Timeline of the history of the Falkland Islands

Last updated
Map of the modern Falkland Islands with British nomenclature. Falkland Islands map shaded relief-en.svg
Map of the modern Falkland Islands with British nomenclature.

The Falkland Islands (Spanish : Islas Malvinas) have a complex history stretching over five hundred years. Active exploration and colonisation began in the 18th century but a self-supporting colony was not established till the latter part of the 19th century. Nonetheless, the islands have been a matter of controversy, as due to their strategic position in the 18th century their sovereignty was claimed by the French, Spaniards, British and Argentines at various points.


The strategic importance of the Falkland Islands was negated by the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914. Nevertheless, the continued sovereignty dispute between the United Kingdom and Argentina led to the Falklands War in 1982.

15th century

16th century

Ferdinand Magellan. It is often claimed by Spanish speakers that one of the ships involved in his first global circumnavigation discovered the Falkland Islands Magellan 1810 engraving.jpg
Ferdinand Magellan. It is often claimed by Spanish speakers that one of the ships involved in his first global circumnavigation discovered the Falkland Islands

17th century

18th century

Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, by Jean-Pierre Franquel Louis-Antoine de Bougainville.jpg
Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, by Jean-Pierre Franquel

19th century

20th century

Launch of the SS Great Britain, the revolutionary ship of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, at Bristol in 1843 Launch-of-the-SS-GB.jpg
Launch of the SS Great Britain, the revolutionary ship of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, at Bristol in 1843
ARA Almirante Irizar (Q5) Antarctic icebreaker Q5ARAAlmiranteIrizar.jpg
ARA Almirante Irízar (Q5) Antarctic icebreaker

21st century

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of the Falkland Islands</span>

The history of the Falkland Islands goes back at least five hundred years, with active exploration and colonisation only taking place in the 18th century. Nonetheless, the Falkland Islands have been a matter of controversy, as they have been claimed by the French, British, Spaniards and Argentines at various points.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Falklands War</span> Undeclared war between Argentina and the United Kingdom in 1982

The Falklands War was a ten-week undeclared war between Argentina and the United Kingdom in 1982 over two British dependent territories in the South Atlantic: the Falkland Islands and its territorial dependency, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The conflict began on 2 April, when Argentina invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands, followed by the invasion of South Georgia the next day. On 5 April, the British government dispatched a naval task force to engage the Argentine Navy and Air Force before making an amphibious assault on the islands. The conflict lasted 74 days and ended with an Argentine surrender on 14 June, returning the islands to British control. In total, 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel, and three Falkland Islanders were killed during the hostilities.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stanley, Falkland Islands</span> Chief port and capital city of the Falkland Islands

Stanley is the capital city of the Falkland Islands. It is located on the island of East Falkland, on a north-facing slope in one of the wettest parts of the islands. At the 2016 census, the city had a population of 2,460. The entire population of the Falkland Islands was 3,398 on Census Day on 9 October 2016.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">East Falkland</span> Island in Falkland Islands, Atlantic Ocean

East Falkland is the largest island of the Falklands in the South Atlantic, having an area of 6,605 km2 or 54% of the total area of the Falklands. The island consists of two main land masses, of which the more southerly is known as Lafonia; it is joined by a narrow isthmus where the settlement of Goose Green is located, and it was the scene of the Battle of Goose Green during the Falklands War.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Port Louis, Falkland Islands</span>

Port Louis is a settlement on northeastern East Falkland. It was established by Louis de Bougainville on 5 April 1764 as the first French settlement on the islands, but was then transferred to Spain in 1767 and renamed Puerto Soledad.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Reassertion of British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (1833)</span> Re-establishment of British rule on the Falkland Islands in 1833

In December 1832, two naval vessels were sent by the United Kingdom to re-assert British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, after the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata ignored British diplomatic protests over the appointment of Luis Vernet as governor of the Falkland Islands and a dispute over fishing rights.

Sovereignty over the Falkland Islands is disputed by Argentina and the United Kingdom. The British claim to sovereignty dates from 1690, when they made the first recorded landing on the islands, and the United Kingdom has exercised de facto sovereignty over the archipelago almost continuously since 1833. Argentina has long disputed this claim, having been in control of the islands for a few years prior to 1833. The dispute escalated in 1982, when Argentina invaded the islands, precipitating the Falklands War.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Falkland Islands</span> Group of islands in the South Atlantic

The Falkland Islands is an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean on the Patagonian Shelf. The principal islands are about 300 mi (480 km) east of South America's southern Patagonian coast and about 752 mi (1,210 km) from Cape Dubouzet at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, at a latitude of about 52°S. The archipelago, with an area of 4,700 sq mi (12,000 km2), comprises East Falkland, West Falkland, and 776 smaller islands. As a British overseas territory, the Falklands have internal self-governance, but the United Kingdom takes responsibility for their defence and foreign affairs. The capital and largest settlement is Stanley on East Falkland.

