The demographic roots of Gibraltarian identity, 1704–1819

Stephen Constantine

in Community and Identity

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780719076350
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702048 | DOI:
The demographic roots of Gibraltarian identity, 1704–1819

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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The majority of those currently living in Gibraltar, and many of the Gibraltar-born who live outside, regard themselves as Gibraltarians, with a culture and identity sufficiently distinctive in their eyes to qualify Gibraltar as a nation. This chapter examines the demographic roots of Gibraltarian identity during the period 1704–1819. It argues that the most important phase for the emergence of the distinctive contribution of demography to Gibraltarian identity was the first century or so of British political control. It was then that the transfer of territorial sovereignty to Britain was secured and, just as important, confirmed, and in the same period substantial numbers of people from several places of origin sought to enter and settle. After considering war and the partition of Gibraltar during 1704–1705, the chapter describes opportunities for immigrants, military security and surveillance, censuses on British Protestants and the others in 1725–1816, and property ownership from 1712 to 1819.

Keywords: Gibraltar; identity; demography; Britain; partition; war; immigrants; military security; Protestants; property ownership

Chapter.  12339 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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