Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Malta and the Mediterranean in the 19th Century

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit examines a number of fundamental themes which comprise the mainframe of nineteenth-century Maltese history. These include the peculiar circumstances and context in which the British came to Malta; the strategic development of Malta as a reflection of Britain’s increasing involvement and dominance in the Mediterranean; the huge impact of such strategic development on the economic and political life of the Maltese; the atypical relationship that developed between the Maltese and their British rulers and the ensuing, almost unique, expression of colonial rule; the shifting tripartite relationship between the British administration, the Catholic Church and the emergent political class; issues of taxation and language; constitutional development and its limitations; and the inevitable interdependence that developed between Malta and Britain. The foregoing will be seen within the broader framework of Mediterranean and European history.

Study-Unit Aims:

• To combine the study of Maltese history with that of the Mediterranean, which constitutes the main external context within which this history unfolds;
• To offer alternative approaches to, and evaluation of, knowledge which in part may have been previously acquired;
• To provide a basis for further study-units on Malta and the Mediterranean at a higher level.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• establish a three-dimensional view of modern Maltese history within its Mediterranean context;
• recognize alternative perspectives on certain features of Maltese history;
• appraise certain aspects of history, often learned as European history, from a Mediterranean vantage point.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• interpret and approach the study of history with a critical outlook;
• characterise historical knowledge as an instrument to understand contemporary Malta, within its European and Mediterranean contexts;
• locate broad historical trends.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

• D. Fenech, ‘A Historical Introduction’, in Responsibility and Power in Inter-war Malta: Book One, Endemic Democracy, (Malta, 2005).
• D. Fenech, ‘The Strangeness of Anglo-Maltese relations’, Journal of Mediterranean Studies, Volume 23, Number 1, 2014.
• D. Fenech, ‘Divorced from political reality: the new limits of Ecclesiastical power in Malta’, Round Table, 101(3).
• R. Holland, Blue-Water Empire: the British in the Mediterranean since 1800, (London, 2012).
• H. Lee, Malta 1813-1914: A Study in Constitutional and Strategic Development, (Malta, 1972).
• V. Mallia-Milanes (ed.), The British Colonial Experience, 1800-1964, (Malta, 1988).

Supplementary Readings:

• D. Fenech, ‘Birgu during the British Period’, in Lino Bugeja et al. (eds.), Birgu: a Maltese Maritime City, vol.i, (Malta, 1993).
• D. Fenech, 'East-West to North-South in the Mediterranean', Geojournal, 32.1, 1993.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Dominic Fenech

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.