Modern breakthrough 1830-1915


Personal freedom and economic progress

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In less than 100 years, from 1830 to 1915, Denmark changed completely. Change itself was nothing new, naturally, but the pace was new and practically everything changed, from the national government and economy to the dreams and physical appearance of the Danes themselves. In every sphere of life – from sex and faith in God to personal freedom – modern breakthroughs were the order of the day.

Jutland saw enemy invasions in 1848 and 1864. The battles that raged on Danish soil claimed many lives. The transformation from absolute monarchy to democracy in 1849 ushered in a new era. And the constitutional struggle at the turn of the century ended with the introduction of parliamentarism in 1901. In 1915, all adults were finally entitled to vote. Before that, men working as servants in other people's households, and all women were excluded from democracy.

Some were more equal than others
Under the absolute monarchy, all Denmark's inhabitants were the King's subjects. But not all were equal. Farmers, craftsmen and other manual labourers were peasants. Most peasants were poor, but even wealthy farmers and master craftsmen were looked down on by those with an education and by large landowners. The gaps between peasants and people of culture and between master and servant were so distinct that the peasants had to stand with their cap in hand as …

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