Ratings

This media has not been rated yet.
Be the first one!

To rate this media or to interact with your friends, create a free mediatly account. You'll also be able to collaborate with our growing community and make it you digital entertainment center.

Friends who like

Sign up to see which of your friends like this.

Linked media  

Linking media

Mediatly © 2013

Mediatly, The multimedia social network

Discover new movies and TV shows to watch, novels or comics to read, music to hear and games to play thanks to your friends. It's fast, free, simple and enjoyable!
To start discover a new world, Sign up for free

  
Ísland

Iceland

Type :  

  Summary  

Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains about 98.6% of the population and more than 99.9% of the land area. The country has a population of about 320,000 and a total area of . The capital and the largest city is Reykjavík, with the surrounding areas in the southwestern region of the country being home to two-thirds of the country's population. Iceland is volcanically and geologically active. The interior mainly consists of a plateau characterised by sand fields, mountains and glaciers, while many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle.

According to Landnámabók, the settlement of Iceland began in AD 874 when the chieftain Ingólfur Arnarson became the first permanent Norse settler on the island. Others had visited the island earlier and stayed over winter. Over the following centuries, Norsemen settled Iceland, bringing with them slaves of Gaelic origin. From 1262 to 1918 Iceland was part of the Norwegian and later the Danish monarchies. Until the 20th century, the Icelandic population relied largely on fisheries and agriculture. Industrialisation of the fisheries and Marshall Aid brought prosperity in the years after World War II. In 1994, Iceland became party to the European Economic Area, which made it possible for the economy to diversify into economic and financial services.

Iceland has a free market economy with relatively low taxes compared to other OECD countries, while maintaining a Nordic welfare system providing universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens. In recent years, Iceland has been one of the wealthiest and most developed nations in the world. In 2011, it was ranked as the 14th most developed country in the world by the United Nations' Human Development Index, and the fourth most productive country per capita. In 2008, political unrest occurred as the nation's entire banking system systemically failed.

Icelandic culture is founded upon the nation's Norse heritage. Most Icelanders are descendants of Norse and Gaelic settlers. Icelandic, a North Germanic language, is closely related to Faroese and some West Norwegian dialects. The country's cultural heritage includes traditional Icelandic cuisine, poetry, and the medieval Icelanders' sagas. Currently, Iceland has the smallest population among NATO members and is the only one with no standing army.

  History  

 Settlement and the Commonwealth 860–1262


One theory suggests the first people to have visited Iceland were members of a Hiberno-Scottish mission or hermits, also known as Papar, who came in the 8th century, though no archaeological discoveries support this hypothesis. The monks are supposed to have left with the arrival of Norsemen, who systematically settled in the period c. 870–930.

Recently archeologists have found the ruins of a cabin in Hafnir on the Reykjanes peninsula (close to Keflavík Airport). Carbon dating reveals that the cabin was abandoned between 770 and 880, suggesting that someone had come to Iceland well before 874.
The first known permanent Norse settler was Ingólfur Arnarson, who built his homestead in Reykjavík in the year 874. Ingólfur was followed by many other emigrant settlers, largely Norsemen and their Irish slaves. By 930, most arable land had been claimed and the Althing, a legislative and judiciary parliament, was initiated to regulate the Icelandic Commonwealth. Christianity was adopted c. 999–1000

In the 11th century, three Armenian bishops — Petros, Abraham and Stephannos — are recorded by Icelandic sources as Christian missionaries in Iceland. Their presence has been explained in terms of the service of King Harald of Norway (c.1047-1066) in Constantinople, where he had met Armenians serving in the Byzantine Imperial Army. The Commonwealth lasted until 1262 when the political system devised by the original settlers proved unable to cope with the increasing power of Icelandic chieftains.

