The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate.
Denmark exercises hegemonic influence in the Danish Realm, devolving powers to handle internal affairs.More Anglo-Saxon pence of this period have been found in Denmark than in England.Denmark was largely consolidated by the late 8th century and its rulers are consistently referred to in Frankish sources as kings (reges).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.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.
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The union with Norway made it possible for Denmark to inherit the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Greenland.Beginning in the 17th century, there were several cessions of territory to Sweden.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.Danes enjoy a high standard of living and the country ranks highly in some metrics of national performance, including education, health care, protection of civil liberties, democratic governance, prosperity and human development.In the early 11th century, Canute the Great won and united Denmark, England, and Norway for almost 30 years with a Scandinavian army.
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Throughout the High and Late Middle Ages, Denmark also included Skåneland (the areas of Scania, Halland, and Blekinge in present-day south Sweden) and Danish kings ruled Danish Estonia, as well as the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein.
The Danish Vikings were most active in the eastern and southern British Isles and Western Europe.
They conquered and settled parts of England (known as the Danelaw) under King Sweyn Forkbeard in 1013, and France where Danes and Norwegians founded Normandy with Rollo as head of state.
From the 8th to the 10th century the wider Scandinavian region was the source of Vikings.
They colonised, raided, and traded in all parts of Europe.