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An industrialised exporter of agricultural produce in the second half of the 19th century, Denmark introduced social and labour-market reforms in the early 20th century that created the basis for the present welfare state model with a highly developed mixed economy.The Constitution of Denmark was signed on 5 June 1849, ending the absolute monarchy, which had begun in 1660.
The union with Norway made it possible for Denmark to inherit the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Iceland.
Beginning in the 17th century, there were several cessions of territory to Sweden.
In the 19th century there was a surge of nationalist movements, which were defeated in the 1864 Second Schleswig War. In April 1940, a German invasion saw brief military skirmishes while the Danish resistance movement was active from 1943 until the German surrender in May 1945.
Denmark became a member of the European Economic Community (now the EU) in 1973, maintaining certain opt-outs; it retains its own currency, the krone.
It is among the founding members of NATO, the Nordic Council, the OECD, OSCE, and the United Nations; it is also part of the Schengen Area.
The remaining Jutish population in Jutland assimilated in with the settling Danes.