Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
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Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
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DENMARK. We shall here consider successively the constitution. administrative organization, finances and resources of Denmark. I. CONSTITUTION. The Danish monarchy comprises the kingdom of Denmark, properly so called, the Faroe isles, to the north of Scotland; the island of Iceland, in the Arctic ocean; colonies in Greenland; and the three islands of Santa Cruz, St. Thomas and St. John, of the Little Antilles isles, in the West Indies.


—Denmark consists of the isle of Bornholm, in the Baltic sea, the islands of Zealand, the Fionian isles, and the peninsula of Jutland, containing altogether 14,553 square miles, with about 1,969,464 inhabitants. Besides these, the Faroe isles have 510 square miles, with 9,992 inhabitants; Iceland, 39,756 square miles, with 69,793 inhabitants; the three Antilles islands, 118 square miles, with about 38,000 inhabitants; and Greenland, 46,740 square miles, with 9,825 inhabitants.


—After the middle of the thirteenth century, at which time a Danish nobility was formed, Denmark had for several centuries a feudal constitution, very different, however, from that of France of Germany. The fiefs were merely personal, and were held more absolutely from the crown. In principle, the king should have been elected by the entire people; but, from the epoch above cited, his election passed into the hands of the council of the kingdom (rigsraad), composed of members of the nobility and clergy, appointed in fact, for the most part by the king himself, but who, nevertheless, restricted his power in many ways, especially by the solemn pledges they administered to him at the time of his accession, the clauses of which were stipulations for the benefit of the privileged classes. These engagements the king was obliged to sign and promulgate before his election.


—In 1536, when Protestantism was established in Denmark, the clergy lost all political influence, and fell to the rank of the other non-privileged classes, the bourgeoisie and peasantry. The state was thereby compelled to reform its institutions, in order to give to the state power the authority due to it. In 1660, under Frederic III., the ancient constitution was changed. The three inferior orders declared the royal power hereditary in the male and in the female line of the family of the reigning king, and conferred upon the king absolute sovereignty, so that the nobility lost their political prerogatives. This constitution is embodied in the royal law of Nov. 14, 1665 (lex regia), which law, although it was chiefly a family regulation of the dynasty, was, nevertheless, extended in fact to all the countries then subject to the king, and to all those which he acquired later. This extension of the royal power was expressed, first of all, in article 19 of the law itself, and was frequently admitted afterward. It was clearly approved, and even guaranteed, first by France and England, and afterward by Russia in the case of Schleswig, when, in 1721, king Frederic IV. confiscated that duchy to the crown, though a part of it had formerly belonged to the duke of Holstein-Gottorp.


—The royal law, of which we are speaking, remained the organic law of the state until king Frederic VI. established, by an ordinance of May 28, 1831, the provincial estates, to be consulted on all that concerns their civil interests, property, and changes in the taxes imposed and levied; but these estates received no power over the budget. There were four provincial assemblies; for the Danish isles, for Jutland, for Schleswig and for Holstein. In 1843 Iceland had a separate consultative assembly, under the ancient name of althing, which, despite the changes that occurred somewhat later in the rest of the kingdom, still exists under the same form. But this constitution of Denmark, under which the representative assembly had only a consultative voice, and which, besides, rested upon a basis none too liberal, since it required that both voters and candidates for office should be land owners, could not permanently satisfy the liberal tendencies then prevalent in Denmark, as in the other parts of Europe.


—In fact, in the month of March, 1848, Frederic VII., when about to succeed his father, Christian VIII., freely and spontaneously declared his willingness to grant a truly constitutional organization to that part of his states situated beyond the limits of the Germanic confederation. He promised at the same time to give to the institutions of Holstein a liberal development, similar to the German federal legislation; but the execution of these intentions was frustrated by the insurrection of that duchy. With the concurrence of an assembly convoked for this purpose he established a constitution for the kingdom of Denmark, which was promulgated under the name of the fundamental Danish law of June 5, 1849. This constitution, based upon the most liberal principles, was intended to extend to the whole of Denmark, including Schleswig. This, however, was rendered impossible by the insurrection of the duchies, which proposed to unite Schleswig and Holstein, and form of them a German state, with an exclusively agnatic succession, and which eventually should have only a personal union with Denmark. In 1850, when peace was re-established, the king of Denmark had to renounce his intention of immediately applying to Schleswig the fundamental Danish law of June 5, 1849. In promulgating the royal patent of Jan. 28, 1852, he announced his intention of making of the Danish monarchy an indissoluble unit (heelstat): all the countries belonging to the crown of Denmark were to have a common representation for general interests, without diminishing in anything the authority of the different provinces, such as Denmark, Schleswig and the German states, within the limit of their private interests. The great powers and Sweden signed at London, May 8, 1852, a protocol, by which they recognized the integrity of the Danish monarchy. By this treaty the same powers guaranteed a new order of succession to the throne, to provide for the case in which the male line of the reigning dynasty should become extinct, a case which in fact occurred on the death of Frederic VII. and the hereditary prince, his uncle. The crown was then to devolve on prince Christian, of Glucksburg, prince of Denmark, and to his male descendants, born of his marriage with the cousin of the king. Thenceforth the succession was to become purely agnatic. The rigsdag, the legislative assembly of Denmark proper, voted this order of succession, which was promulgated July 31, 1853, as the law of the entire monarchy. For the countries beyond the jurisdiction of the rigsdag, this law was enforced in virtue of the absolute sovereignty which the king then possessed in these countries.


—After numerous conferences with the leading men of Holstein, the king of Denmark, Frederic VII., with the advice of his council of state, and intending to arrange for the best common interests of the entire monarchy. caused to be drawn up and promulgated a common constitution of Oct. 2, 1855. But the Germanic confederation refusing to recognize this constitution as valid for Holstein and Lauenburg, it was restricted by a royal patent of Nov. 6, 1858, to Denmark, properly so called.


