Frederick VII, 1808–63, king of Denmark, duke of Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenburg (1848–63), son and successor of Christian VIII. He accepted a liberal constitution in 1849 that ended the absolute monarchy. The vexed Schleswig-Holstein question continued during his reign. Frederick's attempt (1848) to tie Schleswig more closely to Denmark than to Holstein was tentatively settled by the Berlin Treaty (1850) and the London Protocol (1852). Just before Frederick died Schleswig was incorporated into Denmark, which led to war with Prussia under his successor, Christian IX. Numerous liberal reforms, such as emancipation of slaves in the colonies, freedom of the press, and civil marriage, were incorporated into Danish law in Frederick's reign.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.