There were many events leading to the 1982 Falklands War between the United Kingdom and Argentina over possession of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Origins of Falkland Islanders</span>

Falkland Islanders derive from various origins. Earliest among these are the numerically small but internationally diverse early 19th century inhabitants of the Falkland Islands, comprising and descended in part from settlers brought by Luis Vernet, and English and American sealers; South American gauchos who settled in the 1840s and 1850s; and since the late 1830s, settlers largely from Britain with a minority from other European countries. There has also been significant recent contributions from Saint Helena and Chile.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Territorial claims in Antarctica</span> Land claims of the continent

Seven sovereign states – Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom – have made eight territorial claims in Antarctica. These countries have tended to place their Antarctic scientific observation and study facilities within their respective claimed territories; however, a number of such facilities are located outside of the area claimed by their respective countries of operation, and countries without claims such as China, India, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa (SANAE), Ukraine, and the United States have constructed research facilities within the areas claimed by other countries. There are overlaps among the territories claimed by Argentina, Chile, and the United Kingdom.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands sovereignty dispute</span>

British sovereignty of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is disputed by Argentina. The United Kingdom claimed South Georgia in 1775(at the time it was the Kingdom of Great Britain), annexed the islands in 1908, and has exercised de facto control with the exception of a brief period during the Falklands War in 1982, when the islands were partially controlled by Argentina. The dispute started in 1927 when Argentina claimed sovereignty over South Georgia, and subsequently expanded in scope with Argentina claiming the South Sandwich Islands in 1938. The islands have no indigenous population, and currently only have about 30 inhabitants.

Antonio "El Gaucho" Rivero was a gaucho known for his leading role in the Port Louis Murders of 26 August 1833, in which five prominent members of the settlement of Port Louis on the Falkland Islands were murdered. In Argentine revisionist historiography and public consciousness, Rivero is viewed as a patriotic hero who rebelled against British authority. However, academic historians both in Argentina and abroad agree that Rivero's actions were not motivated by patriotism, but by disputes over pay and working conditions with the representatives of Louis Vernet, the former Argentine Political and Military Commander of the islands.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Occupation of the Falkland Islands</span> Argentine administration during the Falklands War, formally dissolved 1985

The occupation of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands was the short-lived Argentine occupation of a group of British islands in the South Atlantic whose sovereignty has long been disputed by Argentina. Until their invasion on 2 April 1982 by the Argentine military junta, they had been governed by the United Kingdom since it re-established control over them in 1833.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Argentine irredentism</span> Argentine claims over disputed territory

Argentine irredentism is the idea of Argentina's sovereignty over the British Overseas Territories of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, along with the dispute with Chile over the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and disputes with both over the region designated as Argentine Antarctica.

A referendum on political status was held in the Falkland Islands on 10–11 March 2013. The Falkland Islanders were asked whether or not they supported the continuation of their status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom in view of Argentina's call for negotiations on the islands' sovereignty.

The Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation Between Argentina and the United Kingdom was an 1825 treaty between the United Provinces of the River Plate and the United Kingdom). With this treaty, the United Kingdom accepted the 1816 Argentine Declaration of Independence. As the United Kingdom was the most powerful world power of the time, and the United States had announced the Monroe Doctrine, this treaty limited the chances of Spain to reconquer its former colony.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alejandro Betts</span> Argentine political activist (1947–2020)

Alejandro Jacobo Betts was a Falklands-born Argentine air-traffic controller and activist who worked with the Argentine government as a technical advisor on the Tierra del Fuego's Malvinas Question Provincial Observatory Advisory Council. Betts supported Argentina's claim to the Falkland Islands and was a controversial figure in the Falklands as a result. Betts also was the older brother of Terry Betts, who served as a member of the Falkland Islands Legislative Council and assisted British forces in the Falklands War. His younger brother Peter served in the British Task Force.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Aerolíneas Argentinas Flight 648 hijacking</span>

The hijacking of Aerolíneas Argentinas Flight 648 occurred on 28 and 29 September 1966 when a group of Argentine nationalists hijacked a civilian Aerolíneas Argentinas aircraft en route from Buenos Aires to Río Gallegos and forced the captain at gunpoint to land in the Falkland Islands in protest to the UK's presence on the islands. After landing, the hijackers raised the Argentine flag, took several islanders hostage and demanded the Governor of the Falkland Islands recognise Argentine sovereignty over the islands. On 29 September 1966, after negotiating through a Catholic priest, the hijackers surrendered and were returned to Argentina for trial.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">South Atlantic conflict</span> Period of military tensions in the South Atlantic Ocean

The South Atlantic conflict was a series of crises, undeclared wars, and other conflicts between Argentina, the United Kingdom, and later Chile in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. It was incited by the Argentine navy's prevention of the UK's reoccupation of its territories on the Antarctic Peninsula, and included the Falklands War and Invasion of South Georgia. The conflict, despite a large number of stalemates, ultimately ended in British victory.


