What type of modernization did Malta experiencefrom 1870’s down to 1914.Intro: When a countryundergoes a process of Modernization, it experiences a series of developmentsthat reforms its previous way of life into a more technological advanced state.This modernization can take place in various aspects of a society: socialaspect, Economical aspect and political aspect. This process is usuallytriggered by colonialism where the colonial nation starts organising its colonyto undergo this development and achieve the status of a modern society. Transportation: Inthe early 19 th century a transition had begun in the construction of ships. Upto that point ships relied on the power of the wind to navigate from one destinationto another. Yet with the development of steam power, the sails were replacedwith a steam engine. This worked by heating water in a boiler tank with a coalfurnace to the point where the water becomes steam which is moved to power theworking parts of the engine through thin pipes which would intensify itspressure and thus its strength.
This meantthat the sailing voyage length was decreased with ships travelling faster andat larger distances. This meant that news would travel faster and an increasein commerce and tourism was seen.In Maltathe British started to develop the Commercial harbour to accommodate for thelarger steam ships. With the power of these new ships Britain could now protectthe trade routes with more efficiency. This development in the harbour broughta huge labour demand and many Maltese started to migrate from the rural areasto the more urban regions in order to be closer to work.Yet thistransition from sail to steam ships saw the decline of various manufactures inMalta which specialised in producing equipment for Sail ship-building.
Merchants found it easier to and more productive to buy readymade ships fromabroad rather than employ huge number of workers construct a sail ship whichwas becoming more and more obsolete. Malta alsoexperienced some sort of tourism as companies like: The Peninsular and OrientalSteam Navigation Company had: ”the service leaving Southampton…. on the 25th of everymonth to Constantinople via Gibraltar, Malta, Athens, Syros and Izmir.
Thetraffic doubled by the 1860’s and increased still more by the 1880’s” https://www.academia.edu/8305759/DEVELOPMENT_OF_STEAMSHIP_TRAVELLING_In_the_Mediterranean_1833-1860 Anotherdevelopment in transportation was the setting up of the railway system fromValletta to Mdina in 1883.
This created a movement amongst the labouring classwhich started to settle around the rail stations and coal stations like Hamrunand Santa Venera which saw a huge increase in development and population atthat time. The new land based transport also made it easier for workers andconsumers to travel further. The railway system was extended to the Britishbarracks in Mtarfa in 1900. The trains were rather popular amongst the Malteseyet with the introduction of trams and bus routes in 1905 it’s popularitydeclined until it was closed off in 1931. During it’s operation it had 10locomotives with First and Third-class carriages being provided. http://maltarailway.
com Anglicisation: By the1870s, the British had started a process of schooling, but they needed money tostimulate this anglicisation process. This would lead to the construction ofmore schools, and hence more jobs, not only in Malta but also in England. Thisprocess could not be achieved if middle classes and elites would not acceptthis change. So, the British started a welfare system of hospitalisation, andthe building of institutions. The moneyrequired was not to come from the British treasury, since Malta was a colonyand it had to create its own revenue system. Up to 1870 it was collected fromthe wheat tax.
The latter was very unfair on the poor and working classes sinceit pushed up the prices, and it was mainly directed at the lower and middleclasses with their high wheat buying (especially bread). The Britishrequired a large sum of money in order to be able to start this project withthe process of anglicisation. Anglicisation being the process of improving theeducation system in Malta). Hence they brought Francis Rowsell to Malta wherehe made the first important analysis of the island’s economy, focusing mostlyon the fiscal system.
In hisreport he stated that this cannot continue and that the British had to abandonthe tax system which was already there either by reducing the wheat tax orabolish it completely and include a tax that would include the merchants aswell. The Rowsell report had a tremendous impactlocally not only because it created resistance from merchant classes but alsoby land owners, especially the catholic church and the professional classes.There were riots in Valletta. The report had a tremendous impact politically aswell which created the first political parties; the reformisti andanti-reformisti. The former (agreed with Rowsell).
While resistance toRowsell’s report achieved its stay, many attempted to resurrect it again. In 1901,Gerald Strickland, who was pro-British and a reformist made a draft ordinance.One which wanted to completely reform the fiscal system reducing wheat tax tominimum and tapping other pockets which were making profits in the economy inorder to build the infrastructure already mentioned.
