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The Danish Revival



Prologue

Part One - First Blood


Part Two - What Lies Beyond


Part Three - There and Back Again

Part Four - Paradise Misplaced


Part Five - Brother Against Brother




Prologue

1. Danish History AD 400 - 1066

The origins of modern Denmark can be traced back to the fifth century, during the times of the Hunnic invasion from the east. The King Frode’s exploits are mentioned in Gesta Danorum (“Deeds of the Danes”), written in the twelfth century by the monk Saxo Grammaticus. According to legend Frode raised a massive army composed of soldiers from many of the conquered lands and delivered a huge blow to the Hunnic army.

Meanwhile, the Angles, the Jutes and the Saxons were busy conquering England, at various times fighting the Picts and Britons. Eventually they were triumphant, and for the next few centuries the Danes would have a very strong presence in the British Isles, especially with the coming of the Viking raiders in the eighth century.

The Vikings were fearsome warriors, famed for their savagery and brutality. Although they were to raid all the way down to the Iberian peninsula they concentrated their attacks on Britain, most notably Lindisfarne. This attack on a most holy island in the Kingdom of Northumbria sealed the Viking’s reputation as merciless and Godless barbarians, with the incident being recorded in the Anglo-Saxon chronicle. While this biased source is most likely highly exaggerated it is certain that Lindisfarne was a site of a Viking invasion, and a particularly brutal one at that.

Crucial to the Viking’s ability to perform successful raids were the famed Longships, designed so as to allow for swift and easy movement across the sea and even upriver. The Battle of Maldon (991) is testament to this, with Longships sailing up the river Blackwater so as to pillage Northey Island near the town of Maldon.


The Viking longship.​

The Vikings do have a certain reputation for being mindless frenzied killing machines, which is not entirely fair. The Berserkers, it is true, rightly have a reputation for being insanely aggressive (berserk), but many Vikings were peaceful and agrarian, as shown by the many settlements throughout Britain, Ireland and Northern France. Many of the former raiders settled down as farmers, especially in Northern Scotland, the East coast of England (the “Danelaw”) and the Dublin area of Ireland.

Indeed, Danish control over much of England was consolidated under the rule of King Sweyn Forkbeard, whose son Canute was to rule a vast kingdom consisting of Denmark, England, Norway and parts of Germany. However, upon Canute’s death the kingdom fell apart, with his son Harthacanute taking power in Denmark while Harold I was crowned King of England due to Harthacanute being "forsaken because he was too long in Denmark".


King Canute​

The crowns was briefly reunited under Harthacanute in the late 1030s. So unpopular was his reign that he invited his half-brother Edward (the Confessor) to co-rule, eventually to become king when Harthacanute died in 1042. The Saxon line was to rule in England until the Norman invasion of 1066, where to some degree at least Vikings regained power, or at least descendants of Vikings. From this time on Denmark had no influence in England, but still remained a powerful force in Scandinavia.

Next: The rise and fall of the Kalmar Union
 
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Hello everyone, welcome to my second AAR for Victoria. As you may have noticed this will be a Danish AAR, as there hasn't been one for quite a while. Hopefully it will be a bit more successful than my abortive Irish AAR. I will start with a brief overview of the history of Denmark, just to give some perspective to the position Denmark starts in in 1836.

EDIT: I'll be playing 1.03c with a couple of my own modifications (reduced Korea's population to 14,000,000 and added some POPs to Fogaras) on Hard/Aggressive
 
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unmerged(24320)

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The Danish Revival


2. The Rise and Fall of the Kalmar Union 1066 - 1523

The latter half of the 11th century saw little action of note for the history of Denmark outside of Scandinavia, although domestically the nation was set for a turbulent and unsettled period of her history. Upon King Svend Estridson’s death in 1074 the kingdom was divided between his sons. The parliament, known as the Thing, supported Knud, who was later to be murdered in 1086 at the hands of the rebellious Jutes.

The various regions of Denmark had always maintained some degree of identity, the kingdom consisting of Jutland, Zealand and Scania. When, in 1137, there was a dispute as to who should be king a civil war broke out. This lasted until 1157 when Valdemar the Great became King, rebuilding and reunifying the war-torn country. In the 1160s Valdemar conquered Pomerania, at that time occupied by the pagan Wends. The Wends were converted to Christianity and were subject to Danish rule, this being the first time Denmark controlled non-Scandinavian territory since the rise of the bastard William de Normandie in England. Denmark had managed to emerge from a terrible period of its history intact, and what’s more much strengthened.

