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Red Phone Boxes and all that. A Brief History of the British in Malta and Gozo.

Most of the Maltese speak perfect English; they are Manchester United or Liverpool football fans, have red letter boxes, and drink ales and bitter shandies in British-style pubs like the Knights of St. John, which are said to have had a tremendous influence on this island. 

The French occupation of Malta from 1798 to 1800 was a brief historical interlude in the archipelago's time as a British crown colony, following nearly two centuries of French-British battles in the Mediterranean and the English blockade of Malta. When the French troops were eventually forced to surrender Malta, which was occupied by the British, in the Treaty of Paris in 1814, the most important powers in Europe recognized Malta as one of Great Britain's colonies.


The Arduous Path to Achieve Independence.


From then on, the archipelago was ruled by a British governor, and English was the official language of the constantly changing rulers. To gain as much autonomy as possible, a Maltese government council was established in 1835 to assist the British governor with his duties. In 1849, the Irish state was granted its first constitution, though it did not give the Maltese very much political power. Malta became the main naval base of the British Navy and gained significant military importance during the Crimean War (1853–1856). Many of the Maltese found work in the ports and shipyards of the British Navy.


You will see red telephone boxes that date back to the British Empire all around Malta and Gozo.


After World War I, increasing prices and a greater tax burden on the inhabitants of Malta led to violent protests against British Colonial rule. The election of Malta's first parliament in 1921, the formation of political parties, the new constitution, which established their system of government in certain areas and monetary policy, as well as all the rules that


The nationalist party's George Borg Olivier was elected Prime Minister. The United Kingdom changed its colonial policy, allowing Malta to declare independence on September 21, 1964. Malta initially remained a member of the Commonwealth with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.


A State in the Middle of Europe


In the 1971 election, the Labour Party narrowly beat the Conservatives with the help of party leader Dominic Minoff. In 1971, Malta, which became a pumping Parliamentary Republic with a president as head of state in 1974, maintained a nonaligned foreign policy; on the 31st of March 1979, the last British troops left Malta. In 2004, Malta was accepted as a new member of the EU.


In order to be able to take into account the special political and economic conditions of the island of the Republic of Malta, the EU declaration of membership includes a total of 76 special rules. For example, Malta can retain its neutrality, and Maltese can be recognized as an official EU language. English, nonetheless, remains the island's second official language


Another legacy of British rule is that Maltese can continue to drive on the left, and until 2012, iconic Old landrovers still working as they should be, original minis are all the legacy of British colonial rule in Malta and Gozo.

British buses were the backbone of the Maltese bus service, only to be replaced by more modern buses.


Gozo Fact Box  

Red Phone Boxes and all that. A Brief History of the British in Malta and Gozo.

  • Look Out For the British Red Phone Boxes

  • Be careful Malta & Gozo Drive on the Left

  • Lots of statues of Queen Victoria & Churchhill

  • English is the second language in Malta & Gozo

  • Lots of old British cars are still in everyday use.

Gozo Gallery

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