  1. Mary Cawkell; D. H. Maling; E. M. Cawkell (1960). The Falkland Islands. Macmillan. p. 5.
  2. Felix Riesenberg (1950). Cape Horn. Readers Union. p. 45.
  3. see Old Style and New Style dates: the date in brackets the Gregorian Calendar used in Spain but not in England or Scotland at that time
  4. Ratified by the King of Spain on and ratified on 5/15 June 1605 and by King James I on 19/29 August 1604
  5. Davenport, pp. 246257
  6. "Treaty between Great Britain and Spain for the settlement of all disputes in America". The National Archives. gov.uk.
  7. Fisher, Margaret Anne; Savelle, Max (1967). The origins of American diplomacy: the international history of Angloamerica, 1492-1763 American diplomatic history series Authors. Macmillan. pp. 66–70.
  8. Capt. Francisco de Seixas y Lovera, Descripcion geographica, y derrotero de la region austral Magallanica. Que se dirige al Rey nuestro señor, gran monarca de España, y sus dominios en Europa, Emperador del Nuevo Mundo Americano, y Rey de los reynos de la Filipinas y Malucas, Madrid, Antonio de Zafra, 1690. (Narrates the discovery of South Georgia by the Englishman Anthony de la Roché in April 1675 (Capítulo IIII Título XIX page 27 or page 99 of pdf); Relevant fragment.)
  9. Antonio de Viedma, Diarios de navegación – expediciones por las costas y ríos patagónicos (1780–1783), Ediciones Continente reprint, Buenos Aires 2006, ISBN   950-754-204-3, with an introduction by Professor Pedro Pesatti, Universidad Nacional de Conahue, Argentina: and two prefaces of importance – Discurso preliminar al diario de Viedma, pp. 19–28, and Apuntes históricos de la Isla Pepys, pp. 33–36 with facsimile map, both authored by Pedro de Angelis, on 20 June 1839. De Angelis (b. Naples 1784, d. Buenos Aires 1859) was the historian who created the State Printing Service. He edited the collection of works and documents relative to the ancient and modern history of the provinces of the River Plate in six volumes (1835–1838).
  10. William Ambrosia Cowley. Cowley's Voyage Round the Globe, in Collection of Original Voyages, ed. William Hacke. London: James Knapton, 1699. https://web.archive.org/web/20180120160933/http://www.galapagos.to/TEXTS/COWLEY.HTM
  11. 1 2 Headland, Robert K. (2009). A Chronology of Antarctic exploration. London: Quaritch. ISBN   978-0-9550852-8-4.
  12. William Wagstaff (2001). Falkland Islands. Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 7–. ISBN   978-1-84162-037-4.
  13. 1 2 Gustafson, Lowell (1988). The Sovereignty Dispute over the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands . New York: Oxford University Press. pp.  7. ISBN   0-19-504184-4.
  14. Wigglesworth, Angela. (1992) Falkland People. Pub. Peter Owen. ISBN   0-7206-0850-3
  15. 1 2 Will Wagstaff (14 December 2018). Falkland Islands. Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 142–. ISBN   978-1-78477-618-3.
  16. Will Wagstaff (14 December 2018). Falkland Islands. Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 70–. ISBN   978-1-78477-618-3.
  17. "December 08: The Battle of the Falkland Islands". History.com This Day in History. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  18. Falkland Islands Government. "The Falkland Islands Defence Force – a brief history" . Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  19. Will Wagstaff (14 December 2018). Falkland Islands. Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 10–. ISBN   978-1-78477-618-3.
  20. William Wagstaff (2001). Falkland Islands. Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 80–. ISBN   978-1-84162-037-4.
  21. Whitley, M. J. (1995). Cruisers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. London: Cassell. pp. 95–. ISBN   1-86019-874-0.
  22. "Falkland Islands fly the flag for self-determination" . Retrieved 2020-11-06.
  23. "UN Milestones 1941–1950". www.un.org. 4 August 2015. Archived from the original on 27 October 2017. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  24. Laucirica, Jorge O. (Summer–Fall 2000). "Lessons from Failure: The Falklands/Malvinas Conflict" (PDF). Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 21, 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-06.
  25. 1 2 3 4 Symmons, C. R. "Who Owns the Falkland Island Dependencies in International Law? An Analysis of Certain Recent British and Argentinian Official Statements." The International and Comparative Law Quarterly 33, no. 3 (1984): 726-36. Accessed October 25, 2020. http://www.jstor.org/stable/759166.
  26. "The Issue is the Law". The Times (London). 27 April 1982. p. 13.
  27. 1 2 "Falklands and the "unwelcome visits from (Argentine) aircraft" — MercoPress". En.mercopress.com. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
  28. Franks Report: , HMSO published Dec 12 1998, retrieved 14 July 2012
  29. Reuters (1998-12-18). "Britain Eases Post-Falklands Arms Embargo Against Argentina (Published 1998)". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2020-10-25.{{cite news}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  30. The New York Times: Chile, in a Jab at Britain, Is Suspending Flights to Falklands, published Dec 12 1998, retrieved Aug 6 2010
