The struggle continued with great bitterness on both sides, but gradually the Danish government was forced to grant many important reforms. High schools were established at Reykjavik, and efforts made to better the trade and farming of the country.
Recognizing the value of an intellectual centre, he made Reykjavik not only the political, but the spiritual capital of Iceland by removing all the chief institutions of learning to that city; he was the soul of many literary and political societies, and the chief editor of the Ny Felagsrit, which has done more than any other Icelandic periodical to promote the cause of civilization and progress in Iceland.
He was sent to the old and famous school at Bessastad and (when it removed thither) at Reykjavik; and in 1849, already a fair scholar, he came to Copenhagen University as a bursaries in the Regense College.
The largest town is Reykjavik on Faxafloi, with 6700 inhabitants, the capital of the island, and the place of residence of the governorgeneral and the bishop. Here the Althing meets; and here, further, are the principal public institutions of the island (library, schools, &c.).
The Islands Bank in Reykjavik (1904) is authorized to issue bank-notes up to £133,900 in total value.