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Since early Roman times, the Maltese always enjoyed some form of self-government, and during the Middle Ages, the "Consiglio Popolare" safeguarded our national rights. The Knights weakened the "Consiglio" and the Maltese Council was formed during the French occupation to defend the liberties of the Maltese.
After the Maltese, out of their own free will, had placed Malta under British protection. Britain soon put aside such rights and, in 1819, the 'Consiglio Popolare" was dissolved. This began a long and hard struggle by the Maltese for a freer and more liberal Government and protection of their religion. Many petitions were sent to England, showing how Britain never conquered the Islands, how the Maltese had sent out the French, and how they themselves had asked for Britain's protection. In 1835, 1849 and 1887 Councils of Government were elected to help the Governor in the civil administration, but these did not satisfy the Maltese.
The 1887 Constitution was taken back in 1903 after a heated debate in Parliament about the teaching of English and Italian in local schools. Several elections were held after that date, but members always resigned in protest. As soon World War 1 ended, a strong protest was made against England (7th June, 1919). Through the heroic efforts of Sir Filippo Sciberras, the first true self Government was granted. The Maltese, full of joy attended the ceremony of the opening of Parliament by the Prince of Wales on November 1st. 1921.
Things went on well until the English-Italian language question came up again, together with some laws giving certain power to the Governor, when November 2, 1933. The Constitution was taken back. In 1939, a Constitution with a minority of Maltese representatives was granted, but war broke out and local Government was suspended
the courage of the Maltese during the Second World War won many promises. National Assembly drafted a new Constitution, and, in November 1947, an election for 40 members was held, in Which women voted for the first time.
in 1958, Government resign Four years later, a New Constitution for a Parliament of 50 members was given, making the Islands "The State of Malta", and allowing freer relations with other countries, Finally, on the 21st September, 1964, Malta was granted a new constitution and it became an Independent Nation within the Commonwealth. In the meantime, the Island of Gozo was granted a separate internal Council to look after its interests.


When the British were firmly settled in Malta, they thought it would be a good thing To develop the dockyard left by the Order Into a modern one for the repair of ships.
They also planned to enlarge the Grand Harbour and Marsamxett harbour, in 1851, the British Navy obtained what is now called Dockyard Creek for its use, and, ten years later, the Marsa harbour was extended, dredged, and made available to merchant ships. After ten years, the Navy had completed a large dock in the French Creek, known even to this day as Somerset Dock, and in 1892, Hamilton Dock was completed.
these docks are huge long basins, under sea level, with strong gates to keep out water to allow ships to be cleaned or repaired after the water has been pumped on. But to protect all shipping from gregale winds and from torpedo attacks, it was Decided (1901) to spend one million pounds on a breakwater, and another one million and a half in Dockyard works. All this activity brought prosperity to the Island.
In the building of the breakwater, which was begun in 1904, so many people were Needed for work that foreign workers were invited to join. The foundation stone was laid by Lady Hamilton on June 8, 1904


Transport: Malta had its railway system, from Valletta to Mtarfa, it began in 1883 and stopped in 1931. Trams, linked Valletta with the Three Cities, Birkirkara and Zebbug. The service was inaugurated on February 23, 1904, Motor cars and bicycles were seen on our roads in the early years of the 19th. Century, but, buses, or as they used to be called char-a-bancs, began to run only about 1910.
Street lighting: By 1854, most of the main streets were lit by means of gas, but oil-lamps still illuminated the village streets. Thirty years later, electricity was introduced. Public Health was given greater importance, water reservoirs were built to distribute good drinking water everywhere, and the Chadwick Lakes were used for irrigation.
A system of drainage was begun and extended, bit-by-bit, to all the dwelling areas. Hospitals were enlarged or modernised and a new one, St. Luke's built at Gwardamanga Hill (1924-31). Roads were given smooth and stronger surfaces of asphalt, colas and later, tarmac.
An Opera house, one of the most beautiful in Europe, was built in 1860, it was very much damaged by fire in 1873, restored, and finally destroyed by war in 1943

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