|9th Prime Minister of Denmark|
24 April 1924 –14 December 1926
|Preceded by||Niels Neergaard|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Madsen-Mygdal|
30 April 1929 –3 May 1942
|Preceded by||Thomas Madsen-Mygdal|
|Succeeded by||Vilhelm Buhl|
|Born||26 October 1873|
|Died||3 May 1942 68) (aged|
|Political party||Social Democrats|
Thorvald August Marinus Stauning (Danish: [ˈtsʰɒːˌvælˀ ˈstɑwne̝ŋ] ; 26 October 1873 in Copenhagen – 3 May 1942) was the first social democratic Prime Minister of Denmark. He served as Prime Minister from 1924 to 1926 and again from 1929 until his death in 1942.
Under Stauning's leadership Denmark, like the other Western European countries, developed a social welfare state,and though many of his ambitions for Social Democracy were ultimately thwarted, in his lifetime, by events beyond his control, his leadership through grave times places Stauning among the most admired of twentieth-century Danish statesmen.
The Stauning Alps, a large mountain range in Greenland, were named after him.
Stauning was trained as a cigar sorter and soon became involved with trade union activity. From 1896 to 1908 he was leader of the Cigar Sorters' Union (part of the Danish Tobacco Workers' Union, in 1898 – 1904 also editor of the magazine Samarbejdet (Co-operation) of the Federation of Trade Unions, and elected Member of Parliament (Folketinget) in 1906.
In 1910 he was elected chairman of the Social Democratic Party (Socialdemokratiet), a position he retained for almost thirty years, until 1939. After participating as Minister without Portfolio in the Cabinet of Zahle II from 1916 to 1920, he returned to government as prime minister in 1924 for the minority cabinet Cabinet of Thorvald Stauning I which would survive until 1926. His cabinet was considered ground-breaking not only as it was the first purely Social Democratic cabinet, but also because a woman, Nina Bang, was appointed Minister of Education, which attracted some international attention, as she was one of the first female ministers in the world.
From 1929 he led the successful coalition cabinet Cabinet of Thorvald Stauning II with the social liberal Det Radikale Venstre party that would steer Denmark out of the Great Depression, shaping a major political compromise that greatly improved the Danish economy, and also transformed the Social Democratic Party from a class party to a popular party.
Under Stauning's leadership Denmark, like the other Western European countries, developed a social welfare state. It's often proposed that the long-lived coalition cabinet actively averted the communist and fascist movements that were sweeping much of Europe from developing a strong following in Denmark.
In January 1933, Stauning's government entered into what was then the most extensive settlement yet in Danish politics—the Kanslergade settlement (Danish : Kanslergadeforliget)—with the liberal party Venstre. The settlement, which was named after Stauning's apartment in Kanslergade in Copenhagen, included extensive agricultural subsidies and reforms of the legislation and administration in the social sector.
Stauning holds a record in Danish politics, in having successfully sought re-election no less than three times (1932, 1935 (With the famous slogan "Stauning or Chaos"), 1939). However, an attempt to amend the Constitution failed in 1939, as the turnout in the referendum was insufficient to validate the result. This came as a tremendous blow to Stauning, who seemed to lose his previously sure touch for politics thereafter. He reportedly considered resigning in the wake of the referendum failure, but was persuaded to stay on.
Stauning's second cabinet lasted until Operation Weserübung, the Nazi occupation of Denmark began on 9 April 1940, when the cabinet was widened to include all political parties, called the Cabinet of Thorvald Stauning III. Contrary to most other governments of the Nazi-invaded countries, King Christian X of Denmark and his government ordered the army and navy to stop fighting, and chose to remain in their country also under the occupation, which is believed to have contributed to the Nazi years being more lenient in Denmark than in other countries under Hitler's control. Stauning died in 1942, deeply depressed about the future of social democracy in a Nazi-dominated Europe.