 Middle Ages to the Early Modern Era 1262–1814

The internal struggles and civil strife of the Sturlung Era led to the signing of the Old Covenant in 1262, which brought Iceland under the Norwegian crown. Possession of Iceland passed to Denmark-Norway around 1380, when the kingdoms of Norway, Denmark and Sweden were united in the Kalmar Union. In the ensuing centuries, Iceland became one of the poorest countries settled by Europeans. Infertile soil, volcanic eruptions, and an unforgiving climate made for harsh life in a society where subsistence depended almost entirely on agriculture. The Black Death swept Iceland in 1402–04 and 1494–95, the first time killing as much as 50% to 60% of the population, and 30% to 50% in the second.

Around the middle of the 16th century, King Christian III of Denmark began to impose Lutheranism on all his subjects. Jón Arason, the last Catholic bishop of Hólar, was beheaded in 1550 along with two of his sons. The country subsequently became fully Lutheran. Lutheranism has since remained the dominant religion. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Denmark imposed harsh trade restrictions on Iceland, while pirates from several countries raided its coasts. A great smallpox epidemic in the 18th century killed around a third of the population. In 1783 the Laki volcano erupted, with devastating effects. The years following the eruption, known as the Mist Hardships (Icelandic: Móðuharðindin), saw the death of over half of all livestock in the country, with ensuing famine in which around a quarter of the population died.

 The Independence Movement 1814–1918

In 1814, following the Napoleonic Wars, Denmark-Norway was broken up into two separate kingdoms via the Treaty of Kiel. Iceland, however, remained a Danish dependency. Throughout the 19th century, the country's climate continued to grow worse, resulting in mass emigration to the New World, particularly Manitoba in Canada. About 15,000 out of a total population of 70,000 left. However, a new national consciousness had arisen, inspired by romantic and nationalist ideas from mainland Europe. An Icelandic independence movement arose in the 1850s under the leadership of Jón Sigurðsson. In 1874, Denmark granted Iceland a constitution and limited home rule, which was expanded in 1904.

 Kingdom of Iceland 1918–1944

The Danish-Icelandic Act of Union, an agreement with Denmark signed on 1 December 1918 and valid for 25 years, recognised Iceland as a fully sovereign state in a personal union with the King of Denmark. The Government of Iceland established an embassy in Copenhagen. However, it requested that Denmark should handle Icelandic foreign policy. Danish embassies around the world would display two coats of arms and two flags: those of the Kingdom of Denmark and those of the Kingdom of Iceland.
During World War II, Iceland joined Denmark in asserting neutrality. After the German occupation of Denmark on 9 April 1940, the Althing declared that the Icelandic Government should assume the Danish king's duties, taking control of foreign affairs and other matters previously handled by Denmark. A month later, British Armed Forces occupied Iceland in order to stop the nation siding with the now occupied Denmark. In 1941, the occupation of Iceland was taken over by the United States so that Britain could use its troops elsewhere.

On 31 December 1943, the Act of Union agreement expired after 25 years. Beginning on 20 May 1944, Icelanders voted in a four-day plebiscite on whether to terminate the personal union with the King of Denmark and establish a republic. The vote was 97% in favour of ending the union and 95% in favour of the new republican constitution. Iceland formally became a republic on 17 June 1944, with Sveinn Björnsson as the first President.

 Republic of Iceland 1944–present

In 1946, the Allied occupation force left Iceland, which formally became a member of NATO on 30 March 1949, amid domestic controversy and riots. On 5 May 1951, a defence agreement was signed with the United States. American troops returned to Iceland, as the Iceland Defence Force, and remained throughout the Cold War; the US withdrew the last of its forces on 30 September 2006.

The immediate post-war period was followed by substantial economic growth, driven by industrialisation of the fishing industry and the Marshall Plan programme. The 1970s were marked by the Cod Wars — several disputes with the United Kingdom over Iceland's extension of its fishing limits. The economy was greatly diversified and liberalised when Iceland joined the European Economic Area in 1994.

In the years 2003–2007, Iceland developed from a nation best known for its fishing industry into a country providing sophisticated financial services, but was consequently hit hard by the 2008 global financial crisis. The crisis has resulted in the greatest migration from Iceland since 1887, with 5000 Icelanders emigrating in 2009.

Show more

  Photos    

  Videos  

  Press reviews    

  User reviews

  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Islande", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.