Detailed Pedia

Timeline of Maltese history

This is a timeline of Maltese history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Malta and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Malta. See also the list of monarchs of Malta and list of Governors of Malta.


Millennia: 1st BC · 1st–2nd · 3rd
Centuries: 10th BC · 9th BC · 8th BC · 7th BC · 6th BC · 5th BC · 4th BC · 3rd BC · 2nd BC · 1st BC

10th century BC

Year Date Event
1000 BC The Phoenicians were present on Malta before the end of the 2nd millennium BC.[]
The colonisation of the Maltese Islands by the Phoenicians begins. Earliest evidence of commerce and increased contacts with surrounding Mediterranean cultures.

9th century BC

8th century BC

Year Date Event
720 BC A Phoenician colony is founded on Malta.

7th century BC

Year Date Event
700 BC A Punic temple, dedicated to the mother goddess Astarte, is built over the remains of the Tas-Silġ megalithic temples. (to 200 BC)

6th century BC

Year Date Event
539 BC Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian Empire, conquers Phoenicia.

5th century BC

Year Date Event
480 BC The islands come under the control of Carthage, a former Phoenician colony, and rapidly develop into a Carthaginian naval base.

4th century BC

3rd century BC

Year Date Event
264 BC First Punic War. (to 241 BC)
221 BC Second Punic War. (to 202 BC)
218 BC Invasion of Malta by Titus Sempronius Longus.
Malta is incorporated into the Roman Republic, within the province of Sicily.
Beginnings of the Maltese textile industry.

2nd century BC

Year Date Event
200 BC A Roman temple, dedicated to the goddess Hera, is built over the remains of the Tas-Silġ megalithic temples. (to 300)
150 BC Third Punic War. (to 146 BC)

1st century BC

Centuries: 1st · 2nd · 3rd · 4th · 5th · 6th · 7th · 8th · 9th · 10th · 11th · 12th · 13th · 14th · 15th · 16th · 17th · 18th · 19th · 20th

1st century

Year Date Event
41 The Maltese are granted municipal privileges by Rome.
60 Saint Paul shipwrecked on the island.
60 Saint Publius Prince of Malta. First Bishop of Malta.

2nd century

Year Date Event
117 Malta becomes a municipium during the reign of Hadrian. (to 138)

3rd century

4th century

Year Date Event
395 Western Roman rule over Malta, following the final division of the Roman Empire. (to 454)
400 A Western Roman church is built over the remains of the Tas-Silġ megalithic temples. (to 600)

5th century

Year Date Event
454 Malta is occupied by the Vandals.
464 Malta is occupied by the Goths.

6th century

Year Date Event
533 Belisarius restores the Maltese Islands to the Byzantine Empire.

7th century

8th century

9th century

Year Date Event
870 Malta is conquered by Aghlabid Arabs.
The fortified Roman settlement of Melita, on the highlands in the centre of Malta, is reduced in size, further fortified, and renamed Medina, precursor to the Medieval city of Mdina.
The Arabs construct a fort on the site of present-day Fort St Angelo.
Improved agriculture and irrigation systems are introduced, including the 'noria' or waterwheel; cotton and citrus fruits are introduced to Malta.

10th century

Year Date Event
909 Fatimids conquered Malta.

11th century

Year Date Event
1053–54 The Byzantine Empire unsuccessfully attempts to recapture the islands.
1091 The Norman Count Roger I of Sicily invades Malta and the Muslim inhabitants negotiate a peaceful surrender. Gozo is sacked by the Normans.