Like many other workers' leaders of his generation, such as Hjalmar Branting in Sweden, Stauning was a charismatic leader who played an important role in integrating Danish society after the social changes following the Industrial Revolution and common suffrage. His campaign slogan, "Stauning or Chaos," (Danish : Stauning eller Kaos) resonated in a nation undergoing a period of massive unemployment caused by the economic, social and political turmoil of its neighbors and trading partners, notably Denmark's chief trading partner Germany. The following Great Depression brought Danish unemployment to unprecedented heights. This period of widespread social malaise was fertile ground for leaders who could communicate a confident and coherent vision to the masses. Stauning was such a man for Denmark, and his popularity won the Social Democratic Party 46% of the total votes in the 1935 Folketing election, a figure never again reached by any Danish party.
He was given a state funeral in 1942, an honour normally not bestowed on Danish prime ministers. Although Denmark's relationship with Germany during World War II has been controversial, Stauning's legacy in Denmark remains positive. His popularity in the 1930s acted as a force limiting the growth of other populist parties—most importantly, the Nazi party, which remained politically insignificant. Stauning also played a major role in containing the constitutional Easter Crisis of 1920 where he brokered a deal with the king in which the monarch accepted a reduction of his own role to a merely symbolical one, avoiding any future interference in the functioning of parliamentary democracy. In return, Stauning kept the pro-republican elements of the Social Democratic Party in line, and ensured his party's political support to the continuation of the Danish monarchy. His government was also responsible for laying the foundations to the future Danish welfare state.
The Prime Minister of Denmark is the head of government in the Kingdom of Denmark comprising the three constituent countries: Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Before the creation of the modern office, the kingdom did not initially have a head of government separate from its head of state, namely the monarch, in whom the executive authority was vested. The Constitution of 1849 established a constitutional monarchy by limiting the powers of the monarch and creating the office of premierminister. The inaugural holder of the office was Adam Wilhelm Moltke.
At the outset of World War II, Denmark declared itself neutral. For most of the war, the country was a protectorate, then an occupied territory of Germany. The decision to occupy Denmark was taken in Berlin on 17 December 1939. On 9 April 1940, Germany occupied Denmark in Operation Weserübung and the king and government functioned as normal in a de facto protectorate over the country until 29 August 1943, when Germany placed Denmark under direct military occupation, which lasted until the Allied victory on 5 May 1945. Contrary to the situation in other countries under German occupation, most Danish institutions continued to function relatively normally until 1945. Both the Danish government and king remained in the country in an uneasy relationship between a democratic and a totalitarian system until the Danish government stepped down in a protest against the German demands to institute the death penalty for sabotage.
Poul Oluf Nyrup Rasmussen, was Prime Minister of Denmark from 25 January 1993 to 27 November 2001 and President of the Party of European Socialists (PES) from 2004 to 2011. He was the leader of the governing Social Democrats from 1992 to 2002. He was a member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2009.
Venstre, full name Venstre, Danmarks Liberale Parti, is a conservative-liberal, agrarian political party in Denmark. Founded as part of a peasants' movement against the landed aristocracy, today it espouses an economically liberal, pro–free market ideology.
The Conservative People's Party, also known as the Conservatives is a conservative centre-right political party in Denmark. The party is a member of the European People's Party (EPP) and International Democrat Union.
The Social Democrats, officially the Social Democratic Party or simply Social Democracy, is a social-democratic political party in Denmark.
Carl Theodor Zahle, Danish lawyer and politician; prime minister of Denmark 1909–1910, 1913–1920. In 1895 he was elected member of the lower chamber of the Danish parliament (Folketinget), for the Liberal Party (Venstrereformpartiet). A campaigner for peace, in 1905 he co-founded the Social Liberal Party together with other disgruntled members of Venstrereformpartiet. He continued on as a member of the Folketinget for Det Radikale Venstre until 1928, when he became a member of the upper chamber of parliament (Landsting). In 1929 he became Justice Minister, a post which he held until 1935.
The Danish Social Liberal Party is a social-liberal political party in Denmark.
