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DENMARK

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Copenhagen

I arrived to Denmark from Berlin in a funny way. I travelled by train, but the train was introduced in a big boat for about two hours. When we arrived to the Denmark land, the train was taking out of the train and we continued ours trip by train.

Denmark has been one of the most expensive countries that I’ve never been. In the city there are an area named Christiana where you can find all kind of drugs and buy like was a grocery shop.

Denmark, is a country in the Scandinavian region of northern Europe. It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries. The mainland is bordered to the south by Germany; Denmark is southwest of Sweden and south of Norway. Denmark borders both the Baltic and the North Sea. The country consists of a large peninsula, Jutland (Jylland) and many islands, most notably Zealand (Sjælland), Funen (Fyn), Vendsyssel-Thy, Lolland, Falster and Bornholm as well as hundreds of minor islands often referred to as the Danish Archipelago. Denmark has long controlled the approach to the Baltic Sea, and these waters are also known as the Danish straits. The Faroe Islands and Greenland are autonomous provinces of Denmark with home rule.

Denmark is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. Denmark has a state-level government and local governments in 98 municipalities. Denmark is a member of NATO and the European Union, having joined the European Economic Community in 1973. Denmark has not joined the Eurozone.

Originally a seafaring nation relying on fishing, farming and trade, Denmark experienced steady industrialization in the 19th and 20th centuries. Denmark had the world's 3rd highest GDP per capita in 1970. Between 1970 and 1990 tax burden and regulation increased dramatically as Denmark adopted the Nordic model welfare state. After falling sharply behind in prosperity, unemployment and other indicators, Denmark took steps in economic liberalization in the 1980s and 1990s, including abolishing almost all job market regulation. Despite a heavy tax burden, the economy is otherwise quite free and Index of Economic Freedom ranks Denmark the world's 11th most free country (4th in Europe).

In 2006 and 2007, surveys ranked Denmark as "the happiest place in the world," based on standards of health, welfare, and education. The national capital and the largest city, Copenhagen, was ranked the third most liveable city in the world by Monocle magazine in 2007. The national language Danish is close to Swedish and there are strong links with Sweden. 83.0% of Danes are members of the Lutheran state church. About 9% of residents are citizens of other countries.

The kingdom is a unitary state with some power being devolved from Denmark to Greenland and the Faroe Islands; this federacy is referred to as Rigsfællesskabet. One of the results of this arrangement is that Denmark became a member of the European Union in 1973, while both Greenland and the Faroe Islands have opted to remain outside of the EU. A founding member of NATO and the OECD, Denmark is also a member of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). With a mixed market economy and a large welfare state, Denmark ranks as having the world's highest level of income equality. It has frequently ranked as the happiest and least corrupt country in the world. The national language, Danish, is closely related to Swedish and Norwegian, with which it shares strong cultural and historical ties. Denmark, along with Sweden and Norway, is part of the cultural region known as "Scandinavia".
For most of its history the attention of Denmark had been directed to the south. The Germans in the form of either the Hanseatic League or in the form of the rebellious minority population of the province of Slesvig had been demanding all the attention of the Danish Kingdom for centuries. However, by 1500, the Hanseatic League was in considerable decline. The rise of the Dutch nation as a sea power and its unrestricted trade with Scandinavia broke the monopoly of the Hansa. By 1614, 60% of all shipping passing through the sound between Denmark and Sweden was Dutch shipping. The problem of Slesvig was not so much resolved as it was over-shadowed by a larger problem, the rising power of Sweden.

Indeed, the religious Peace of Augsburg in 1555 served as a watershed in the history of Denmark. Instead of looking south to Germany as a threat, Denmark began to look to the north—toward Sweden as a worse threat. Like Denmark, most of Northern Germany began to be deeply concerned about the military threat posed by a strong Sweden. Thus, the various German states began to worry less about supporting the German minority population in Slesvig and began to concentrate on the Swedish threat. Accordingly, Denmark was free to turn her attentions to Sweden as well.

After Sweden permanently broke away from the Kalmar Union in 1523, Denmark tried on two occasions to reassert control over Sweden. The first was in the Northern Seven Years War which lasted from 1563 until 1570. The second occasion was the Kalmar War when King Christian IV attacked Sweden in 1611 but failed to accomplish his main objective of forcing Sweden to return to the union with Denmark. The war led to no territorial changes, but Sweden was forced to pay a war indemnity of 1 million silver riksdaler to Denmark, an amount known as the Älvsborg ransom.

King Christian used this money to found several towns and fortresses, most notably Glückstadt (founded as a rival to Hamburg), Christiania (following a fire destroying the original city of Oslo), Christianshavn, Christianstad and Christiansand. Christian also constructed a number of buildings, most notably Børsen, Rundetårn, Nyboder, Rosenborg, a silver mine and a copper mill. Inspired by the Dutch East India Company, he founded a similar Danish company and planned to claim Ceylon as a colony, but the company only managed to acquire Tranquebar on India's Coromandel Coast. Denmark's large colonial aspirations were limited to a few key trading posts in Africa and India.

In the Thirty Years' War, Christian tried to become the leader of the Lutheran states in Germany but suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Lutter. The result was that the Catholic army under Albrecht von Wallenstein was able to invade, occupy and pillage Jutland, forcing Denmark to withdraw from the war. Denmark managed to avoid territorial concessions, but Gustavus Adolphus' intervention in Germany was seen as a sign that the military power of Sweden was on the rise while Denmark's influence in the region was declining. Swedish armies invaded Jutland in 1643 and claimed Skåne in 1644. According to Geoffrey Parker, "The Swedish occupation caused a drop in agricultural production and a shortage of capital; harvest failure and plague ravaged the land between 1647 and 1651; Denmark's population fell by 20 per cent."

