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Minorca

Minorca (mĭnôrˈkə) [key], Span. Menorca, Spanish island (1991 pop. 65,109), 271 sq mi (702 km), Baleares prov., in the W Mediterranean Sea, the second largest of the Balearic Islands. Port Mahón is the chief city and port. The terrain is mostly low but has a hilly center. Cereals, wine, olive oil, and flax are the chief products. Much of the agriculture is irrigated. Lobster fishing, the export of livestock, and local light industries add to the economy. Tourism is also important. A great number of megalithic monuments exist on the island. Minorca shared the history of the other Balearic Islands until 1708, when it was occupied by the English during the War of the Spanish Succession. England retained it until the Seven Years War, when it was seized by the French. The Treaty of Paris (1763) restored Minorca to Britain, but the French and Spanish again seized it (1782) in the American Revolution. In 1798, in the French Revolutionary Wars, England regained control; the Peace of Amiens (1802) awarded Minorca to Spain. The island still has a somewhat British flavor.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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