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Title: The state of Maltese economy at the end of the eighteenth century : considerations based on the deeds of a local notary : Stefano Farrugia
Authors: Marco, Elena di
Keywords: Malta -- History -- French occupation, 1798-1800
Malta -- History -- Sources
Malta -- Economic conditions -- 18th century
Notaries -- History -- Malta
Archives, Notarial -- Malta
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: University of Malta. Department of History
Citation: Di Marco, E. (2013). The state of Maltese economy at the end of the eighteenth century. Considerations based on the deeds of a local notary : Stefano Farrugia. Journal of Maltese History, 3(2), 91-100
Abstract: After 268 years under the Order of St. John, in June 1798 Malta was taken by Napoleon’s Republican soldiers in less than a week and General Bonaparte clearly showed his genius, reorganizing the administration of the country. These events have inevitably attracted the attention of several scholars, who have studied the entire Maltese administrative apparatus during the brief French rule on the island, without however going into financial details. As a matter of fact, two years (the length of the ‘French period’ in Malta) are not enough to properly assess the economic balance of a state. A few historians have tried to analyse the Maltese economy both under the Knights and under the British government, but no one has consulted notaries’ documents as a key primary source for reconstructing the economic and social history of Malta during the French regime. In actual fact, notarial contracts allow researchers easy access to large amounts of relevant data, which provide historical evidence of economic and social life. I have already adopted this research methodology to create an outline of the financial market of Udine (a city in the north-east of Italy) during the first Austrian rule (1798-1805); my findings have been revealing, since they anticipated the “land revolution”, so called by Carlo Zaghi, who was the first to use this definition and after him many other historians, by stating that the massive transfer of the nobility’s estates to the emerging middle class was determined by the radical changes introduced by Napoleon. In my study I demonstrated that, although undoubtedly promoted by the French, it was actually the result of a long process of transformation, which started before the Napoleonic rule. As will be shown in this paper the Maltese vicissitudes fit in perfectly with this historical picture.
ISSN: 2077-4338
Appears in Collections:JMH, Volume 3, No. 2 (2013)
JMH, Volume 3, No. 2 (2013)

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