Balearic Islands

Balearic Islands

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The Balearic Islands are an archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

 of Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 in the western Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

.

The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca
Minorca
Min Orca or Menorca is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. It takes its name from being smaller than the nearby island of Majorca....

, Ibiza
Ibiza
Ibiza or Eivissa is a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea 79 km off the coast of the city of Valencia in Spain. It is the third largest of the Balearic Islands, an autonomous community of Spain. With Formentera, it is one of the two Pine Islands or Pityuses. Its largest cities are Ibiza...

 and Formentera
Formentera
Formentera is the smaller and more southerly island of the Pine Islands group , which belongs to the Balearic Islands autonomous community .-Geography:...

. The archipelago forms an autonomous community
Autonomous communities of Spain
An autonomous community In other languages of Spain:*Catalan/Valencian .*Galician .*Basque . The second article of the constitution recognizes the rights of "nationalities and regions" to self-government and declares the "indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation".Political power in Spain is...

 and a province
Provinces of Spain
Spain and its autonomous communities are divided into fifty provinces .In other languages of Spain:*Catalan/Valencian , sing. província.*Galician , sing. provincia.*Basque |Galicia]] — are not also the capitals of provinces...

 of Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 with Palma as the capital city. The co-official languages in the Balearic Islands are Catalan
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

 and Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

. The current Statute of Autonomy
Statute of Autonomy
Nominally, a Statute of Autonomy is a law hierarchically located under the constitution of a country, and over any other form of legislation...

 declares the Balearic Islands as one nationality of Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

.

Geography and hydrography


The main islands of the autonomous are Majorca (Mallorca), Minorca (Menorca), Ibiza (Eivissa) and Formentera, all of which are popular tourist destinations. Among the minor islands is Cabrera
Cabrera, Balearic Islands
Cabrera is an uninhabited islet in the Balearic Islands, Spain, located in the Mediterranean Sea off the southern coast of Majorca. It is currently a National Park...

, which is the location of the Parc Nacional de l'Arxipèlag de Cabrera. The islands can be further grouped, with Majorca, Menorca, and Cabrera as the Gymnesian Islands
Gymnesian Islands
The collective name of the Gymnesian Islands or Gymnesic Islands distinguishes the two largest Balearic islands , from the Pine Islands .- Etymology :The word Gymnesian means "naked"...

 (Illes Gimnèsies), and Ibiza and Formentera as the Pine Islands
Pine Islands
Pine Islands or Pityuses is the name given collectively to the Balearic Islands of Ibiza , Formentera, S'Espalmador and other small islets in the Mediterranean Sea....

 (Illes Pitiüses).

There are many minor islands or islets close to the biggest islands, like Es Conills, Es Vedrà, Sa Conillera, Sa Dragonera, S'Espalmador, S'Espardell, Ses Bledes, Santa Eulària, Plana, Foradada, Tagomago, Na Redona, Colom, L'Aire, etc.

The Balearic Front is a sea density regime north of the Balearic Islands on the shelf slope of the balearic Islands, which is responsible for some of the surface flow characteristics of the Balearic Sea
Balearic Sea
The Balearic Sea or Iberian Sea is a body of water in the Mediterranean Sea near the Balearic Islands. In the Catalan language the area is also known as the Catalan-Balearic Sea .The Ebro River flows into this small sea....

.

Etymology


The official name of the Balearic Islands is in Catalan
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

; Illes Balears. While in Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 they are known as the Islas Baleares. The term "Balearic" derives from Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 (/Gymnesiae and /Balliareis) and Latin (Baleares).

There are various theories on the origins of the two ancient Greek and Latin names for the islands—Gymnasiae and Baleares. Two survive in classical sources.

According to the Lycophron's
Lycophron
Lycophron was a Hellenistic Greek tragic poet, grammarian, and commentator on comedy, to whom the poem Alexandra is attributed .-Life and miscellaneous works:...

 Alexandra verses, the islands were called Gymnesiae (gymnos , meaning naked
Nudity
Nudity is the state of wearing no clothing. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic. The amount of clothing worn depends on functional considerations and social considerations...

 in Greek) because its inhabitants were often nude, probably because of the year-long benevolent climate.

The Greek and Roman writers generally derive the name of the people from their skill as slingers (baleareis , from ballo : ancient Greek meaning for 'to launch'), although Strabo
Strabo
Strabo, also written Strabon was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher.-Life:Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus , a city which he said was situated the approximate equivalent of 75 km from the Black Sea...

 considered the name to be of Phoenician origin. He observed that it was the Phoenician equivalent for the Greek word for lightly armoured soldiers, known as gymnetas .Sil. Ital. iii. 364, 365: "Jam cui Tlepolemus sator, et cui Lindus origo, Funda bella ferens Balearis et alite plumbo."

