greenland coat of arms T-Shirt
Greenland (Greenlandic: Kalaallit Nunaat, meaning "Land of the Kalaallit (Greenlanders)"; Danish: Grønland, meaning "Greenland") is a self-governed Danish territory. Though geographically and ethnically an Arctic island nation associated with the continent of North America, politically and historically Greenland is closely tied to Europe.----Greenland was home to a number of Paleo-Eskimo cultures in prehistory, the latest of which — the Early Dorset culture — disappeared around the year 200. Hereafter, the island seems to have been uninhabited for some eight centuries. ------------------------------------ Icelandic settlers found the land uninhabited when they arrived ca. 982. They established three settlements near the very southwestern tip of the island, where they thrived for the next few centuries, disappearing after over 450 years of habitation. ----------------------------- The fjords of the southern part of the island were lush and had a warmer climate at that time, possibly due to what was called the Mediaeval Warm Period. These remote communities thrived and lived off farming, hunting and trading with the motherland, and when the Scandinavian monarchs converted their domains to Christianity, a bishop was installed in Greenland as well. The settlements seem to have coexisted relatively peacefully with the Inuit, who had migrated southwards from the Arctic islands of North America around 1200. In 1261, Greenland became part of the Kingdom of Norway. Norway in turn entered into the Kalmar Union in 1397 and later the personal union of Denmark-Norway.-------After almost five hundred years, the Scandinavian settlements simply vanished, possibly due to famine during the 15th century in the Little Ice Age, when climatic conditions deteriorated, and contact with Europe was lost. Bones from this late period were found to be in a condition consistent with malnutrition. Some believe the settlers were wiped out by bubonic plague or exterminated by the Inuit. Other historians have speculated that Basque or English pirates or slave traders from the Barbary Coast contributed to the extinction of the Greenlandic communities. --------------------- Denmark-Norway reasserted its latent claim to the colony in 1721. The island's ties with Norway were severed by the Treaty of Kiel of 1814, through which Sweden gained control over mainland Norway while Denmark retained all of their common overseas possessions, which, at that time, included small territories in India, West Africa and the West Indies, as well as the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland. ------------------- Norway occupied and claimed parts of (then uninhabited) East Greenland aka Erik the Red's Land in July 1931, claiming that it constituted Terra nullius. Norway and Denmark agreed to settle the matter at the Permanent Court of International Justice in 1933, where Norway lost.--------During World War II, Greenland's connection to Denmark was severed on April 9, 1940 when Denmark was occupied by Germany, and Greenland was on its own. Through the cryolite from the mine in Ivigtut, Greenland was able to pay for goods bought in the United States and Canada. During the War the system of government changed. Eske Brun was governor and ruled the Island via a 1925 law concerning the governing of the Island where, under extreme circumstances, the governors could take control. The other governor, Aksel Svane, was transferred to the United States as leader of the commission to supply Greenland. The Sirius Patrol, guarding the Northeastern shores of Greenland using dog sleds, detected and destroyed several German weather stations, giving Denmark a better position in the postwar turmoil. ------------------------------ Greenland had until 1940 been a protected and thereby isolated society. The Danish government, which governed the colonies of Greenland, had been convinced that the society would face exploitation from the outside world or even extinction if the country was opened up. During World War II, though, Greenland developed a sense of self-reliance during its period of self-government and independant communication with the outside world. ---------------------------- However, in 1946 a commission (with the highest Greenlandic council Landsrådet as participant) recommended patience and no radical reformation of the system. Two years later the first step towards an alteration of the governing of Greenland was initiated as a grand commission was founded. In 1950 the report (G-50) was presented. Greenland was to be a modern welfare society with Denmark as the sponsor and example. In 1953 Greenland was made an equal part of the Danish Kingdom. In 1979 home rule was granted.