmark manages jointly with Sweden and Norway the Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS), which operates on international routes: Copenhagen is an international airline center.

Foreign trade. In 1970 the output of agriculture and the food industry accounted for 27 percent of the total export value; the output of the metalworking and machine-building industry, for 30 percent (ships. diesel engines, machines for the food and cement industries, and electrical engineering equipment). Of imports. products of metallurgy. machine building. and metalworking constituted 40 percent; petroleum. petroleum products, and other types of mineral fuel, 11 percent: textile goods and clothing, 6 percent; foodstuff and fodder, 9 percent; and chemicals, 9 percent. The trade balance is characterized by continuous deficit. About three-fourths of the foreign trade turnover is with countries of Western Europe; in 1969, EFTA countries accounted for 41 percent of imports and 51 percent of exports and countries of the European Economic Community (EEC), for 34 percent of imports and 23 percent of exports. Denmark’s major trade partners are Great Britain (14 percent of imports and 19 percent of exports in 1967), the FRG (19 percent and 13 percent. respectively). and the countries of Northern Europe (22 percent and 23 percent. respectively). The socialist countries account for about 4 percent of the foreign trade.

Denmark’s relations with the socialist and developing countries are expanding. The monetary unit is the krone; according to the exchange rate of Gosbank (the State Bank of the USSR) in October 1971. 100 Danish kroner equal 12.2 rubles.

International tourism is well developed. In 1970. Denmark was visited by 15 million foreign tourists. mainly from the other Scandinavian countries and the FRG.

Economic regions. The island of Sjælland is the main industrial and agrarian region; with a territory amounting to less than one-fifth of the total area of the country. this region has more than two-fifths of the population and about one-half of the industrial output (including the entire metallurgical industry and about three-fifths of the metalworking and machine-building industries). East Jutland and the island of Fyn make up the second most important economic region of the country. Western Jutland and the islands of Lolland, Falster. and Møn constitute the main agrarian region. The Faeroe Islands form a region of fishing and of the fish-processing industry. Greenland is a fishing region, the centers of which are Holsteinsborg. Sukkertoppen, Godthåb, and Frederikshåb; cryolite is mined at Ivigtut, Greenland.


Nørlyng, T. Danmark, 6th ed. Copenhagen. 1954.
Statistik Aarborg. (Yearly since 1896.)

Denmark’s armed forces consist of ground forces. an air force, and a navy. Their total strength was about 45.000 men in 1970. The king is the supreme commander in chief. The minister of defense exercises direct leadership of the troops. The armed forces are recruited on the basis of a law on military obligation. Men who have reached the age of 19 years are called up for active military service for a period of 12 months. The ground forces (more than 28.000 men) include four regular brigades. a garrison of troops on Bornholm Island. the staff of a divisional command. training and mobilization regiments (infantry, tank, artillery, and other regiments), the staffs of reserve brigades. and subunits of the home guard troops. The armament is mainly of American and British production. including Honest John tactical missiles. The air force (more than 10.000 men) consists of a number of squadrons and has two antiaircraft battalions of guided missiles of the Nike and Hawk type. The navy (about 7,000 men) has six patrol vessels, six submarines, 16 torpedo boats, eight minelayers, 12 minesweepers, nine antisubmarine cutters. and other boats and ships.

Denmark is a NATO member and actively participates in the implementations of its military measures. Military air fields, storage places for fuel. and pipelines have been built in Denmark, and a warning and communications system has been organized. There are US military bases in the regions of Thule and Sondra Strømfjord in Greenland.

Demography and public health. In 1970 the birth rate was 14.4 per 1,000 population. and general mortality was 9.8. In

Table 6. Areas and harvest of major agricultural crops
  Area (in hectares)  Harvest (in tons) 
1 Average per year 1969
Oats...............382,000233,000184,0001 ,024,000743,000631,000
Bran mash...............283,00044,000775,000142,000
Sugar beets...............39,00048,0001 ,467,0001,892,000

1969 infant mortality was 15 per 1,000 live births. The morbidity structure is dominated by noninfectious pathology (chiefly cardiovascular diseases and malignant neoplasms). The predominant epidemic diseases in 1966 (per 100,000 population) included influenza (about 4,000 cases), acute catarrh of the respiratory tract (3,875.4 cases), and angina and tonsillitis (3,858.7 cases). Tuberculosis also occurs (110 cases per 100,000 population, including 13.5 new cases).

In 1967–68 Denmark had 193 hospitals and other permanent institutions with 47,200 beds (10.1 beds per 1,000 population), including 17 private hospitals with 1,600 beds. Treatment other than in hospitals is provided by physicians with a private practice, who work predominantly on contract with social security agencies. Physicians are trained at seven higher medical colleges. In 1968 there were about 6,900 physicians (one for every 705 persons), about 1,900 dentists, and 15,600 registered nurses and midwives.

Denmark has voluntary insurance against illness for all residents over the age of 16. Insurance contributions are covered by the state, the entrepreneurs, and the insured themselves. The insurance service has two divisions: for persons with a low income level and for persons with a high income level. In 1969 public health expenditures amounted to 11.8 percent of the total budget.


Veterinary services. Brucellosis has been eradicated in Denmark, and there are hardly any occurrences of livestock tuberculosis. Cases of anthrax and other infectious diseases are very rare thanks to stable nursing. There are occurrences of leukemia among cattle; the incidence of this disease is relatively high (115 cases in 1970). Swine and poultry are often afflicted with salmonellosis, which occurs because imported infected fodder is fed to the animals.

Veterinary physicians are trained at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University. In 1970 there were about 1,900 veterinarians. The network of veterinary institutions covers the whole country. Veterinary inspection has been established at meat-packing and dairy enterprises. The major scientific research centers in veterinary medicine are the Center on Viral Diseases in Lindholm and a state veterinary laboratory at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University.


The first law on compulsory elementary education for children between the ages of seven and 14 was passed in 1849. An important landmark in the development of the Danish school was the law of 1903, which laid the basis for the school system that operated without substantial changes until the late 1950’s. In 1958 school legislation was reformed. The Ministry of Education provides general management of the schools. In addition each municipality has its own school administration. Instruction is free, but there are also private secondary schools attended by about 10 percent of the pupils. The Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Social Affairs run preschool institutions and so-called leisure centers for younger pupils (where they stay after school until their parents return from work). In 1970 preschool institutions were attended by 20,875 children. Since the 1959–60 academic year the seven-year primary school (folkeskole) is compulsory. Beginning with the sixth grade, instruction is divided into theoretical and general (practical) education. The theoretical division offers additional instruction in two foreign languages and mathematics. Graduates of this division can continue their education in the realskole. Graduates of the general division of the folkeskole can enroll only in lower vocational schools. The three-year realskole provides access to the secondary schools—Gymnasiums, secondary specialized schools, and teachers’ training colleges. The Gymnasium has a period of instruction of three years and prepares the graduates to continue their education at universities. Graduation from the Gymnasium is done on the basis of so-called student examinations. Universities admit students on the basis of the competitive examinations for Gymnasium certificates. In the 1966–67 academic year folkeskoler were attended by more than 523,000 students, realskoler by 150,000 students, and Gymnasiums by 29,500 students.

Vocational education is provided by primary and secondary (complete and incomplete) specialized schools, such as technical, commercial, and agricultural schools. The length of study is from several months up to two or three years depending on the specialty. In the 1967–68 academic year vocational schools were attended by 128,300 students. Teachers of preschool institutions and primary schools are trained at teachers’ training colleges (seminarier) on the basis of the realskole, with a length of study of from two to four years. Realskole and Gymnasium instructors are trained at universities. In the 1967–68 academic year pedagogical schools were attended by 70,000 students.

Denmark has three universities—the University of Copenhagen, the University of Århus (founded in 1928), and the University of Odense (founded in 1964). Other higher schools are the Technical University of Denmark, which was founded in 1829, and the Danish Academy of Engineers, which was founded in 1957. In the 1969–70 academic year institutions of higher education were attended by more than 60,000 students.

The largest libraries are the Royal Library (founded between 1657 and 1664; 1.7 million volumes), the University Library (1482; about 800,000 volumes), and the Municipal Library (1885; more than 1 million volumes), all of which are in Copenhagen, and the state and university library in Århus (1902; more than 1 million volumes).

The chief museums in Copenhagen are the National Museum (founded in 1807); the State Museum of Art; Thor-valdsen’s Museum; the New Carlsberg Glyptotek; the Museum of the Resistance Movement, 1940–45; and the Zoological Museum. In Odense there is H. C. Andersen’s Cottage and Childhood Home and the open-air Fyn Village Museum. In Århus is the open air “Old Town” Museum. Near the city of Hillertød there is Frederiksborg Castle (the National History Museum).


