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mallorca history

MALLORCA HISTORY

Mallorca has had quite a tumultuous history. Even those who lived here around 1200 B.C. were protected by large walls and had access to a considerable amount of arms, which were presumably used on a number of occasions. This need to defend the land did not change much in the millennium and then some that followed. The reason for this is due to Mallorca’s strategic position in the Mediterranean between mainland Spain, France, Italy and Algeria. Fortunately, the island has experienced much more peaceful times the last several decades, and that is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

It is believed that humans have lived here since around 7000 B.C., but little is known of these early inhabitants. Some remains from this time period may be viewed at the Museum of Mallorca. After the Phoenicians and Greeks started using Mallorca as a pivotal trading post, the Romans took over control of the area in 123 B.C. although it does have to be said that Mallorca’s famous sling throwers made that feat much more challenging than the Romans had anticipated.

North African raiders regularly attacked the region from 707 until the Emirate of Cordoba annexed it in 902.

Then the Kingdom of Aragon annexed Mallorca after a bloody battle in 1229, and Jaume II started overseeing the region. However, his reign was a short one as the archipelago became independent in 1295. This period only lasted 48 years as the Crown of Aragon took charge of Mallorca in 1343. The next few centuries were ones of hardship on the islands as times were especially tough financially during this time period.

The War of the Spanish Succession was felt in Mallorca, and, in 1716, the area became part of Baleares, a Spanish province. In the decades that followed, Mallorca native Junipero Serra would make a name on a worldwide level that lasts to this day. He was born here in 1713 and was most notably appointed president of the Baja California missions in the present-day United States in 1767.

The Battle of Mallorca was the most recent major instance of its type. It took place in 1936 and resulted in Italy occupying the region until 1939, when that country withdrew troops from Spanish territory. Fortunately, there was little violence during the Spanish Civil War other than this battle. Shortly after World War II ended in 1945, Juan March Ordinas, a businessman who had financially and otherwise backed the nationalist side, became the wealthiest person in Spain and the seventh-wealthiest in the world.

Now the region focuses on tourism and ensuring that the islands are presented in their most attractive light. This emphasis started in the 1950s, and it started to flourish in the 1960s. Of course, the beautiful region is easy to promote, and many who do spend time in this area don’t hesitate to return at the first opportunity.

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