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Denmark has a rating of 92 on the Global Corruption Perceptions Index, making it the cleanest nation in the world. In addition, Denmark has the second highest life expectancy for any nation in Europe, second behind Norway at 82.5 years.
Although never actually part of the Roman Empire, Denmark maintained steady trade relations with the state for a large part of the time the two existed together. Based on archaeological discoveries in western Jutland, Denmark was heavily influenced by Celtic peoples and a small number of integrated post-Roman Anglo Saxons.
Denmark was officially established as a kingdom by around 850 A.D, with Horik I at its head. It went largely unchallenged in its area before the rise of Sweden around 970 A.D.
Formed in 1397, the Kalmar Union was a personal union between Denmark and the kingdoms of Norway and Sweden that lasted 226 years. Denmark was the lead governing body in this union, with the official capital situated in Denmark's largest city of Copenhagen.
The union was forcibly dissolved after Denmark claimed Norway as Danish territory without consulting with the Norwegian government. Norway stayed part of Denmark for the following 310 years, before it was annexed by Sweden due to pressure from Russia and the United Kingdom.
Early Modern Era and Interactions with Sweden
With the leaving of Sweden from personal union, Denmark launched several campaigns in the south to regain territory. This resulted, however, in the ceding of Skåne back to Sweden in 1644 after several invasions of the Jutland peninsula. Sweden established its dominance in Scandinavia during the Seven Years' War and later became the largest and most populous Scandinavian nation in the modern age. War reparations given to Denmark afterwards were used to build countless towns, cities and military forts.
Denmark's last colonial territory, Danish Estonia was given up to Sweden in 1650, as well as several small districts in Norway. Scuffles over land in Skåne followed as Sweden launched two sieges on Copenhagen at the end of the 17th century. Land borders between the two nations remained static until the annexation of Norway by Sweden.
Second Industrial revolution and the Great War
Note: This Section Contains a Point(s) of Divergence
Denmark became the constitutional monarchy it is today after the creation of a parliament on June the 5th, 1849. Similar to Switzerland, Denmark follows a strict policy of neutrality that has kept it out of all regional armed conflicts since 1807 after war with Prussia and Austria, in which Schleswig-Holstein was threatened with Prussian annexation, although these threats were never fulfilled.
The Great War had little effect on Denmark, although it was pressured by Austria to join the side of the Central, or Axis Powers, as were all neutral nations. Denmark did not provide any form of aide to either side and was never invaded because of this.
The territory of Iceland was a center of debate after the war, igniting the argument that it would be able to support itself as an independent nation. Denmark natives, however, were highly opposed to this idea. On the 13th of May, 1920, Danish parliament held a session to decide if Iceland would be allowed sovereignty from Denmark. The ruling was in favor of Denmark, however, stating that Iceland would remain part of the kingdom. Despite many protests and a large amount of outcry from Iceland, the issue has not been touched again since.
Almost all of the kingdom's population speaks Danish, with most immigrants speaking other languages. A recent increase in Prussian immigrants has caused a rise of German language speakers in the Jutland alone by 5%.