Experiences of War and Nationality in Denmark and Norway, 1807-1815

TitleExperiences of War and Nationality in Denmark and Norway, 1807-1815
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsGlenthøj, Rasmus, and Morten Nordhagen Ottosen
Number of Pages327
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
CityBasingstoke, UK

This book explores the impact of the Napoleonic wars on Danish-Norwegian society and accounts for war experiences and the transformation of identities among the popular classes and educated élites alike. The united kingdoms of Denmark-Norway may appear to have been Napoleon's most loyal ally, but, as this study shows, this was only because they had nowhere else to go. Finding itself at war with Britain in 1807 and twice at war with Sweden, the Danish-Norwegian government clung to Napoleon in defense of the territorial integrity of the multi-national Danish state. Conversely, this only served to compromise its unity as war, blockade, economic disruption and famine bred resentment in Denmark proper, Norway and the predominantly German duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. Norwegians and Holsteiners increasingly questioned Danish rule, and in this process common Danish identity revolving around loyalty to the dynastic state gave way to new identities and separatist sentiments and, eventually, a Norwegian declaration of national independence in 1814.

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