Falkland Islands, return of: Did Britain acquire the Falklands by illegitimate means then?

  • The British acquired the Falklands by illegitimate means.

    England is a very long way from the coast of South America. The British stole the Falklands away from Argentina, and that is just shameful. They had no right to steal the Falklands, and they should be returned to their previous owners. Also, something that far away from the motherland is extremely hard to govern, so the Falklands should be returned.

  • Surely the 1st country to land on the islands has some right.

    It is debatable as to who actually first discovered the islands, Spanish claims of discovery in the 1520s may be spurious and we definitely know that between 1584 (date of the failure of Puerto del Hambre port) and 1767 no Spanish ship sailed anywhere near the Falklands.

    It is generally recognised (i.E. Spain did not dispute) that the first landing on the islands was by English Captain Strong in 1690. There is no evidence whatsoever of any prior Spanish landings or of any indigenous people. In 1694, English Captain Dampier also landed and mapped the islands.

    In 1764, the French build the first settlement. In 1765 a British landing, ignorant of the French presence, sets up for the arrival in January 1766 of a British settlement.

    In 1766, the Spanish dispute France's presence. Under the Bourbon Family Pact (the French and Spanish kings were cousins and to avoid territorial incidents, they had a pact) in which Spain claimed South America as its sphere of influence, France ceded its colony to Spain. This was NOT a recognition of sovereignty but one of hegemony. The British colony remained, now the oldest "sovereign" claim. After a major tiff with Spain, the British evacuated the islands in 1774 because revolutionary activity in N. America demanded British resources be sent there. The British left the flag flying and a plaque claiming the islands in the name of the king with every intention of returning, which they effectively did in 1833.

    In this argument one must NOT forget that the British were the first to land on the islands and had a colony there 50 years before Argentina even existed. As such, the re-establishment of British control in 1833 was NOT illegal, indeed it can be seen as a legal reinstatement of British control after an illegal occupation by Argentina.

  • No, several nationalities settled the Falklands before the British finally controlled them.

    No, Britain did not acquire the Falklands by illegitimate means. Many nationalities, including the Spanish, and the French, settled on the islands before the British exerted control over the islands. Argentina declined requests to mediate the dispute with the International Court of Justice. Britain has controlled the islands for many years, and the issue only became a point of contention because of the possibility of oil and other resources. Simply being near a piece of land does not give a nation a claim over that land. Britain's acquisition was legitimate.

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