—From what we have already seen it is quite clear that the Danish monarchy, particularly since the accession of Frederic VII., in 1848, has been subjected to numerous constitutional agitations, owing chiefly to opposition and interference on the part of Holstein, Prussia and Germany. The fundamental Danish law of June 5, 1849, intended to embrace southern Jutland or Schleswig (Sœnderjytland), could not be established in this province. But, on account of foreign interference, two provincial constitutions were promulgated; one for Schleswig, Feb. 15, 1854, and the other for Holstein, bearing date June 11, 1854. Next came the common and general constitution of Oct. 2, 1855, and the same reformed Nov. 2, 1858. But as the German opposition and pretensions were still unsatisfied, the king and his council prepared a draft of a new constitutional law for Denmark, including Schleswig, having obtained in advance the assent of the cabinet of Berlin. In the meantime Frederic VII. died, Nov. 15, 1863. His successor, Christian IX., signed the draft of the constitution; but the cabinet of Berlin at once rejected it. War was declared, and Denmark invaded by the German armies. By the treaty of peace of Vienna, Oct. 30, 1864, the king of Denmark ceded to Prussia and Austria together, Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg.


—After this dismemberment, Denmark alone could have no need of two constitutional or fundamental laws, one general, the other provincial; nor of two legislative representations, the general rigsraad and the provincial rigsdag. This called for consideration; and, moreover, experience had shown the need of a revision of the fundamental Danish law of June 5, 1849, especially with regard to the landsthing, the upper house. It was only after repeated efforts, and in spite of the most persistent opposition on the part of the democratic party, that on July 28, 1866, the fundamental Danish law of June 5, 1849. revised, was finally voted and promulgated.


—In what concerns the rights and liberties of citizens, the position of the monarch and of the national representative assembly, the division of legislative and administrative authority, etc., this new constitution of July 28, 1866, remains the same as that of June 5, 1849. The folkething is composed of 102 members, one deputy for every 16.0 0 inhabitants. They are elected by universal suffrage. Every respectable man is a voter at the age of 30, and eligible to office at 25.*72 The elections are held publicly on the same day in all the electoral districts of the country. The deputies are elected every third year; they receive a per diem remuneration during the sessions, which are held annually. The landsthing and folkething elect their presidents and other functionaries, and control their own internal government. The ministers are allowed to be present at the meetings, and to take part in the debate, but they do not vote, unless they are deputies.


—The landsthing has 66 members, 12 of whom are named by the king, and hold office for life; seven are elected by the city of Copenhagen; 45 by the great electoral circuits, comprising both the cities of the province and the rural districts; one by the island of Bornholm; and one by the lagthing, the elective assembly of the Faroe isles. The election of the 45 members is of two degrees; that is, they are elected by special electors chosen by voters having the right to vote for members of the folkething, but in such a manner that one-half of the final electors, or electors of the second or higher degree, are elected exclusively and separately by the general body of voters in the several electoral districts who pay the highest amount of taxes. The final elections are held according to the proportional method (first suggested by J. Stuart Mill), which is favorable to the candidates of minorities. The term of the elector's commission is eight years.


—Public officers are not required to obtain the authorization of the government in order to be elected. The rigsdag meets every year, and enjoys in full all constitutional rights it votes taxes, and no expense can be incurred without its authorization. The budget must be submitted to the folkething: all other projected laws can be first brought before either the folkething or the landsthing. The assembly has the right of initiative, the right to question the government, and to bring articles of impeachment against ministers for mal-administration, but the king can dissolve the rigsdag, and has the power of absolute veto. The fundamental law guarantees to the citizen most ample civil and political liberty. The elections are perfectly free; and the citizens likewise enjoy the most complete liberty to associate and meet, and to use the press with no other restrictions than those imposed by general legislation. Individual liberty and respect for property are assured. The nobility enjoy no privileges, and the tendency is toward the abolition of the majorats. There is complete liberty of conscience: the religion he professes deprives no man of his civil and political rights. The evangelical Lutheran church, however, is recognized as the church of the people, and as such is subsidized by the state, which also appoints its ministers. The marriages celebrated by them (Lutheran ministers), and those solemnized by Catholic priests, by the pastors of the Reformed church, and by rabbis, are the only ones recognized as valid by the civil law.


—The democratic element and democratic ideas are rapidly spreading in Denmark, In the rigsdag (composed of the landsthing and the folkething), as well as in the country at large, political parties are clearly defined, and mutually contend for the mastery. There are three principal parties: the conservative, the liberal national, and the popular party. It is particularly since the accession of king Christian VIII., or since the year 1840, that these parties have been formed and developed.


—The conservative party, without advocating absolutism, or blindly opposing all progress or innovation, still holds to a rather slow and deliberate course in the changing of established institutions, and advocates the maintenance of many of the rights and prerogatives which had their origin in the past. This party. which is the weakest in point of numbers, is composed principally of old men who find it difficult to familiarize themselves with the novelties of our day, and of certain large landed proprietors who have to suffer from the abrogation of ancient privileges, and the modern tendency to universal leveling.


—The liberal national party approaches somewhat to that which we designate by the epithet doctrinarian. It is what we may call the middle party, drawn principally from the middle classes of society. Its ranks are recruited mainly from among educated men. It also numbers among its adherents many public functionaries and distinguished journalists; and it has, since 1848, supplied the greatest number of constitutional ministers in Denmark. Without sympathizing with radicalism and demagogism, it is this party certainly which has labored most successfully in the cause of the public, to assure the triumph of patriotic and liberal ideas, to create and develop constitutional government, and to disseminate public instruction. If this party rules, it is because of its knowledge and capability, for it is not, nor can it become, the most numerous. Besides, where there is most individual enlightenment, there is least blind or complete submission to leaders, and consequently there is less probability of obtaining unanimity of opinion and of votes in the balloting of the representative assembly, or in popular elections.


