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Title: Behind the walls, beyond the shores : the urbanization of Malta
Other Titles: Il Mediterraneo delle città : Temi di storia
Authors: Dalli, Charles
Keywords: Cities and towns -- Malta -- History
Urbanization-- Malta -- History
Malta -- History
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Franco Angeli
Citation: Dalli, C. (2011). Behind the walls, beyond the shores: the urbanization of Malta. In E. Iachello, & P. Militello (Eds.), Il Mediterraneo delle città: Temi di storia (pp. 75-88). Milano: Franco Angeli.
Abstract: The story of Malta’s pre-modern urban development is inextricably linked to the island’s gradual transformation from a Sicilian dependency in the Crown of Aragon with a mainly rural population of about 20.000 around 1500, into an island principality with approximately half of its total population of about 100.000 in 1800 living in a heavily fortified and urbanized harbour area. Governed by the Hospitaller Grand Masters (1530-1798), the Maltese islands evolved into a Catholic theocratic principality enjoying de facto autonomy from the kingdom of Sicily2. Malta’s location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean world defined the course of its history. Following the British blockade of the French forces left by Napoleon to hold the islands in 1798, Malta became a British possession. The fortress colony served strategic British interests in the Mediterranean, and enjoyed periods of prosperity in times of war. The centripetal movement which had developed under the Order was further encouraged by the harbour-centred economy under British rule. The population, which doubled in the nineteenth century despite substantial migration, was heavily concentrated in the harbour area, where the early modern metropolitan port-town formed by Valletta and its suburb Floriana, together with the Three Cities of Birgu (Vittoriosa), Bormla (Cospicua) and Isla (Senglea) expanded especially after the opening of Suez in 1869 through suburban growth outside the lines of fortifications built by the Hospitallers. The Maltese harbour area came under substantial attack in the Second World War, causing a substantial population outflow.
ISBN: 978-88-568-3379-9
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacArtHis

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