12th century

Year Date Event
1122 Arab uprising against the Normans in Malta.
1127 Norman control over Malta is consolidated under Roger II of Sicily.
A Norman governor is installed, and Norman soldiers are garrisoned in Malta's three main castles.
Christianity re-established as the Islands' dominant religion.
1144 Second attempt by the Byzantine Empire to recapture the Islands.
1154 The Catholic Church in Malta is incorporated into the See of Palermo.
1192 Margaritus of Brindisi was created first Count of Malta, perhaps for his unexpected success in capturing Empress Constance contender to the Sicilian throne. (to 1194, forfeited by House of Hohenstaufen)
1194 Malta and Sicily are ruled by the Swabians (House of Hohenstaufen). (to 1266)

13th century

Year Date Event
1223 The exile to Malta of the entire male population of the town of Celano (Italy).
1224 Expulsion of all Muslims from Malta and Sicily.
1240 Stationing of a Norman and Sicilian (Swabian) Garrison on Malta in 1240
1266 Malta and Sicily are ruled by the Angevins. (to 1283)
1283 Malta and Sicily are ruled by the Crown of Aragon. (to 1530)

14th century

Year Date Event
1350 Grant in fief of lands 'Diar el Bniet' by Louis of Sicily (House of Aragon) to Francesco Gatto on 4 January 1350, by a privilegium given at Messina, the fief having reverted to the Crown after it had been held by Michele Bava.
First Incorporation of the Maltese Islands into the Royal Domain (Kingdom of Sicily). (to 1357)
1356 Giacomo Pelegrino is noted as 'Capitano della Verga' ('Hakem').
1397 Second Incorporation of the Maltese Islands into the Royal Domain (Kingdom of Sicily). (to 1420)
Establishment of the Università, a form of local government, in Malta.

15th century

Year Date Event
1419 The Militia List is drawn up, giving information about the population of Malta in the Middle Ages.
1420 The 'Consiglio Popolare' is mentioned when King Alphonsus of Aragon mortgaged the islands to Antonio Cardona.
1425 Uprising by the Maltese against Don Gonsalvo Monroy during his absence from the island, Count of Malta.
His wife Donna Costanza is held hostage in the Castellamare (Fort St Angelo)
Monroy appears before the Court of Sicily demanding that the strongest possible measures be taken against the insurgents.
The Maltese insurgents repel an attempt by the Viceroy of Sicily to bring the island to order
Maltese representatives appear before the same Court, offering to "redeem" the Islands by repaying the 30,000 florins originally paid by Monroy for his fiefdom over Malta, and asking King Alfonso to incorporate the Islands into his Royal Domains
Monroy agrees to the terms but demands hostages to be held for as long as his wife is held in Malta. The impasse is resolved when Antonio Inguanez offers his two sons as hostages
Negotiations drag on for several months during which only 10,000 florins are collected and the negotiated time elapses. However Monroy dies retaining for his heirs only a third of the sum collected and ordering that another third be returned to the Maltese. The last third he left to the King to be spent on strengthening the fortifications of Malta.
Impressed by the loyalty of his Maltese subjects, the King declares Malta to be the most notable gem in his Crown. The old capital city of Mdina acquires the name Città Notabile, as a result.
The Maltese do not submit to Aragonese rule until the Magna Charta Libertatis granting them their new rights is delivered to them
1427 3 January King Alfonso incorporates Malta to the Crown of Aragon (Kingdom of Sicily), and promises never to grant Malta as a fief to any third party.
1429 The Hafsid Berbers attempt to capture Malta.
1436 In the 'Rollo' (inventory) of the benefices of the churches and chapels in Malta and Gozo, held by Bishop de Mello, ten established chapels are mentioned: The Cathedral of Mdina and the Church of San Lorenzo a Mare (Birgu), the 'Nativity of the Virgin' (Naxxar), 'Saint Helen' (Birkirkara), 'Saint George' (Qormi), 'Assumption of the Virgin Mary (Bir Miftuh/Gudja ), Saint Philip of Aggira (Zebbug), 'Saint Nicholas of Bari' (Siggiewi), 'Saint Catherine of Alexandria' (Zejtun and Zurrieq), Saint Domenica' (Dingli), and 'the Nativity of the Virgin' (Mellieha).