—The people's party (Menigmandsparti, or Bonderenrer, friends of the peasants, the party which, since 1871, has received the name of the united left) is very strong and very numerous, because in all countries the lower classes form a numerical majority, and the masses, being always and necessarily the least enlightened portion of the nation, are inclined to follow their chiefs en masse, to obey the orders and commands of those who constitute themselves their leaders and pretend to be their advocates. The rise of the people's party is due mainly to the system of universal suffrage, which was established in Denmark, rather prematurely perhaps, in 1848. This party pretend to represent the people only, excluding from the idea of people all who are above the common. The efforts of this party constantly tend to belittle superior intelligence and civilization, and institutions of art and science, and to excite contempt for all public functionaries, as an interested class who absorb the fruits of the people's labor. In this party, therefore, more particularly, we find tendencies to social leveling, and the democratic, or rather demagogic, ideas which are striving to attain the ascendant. As an impelling power such a party as this is useful, and it can not be denied that it has given the impulse to just and salutary improvements and reforms; but, on the other hand, if it is not constantly and wisely combated and restrained, it will end by disorganizing everything.


—II. ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION. As long as royal absolutism lasted, the judicial and the administrative power were united in the same hands. But since the re-establishment of constitutional government, the administrative power has been separated from the judicial power, as also from the legislative power. The king is the head of the administration, and it is in his name that the administrative functions are exercised. He appoints all functionaries, whether administrative or judicial. To be appointed to office it is necessary to be a Dane, and to fulfill the general conditions as to capacity proscribed by law. With the exception of the judges, all officials are removable for administrative reasons; and unless their removal is the result of an abuse of power, they are entitled to a pension, which is payable also to their widows. Their official salaries are fixed by law.


—The administration of the country is directed by the ministers. These collectively form the state council, presided over by the king in person; in which council the most important resolutions are passed, and bills discussed before they are presented to the legislative assemblies. The ministers may be members of these assemblies; they always have access to their sessions, and are heard when they ask to speak; they themselves present and support the laws which are of their own suggestion. The ministers are seven in number: the ministers of foreign affairs, of finance, of war and of the navy, of justice, of the interior, of worship, and of public instruction.


—Local administration is intrusted to authorities acting under direction of the ministers. For this purpose the country is divided into 18 bailiwicks, besides those of the Faroe isles. The capital, Copenhagen, has a separate administration, and is not included in these 18 bailiwicks. The bailiff, or prefect (amtmand), is the representative of the government in the bailiwick, and the representative of the bailiwick with the government; he decides, or at least he has a consultative voice in, all administrative matters, such as communal administration, agriculture, public charities, schools, roads and police. Although he has properly no judicial authority himself, he controls the exercise of justice, and it is he who institutes examinations in all criminal affairs. In the towns and districts the inferior authority is exercised by sub-prefects (byfoged, herredsfoged), who are at the same time judges of first resort. In the rural communes there are mayors (sognefogder), chosen and appointed by the authorities from among the inhabitants of the commune itself, to aid in all that concerns local police. As to communal affairs, we must distinguish between the capital city, the other cities of the country, and the villages. In all the cities the communal administration is composed of the magistracy and of elected representatives; who together constitute the municipal council. In Copenhagen the magistracy consists of a president, appointed by the king; four burgomasters, elected by the representatives, and confirmed by the king; and four counselors, appointed by the representatives. The representatives, 36 in number, are elected by the inhabitants of the capital. In the other cities of the country the magistracy has usually only one burgomaster, appointed by the king; the number of representatives elected by the inhabitants is proportioned to the population. In the country districts there are the commune, the bailiwick and the rural commune. The former comprises the whole bailiwick; it is presided over by the bailiff, and the representatives are elected from among the inhabitants, but by two degrees of election. The sessions of the representatives occur every three months. Each parish forms a rural commune, whose representatives are elected by the inhabitants of the parish, and they themselves name their chief officer. The difference between the commune of a bailiwick and the commune of a village consists merely in the relative extent of their jurisdictions.


—We include under the term communal interests all that concerns local affairs, as schools, public charities, public hygiene, seaports, local police, national guard, precautions against fire, communal revenues and communal property, the apportionment of certain taxes, etc. The communal budget must be approved by the higher authorities; that of the capital alone is dispensed from this approval. In the fundamental law of Denmark of June 5, 1849, the autonomy of the communes constitutes one of the principles of the law of the country.


—The Faroe isles form a bailiwick apart, and they alone of the remote dependencies of the kingdom send a deputy to the rigsdag. For the preparation and examination of bills, as well as for many administrative affairs, there was instituted, by a law of April 15, 1854, a lagthing, a representative assembly of 20 members elected by the people of the island and presided over by a bailiff.


—Iceland is divided into four bailiwicks. It has a secondary tribunal, and a representative assembly, the althing, composed of 27 members, six of whom are named by the king, and the other 21 elected by the people. It is presided over by the chief bailiff of the island.


—The 16 colonies, or trading posts, of Greenland are administered by two higher inspectors, one in the south, the other in the north of the country.


—The colonies of the Antilles are administered by a governor. They have a secondary tribunal. from which there is an appeal to the superior court at Copenhagen. According to the colonial law of Nov. 27, 1863, the legislative authority is exercised by the king and the council of each colony, by means of ordinances afterward presented to the rigsdag. The colonial council of the island of Santa Cruz is composed of 18 members, and those of St. Thomas and St. John together, of 15. Five members of the former, and four of the latter, of these councils, are appointed by the king; the others are elected by the inhabitants of the islands. The governor presides over both councils.


—III. FINANCE. 1. Administration, Budget, etc. The administration of finance is organized in one uniform manner in the different parts of the monarchy. The minister of finance concentrates in his hands and directs the collection of taxes, payments, and controls the making of the budget and the national accounts. His ministry is divided into different departments, corresponding to the principal branches of receipts and disbursements—postal service, toll, public domain, public debt, general treasury, etc.


