Denmark, with Norway and Sweden, forms ancient Scandinavia. The country proper consists of only 14,780 square miles, and has 2,172,205 inhabitants. It is bounded on the west by the North Sea ; on the north-west by the Skager Rack ; on the east by the Cattegat, the Sound, and the Baltic ; and on the south by the Baltic and the German province of Schleswig. The State religion is Lutheran, though complete toleration is ex-782 tended to every sect. In 1880, only 17,526 persons did not belong to the Lutheran Church. Of this number 3,946 were Jews and 2,985 Roman Catholics.
The Government is an hereditary limited monarchy. Executive, the King and Ministry. Legislative, the Rigsdag, or Diet, composed of the Landsthing, or upper House, with sixty-six members, and the Folkething, or House of Commons, with 102 members. Elementary education is compulsory. The university at Copenhagen has about 1,300 students. There are also forty-five colleges and higher schools, and 2,940 parochial schools.
The climate of Denmark is generally cold and murky in winter. Copenhagen, the capital, is the chief city, with a population of over 300,000. King Christian IX. ascended the throne in 1863, at the age of forty-five years. He is very democratic in his habits, loves to mix with his people, and is one or the most beloved monarchs of Europe. King Christian is also remarkable for having his descendants on many European thrones. The King of Greece is his son, the present Czar of Russia is his grandson, and his daughter Alexandra married the Prince of Wales, and is consequently now the Queen of England.
Outside of her home territory Denmark owns the islands of Iceland and Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and some of the smaller West Indies. These added to the home territory increase its square miles near ten times, but augment its population only about 120,000 souls.