16th century

Year Date Event
1522 Suleiman I drives the Military Hospitaller Knights of St. John of Jerusalem out of Rhodes.
1530 26 October In an effort to protect Rome from Islamic invasion, Emperor Charles V grants the Maltese Islands to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem in perpetual fief.
1531 The Knights stage their first attacks from their new naval base in Malta, forming part of a Christian fleet under the command of Admiral Andrea Doria in attacks on the Turks at Modone, on the Ottoman fort at Coronna and, in 1535, on Tunis.
1533 Fortification and development of Fort St Elmo, on the tip of the Sciberras Peninsula (now, Valletta).
1535 First known celebration of Carnival in Malta.
1540 Increasingly frequent razzias on Malta and Italy by Ottomans and Barbary pirates. (to 1551)
1547 Attempted invasion of Malta at Marsaxlokk, by Ottomans and Barbary pirates under the command of Turgut Reis.
1550 June Andrea Doria and Claude de la Sengle, bailli of the French langue of the Knights, capture and massacre the population of Mahdia, in Tunisia. (to September)
1551 May Ottomans and Barbary pirates under the command of Turgut Reis and Sinan Pasha commence a series of attacks on eastern Sicily and Malta, in revenge for the events in Mahdia.
18 July Ottomans and Barbary pirates attempt to capture Malta, landing some 10,000 men at Marsa Muscietto.
July The Turkish invaders abandon the harbour area and sail north to St. Paul's Bay, and stage a short-lived siege on Mdina.
Razzia on the Island of Gozo by the Turkish invaders; the Knights' local governor, Galatian de Sesse, surrenders the Citadel; almost all the inhabitants of Gozo (some 5,000 to 6,000 people) are enslaved, and transported to Tarhuna Wa Msalata in Libya from Mġarr ix-Xini.
Turgut sails south to Tripoli, and conquers the Knights' fortress.
15 August The Knights' local governor, Gaspar de Vallier, negotiates a truce that ensures safe passage from Tunis to Malta for the Knights of the garrison, but excludes the Maltese, Calabrian and Rhodian soldiers, who are auctioned off into slavery by the Turks.
Pope Julius III suggests that the Knights should abandon Malta, and retreat to Messina or Syracuse.
1552 Construction of Fort Saint Michael, in Senglea.
April Fearing further razzias by Turks and Barbary corsairs, one thousand Maltese flee Malta, seeking refuge in Sicily.
1553 Charles V Mahdia offered to the Order of Saint John but the Order declined, so he ordered the destruction of the city.
Juan de Vega prohibited exportation of wheat to Malta so mills were built to prevent starvation.
1557 21 August Jean Parisot de Valette is elected Grand Master of the Knights of Malta.
1560 The Knights of Malta escalate their corsairing activities in the western Mediterranean. (to 1565)
1561 The Holy Inquisition is established in Malta. Domenico Cubelles is the first Inquisitor.
1564 December The Ottoman war council in Constantinople decrees that Malta is to be invaded and conquered.
1565 30 March Ottoman fleet leaves Constantinople for Malta; Queen Elizabeth remarks: "If the Turks should prevail against the Isle of Malta, it is uncertain what further peril might follow to the rest of Christendom."
9 April The Spanish Viceroy of Sicily, Don García de Toledo y Osorio, a tours the Island's fortifications; he promises the Knights that in the coming invasion they need only hold out until June, when he would bring his armada back to assist Malta.
16 April Evacuation to Sicily of "a great number of people" from Malta, including large numbers of Maltese nobility, in anticipation of the imminent invasion. (to 13 May)
18 May Ottoman armada sighted off the coast of Malta, signalling the start of the Great Siege of Malta.
19 May A storm prevents the Turkish fleet from landing at Marsaxlokk; the vessels are sheltered in Ġnejna Bay and at Għajn Tuffieħa.
20 May The Turkish fleet anchors at Marsaxlokk, moved to Żejtun and sets up camp at Marsa.
23 June Fort St. Elmo falls to the Turks.
Turkish commanders order all the dead Knights found in St. Elmo to be beheaded; their mutilated bodies are floated across Grand Harbour on planks towards the bastions of Senglea and Birgu.
29 June Four galleys land in the north of Malta, bringing 600 soldiers, 42 knights, 56 gunners and numerous volunteers, to reinforce the Island's defences; they walk to Mdina by night, and then on to Birgu the following morning.
3 July The Turkish fleet is transported on rollers, overland, from Marsamxett Harbour to Grand Harbour, in preparation for an assault on Senglea. (to 12 July)
8 July The Turkish forces are reinforced with the arrival of 29 vessels and 2,500 warriors accompanied by the Bey of Algiers.
9 July Reinforcements sent by Viceroy Don García de Toledo fail to make harbour, as a result of the fall of Fort St. Elmo, and return to Sicily.
12 July Senglea is besieged.
7 September Don Garcia's reinforcements, known as the Grande Soccorso ("great relief"), finally arrive,
11 September Turkish forces retreat from Malta.
1566 28 March The founding of Malta's new capital city, Valletta. A general strengthening of Malta's fortifications is undertaken.
1592 7 May A plague epidemic begins, killing around 3,000 people until its end in September 1593.