The root bal does point to a Phoenician origin; perhaps the islands were sacred to the god Baal
Baal
Baʿal is a Northwest Semitic title and honorific meaning "master" or "lord" that is used for various gods who were patrons of cities in the Levant and Asia Minor, cognate to Akkadian Bēlu...

; and the accidental resemblance to the Greek root ΒΑΛ (in ballo), coupled with the occupation of the people, would be quite a sufficient foundation for the usual Greek practice of assimilating the name to their own language. That it was not, however, Greek at first, may be inferred with great probability from the fact that the common Greek name of the islands is not (Baleareis), but (Gymnesiai), the former being the name used by the natives, as well as by the Carthaginians and Romans. The latter name, of which two fancied etymologies have been already referred to, is probably derived from the light equipment of the Balearic troops (gymnetae ).

Ancient history


There is little history on the earliest inhabitants of the islands, though many legends exist. The story, preserved by Lycophron
Lycophron
Lycophron was a Hellenistic Greek tragic poet, grammarian, and commentator on comedy, to whom the poem Alexandra is attributed .-Life and miscellaneous works:...

, that certain shipwrecked Boeotia
Boeotia
Boeotia, also spelled Beotia and Bœotia , is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of Central Greece. It was also a region of ancient Greece. Its capital is Livadeia, the second largest city being Thebes.-Geography:...

ns were cast nude on the islands, was evidently invented to account for the name Gymnesiae. There is also a tradition that the islands were colonized by Rhodes
Rhodes
Rhodes is an island in Greece, located in the eastern Aegean Sea. It is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population, with a population of 117,007, and also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within...

 after the Trojan war
Trojan War
In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, the king of Sparta. The war is among the most important events in Greek mythology and was narrated in many works of Greek literature, including the Iliad...

.

The islands had a very mixed population, of whose name of the islands (an instance of folk etymology) — until the Phoenicians clothed them with broad-bordered tunics. In other stories they were naked only in the heat of summer.

Other legends hold that the inhabitants lived in hollow rocks and artificial caves, that they were remarkable for their love of women and would give three or four men as the ransom for one woman, that they had no gold or silver coin, and forbade the importation of the precious metals, so that those of them who served as mercenaries took their pay in wine and women instead of money. Their marriage and funeral customs, peculiar to Roman observers, are related by Diodorus Siculus
Diodorus Siculus
Diodorus Siculus was a Greek historian who flourished between 60 and 30 BC. According to Diodorus' own work, he was born at Agyrium in Sicily . With one exception, antiquity affords no further information about Diodorus' life and doings beyond what is to be found in his own work, Bibliotheca...

 (v. 18).


In ancient times, the islanders of the Gymnesian Islands constructed talayots, and were famous for their skill with the sling
Sling (weapon)
A sling is a projectile weapon typically used to throw a blunt projectile such as a stone or lead "sling-bullet". It is also known as the shepherd's sling....

. As slingers they served, as mercenaries, first under the Carthaginians, and afterwards under the Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

. They went into battle ungirt, with only a small buckler, and a javelin burnt at the end, and in some cases tipped with a small iron point; but their effective weapons were their slings, of which each man carried three, wound round his head (Strabo p. 168; Eustath.), or, as seen in other sources, one round the head, one round the body, and one in the hand. (Diodorus) The three slings were of different lengths, for stones of different sizes; the largest they hurled with as much force as if it were flung from a catapult; and they seldom missed their mark. To this exercise they were trained from infancy, in order to earn their livelihood as mercenary soldiers. It is said that the mothers allowed their children to eat bread only when they had struck it off a post with the sling.

The Phoenicians took possession of the islands in very early times; a remarkable trace of their colonization is preserved in the town of Mago (Mahon
Mahon
Mahón is a municipality and the capital city of the Balearic Island of Minorca , located in the eastern part of the island. Mahon has the second deepest natural harbor in the world: 5 km long and up to 900m. wide...

 in Minorca
Minorca
Min Orca or Menorca is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. It takes its name from being smaller than the nearby island of Majorca....

). After the fall of Carthage
Carthage
Carthage , implying it was a 'new Tyre') is a major urban centre that has existed for nearly 3,000 years on the Gulf of Tunis, developing from a Phoenician colony of the 1st millennium BC...

