Iceland was permanently settled in 874, and became a country with a national parliament (the oldest in the world) in 930. Here, the Vikings ruled until Iceland became a territory of Norway in 1262. This lasted until 1387 when the Kalmar Union was established across Scandinavia, surviving in various forms until Denmark split from the union, becoming a separate country and keeping Iceland as a territory. An independence movement began soon afterwards, and Denmark granted Iceland home rule (1874), sovereignty (1918) and finally full independence (1944). Not many countries have notched up as many as Iceland's 682 years from losing to regaining independence, but independent we have been for the last 75 years.

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