However, Denmark had not yet reached it’s medaeval zenith. Upon Valdemar’s death he was succeeded by his eldest son Canute VI, who was to die childless in 1202. Valdemar the Conqueror became king in 1202, and was to bring the Danish kingdom to new heights. He is especially notable for his Baltic crusades, culminating in the great victory at Reval against the Northern Estonians in 1219. According to legend a white cross upon a red flag fell from the sky during the battle, and was from that day became the Danish flag of today (known as the Dannebrogen). Unfortunately for Valdemar he was to lose the Baltic territories directly south of Scania after he was captured by his vassal the Count of Schwerin and was released on the condition that he would give up his lands in North Germany. However, he was able to hold on to Estonia.


The Dannebrogen

For several centuries Scandinavia had been divided between the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and although there had often been times when one king had ruled two at the same time they had always remained separate, especially Denmark and Sweden (Norway had always been very Danish influenced). In 1389 Queen Margrethe I of Denmark signed the Union of Kalmar after a combination of Danish and Swedish troops defeated the Swedish King Albert of Mecklenburg. Albert was required by the terms of the peace treaty to pay 60,000 silver marks within three years, but failed to do so. Queen Margrethe was able to place her nephew Eric of Pomerania on the Norwegain throne, who was then elected king of the other two Scandinavian kingdoms in 1397. The Kalmar Union was born, with Scandinavia united under one king. The actual kingdoms themselves remained intact, but not independent.


Eric of Pomerania, King of Norway, Sweden and Denmark.​

The union, however, was doomed. Sweden grew impatient with the Danes constant wars against the cities of the Hanseatic League, as well as the introduction of a duty on goods through the Oresund. As a result the Swedish economy suffered far more than that of Denmark, and it was not long before Sweden was in open rebellion against the Danish crown. The rebel leader Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson managed to destroy Danish authority in Sweden, and the Union remained only in name. The Union's death knell was to come in 1523 after the “Stockholm Bloodbath,” which came after the Danish king Christian II successfully invaded Sweden in 1520 in an attempt to restore Danish authority over its vassal. The Swedes once again rebelled, and independence was proclaimed with the election of King Gustav I Vasa in 1523.


Christian II of Denmark.​

Sweden was now no longer tied to Denmark. However, Norway remained in Union with Denmark, and was to remain so for three hundred years.

Next: War and More War in the Nordic Lands
 
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Katapraktoi

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Nice one, I love when there is a bit of history behind the nation that is about to be played in the AAR. Even though Denmark is a neighbouring country I don't know so much about its history, just the parts that are essential to the history of Sweden. I gota question off-topic though; that flag you are showing, the Danish flag, isn't it called Dannebrogen instead of Danneborgen? Or is it called Danneborgen in Danish and Dannebrogen in Swedish perhaps? Enlighten me if you have the correct answer please, I'm quite curious about this! :) Good luck on your AAR and keep going, you're doing good so far I think.
 

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katapraktoi said:
I gota question off-topic though; that flag you are showing, the Danish flag, isn't it called Dannebrogen instead of Danneborgen? Or is it called Danneborgen in Danish and Dannebrogen in Swedish perhaps? Enlighten me if you have the correct answer please, I'm quite curious about this!
I have to admit I'm not sure. My knowledge of Danish history is fairly limited and most of what I've written so far is from various websites, reworded of course. I'll look into it.

EDIT: Yep, you're right, it is Dannebrogen.
 

unmerged(22087)

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Is there any reason why all the Scandinavian flags are so similar to one another? Which state decided to use the "sideways cross on a solid background colour" first and how did the other variations come to be?
 

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Mettermrck: Thanks for reading :)

GuyB: That is actually a rather difficult question to answer. As far as I know Denmark was the first country to use the Scandinavian Cross with the other Nordic countries following adopting it later. The true origin of the Danish flag itself is unknown, what with the various myths and legends that surround it. In short, I don't exactly know. :eek:o
 

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Excellent another fiftypence AAR.

