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Denmark was largely consolidated by the late 8th century and its rulers are consistently referred to in Frankish sources as kings (reges).
Under the reign of Gudfred in 804 the Danish kingdom may have included all the lands of Jutland, Scania and the Danish islands, excluding Bornholm.
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.
This is centred primarily on the prefix "Dan" and whether it refers to the Dani or a historical person Dan and the exact meaning of the -"mark" ending.
Denmark and Norway remained under the same monarch until outside forces dissolved the union in 1814.
The union with Norway made it possible for Denmark to inherit the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Iceland.
As attested by the Jelling stones, the Danes were Christianised around 965 by Harald Bluetooth, the son of Gorm.
It is believed that Denmark became Christian for political reasons so as not to get invaded by the rising Christian power in Europe, the Holy Roman Empire, which was an important trading area for the Danes.
A short note about the Dani in "Getica" by the historian Jordanes is believed to be an early mention of the Danes, one of the ethnic groups from whom modern Danes are descended.