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What did Grundtvig think about politics and democracy?


When the Danish constitution was written in 1848-1849, there was much skepticism about democracy, and Grundtvig was originally one of the skeptics. However, since it seemed democracy would inevitably reach Denmark, Grundtvig believed the Danish people needed to be educated. Especially the farming communities needed to be prepared, in Grundtvig’s view, to be able to secure their interests in the new democracy where Grundtvig feared the political parties would fight for the advantage of specific groups, rather than the common good.

Despite his skepticism, Grundtvig became a part of the Constituent National Assembly which gave Denmark its first constitution in 1849 and was also elected for the first Danish parliament.


Grundtvig's thoughts

What did Grundtvig think about education?
What did Grundtvig think about the church?

Grundtvig 1872

Inspiration from England

In 1815, Grundtvig read the English poem ‘Beowulf’ which inspired him to study Anglo-Saxon literature. After having been censored in Denmark, Grundtvig made three study-visits to England (1929-1931) where he was very impressed with the freedom of the English society. He was inspired by the civil and religious liberties he experienced in England, and the education system contributed to his later thoughts about folk high schools in Denmark.


 
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