  31. Los Angeles Times: Halt Falklands Flights, Chile Urges Airlines, published Dec 12 1998, retrieved Aug 6 2010
  32. Watts, Patrick (1999-08-09). "Anger as Argentines return to Falklands as tourists". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  33. "Timeline". South Georgia Museum. Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  34. "History of King Edward Point (Station M)". British Antarctic Survey. Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  35. "Falklands War Veterans Pilgrimage Plans and Fund-Raising Go Ahead for 2002" . Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  36. "Around Alone...Stamm restarts after keel repairs". www.sail-world.com. Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  37. "Argentine cemetery benefactor visits Falklands to say "thank you" for the joint humanitarian identification program" . Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  38. "Falkland Islands Info Portal - Chronology". Archived from the original on 2007-10-06. Retrieved 2013-04-05. Falkland Islands Timeline: A Chronology of events in the history of the Falkland Islands, Accessed 2007-10-02
  39. "Falkland Gold and Minerals Ltd Announcement" . Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  40. "BBC NEWS | Special Reports | Falklands Anniversary" . Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  41. "Argentina vows Falklands return". 2007-06-14. Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  42. "Britain to claim more than 1m sq km of Antarctica". 2007-10-17. Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  43. "Major-General Sir Jeremy Moore" . Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  44. "Falkland Islands: Weekly Penguin News Update". 12 September 2008. Retrieved 12 September 2008.
  45. "Argentina protests Falklands participation in fishing summit". 16 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-29.
  46. "Malvinas Families grieve their beloved at Darwin Argentine cemetery". 4 October 2009. Retrieved 4 October 2009.
  47. "Argentina claims vast ocean area". BBC News. 2009-04-22. Retrieved 2009-04-22.
  48. Watson, Lisa. "Sweeping changes in Falkland Islands general election" . Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  49. "Drilling for oil begins off the Falkland Islands". BBC News. 22 February 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
  50. Falkland Islands voters overwhelmingly reject single constituency proposal MercoPress, 4 November 2011
  51. Davies, Caroline (2012-04-02). "Falklands war: 30th anniversary 'a day for reflection'". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  52. "Falkland Islands to hold referendum on political future". Penguin News . 12 June 2012. Archived from the original on 18 June 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  53. "Electoral Commission to assist with Falklands referendum". Penguin News . 30 August 2012. Archived from the original on 31 January 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  54. "Falklands' March 10/11 referendum, a democratic exercise of self-determination". MercoPress, South Atlantic News Agency. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  55. Falkland Islands names largest ever squad as 25 athletes set to compete at Glasgow 2014. insidethegames.biz, 2014
  56. 1 2 Daley, Jason. "German Ship Sunk During WWI Found Off Falkland Islands" . Retrieved 2020-10-23.{{cite magazine}}: Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  57. "Reconciliation and commemoration: 100 years after the Battle of the Falklands German flags fly over Stanley" . Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  58. "Falklands celebrates with several events 250 years of British claim over the Islands" . Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  59. "UK and Argentina agree to identify Falklands war dead" . Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  60. "Falklands: Argentina and UK agree to extend Humanitarian Plan to identify remains in multiple grave". 28 November 2019. 28 November 2019. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  61. Falkland Islands Government Policy Department (October 2019). "Falkland Islands: An Economic Transformation" (PDF). Falkland Islands Association Newsletter. pp. 3–5. Retrieved 2020-10-24.{{cite magazine}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  62. Relatives of Argentine soldiers killed during the Falklands War visit the Argentine cemetery at Darwin
  63. "Falklands community invited to 'Reclaim the Beach' to celebrate completion of demining – Penguin News". Penguin News. 2020-10-23. Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  64. "LATAM air link to Falklands from Chile normalized after 30 months". 2022-07-04. Retrieved 2022-07-14.
  65. "Falklands ceremony and parade at Liberation Memorial on the 40th anniversary". 2022-06-15. Retrieved 2022-07-14.
  66. "Historic event: Stanley, City status proclamation to a round of applause from some 400 Falkland Islanders". 2022-06-16. Retrieved 2022-07-14.