—It is established, as a general principle of administration, that the official who receives the money, and who has the handling of it, is never authorized to disburse it (to pass accounts), and vice versa. The money received by the local treasuries is sent to the one main treasury of Copenhagen. Statements of the condition of the treasuries are sent every month to the minister of finance, who thus knows at all times the amount that should be in each treasury, and can examine them through special inspectors.


—The collection of direct taxes in the cities is made by the officials of the communes (mayors or others); in the country, by the receivers of the bailiwick, of which every bailiwick has one or two. The collection of direct taxes is managed differently according to the nature of each kind of tax.


—To make up the budget, each minister collects the elements of it which concern his department, and these materials are arranged by the minister of finance. The proposed budget is first submitted for the royal sanction in council, and afterward presented to the legislative assemblies. The receipts and the disbursements are most rigorously separated in the budget. Both are divided into ordinary and extraordinary. The budget is very detailed. The representative assembly can amend it, and does not merely vote the total sums, but deliberates over each item. The strict observance of the law relating to the finances (or of the budget voted) is rigorously enforced; no arbitrary transferring from one account to another, or from one year to the next, is allowed; every modification of the budget must be approved, and no expense can be incurred unless it has been approved by the chambers.


—At the end of the financial term the minister of finance presents his report, and then the process of revision or verification begins. The examination of particular accounts is made by general revisors, or comptrollers, higher administrative officials belonging to the several ministries. Besides, the general account of the finances of the state is afterward submitted to a control provided for by the constitution, effected by auditors named for this purpose by the representative assembly. The assembly passes resolutions upon the remarks and notes of the auditors, in such manner that the responsibility of the ministers may be fixed by them. The common constitution of Oct. 2, 1855, gave rise to the hope that a court of accounts for the entire monarchy would be established; but as this promise has not yet been fulfilled (1872), the revision continues to be made in the administrative way, and the account of the finances, after it has been presented for examination to the national assembly (rigsdag), is submitted for royal sanction.


—2. Revenues, Taxes, Expenses. The revenues of the state are derived, partly from the public domain and other property, and partly from taxes. The Danish islands in the West Indies have their finances separate, the surplus only is each year turned into the common treasury of the monarchy. In Denmark there is no longer any fiscal immunity for anybody.


—The indirect taxes consist of customs duties, the tax upon playing cards, the navigation tax, the tax upon the manufacture of alcohol, postal and telegraph duties, the costs imposed by courts, stamp duty, the tax on inheritances, and the tax on real estate transfers. The excise tax was definitely abolished in 1851. As to the principles of customs legislation, some absolute prohibitions and high protective duties were in vigor until, toward the end of the last century, an ordinance of Feb. 1, 1797, established a much lower tariff. The tariff of May 1, 1838, had not yet broken with the protective system, but the customs law of July 4, 1863, was a long stride toward free trade. Export duties have been abolished. The number of articles enumerated as dutiable has been reduced more than half. The import duties on cereals have been removed, and those still imposed upon the chief articles of consumption and upon raw materials considerably lessened; to compensate for the decrease of receipts which would have resulted from this reduction, the duties on certain articles of luxury have been increased.


—While speaking of customs, we must mention the sound toli, which consisted of a duty paid from time immemorial by every ship that passed the sound and the belt. This toll amounted, during the last years of its existence, to nearly 2,000,000 rigsdalers ($1,200,000) per year. It was abolished by the treaty of March 14, 1857, between Denmark and nearly all the states of Europe and America, and the powers engaged to pay an indemnity of 30,500,000 rigsdalers ($18,000,000), of which 1,120,000 was the share to be paid by Denmark itself. By a law of May 6, 1857, this capital was to form a special fund, known as the "sound" fund, the interest of which was to be turned into the public treasury; but since the law of Sept. 17, 1865, this capital has ceased to form a separate fund.


—The tax imposed on the manufacture of alcohol is regulated by a law of Feb. 7, 1851. The tax is levied upon the apparatus used in manufacturing it, thus 64 skillings (a little less than 2 francs) for each ton of grain which the vats hold. The permit to establish a brandy distillery is given by the minister of the interior; the apparatus is measured and stamped by the customs officers. The revenue from customs, taxes on alcohol, stamp duties, playing cards and navigation together amounted, in 1843, to 5,000,000 rigsdalers (about $3,000,000), and during the year 1860-61, to 7,400,000. According to the budget of 1871-2 the net amount of these revenues was 7,878,183 rigsdalers (about $4,750,000). We must bear in mind, besides, that the figures for 1843 and 1861 related as well to Denmark as to the duchies of Schleswig-Holstein and Lauenburg; while those for 1871 are for Denmark alone.


—The net revenue from the postoffice was, in 1845, 240,000 rigsdalers; in 1860-61, 270,000; and in 1871, 166,989 rigsdalers, for Denmark alone. This net revenue is turned over to the state treasury. Since April 1, 1851, there has been a uniform postage of 4 skillings (about 2½ cents) on each ordinary letter.


—Stamps are required on all documents containing a contract involving a pecuniary consideration. Journals and periodical publications are not subject to this tax. A law of Feb. 19, 1861, considerably lessened it. In 1845 the revenue from this source amounted to 390,000 rigsdalers; in 1860-61 it amounted, in Denmark alone, to 730,000, and in 1870-71 to 700,000. According to the ordinance of Feb. 8, 1810, the tax on real estate transfers is ½ of 1 per cent. of the purchase money. The tax on inheritance, modified by the law of Feb. 19, 1861, is, for the ascending and descending lines, 1 per cent., for the collateral line, 4 per cent. In all other cases of succession to property, it is 7 per cent. In 1845 the tax from these two sources amounted, in the kingdom alone, to 140,000 rigsdalers; in 1860-61 it amounted to 400,000, and in 1871 to 460,000. (A rigsdaler is equivalent to about $1.12.)