Natural and technological sciences. Science began to develop in Denmark in the late 15th century. T. Brahe, who worked in the second half of the 16th century, founded an observatory in Uraniborg in 1576. On the basis of Brahe’s observations, the German scientist J. Kepler discovered after the former’s death the law of planetary motion. In the 17th century the University of Copenhagen became the scientific center of Denmark. Connected with this university is the work, primarily in medicine, of several generations of the Bartholin family, including the physician Kaspar the Elder; the anatomist Thomas (who discovered the lymphatic system in man); the mathematician, physicist, and physician Erasmus; and the anatomist, physicist, and philosopher Kaspar the Younger. The physicist, mathematician, and astronomer O. R0mer, who was the first to measure the speed of light in 1675, was a student of E. Bartholin. E. Bartholin’s student N. Steno (N. Stensen) made important contributions to anatomy, geology, and crystallography. The chemist and botanist O. Borch studied the properties of gases and worked on the classification of plants. The botanist P. Kylling laid the basis for the study of Denmark’s flora.

In the 18th and early 19th centuries science continued to develop in Denmark. The Danish Royal Society of Sciences (Academy of Sciences) was founded in 1742. Prime emphasis was now placed on geology, mineralogy, and geography (in 1763, E. Pontopiddan began publishing the first atlas of Denmark), as well as on botany and zoology. In 1761 the botanist G. Oeder began publishing Flora Danica, a systematic description of Denmark’s flora. Toward the end of the 18th century, C. von Linnaeus’ student J. Fabricius worked on the classification of insects, attaching prime importance to the structure of the mouth organs. The study of arctic regions took place in the same period.

In the 19th century the establishment of capitalist relations and the intensive development of agriculture and several branches of industry in Denmark led to an increase in the extent of research in the field of the natural and technological sciences. H. C. Ørsted, the greatest Danish scientist of the first half of the 19th century, studied electricity, optics, and acoustics; in 1820 he discovered the magnetic field of electric current. Upon ©rsted’s initiative, the Society for the Dissemination of Natural Science was founded in 1824 and the Technological University of Denmark was opened in 1829. The Natural History Society was founded in 1833 and the Botanical Society in 1840.

In the second half of the 19th century and in the early 20th century new scientific institutions and societies formed rapidly, including the Meteorological Institute of the Ministry of the Navy (1872), the Entomological Society (1868), the Geographical Society (1876), the Chemical Society (1879), the Society of Engineers (1892), the Electrical Engineering Society (1906), and the Astronomical Society (1916). In 1876 the private Carlsberg Foundation was set up with the purpose of financing scientific research. The foundation provided the means for the opening of the Museum of Natural History (1877), institutes on the biology of fresh water and cancer, and the Carlsberg Chemical Laboratory, as well as institutes for archaeological and oceanographic expeditions. The explorer K. Rasmussen investigated Greenland. One of the most prominent physicists of this period was L. Lorenz, whose research was mainly in optics (Lorenz-Lorenz formula). H. Zeuthen and J. Heiberg studied the history of mathematics. The greatest development took place in chemistry (especially organic chemistry) and biology. J. Thomsen laid the foundation for thermal chemistry. Scientists who worked at the Carlsberg Laboratory in the late 19th century included the chemist J. Kjeldahl, who discovered a method for determining nitrogen in organic compounds, and the microbiologist E. Hansen, who conducted research on the morphology and physiology of yeasts. J. F. Skouw studied plant geography, F. Faber the birds of the north, and I. Lange the flora of Iceland, the Faeroe Islands, and Greenland. Prominent medical scholars of the second half of the 19th century include the therapist B. Bang, the surgeons S. Marsen and C. Fenger, and the histologist A. Hannover. N. Finsen opened an institute for light therapy in 1896.

In the 20th century, especially after World War I (1914–18), Denmark became one of the largest centers of research on the physics of the atom, above all because of the work of N. Bohr, the author of the original theory of the structure of the atom. (Bohr received the Nobel Prize in 1922.) In 1920 he set up an institute of theoretical physics. Important work in radio engineering was done by V. Poulsen, who designed an arc generator in 1902, and P. Pedersen, who investigated the theoretical questions involved in the application of weak currents in communications technology. S. Strömgren worked out a theory concerning the evolution of the orbits of comets. Important research was done in mathematics. H. Bohr (N. Bohr’s brother) created the theory of almost periodic functions.

In the early 20th century further development began to take place in biological research, especially in the applied branches. The demands of livestock raising and the food industry led to the founding of the Scientific Research Institute of Livestock Raising and a special laboratory. At the Carlsberg Laboratory, E. Hansen’s students conducted a series of cytological, biochemical, and genetic investigations of yeast fungi. At the same time, basic research was also conducted. The botanist, physiologist, and geneticist W. Johannsen created the theory of pure lines and introduced the concepts of gene, genotype, and phenotype.

Zoology attained a high level. A physiology laboratory was set up in 1908; its director A. Krogh was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1920 for work on the physiology of capillary blood circulation. C. Petersen made important contributions to the study of the biology of fish, the zoogeography of seas, and the ecology of marine fauna. From 1928 to 1930 oceanographic research was conducted by the ship Dana in the Indian Ocean.

Research has been conducted in various branches of medicine. I. Boas created the Danish school of comparative anatomy. C. Jensen and J. Fibiger studied tumors; Fibiger was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1926 for cancer research. H. Dam was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1943 for the discovery of Vitamin K.

After World War II (1939–45) the rapid development of branches of industry new to Denmark, such as radio engineering, electronics, petrochemistry, and pharmaceutics, led to the organization of research institutes and centers of applied electronics, isotopes, and protein chemistry, as well as private industrial laboratories. The ship Galathea conducted oceanographic research on the biology of the world’s oceans in tropical latitudes.

The lack of native fuel and power resources made it necessary to work out problems of nuclear power. The Center for Nuclear Research was set up in 1957; one of its most important tasks is the study of methods for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.


Social sciences. PHILOSOPHY. The development of Danish philosophy is characterized by the reinterpretation of ideas borrowed from Germany and England, the absence of an inclination toward systematic constructions, and a preference for ethical and psychological problems. In the Middle Ages philosophy was closely linked with European Scholasticism (A. Sunes0n, 13th century). In the 18th century the Enlightenment spread in Denmark; prominent representatives of it were the moralist, poet, and playwright L. Holberg; the theorist of law and ethics J. S. Sneedorff; and Wolff’s disciples J. Kraft and F. C. Eilschow. (Eilschow worked out Danish philosophical terminology.) At the end of the 18th century Kantianism came to Denmark, but mainly as an ethical philosophy and not as a method of epistemology. Kantian views were advocated by C. Hornemann, A. Gamborg (who expressed the principle of ethical autonomy two years before Kant), and A. S. 0rsted; they were opposed by J. Buye and others. From the early 19th century philosophy was influenced by German romanticism (for instance, the philosopher H. Steffens, the poet J. Baggesen, and the physicist H. C. Ørsted). In the 1830’s there came a reaction against romanticism, a reaction which was manifested in part as a growth of Hegelianism, which was advocated in Denmark by J. L. Heiberg, R. Nielsen, and H. Broechner. Hegel’s philosophy was opposed by the “sober realists” (P. M. Møller) and the materialists (the physician F. Dreyer), as well as in the milieu of the irrationalists and religious philosophy, which was brilliantly represented by F. C. Sib-bern and especially S. Kierkegaard, the forerunner of existentialism.

Marxism began to spread in Denmark in the 1870’s; L. Pio, C. Brix, and P. J. Geleff maintained direct contact with K. Marx. In the late 19th century the workers’ movement fell under the power of reformist ideology, especially of Bernsteinism. From the early 1870’s right up to the 1920’s the ideas of classical positivism were dominant in philosophy. H. Spencer’s theory of evolution and Darwin’s principles of development were also popular. The epistemologist, psychologist, and student of ethics H. Høfffding became known all over Europe. L. Feilberg’s so-called philosophy of “small joys” stood apart from the main stream. By the middle of the 20th century the most influential trends in philosophy were logical positivism and analytical philosophy, as represented by A. Thomsen, C. Iversen, J. Jørgensen, B. Schultser, J. Witt-Hansen, and the physicist N. Bohr. Philosophers who worked on problems of psychology included K. K. Kortsen, V. Kuhr, S. Naesgaard, and F. Brandt, who was also a historian of philosophy. A. Hansen, C. J0rgensen, A. Hemmer, S. Ranulf, and K. Grue-Sørensen are working on problems of ethics. A number of scholars, including N. Thulstrup and G. Malan-tschuk, have actively pursued the study of Kierkegaard, mainly in the journal Kierkegaardiana (founded in 1948).