In the 1645 Treaty of Brømsebro, Denmark surrendered Halland, Gotland, the last parts of Danish Estonia, and several provinces in Norway. In 1657, King Frederick III declared war on Sweden and marched on Bremen-Verden. This led to a massive Danish defeat, and the armies of King Charles X Gustav of Sweden conquered Jutland, Funen and much of Zealand before signing the Peace of Roskilde in February 1658 which gave Sweden control of Skåne, Blekinge, Trøndelag and the island of Bornholm. Charles X Gustav quickly regretted not having destroyed Denmark completely; in August 1658 he began a two-year long siege of Copenhagen but failed to take the capital. In the following peace settlement, Denmark managed to maintain its independence and regain control of Trøndelag and Bornholm.
Denmark tried to regain control of Scania in the Scanian War (1675–79), but it ended in failure. Following the Great Northern War (1700–21), Denmark managed to restore control of the parts of Schleswig and Holstein ruled by the house of Holstein-Gottorp in 1721 and 1773, respectively. Denmark prospered greatly in the last decades of the 18th century because its neutral status allowed it to trade with both sides in the many contemporary wars. In the Napoleonic Wars, Denmark originally tried to pursue a policy of neutrality to continue the lucrative trade with both France and Great Britain and joined the League of Armed Neutrality with Russia, Sweden and Prussia.

The British considered this a hostile act and attacked Copenhagen in both 1801 and 1807, in one case carrying off the Danish fleet and burning large parts of the Danish capital. These events mark the end of the prosperous Florissant Age and resulted in the Dano-British Gunboat War. British control over the waterways between Denmark and Norway proved disastrous to the union's economy; in 1813 Denmark-Norway went bankrupt.

The post-Napoleonic Congress of Vienna demanded the dissolution of the Dano-Norwegian union, and this was confirmed by the Treaty of Kiel in 1814. Denmark-Norway had briefly hoped to restore the Scandinavian union in 1809, but these hopes were dashed when the estates of Sweden rejected a proposal to let Frederick VI of Denmark succeed the deposed Gustav IV Adolf and instead gave the crown to Charles XIII. Norway entered a new union with Sweden which lasted until 1905. Denmark retained its colonial empire; keeping the colonies of Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, and outside of Nordic colonies, Danish India from 1620 to 1869, the Danish Gold Coast from 1658 to 1850, and the Danish West Indies from 1671 to 1917.

The Danish liberal and national movement gained momentum in the 1830s, and after the European Revolutions of 1848 Denmark peacefully became a constitutional monarchy on 5 June 1849. After the Second War of Schleswig (Danish: Slesvig) in 1864, Denmark was forced to cede Schleswig and Holstein to Prussia, in a defeat that left deep marks on the Danish national identity. After these events, Denmark returned to its traditional policy of neutrality, also keeping Denmark neutral in World War I.
Following the defeat of Germany, the Versailles powers offered to return the region of Schleswig-Holstein to Denmark. Fearing German irredentism, Denmark refused to consider the return of the area and insisted on a plebiscite concerning the return of Schleswig. The two Schleswig Plebiscites took place on 10 February and 14 March 1920, respectively. On 10 July 1920 after the plebiscite and the king's signature (6 July) on the reunion document, King Christian X rode across the old border on a white horse, and Northern Schleswig (Sønderjylland) was recovered by Denmark, thereby adding 163,600 inhabitants and 3,984 km². The reunion day (Genforeningsdag) is celebrated every year on Valdemarsdag, 15 June.

Germany's invasion of Denmark on 9 April 1940 – code named Operation Weserübung – met only two hours of military resistance before the Danish government surrendered. Economic co-operation between Germany and Denmark continued until 1943, when the Danish government refused further co-operation and its navy sank most of its ships and sent as many of their officers as they could to neutral Sweden. During the war, the government was helpful towards the Danish Jewish minority, and the Danish resistance performed a rescue operation that managed to get most of them to Sweden and safety shortly before the Germans planned to round up the Danish Jews. Denmark also stopped most captured Jews and political prisoners from being sent to German camps by paying and supplying one in Denmark that had far better chances of survival for the prisoners. Denmark led many "inside operations" or sabotage against the German facilities. In 1944 Iceland severed ties to Denmark and became an independent republic, and in 1948 the Faroe Islands gained home rule.

After the war, Denmark became one of the founding members of the United Nations and NATO, and in 1973, along with Britain and Ireland, joined the European Economic Community (now the European Union) after a public referendum. The Maastricht treaty was ratified after a further referendum in 1993 and the subsequent addition of concessions for Denmark under the Edinburgh Agreement. Greenland gained home rule in 1979 and was awarded self-determination in 2009. Neither Greenland nor the Faroe Islands are members of the European Union, the Faroese declining membership in EEC from 1973 and Greenland from 1986, in both cases because of fisheries policies.

Despite its modest size, Denmark has been participating in major UN sanctioned, and often NATO led, military and humanitarian operations notably including: Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Korea, Egypt, Croatia, Kosovo, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and recently Libya. In 2009 Anders Fogh Rasmussen resigned as Prime Minister of Denmark to become the Secretary General of NATO.

Denmark political map:



Denmark Location map:

July 2003

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