Iceland: Truth, Knowledge, History Of This Frozen, Volcanic Nation

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CIA WORLD FACT BOOK)

 

Iceland

Introduction Settled by Norwegian and Celtic (Scottish and Irish) immigrants during the late 9th and 10th centuries A.D., Iceland boasts the world’s oldest functioning legislative assembly, the Althing, established in 930. Independent for over 300 years, Iceland was subsequently ruled by Norway and Denmark. Fallout from the Askja volcano of 1875 devastated the Icelandic economy and caused widespread famine. Over the next quarter century, 20% of the island’s population emigrated, mostly to Canada and the US. Limited home rule from Denmark was granted in 1874 and complete independence attained in 1944. Literacy, longevity, income, and social cohesion are first-rate by world standards.
History Age of settlement

The first people thought to have inhabited Iceland were Irish monks or hermits who came in the eighth century, but left with the arrival of Norsemen, who systematically settled Iceland in the period circa AD 870-930. The first known permanent Norse settler was Ingólfur Arnarson, who built his homestead in Reykjavík in 874. Ingólfur was followed by many other emigrant settlers, largely Norsemen and their Irish slaves. By 930, most arable land had been claimed and the Althing, a legislative and judiciary parliament, was founded as the political hub of the Icelandic Commonwealth. Christianity was adopted in 1000. The Commonwealth lasted until 1262, when the political system devised by the original settlers proved unable to cope with the increasing power of Icelandic chieftains.

Middle Ages to the Early Modern Era

The internal struggles and civil strife of the Sturlung Era led to the signing of the Old Covenant, which brought Iceland under the Norwegian crown. Possession of Iceland passed to Denmark-Norway in the late 14th century when the kingdoms of Norway and Denmark were united in the Kalmar Union. In the ensuing centuries, Iceland became one of the poorest countries in Europe. Infertile soil, volcanic eruptions, and an unforgiving climate made for harsh life in a society whose subsistence depended almost entirely on agriculture. The Black Death swept Iceland in 1402–1404 and 1494–1495, each time killing approximately half the population.

Around the middle of the 16th century, King Christian III of Denmark began to impose Lutheranism on all his subjects. The last Catholic bishop in Iceland was beheaded in 1550, and the country subsequently became fully Lutheran. Lutheranism has since remained the dominant religion. In the 1600’s and 1700’s, Denmark imposed harsh trade restrictions on Iceland, while pirates from England, Spain and Algeria raided its coasts. A great smallpox epidemic in the 18th century killed around one-third of the population.[14][15] In 1783 the Laki volcano erupted, with devastating effects. The years following the eruption, known as the Mist Hardships (Icelandic: Móðuharðindin), saw the death of over half of all livestock in the country, with ensuing famine in which around a quarter of the population died.

Independence and recent history

In 1814, following the Napoleonic Wars, Denmark-Norway was broken up into two separate kingdoms via the Treaty of Kiel. Iceland remained a Danish dependency. A new independence movement arose under the leadership of Jón Sigurðsson, inspired by the romantic and nationalist ideologies of mainland Europe. In 1874, Denmark granted Iceland home rule, which was expanded in 1904. The Act of Union, an agreement with Denmark signed on December 1, 1918, recognized Iceland as a fully sovereign state under the Danish king. During the last quarter of the 19th century many Icelanders emigrated to North America, largely Canada, in search of better living conditions.

During World War II, the German occupation of Denmark on April 9, 1940 severed communications between Iceland and Denmark. At that point Iceland’s parliament declared that the Icelandic government should exercise the authority that hitherto had been that of the King and take control over issues previously handled by Denmark on behalf of Iceland (principally foreign affairs). A month later, British military forces occupied Iceland, violating Icelandic neutrality. Allied occupation of Iceland lasted throughout the war.

In 1941, responsibility for the occupation was taken over by the United States Army. On December 31, 1943 the Act of Union agreement expired by its terms after 25 years. Beginning on May 20, 1944, four days of voting were conducted in a plebiscite on whether the union with Denmark should be terminated and whether a republic should be established.[16] The vote was 97% in favor of ending the union and 95% in favor of the new republican constitution. Iceland formally became an independent republic on June 17, 1944, with Sveinn Björnsson as the first President. The occupation force left in 1946. Iceland became a member of NATO on March 30, 1949, amid domestic controversy and riots and on May 5, 1951, a defense agreement was signed with the United States — American troops returned and stayed as part of the defense agreement throughout the Cold War and until autumn 2006.

The immediate post-war period was followed by substantial economic growth, driven by industrialization of the fishing industry and the rebuilding, Marshall aid and Keynesian government management of the economies of Europe, all of which promoted trade. The 1970’s were marked by the Cod Wars – several disputes with the United Kingdom over Iceland’s extension of its fishing limits. The economy was greatly diversified and liberalized following Iceland’s joining of the European Economic Area in 1992.