17th century

Year Date Event
1605 Garzes Tower built
1610 16 February Wignacourt towers built (to 1620)
1614 6 July Razzia by the Ottoman Empire.
1615 21 April Wignacourt Aqueduct inaugurated
1616 William Lithgow reports that on a visit to Malta he "saw a Spanish soldier and a Maltese boy burnt in ashes, for the public profession of sodomy". The following day more than one hundred young men flee to Sicily for fear of suffering a similar fate.
1623 A plague outbreak kills around 40 people.
1634 12 September A gunpowder factory explosion in Valletta kills 22 people.
1637 Lascaris towers built (to 1652)
1655 A plague outbreak kills 20 people.
1658 March De Redin towers built (to 1659)
1667 Sopu Tower built
1670 15 June Fort Ricasoli built (to 1693)
1675 24 December A plague epidemic begins, killing around 11,300 people until its end in August 1676.

18th century

Year Date Event
1710 First grant in favour of locals (including a woman) of a title of nobility to have been created by the Grand Masters. On 24 December 1710, Grand Master Perellos granted the title of Baron of Gomerino jointly to Paolo and Beatrice Testaferrata.
1715 Many coastal batteries and redoubts are built
1720 Perellos Tower built
1723 14 September Fort Manoel built (to 1755)
1732 9 January The Manoel Theatre (then known as the Teatro Pubblico) opens in Valletta with a performance of Scipione Maffei's classic tragedy Merope.
1749 29 June Conspiracy of the Slaves
1758 Fort Chambray built
1760 After the death of the Baron Paolo Testaferrata, the office of 'Depositario' within the Inquisition was continued by his widow Vincenza Matilde Testaferrata. With the exception of a short period, she remained in office until 1778.
1775 8 September Rising of the Priests
1792 Fort Tigné built
1797 By a Papal brief dated 3 March 1797, Bishop Vincenzo Labini and all his successors in the diocese of Malta, were given the title of 'Bishop of Malta and Archbishop of Rhodes'. This privilege was suppressed in 1928, and the title was changed to 'Archbishop, Bishop of Malta'.
1798 9 June Napoleon invades Malta. Mdina (Notbile) capitulates on 10 June. The act of capitulation of Mdina is signed on the one part by Vincenzo Barbara representing the French Republic and the Hakem together with the jurats representing the people.
12 June The Order capitulates. The Act of capitulation of Malta is signed on 12 June by on the one part by Napoleon on behalf of the French Republic, on the other six signed on behalf of the Order, the people of Malta and the King of Spain.
The Commission of Government is appointed. General Claude Henri Belgrand de Vaubois is appointed Military Governor. The islands are divided into 12 municipalities.
Slavery, the Roman Inquisition, and all titles of nobility are abolished in Malta.
October Tsar Paul I of Russia become de facto Grand Master of the Order, and orders the creation of a "Throne of Malta," in the Vorontsov Palace in St. Petersburg (now on display in the State Hermitage Museum).
28 October The French forces in Gozo surrender and the island becomes independent. First petition for the establishment of a separate Roman Catholic diocese on Gozo, led by Archpriest Saverio Cassar sent a day later.
1799 Maltese uprising against the French following extensive pillaging of Maltese churches and cathedrals. Britain takes Malta under its protection, in the name of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. The Union Jack flies over Valletta for the first time, alongside the Neapolitan flag.
1800 4 September The French surrender. General Vaubois surrendered and with Rear Admiral Villeneuve, Major General Pigot and Captain Martin, signed the articles of Capitulation. Although 20,000 Maltese lost their lives during the uprising, not one Maltese was present to sign the document. Malta and Gozo become a Protectorate.

