History of People of MauritiusRead more
After the Arab sailors (from the 5th century), the Portuguese saw the island in the 16th century, but it was the Dutch who, in 1598, set foot there and named it Mauritius in honor of Maurice de Nassau (1567-1625). They found there a support point for their connections with the Indies. They also found precious woods and meat, which the dodos in particular provided. In 1638, a governor and about twenty families were installed. Africa, India and Indonesia quickly sent them slaves. These brave people took barely more than half a century to destroy the native wealth of the island. With the wood cut and the dodos eaten, they retreated to the Cape Colony (1710). During the 17th century, some French settlers had established themselves in Mauritius. When the Dutch left, they stayed. So much so that in 1715, France easily took possession of Mauritius. Which became the island of France. The French East India Company (it is always a question of ensuring these routes) administers and repopulates. From 1735, the Count of Labourdonnais started the economic development of the island and fortified it; warships had their home port there. But the Seven Years' War (1756-1764) sounded the death knell for the French overseas trading posts. The English entered the fray and their ships challenged the supremacy of the lilies in the Indian Ocean. The island of France was shaken. However, the French withdrawal to the Mascarene Islands gave Port Louis an increased military and economic importance, but it was precarious. In 1787, Bernardin de Saint-Pierre wrote Paul et Virginie, where the island seemed to be a paradise. France armed privateer ships, which harassed the English merchants. The latter appealed to their fleet and the blockade was put on the archipelago. In 1810 the English landed in Rodrigues, then took over the island of France (which became Mauritius again). The French were allowed to remain, under the administration of Her Gracious Majesty. The latter generalized the cultivation of sugar cane.
The abolition of slavery in 1833 provoked the "importation" of Indian workers. Father Laval found among the freed slaves the opportunity for his apostolate. The population grew rapidly. The port trade was prosperous (export of sugar to Europe, India, Australia; import of rice...). Steam power and the Suez Canal benefited Port Louis. Conflicts between planters and poor workers were partly overcome by social legislation. But Mauritius is far from London and Madagascar is gradually taking over the region. The health situation remains fragile. The decline began at the dawn of the 20th century. However, the end of the First World War allowed business to start again; things went well until the eve of the Second. The Mauritian Labor Party defended the interests of Indian workers with some success. In 1942, when Mauritius was cut off from the world, the British set up a military air base there. After the war, the Colonial Office undertook sanitation and infrastructure work in preparation for independence. The process was completed on 12 March 1968. The new regime was a little shaky, but under the leadership of Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, a Labor Party Prime Minister, the institutions held. Until 1995, a socialist-inspired policy prevailed. Since then, liberalization has been on the march. On March 1, 1992, the Mauritian state became a republic. One of the most amazing things about Mauritius is the harmony that reigns between Mauritian people of different culture and religions (Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Chinese among others). Today Mauritius is known for its superb hotels and its best turquoise beaches in the world.