The founding of the Communist Party of Denmark in 1919 opened a new phase in the propaganda of Marxism. Since World War II (1939–45). especially in the 1960’s, much attention has been devoted to the elaboration of Marxist theory, historical materialism, and sociology (J. Nørlund and others).

The centers of philosophy are the Danish Society of Philosophy and Psychology, which was founded in 1965 and which publishes the Danish Year book of Philosophy (since 1964), and the philosophy faculty of the University of Copenhagen.


HISTORIOGRAPHY. The first Danish historical chroniclers, who were descendents of the king’s closest associates, appeared in the 12th century; they were Sven Aggestøn and Saxo Grammaticus, the author of the famous Gesta Danorum (The Exploits of the Danes). The most prominent representatives of aristocratic historiography in the 16th and 17th centuries were H. Svaning and A. Sørensen Vedel. who for the first time placed Danish historiography on the basis of documentary research; A. Huitfeldt. who continued the work of Saxo Grammaticus; and O. Worm, who laid down the principles of the Danish study of early texts and who began the collection, description, and study of the monuments of Denmark’s material culture. Worm’s Monumenta Danica (Denmark’s Monuments), an edition of runic inscriptions with comments published in 1643, retained its value until the early 20th century.

In the first half of the 18th century the poet and playwright L. Holberg founded Denmark’s historiography of enlightened absolutism. The great historians of this school in the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century were collectors, publishers, and critics of sources on Scandinavian history (primarily medieval), including H. Gram and his disciple J. Langebek (who headed the Royal Danish Society for the National History and Language, founded 1745), P. F. Suhm. A. Kall, and R. Nyerup. Poet, historian, and bishop N. F. S. Grundtvig, relying mainly on German thinkers such as F. Schelling, developed a profoundly conservative religious philosophy of history. The characteristic trait of Grundtvig’s views and, following him, of all of Danish romantic historiography of the mid-19th century, was Scandinavianism—that is, the glorification of the ancient Scandinavian cultural heritage and emphasis on the historical kinship and closeness of the Scandinavian peoples. The Royal Society of Nordic Antiquity was founded in Copenhagen in 1825 and the Danish Historical Society in 1839; the latter began publishing Historisk Tidsskrift in 1840. In the 1830’s the scholarly level of Danish romantic historiography was greatly raised by C. Paludan-Müller, a follower of the critical philological methods of the German historians B. Niebuhr and L. von Ranke. At the same time C. F. Allen started the National Liberal orientation in Danish historiography with its pronounced anti-German tendency.

After the loss of Schleswig and Holstein, which meant the failure of the policy of the National Liberals, the ideas of Scandinavian solidarity and the revival of Denmark’s past grandeur were also compromised. At the same time the country’s intellectual life became enlivened in the period of the establishment of capitalist relations. Prompted by all this, historians began a critical revision of the romantic. National Liberal, and Scandinavianist conceptions in the spirit of positivism and bourgeois democratic ideology. Along with the prevailing conservative orientation as represented by E. Holm, the first Danish specialist in modern history, a radical positivist trend came to the fore in the 1870’s; this trend, represented by the literary critic G. Brandes and the historians K. Erslev, J. Fridericia, and M. Rubin, became dominant in Danish historiography from 1900 to 1910. The historians of radical positivism were distinguished by an interest in social and economic history, a profoundly critical attitude toward sources, and skepticism toward official patriotic and traditional conceptions. They dealt with the problems of modern Danish history from the point of view of bourgeois-democratic ideology.

In the late 19th century some works of K. Marx and F. En-gels were translated earlier in Denmark than in the other Scandinavian countries. H. Bang was a propagandist of the ideas of historical materialism in Denmark.

In the first two decades of the 20th century, when the workers’ movement grew in strength and the class contradictions in the country became intensified in the conditions of the development of imperialism, bourgeois historians preferred to occupy themselves with medieval studies and were carried away by excessive source criticism. The Danish bourgeois science of history became more consolidated as the boundaries between individual historical schools became blurred. In the period between the two world wars M. Macke-prang studied problems of medieval history; A. Linvald and N. Neergaard the political history of the 17th and 18th centuries and of the 1840’s, 1850’s, and 1860’s; and A. Friis the Schleswig-Holstein question. E. Arup, whose works show an influence of historical materialism, tried to view Danish history in the light of social and economic processes. During World War II (1939–45) important works were written on the history of law by P. J. Jørgensen. on the history of social relations in the countryside by F. Skrubbeltrang, and on the history of the nobility by H. H. Fussing and K. Fa-bricius; there was a development in local history, including the history of the Slesvig area (History of Southern Jutland, vols. 1–5). In the postwar years the bourgeois historians J. Hvidtfeldt. A. Christensen. A. Steensberg. J. Danstrup, H. Koht, and J. Br0nsted created works of synthesis, in which they attempted to show the major trends of development and present an integrated bourgeois-democratic conception of the country’s history since antiquity. Bourgeois historiography has also developed on the history of Denmark’s foreign policy in the 20th century (T. Fink. V. Sjøq-vist, and F. Løfkkegaard). on the Danish Resistance (J. Haestrup), and on the economic history of the 17th and 18th centuries (A. Friis). I. Nørlund, A. Jensen, and V. Fugl-sang are elucidating Denmark’s history from the Marxist point of view. To some extent in Danish history there is an interest in Oriental studies, archaeology, the history of the natural sciences and technology, and auxiliary historical disciplines.

ECONOMICS. Economic thought arose in Denmark in the early 18th century. Its development was determined by the spreading in Western Europe of mercantilism, of which J. H. E. von Bernstorff and H. E. von Schimmelmann were representatives in Denmark. In the second half of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century the ideas of free trade were formulated by the followers of the physiocrats (C. Schimmelmann and the Reventlow brothers) and the representatives of economic liberalism (G. K. Oeder and O. Müller), who relied on the teaching of classical bourgeois political economy. In the late 19th century cooperative movements developed in Denmark. The ideas of cooperative socialism coexisted with conservative local patriotism and with patriarchal forms of productive relations within the cooperative enterprises.

The contemporary Danish school of economic thought is based on the conceptions of the formal statistical approach to the history of a country’s economy. The founder of economic statistics in Denmark was J. Warming (late 19th and early 20th centuries). His contemporary followers, such as C. Iversen and C. Caspersen, are investigating questions of forecasting and programming the distribution of the national income. In the 1920’s and 1930’s, F. Zeuthen analyzed various aspects of economic theory, such as price formation in conditions of free competition and monopoly, the theory of equilibrium. and questions of wages and the class struggle. Keynesianism gained currency in Denmark after the world economic crisis of 1929–33. The contemporary followers of J. M. Keynes, such as P. N. Andersen, P. Winding, and B. Fog, while opposing direct intervention of the state in the sphere of private enterprise, consider that the state has a duty, in addition to providing social security, to create an infrastructure and to regulate the market mechanisms through the use of financial levers. Problems of the economic cycle and economic integration receive much attention. The eclecticism of present-day bourgeois theories, such as the theories of “regulated capitalism” or the convergence of the two systems, serve as the theoretical basis for the economic programs of the Social Democratic Party of Denmark (I. Nørgaard, H. Grünbaum, and others).

The founding of the Communist Party of Denmark in 1919 formed the beginning of Marxist economic thought. Marxist economists, such as P. D0ssing and J. N0rlund, analyze pressing problems concerning the development of Denmark’s economy and present critiques of the government’s economic policies, which are leading to the increase of military expenditures and the exploitation of the toiling people. They investigate problems related to the situation of the working class and the development of the trade-union movement.

Economists are trained at the universities of Copenhagen and Århus and at special schools for training administrative personnel at commercial institutes in Copenhagen and Århus (founded in 1917 and 1939). The economic journals are Økonomi og Politik (published since 1927), Økonomen (since 1923), and Løn og Virke (from 1904).