19th century

Year Date Event
1801 Tsar Paul I of Russia demands the return of Malta to the Knights. A Statue of the great German leader[who?] is established for peace amends
Ball was appointed Civil Commissioner in May 1803 and immediately instructed the removal of Neapolitan forces from the Island.
24 June Admiral Sir Alexander Ball is sent to Malta as Plenipotentiary Minister of His British Majesty for the Order of Saint John, with orders to evacuate the British forces from the Islands, and to prepare for their return to the Knights of St. John.
1802 First Declaration of Rights issued in Malta: Dichiarazione dei Diritti degli Abitanti di Malta e Gozo, including the right to freedom of conscience under the rule of law.
Under the Peace of Amiens, Britain is ordered to return Malta to the Knights of St John, but facing imminent hostilities by Napoleonic France, Britain chooses not to comply.
1806 18 July A gunpowder magazine explosion in Birgu kills around 200 people.
1807 4 April Beginning of the Froberg mutiny at Fort Ricasoli.
1809 Ball dies in October and is succeeded by the military commander, Major-General Hildebrand-Oakes.
1813 28 March A plague epidemic begins, killing around 4,500 people until its end in May 1814.
23 June Civil Commissioner Sir Hildebrand-Oakes is replaced by Sir Thomas Maitland, the first to be described by the British as ‘Governor’. Malta becomes a crown colony.
Malta is granted the Bathurst Constitution.
1814 Under the Treaty of Paris, and subsequently ratified by the Congress of Vienna, Malta status as a British Crown Colony is confirmed.
The Grand Harbour becomes an important shipping waystation, eventually serving as the headquarters for the Mediterranean Fleet. (to 1930)
1831 20 June The diocese of Malta is separated from that of Palermo.
1835 Malta was granted a Constitution providing for a Council of Government of seven members of whom three were to be nominated Maltese representatives.
1836 30 December Second petition for a separate Roman Catholic diocese for Gozo is presented to Pope Gregory XVI.
1849 Malta was granted a Constitution providing for a Council of Government of eighteen members of whom eight were to be elected by the people.
1853 The Crimean War; Malta serves as a hospital base for wounded combatants, and acquires the nickname Nurse of the Mediterranean. (to 1856)
1855 9 June Three Gozitan representatives personally petition Pope Pius IX for a separate Roman Catholic diocese for Gozo; the pontiff promises his support.
1860 25 October The Colonial Office in London approves the establishment of a separate Roman Catholic diocese for Gozo.
1864 16 September Pope Pius IX issues a papal bull entitled Singulari Amore (With remarkable love), separating the islands of Gozo and Comino from the diocese of Malta; seven days later, Michele Francesco Buttigieg is elected first Bishop of Gozo.
1869 17 November Opening of the Suez Canal. This greatly enhanced the importance of the Grand Harbour to British merchant marine and naval shipping.
1870 J.S. Tucker proposes the construction of a railway from Valletta to Mdina.
1878 21 titles of nobility were successfully claimed by various individuals before a Royal Commission.
1880 In education, "Anglicization" of Maltese students becomes a matter of policy.
1883 28 February The Malta Railway service is inaugurated, with service from Valletta to Floriana, Ħamrun, Msida, Birkirkara, Lija, San Antonio, Attard, Mosta (San Salvatore), and Mdina.
1885 8 September (Otto Settembre) is recommended as a national holiday, commemorating the victory of the Knights and the Maltese over the Ottoman Empire in the Siege of Malta (1565).
1887 Constitution of 1887 provides that four members in the Council of members were to represent the clergy, the nobility and landed proprietors, university graduates and the merchants.
1890 31 March Malta Railway Company Ltd. is declared bankrupt. The Malta Railway is closed.
1892 25 February The Malta Railway reopens, under government management.
1900 The Malta Railway line is extended to Mtarfa Barracks.

