Iceland

From Roses, Tulips, & Liberty
Iceland
The Icelandic Federation
Ísland
Flag of Icelandic Federation.png
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Location of Iceland
EstablishedOrganized April 17th 1945, proclaimed May 2nd 1945
CapitalReykjavík
Largest CityReykjavík
Government TypeParliamentary Constitutional Monarchy
LanguagesIcelandic, Faroese
CurrencyIcelandic króna (ISK)

The Icelandic Federation (Icelandic: Sambandsríkið Ísland) is an island country in the North Atlantic Ocean sitting Northwest of continental Europe. It encompasses two distinct geographical regions, the Faroe Islands and Iceland. Each of these are home to the Icelandic and Faroese, two separate but similar nationality groups, each with their own language. The Faroese language has a protected status within the federation, with its preservation and status as an official language being written into the constitution.

The Icelandic federation was established on May 2nd 1945 following negotiations between the United Kingdom and the Icelandic Transitional Government. As per the Treaty of Akureyri, several ports and air bases within Iceland and the Faroe Islands remained part of the British Empire and were considered a sovereign part of the United Kingdom under the former British Icelandic Territory. This remained true until 1961, when the United Kingdom ceded these territories back to the Icelandic government as sovereign Icelandic land in exchange for allowing them to be permanently leased to the British Royal Navy and Air Force, which they remain to this day.

The Icelandic Federation consists of two constituent states (Iceland and the Faroe Islands) which are divided into kjördæmi, meaning literally ‘voting area’ however is used to mean ‘constituency’. Each constituency is an Autonomous administrative region of Iceland, each with their own local government. A unitary parliament called the Alþingi acts as the supreme national parliament.

The Icelandic Federation is not considered a Republic, due to its legal head of state remaining the Monarch of the United Kingdom.

History

Danish Rule (1380 - 1815)

Iceland has been ruled as a dependency by Norwegian kings through most of its history, though was transferred to the Kingdom of Denmark & Norway after the disestablishment of the Kalmar Union. It remained part of the Dano-Norwegian colonial realm until the English Wars (Danish: Englandskrigene) during the Augustine period, in which Denmark lost its personal union with the Kingdom of Norway in the treaty of Kiel. Despite the treaty, the United Kingdom refused to withdraw its troops occupying Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland, and continued occupying them until the Treaty of Vienna in 1814, in which the Kingdom of Denmark was forced to cede its North Atlantic territories to Great Britain, which subsequently annexed them as territories.

The Danish royal family was reportedly upset with the loss of these territories, with the Kingdom of Denmark still claiming the Faroe Islands and Greenland as rightful royal territory to this day.

British Icelandic Territory (1815-1945)

Flag of the British Icelandic Territory, also flown by British military officers in the British treaty ports of Iceland.

Following its annexation in the aftermath of the Augustine Wars, Iceland became an official territory of the British Empire, named the British Icelandic Territory. It shared no borders with any other country, consisting entirely of geographical Iceland and its associated minor islands. The British Icelandic Territory existed until 1944 when its status as a territory was temporarily revoked in the initial stage of the April Independence referendum, during which from April 3rd - 17th it held the status of protectorate. On April 17th 1945, Iceland was officially given dominionship following the unanimous vote in favor of independence. On May 2nd 1945, the Icelandic Federation was proclaimed, officially abolishing the British Icelandic Territory. The former Governor of the territory, however, remained the Chief Administrator of the British Exclaves within the federation until they were ceded to Iceland in 1961. During the period of short British exclave rule, the Union Jack as well as the former colonial flag was flown within the British territories.

Icelandic Transitional Government (1945)

The Icelandic Transitional Government was a short-lived provisional regime consisting of a cabinet of various Icelandic republicans and political activists. It was put together by commission by the British Government to provide a temporary new government to negotiate and represent the will of the Icelandic people as the April Independence referendum was being held. It was disbanded following the proclamation of the Icelandic Federation.

Demographics