Geography Location: Northern Europe, island between the Greenland Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, northwest of the UK
Geographic coordinates: 65 00 N, 18 00 W
Map references: Arctic Region
Area: total: 103,000 sq km
land: 100,250 sq km
water: 2,750 sq km
Area – comparative: slightly smaller than Kentucky
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 4,970 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate: temperate; moderated by North Atlantic Current; mild, windy winters; damp, cool summers
Terrain: mostly plateau interspersed with mountain peaks, ice-fields; coast deeply indented by bays and fiords
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Hvannadalshnukur 2,110 m (at Vatnajokull glacier)
Natural resources: fish, hydro-power, geothermal power, diatomite
Land use: arable land: 0.07%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 99.93% (2005)
Irrigated land: NA
Total renewable water resources: 170 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 0.17 cu km/yr (34%/66%/0%)
per capita: 567 cu m/yr (2003)
Natural hazards: earthquakes and volcanic activity
Environment – current issues: water pollution from fertilizer runoff; inadequate wastewater treatment
Environment – international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Trans-boundary Air Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation
Geography – note: strategic location between Greenland and Europe; westernmost European country; Reykjavik is the northernmost national capital in the world; more land covered by glaciers than in all of continental Europe
People Population: 301,931 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 21.4% (male 32,759/female 31,845)
15-64 years: 66.8% (male 102,161/female 99,411)
65 years and over: 11.8% (male 16,162/female 19,593) (2007 est.)
Median age: total: 34.5 years
male: 34 years
female: 35 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.824% (2007 est.)
Birth rate: 13.57 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate: 6.77 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate: 1.43 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.029 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.028 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.825 male(s)/female
total population: 1.002 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 3.27 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.41 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.12 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 80.43 years
male: 78.33 years
female: 82.62 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.91 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 0.2% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 220 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: less than 100 (2003 est.)
Nationality: noun: Icelander(s)
adjective: Icelandic
Ethnic groups: homogeneous mixture of descendants of Norse and Celts 94%, population of foreign origin 6%
Religions: Lutheran Church of Iceland 85.5%, Reykjavik Free Church 2.1%, Roman Catholic Church 2%, Hafnarfjorour Free Church 1.5%, other Christian 2.7%, other or unspecified 3.8%, unaffiliated 2.4% (2004)
Languages: Icelandic, English, Nordic languages, German widely spoken
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99%

Who Am I: What Am I: What Do I Believe To Be The Truths In This Life Of Ours

Who Am I: What Am I: What Do I Believe To Be The Truths In This Life Of Ours

 

This is a question that I recently thought of, asking it to myself, about myself. This is a question that we can each ask ourselves or we can always ponder what others think of you, if you are so inclined to care what anyone else cares about anything. I ask the question “who am I” in the title, most times people tend to say what they do for a living wage (hopefully). Most all of my adult life I drove a truck for a living though most of the time the companies and the wages were far from rising to the level of being really lousy. So, I guess that would make me and old broken down used to be truck driver. Good, bad, or ugly, truth doesn’t care, truth is still the truth and it does not change the facts because the truth is the facts. When life is brought into just the physical realm, these things I have said, are true. But, today when these thoughts came to me I was thinking more of looking into myself asking of deeper thoughts.

 

Who made you? I don’t mean who was the egg and who was the juice, I mean who are you in your own head? Do you know exactly what you believe about this or that different issue in life? What about religion, not believing there is any Deity is in itself a faith isn’t it? No matter what a person has as a background in their lives we all get many mixed variances being fed into our brains throughout our time here on this planet. We must all decide for ourselves what we choose to be the real truth among the clatter. If we had religion mingled in with our raising what do we think about what we were taught, was any or all of “what the church says” the truth,  any parts of it?  So I decided to write down different things that I believe to be the truth about different issues coming to conclusions that I know that many people will disagree with me on. I have been blessed in that I have studied many lifestyles, cultures and religions. Traipsing all around America’s lower 48 states and all provinces of Canada for thirty years a person can learn a lot from the different parts of the country their cultures and their people. I was also blessed by God’s Grace to be allowed degrees in Sociology and Anthropology hear at our local college (Walters State). (no genius, just a 2.7 gpa)

 

I know I can not possibly say everything that I believe in and why I believe each item, besides I’m rather sure the read would get boring to you and me if we tried that in one sitting. I do believe that the Christian faith is the correct one to follow and I strongly disagree with the demeaning of Christian brothers toward each other. Though a person says they are Baptist, Lutheran, Jehovah’s Wittiness, Church of Christ, Mormon, or Catholic they all believe that Jesus Christ is The Messiah, the Groom of The Church. We are all Brothers in Christ so how dare Brother touch the Blood of their own Brother and not invite the Rath of the Creator of The Blood. Who created you or I to be the Judge and Executioner, we need to let God do these jobs, He is the Only One qualified to do it.

 

Lets start here with “The Beginning”. What do you believe about the beginning of all things, by this I mean the very beginning of this planet, this Solar System, this Galaxy, or even further back if you so choose? Do you believe what Science tells us to be truthful or do you believe in some sort of God created system in which the Bible and the Churches talk about. I believe that Science and The Bible do agree on most issues, it is just that they don’t realize it. Science often speaks of finding the Missing Link that combines monkeys and humans not believing that it doesn’t exist. I like nature shows, I have closely watched programs showing the likenesses in thoughts and behaviors of some Primates to how we humans act, for non believers I can see where it would be easy to believe as most Science base people believe.

I believe that the Catholic Church spoke many errors in their stringent teachings of old, like how the world was flat and that all heavenly bodies revolved around the Earth. They also taught and enforced the allowing of only Priests to read or interpret any of the Bible. For hundreds of years people were murdered by the so called Church Leaders for disagreeing with the Pope. Is it any wonder why the Authority of Scriptures is so often thought so little of? Is it not human nature to think that these Leaders if wrong on all these things, what else are they wrong about? The Catholic Church has done many wonderful things in Jesus name throughout these past two thousand years but they from past errors and recent Pastoral short Cummings have thrown many stains of blood upon Christs Cross.  The Catholic Church just like all the rest of the Religions I have studied all are lacking with the connection of the Beginning of time. For the purpose of not losing you because of length of article I will start off my next intended post with why I as a Christian do totally believe in the Big Bang Theory and why the Bible doesn’t disagree with that line of thought.