Joe
Lv 4
Joe asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 3 years ago

Why is Gibraltar so important to the British? Why did they want it and why won't they give it up?

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  • Kieran
    Lv 4
    3 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Gibraltar and Morocco are the keys to the Mediterranean. It is a very strategic port, especially as it is difficult to assault. It is an important naval base in a key location. Sealing off the Mediterranean in 1904 helped the Japanese win their war with Russia.

    I presume you are American so consider this: If the USA and Russia ended up in a conflict, it would be a naval affair as they do not share a border. Russia has one Pacific fleet but two Atlantic fleets. The Black Sea fleet could not link up with the Baltic fleet quickly if the Straits of Gibraltar were held against them. Would you rather have the Straits dominated by the UK, an ally of America with the necessary fleet already there or in the hands of Spain, whose navy is best known for its disasters rather than its triumphs (I can name three of the former but none of the latter)?

    In any case, the people of Gibraltar are not keen on becoming Spanish and Spain has enough problems retaining territory as it is.

    It has been part of the UK for 300 years, since 1708. Compare this to other territories:

    Alaska (USA): 1867

    Washington, Oregon and Idaho (USA): 1846-53

    New Mexico and many surrounding states (USA): 1846 (after a war with a Spanish-speaking country)

    Alsace-Lorraine (France): 1919

    Kalingrad (Russia): 1945

    Minorca (Spain): 1781 (From Britain)

    So Gibraltar is not the only debated land.

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  • 3 years ago

    idk

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  • Athena
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    Let me see.

    You are a maritime power and Gibraltar is where again ???

    The middle of the Mohave desert is it ?

    Good question.

    Why would a maritime empire care about a rock in the middle of land ????

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    Gibraltar guards the straits of the same name which serve as the only link between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean. As such, Gibraltar was an invaluable naval base from which the British could control, and if necessary choke off, access between the sea and the ocean. Now, the naval value of Gibraltar is less, but Britain doesn't want to give up any of it's territory or cede the 80,000 residents of Gibraltar to Spain, a country which has not controlled it for centuries.

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  • 3 years ago

    Go look at a map. It's located at the entranced to the Mediterranean. It along with Malta are highly strategic spots. The British won't give it up for the same reasons why Spain won't let Catalonia and Basque country go independent and give back Ceuta and Melilla to Morocco. Talk about hypocrisy.

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  • d
    Lv 6
    3 years ago

    ultimately the Gibraltarians had a referendum relatively recently and voted overwhelmingly to remain as they are.

    this trumps everything else,either you believe in democracy or you don't.

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    Symbolic reasons today but in the hundreds of years prior it provided a great view of the straights and allowed British to intercept vessels if they so desired

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    Because it belongs to them

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    You should be able to figure out why it's important just by looking at a map.

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