*Settles in with wenches in tow, subscribes*
 

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BBBD: Good to have you on board!

weychun: I will specify my goals and aims once the history bit is finished, although I will say now that I don't want to form Scandinavia. I want to remain as Denmark. If, for some reason, I do form Scandinavia, then I will make sure to change its colour from Swedish blue to Danish red!
 
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The Danish Revival


3. War and More War in the Nordic Lands 1523 - 1648

With the dissolution of the Kalmar Union the Scandinavian peninsula entered a period of bitter conflict, mostly struggles between Denmark and Sweden, but also including the likes of Russia, Poland-Lithuania and the German Electors. The next few centuries were to see the decline of Denmark as a regional power, and the rise of their old neighbour Sweden who were to reach a level of power far beyond what the Danes were ever able to achieve even at their zenith.

Denmark had always had a strong Hansa influence, and the key trading cities of Mecklenburg, Lubeck and Hamburg among others were the main source of Danish trade and wealth. Copenhagen, although not a Hansa city, was an important trading centre for Hansa merchants, and thus the cities of the League had always had leverage with regards to Danish affairs. This sometimes even included the election of kings (they had a direct say in the elction of King Oluf III in 1376). However, the early 16th century was to see the beginning of one of the most turbulent periods in European history. In 1517, a dissatisfied pastor named Martin Luther famously nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, an event that was to lead to the Catholic Church’s total fragmentation, the Reformation.


Martin Luther. Liked theses.​

The vast majority of the Hansa cities converted to Luther’s Protestantism, a notable exception being the Bishopric of Cologne that decided to remain loyal to the Pope (Cologne had always been something of the Black Sheep of the Hansa cities, and this did nothing to improve their position). In 1526 the Hansa were able to persuade the Danish church to split from Rome, resulting in the Catholic King Christian II being exiled from Copenhagen. The Germans made sure that the protestant King Christian III was elected, and he was to reign peacefully until the outbreak of Denmark’s last civil war, the Grevefejden (“The War of the Counts”) in 1534.

Unfortunately for Christian III the exiled king Christian II had been popular, and had much support from various groups, including the Catholic church who very much desired to see Papal authority restored in Denmark. This could possibly serve as a way of countering the strong, Lutheran Hanseatic League. In 1534 Christian II led a revolt against Christian III, in a civil war that was to last until 1536 and was to be decisive in the future of Christianity in the Kingdom. In the end it was the Protestants who triumphed, and Denmark has remained staunchly Lutheran to this day. Despite the result the war resulted in a sharp decline in Hansa influence in Danish domestic politics. Since the Reformation the Hanseatic League had become less and less influential in general, as social unrest and upheaval in the various cities led to a loss of authority. The Hansa needed to concentrate on holding itself together, and do Danish politics became only a secondary concern. Alongside that the League now faced increasing competition from Dutch and English merchants, all factors that led to the decline of Hansa influence in Denmark, and indeed the decline of the Hansa itself.


Some typical Dutch merchants​

Denmark was to remain peaceful and prosperous for the rest of the 16th century, although the 17th was to see the rise of a new power in Scandinavia, Sweden, very much at the expense of Denmark. The religious equilibrium in the Holy Roman Empire, established at the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, had been fragile and did not provide a permanent framework for religious settlement. The rise of a new form of Protestantism, Calvinism, was not covered by Augsburg, and Protestants in northern Germany continued to seize catholic property. Distrust between the Pope and the Protestants within the Empire led to the creation of the Catholic League led by Bavaria and the Protestant Union led by the Prince Frederick V of the Palatinat, and armed conflict between these groups was to result in the most widespread and far reaching war that Europe would see until the 20th century.

The Danes played a fairly prominent role. King Christian IV, in defence of his north German possessions invaded southwards in 1624, but was heavily defeated by the armies of the Catholic League at Lutter by the General Tilly.


General Tilly​

The war was a disaster, and Denmark was to lose all her continental land south of the Jutland peninsula. The Swedes, however, were far more successful in their wars, occupying large areas of southern Germany and cementing her position in the north, under the command of the great king Gustav Adolphus. It was clear that no longer was Denmark the dominant force in Scandinavia, and this would be reinforced when later in the war the Danes fought the Swedes in a conflict that would result in the loss of Osel, Jamtland and Gotland to Sweden. In 1635 France entered the Thirty Years War and was supported by Swedish chancellor Oxiensterna, who was anxious to preserve Sweden’s position in Germany. Sweden completely overwhelmed the Danes, with the successful campaign of General Lenart Torstensson in 1643-1644 resulting in the conclusion of the war in 1645. The Thirty Years War officially ended in 1648 with the Treaty of Westphalia.


