American President Donald Trump has expressed his interest in buying a part of the Danish kingdom. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Trump is interested in buying the world’s biggest island, Greenland, which is a self-governed part of the Danish kingdom and ruled by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II. However, it is uncertain whether the interest is due to financial reasons or something else.
An unnamed source tells the newspaper that President Trump has been talking about the idea of buying the world’s largest island over some time. During meetings, dinners and in conversations, Trump has asked several advisers whether he can buy Greenland. The President should also have discussed the island’s vast amount of resources and that it is an important geopolitical area.
According to two of the newspaper’s sources, Trump has also asked the White House to investigate the possibilities of buying the island. Some of the President’s advisers must have supported the proposal, saying it could be a smart economic move, while others have dismissed it as a passing interest that will never be a thing. Former US Ambassador to Denmark, Rufus Gifford – a democrat – has taken the time to comment on the news on Twitter: “Oh my God. For someone who loves Greenland and has visited the island nine times, every single corner and loves the population, this is a complete and total disaster,” he wrote in the first of three Twitter message. As US Ambassador to Denmark, Gifford was also the US Ambassador to Greenland.
Next month, Trump will visit Denmark for the first time at the invitation of Queen Margrethe II. This visit is not in connection with a possible acquisition of Greenland.
However, this is not the first time a US president has shown interest in buying Greenland. In 1946, then-President Harry S. Truman tried to buy Greenland from Denmark for $ 100 million, but the Kingdom of Denmark turned down his offer. The United States also looked at the opportunity to buy the island in 1867. With a population of 56,000, Greenland is an autonomous part of Denmark. The island itself can decide most of the decisions that affect them domestically, while foreign policy is decided in Copenhagen.
Greenland has since the Viking-era been under a monarch and ruled as a monarchy. It is uncertain when the Inuit migrated from the Canadian islands to Greenland, but there are indications that it occurred around year 900. Under the leadership of Eirik Raude, the first Vikings came from Norway and Iceland to Greenland in 985 or 986. From Greenland, Eirik Raude’s son Leiv Eiriksson explored the coasts of North America. The Norse built their farms on Greenland’s west coast and it was governed by the King of Norway. More than 22 churches and 2 monasteries were built and a separate Norwegian bishopric was established.
In 1814, the union between Denmark and Norway was dissolved as a result of the Kiel Treaty, and Norway was forced into a new union with Sweden. The old Norwegian tax countries Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, on the other hand, did not follow Norway, but were retained by Denmark, and remained a Danish colony. The Danish Parliament decided to grant Greenland home rule in 1978 with effect from 1979. Norway occupied parts of East Greenland in the period 10 July 1931–1933 and called this area Eirik Raudes Land.