—Court costs, and fees for copies of legal documents, amounted, in 1845, in the kingdom alone, to 140,000 rigsdalers; in 1860-61, to 500,000; and in 1871, to 684,500.


—Of the direct taxes, the land tax and the tax upon houses are the most important. The unit which serves as a basis in imposing the land tax in the kingdom is the tun of corn (tonde hartkorn); that is to say, a tax considered as equivalent to a measure of corn. A certain quantity of a product being taken as a unit, it is easily seen that we must take a greater or less amount of land to obtain this quantity according to its quality; that is to say, that in one place 10 acres, and in another place 20 acres, will be required to produce a hectolitre; consequently, 10 acres of fertile land shall be taxed one hectolitre in kind, and 10 acres of medium good land shall be taxed one-half a hectolitre. In the first years of this century a new valuation of all the arable land of the kingdom was made, and in accordance with the results of that valuation, the ordinance of Jan. 24, 1844, established a new land tax, on the basis of the unit, or tun of hartkorn, according to the quality of the land. In reality, the land tax is nominally divided into the old and the new tax: the former, ever invariable, is regulated according to the ancient cadastre (official table of the quantity and value of real property); the latter, varying according to the needs of the state, is regulated by the new taxation. The woods and forests are assessed in a similar manner.


—There is also imposed upon land the partition tax, which, under a law of June 20, 1850, has taken the place of some ancient and less important taxes, and the road tax, regulated by ordinance of Sept. 29, 1841, and intended for the maintenance of public roads. The tax upon houses is assessed, according to the ordinance of Oct. 1, 1802, on all buildings that are not intended for the service of agriculture; consequently upon town buildings, buildings to be used as places of amusement, factories and workshops. It is reckoned according to the aggregate superficies of all the stories of the building. The revenue from the varied sources of direct taxation in the kingdom amounted, in 1845, to 3,300,000 rigsdalers; in 1860-61, to about 4,000,000; and in 1871, to nearly the same amount.


—As the communal assessments do not figure in the state budget, we have not introduced them into this exposé. These assessments are apportioned according to the land tax, and the profession and fortune of the citizens. Income tax, properly so called, is levied in the commune of Copenhagen (law of Feb. 9, 1861.)—3 Financial Situation. On March 31, 1861, the public debt of the monarchy amounted to the nominal sum of 98,000,000 rigsdalers, 68,000,000 of which constituted its home indebtedness, and 30,000,000 its foreign debt. [The foreign debt was paid off in 1877 and 1879.]—Of the home debt, 62,500,000 were really due, namely 61,000,000 at 4 per cent.; 300,000 at 5 per cent.; the balance at less than 4 per cent., even as low as 3 per cent. The floating debt amounted to 1,500,000, and consisted principally of funds belonging to minors, and bonds of public officials. There is a constant effort to diminish this debt. Of the foreign debt, nearly 6,000,000 bear interest at 4 per cent., and about 24,000,000 at 3 per cent.


—In 1835 the state debt was 130,000,000; in 1848, 103,000,000; in 1850, after three years of insurrection and war, it amounted to 121,000,000; and in 1861 was reduced to 98,000,000. This very considerable reduction of the debt was effected, although during the same period numerous and extensive public works were undertaken. We should bear in mind that the sums indicated for the years previous to 1864 embrace all three countries, Denmark, Schleswig. Holstein, and Lauenburg; from 1864 downward they refer to Denmark alone. The nominal debt of the state amounted, in 1866 to 131,000,000 rigsdalers, in 1868 to 132,000,000, and in 1870 to 116,000,000; while the state property, not including railroads owned by the state, amounted, in 1866 to 65,000,000 rigsdalers, in 1868 to 67,000,000, and in 1870 to 48,000,000.


—As to the annual financial balance, the reports returned for the year 1845, for the whole Danish monarchy, as it then existed, showed a revenue and an expense of about 17,500,000 rigsdalers. In 1854 the revenue amounted to 23,000,000, and the expenses to 25,000,000. In 1861 revenue and expenses amounted to about 26,500,000; during the eight years from 1854 to 1861 the mean balance was about 22,750,000. During the six years from 1866 to 1871 the budgets for Denmark were increased to about 22,500,000. The amount in the treasury at the end of each of these years was from 5,000,000 to 6,000,000.




—Military affairs of both the army and navy are under the control of the ministers of war and of the marine. Recruits are obtained by conscription; every Dane who is able to bear arms is, without distinction, obliged to contribute his personal aid to the defense of his country (law of Feb. 12, 1849). The only ones excepted are the ministers of all churches or religious associations recognized by the state. Criminals are excluded, as unworthy of serving in either army or navy. At the age of 15 young men are entered upon the rolls, of which there is one kept in the district of each court of first resort; and 22 years is the age for conscription. Since 1867 the use of substitutes has been entirely abolished. Under the law of March 21, 1861, conscription is made for both army and navy. The recruits are apportioned between army and navy, according to the needs of the service, though regard is had, as far as it is possible, for the preferences of each. For sailors who have served on shipboard for some time, and become proficient seamen, there is a separate list, and those inscribed on it serve exclusively in the marine service. Although there are always a great many sailors at sea, either on board Danish ships, or on those of foreign nations, there has nevertheless never been any difficulty in completely manning the fleet with skilled native seamen.


—The army has been reorganized according to a law of July 6, 1867. Under this law the infantry is composed of 20 battalions of the line, 10 battalions of reserves, 10 of re-enforcements (landwehr), forming five brigades; and the guard, which consists of one battalion of the line, and one of re enforcements. The cavalry numbers five regiments, each consisting of two squadrons of the line, one squadron of reserves, and one division of recruits. The field artillery consists of nine batteries of the line, and three of reserves, forming two regiments, and one train division. Of stationary artillery there are six companies of the line and three of re-enforcements, formed into two battalions. The technical artillery has an arsenal division and a laboratory division. The artillery has a staff, as have also the engineers. The corps of engineers forms a battalion of the line, a battalion of reserves, and a torpedo division. There is a general staff of the army, a corps of military judges, a corps of physicians, and a commissariat corps. Each branch of the service has an inspector general. With their full complement in time of war the battalions number 800 fighting men, and the cavalry squadrons 120. The army is made up of 32,000 fighting men.


