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The Denmark of today was only a small part of the huge kingdom which Christian III took over in 1536 after victory in the civil war At that time Denmark included Scania Halland Blekinge Gothland and Oesel Furthermore Norway and its extensive North Atlantic possessions witch was the Faroes Iceland and Greenland this had formed a personal union with Denmark since the Kalmar Union was established in 1397 The section concerning Norway in Christian IIIs coronation charter emphasised that Norway was as much part of Denmark as Jutland Also the Oldenburg monarch was Duke of Holstein and also Duke of Schleswig which was under an oath of fealty to the Danish people The period between 1536 and 1720 saw many changes Economically and socially the period can be divided into two halves The 16th century was a period of boom but around 1600 a trade crisis set in The crisis deepened during the following decades and became a long-term slump which only began to slow down around 1740 Christian IIIs coronation charter had given the Rigsrad a final say in the affairs of the kingdom The dominance of the aristocracy lasted until 1660-61 when absolute monarchy was established in line with other European kingdoms Great changes took place in the structure of society and the schism within the clergy in 1536 which resulted in the Lutheran State Church Both in church and in school Danes were instructed in the new creed and turned into loyal subjects Foreign policy was dominated by the rivalry with Sweden and problems concerning access to the Baltic caused by Denmarks geographical location Sweden had left the Kalmar Union in 1523 and was inte nt on challenging Denmarks leading position in the North The position of the duchies within the monarchy was a central issue from the beginning of the century until 1864 In 1815 almost a third of the total population of Denmark and the duchies
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