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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.
Under the reign of Gudfred in 804 the Danish kingdom may have included all the lands of Jutland, Scania and the Danish islands, excluding Bornholm.
As attested by the Jelling stones, the Danes were Christianised around 965 by Harald Bluetooth, the son of Gorm.
In the 19th century there was a surge of nationalist movements, which were defeated in the First Schleswig War.
After the Second Schleswig War in 1864, Denmark lost the Duchy of Schleswig to Prussia.
The remaining Jutish population in Jutland assimilated in with the settling Danes.
A short note about the Dani in "Getica" by the historian Jordanes is believed to be an early mention of the Danes, one of the ethnic groups from whom modern Danes are descended.
It is among the founding members of NATO, the Nordic Council, the OECD, OSCE, and the United Nations; it is also part of the Schengen Area.
Denmark exercises hegemonic influence in the Danish Realm, devolving powers to handle internal affairs.
Home rule was established in the Faroe Islands in 1948; in Greenland home rule was established in 1979 and further autonomy in 2009.
During the Pre-Roman Iron Age (500 BC – AD 1), native groups began migrating south, and the first tribal Danes came to the country between the Pre-Roman and the Germanic Iron Age, The Roman provinces maintained trade routes and relations with native tribes in Denmark, and Roman coins have been found in Denmark.
Evidence of strong Celtic cultural influence dates from this period in Denmark and much of North-West Europe and is among other things reflected in the finding of the Gundestrup cauldron.