—The young soldiers, enrolled at the age of 22 years, form part of the line and of the reserve for eight years, and during the next eight years of the re-enforcement (landwehr). For conscription the country is divided into five circuits, each of which furnishes a brigade of infantry and cavalry. The young recruits spend from four to nine months in the drill school, after which they are sent back home, excepting the number of men necessary for service in time of peace, and those who are made corporals or officers. For several years after this the soldiers are called out for from 30 to 45 days for drill, and manœuvre practice. The officers and non-commissioned officers of the line and of the reserve remain permanently in the service; those of the re-enforcement are called into service only in times of a general enrollment. No one can become an officer who has not served as a soldier, and as corporal, and who has not, besides, passed the examinations in the military school. This school has a special class for the instruction of artillery officers, and officers of engineers.


—The Danish fleet consisted, in 1872, of three frigates and four ironclad floating batteries, which were screw steamers; one ship of the line, four frigates, three corvettes, four schooners, and seven iron gunboats, which were screw steamers; six side-wheel steam corvettes; one sailing frigate, and one sailing cutter; eight oared gunboats, and 21 iron transports. The entire fleet mounts 320 pieces of cannon, and is supplied with engines whose combined capacity aggregates 6,700 horse power.


—V. PUBLIC INSTRUCTION. The public educational system comprises lower and higher primary schools, secondary schools (called Latin schools, or learned schools), and schools of the exact sciences (realschulen), special schools, and finally a university, which imparts higher education.


—Primary education was formerly under the care of the church, but now, according to the ordinance of July 29, 1814, it is entirely secular. Although the state has the supreme direction of primary education, it is regarded as a communal matter. Attendance at the primary school is compulsory (law of July 29, 1814) in this sense, that every child that does not receive a sufficient education elsewhere is obliged to attend the public school of the parish from the age of seven to the age of 14 years. Primary instruction in these schools is given gratuitously, as prescribed by § 90 of the fundamental law of June 5, 1849. Besides the ordinary primary schools, there are, in the cities, higher primary schools, which, in consideration of a certain amount of money, offer a more extended education. Each commune appoints its own superintendents, who act in concert with the pastors. The expenses are in general defrayed by the communes themselves. However, outside of Copenhagen the communal schools derive some assistance from an educational fund, formed by each bailiwick, by means of a tax levied on the whole district, and administered by a council composed of a bailiff, an ecclesiastic, and a certain number of members chosen by the towns and the rural communes (law of March 8, 1856). Finally, the state appropriates regularly every year 50,000 rigsdalers to primary education. The city of Copenhagen expended for primary education, in 1860, 100,000 rigsdalers, and in 1865, 91,300; the provincial cities taken together, in 1860, 190,000 rigsdalers, and in 1865, 200,400; and the rural communes, in 1860, 1,235,000 rigsdalers, and in 1865, 779,261.


—The teachers are appointed by the general board of direction of primary schools; exceptionally, for some communes, by the bishop of the diocese; always and everywhere, after mature deliberation, and after having been proposed by the communal council. They are laymen. For the teaching and training of teachers the country has five primary normal schools.


—Since 1852 there have been formed in the country districts of the several provinces secondary schools for the peasantry (bondehoiskoler), of which there were in 1872 nearly 50 in existence, and the number has been increasing. They are private institutions, independent of the administration, although the government has commenced to grant them subsidies. The young men, from 16 to 18 years of age and over, who frequent them, are not subjected to any examination, either on entering or on leaving them. While developing their primary education, they tend essentially and systematically to arouse their ambition and enliven their patriotism, and to create a respect and desire for education, by the aid of free, familiar oral lessons on antiquity, mythology, the history of their native country, the phenomena of nature, etc., and by singing together, by committing songs to memory, and by lively and instructive conversations. In short, the inculcation of liberty and individual independence, and the quickening of the pupils' minds, are the objects sought to be attained by these schools.


—They have begun to organize similar semi-annual courses for young peasant women.


—The secondary public schools are under the control of the state. Besides the public schools there are also many secondary private schools. In Denmark the public Latin schools (lyceums, colleges) which prepare students for the university, are twelve in number; they are, at the same time, schools of the exact sciences (realschulen), that is to say, they have, at the same time, classes in literature and the sciences. Each school is governed by a rector, who is also one of the faculty. The expenses of the secondary schools are paid partly by numerous special foundations and partly by the state. The total of these expenses in 1860-61 was about 200,000 rigsdalers; in 1872 about 230,000.


—Besides numerous private special schools there are many public special schools, such as the royal academy of fine arts, the higher veterinary school, the school of scientific agriculture, the forestry and surveying schools, the polytechnic school, the primary normal schools, the military schools, naval schools, etc. The expenses of these schools, inasmuch as their special funds are not sufficient thereto, are borne by the state.


—Denmark has only one university, that of Copenhagen. It has faculties of theology, law, political economy, medicine, philosophy, mathematics and the natural sciences; it has 57 professors. The number of its students is from 800 to 1,000. It is supported entirely by its own revenues, which are derived in part from landed property. Its annual expenses amount to nearly 200,000 rigsdalers. Besides the university there is a separate establishment called the community, which, with its annual revenue, of about 100,000 rigsdalers, is intended to furnish scholarships to poor students, and assistance to different educational institutions.


—To sum up, without reckoning the revenues of particular foundations of certain institutions, the general educational fund, or the communal expenses, the state expends annually about 300,000 rigsdalers for the benefit of public education and the sciences. It besides devotes an equal sum every year to subsidies: to the royal theatre at Copenhagen (50,000 rigsdalers), to the veterinary school (nearly 50,000 rigsdalers), to the royal academy of fine arts, to the public libraries, museums and art collections.