Therevenues needed to be used for these projects; building of more schools,drainage and sewage infrastructure especially in urban areas, building ofprisons and lunatic asylum, a breakwater in Gozo and a civil general hospital,as well as the extension of electric light from the port to Cottonera and toother parts of the island. The firstmodernisation programme that was drawn by Strickland was influenced by Rowsell.In order to do this Strickland listed a list of new taxes which were to beintroduced for the implementation of this programme. He wanted increase instamp notary duties, bills of exchange, sails and business transactions.
Hencetaxes were to be imposed on the commercial sector. He also wanted an increaseof 20% on beer, sugar, tobacco and petroleum. Strickland said that this wouldnot hurt the majority of the population. It would also help any Malteseentrepreneur who wanted to start a beer industry. Hence creating a protection forlocal industries which would lower or abolish the wheat tax. This had a totalresistance by chamber of commerce and the church.
? The reports dealt separately withthe administrative, political, cultural and economic-fiscal problems, andsuggested reforms which were required to secure the proper functioning ofMalta’s strategic facilities. From the resulting recommendations, the need fora modern fiscal system, which would increase local revenue through a moresocially equitable system of taxation, was considered crucial for the processof modernising Malta. It also recommended in its report the Anglicisation ofthe educational and judicial systems. While the latter had to wait until the20th century, teaching of the English language started to be enforced in Stateschools at the expense of Italian.
In 1911, English overtook Italian as thesecondary language after Maltese, spoken by 13.1% of the population vs. 11.5%.The Royal Commission’s report also had significant political impact. Supportersand opponents organised themselves into a Reform and Anti-Reform parties which,apart from being the forerunners of the present day two main political partiesin Malta, the reformisti and anti-reformisti (and also, subsequently,pro-colonial and anti-colonial policies) that were to characterise them fordecades to come. Sanitation: The FirstBritish initiative for modernization in this sector came in 1874 with the ideaof installing drainage systems around Malta especially the densely populatedharbour region.
Yet trouble arose upon this issue as to whom should the costsfall upon. The British Colonial government argued that this project was for thebenefit of the Maltese populace thus the Maltese treasury should contribute. Onthe other hand, the Maltese Council of Government brought up the fact that suchproject would also benefit the health of the British colonial office, War andAdmiralty departments and the British civilian residents in Malta.
Finally,the price was divided into: £3000 coming from the Colonial Government and £4000 from the council of governments treasury. This project ended up costingmore than expected and the British demanded the extra costs to be collectedfrom The Council of government. With the elected Maltese refusing and votingagainst, the British Governor used the power of the vote of official majority topass the money. Althoughthis project was costly for the Maltese general populace as at the end of theday it was they who were paying for the project from their taxes, it hadbeneficial impacts on the health of the Maltese. Sanitation in the harbour regionand where the drainage system was installed improved. https://www.timesofmalta.
com/articles/view/20130811/letters/British-Malta.481599Anotherserious attempt for the improvement of sanitation in the Maltese islands camein 1904 with the passing of the Sanitary Ordinance Laws. These were a series oflaws that protected the Maltese consumer from digesting unhygienic food.
Theselaws also imposed harsh penalties on merchants selling adulterated foodespecially grains. With the passing of these laws care had to be taken on howlivestock is grown and butchered, preserved and sold. Inspectors would startinspecting the animal stalls regularly to see whether they were kept in ahealthy environment.During thistime many Maltese often found themselves suffering from the so-called MalteseFever. Up that point it was unclear as from where the Maltese were infectedfrom. Sir Temi Zammit studied this case and came to the conclusion that theMaltese Fever was coming from the Brucellosis bacteria found in unpasteurizedmilk and with the consumption of soft cheeses. Sir Temi Zammit suggested thatthe milk should be boiled first before consumption. Laws were passedprohibiting consumption of un boiled milk in households.
Furthermore, goatherds were prohibited from entering Valletta. Goat inspections were carried outwith around 45% of goats ending up being destroyed due to having the viruspresent in their system. Although there were protests by the herders thegeneral populace was grateful for this development.This markeda change in the mentality of the Maltese were as of before they were reluctantto improve their health especially if it ended up costing them something.
Yetwith the development in sanitation the Maltese ended up seeing the benefitsthey had brought for the general health of the country.