Malta is an independent nation in Southern Europe. With the capital city of Valletta, Malta 2020 population is estimated at 441,554 according to countryaah. Findings of animal skeletons show that there was probably a land bridge between Malta and Sicily about 6,000 years ago. It was also from Sicily that the first people came to settle in Malta. They lived as farmers and traded flint and copper.
Between 3,500 and 2,500 BC, the so-called temple people ruled the islands. At that time Malta’s stone temple was built, which is some of the archipelago’s main attractions. Some of these temple buildings are older than the Egyptian pyramids and belong to the oldest buildings in the world. The temple culture went on for around 2,000 BC, probably when other people invaded the islands. The next finds that testify to settlement originate from the Bronze and Iron Age.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Malta, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
Around 800 BC, Malta was occupied by the Phoenician city state of Carthage. The Romans conquered the archipelago of the Second Punic War 218 BC (Carthaginian people were called Puns by the Romans). Malta first became part of the Sicilian province, but later gained a kind of autonomy within the Roman Empire. The islanders paid taxes to the Romans but had their own Senate, where political issues were discussed. The Maltese also had their own coins and sent their own ambassadors to Rome. For Malta political system, please check computerminus.
According to legend, the apostles Paul and Luke ended up in Malta in AD 60, and since then the Maltese have been Christians. When Rome was divided at the end of the 300s, Malta attacked the Byzantine Empire of Östrom.
The islands were conquered by the Arabs in the 8th century. At that time, an economic upturn began and many news was added in agriculture and architecture. The Christian population was discriminated against.
Malta becomes part of the Spanish empire
In 1091, Malta was incorporated into the Norman Empire and ruled from Sicily. Normans oppressed the Maltese and kept many in slavery. At the beginning of the 1280s Malta became part of the Kingdom of Aragon based in the northeastern part of present-day Spain. In 1469, Aragon merged with Castile in northern and central Spain and Malta became part of the Spanish empire.
In the middle of the 16th century, the Roman Catholic Johannite order (which was called the Maltese Order) from the 19th century settled on the island. The words had been formed in 1070 to care for sick pilgrims in Jerusalem during the Christian crusades to the Middle East. Eventually, the Johannite Order gained military functions and in the 1300s became a feared naval power in the Mediterranean. The Johannites previously lived on Rhodes in the Greek island world, but were forced out of there when the Turks conquered the island.
The Order of Johannite was given to Malta by the Spanish emperor Karl V, who thanked them for their efforts during the crusades. With the Johannite Knights, whose members were recruited from the foremost European nobility, a cultural heyday began on the islands. The Order Knights plowed down their fortunes in Malta, which was transformed into a fortified military base. Many of Malta’s most beautiful buildings were created during this time.
The Ottomans (Turks) repeatedly tried to conquer the islands. Under the leadership of Jean de la Vallette, the Johannite Order endured in 1565 a legendary Turkish siege for four months. Then the knights founded the capital Valletta, named after the order leader.
The archipelago becomes a British crown colony with an important naval base
In the 1600s, it became more common for Europeans to travel to the Far East by sailing around Africa, and Malta’s importance to trade in the Mediterranean decreased.
In 1798, Malta was captured by the French emperor Napoleon’s forces and became a French possession. But the Maltese revolted against the occupants. Britain sent troops to help the insurgents and 1800 surrendered the French. At the peace of Amiens in 1802, the Johannite order regained Malta, but the Maltese preferred British rule and sought protection from London. In connection with the Treaty of Paris in 1814, Malta became a British crown colony.
Over time, Valletta developed into the main base of the British Mediterranean fleet. Since the Suez Canal between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea was opened in 1869, the importance of Malta as a link on the road to India and the Far East has grown. The economic upswing that followed led to a sharp increase in population. Many Maltese, however, found it difficult to support themselves and emigrated to Italy as well as to English-speaking countries around the world.
In 1921 Malta was given limited autonomy, but soon a dispute arose between the British and the local government. The British criticized the government’s way of managing the finances of the archipelago. Also the question of which language would be the official created wear. The conflict led Britain to reintroduce colonial rule in the 1930s. English and Maltese were given official language status instead of Italian.
During World War II Malta was an important military base for Britain. The islands were therefore subjected to intense air strikes from Germany and Italy. The Maltese endured and were rewarded with the English Georgian cross depicted on the flag of Malta.