20th century

Year Date Event
1905 23 February An electric tramway service is introduced in Malta by McCartney, McElroy & Co. Ltd., connecting Valletta, the Three Cities, and Żebbuġ and Ħamrun.
1908 July Malta Tramways Limited assumes operations of the electric tramway service.
1912 Dr. Enrico Mizzi, a staunch supporter of the italianità of Malta, proposes in a journal article that Britain could exchange Malta for Eritrea with Italy, on the understanding that Britain would be granted access to Maltese harbours and facilities. The article proposes an Italo-Maltese federation, with elected Maltese representatives in the Italian parliament.
1914 Throughout World War I, especially following the failed invasion of Gallipoli, many casualties are shipped to hospitals in Malta, resuming its role as the Nurse of the Mediterranean. (to 1918)
1917 Dr. Enrico Mizzi is court-martialled for sedition, and sentenced to one year imprisonment. His sentence is subsequently commuted, and a pardon is issued.
1919 7 June Sette Giugno protests over increases in the price of bread. British soldiers fire on the crowd and kill four Maltese protesters, during a violent riot instigated by students. The protests lead to greater autonomy for the Maltese.
1921 14 April Constitution of 1921 is promulgated, and it grants autonomy by providing for a bicameral legislature with the power to legislate on all matters not considered "reserved" for colonial interest.
1 November The first Legislature is officially opened.
1929 15 December The Malta Tramway service is terminated.
1930 The 1921 Constitution is suspended.
31 March The Malta Railway service is terminated.
1934 English and Maltese are declared the official languages of Malta, to the exclusion of Italian which had been the primary language of government, commerce, education and culture in Malta for more than 800 years.
1935 Mussolini's Abyssinian War and intervention on the side of Franco in the Spanish Civil War ends any possibility of reconciliation between Italy and the United Kingdom. (to 1939)
Tension runs high in Malta due to the possibility of Italy entering the war against the allies. (to 1939)
1940 Throughout World War II, Malta plays an important role due to the strategic location of the Grand Harbour at the crossroads of the Axis shipping lanes.
30 May Dr. Enrico Mizzi, co-leader of the Partito Nazionalista, is arrested and imprisoned in Fort San Salvatore, to secure "the public safety and the Defence of the [Maltese Islands] view of the hostile origin or association of Dr. Enrico Mizzi."
10 June Italy declares war on France and the United Kingdom.
11 June First air raids on Malta. Malta would go on to endure the heaviest, sustained bombing attack of the War: some 154 days and nights and 6,700 tons of bombs.
1942 February Governor Dobbie issues a warrant for the deportation, exile and internment in Uganda of 47 Maltese (including Dr. Enrico Mizzi) who were suspected of pro-Italian sentiments. (to 8 March)
9 February In the Council of Government, Nationalist Party member Sir Ugo Mifsud gives a spirited, juridical rebuttal of Britain's policy of deporting "italo-phile" Maltese subjects; he collapses in the Chamber of Deputies, and dies two days later.
April The Court of Appeal declares that the deportation to Uganda of "pro-Italian" Maltese subjects was illegal, null, and without effect. The deportees remain in Uganda nonetheless.
7 April The Royal Opera House, Valletta, is destroyed by Luftwaffe bombers.
9 April A 200 kg bomb pierces the dome of the Rotunda of Sta. Marija Assunta, Mosta, but skids across the floor without exploding; two other bombs bounce off the roof and fail to explode; 300 people were hearing Mass inside the church at the time.
15 April The George Cross is awarded to Malta by King George VI, so as to "bear witness to the heroism and devotion of its people".
15 August With the people of Malta near starvation after two years of virtually constant bombardment, Operation Pedestal brings the "Santa Marija Convoy" to Malta, saving the Islands from a planned surrender to the Axis powers.
1943 6 June The 21st Engineer Aviation Regiment of the USAAF arrives on Gozo to construct a landing strip at Xewkija in preparation for the Allied invasion of Italy; the airfield is constructed in 18 days.
9 July (Operation Husky); 2,760 ships and major landing craft converge in a rendezvous near Malta in preparation for the Allied invasion of Sicily, under the command of U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was stationed in the Lascaris War Rooms, in Valletta.