LINGUISTICS. Danish linguists hold a prominent place in the history of linguistics. Those that are world famous include R. K. Rask, the founder of general and comparative linguistics in Western Europe and the author of numerous grammars of languages belonging to different language families; V. Thomsen, a specialist in the comparative grammar of the Indo-European languages and in Finno-Ugric and Turkic studies, who published the Orkhon-Enisei inscriptions, which were discovered in Siberia, and established that they are ancient Turkic literary remains; K. Verner, the author of Verner’s Law, which establishes the relation between sound changes of Indo-European voiceless obstruents in Proto-Germanic and the positioning of accents in Indo-European words; O. Jespersen, the author of numerous works in English and general linguistics and one of the founders of glossematics; H. Pedersen, a specialist in the comparative grammar of the Indo-European languages and author of a comparative grammar of the Celtic languages, which is a major work; K. Sandfeld, a specialist in Romance and general linguistics; V. Br0ndal, a specialist in general linguistics and Romance languages and literature, whose views on general linguistics have had great influence on contemporary linguists; and H. Uldall, a theorist of linguistics and one of the founders of glossematics. The followers of the glosse-matic trend in the 20th century are E. Fischer-jørgensen, K. Togeby, and H. Spang-Hanssen. P. Diderichsen is a prominent representative of Danish structuralism, a theorist of linguistics, and a specialist on Danish and Old Germanic.

Danish linguists have conducted much study on Danish and its history and dialectology. They have published numerous descriptive grammars and dictionaries, including Dictionary of Old Danish, 1300–1700 by O. Kalkar (parts 1–5, 1908–18); Dictionary of Modern Danish, compiled under the editorship of V. Dahlerup (parts 1–28, 1919–56); Grammar of Old Danish by J. Brøndum-Nielsen (parts 1–5, 1950–65); and History of the Danish Language by P. Skautrup (parts 1–4, 1944–68). The most important research concerning runic inscriptions are L. Wimmer’s Danish Runic Monuments (parts 1–4, 1893–1908) and Denmark’s Runic Monuments by L. Jacobsen and E. Moltke (parts 1–2, 1941–42). The A. Magnusson Institute has published written Icelandic monuments with philological annotations and linguistic analysis; the manuscripts of these monuments are kept at the library of the University of Copenhagen. The interest of many Danish linguists in general linguistics provided the motivation for founding several societies and publications, such as the Copenhagen Linguistic Circle (founded by V. Br0ndal, H. Uldall, and L. Hjelmslev in 1931), the non-periodical publications Bulletin du Cercle Linguistique de Copenhagen (since 1934), and Travaux du Cercle Linguistique de Copenhagen (since 1944), and the journal Acta Lingüistica (published since 1939; various issues of this journal were published under the title of Acta Lingzuistica Hafniensia).


Scientific institutions. Scientific research is conducted at several institutions of higher learning, such as the University of Copenhagen, the Polytechnical Institute in Copenhagen, and the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University. A considerable amount of research is done by state research institutes and laboratories, which work in atomic energy and agriculture, and by the technological institutes in Copenhagen and Århus, which do research for small and medium-size firms.

Scientific research is financed partly through state appropriations and partly by private foundations, of which the largest is the Carlsberg Foundation.

The Academy of Technological Sciences, set up in 1937, unites more than 19 scientific research institutes; the financing of these institutes is covered by subsidies by the academy and industrial firms and by revenues from contract work.

The National Council for Scientific Research, founded in 1965, and the Council for Scientific and Technological Research of the Ministry of Education, founded in 1960, supervise work in science. The Atomic Energy Commission has been supervising work in nuclear physics and technology since 1954. In addition to scientific institutes, laboratories, and centers, NORDITA, the all-Scandinavian institute of theoretical nuclear physics founded in 1957, is based in Denmark. Denmark is a member of a Scandinavian council on applied research and is involved in European and international scientific organizations.



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The first regular newspaper, Den danske Merkurius, was published in 1666. In 1970, Denmark had 52 central newspapers (with a combined circulation of 1.7 million), about 30 weekly magazines for the general public, about 150 specialized weekly and monthly journals, and about 300 local newspapers (with a combined circulation of 1.5 million).

The largest newspapers, most of them published in Copenhagen (circulation as of October 1973), are Aktuelt (published under the name Socialdemokraten from 1872 to 1959), circulation over 105,000 copies, central organ of the SDPD; Berlingske Tidende, since 1749, circulation over 165,000 copies, central organ of the Conservative People’s Party; B. T., circulation over 185,000 copies, belongs to the Berlingske Tidende concern; Politiken, since 1884, circulation over 130,000 copies, close to the Radical Venstre Party; Fyns Tidende, since 1872, circulation 36,000 copies, central organ of Denmark’s Venstre (Liberal Party), published in Odense; Ekstrabladet, since 1904, circulation over 165,000 copies, belongs to the Politiken concern; Jyllands-Posten, since 1871, circulation 76,500 copies, a conservative newspaper published in Århus; Land og Folk, since 1941, circulation over 8,000 copies, central organ of the CPD; and the journal 77- den, since 1939, circulation over 3,000 copies, published by the CPD. The Ritzaus Brueau, the Danish news agency founded in 1866, hands out material to the press and to the radio.

Radio broadcasting began in 1925, and television has been transmitted since 1951. A radio council, which was set up in 1925 and which is guided by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, supervises radio and television broadcasting. According to 1973 data, Denmark has 12 radio stations, the main ones of which are in Copenhagen, Kalundborg, Tønder, Esbjerg, Skive, and Ålborg; each radio station broadcasts three programs in Danish and each television station one program in Danish. Television broadcasts from Sweden are heard on the eastern shore of the island of Sjælland and from the GDR and the FRG in the south.


The characters and plots of ancient Danish epic poetry came from chronicles and popular ballads, ancient Icelandic poetry and sagas, and the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf. The first literary works, which were preceded by short runic inscriptions, appeared in Latin in the 12th century; the most important work of this period is Gesta Danorum by Saxo Grammaticus, who lived from 1140 to about 1208. In the 13th and 14th centuries literary works in Danish, a large part of them translations, became more and more important. Popular ballads also flourished in this period.

The 16th and following centuries in Denmark were the period of the Reformation and the beginning of printing. The work of C. Pedersen (about 1480–1554), which had a democratic tendency, was very important. His translation of the Bible served as the basis for the development of the Danish literary language. In this period there was the publication of theological treatises, collections of psalms, and, later, religious poetry (H. C. Sthen, 1540–1610, T. Kingo, 1634–1703), Satire and the scholastic drama also developed in this period. In the second half of the 16th and in the 17th century Danish literature felt the influence of Italian and Dutch Renaissance humanism and then of French classicism. Ancient Danish and Scandinavian literary remains and popular ballads were collected and published.

The economic and sociopolitical changes at the turn of the 18th century promoted an upsurge in literature. The ideas of the Enlightenment came to Denmark. L. Holberg (1684–1754), who was a prominent participant in the Danish Enlightenment, was a pioneer of realist literature of that time. His comedies, in which he continued the tradition of Moliere and of the Italian commedia dell’arte, portray the life of Copenhagen and the Danish provinces. Holberg was the author of the biting sociopolitical satire Peder Paars (1719–20) and Niels Klim’s Subterranean Journey (1741, in Latin). In the middle of the 18th century H. A. Brorson (1694–1764) was involved in the development of sentimentalism with his pietist poetry. The dramaturgy of J. Ewald (1743–81), who was the first writer to use ancient Scandinavian themes, and the lyric poetry of A. Stub (1705–58) are charged with intense emotionalism. Norwegian writers who lived in Copenhagen, such as J. H. Wessel (1742–85), played a prominent role. The ideas of the French Revolution are reflected in the work of J. Baggesen (1764–1826) and even more so in the prose of P. A. Heiberg (1758–1841) and M. Bruun (1775–1826).

In the early 19th century Danish literature became dominated by romanticism, which was as far from reactionary romanticism as it was from the rebelliousness of the Byronic type. Danish romanticism combined an interest in national antiquity and the prefeudal past with a critical attitude toward the feudal Middle Ages. The outstanding representative of romanticism, A. Oehlenschláger (1779–1850), glorified the prefeudal and pre-Christian culture of the Scandinavian peoples (in the poem “The Golden Horns,” 1801), described the onslaught of feudalism and Catholicism against the ancient North (in the tragedy Palnatoke, 1807), and asserted the victory of the optimistic principle in man (the play Aladdin, or The Magic Lamp, 1805). The romantic poet. N. F. S. Grundtvig (1783–1872) combined in his work a love for Scandinavian antiquity with a desire to reform Christianity. In writing about contemporary life romantic writers laid prime emphasis on the description of nature and peasant life (S. S. Blicher, 1782–1848) and strong emotionalism (C. Winther, 1796–1876). In the 1830’s an aesthetic trend developed around the work of J. L. Heiberg (1791–1860); at the same time realistic traits became stronger (C. H. Bredahl, 1798–1860). Vaudeville reached its high point of development in the 1820’s and 1830’s and was gradually becoming more realistic (Heiberg; H. Hertz, 1797–1870). The elements of psychological realism were becoming stronger in Danish drama. In the middle of the 1830’s, H. C. Andersen (1805–75) came out with his fairy tales and narratives that became world famous; his novels, including The Improvisatore (1835) and Only a Fiddler (1837), were also popular. T. Gyllem-bourg-Ehrensvärd (1773–1856) and other writers attempted to portray everyday life.

