Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!

State

Capital

Falkland Islands*

Port Stanley

Islas Malvinas*

Puerto Argentino

Currency unit

British pound

Connections

Antarctic

Antarctic Problems

Argentina

Atlantic

Empire

South America

 Spanish Empire

War

Other Web sites

Useful article

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

History

There were no indigenous inhabitants when the islands were discovered by Europeans. They are on the continental shelf of southern South America.

First seen by Englishman John Davis in 1592, and Sir John Hawkins in 1595, then by Van Weerdt, a Dutchman, in 1600; John Strong named them after Lord Falkland and landed in 1690. De Bougainville called them Malouinnes (after St Malo in Brittany). The French settled them first in 1764 (East Falkland). The British settled West Falkland in 1765 but were driven off in 1770 by the Spaniards who had bought the French settlement in 1767. The British came back but withdrew in 1774 for lack of money but re-affirmed sovereignty as they left. So far this was typical of the history of West Indian islands, some of which changed hands many times.

The Islands continued to be claimed by Spain, then by Argentina by inheritance. Spain maintained a settlement until 1811. Buenos Aires claimed sovereignty in 1820. In 1831 an American naval expedition expelled the Argentinians after three US ships had been arrested. They declared the islands free of all government. But the Americans tacitly recognized the British claim when the British moved back in 1833. An Argentine governor landed in 1832 but was killed by the settlers, presumably a mixed bunch of whalers and sealers. A British governor was appointed in 1841 and British settlement has been continuous since about 1833.

The international status of the islands is disputed. Britain claims sovereignty on the grounds of continuous settlement. Argentina claims them on the grounds of inheritance from the Spanish Empire.

Argentina also claims the Falkland Islands Dependencies, including South Georgia and South Sandwich islands, administered from the Falklands, and the Antarctic territory which Britain claims through the Falklands. There is speculation that Britain's real intention is to assert control over parts of Antarctica should mineral extraction there ever become feasible or legal.

Before 1982 there had been talks between the British government and the Argentines which appeared to be moving towards an agreement to lease the islands from Argentina while guaranteeing the rights of the British settlers to self-government. Early in 1982 the British naval ship which was the only military presence, apart from some Marines in the capital, was withdrawn. The Argentine government appears to have understood these signs as acquiescence in the islands' transfer to Argentine sovereignty - though they were motivated by Prime Minister Thatcher's desire to save money.

In 1982 Argentine troops occupied the islands without warning, with a preliminary occupation of South Georgia. A British force, assisted by American satellite intelligence and supplies, recaptured the islands. The extreme rightwing Argentine military government then fell.

The present status is that there is a British governor and a garrison on the islands. Argentina still maintains its claim but has been in a state of economic collapse. It can be expected that if the Argentine economy recovers, the claim may be reasserted in the future.

At a conference of Latin American states in February 2010 Argentina got a declaration from the other members supporting their rights to the Islands, provoked by the oil drilling.

Summary of Falklands claims

Languages

English

 History

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

Politics

British colonial administration with local elected council.

 History

 Politics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

Economics

The main activity has been sheep rearing on the sub-arctic grazing land. The exported produce is wool. The main income now probably comes from fishing licenses to Japanese, Russian and other fishing fleets exploiting the rich fisheries.

There have been rumors of oil deposits and if they are proved the islands could become a South Atlantic Kuwait. So far, no oil has been proved (2005). The manouvres of the period of Peak Oil may be taking place now.

Since the Falklands war the economy has changed. The paternalistic rule of the Falkland Island Company, with its low wages and dependent work force has been broken up as land has been sold. The islanders have become prosperous from the sale of fishing licences.

In February exploratory drilling for oil in a nearby ocean area began. Those waters are disputed with Argentina which regards them as part of Argentina's economic zone. So far (May 2010) no oil has been found.

Argentina has declared that all ships operating in these waters need a licence from Argentina. The British and Falklands governments have declared that they are British waters.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Rights

 Climate

Green/Ecology

The wildlife is threatened by over fishing. The fishery is being exploited by deep sea fishing fleets and the penguins and other birds which depend on the fish or the krill are dying.

If oil is found there is a danger of oil spills similar to the April 2010 catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. The sea is very rough in these Antarctic waters.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Climate

Human Rights

The inhabitants now have full rights of British citizenship, but residents of the UK can't move there without a visa.

Climate effects

The whole Antarctic region is warming rapidly. Possibly the average temperature in the Falklands may rise a little in the near future.

If world temperatures rise towards the 4 degree level the Islands may become very attractive to settlers, fleeing from aridity in such countries as Brazil.

Last revised 20/06/12


South America


Americas


World Info


Home

Return to the top


Since 3/04/12

eXTReMe Tracker