Power and resistance


A land of peace

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Question: in which country did the last regicide take place over 700 years ago? Where did the last civil war take place over 500 years ago? Where did national sentiment only arise in the 19th century? Where have first farmers, then workers been responsible for political reforms? Where are people generally happy? Where do power struggles take place in the civilised confines of parliament? Answer: Denmark.

Right up until the 19th century, Danish farmers felt much closer to their community or region than to the nation of Denmark. Craftsmen and merchants were a part of a northern European network. Only the Danish nobility's national sentiment has deep historical roots. For the majority of Danes, national identity wasn't a deep-seated sentiment.

Peaceful communities
Denmark has little in the way of national, ethnic or religious strife. No king has been assassinated since 1286. The last real civil war took place between 1534 and 1536. Here, class struggle between farmers and nobility was woven into the struggle between Protestantism and Catholicism. Protestantism in the form of Lutheranism prevailed.

Once the monarchies of northern Europe had established control of the Protestant churches after the Reformation they controlled the only organisation that had a presence in every village and town. Ministers preached obedience to the state and were…

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