Malta: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About Malta, information, history size, location, population, people, culture, and government.

Malta

Size--122 sq. mi. (316 sq. km.). Population--325,000.

Malta's strategic location in the central Mediterranean Sea has caused it to be occupied by various foreign powers for over 35 centuries. The Phoenicians were 1st, followed by the Greeks, the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Arabs, the French, and, finally, the British, who annexed Malta in 1814. In December, 1974, Malta became a republic. According to tradition, St. Paul was shipwrecked on Malta in 58 A.D. and personally converted the islanders to Christianity. The Catholic Church is still a major force, especially on the local level where priests maintain influence over townspeople and villagers. The Maltese Labor party is anticlerical and in 1969 many priests warned their parishioners that their crops would die if they voted for the Labor party.

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