8 September On the national holiday that commemorates the lifting of the Siege of Malta (1565), Italy announces its unconditional surrender to the Allied forces, thus ending the second Siege of Malta (1940).
11 September Admiral Andrew Browne Cunningham signals to the British Admiralty: "Be pleased to inform Their Lordships that the Italian battle fleet now lies at anchor under the guns of the fortress of Malta."
29 September The Italian fleet's surrender in Malta is signed by U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Italian Marshal Pietro Badoglio.
1944 The diocese of Malta is elevated to a Metropolitan See by Pope Pius XII.
1945 30 January Malta Conference (1945); President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States and Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom meet on Malta to plan the final campaign against the Germans with the combined Chiefs of Staff, and to prepare for the Yalta Conference. (to 3 February)
8 March The Maltese exiles are repatriated from Uganda.
1946 A National Assembly is created.
1947 Restoration of Self-Government.
Malta receives £30 million to assist with post-War reconstruction.
1955 December A Round Table Conference is held in London, on the future of Malta.
1956 14 February A referendum is held on the integration of Malta into the United Kingdom: 75% vote 'Yes'; however, the result is deemed to be questionable due to a boycott by 40% of the electorate in response to concerns raised by opposition parties and by the Catholic Church.
1957 Closure of the British naval docks in Grand Harbour has a devastating effect on the Maltese economy, leading to high unemployment at a time when a quarter of the workforce was employed in defence related activities.
1958 Talks between Valletta and Whitehall regarding the integration proposal break down.
The United Kingdom imposes direct colonial rule over Malta.
1959 Malta is granted an Interim Constitution, providing for the creation of an Executive Council.
1961 The State of Malta is created pursuant to the Blood Constitution, which provides for a measure of self-government.
Gozo is granted a local government system. (to 1973)
1964 21 September Malta is granted independence from the United Kingdom as a Constitutional Monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as its Head of State.
The Duke of Edinburgh represents The Queen at the Independence celebrations, which were held just six months following the birth of Prince Edward.
1 December Malta joins the United Nations.
1965 Malta joins the Council of Europe.
1970 Malta becomes an Associate member of the European Community.
1971 Capital punishment for murder abolished.
1972 Malta enters into a Military Base Agreement with the United Kingdom and other NATO countries.
16 May Malta adopts the Maltese pound.
1973 Malta decriminalises homosexuality.
1974 13 December Malta becomes a Republic, with the last Governor-General, Sir Anthony Mamo, serving as its first President. Malta remains a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
1975 25 June Malta withdraws recognition of titles of nobility.
1979 31 March Freedom Day, Termination of the Military Base Agreement. The Duke of Edinburgh oversees the departure of the last British forces from Malta.
1981 21 December In the national election, the Malta Labour Party remained in Government notwithstanding the fact that 51% of the electorate voted in favour of the Partit Nazzjonalista. In the wake of this result, the constitution is amended to provide a mechanism whereby the party with a majority of the popular vote would be awarded a sufficient number of additional seats to give it a legislative majority.
1990 16 July Malta applies to join the European Union.
1993 Local Councils are re-established in Malta.
1996 October The new Labour government suspends Malta's EU application.
1998 September The new Nationalist government reactivates Malta's EU application.
2000 Capital punishment abolished from military code of Malta.

21st century

Year Date Event
2003 8 March A referendum regarding Malta joining the European Union results in 143,094 votes cast in favour and 123,628 against
16 April Malta signs accession treaty to the European Union.
2004 1 May Malta becomes a member of the European Union.
2008 1 January Malta adopts the euro, which replaces the Maltese lira.
2011 28 May Malta votes in favour of divorce in a referendum. Parliament approved the law on 25 July and the law came into effect on 1 October.

Further reading

  • Montalto, J. Nobles of Malta 1530-1800 (1979); Report of the Commission appointed to enquire into the claims of the Maltese Nobility (1878)
  • Doing Business with Malta. p. 3-14.

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