In the early 1800s Denmark & Norway
joined forces with Napoleon, who was sweeping over Europe,
however with the loss of Napoleon's France, Denmark and
Norway parted ways, leaving Iceland solely under the authority
of Denmark. This did little to help the still disastrous conditions in Iceland,
which continued to suffer as more of their population either died or emigrated (primarily
to Canada) during the 1800s.
Throughout the 1800s though, Iceland grew a stronger identity
and pride, resulting in movements that encouraged Denmark to give the island limited
self-rule in the late 1800s. This movement continued in the early 1900s when
Denmark gave Iceland a degree of independence, although Denmark continued
to handle numerous issues including diplomacy and military defense.
Near the start of World War II (WWII), Denmark was occupied
by Germany so most Danish governmental affairs were shifted
to Iceland, however with no true defense, the
British, and later the Americans
protected and occupied (with Iceland's approval) the island until the war ended.
In 1944 Iceland was given the decision to remain with Denmark or to declare an independent country; the people
overwhelmingly choose to gain independence. Since this time, Iceland has become
somewhat active on the international stage as they joined NATO and allied with the
United States for defense protection. However,
Iceland has decided to remain out of the European Union (EU).