Welcome to the Kingdom of Denmark
History of DenmarkDanish Kings:
- ?-? Helge
- 930-?: Olav / Ole den Frøkne
- 934-?: Knud 1.
- ?-?: Sigtryg / Sigerich
- 936-?: Gorm den Gamle (Gorm the Old)
- 944-980: Harald Blåtand (Harald Bluetooth)
- 980-1014: Svend 1. Tveskæg (Svend I Twinbeard)
- 1014-1018 Harald 2.
- 1018-1035 Knud 2. den Store (Knud II the Great)
- 1035-1042 Knud 3. Hardeknud
- 1042-1047 Magnus den Gode (Magnus the Good)
- 1047-1074 Svend 2. Estridsen
- 1074-1080 Harald 3. Hen (Harald III Weak)
- 1080-1086 Knud 4. den Hellige (Knud IV the Holy)
- 1086-1095 Oluf 1. Hunger (Oluf I Hunger)
- 1095-1103 Erik 1. Ejegod (Erik I Eternal Good)
- 1104-1134 Niels
- 1134-1137 Erik 2. Emune (Erik II Eternally Remembered)
- 1137-1146 Erik 3. Lam
- 1146-1157 Svend 3. Grathe, Knud 5. and Valdemar 1. den Store (Valdemar I the Great)
- 1157-1182 Valdemar 1. den Store
- 1182-1202 Knud 6.
- 1202-1241 Valdemar 2. Sejr (Valdemar II Victorius)
- 1241-1250 Erik 4. Plovpenning (Erik IV Plough pfennig)
- 1250-1252 Abel
- 1252-1259 Christoffer 1.
- 1259-1286 Erik 5. Glipping (Erik V Cutting)
- 1286-1319 Erik 6. Menved (Erik VI the Scarred)
- 1320-1326 Christoffer 2.
- 1326-1329 Valdemar 3.
- 1329-1332 Christoffer 2.
- 1332-1340 No Kings. See [anchorlink=rechist]recent history[/anchorlink], below.
- 1340-1375 Valdemar 4. Atterdag (Valdemar IV Happy Times, aka. the Cruel)
- 1376- Oluf 3.
Denmark is first mentioned in Roman writings, which speaks of barbaric tribes living beyond the dense woods in Northern Germania. Said tribes are believed to have included the Jutes, Cimbrers and Vender.
The term Denmark refers to the mythical figure of Dan, king of the Danes, who established his people as the leading tribe on the peninsula Jylland.
It is believed that Denmark was divided between various tribes, all under their local king of chief, and that Denmark remained divided untill around 900.
From here, the Danish history is one of plundering and military dominance. The Danish warriors, known as vikings, dominated the seas thanks to impressive skills in ship-building, and under loosely recognized Kings (who in reality rather were warlords, with no authority except when leading the plundering armies) the vikings become a force to be feared in all Europe.
It is during this period that Danes conquer England, and for time, ending in 1042, Denmark and England are ruled by the same man.
With the arival of Christianity in Denmark, this glorious period slowly comes to an end.
The time without Kings
Christoffer II (king of Denmark 1320-1326 and again 1329-1332) waged during his reign a seris of expensive wars in Germania, mainly with the goal of protecting his newly aquired status as duke of Rostock. To fund these wars, he was forced to raise new taxes, which were prohibited by his crowning agrement with the nobility. To get around this problem, he loaned vast amounts of money from the Hanseatic backed counts of Holstein.
After his death, the state is declared bankrupt, and as a result, the two men with most owed loans take Denmark as payment for their loans.
From 1332, Count Johann ruled east of the Belt, while Count Gerhard (the Bald) ruled Jutland and Fyn. Their reign was hard for nobility and peasantry alike, as they did not accept the nobilitys exception from taxation, and as their armies pillaged both peasantry and cities. Their goal was never a long-term rule of Denmark, but to get their loans and interest repaid.
Their cruel treatment meant that the population at large was against them.
Thus, the nobility, looking for a way to get rid of these foreign rulers, turned to Valdemar, son of the King Christoffer II.
King Valdemar IV Atterdag
After a series of unorganized rebellions, during one count Gerhard is murdered, and an organized war waged by Valdemar and supporting nobility on one side, against the combined armies of the Holsteiner counts, supported occasionally by Holsteiner and Hanseatic troops, a peace treaty is signed in Berlin april the 22th. King Valdemar Atterdag (Happy Times, also meaning Day Again), is forced to sell Estonia to the Teotuinic Order in 1346 to pay of the last Holsteiner Courts, and can finally start restoring Denmark.
This is done in a series of wars, including some against Danish nobility, who resents the kings involvment in the war of succession on Brandenburg, in which Valdemar supports his brother-in-law against an usurper, backed by the German Emperor.
These wars were expensive, and the nobility, fearing a return of the Kingless Times, force, by rebellions, the King to sign a constitution, in which the right to raise taxes were given to the [anchorlink=rigsråd]Rigsråd[/anchorlink] (Privy Council).
With the home secured, and with backing from the nobility to continue reconquest of previously Danish lands, but not engage in foreign wars, Valdemar conquered both Skåne and Gotland in 1361. However, Visby on Gotland was a member of the Hanseatic League, and 77 members of the Hansa declared war on Denmark.
After a crushing defeat, in which the kings only son died, Valdemar was forced in exile in 1367, but he returned in 1370, after signing the humiliating [anchorlink=stralsund]Treaty of Stralsund[/anchorlink].
King Valdemar died in 1375 on Gurre Castle. He had 6 children, but only one, Margrethe, was still alive at that time.
Oluf III (and Margrethe)
Even though Valdemar had promised Albrect III of Mecklemburg that his son, Albrect IV, should assume the Danish throne, said promise was not kept. The Danish nobility were not happy with a new German, the memories of the time without kings still to fresh, and Pommern and Sachsen-Lauenburg feared a to powerfull Mecklemburg with two Scandinavian crowns. As a result, the grandson of Valdemar, Oluf (son of Margrethe of Denmark and king Håkon VI of Norway) is elected king. Margrethe is to serve as his Guardian, allthough she is not given the official title of regent.
A mecklemburger army, trying to press their claim, lands in Denmark 1376, but [anchorlink=drost]drost[/anchorlink] Henning Podebusk manages to negotiate a peace.
In 1380, King Håkon of Norway dies, and Oluf inherits the Norweigen throne under the name Olav IV. He is now king of Denmark and Norway, with Margrethe, allready known in Norway as the Queen, without trouble assumes the role as his Guardian in both nations.