Denmark (Dan. Danmark), the smallest of the three Scandinavian kingdoms, consists of the peninsula of Jutland and a group of islands in the Baltic, and is bounded by the Skager-Rak, the Cattegat, the Sound, the Baltic, the Little Belt, Sleswick, and the North Sea. The sale of the West Indies to the United States in 1902 was refused by the Landsthing.
Area in sq. m.
Pop. in 1901.
Islands in Baltic......
Peninsula of Jutland.......
Total of Denmark Proper......
W. Indies (SS. Croix, Thomas, John)
Total of Dependencies.......
The area of Denmark Proper - Jutland, and the islands of Zealand, Funen, Laaland, Falster, etc. - with that of the Faroe Islands added, and the population are somewhat greater than half those of Scotland. The population, with the Faroe Islands, was in 1870,1,794,723; in 1880, 1,980,259; in 1890, 2,185,235. Aarhuus, Odense, and Aalborg are, besides the capital Copenhagen (Kjobenhavn), towns with over 30,000 inhabitants.
Except in Bornholm (q.v.), the surface of Denmark is very similar in every part of the kingdom, and is uniformly low, its highest point (in south-east Jutland) being only 564 feet above sea-level. The coast is generally flat, skirted by sand-dunes and shallow lagoons, especially along the west side. Both the continental portion and the islands are penetrated deeply by numerous fjords, the largest being Limfjord, which intersects Jutland, and has insulated the northern extremity of the peninsula since 1825, when it broke through the narrow isthmus which had separated it from the North Sea. There are several canals. The centre and west of Jutland is nearly bare of wood, but in the other parts of the peninsula the forests, especially of beech, cover about 215,000 acres, and in the islands over 291,000 acres. Peat, which is got in abundance from the bogs, brown coal or lignite, and seaweed are the chief fuel. The climate is milder, and the air more humid, than in the more southern but continental Germany; it is not unhealthy, except in the low-lying islands, such as Laaland, where the short and sudden heat of the summer occasions fevers.
The soils of Jutland are generally light, but those in the south-east part and in the islands are stronger; about 80 per cent. of the area of Denmark is productive, and of the remainder about one-sixth is in peat-bogs. Nearly half the population is engaged in agriculture; the land for the most part is parcelled out into small holdings. A third of the whole kingdom is arable, while over two-fifths is in meadow, pasture, or fallow land. The raising of cattle is taking more and more the place of arable farming in Denmark. Dairy produce has largely developed, and the export of butter greatly increased, owing to improved methods and the cooperative dairy system. Machinery, porcelain and delf wares, and bricks are leading manufactures; beet-root sugar refineries are increasing, and the distilleries, though declining, are still numerous; there are ironworks, over eighty tobacco-factories, and several paper-mills; and there are many large steam corn-mills. Though the peasants still continue to manufacture much of what they require within their own homes, linens and woollens, as well as wooden shoes, are now increasingly made in factories. The principal articles of export are cattle, sheep, swine, butter, hams, hides, wool, grain, fish, eggs, meat, and wooden goods. Among the imports are textile fabrics, cereals, and flour, manufactures of metal and timber, coal, oil, salt, coffee, sugar, and tobacco. About two-thirds of the export trade is carried on in native vessels. The total value of the imports in 1890-1902 ranged from £17,057,000 in 1890 to £31,374,100 in 1902, and of the exports in the same period from £12,990,000 in 1890 to £24,918,800 in 1902. The bulk of the foreign trade is with Germany, Great Britain, and Norway and Sweden; the imports from Germany exceed those from Britain by about a third, whereas the exports to Britain are double of those to Germany. In 1905 there were 1900 miles of railway, and 3700 miles of telegraph.
Elementary education is compulsory for chil-dren between the ages of seven and fourteen. Copenhagen University has 1300 students. The established religion is Lutheran, to which the king must belong; but complete toleration is enjoyed in every part of the kingdom. Only 1 per cent. of the population (including about 4000 Jews) belong to other forms of faith. The government of Denmark is a constitutional monarchy, the king being assisted by a cabinet of seven ministers. The national assembly or Rigs-dag consists of the Folkething and Landsthing - the former partly nominated by the king, partly elected by the large taxpayers, the latter in the proportion of one to every 16,000 of the population, elected for three years by practically universal suffrage. The total revenue for the financial year 1904-5 was £4,248,112, and the expenditure £4,321,690. In the same year the net national debt was £13,596,900. The decimal system was introduced in 1875, the unit being the krone, or crown, of 100 ore; the average rate of exchange is 18 kroner to the pound sterling. The Danish army at peace strength is 824 officers and about 9000 men; the war strength is 1448 officers and about 60,000 men. All the able-bodied men who have reached the age of twenty-two are liable to serve eight years in the regular army and reserve. The navy comprises 9 armoured vessels, 6 cruisers and gun-vessels, 7 gunboats, and 34 first and second class torpedo-boats, manned by 266 officers and 1137 men.
The early history of Denmark is lost in the twilight of the saga-period, with its Vikings and their valiant deeds. The Danes coming from the islands occupied the lands deserted by the Jutes and Angles who had in the 5th century migrated to England. The Danish monarchy was founded in 936 by Gorm the Old, whose son became a Christian. Waldemar I. (1157-82) ruled Norway also, and conquered Mecklenburg and Pomerania; under his son Waldemar II. further conquests were made in German and Wendish lands, so that the Baltic became a Danish sea. By the treaty of Calmar in 1397, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, already under one monarch, Margaret, were formally united into one state. In 1448 the Danes elected as king Christian of Oldenburg, a descendant of their royal family, who was also Duke of Sleswick and Holstein; and his line continued on the throne till 1863. Sweden became independent in 1523. Lutheranism was introduced into Denmark in 1527. In 1815 Denmark had to cede Norway to Sweden; and in 1848 the Germanic peoples of 'the duchies,' Sleswick and Holstein, rebelled against Denmark. For the time the Danes succeeded in retaining the duchies, but the controversy, renewed in 1863, led to the defeat of the Danes by Austria and Prussia (1864), followed by the incorporation of the duchies in the Germanic Confederation, and, after the Austro-Prussian war of 1866, in Prussia.
See books about Denmark by Miss Otte (1882), by various specialists (1891), and by Miss Thomas (1902); Miss Brochner's Danish Life in Town and Country (1903); and histories of Scandinavia by Dunham (1835), Sinding (1858), Crichton and Wheaton (1872), Otte (1875), Nisbet Bain (1905).