III. The Postclassical Period, 500–1500 > F. Europe, 461–1500 > 3. Western Europe and the Age of the Cathedrals, 1000–1300 > e. Scandinavia
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See Scandinavia)
e. Scandinavia
1. Denmark
c. 950–85
Harald II (Bluetooth), whose reign saw a steady advance of Christianity and expansion of Danish power over Schleswig, the Oder mouth, and Norway.  1
The kingship was of little importance until the reign of Sven I (Forked Beard). He defeated the Norwegians, Swedes, and Wends and conquered England (1013).  2
Canute II, the Great (Knut), Sven's son, was king of Denmark, Norway (1028), and England (1016–35), the first “northern empire.” Canute's conversion meant the conversion of his people. He imported priests, architects, and artisans from his English realm, and new influences spread from Denmark to Norway and Sweden. On his death, Norway broke away; England passed to Edward the Confessor. By the late 12th century, Arhurs and Copenhagen were sizable trading centers, exporting great amounts of fish, especially herring.  3
Under Waldemar I, the Great, the founder of the Waldemarian dynasty, a great expansion eastward took place at the expense of the Wends; Copenhagen was established as the capital.  4
Canute VI made conquests in (Slavonic) Mecklenburg and Pomerania.  5
Waldemar II (the Conqueror) led crusading expeditions into Livonia and Estonia (Reval founded), and penetrated the Gulf of Finland, making the southern Baltic a Danish lake (the second “northern empire”). This empire collapsed in 1223, and the advance was in fact more in the nature of a crusade than a permanent imperial expansion. The monarchy was now dominant, the nobles largely feudalized, the clergy (with royal grants) powerful, the bourgeoisie vigorous (fisheries and cattle raising), the yeoman class strong and independent.  6
Eric IV (Plowpenny), whose reign was taken up with civil war against his brothers Christopher and Abel.  7
ABEL was supported by his brother-in-law, the count of Holstein, and also by the Swedes and the city of Lübeck.  8
Christopher I. His effort to tax the Church opened a struggle that lasted nearly a century.  9
Eric V (Glipping). He was forced by the nobility to sign a charter, the Danish Magna Carta (1282), recognizing the national assembly and initiating the subordination of the king to the law. He continued the contest with the clergy, fought against dynastic rivals, planned expansion in Mecklenburg and Pomerania, and lost Scania and North Halland to Sweden.  10
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.