The Kingdom of Denmark is a Scandinavian Country in Northern Europe. It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, Southwest of Sweden and South of Norway, and border to the south by the Autonomous Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein. Denmark borders the Baltic and North Sea. The nation consists of the Jutland Peninsula and hundreds of islands that constitute the Danish Archipelago. One such island being Zealand, which is where the capital city of Copenhagen is situated.
History to 1821
Denmark is one of the oldest nations in Europe, established during the 8th century and established itself as a pre-eminent regional power in Northern Europe for much of the nation's history. It was the leading state of the Kalmar Union between Denmark, Sweden and Norway from 1397 until 1523. In 1536, during the Protestant Reformation, Denmark would officially become a Lutheran State. The rising power of Sweden, who broke with Denmark (known as Denmark-Norway) led to two unsuccessful wars to re-assert Danish control over Sweden (Northern Seven Years War, 1563-1570; Kalmar War 1611-1613). Further attempts to regain its influence led to their intervention in the Thirty Year War but their crushing defeat in the Battle of Lutter (27 August 1626) and subsequent pillaging of the Jutland Peninsula forced Christian IV of Denmark to sue for peace, signing the Treaty of Lübeck, which ended Denmark-Norway's role as a major power. Further wars throughout the 17th century would see unsuccessful attempts to curb Sweden's power and regain territory lost.
The Great Northern War, which saw Schleswig-Holstein as an ally of Sweden would lose part of the Duchy of Schleswig, which was annexed in 1721. The rest of the country would be brought in as a protectorate in 1773. Denmark would prosper greatly due to its neutral stance over the later parts of the 18th century, and continued to do so in the 19th century, until the Gunboat War dragged the Kingdom into the Napoleonic Wars on the side of Napoleon. Napoleon's defeat led to the dissolution of the long-lasting personal union between Denmark and Norway.
Liberalism and the Schleswig War
The Liberal and Nationalist movements in Denmark began to form during the 1820's and gained some momentum in the 1830's and 1840's. This was resisted by the predominantly conservative government. In addition to the Pan-Danish Liberal movement, there was an independent separatist movement going on in Schleswig-Holstein, a predominantly German nation that was in a personal union with the Kingdom of Denmark. The movement was sponsored by the chief two powers in the German Confederation, the Kingdom of Prussia and the Austrian Empire. This culminated in the Schleswig War, when the duchy attempted to absolve the union and join the Confederation. The war, which also included the Danes ally, Great Britain, would last for fourteen months before the Duchy would lose its autonomy. But Denmark, fearing war from Prussia, and with the loss of British support, accepted the Treaty of Frankfurt which allowed the Duchy to be restored under a joint Danish-German administration.