General Torstensson​

Next: It's a Swedish World
 
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RossN

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Very interesting and indept. I'm really enjoying the history part actually, which I've gotten into a bit more recently (historical 'serious' AAR's that is, not Danish history in paticular).

Looking forward to this. :)
 

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This AAR will be very interesting.
Are you going to get yourself a colonial empire or are you just going to reconquer everything that is suposed to be danish ? ;)
Fiftypence said:
Next: It's a Swedish World
I think I'm going to like this part :D
 

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Great work, I really have no idea about Danish history so find this very interesting
 

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The Danish Revival


4. It’s a Swedish World 1648 - 1836

It was clear that the Danes were no longer the dominant force in Scandinavia after the Treaty of Westphalia, and this was a situation that Denmark was not prepared to tolerate. In 1658 the King Frederik III declared war on Sweden, which proved to be a big mistake. The Danes were totally outclassed by superior Swedish leadership, morale and firepower, and the treaty of Roskilde was reflective of this. Scania, Halland, Blekinge, Bohuslän, and Trøndelag went to the Swedes, although Trøndelag was to go back to Norway after a successful uprising in the region.

King Frederik III​

With the Swedes triumphant and the Danes humiliated the Scandinavian peninsula settled down into a period of peace, and in light of the defeat the Danish monarchy became hereditary in 1660. Traditionally the Danish king had been elected by high placed aristocrats, who had had a considerable influence over the government. With the introduction of the royal autocracy this influence inevitably declined, as Denmark became a far more centralised state with power consolidated in the monarch.

Things were, however, about to change. The war of 1658 had greatly hurt Denmark’s pride, and the loss of Scania especially had hurt. With this in mind the Danes tried to reassert their position in northern Europe by invading Scania in a war that was to last from 1675 to 1679. Unfortunately for the Danes they were unsuccessful, although thankfully they were not to lose any more territory to their Scandinavian neighbours.

The next war in northern Europe was to see the end of Swedish dominance and a partial resurgence of Danish power, as well as the rise of a new power in the region. In what has become known as the Great Northern War a coalition of Denmark, Poland-Lithuania and Russia was to fight Sweden alone in a conflict that would rage for the next twenty years. The war was a terrible defeat for the Swedes, who lost their Baltic possessions to Russia as well as Karelia. The Danes gained little, and really this war was far more a Russian than a Danish victory. However, Sweden were no longer top dog in Scandinavia.

The Russian Tsar Peter the Great​

Denmark was to take little interest in continental affairs for what remained of the 18th century. However, events in France were to have a profound effect of the fate of Denmark as well as the rest of Europe as the 18th century drew nearer and nearer to it’s conclusion. In 1789 revolution broke out in France which culminated in the execution of their king and the creation of the Directory, which under Robespierre was to preside over the Reign of Terror after the revolutionary ideals became less and less relevant to the reality of the situation. All of this was to lead to the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte in a series of events that would totally redraw the borders of Europe.

The early 1800s saw general war rage through Europe as Napoleon’s seemingly invincible armies swept through Europe. Denmark, seeing an opportunity, allied with the French. This, however, proved to be unwise. The country was to go bankrupt and lost Norway to Sweden in the Treaty of Kiel. Denmark was able to keep Iceland, Greenland and the Virgin Islands, but none of this made up for the terrible dent to their pride which they suffered. With Napoleon defeated and Europe at peace once again Denmark withdrew from international affairs, concentrating instead on establishing a strong industrial basis in what remained of the country. By 1836 Denmark was a shadow of her former self. But that, hopefully, was about to change…


Denmark's home provinces in 1836​

Next: A Meeting with Destiny
 
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unmerged(24320)

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Jan 5, 2004
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Fiftypence said:
weychun: I will specify my goals and aims once the history bit is finished, although I will say now that I don't want to form Scandinavia. I want to remain as Denmark. If, for some reason, I do form Scandinavia, then I will make sure to change its colour from Swedish blue to Danish red!
but, but, but, Swedish blue is such a nice colour! :D