Iceland Could Have Become German Colony in 1864 Skip to content

Iceland Could Have Become German Colony in 1864

According to secret documents which Queen Margrethe II of Denmark recently gave the author Tom Buk-Swientys access to, King Christian IX of Denmark offered King Wilhelm I of Prussia to make Denmark part of the German Confederation in 1864. If he had accepted the offer, Iceland would have become a German colony.

There is a statue of Christian IX outside the Government Offices of Iceland. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The Danish King’s offer—which apparently did not sound appealing to the King of Prussia—is considered a desperate attempt to prevent the Danish Kingdom from losing Schleswig and Holstein to Germany after a defeat in 1864, mbl.is reports.

According to Danish newspaper Politiken, King Christian IX did not consult his government before making the offer to the Prussian King and so it borders on treason.

The King’s arguments were that although Denmark would lose its sovereignty by becoming part of the German Confederation, Schleswig, where he grew up, and Holstein would still be considered part of the Danish Kingdom.

It has earlier been revealed that Denmark was prepared to trade Iceland for Schleswig in agreements with Prussia and Austria in the summer and autumn of 1864.

Christian IX was the King of Denmark and Iceland from 1863 to 1906. During his reign Iceland received its constitution in 1874 and home rule in 1904.

There is a statue of King Christian IX giving Iceland its constitution in front of the Government Offices on Laekjargata.

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