|Greenland :: Brief History|
Capital City: Nuuk (Godthab)
National Holiday: June 21 (longest day)
National Anthem: Click here for anthem.Brief History: It is unknown when the native inhabitants of Greenland arrived, or why they decided to settle such a desolate place. Their bodies have adapted in accordance with the habitat through the millennia, becoming shorter, with more fatty tissue to provide heat insulation. Icelandic settlers found the land uninhabited when they arrived at the beginning of the last millennium. They established three settlements near the very south-western tip of the island, where they thrived for the next centuries.
The name Greenland comes from those Scandinavian settlers. In the Viking sagas, it is said that Eiríkur Rauði (Erik the Red) was exiled from Iceland for murder. He, along his family and slaves, set out in long ships to find the land that was rumoured to be to the north-west. After settling there, he named the land Greenland in order to attract more people to settle there. This proved successful, and the settlements seemed to be getting relatively well along with the new coming Inuit, and a Christian Bishop was sent. After almost five hundred years, the settlements simply vanished, probably due to famine during the 15th century in the Little Ice Age, when climatic conditions deteriorated. Bones from this late period were found to be in a condition consistent with malnutrition.
In 1386, the Greenland became part of the Kalmar Union and later of the double monarchy Denmark-Norway. Denmark retained possession of the island at the Treaty of Kiel in 1815.
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