, the islands seem to have been virtually independent. Notwithstanding their celebrity in war, the people were generally very quiet and inoffensive. The Romans, however, easily found a pretext for charging them with complicity with the Mediterranean pirates, and they were conquered by Q. Caecilius Metellus
Quintus Caecilius Metellus Balearicus
Quintus Caecilius Metellus Balearicus was a son of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus. He was a Consul in 123 BC and a Censor in 120 BC, dominated Sardinia and conquered the Balearic Islands - for what he earned his cognomen and the honours of Triumph - establishing at Palma and Pollentia two...

, thence surnamed Balearicus, in 123 BC. Metellus settled 3,000 Roman and Spanish colonists on the larger island, and founded the cities of Palma and Pollentia
Pollença
Pollença is a town and municipality situated in the far north corner of the island of Majorca, near Cap de Formentor and Alcúdia. It lies about 6 km west of its port, Port de Pollença.-History:...

. The islands belonged, under the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, to the conventus of Carthago Nova (modern Cartagena), in the province
Roman province
In Ancient Rome, a province was the basic, and, until the Tetrarchy , largest territorial and administrative unit of the empire's territorial possessions outside of Italy...

 of Hispania Tarraconensis
Hispania Tarraconensis
Hispania Tarraconensis was one of three Roman provinces in Hispania. It encompassed much of the Mediterranean coast of Spain along with the central plateau. Southern Spain, the region now called Andalusia, was the province of Hispania Baetica...

, of which province they formed, the fourth district, under the government of a praefectus pro legato. An inscription of the time of Nero
Nero
Nero , was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, and succeeded to the throne in 54 following Claudius' death....

 mentions the PRAEF. PRAE LEGATO INSULAR. BALIARUM. (Orelli, No. 732, who, with Muratori, reads pro for prae.) They were afterwards made a separate province, called Hispania Balearica
Hispania Balearica
Hispania Balearica was a Roman province encompassing the Balearic Islands off the east coast of modern Spain. Formerly a part of Hispania Tarraconensis, Balearica gained its autonomy due to its geographic separation and economic independence from the mainland....

, probably in the division of the empire under Constantine
Constantine I
Constantine the Great , also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, Constantine and co-Emperor Licinius issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious tolerance of all...

.

The two largest islands (the Balearic Islands, in their historical sense) had numerous excellent harbours, though rocky at their mouth, and requiring care in entering them (Strabo, Eustath.; Port Mahon is one of the finest harbours in the world). Both were extremely fertile in all produce, except wine and olive oil. They were celebrated for their cattle, especially for the mules of the lesser island; they had an immense number of rabbits, and were free from all venomous reptiles. Among the snails valued by the Romans as a diet, was a species from the Balearic isles, called cavaticae, from their being bred in caves. Their chief mineral product was the red earth, called sinope, which was used by painters. Their resin and pitch are mentioned by Dioscorides The population of the two islands is stated by Diodorus at 30,000.

The part of the Mediterranean east of Spain, around the Balearic Isles, was called "Mare Balearicum", or "Sinus Balearicus".

Post-Roman Empire and Aragonese conquest


In the chaos surrounding the fall of the Roman Empire, the islands were conquered by the Vandals
Vandals
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

. They were subsequently conquered by the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

, but soon fell to the Moors
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 after the their conquest of Iberia. The emirate of Cordoba captured them in 903. After its dissolution, they depended from the taifa
Taifa
In the history of the Iberian Peninsula, a taifa was an independent Muslim-ruled principality, usually an emirate or petty kingdom, though there was one oligarchy, of which a number formed in the Al-Andalus after the final collapse of the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba in 1031.-Rise:The origins of...

 of Dénia
Dénia
Dénia is a city in the province of Alicante, Spain, on the Costa Blanca halfway between Alicante and Valencia, the judicial seat of the comarca of Marina Alta...

 (1013–1067), later becoming an independent taifa.

