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Denmark Constitution Day

by Vishal Kumar

Denmark celebrates its Constitution Day or ‘Grundlovsdag’ as it is called in Danish, on June 5. This day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the constitution of 1849, which…

Denmark celebrates its Constitution Day or ‘Grundlovsdag’ as it is called in Danish, on June 5. This day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the constitution of 1849, which made Denmark a constitutional monarchy, and laid out the framework of the Danish democracy.

The Danish society is rooted in the constitution of 1849, and its political system has been characterized by a multi-party structure. The constitution of 1849 defines the rights and privileges of the Danish citizens such as the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

The Constitution Day of Denmark also holds historic significance as voting rights for women were granted on June 5, 1915, and few decades later, in 1953, on this day the Danish constitution was adopted.

In Denmark, the Constitution Day comes closest to a national day. While it is marked with political speeches that refresh the goals and ideals enshrined in the constitution, this day also is an occasion for people enjoy a public holiday and the Danish summers.

Historic Overview

One of the world’s oldest monarchies, Denmark traces its roots back to the days of Viking Age and King Gorm. The term Denmark has been found on Jelling Stone, the eminent runestones, which was found around 900 AD. The history of Denmark has been particularly shaped by its geographical location between the North and Baltic seas. A power struggle developed between Sweden and Germany to gain control over the Baltic Sea, and Denmark found itself continuously enmeshed between the two.

Historically, Denmark exerted immense influence over most of Europe. Between the 8th and the 10th centuries, the Danish Vikings were fearsome conquerors. In 793 AD, the Danish Vikings landed on the Lindisfarne in the Northeastern coast of England, thus initiating what came to be known as the Viking Age. In the following years the Danes played a critical role in the Viking raids on Flemish and the trading stations in the French coast. The Danes gradually began inhabiting these areas.

The Danes embraced Christianity in about 960 AD, and Harald Bluetooth, was the first Christian king of Denmark. Between 1018 and 1035, England and Norway came under Danish control, but as Denmark broke out in civil war, it lost its dominion over them.

Over the years, many historic events shaped the character of this nation that peacefully became a constitutional monarchy in 1849, after European Revolutions of 1848. Its present size is the outcome of 400 years of forced abdication of land, and lost wars. Yet, in the modern day history Denmark holds a vital position as it became the founding member of United Nations and NATO.

 About Denmark

Located in Northern Europe, Denmark is the southernmost of the Nordic countries and is bordered by Germany. It comprises of two constituent countries —the Faroe Island in North Atlantic and Greenland in North America, both of which enjoy home rule. With its capital city at Copenhagen, Denmark has a population of 5,564,219, which comprises of 90 percent Protestants, and its dominant language is Danish.

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