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The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate.Denmark has an area of 42,924 km Denmark, Sweden and Norway were ruled together under the Kalmar Union, established in 1397 and ending with Swedish secession in 1523.Beginning in the 17th century, there were several cessions of territory to Sweden.In the 19th century there was a surge of nationalist movements, which were defeated in the 1864 Second Schleswig War. In April 1940, a German invasion saw brief military skirmishes while the Danish resistance movement was active from 1943 until the German surrender in May 1945.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.Most handbooks derive the first part of the word, and the name of the people, from a word meaning "flat land", The Nordic Bronze Age (1800–600 BC) in Denmark was marked by burial mounds, which left an abundance of findings including lurs and the Sun Chariot.The Danish Vikings were most active in the eastern and southern British Isles and Western Europe.They conquered and settled parts of England (known as the Danelaw) under King Sweyn Forkbeard in 1013, and France where Danes and Norwegians founded Normandy with Rollo as head of state.

They were later absorbed or ethnically cleansed by the invading Angles and Saxons, who formed the Anglo-Saxons.From the 8th to the 10th century the wider Scandinavian region was the source of Vikings.They colonised, raided, and traded in all parts of Europe.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.

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