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Historical Timeline for Gibraltar - A chronology of key events


Gibraltar Timeline[edit | edit source]

"The Catholic King, by himself and by his heirs and successors, cedes by this treaty to the Crown of Great Britain the full and entire property of the city and castle of Gibraltar, together with its port, defenses and fortress, giving said property absolutely so that he may have it and enjoy it with full right and forever, without exception or impediment whatsoever ".

The English history of Gibraltar, the only surviving colony in Europe, officially began on July 13, 1713, with the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht, which ended hostilities between Spain and Great Britain after the war of succession unleashed with the Death of Charles II the Bewitched.

The Peace of Utrecht sanctioned what was already a reality since August 1704, when Admiral George Rooke's troops occupied the Rock and raised the British flag. Since then, Spain has struggled to recover the Rock, militarily during the first years and, later, through diplomacy.

Anachronistic clauses[edit | edit source]

  • The signing of a treaty like that of Utrecht would be unthinkable in the current context, as it is anachronistic. The text establishes that it will not be allowed "for any reason that Jews or Moors live or have domicile" in Gibraltar and, if applied to the letter, the border that separates the Rock from La Lรญnea de la Concepciรณn would have been sealed for three centuries: "The Catholic King wants said property to be transferred to Great Britain [...] without any open communication with the neighboring country by land."
  • According to the text, Spain has a preferential right to try to buy it: "If at any time the Crown of Great Britain sees fit to give, sell or in any way alienate the property of Gibraltar, it has been agreed [...] that will give the Crown of Spain the first action to others to redeem it. "
  • Despite claiming it, history shows that Great Britain has had no problem skipping the Treaty of Utrecht when it has agreed to do so. In 1909, she raised the fence of Gibraltar, to which she had granted in 1830 the denomination of "colony of the Kingdom". London also took advantage of the Spanish civil war to, in 1938, seize the isthmus that separates the Rock from the Peninsula and build an airport, occupying lands not contemplated in the Peace of Utrecht and declared a neutral zone in 1730.

Hitler's claims[edit | edit source]

  • After the failure of the Hendaye Conference, Franco in 1941 did not authorize Adolf Hitler's Army to cross Spain to invade Gibraltar. The Third Reich had designed an operation, codenamed Unternehmen Felix (Felix company), to occupy the colony and control the traffic of warships through the Strait from there.
  • In 1956, the Franco regime raised the Gibraltar problem for the first time before the United Nations Assembly. Since then, the UN has passed six resolutions in which it criticized the colonial situation and called on Great Britain and Spain to a definitive solution.
  • Starting in 1953, when Queen Elizabeth chose Gibraltar to end her wedding trip, angering Franco, the conflict worsened. Great Britain directed its efforts in the following years to endow the colony with self-government, which was formalized in 1969 with the approval of the Constitution of Gibraltar. In response, Franco closed the border at 10:30 p.m. on June 8 of that year, and it would not open again until Felipe Gonzรกlez came to power. First to pedestrians, in 1982, and without limitations three years later.
  • In 1987, Great Britain held a referendum among Gibraltarians - who did not accept either the UN or Spain - the result of which was favorable to continuing under British rule. In November 2002, 98.97% of Gibraltarians rejected that the United Kingdom and Spain shared sovereignty over the Rock.

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