English › Democracy › The Constitutional Act of Denmark › The Origin of the Constitutional Act
As international developments began to accelerate, King Christian VIII decided that Denmark should also have a free constitution. Before he died in 1848, he therefore ordered his son, Frederik VII to promise the Danish people a new constitution that guaranteed them freedom and equality and prevented any one person from having unlimited power.
A new Government was given the authority to negotiate the constitution. Drawing on inspiration from the constitutions of other countries, e.g. Norway and Belgium, Danish politician D.G. Monrad wrote a draft constitution. The draft was presented to the Constitutional Assembly of the Realm, which comprised 152 members who had been elected to discuss the contents of the new constitution. After several months of work and discussions, the Constitutional Assembly of the Realm adopted a constitution which comprised 100 sections and became the Constitutional Act of Denmark. It was signed by King Frederik VII on 5 June 1849. This date is therefore known in Denmark as Constitution Day and is celebrated every year as a national holiday with political meetings held throughout the country.
Anita May Jayasinghe