The intensification of social conflicts in the 1840’s promoted the development of the radical press, political lyric poetry, and satire. This trend was represented by M. A. Goldschmidt (1819–87), who published the literary journal Corsaren (1840–55), and by C. P. Ploug (1813–94). Heiberg and F. Paludan-Múller (1809–76) parted with the aesthetic trend, the former in his drama A Soul After Death, which is charged with tragedy, and the latter in the sorrowful poem Adam Homo (1841–48). S. Kierkegaard (1813–55) presented a subtle psychological portrait of the contradictory spiritual life of man in bourgeois society in his narrative works (Either-Or, 1843, etc.) and in his essays; he argued that a tragical principle lies at the basis of human existence. Kierkegaard had a great influence on the development of Scandinavian literature (G. Brandes, H. Ibsen, P. Lagerkvist, and others) and became the forerunner of present-day existentialist literature.

In the 1870’s the influence of foreign, especially Russian, realist literature became stronger (giving rise to the so-called Turgenev period). Danish writers broke away from romanticism. The critic G. Brandes (1842–1927), who headed the radical “break-through movement” and who advocated the truthful portrayal of reality, was the leading figure in the literary revolution. The outstanding realist writer J. P. Jacobsen (1847–85) depicted in the novel Niels Lyhne (1880) with psychological accuracy the tragic fate of the intellectual who breaks with the religious world view but who remains a lonely figure in the conditions of Danish life. Other writers of the new trend of Danish literature were H. Pontoppidan (1857–1943), a master of vast realist panoramas; H. Drach-mann (1846–1908), an innovator in lyric poetry; K. Gjellerup (1857–1919), who presented radical democratic views in his early works; and E. Brandes (1847–1931), the author of poignant social dramas.

By the middle of the 1880’s individualism and symbolism became prevalent in the work of Drachmann. Gjellerup, and G. Brandes. This trend found its most accomplished form in the novel Hopeless Generations (1880) by H. Bang (1857–1912). The poets J. Jørgensen (1866–1956) and V. Stucken-berg (1863–1905) were distinguished by symbolist and neoro-mantic ideas. However, already at that time realism, which became more prominent in the 1890’s and the early 20th century. held an important place in the work of many writers, including Bang (the novels Tine, 1889, and By the Wayside, 1890). Pontoppidan published the novel Lykke-Per between 1898 and 1904. J. V. Jensen (1873–1950), the author of Himmerland Stories (1898–1910), wrote The Long Journey (1908–22). a cycle of novels about the past of the Danish people that is not free from racism. G. Wied (1858–1914) wrote satirical dramas, and Karin Michaëlis (1872–1950) published psychological novels and short stories. J. M. Skjoldborg(1861–l936) and J. Aakjær (1866–1930) presented realistic portrayals of the life of the peasantry.


The work of M. Andersen Nexø (1869–1954) opened a new phase in the development of literature; Andersen Nexø was the first proletarian writer and laid the foundation for socialist realism in Danish literature (the novel Pelle the Conqueror, 1906–10: Ditte, Daughter of Man (1917–21). World War 1 (1914–18) caused chaos and perplexity in the intellectual life of the bourgeois intelligentsia. The young men of letters felt that they were a “lost generation.” In the 1920’s the themes of loneliness, fear, and emptiness were expressed above all in the poetry of E. Bønnelycke (1893–1953). H. H. Seedorff-Pedersen (born 1892), F. Nygaard (1897–1958). P. Lange (born 1901). P. la Cour (1902–56). and J. A. Schade (born 1903) and in the poetry and prose of the expressionist T. Kristensen (born 1893: Life’s Arabesque, 1921). However. even in the 1920’s, W. Heinesen (born 1900) and O. Gelsted (1888–1968). the greatest Danish poet of the 20th century, advocated in their poetry active participation in public affairs. In the late 1920’s and 1930’s there was an upsurge of socially critical realist prose. which was inaugurated by H. R. Kirk’s (1898–1962) novel The Fishermen (1928). The life of the toilers was truthfully depicted in such novels as The King of the Paupers (1929) by T. Kristensen (1893–1961), Our Daily Bread (1932) by K. Becker(born 1891), One Must Live (1934) by H. Herdal (born 1900), Let There Be Monday (1934) by L. Fischer (1904–56). and A Man Sits in the Trolley Car (1937) by M. Klitgaard (1906–45). The Danish satirical writer H. Scherfig (born 1905) published the first antibourgeois novels in the 1930’s. The works of K. Munk (1898–1944). K. Abell (1901–61). and C. E. Soja (bom 1896) were related to significant achievements in the drama. Danish writers made an important contribution to the struggle against fascism in the 1930’s (M. Andersen Nexø’s publicists works and K. Abell’s play Anna Sofie Hedwig, 1939): this was especially true during the fascist German occupation of Denmark (1940–45). when the majority of writers risked their life in the Resistance Movement. Communist writers (Andersen Nexø. Scherfig, Kirk. Morten Nielsen. and others) were thrown into prisons and concentration camps; Munk. who made an appeal to fight against the occupation forces, was killed by the Nazis: the poet Morten Nielsen (1922–44) died in the ranks of the Resistance fighters. The publication of the collective, illegal anti-fascist collection The Fire Still Burns (1944) was a brilliant example of the unity of the Danish writers in the struggle against fascism. In the postwar years the realist trend of social criticism witnessed a further development in the works of Andersen Nexo (Morton the Red, 1945–48; Lost Generation. 1948), Kirk (The Devil’s Money, 1951; Klitgaard and his Sons, 1952). Scherfig (The Scorpion, 1953; Frydenholm, 1962), in the novels of Becker and H. Wulf (born 1908). and in Gelsted’s poetry. The works of A. Dons (born 1903). K. Sønderby (1909–66). T. Ditlevsen (born 1918), C. L. Jepsen (born 1920). and T. Skou-Hansen (born 1925) are distinguished by subtle psychological realism. The work of H. C. Branner (1903–66) and M. A. Hansen (1909–55), who frequently explored the diseased minds of men, is full of contradictions. The poetry of the postwar years is characterized by formalism and a departure from realism, in the work of such authors as O. Sarvig (born 1921). V. Sørensen (born 1929). and O. Wivel (born 1921). The dramaturgy of the 1950’s and 1960’s is characterized by the search for new forms; the bourgeois society of “general prosperity” is clearly and bitterly criticized. This tendency found expression in E. Bruun-Olsen’s (born 1923) plays Adolescent Love (1962) and The Bourgeois Ball (1966). as well as in the political sketches of E. Knudsen (born 1922), K. Rifbjerg (born 1931). and J. Jensen (born 1931).


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Frederiksen. E. Ung dansk litteratur 1930–1950[2nd ed.]. Copenhagen. 1951.
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Monuments of artistic culture in Denmark can be traced back to the eighth millennium B.C. Archaeologists have discovered amber statuettes, cromlechs. and dolmens of the Neolithic and Bronze ages; stone representations of war and also of hunting scenes on Bornholm Island; arms and ornaments of the Bronze Age: and silver vessels and gold coins of the Iron Age. Ruins of the so-called Viking era include the fortresses of Trelleborg on the island of Sjælland and Aggersborg near Limfjord (a section of circular fortifications. with foundations of wooden frame houses in the form of a castle), as well as stone steles with runic inscriptions and patterns of loops, filigree, and representations of fantastic animals.

The construction of wooden churches began from the time of the creation of a unified Danish kingdom in the tenth century and the adoption of Christianity in about A.D. 960: stone churches (the Church of the Mother of God in Roskilde) and basilica-type churches were built from the middle of the 11th century. In the Romanesque period (12th and early 13th centuries) the Danes erected cathedrals with a plan resembling an elongated (Latin) cross; these were massive, squat buildings. such as the cathedrals in Ribe and Viborg. On Born-holm Island there are uniquely shaped, round churches with (hick walls, sentry walks, and parapets. Bricks began to be used in construction in the second half of the 12th century. The most remarkable structure of this time is the church in Kalundborg on the plan of a Greek cross with equal arms, octagonal towers on each arm of the cross. and a square tower in the center. The defense structures of the Romanesque period include the central, brick section of the Dan-nevirke, which was begun in the ninth century and which divided the Jutland Peninsula from Germany (only the wall remains), and the tower of Bastrup and the castles of Søborg and Vordingborg on the island of Sjælland. The paintings in the Romanesque churches (Christ in Glory, the Saeby church on the island of Sjælland) often combine representations inspired by Byzantine art with local decoration. The latter also occupies a prominent position in sculpture, which is distinguished by a naïve and expressive plasticity (the altar of the church in Lisbjerg).

