The years towards the middle of the 19th century became increasingly marked by the national conflict between the Danes and Germans in the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. It culminated in the Three Years’ War, or the First Schleswig War in 1848-51.
At the same time Absolutism came under pressure. Hand in hand with national awakening came the demand for more influence for the citizens. Christian VIII, who became King in 1839, did not live up to hopes for a reduction of absolute power. During the 1840’s, however, it became clear that a change in the political system was unavoidable, and soon after the succession of Frederik VII in 1848, absolute monarchy was abolished. The year after, on June 5, 1849, the King signed Denmark’s new constitution.
The Golden Age in Danish art continued. Art, literature, music and theatre experienced days of glory never before seen in Denmark. And not surprisingly, artistic expression often took a nationalist turn, in accordance with the spirit of the times.