Jens Otto Krag was a Danish politician. He was Prime Minister from 1962 to 1968 and again from 1971 to 1972. He was President of the Nordic Council in 1971.
Vilhelm Buhl was Prime Minister of Denmark from 4 May 1942 to 9 November 1942 as head of the Unity Government during the German occupation of Denmark of World War II, until the Nazis ordered him removed. He was Prime Minister again from 5 May 1945 to 7 November 1945 as head of a unity government after the liberation of Denmark by the British Field Marshal Montgomery.
Hans Hedtoft Hansen was a Danish politician of the Social Democrats who served as Prime Minister of Denmark from 1947 to 1950 and again from 1953 until his death in 1955. He also served as the first President of the Nordic Council in 1953.
Erik Eriksen was a Danish politician, who served as Prime Minister of Denmark from 1950 to 1953 and as the fourth President of the Nordic Council in 1956. Eriksen was leader of the Danish Liberal party Venstre from 1950 to 1965. He served as Prime Minister of Denmark from 30 October 1950 to 30 September 1953 as leader of the Cabinet of Erik Eriksen forming a minority government of Venstre and the Conservative People's Party. Erik Eriksen was a farmer by profession.
Nina Henriette Wendeline Bang née Ellinger was a Danish social democratic politician and historian. In 1924 she was appointed Minister for Education, becoming the first female minister in an internationally recognized government. She resigned as minister in 1926.
Peter Rochegune Munch (1870–1948) was a leading Danish historian and politician. He was a leading member of the Radikale Venstre, and represented Langeland in parliament.
Karl Kristian Vilhelm Steincke, was a Danish politician from the Social Democratic Party. He was justice minister from 1924 to 1926 in the Stauning I Cabinet, social minister from 1929 to 1935 in the Stauning II Cabinet, and justice minister again from 1935 to 1939 in the Stauning III Cabinet and in 1950 in the Hedtoft I and II Cabinets. He has been cited as the chief architect of the Danish welfare state with the Social Reform Acts of the early 1930s, including the Kanslergade Agreement.
Alsing Emanuel Andersen was a Danish social democrat politician. Andersen served as the Minister of Defense (1935–1940) for Denmark. From 8 July 1940 to 1945, he served as the vice chairman of the Danish Social Democratic Party, and as the acting chairman of the party from the death of Thorvald Stauning until the end of the Nazi occupation of Denmark in 1945. Andersen briefly returned to national politics as the Minister of the Interior from 13 to 23 November 1947.
The Kanslergade Agreement was a 1933 political agreement in Denmark, which laid the foundation for the Danish welfare state. It was enacted by the government of prime minister Thorvald Stauning, with social minister K.K. Steincke being its chief architect. The Kanslergade Agreement was negotiated in Stauning's apartment on Kanslergade in Copenhagen, from which it takes its name.
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The Scavenius Cabinet was the government of Denmark from 9 November 1942 to 5 May 1945. It replaced the Buhl I Cabinet, which fell due to the Telegram Crisis in November 1942, when the Germans demanded changes to the Danish government. The Germans wanted nonpolitical ministers and Nazi ministers in the new government, however only the first demand was met. Following the August Rebellion in 1943, the Germans put forward more demands, which the Danish authorities refused. The government therefore filed a resignation request for the King on 29 August 1943, who refused to accept it. The government de facto ceased to function, though still formally in power. The Board of the Heads of Department was established, where the ministries and directors of the ministries managed the country. Only after the liberation of 5 May 1945, were the resignation accepted, and the Scavenius Cabinet and Board of the Heads of Department were replaced by the Buhl II Cabinet.
| Prime Minister of Denmark |
23 April 1924 – 14 December 1926
| Prime Minister of Denmark |
30 April 1929 – 3 May 1942
Hans Pieter Hansen
| Defence Minister of Denmark |
31 May 1933 – 4 November 1935
Alsing Emanuel Andersen
|Party political offices|
Peter Christian Knudsen
| Leader of the Danish Social Democrats |
1910 – 1939