Home » Europe » Timeline of Major Historical Moments in Iceland

Timeline of Major Historical Moments in Iceland

870-930Viking Age: Norse Vikings settle throughout Iceland, taking the inhabiting Gaelic monks as slaves. Iceland becomes the last country in Europe to be settled
930-1262Old Commonwealth: The Alþingi, the National Assembly is founded in Thingvellir as the world's first parliament & common law is established
986Erik the Red leads expedition to colonize Greenland
999-1118Christianization: Icelanders convert to Christianity incorporating their pagan customs.
1000Christianity becomes Iceland's national religion
1000-1200The Icelandic alphabet is developed from Latin & Runic alphabets letting Icelanders record the Norse sagas for the first time
1117Slavery is abolished
1180-1264Sturlung Era: Series of violent battles between Icelandic clans
1264-1380Norwegian Rule
1380-1918Danish Rule: Both Iceland & Norway are controlled by Denmark
1397-1523Kalmar Union unites Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden & Finland
1402-1404Outbreak of the Black Death plague kills half of Iceland's population
1494-1495Second wave of the Black Death kills another half of the population
1539-1550Protestant Reformation: Icelanders are converted to Protestantism
1602-1874Denmark establishes a trade monopoly with Iceland. Pirates raids from England, Spain & Algeria devastate trade
1654-1683Witch-hunting popularizes in the remote Strandir, resulting in women being drowned & men being burned to death
1783-1785Mist Hardships: Laki Volcano eruption results in the depletion of more than half of Iceland's livestock & almost a quarter of Icelanders from fluoride poisoning & famine
1800The Alþingi National Assembly is abolished
1809-1874Independence movement results in the restablishment of the Alþingi National Assembly & increased sovereignty
1915Iceland flies its modern flag for the first time
1915Women aged 40 & older are granted the right to vote
1918Universal suffrage
1918-1943Kingdom of Iceland: Iceland becomes a sovereign state under the Danish crown
1940WWII brings British occupation to Iceland
June 17, 1944Iceland declares itself an independent republic
1944Iceland joins NATO
1958-1976Cod Wars: Series of disputes with Great Britain over Iceland's fishing range
1970Iceland joins EFTA (European Free Trade Association)
1973Volcano in Heimaey erupts
1980Iceland elects the world's first female president
1991-2008Economic Reform
2008-2011Great Recession
2010Eylafjallajokull Volcano erupts