Between 1113 and 1115, a fleet led by Ugo da Parlascio Ebriaco
Ugo da Parlascio Ebriaco
Ugo da Parlascio Ebriaco was a leading citizen in theRepublic of Pisa in the early twelfth century.Sometime between 1113 to 1115, Ugo and Pietro Moriconi, Archbishop of Pisa, led a successful expedition against the Balearic Islands...

 and Archbishop Pietro Moriconi
Pietro Moriconi
Pietro Moriconi was the Archbishop of Pisa from 1105, succeeding Dagobert. According to tradition he belonged to the noble lineage of Moriconi of Vico. He first appears as archbishop in a document of 19 March 1106, and is credited with strengthening the Pisan church...

 of the Republic of Pisa
Republic of Pisa
The Republic of Pisa was a de facto independent state centered on the Tuscan city of Pisa during the late tenth and eleventh centuries. It rose to become an economic powerhouse, a commercial center whose merchants dominated Mediterranean and Italian trade for a century before being surpassed and...

 made a successful expedition against the Balearic Islands. The expedition was launched with the support of Constantine I of Logudoro and his base of Porto Torres
Porto Torres
Porto Torres is a comune and city in northern Sardinia, in the Province of Sassari.It is situated on the north coast about 25 km east of the Gorditanian promontory , and on the spacious bay of the Gulf of Asinara.-History:...

. However, the following year the islands were reconquered by Islamic forces of the Almoravid dynasty.

In the 13th century (1239), King James I of Aragon
James I of Aragon
James I the Conqueror was the King of Aragon, Count of Barcelona, and Lord of Montpellier from 1213 to 1276...

 conquered the islands, annexing them to the Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

. After his death, he left the Balearic islands (and other counties as Roussillon
Roussillon
Roussillon is one of the historical counties of the former Principality of Catalonia, corresponding roughly to the present-day southern French département of Pyrénées-Orientales...

 or Montpellier
Montpellier
-Neighbourhoods:Since 2001, Montpellier has been divided into seven official neighbourhoods, themselves divided into sub-neighbourhoods. Each of them possesses a neighbourhood council....

) as a new kingdom, the Kingdom of Mallorca, to his son James II
James II of Majorca
James II was King of Majorca and Lord of Montpellier from 1276 until his death. He was the second son of James I of Aragon and his wife Violant, daughter of Andrew II of Hungary...

. However, according to this king's will, even though his son would gain the title of King, he and his descendants were always to be vassals of the king of Aragon. In this case, it would mean that James was a vassal of his oldest brother, Peter III of Aragon
Peter III of Aragon
Peter the Great was the King of Aragon of Valencia , and Count of Barcelona from 1276 to his death. He conquered Sicily and became its king in 1282. He was one of the greatest of medieval Aragonese monarchs.-Youth and succession:Peter was the eldest son of James I of Aragon and his second wife...

. However, after a turbulent and difficult period of existence, the Kingdom of Mallorca was definitely reincorporated into the Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

 with the Battle of Llucmajor
Battle of Llucmajor
The Battle of Llucmajor occurred in 1349 when Peter IV of Aragon's forces defeated and killed his cousin James III of Majorca in the town of Llucmajor on the Balearic Islands, resulting in the end of the independent Kingdom of Majorca.-References:...

 (1349).

In 1476, Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon , Sicily , Naples , Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of...

 (king of Aragon) and Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I was Queen of Castile and León. She and her husband Ferdinand II of Aragon brought stability to both kingdoms that became the basis for the unification of Spain. Later the two laid the foundations for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor...

 (queen of Castile
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

) were married. After their deaths, their respective territories (until then governed separately) were governed jointly, in the person of their grandson, the Emperor
Emperor
An emperor is a monarch, usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife or a woman who rules in her own right...

 Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

. This can be considered the foundation of the modern Spanish state, albeit a decentralized one wherein the various component territories within the united crowns retained their particular historic laws and privileges.

The Balearic Islands were frequently attacked by Barbary pirates from North Africa; Formentera
Formentera
Formentera is the smaller and more southerly island of the Pine Islands group , which belongs to the Balearic Islands autonomous community .-Geography:...

 was even temporarily abandoned by its population. In 1514, 1515 and 1521 the coasts of the Balearic Islands and the Spanish mainland were raided by Turkish
Turkish people
Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

 privateer
Privateer
A privateer is a private person or ship authorized by a government by letters of marque to attack foreign shipping during wartime. Privateering was a way of mobilizing armed ships and sailors without having to spend public money or commit naval officers...

s under the command of the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 admiral, Hayreddin Barbarossa.

The island of Minorca
Minorca
Min Orca or Menorca is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. It takes its name from being smaller than the nearby island of Majorca....

 was a British
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 dependency for most of the 18th century as a result of the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht
Treaty of Utrecht
The Treaty of Utrecht, which established the Peace of Utrecht, comprises a series of individual peace treaties, rather than a single document, signed by the belligerents in the War of Spanish Succession, in the Dutch city of Utrecht in March and April 1713...

