The tiny Mediterranean island of Malta gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1964.

Map by National Geographic Society
  • On September 21, 1964, the Mediterranean island nation of Malta gained its independence from the United Kingdom. For more than a thousand years, Malta had been conquered and ruled by a series of European and Arab empires.

    Many European colonies gained independence in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some struggles for independence have been violent, while others (like Malta) have been a series of negotiations between indigenous leaders and the outgoing colonial power.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    colonialism Noun

    type of government where a geographic area is ruled by a foreign power.

    empire Noun

    group of nations, territories or other groups of people controlled by a single, more powerful authority.

    identity Noun

    how a person defines themselves, or how others define them.

    independence Noun

    state or situation of being free.

    island Noun

    body of land surrounded by water.

    Encyclopedic Entry: island
    nation Noun

    political unit made of people who share a common territory.

    Encyclopedic Entry: nation
    strategic Adjective

    important part of a place or plan.