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Mahón in the 18th century: the evolution of a port town
Journal Title: STORIA URBANA  
Author/s: Josep Juan Vidal 
Year:  2019 Issue: 163 Language: Italian 
Pages:  23 Pg. 93-115 FullText PDF:  82 KB
DOI:  10.3280/SU2019-163006
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During the 18th century, the sovereignty of Menorca changed hands no fewer than seven times over the course of 90 years. For the largest portion of this time it was controlled by the British, although their rule over the island was not continuous. Between 1712 and 1802, the British controlled the island three different times, with a brief period of French rule and another of Spanish rule. The British exerted pressure to maintain Menorca during the War of Spanish Succession in order to hold on to the superb natural port of Mahón, which would allow them to dock their war fleets in the Mediterranean over the winter, develop trade routes with the East and plunder their French and Spanish adversaries. They moved the governmental headquarters to Mahón - from the former capital of Ciutadella , which saw massive growth during the 1700s. Various population surveys from the British, French and Spanish eras attest to this growth. The population tripled over a span of 80 years, and by the end of the century, it had reached 16,000 inhabitants. The city of Mahón became a center for trade between the eastern and western Mediterranean. Additionally, a shipyard was created where ships could be built and repaired. The city also served as an important base for privateers. The significant trading activity that took place there and its maritime importance even attracted colonies of foreigners, Greeks, Jews, and Italians.
Keywords: Menorca, commerce, arsenal, population growth, English navy.

Josep Juan Vidal, Mahón in the 18th century: the evolution of a port town in "STORIA URBANA " 163/2019, pp. 93-115, DOI:10.3280/SU2019-163006


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