Singer-songwriter Björk, the best-known Icelandic musician. *Photo from Wikipedia
Icelandic National Day, celebrates the independence of Iceland from Kingdom of Denmark in 1944.
According to the ancient manuscript, the settlement of Iceland began in the year 874 AD when the Norwegian chieftain Ingólfr Arnarson became the first permanent settler on the island. In the following centuries, Norwegians, and to a lesser extent other Scandinavians, emigrated to Iceland, bringing with them thralls of Gaelic origin. The island was governed as an independent commonwealth under the “Althing”, one of the world’s oldest functioning legislative assemblies.
Following a period of civil strife, Iceland acceded to Norwegian rule in the 13th century. The establishment of the Kalmar Union in 1397 united the kingdoms of Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Iceland thus followed Norway’s integration to that Union and came under Danish rule after Sweden’s secession from that union in 1523. Although the Danish kingdom introduced Lutheranism forcefully in 1550, Iceland remained a distant semi-colonial territory in which Danish institutions and infrastructures were conspicuous by their absence.
In the wake of the French revolution and the Napoleonic wars, Iceland’s struggle for independence took form and culminated in independence in 1918 and the founding of a republic in 1944.
Iceland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean. According to the Global Peace Index, Iceland is the most peaceful country in the world, due to its lack of armed forces, low crime rate, and high level of socio-political stability.