. This treaty--signed by the Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 and the Kingdom of Portugal
Kingdom of Portugal
The Kingdom of Portugal was Portugal's general designation under the monarchy. The kingdom was located in the west of the Iberian Peninsula, Europe and existed from 1139 to 1910...

 as well as the Kingdom of Spain, to end the conflict caused by the War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was fought among several European powers, including a divided Spain, over the possible unification of the Kingdoms of Spain and France under one Bourbon monarch. As France and Spain were among the most powerful states of Europe, such a unification would have...

--gave Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

 and Minorca
Minorca
Min Orca or Menorca is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. It takes its name from being smaller than the nearby island of Majorca....

 to the Kingdom of Great Britain, Sardinia
Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

 to Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 (both territories had been part of the Crown of Aragon for more than four centuries), and Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 to the House of Savoy
House of Savoy
The House of Savoy was formed in the early 11th century in the historical Savoy region. Through gradual expansion, it grew from ruling a small county in that region to eventually rule the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 until the end of World War II, king of Croatia and King of Armenia...

. In addition, Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

 and other European territories of the Spanish Crown were given to Austria. The island fell to French forces, under Armand de Vignerot du Plessis in June 1756 and was occupied by them for the duration of the Seven Years War.
The British re-occupied the island after the war but, with their military forces diverted away by the American War of Independence, it fell to a Franco-Spanish force after a seven-month siege (1781/2)
Invasion of Minorca, 1781
The Franco-Spanish conquest of Minorca from its British defenders in February 1782, after the Siege of Fort St. Philip lasting over five months, was an important step in the achievement of Spain's aims in its alliance with France against Britain during the American War of Independence...

. Spain retained it under the Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1783)
The Treaty of Paris, signed on September 3, 1783, ended the American Revolutionary War between Great Britain on the one hand and the United States of America and its allies on the other. The other combatant nations, France, Spain and the Dutch Republic had separate agreements; for details of...

 in 1783. However during the French Revolutionary Wars
French Revolutionary Wars
The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of major conflicts, from 1792 until 1802, fought between the French Revolutionary government and several European states...

, when Spain became an ally of France, it came under French rule
Capture of Minorca
In November 1798 a British expedition captured the island of Minorca from Spain. A large force under General John Stuart landed on the island and forced its Spanish garrison to surrender in eight days with only some bloodshed...

.

Minorca was finally returned to Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 by the Treaty of Amiens
Treaty of Amiens
The Treaty of Amiens temporarily ended hostilities between the French Republic and the United Kingdom during the French Revolutionary Wars. It was signed in the city of Amiens on 25 March 1802 , by Joseph Bonaparte and the Marquess Cornwallis as a "Definitive Treaty of Peace"...

 during the French Revolutionary Wars, following the last British occupation, which lasted from 1798 to 1802. The continued presence of British naval forces, however, meant that the Balaerics were never occupied by the French during the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

.

See also


  • Balearic cuisine
    Balearic cuisine
    Balearic cuisine is a Mediterranean cuisine as cooked in the Balearic Islands, Spain. It can be regarded as part of a wider Catalan cuisine, since it shares many dishes and ingredients with Catalonia and the Valencian Community. Others view it as part of a more global Spanish cuisine. Traditional...

  • List of municipalities in the Balearic Islands
  • Gymnesian Islands
    Gymnesian Islands
    The collective name of the Gymnesian Islands or Gymnesic Islands distinguishes the two largest Balearic islands , from the Pine Islands .- Etymology :The word Gymnesian means "naked"...

  • Pine Islands
    Pine Islands
    Pine Islands or Pityuses is the name given collectively to the Balearic Islands of Ibiza , Formentera, S'Espalmador and other small islets in the Mediterranean Sea....

  • Majorca
  • Minorca
    Minorca
    Min Orca or Menorca is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. It takes its name from being smaller than the nearby island of Majorca....

  • Ibiza
    Ibiza
    Ibiza or Eivissa is a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea 79 km off the coast of the city of Valencia in Spain. It is the third largest of the Balearic Islands, an autonomous community of Spain. With Formentera, it is one of the two Pine Islands or Pityuses. Its largest cities are Ibiza...

  • S'Espalmador
  • Sa Dragonera
  • Formentera
    Formentera
    Formentera is the smaller and more southerly island of the Pine Islands group , which belongs to the Balearic Islands autonomous community .-Geography:...

  • Battle of Majorca
  • List of butterflies of Minorca

External links