From a cultural and historical-sociological perspective, the Danish nationstate of today represents a rare situation of virtual identity between state, nation, and society, which is a more recent phenomenon than normally assumed in Denmark and abroad. Though one of the oldest European monarchies, whose flag came ‘tumbling down from heaven in 1219’—ironically enough an event that happened in present-day Estonia—Denmark's present national identity is of recent vintage. Until 1814 the word, Denmark, denominated a typical European, plurinational or multinational, absolutist state, second only to such powers as France, Great Britain, Austria, Russia, and perhaps Prussia. The state had succeeded in reforming itself in a revolution from above in the late eighteenth century and ended as one of the few really “enlightened absolutisms” of the day (Horstbøll and østergård 1990; østergård 1990). It consisted of four main parts and several subsidiaries in the North Atlantic Ocean, plus some colonies in Western Africa, India, and the West Indies. The main parts were the kingdoms of Denmark proper and Norway, plus the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. How this particular state came about need not bother us here.