The history of Iceland is relatively recent when you consider that the human presence on the island dates back in the ninth century. In 874 Ingólfur Arnason came to the island and settled in the current Reykjavik, from Nordic countries. Residents who arrived later were some Norwegian Vikings and Celts. They formed a parliament (called Althing) in 930, currently considered the oldest in the world. In this parliament the laws were not written, but were saved by the logsogumaðr (which says the law).
Despite having been taken by Nordic people, Iceland was initially an independent country. It was not until 1264 when Haakon IV of Norway won the Icelanders submit to his authority, taking advantage of a strong situation by facing the country. For the ties between the ruling families in Norway and Denmark, later became part belong to Denmark. The Kalmar Union (1393) reaffirmed the ties of dependency with Denmark, Iceland thus lost their political rights. Later, in 1814, by the Treaty of Kiel, Iceland became a Danish territory completely. It was not until 1944, taking the overall situation in Europe concerning the Second World War, when the country declared wholly independent of Denmark.
With regard to religion, about the year 1000 Christianity came to the island, but in 1550 was imposed Lutheranism (Protestant) religion which remains today as majority option.
We can not talk about the Icelandic history without making a special stop at the “time of the sagas”. Between 930 and 1030 were written in the island’s famous sagas, books that relate the most important historical events of Icelandic society and which focus primarily on the genealogy and family history of the ancestors settlers. Reflect struggles and conflicts of the generations after the first colonists and serve as the reference for understanding such important historical events as the colonization of Greenland by the Vikings, discovered at the beginning of the tenth century under the leadership of Erik the Red, which would imply that the American continent was discovered long before Columbus arrived in 1492. His son, Leifur Ericsson, is considered one of the first Europeans to set foot on North America, about the year 1000, to spend the winter on land he called Vinland, currently called Terranova Island.
Volcanoes also have been protagonist in the history repeatedly. In 1783 the Laki volcano erupted, accounting for over 9,000 human lives and 80% of dead animals. The resulting famine killed a quarter of the population was left. This era is known as Móðuharðindin. This period coincides with the French Revolution, a time of bad harvests in the Gallic country, which led to the hunger of the lower classes, one of the causes of the riots start. Icelanders say the volcano ashes invaded Europe (as we lived in 2010 with the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull), being guilty of such poor crops and therefore indirectly responsible of the famous storming of the Bastille.
As described, the Icelanders like to be pioneers, so that policy could not be less. In 1980, Iceland became the first European country to proclaim a woman president of the government, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir. Also in 2009, with the economic situation, were the first to react and to pay the real perpetrators of financial fraud, both the banks and the government, so that there was the resignation of the government. This situation placed the Social Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir in the position of prime minister, becoming the first woman openly lesbian head of government of the modern era. Currently still holds this position. Check if it remains in the next elections are held close.