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Title: Intra-European colonial nationalism : the case of Malta, 1922-1927
Authors: Frendo, Henry
Keywords: Nationalism -- Malta
Colonies -- Europe
Malta -- History -- British occupation, 1800-1964
Issue Date: 1992
Publisher: Malta Historical Society
Citation: Frendo, H. (1992). Intra-European colonial nationalism : the case of Malta, 1922-1927. Melita Historica 11(1), 79-93.
Abstract: Colonial nationalism was not only extra-European, limited to Africa, Asia, the Caribbean or the Pacific. Apart from the continental 'balkanizing' nationalisms most prevalent in eastern and south-eastern Europe, there were other generally disregarded nationalisms in the history of overseas empire. On the fringes of continental Europe we had two such cases in the British empire: Malta and Cyprus, the former colony being, clearly, more racially and religiously homogenous than the latter. In justice to outposts of empire which nevertheless saw themselves, in varying degrees, as intimately linked to continental European culture, we propose to carve out as a special area of interest a concern for European opposition to European'domination in Europe. We do not mean simply European-inspired movements, in the sense that, for example, Indian nationalist agitation was inspired by Irish example. Nor do we vaguely mean the 'European Mediterranean', south of a horizontal dividing line: that would comprise large European settlement colonies in the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean littoral in countries which were not themselves European and which, with the possible exception of Turkey, never regarded themselves so to be or to aspire to become. In looking at intra-European colonial nationalist opposition to imperial domination, our focus here is on the British 'fortress' of Malta, whose long established Italian and Latin traditions suffered as a result of strategic considerations and feared Italian irredentist aspirations. Through a peculiar 'assimilationist' English language policy, especially after 1870, Britain supported the emergence of Maltese as a written language: a means for anglicization and de-italianization. Upholding Italian [against English], as the long-established traditional medium of town and gown, of court and cloister, inspired and mobilised a nationalist movement whose 'loyalty' was constantly put into question, particularly after the advent of Fascism in Italy.
ISSN: 10216952
Appears in Collections:MH, Volume 11, No. 1 (1992)
MH, Volume 11, No. 1 (1992)
Scholarly Works - FacArtHis
Scholarly Works - InsMS

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