Open Online Course in Danish History: A History of Denmark from the Viking Age to the 21st Century: Module 5: Absolute Monarchy, 1660-1814

Research output: Other contributionNet publication - Internet publicationCommunication

Abstract

Module 5: Absolute Monarchy, 1660-1814. Between 1660 and 1814, the political system in Denmark was transformed: from absolutism through divine right to absolutism guided by public opinion. This transformation was driven in large part by the strong state. The administration had been built up and strengthened so that it could serve the king and his political goals. This involved a professionalisation of the civil service but also a standardisation of legislation, administration, registration and a consolidation of the rule of law. In this way, the foundations for a modern administration were laid. The modern administration, supplemented by Enlightenment ideologies, increased trade in the colonies, while economic recovery from the 1750s created the basis for an urban, self-aware, political bourgeoisie. In the countryside, agrarian reforms slowly brought into being a politically conscious and active class of tenant farmers. In the year 1814 Denmark was a medium-sized European power with colonies. It was a weakened kingdom, but it was also a country that, in many ways, was prepared for the transition to constitutional monarchy that came thirty-five years later.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2023
Place of publicationAarhus University, Denmark
Publisherdanmarkshistorien.dk, Aarhus Universitet
ISBN (Electronic)978-87-975045-0-5
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Danish history
  • History of Denmark
  • Absolute rule

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