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Title: Collaboration and resistance : a nationalist movement on deck
Other Titles: Malta's quest for independence : reflections on the course of Maltese history
Authors: Frendo, Henry
Keywords: Malta -- History -- British occupation, 1800-1964
Issue Date: 1989
Publisher: Valletta Publishing & Promotion Co. Ltd.
Citation: Frendo, H. (1989). Collaboration and resistance : a nationalist movement on deck. In H. Frendo (Ed.), Malta's quest for independence : reflections on the course of Maltese history (pp. 178-203). VaIletta: Valletta Publishing.
Abstract: The title of this chapter introduces us to various new developments that begin to characterise a national history from the 1870s onwards. It is a complicated period, the study of which has not been widely diffused; many Maltese even today harbour impressions and prejudices that linger on from colonial times. Yet it is an immensely formative period, pregnant with life-signs and with problems for the future. Looking back, we can identify courage and optimism in the birth of a home-grown nationalist movement to resist imperialism and colonialism as practised in Malta; but equally we can see much pessimism and collaboration which rendered this already difficult task - a nationalist resistance - still more difficult. Robinson and others have argued convincingly that it is ridiculous to try to understand imperialism as an entirely foreign body, thrown onto the subjected like a cloak; it certainly was not so in Malta where the cloak was woven and fashioned out into many a dress and often enough worn with pride, shown off as a mark of superiority, of acceptability or of survival. The underlying additional difficulty in the case of Malta - as this writer has shown extensively in other writings - was that the island had a strategic importance which, in the British perception, could barely allow it to breathe let along to spring into an independent existence. Having been independent for a quarter-of-a-century now, today's Malta may look back upon independence as a foregone conclusion, an inevitable development, an assumption wrapped up in history. Nothing could be further from the truth. There was no easy assumption of inevitability in the Maltese mind and still less so in the British one. It is only now that we may be approaching the time to draft conclusions.
Appears in Collections:Malta's quest for independence : reflections on the course of Maltese history
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