(the Anglo-Saxons) and Danes from the area that should much later
be known as Schleswig-Holstein raided England after the Romans had
left it. They found the fertile land good for farming, and settled,
bringing their families over
(Karl der Grosse), Frankonian Emperor, defeated the north-elbian Saxons,
supported by his Slavonic allies who had settled in eastern Holstein
400 years before.
(Karl der Grosse) began to have fortified settlements built north
of the Elbe-River, beginning with Hamburg - which was never part of
Schleswig-Holstein. He drove several thousands of Saxonian families
out of their homeland, and made them settle in southern Germany (Bavaria,
of Christianisation of the pagan North, churches were built.
a thriving town that should later be rebuilt as Schleswig, was a
trading-post of European importance. Population: mainly Danes and
land north of the Elbe-River and Hamburg was raided and dominated
Danes and Obotrites, a Slavonic people from Mecklenburg. The Frankonians,
whose dominance in Germany was taken over by Saxonian rulers, tried
up their influence.
I. of Schauenburg was installed as Count of Holstein and Stormarn.
wisdom and perseverance, he and his heirs brought peace and Christianity
to Holstein. Many towns and churches were founded and built during
the rule of
the Schauenburgers. Dutchmen, Frisians and Westfalians were called
county, of whom especially the Dutchmen and the Frisians were experts
dyking, and in turning marshes and moors into fertile land and safe
They came as colonists, stayed and settled, mixing with the native
The Slavonic people in eastern Holstein were gradually integrated
with the help of the Bible, patient colonisation, and mainly the sword.
remained under Danish rule, with a mixed population of Danes and Germans.
Hamburg, Luebeck and Ratzeburg fell into the hands of the expansive
Danish Kings, Knud (- 1202) and Waldemar II., who ruled from 1202
of Bornhoeved. A decisive battle amongst several that had been fought
before.Holstein was reconquered, and the Danish policies of expansion
period may be called "struggle for dominance in Schleswig",
Danes and Germans claiming and negotiating their rights.
"Black Death", the bubonic plague, haunted Denmark and the
duchies. Especially the west coast and the islands were afflicted.
Of an estimated population of 420 000 souls in both duchies in 1340,
there were only 230 000
left in 1353.
and Schleswig united under Adolf VIII. of Schauenburg, the last of
of Ripen: the Danish King Christian I. was installed as Duke of Schleswig
and Count of Holstein. He had to grant privileges to the knighthood
of the two
to their people. Apart from that and before all, he vowed that Schleswig
and Holstein should remain forever undivided.
became a duchy.
Battle of Hemmingstedt. The Duke of Holstein, King Hans of Denmark,
attempted once again (after his predecessors had failed in 1319 and
in 1404) to bring the renitent Dithmarscher population under his yoke,
to make them pay their dues. He had hired 4000 fierce mercenaries,
the Black Guard, who were followed by 2000 knights of all noble houses
of Schleswig, Holstein and Denmark, and another 5000 armed subjects.The
Dithmarschers, highly outnumbered, battled for their independence
once more, and did so successfully, for the last time.
last feud. The King of Denmark came with an army of 18 000 well armed
followers and took the country. The Dithmarschers had to acknowledge
his reign, and to give up their old parliamentary system of self-administration.
Thirty Years' War brought devastation over Schleswig, Holstein and
vast parts of Europe. The German Emperor sought to reinstall the Catholic
Belief in all of Germany, after Protestantism according to Martin
Luther's doctrines had spread over most parts of northern Germany
during the bygone century. What had started off as a religiously motivated
crusade turned into a European war, with shifts of power and territorial
changes in the end. Schleswig and Holstein were afflicted by heavy
looting, and also by diseases the passing troops were the carriers
of, especially the bubonic plague once again. Those who survived fled
from their farms. It took a long time until Schleswig and Holstein
had recovered from that cruel war.
North Sea coast and islands were destroyed by a tremendous flood that
tore apart everything that hard-working Frisians and Dithmarschers
had built to protect their land from the sea's destructive force.
The large island Nordstrand was washed into the sea, leaving only
two small fractions to exist after the deluge. Of the 8 600 inhabitants,
only a quarter survived.