During the Gothic period (from the early 13th century to the 1530’s) the largest cathedrals were built in Roskilde and Odense, as well as castles with a rectangular plan and with great walls and towers (the Sp0ttrup Castle in the Viborg area). The cities that began to appear in the 13th century were surrounded by walls and moats. The narrow and winding streets were densely built up with one- to three-story buildings. Residential houses were mainly wooden or half-timbered, rarely brick (from the 14th century). The paintings in the Gothic churches (in the church in Skibby on the island of Sjælland, about 1335) are less conventional than in Romanesque churches and often include realistic scenes of everyday life. In the second half of the 15th century Denmark began to import many works of art from Germany, the Netherlands, and France. Masters from these countries also came to Denmark and worked in all areas of art up to the middle of the 18th century.

The 16th century and the first half of the 17th century are characterized by the construction of palaces and public and residential buildings (the Stock Exchange and the Rosenborg Palace in Copenhagen and the Kronborg and Frederiksborg residential castles on the island of Sjælland), with Renaissance influence in the decor (pediments, friezes, and white-stone carvings). The chief builders of this period were architects of the Steenwinkel family, who had come from the Netherlands.

Danish architecture of the second half of the 17th and the first half of the 18th century shows traits of the baroque, which, like the Renaissance, affected only the decor (the casing, portals, etc.). The Charlottenborg and Fredensborg palaces (both in Copenhagen), Eremitagen near Copenhagen, and the palace complexes (Amalienborg in Copenhagen) were built mainly by Danish architects (L. de Thura and N. Eigtved), but also by some foreign architects; they all have rococo-style halls.

The founding of the Academy of Arts in Copenhagen in 1754 promoted the development of classicism, which prevailed in Denmark in the second half of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th; the national school of art also formed during the same period. The major representatives of classicism are the architects C. F. Harsdorff, C. F. Hansen, and G. Bindesbøll (their buildings include a mansion by Harsdorff, the Church of the Virgin Mother, and Thor-valdsen’s Museum in Copenhagen), the sculptors J. Wie-develt and B. Thorvaldsen (who is world famous), and the historical painter N. A. Abildgaard. Portraits and landscape painting of this period are marked by a combination of the baroque, rococo, and classicist styles (V. Erichsen and J. Juel). The most important Danish painters in the first half of the 19th century were C. W. Eckersberg and his followers, including C. Køoke, V. Bendz, J. T. Lundbye, M. Rørbye, C. A. Jensen, and A. Müller. Their works, which are close to the Biedermeier style, are marked by the soft, lyrical, direct apprehension of reality. However, the art of the painters of the following generation, such as C. Hansen and W. N. Marstrand, loses these qualities and acquires traits of academicism.

Danish porcelain art, which was produced since the 1760’s, began to flourish in the 1880’s. Dinner services and statuettes were covered with glazed paintings in soft colors.

The national-romantic style became dominant in architecture in the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th (the new Town Hall by the architect M. Nyrop and Grundtvig’s Church by architects P. V. Jensen Klint and K. Klint; both in Copenhagen). Neoclassicism developed in the 1920’s (the Police Building in Copenhagen, architects H. Kampmann and A. Rafn). Functionalism became popular from the 1930’s (university building in Århus, 1932–46, architect K. Fisker and others; Stengaard School in Gladsaxe, 1952, architect V. T. Lauritzen; the SAS Airlines building in Copenhagen, 1958–60, architect A. Jacobsen). Since World War II Odense and Copenhagen have been undergoing reconstruction (the latter is being built up in the shape of a hand with spread fingers with green parts in between them; architects, S. E. Rasmussen and others), and the cities of Rønne and Neksø are being restored. Since the 1920’s the architecture of residential homes has shown a preference for small block houses and multistory dwellings forming closed off blocks with landscaped inner courtyards. Beginning in the 1930’s residential complexes of several neighborhood units have been built; since the 1950’s high-rise buildings of eight to 12 stories have been combined in these complexes with three- or four-story section-type houses. Precast housing construction has been developed, and housing-construction industrial complexes have been set up.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, painting experienced a new upsurge connected with the work of realist painters who, fascinated with the problems of plein air painting, settled in the village of Skagen in northern Jutland and painted the nature of the countryside and ordinary people and their everyday life (P. S. Krøyer, V. Johansen, A. Jerndorff, and the husband and wife M. P. and A. An-cher). The sculptor and painter T. Philipsen, the pioneer of Danish impressionism, was connected with this group. His work had an influence on a group of landscape and animal painters who settled on the island of Fyn (P. Hansen, F. Syberg, J. Larsen, and P. Christiansen). The work of K. Zahrtmann, who painted pictures on themes in Danish history charged with romantic emotions, is outstanding in this period. A movement developed, in which the representatives (J. F. Willumsen, V. Hammershøi, E. Nielsen, the brothers J. F. and N. Skovgaard, and N. Larsen Stevns) gravitated toward symbolism in varying degrees. After 1910 the influence of fauvism, cubism, and other modern trends (H. Giersing, E. Weie, and W. Scharff) made itself felt. Since the middle of the 1930’s the most diverse currents have been observed in Denmark, beginning with impressionism and ending with abstractionism (E. Alfelt, E. Bille, and E. Jacobsen) and pop art. In opposition to abstractionism, pop art, and other modernistic trends, there is a gravitation toward realism in the painting of O. Rude and H. Jensen and the graphic art of P. Christensen, E. Frederiksen, and H. Bidstrup, a master of political and everyday caricature. Denmark’s sculpture of the first half of the 20th century, which leans toward neoclassicism, is represented by K. Nielsen, J. Gauguin, J. Bjerg, and E. Utzon-Frank.


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The first written references to the music of Denmark are found in the historical chronicle of Saxo Grammaticus (about 1200). Until the 12th century Danish music was limited to folk genres, such as heroic and epic songs and dance music. Leger, who were wandering musicians, were repositories of musical culture. Scalds, Scandinavian poet-singers, served at the courts of the feudal lords. They performed eulogy songs and occasional verse with a complex poetic structure. After the spread of Christianity in Denmark (tenth century), the introduction of Gregorian chant was of great importance for Danish music. The first professional works of music (of a religious nature) were composed in the 12th century. Secular art at the court began developing in the 15th and 16th centuries (royal musical companies—string and wind, including trumpet and vocal groups). M. Pedersøn and C. Nielsen were the first professional composers. Their works, which were of an imitative character and followed mainly the traditions of the Venetian school, were performed by court and church choirs, which in the 16th and 17th centuries also employed the English lutanist and composer J. Dowland and the German composers H. Schütz and D. Buxtehude.

Until the end of the 18th century music did not display any original national style; in the 15th and 16th centuries it was under the strong influence of the Dutch polyphonic school and the English instrumentalists; in the 17th century it came under the influence of Italian and French composers; from the middle of the 18th century German (opera) composers constituted the main influence. A Hamburg opera company performed at the Copenhagen Opera Theater, which opened in 1748 (called the Royal Opera Theater from 1770); later an Italian opera company performed in the same theater (until 1756). The Musical Society, which was founded in 1744, contributed to the development of music. The first Danish works that displayed a national style were F. Kunzen’s opera Holger the Dane, 1789, and J. A. P. Schultz’s collection Songs in the Folk Spirit (published from 1782) and Singspiele (Harvest Festival, 1790). In 1814 collections of folk melodies with texts, which provided a source of inspiration for the work of the 19th century romantic composers, were published; the link between professional music and folk art deepened (the national Singspiele of F. Kuhlau and C. E. F. Weyse). The operas and ballets of J. P. E. Hartmann, P. Heise, and H. S. Paulli, which have fairy-tale, fantastic, and mythological plots, as well as N. W. Gade’s symphonies, used Danish musical and literary folklore. The increase of concerts was encouraged through the activity of the Music Association (founded in 1836) and the Royal Danish Conservatory (founded in 1867) in Copenhagen, which were directed by Gade. C. Nielsen was the founder of the contemporary school of national composers. Other composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries include A. Enna (composer of the opera The Sorceress, 1892, and others), P. Lange-Müller (who carried on Heise’s and Hartmann’s romantic traditions and who is known mainly as a composer of vocal music, especially songs for plays), and A. Hamerik. Their operas were staged at the Copenhagen Royal Theater, the opera company of which has existed as an independent company since the late 18th century. The female singers E. Dons and J. Brun and the male singers V. Herold, P. Cornelius, L. Melchior, K. Karsten, and N. Schramm rose to fame in this theater in the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th; other singers include E. Schmedes, I. Hansen, and T. Thygesen.

