Full text: Iceland 1930

When the consultative assemblies were created for Denmark in 1834, 
it was ordered that Iceland should send two representatives to. the 
assembly for the Danish islands convened at Roskilde. But this ar- 
rangement did not satisfy the Icelanders who demanded their own 
national assembly; and in answer to these demands the King, in 1838, 
created a commission of 10 royal officials who were to assemble in 
Reykjavik every two years to examine Icelandic affairs and make 
suggestions to the government; and later, in 1843, a consultative body 
for Iceland was created and called Althingi. 
By the Danish constitution act of 1849 the king renounced his ab- 
solute power in Denmark. But as this constitution did not include Ice- 
land, the king retained his absolute power there. Then the Icelanders 
began their struggle for independence under the leadership of Jén 
Sigurdsson. This struggle was twofold: a struggle for the recognition 
of Iceland’s independence of Denmark, and a struggle for a liberal 
constitution. When this controversy had lasted for 20 years, a bill was 
passed by the Danish Rigsdag, and ratified by the king (on Jan. 2nd 
1871), defining the position of Iceland within the realm. This law 
was never submitted to Althingi for approbation, which conse: 
quently denied the validity of the act. — According to this law Ice- 
land was an integral part of the Danish realm, with autonomous power 
in matters of local concern. In the so-called common aifairs of the 
realm Iceland was to have no voice. On Jan. 5th 1874, the king, with- 
out consulting Althingi, issued a constitution for Iceland based on the 
law of 1871 and dealing with its local concerns, granting legislative 
power to Althingi conjointly with the king in the country’s local con- 
cerns. The same year a special ministry for Iceland was created in 
Copenhagen, at the head of which was placed the Danish Minister of 
Justice. The constitutional struggle was soon renewed, and in 1903 
modifications in the constitution were granted, providing, among other 
things of less importance, a minister for Iceland residing in Reykjavik 
and capable of speaking and writing the Icelandic language. But this 
did not put an end to the controversy, and in 1907 the king appointed 
a commission consisting of Danes and Icelanders to draft a new agree- 
ment defining the position of Iceland in the realm. But the draft, sub- 
mitted by the majority of the commission in 1908, was not passed by 
Althingi. At last, in 1918, a new commission consisting of Icelanders 
and Danes was appointed to settle the relations between the two 
countries. The delegates met in Reykjavik, where the negotiations, 
bequn on the 1st of July, ended on the 17th of the same month by

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