Denmark Children’s Encyclopedia

Denmark Children’s Encyclopedia

A small country with a great wealth

When we speak of the Scandinavian ‘model’ (as the realization of a balanced economic, human and social development), we also speak of Denmark: resources used in the most rational forms, a territory that is a garden, strangers enchanted by the neatness and colors, a well-organized society, attentive to satisfying people’s needs and improving their living conditions

A wealth well spent

According to Directoryaah, the highest peak in Denmark reaches 172m. The Danish territory, however, is not flat and uniform: it is a succession of undulations, hillocks and hollows, very green and almost completely cultivated, and is made up of a large peninsula (Jütland) and about 400 islands. The Faeroe Islands in the North Sea and Greenland in America also belong to the kingdom. On the west coast of Jütland, a belt of shifting dunes opposes the storm surges; nothing can be grown here, even if the climate is temperate: only heather heath grows – beautiful during flowering.

The population lives almost all in numerous cities, sparsely populated except the capital Copenhagen ; the main ones are Aarhus, Odense and Aalborg. Agriculture, livestock farming and fishing, very modernized, are still fundamental; the country has no minerals, but has a very advanced industry. Denmark is among the states in the world with the greatest well-being and takes great care of the culture and health of its residents, with particular attention to children and teenagers.

A great story for a small country

The peninsula of Jütland and the surrounding islands were already inhabited in ancient times by Germanic populations (Cimbri, Angli, Frisi). Between the 10th and 11th centuries Denmark was unified and its population converted to Christianity; gradually the Danish ruling house extended its sovereignty over the entire North Sea and the Baltic. After a long period of internal weakness, dominated by powerful German cities and feudal lords, Denmark relaunched its expansionism in the Baltic and on the mainland (mid-14th century). In 1397 the union of the three kingdoms of Denmark, Sweden and Norway (on which Iceland also depended), confirmed the hegemony of the Danes in northern Europe. Starting from the 16th century, after the accession to the Reformation, the life of the town was characterized by some constants: the clash with Sweden, which after having risen up against the Danes would have fought three wars against Denmark for dominance in the North, reducing its ambitions; the struggle of the sovereigns against the privileges of the aristocracy; the troubled history of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein located on the border between Denmark and Germany. Ruled by the Danes since the Middle Ages, the two duchies passed to Germany in the first half of the twentieth century, with the exception of the northern part of Schleswig which remained in the hands of the Danes.

The modernization initiated in the country during the nineteenth century culminated in the reforms of the early twentieth century (vote for women, eight-hour working day). After the end of the Second World War, the Social Democratic Party ruled the country for a long time, which nevertheless experienced strong political instability and a heated debate on the process of European integration. A certain distrust of the population towards a united Europe led to the rejection of the single European currency in the referendum of 2000. The political elections of 2001 and 2005 saw a center-right coalition confirmed in power.

Denmark Children's Encyclopedia

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