In the first half of the 20th century several musical institutions were organized in Copenhagen, including the Danish Concert Society (founded in 1901), the Danish Musicians’ Union (founded 1911), which unites orchestras and musical organizations, the Danish Composers’ Union (founded 1913), the Society of Young Musicians (founded 1920), the Philharmonic Society (founded 1920), the Danish Radio Choir and Orchestra (founded 1925), and opera classes of the Royal Theater (founded 1909; part of the Royal Danish Conservatory since 1956). Conservatories have been founded in Odense (the Fyn Conservatory, in 1929), in Ålborg (the North Jutland Conservatory, in 1930), and in Esbjerg (the West Jutland Conservatory, in 1945). The Museum of the History of Music was founded in Copenhagen in 1898.

In 1971, Denmark had five conservatories and ten symphony orchestras. The major music centers are Copenhagen, Odense (which has two conservatories, a philharmonic orchestra, and a choir), and Århus (which has the Conservatory, an opera theater, the Philharmonic Society, and a city orchestra).

The greatest Danish pianist of the middle of the 20th century is V. Schi0ler. Denmark’s contemporary musical culture is represented by the composers K. Riisager, E. Hamerik, V. Holmboe, N. V. Bentzon, J. Jersild, S. Schultz, S. Vestergaard, L. Thybo, J. Maegaard, O. Schmidt, and P. N0rgaard. Danish performers include the pianist and composer H. D. Koppel; the pianists and organists K. Olsson and B. Johnsson; the violinists A. Svensen and E. Tel-mányi; the cellist B. Bengtsson; the organists G. Fjelrad and F. Viderø; the musicologists Ch. Jeppesen, A. Hamerik, Ch. Thrane, and V. Ch. Ravn; the male-singer N. Møller; and the female singers L. Koppel, B. Søndberg, and K. Schultz.


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Danmarks gamle folkeviser, vols. 1–11. Copenhagen, 1853–1935.
Lunn, S. La Vie musicale au Danemark. Copenhagen, 1962.

Archaeological findings and geographical names (Dansehøje—“dance hills,” near Copenhagen) attest to the existence of the dance as early as the Bronze Age. A dance dating from the Viking period is still performed on the island of Fanø. Medieval fresco paintings in churches (for instance, in Jerslev) tell about rituals and folk dances. Ballet, in the modern sense of the term, arose in the form of small dance scenes in school theaters. The oldest such dance is the Morian fools’ dance (1500). Court ballet appeared in the 1630’s and lasted for half a century. The first professional ballet troop from abroad came to Denmark in the late 1600’s. When the Danish Stage, the first national drama theater, was set up in 1722, members of one of these guest troops were invited to take part in the production of Molière’s ballet comedies and L. Holberg’s plays. In 1748 the management of the theater formed a ballet troop, which was named the Royal Ballet in 1770, and in 1754 it set up a dance school, which is still in existence. This development gave rise to one of the special features of the Danish ballet—that is, its link with the dramatic theater, a trait that continued until the middle of the 19th century. In the 18th century foreign ballet masters worked in Denmark, in particular the Italian V. Galeotti and in the 19th century the Frenchman A. Bournonville. The flourishing of the Danish’ballet is linked with the work of Bournonville, who drew on historical topics and on Scandinavian mythology and who staged productions that depicted popular customs and rituals (H. S. Paulli’s The Wedding Train in Har-danger, 1853; N. W. Gade’s and J. P. E. Hartmann’s Popular Legends, 1854). Bournonville’s choreographic dramas, enriched with national dances, displayed the characteristic features of Danish romanticism, which was based on folklore. By the middle of the 19th century the national characteristics of the ballet had been formed, and the school of Danish choreography had been established; this school (especially in the sphere of male dancing) continues to enjoy world fame in the 20th century as well. The famous ballerinas of the 19th century include L. Grahn, A. Nielsen, L. Stil-mann, and J. Price. Danish choreographers preserved the traditions that had been formed from the degradation of the Western European ballet art that set in at the turn of the 20th century. Owing to the creative work of the artists H. Beck and V. Borchsenius, the Danish ballet preserved its traditional school and repertory in the 20th century as well. H. Lander was director of the troupe of the Royal Ballet from 1931 to 1951. He staged productions in which national traditions were combined with more contemporary forms of ballet (K. Riisager’s Quarrtsiluni, 1942, and others). In the 1960’s and early 1970’s the troop more and more frequently included works of foreign choreographers. Danish artists often work abroad, and many of them are also choreographers. including N. B. Larsen, K. Ralov, E. Bruhn, and F. Flindt. who is the director of a ballet troupe. The most popular artists have been M. Lander, N. B. Larsen, and H. Brenaa in the 1930’s and 1940’s; M. Vangsaa. M. Schan-ne. and F. Schaufuss in the I940*s and 1950’s; and K. Simone. H. Kronstam. A. Lærkesen. N. Kehlet, P. Martins. F. Bjørnsson and others from the I950’s to the early I970’s. Annual dance festivals have been held since 1950.


Klassiki khoreografii. Leningrad-Moscow. 1937. (Sec article on Bourbonville and excerpts from his memoires.)
Kragh-Jacobsen. S. The Royal Danish Ballet. Toronto, 1957.

In the Middle Ages the art of theater was represented by the school theater—performances staged by students of Latin schools, and genres typical of the Western European theater of that time, such as morality and mystery plays. The professional theater was born in the I720’s, in the period of the early Enlightenment. The first national theater, the Danish Stage, was founded in Copenhagen in 1722. The development of the theater owes a great deal to L. Holberg’s dramaturgy, which was to educate many generations of actors. In 1770 this theater was renamed the Royal Theater. In the 18th century the theater’s repertory included Holberg’s comedies: J. Ewald’s dramas, with plots from history and mythology; and plays by Voltaire. Molière. P. A. de Beaumarchais. R. Sheridan, and G. E. Lessing. The national art of acting was developed by G. Londemann.M. U.Hortu-lan, N. Clementin. C. Walther, K. A. Gjelstrup. J. P. Frydendahl. M. Rosing, and others. In the early 19th century foreign dramaturgy dominated the stage, but the 1820’s already marked a new period in the development of the Danish theater, which was bound up with the establishment of national romantic drama, with works by A. Oehlenschlager, H. Hertz, and H. C. Andersen. J. C. Hostrup’s comedies of manners and J. L. Heiberg’s vaudevilles won great acclaim. J. L. Heiberg. N. P. Nielsen, J. C. Ryge, A. Nielsen, C. Rosenkilde, and J. L. Phister were outstanding actors of that time.

The last quarter of the 19th century was marked by numerous productions of H. Ibsen’s acutely critical and humanistic dramas, which provided a wide scope for the realist art of actors such as E. Poulsen and B. Hennings. In addition to the Royal Theater, several private theaters functioned successfully in Copenhagen (the Casino, 1848–1937; the People’s Theater, founded in 1857; and the Dagmar Theater, 1883–1937).

Throughout the first quarter of the 20th century the Danish theater was in a state of crisis, and naturalist and decadent plays dominated the repertory. However, a revival began already in the late 1920’s. leading to a flourishing of dramaturgy and the art of theater in the I930’s. The Workers’ Theater, the Social Theater, and the Betty Nansen Theater played a great role in this process. These theaters produced plays by young Danish and foreign authors and searched for new means of theatrical expression. The revival of the Danish theater was linked above all with the production of the socially critical and antifascist work of K. Munk, K. Abell. and C. E. Soya. The leading theater figures of this period were the directors and actors H. Gabrielsen. S. Be-sekow, P. Knutzon, B. Nansen, P. Reumert, B. Ipsen, C. Pontoppidan, A. Larssen, and J. Poulsen.

During the fascist German occupation (1940–45) theaters staged mainly national classics. After the liberation from the occupation they began producing new plays by K. Abell, K. Munk, C. E. Soya. L. Fischer, and H. C. Branner that depicted the events of the war years and the heroism of the fighters of the Resistance Movement and which were an indictment of collaborationism. In the 1950’s the theater suffered a crisis, and several dramatic companies broke up. In the 1950’s and 1960’s theaters staged mainly plays by contemporary Western European and American playwrights. Works of national and world classical literature are produced mainly by the Royal Theater, which is developing the traditions of realism. The plays of E. Knudsen and E. Bruun Olsen, which criticize contemporary bourgeois society, enjoy great popularity. The most outstanding actors are M. Wieth, H. Bentzon, E. Rode, B. Qvistgaard, P. Reich-hardt. B. Kjer, I. Brams, H. Virkner, L. Ringheim. H. Moritzen, E. M0rk, A. Villaume, B. Federspiel, G. Nørby, F. Helmuth, P. Kjærulff-Schmidt, O. Ussing, and A. Andersen. Very gifted comedians who perform in small variety theaters include K. Petersen, L. Broberg, and D. Passer.