Nordic War between Sweden on one side and Denmark, Poland and Russia
on the other, saw Schleswig and Holstein as a battlefield again. Marauding
troops devastated large parts of the duchies.
times, for a change. Reformation of the archaic structures in farming:
fields that had been used by all villagers were split up into individual
property, and the whole territory belonging to a village was restructured,
into larger units and with new roads. Moors and bogs were colonized
by settlers from southern Germany, who also introduced the potatoe
as a staple food into Schleswig-Holstein, where people had been used
to live of buckwheat, oats, and cabbage mainly.
was abolished in both duchies.
Friedrich (Frederic) VI. of Denmark had opted to join arms with Napoleon,
the expansive-minded French ruler. The war had brought the economy
to the ground, and the Kingdom was bankrupt. Whose riches were counted
in bankdrafts or cash
money, he became a poor man in 1813. And Prussian, Swedish, and Russian
troops invaded Schleswig-Holstein, bringing destruction over the duchies.
did not leave until December 1814.
Duchy Lauenburg came under Danish rule (the Danish King became Duke
League" (der Deutsche Bund) was established, Holstein part
but remaining under Danish rule (the King of Denmark was the Duke
He represented Holstein in the German National Assemblies. He was
also the Duke of Schleswig, but Schleswig was not part of the "German
and patriotic activities on both sides of the Eider-River, mainly
the status of Schleswig, which was the focus of interest of Germans
and Danes likewise.
Danish King granted the Duchy Holstein the right of a constitution
of its own, and, under strong patriotic and nationalist influence,
decided that the Duchy Schleswig should have a constitution that was
valid for the whole Danish Kingdom, with Schleswig part of it. That
would have eased the long-standing union of the two duchies apart,
by way of political and administrative means. The duchies installed
a provisional government of Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel, under the
German flag and under the colors of hope for a united German Schleswig-Holstein:
the new flag in blue, white, and red.
and war against Denmark. Schleswig-Holsteiners fought along with many
volunteers of all Germany, and a very strong Prussian contingent.
Denmark came out victorious at the end. Many casualties on both sides.
forced the Danish language upon large parts of Schleswig, to be spoken
in schools, at court, and in church (in turns with services in German).
pro-German officers from the army, of pastors and teachers, of functionaries
public office. Many Schleswig-Holsteiners opted for emigration under
oppressive circumstances, hoping to find in America or Australia what
not find here.
and Austrian troops marched into Holstein to secure German interests.
imposed the all-Danish constitution upon the Duchy Schleswig. Conflicting
views about the rightful succession for the office of the Duke of
Schleswig. Prussian and Austrian troops fought the war with the duchies,
driving the Danish army out of Schleswig-Holstein. With the Treaty
of Peace of Vienna,
the Danish Kingdom renounced all claims and rights in the duchies
Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenburg. The people of Schleswig were given
the option of
choosing Danish citizenship within the following six years. Many made
use of that offer to avoid military service under Prussian conditions.
They became Danish subjects living in Prussia, without political rights.
under Austrian administration, Schleswig and Lauenburg under Prussian.
- Austrian War about dominance in the German League. Austria defeated.
All three duchies under Prussian administration. Universal conscription
was introduced, a three years term of service became compulsory for
(the latter officially in 1876) were integrated into the Kingdom Prussia.
The duchies were ruled from Berlin. The Schleswig-Holsteiners became
"Must-be-Prussians". The dream of a state of their own was
over. A rise in the number of emigrations ensued.
(Prussia, rather) at war with France.
foundation of the "German Reich" (das Deutsche Reich).
The duchies, now called "Regierungsbezirk Schleswig", as
a Prussian province, being part of it.
War One, Germany defeated. Denmark remained neutral.
of Peace of Versailles. It was decided that the northern German border
in Schleswig should be redrawn, taking into account the will of the
people, to be expressed in a referendum, with the choice of Danish
or German citizenship.
The new border
between Germany and Denmark was drawn as it still exists today.
There remained, however, Danish minorities living this side of the
line, as well as German minorities in Denmark, each with the privilege
of the use of their language and the cultivation of their national