The recorded history of Gibraltar (pictured in 1782) spans over 2,900 years. First inhabited 50,000 years ago by the Neanderthals, Gibraltar may have been one of their last refuges before their extinction. To the Carthaginians and Romans it was one of the Pillars of Hercules at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea. Moors from North Africa first settled and fortified it, calling it Jebel al-Tarik, later corrupted into Gibraltar. Castile contested it and eventually conquered it in 1462, after which it became part of Spain. An Anglo-Dutch force seized it in 1704. It was ceded to Britain under the Treaty of Utrecht, signed on 13 July 1713. Spain unsuccessfully besieged Gibraltar in 1704, 1727 and 1779–83; its status is still disputed. The territory became a British Crown colony and an important trading post and base for the Royal Navy during the Peninsular War. During the Second World War it was a key British garrison, controlling access to the Mediterranean. Gibraltar’s fourteen sieges have led to it becoming “one of the most densely fortified and fought over places in Europe”. Today it is a self-governing British Overseas Territory with an economy based largely on financial services, shipping and tourism.
Since 1985, Gibraltar has undergone major changes as a result of reductions in Britain’s overseas defence commitments. Most British forces have left the territory, which is no longer seen as a place of major military importance. Its economy is now based on tourism, financial services, shipping and Internet gambling. Gibraltar is largely self-governed, with its own parliament and government, though the UK maintains responsibility for defence and foreign policy. Its economic success has made it one of the wealthiest areas of the European Union.
- Gambling on Gibralter (jackcollier7.com)
- Malvinas/Gibraltar hand-to-hand with Argentina: “a ridiculous adventure” opposition tells Rajoy (en.mercopress.com)
- See you in court, Gibraltar chief tells Spain over fishing spat (uk.reuters.com)
- UK warship heads for Gibraltar (timesofmalta.com)
- See you in court, Gibraltar head tells Spain over fishing spat (theglobeandmail.com)
- Gibralter – should it be ruled by Spain? (bookmarkdaily.wordpress.com)
- Britain to fight dirty over Gibraltar hostility by using EU veto to block Spain’s plans (express.co.uk)
- Gibraltar: Britain may SUE Spain over border checks row (mirror.co.uk)
- What are the competing claims over Gibraltar? (bbc.co.uk)