—The results of public education in Denmark may be considered as quite satisfactory. The obligation of attending school, together with the gratuity of education, has rendered it a thing of very rare occurrence to find any one who can not read and write.


—VI. PUBLIC CHARITY. We must distinguish between obligatory public charity, and private charity. According to § 89 of the fundamental law of June 5, 1849, the commune is bound to aid every person that is unable to provide himself with the means of subsistence. For this purpose there is established in every commune a poor bureau, for the support of which the inhabitants of the commune are taxed according to their means. In olden times the support of the poor was intrusted to the vestrymen, and controlled by the pastor. Each commune constitutes a poor district. The supreme direction of charities is vested in the minister of the interior. The local administration is intrusted in Copenhagen, to four burgomasters of the city, assisted by one inspector general of charities. In the other cities there is a commission of charities, composed of one member of the magistracy and several inhabitants of each parish, chosen by the representatives of the commune. This commission is submitted to a management consisting of the bishop and the bailiff of each bailiwick. In the villages the administration of charities is in charge of the representatives of the commune, who are under the control of the council of the bailiwick. Finally, in all the communes, except Copenhagen, there is a poor fund, formed chiefly of voluntary gifts; it is administered by three inhabitants of the commune, elected by their fellow citizens. This fund is intended for the aiding of those who are not inscribed on the general poor list of the commune, or who are not entitled to assistance therefrom. The right to assistance is acquired by an uninterrupted residence of five years, after having attained the age of 18 years. In default of this title, it is to the place of one's birth that he must apply for assistance. In this matter children follow their parents. As far as possible employment is furnished those who can work. Obstinate mendicants are sent to the workhouses, and submitted to a rigorous discipline. Those who are unable to work receive assistance at home, either in money or in food or other necessaries of life, or else they are placed in the poorhouses, to be found in every commune. In many places there are, also, besides the hospitals properly so called, hospitals for the old and the infirm.


—The local administration of charities exercises a certain disciplinary authority over all those who receive its aid. The public charity fund also has revenues which it derives from capital and real estate which belong to it, and which serve to augment the income derived from special taxes. In 1860 Copenhagen expended (in charities) about 300,000 rigsdalers; in 1865, 293,200; in 1870, 558,595. The other cities of the kingdom, taken together, expended about 186,000 rigsdalers in 1859, 256,300 in 1865, and 391,063 in 1869; the rural communes, together, 970,000 in 1859, 934,400 in 1865, and 2,139,851 in 1869. Besides the board of charity, properly so called, the state supports hospitals and institutions for the blind and for deaf mutes, and there are in the kingdom three large insane asylums. Moreover, the state maintains under its control, and bearing its guarantee, a life annuity fund, and a widow's fund, by means of which every married official of the government can assure to his widow an annual pension proportioned to his salary.


—It would be difficult to speak of any private charitable organizations, for the existence of compulsory state aid has done away with all need for such organizations. Nevertheless, there are throughout the country numerous charitable establishments founded by private citizens, or which are enabled to subsist by voluntary annual contributions, such as infant asylums, public refectories for the poor, hospitals for the aged and the infirm, pious foundations of all kinds for persons who need them, family foundations, and canonicates for noble ladies (such as Valloé and Vemmetofte, and others in Zealand, which are possessed of very great wealth). Among the members of mechanics' societies there are numerous associations for mutual aid, sickness and burial funds, aid and relief funds, etc., etc.


—VII. WORSHIP. According to the fundamental law of June 5, 1849, § 3, the Evangelical Lutheran church is the church of the Danish people, and to this church the king must belong. It is the only church subsidized by the state. The administration of the church is in the hands of the minister of worship and education. Denmark is divided into seven bishoprics or dioceses. The bishops, possessed of no real ecclesiastical authority, are mere intermediaries between the ministry and the pastors. Between the pastors and the bishops are placed the provosts, or deans, in the capacity of inspectors, each for his district. All the pastors of the Protestant church are appointed by the king. They are paid by the parishes, both in form of voluntary offerings and by fees (for baptisms, marriages, interments); they are given a residence and revenues or dues legally fixed, especially the tithes established in the ancient constitution of the country, which are now, however, changed almost entirely into dues to be paid in money. In the cities the salaries of the ministers are raised by a personal (capitation) tax upon the parishioners. The church owns no real estate.


—The position of the Lutheran church, in its quality of national church, does not restrict the liberty of conscience or of worship recognized by §§ 5 and 81 of the fundamental law. Those of different creeds regulate their affairs without the intervention of the state, provided they do not teach or practice anything contrary to good morals or public order. Religion is never made a pretext for depriving a citizen of any right whatever. The public exercise of worship, under whatever form, is allowed without asking any special authorization. Nevertheless, marriages are not valid before the civil law, unless solemnized either by the pastors of the Lutheran or the Reformed church, by Catholic priests or by rabbis. Dissenters obtain the legal solemnization of their marriages by contracting them before the municipal authority (civil marriage).


—VIII. JUSTICE. The judiciary is organized in three grades in both the civil and the criminal courts. There are in Denmark two courts of appeal (at Copenhagen, and at Viborg in Jutland), and a supreme court at Copenhagen. For the city of Copenhagen there are only two higher courts, and no court of first resort, properly so called. The courts of first resort have but one judge, who is also intrusted with administrative functions. The courts of appeal, or superior courts, are composed of several judges, whose functions are purely judicial. The judges are appointed by the king, but according to the fundamental law (§ 78) they can not be removed, except by a judicial decree.


—Before the supreme court proceedings are oral and public; before the other tribunals they are made by written pleadings, as well in civil as in criminal causes; nevertheless, § 79 of the fundamental law promises that oral and public proceedings shall be introduced in all the jurisdictions, and that a jury shall be established for political causes, and for important criminal causes. There will then be separate counsels for the prosecution, and the judges of first resort will no longer be charged with administrative functions. A law of Feb. 19, 1861, created at Copenhagen a tribunal of commerce and navigation, with oral and summary procedure.


