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  • How were the Vikings Governed?

    The Vikings at first were pagans, but had a method of government that first worked within the family, then area, and finally developed into a form of democracy, although they didn't call it that. Within their families, which were extended with mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, childres, even including cousins where families were able to get along. Then there were "Jarls" and "Kings" in certain areas. The Scandinavian Nations that we know today did not exist, but were a series of small kingdoms, finally developing into "Danish", "Norwegian and "Swedish" areas of influence. Toward the end of the Viking Age, around the year 1000, a method of parlimentarian government developed in Iceland, a nation of Vikings mostly from Norway. It was called the "Althing" and met yearly to settle disputes among landowners on the island, perform marriages and divorces, and create binding resolutions to these actions. It was presided over by the eldest chieftain, the "speaker". These meetings have been recorded for over 1000 years! You can read more by searching the web for Iceland, and I would recommend that you do that.

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