Iceland (Part 5) Brief History

Published November 11, 2012 by theblondebackpacker

The Beginning

Iceland was settled in the 9th century by Ingólfur Arnarsson, a Norwegian nobleman looking for a new home after feuding with the King of Norway. Why was he pissed at the king? Over taxes-specifically, the king wanting him to pay them. Hmm…a rich man not wanting to be taxed…well, thank God that issue’s never come up again in modern politics. Anyways, about a half a century later, the settlement was doing pretty well with an estimated population of about 35,000 inhabitants. The Althing, a legislative body made up of chiefs, was created to help maintain law and order.


Christianity comes to the island in 1000.

The 1200′s

Ingólfur Arnarsson rolls over in his grave as his Icelandic settlement falls back under the rule of the King of Norway.

The 1300′s

Norway, and thus Iceland, unifies with Denmark.

The 1700′s

Not such a great time to be in Iceland. The bubonic plague wipes out one third of the population and volcanic activity destroys large amounts of farmland, resulting in widespread starvation.

The 1900s

In 1918, Iceland was granted sovereignty but still remained in a royal union with Denmark. In the 1940s, Iceland was occupied by British and American troops during WWII. In 1944, the Republic of Iceland was officially established.

The Millennium

In 2001, Icelandic singer Bjork wore a swan dress to the Academy Awards, causing many people to actually think about Iceland for the first time in their lives. In 2008, Iceland’s economy takes a big hit due to a banking crisis-join the club Iceland : (  In 2009, Iceland elects Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir, the world’s first openly gay Prime Minister.

Icelandic Pride

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