—IX. AGRICULTURAL AND INDUSTRIAL RESOURCES. The Danish monarchy is an agricultural and stock raising country; manufactures, commerce and navigation are of only secondary importance. The fisheries, also, are beginning to attract attention. Its crop of cereals amounts to about 18,000,000 tons (4½ cubic feet), 2,500,000 of which are exported. The most important cereals, enumerated according to the quantities produced, are oats, barley, rye and wheat; to which we may add peas, beans and buckwheat. The culture of wheat has greatly increased of late years at the expense of rye. Potatoes, different kinds of radishes, turnips and other vegetables, although they are found, can not be regarded as regular crops. The cultivation of commercial plants, such as rape seed, madder and succory, is inconsiderable. Hops and flax are grown in different districts, but the crop is not sufficient for home consumption. Clover is extensively used for feeding cattle. Agriculture is constantly and rapidly progressing, owing especially to the more extensive use of draining, and the employment of artificial fertilizers and of marl.


—Denmark is not rich in mineral wealth; there is nothing of the kind found there, except marl. In several places there are extensive chalk and lime quarries. Clay suitable for the manufacture of bricks and drain pipes is abundant.


—Manufacturing interests are very little developed. They have, however, been improving, especially in the branches of manufacture which pertain to agriculture, commerce and navigation. There are numerous iron foundries, and the number of machine shops is increasing. The employment of steam power in the breweries and distilleries has worked a wonderful progress in these establishments. In 1860 there were manufactured about 42,000,000 pots of alcohol (a pot equals 4 litres), of which 2,000,000 were exported. In 1870 the manufacture of alcohol in Denmark alone amounted to 31,778,632 pots, of which 923,044 were exported. The building of merchant vessels is a flourishing industry. There are also tile kilns, and sugar refineries, paper mills, cloth mills, etc., are prosperous. There are oil mills, and tobacco, porcelain and piano factories. The minor industries are of more importance than the greater ones, and their products will bear honorable comparison with the best productions of foreign countries.


—We give some estimates of the state of commerce and navigation. In round numbers the traffic of Denmark, during the years 1865-70, amounted to about 2,700,000,000 pounds weight, 1,800,000,000 of which were imported and 900,000,000 exported. The exports are chiefly agricultural products; the imports, manufactured articles and colonial produce. In 1870 the merchant marine of Denmark numbered 2,800 vessels (with a tonnage of four tons or more), having a total tonnage of 178,648 tons. Of these vessels, 89 were steamers, with a total tonnage of 10,458 tons, and aggregating 4,981 horse power; and besides these there are 10,667 smaller vessels, of four tons or less.*73


Notes for this chapter

There is nothing in this provision about age that need surprise us. As every man is a voter, it was proper to take the necessary precautions to secure maturity of choice. Voters of the age of 30 years offer all requisite guarantees on this point. It can, therefore, be left to them to appreciate whether such or such a fellow-citizen of the age of 25 years may not, by his extraordinary talents, be able to render desirable service to his country. The younger Pitt was made a minister at 23.—M. B.
Under a charter dated Jan. 5, 1874, and which came into force Aug. 1, 1874, Iceland has its own constitution and administration. By the terms of the charter the legislative power is vested in the althing, consisting of 35 members, 30 elected by popular suffrage, and six nominated by the king. A minister for Iceland nominated by the king, and responsible to the althing, is at the head of the administration; while the highest local authority is vested in the governor, called stiflamtmand, who resides at Reikjavig.

—The annual revenues of the state, during the five financial years ending March 31, from 1874 to 1878, averaged £2,750,000. The expenditure during this quinquennial period was fully balanced by the revenue, with an annual surplus employed for the reduction of the public debt.

—In the budget estimates of revenue and expenditure for the financial year ending March 31, 1880, the revenue was calculated at 46,557,518 kroner, or £2,586,528; and the expenditure at 41,049,390 kroner, or £2,280,522. The sources of revenue were as follows: Surplus of domains, 1,495,014 kroner; interest of reserve fund, 2,955,365; direct taxes, 9,038,400; stamp duty, 2,448,000; duty on inheritance and transfer of property, 1,580,000; law fees, 2,024,000; custom house dues and excise on distilleries, 22 081,000; surplus on postal and telegraph department, 70,779; surplus on state railways in Funen and Jutland, 1,118,505; contribution from the sinking fund, 1,687,910; miscellaneous receipts, 2,058,545; total revenue, 46,557,518 kroner, or £2,586,528. The branches of expenditure were as follows: Civil list and appanages, 1,422,384 kroner; rigsdag and council of state, 306,616; interest on national debt, (interior 6,702,400, foreign 615,800), 7,317,700; pensions, including invalids of war, 3,273,395; ministry of foreign affairs, 373,512; ministry of interior, 1,699,697; ministry of justice, 2,435,385; ministry of public worship and education, 982,085; ministry of war, 8,722,842; ministry of navy, 5,357,670; ministry of finance, 2,950,402; ministry for Iceland, 109,600; miscellaneous expenses, 3,886,375; management and sinking fund of the national debt, (interior 100,000, foreign 72,600), 172,600; public works, etc., 2,039,127; total expenditure, 41,049,390 kroner, or £2,280,522.

—State debt, 1872, £12,740,087; 1875, £10,324,201; 1877, £9,791,580; 1878, £9,710,108.

—On Jan. 1, 1878, the merchant marine of Denmark consisted of 3,279 vessels, of an aggregate burden of 258,325 tons. Of these, 188, of 43,124 tons, were steamers. Included in this amount were all vessels of not less than four tons. The mass of the shipping consisted of vessels under 300 tons. Of vessels over 300 tons there were 135, of an aggregate burden of 12,015 tons.


End of Notes

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