Although Malta has a long and illustrious history – spanning some 7000 years – three eras played the major role in shaping the present-day Islands:
The Arab Occupation from 870 to 1090 provided the basis of the Maltese language.
The Order of St John, which occupied the Islands from 1530 to 1798, shaped the Islands artistically, socially and culturally.
The British Period, from 1801 to 1964, introduced the concept of British justice with a unified code of laws, democracy and administration. The British also helped launch the Islands into the modern industrial world and linked the Islands with the worldwide community of English-speaking countries.