The most prominent commercial theater in Copenhagen is the New Theater (founded in 1908), whose repertory includes classical works and plays by contemporary Danish and foreign authors. The Gladsaxe Teater (organized in 1964) is also well known. The New Skala (founded in 1912) produces plays of the lighter genres. The theater life of the 1960’s was characterized by the appearance of a great number of so-called small theaters (Fiol Teater. Comediehuset, Boldhus Theater, and others). There are also permanent theaters in Ålborg (founded in 1878) and Odense (founded in 1795); the theater in Århus (founded in 1900) has become especially popular—since 1966 its director has been E. Tiemroth. Denmark also has traveling theaters with temporary companies. Actors are trained at the State Drama School in Copenhagen, which was part of the Royal Theater from 1886 to 1967.


Gozenpud. A. A. “Datskii teatr.” In Istoriia zapadnoevropeiskogo teatra, vols. 2. 4. Moscow, 1957–64.
Hansen, P. Den danske skueplads, vols. 1–2. Copenhagen (1889–96].
Teatret på Kongens Nytorv: 1748–1948. (Copenhagen, 1948.)
Schyberg. F. Ti aars teater. Copenhagen, 1939.
Schyberg, F. Teatret i krig. Copenhagen, 1949.
Tilbageblik på 3O’erne: En antologi ved H. Hertel. vols. 1–2. Copenhagen, 1967.
Engberg, H. Teatret, 1945–52. [Copenhagen] 1952.
The Festival Arts: Danish Drama, Ballet, and Music. Copenhagen, 1958.
Kragh-Jacobsen, S. Teaterårbogen [1959–65], vols. 1–3. Copenhagen, 1960–67.

Several documentary films were shot in 1897. The first feature film. The Execution, was made in 1903. (L. P. Elfelt was the director of all these films.) The Nordisk Films Kom-pagni was established in Copenhagen in 1906. It produced short slapsticks, drawing-room dramas, and screen adaptations of works of national and classical literature. Many films were pioneering works in film directing and expressive acting, which made them popular at home and in other countries. The most prominent figures of the early, so-called classical. period in the development of Danish cinematography are the directors U. Gad, A. Blom, R. Dinesen, and Holger-Madsen and the actors A. Nielsen. V. Psilander. and O. Fønss. Between 1917 and 1920, Danish films were pushed out of the world cinematography market by German and American films. The greatest cinematographers emigrated to Germany and to the USA. Only the films directed by B. Christensen, A. W. Sandberg, and C. T. Dreyer stand out against the background of sentimental melodramas that constituted the bulk of film production at that time. The films directed by L. Lauritzen with the comedians H. Madsen and C. Schenstrtøm (Pat and Patachon) won wide acclaim. The films of the 1930’s were far removed from important problems of that time, and the professional level was low. During the fascist German occupation (1940–45) most of the films produced were screen adaptations, pseudosocial dramas, and low-grade comedy. The film Day of Wrath (1943, director C. T. Dreyer, based on a work by H. Wiers-Jenssen). which is filled with protest against the antihumanist dogmas of bourgeois morality, was an important event in the cinematographic art of this period. Since the liberation from the occupation, Danish cinematographers have produced films on the Resistance Movement and the conditions of children and adolescents in capitalist society, criticizing bourgeois liberalism and public passivity: examples of this include The Invisible Army (1945, directed by J. Jacobsen), Ditte, Daughter of Man (1946, based on M. Andersen Nexø’s work). Palle Alone in the World (1954; both films directed by A. and B. Henning-Jensen). The Word (based on K. Munk’s play, 1955, directed by C. T. Dreyer), and The Last Winter (1960, directed by E. Tiemroth). The development of Danish cinematography in the I960’s and the early 1970’s was held back by the competition of American and Western European films and the fragmentation of the production base. Most films produced are comedy entertainment. Only few film directors deal with socially significant problems and with deep dramatic conflict: these include H. Carlsen (Dilemma. 1963) and P. Kjærulff-Schmidt (Weekend, 1963, and The Two. 1964). The Danish school of documentary and short feature films (directors T. Christensen, A. and B. Henning-Jensen. and J. Roos and others) has become famous.

The Danish Film Museum was founded in Copenhagen in 1941. It is involved with the study and popularization of the art of cinematography and publishes a magazine Kosmorama (since 1954). Actors of the Royal Theater and other theaters play in films.


Sadul’.Zh. Vseobshchaia istoriia kino, vols. 2–3. Moscow. 1958–61.
Engberg. M. Den danske stumfilm, 1903–30. Copenhagen. 1968.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Official name: Kingdom of Denmark

 Capital city: Copenhagen

Internet country code: .dk

Flag description: Red with a white cross that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side, and that design element of the Dannebrog (Danish flag) was subsequently adopted by the other Nordic countries of Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Swe­den

National anthems: Royal anthem: “Kong Christian stod ved højen mast” (King Christian stood by lofty mast), lyrics by Johannes Ewald, original source of melody is unknown; national anthem: “Der er et yndigt land” (There is a lovely land), lyrics by Adam Oehlenschläger, music by Hans Ernst Krøyer

Geographical description: Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, on a peninsula north of Ger­many (Jutland); also includes two major islands (Sjaelland and Fyn)

Total area: 16,639 sq. mi. (43,094 sq. km.)

Climate: Temperate; humid and overcast; mild, windy winters and cool summers

Nationality: noun: Dane(s); adjective: Danish

Population: 5,468,120 (July 2007 CIA est.)

Ethnic groups: Scandinavian, Inuit, Faroese, German, Turkish, Iranian, Somali

Languages spoken: Danish, English, Faroese, Greenlandic (an Inuit dialect), German

Religions: Evangelical Lutheran 95%, other Christian (including other Protestant and Roman Catholic) 3%, Muslim 2%

Legal Holidays:

Christmas DayDec 25
Christmas EveDec 24
Constitution DayJun 5
Easter MondayApr 25, 2011; Apr 9, 2012; Apr 1, 2013; Apr 21, 2014; Apr 6, 2015; Mar 28, 2016; Apr 17, 2017; Apr 2, 2018; Apr 22, 2019; Apr 13, 2020; Apr 5, 2021; Apr 18, 2022; Apr 10, 2023
Good FridayApr 22, 2011; Apr 6, 2012; Mar 29, 2013; Apr 18, 2014; Apr 3, 2015; Mar 25, 2016; Apr 14, 2017; Mar 30, 2018; Apr 19, 2019; Apr 10, 2020; Apr 2, 2021; Apr 15, 2022; Apr 7, 2023
Maundy ThursdayApr 21, 2011; Apr 5, 2012; Mar 28, 2013; Apr 17, 2014; Apr 2, 2015; Mar 24, 2016; Apr 13, 2017; Mar 29, 2018; Apr 18, 2019; Apr 9, 2020; Apr 1, 2021; Apr 14, 2022; Apr 6, 2023
New Year's DayJan 1
Second Christmas DayDec 26
Store BededagApr 29, 2011; Apr 13, 2012; Apr 5, 2013; Apr 25, 2014; Apr 10, 2015; Apr 1, 2016; Apr 21, 2017; Apr 6, 2018; Apr 26, 2019; Apr 17, 2020; Apr 9, 2021; Apr 22, 2022; Apr 14, 2023
Whit MondayJun 13, 2011; May 28, 2012; May 20, 2013; Jun 9, 2014; May 25, 2015; May 16, 2016; Jun 5, 2017; May 21, 2018; Jun 10, 2019; Jun 1, 2020; May 24, 2021; Jun 6, 2022; May 29, 2023
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.


a kingdom in N Europe, between the Baltic and the North Sea: consists of the mainland of Jutland and about 100 inhabited islands (chiefly Zealand, Lolland, Funen, Falster, Langeland, and Bornholm); extended its territory throughout the Middle Ages, ruling Sweden until 1523 and Norway until 1814, and incorporating Greenland as a province from 1953 to 1979; joined the Common Market (now the EU) in 1973; an important exporter of dairy produce. Language: Danish. Religion: Christian, Lutheran majority. Currency: krone. Capital: Copenhagen. Pop.: 5 375 000 (2004 est.). Area: 43 031 sq. km (16 614 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005