Mauritius photo of The bay where the Dutch first landed at Ferney

The bay where the Dutch first landed at Ferney

Photography by Photographer Christian Hardouin
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The bay near Vieux Grand Port where the Dutch first landed. The history of Mauritius starts with Maurice de Nassau born on November 14, 1567. At the age of 20, he became governor of the Netherlands. His objective was conquest. He won victories over the Spaniards. To conquer the Indies, in 1592, he sent spies on the Portuguese ships going to the Land of the Rising Sun. Between 1598 and 1602, the Dutch sent dozens of ships to the Indian Ocean. In 1598, they landed on one of the pearls of this expanse, in Grand Port, under the command of Admiral Wybrand Van Warwyck. The sailors then named this wonderful piece of land Mauritius, in honor of their governor Maurice de Nassau. Four years later, the various small Dutch trading companies that were trying to make a fortune from the products of the Orient joined together to form the Dutch East India Company on March 20, 1602.

The Dutch understood that Mauritius had great potential. It is located on the East India route between Africa and the Orient. So, in 1638, they started to colonize it. But who are the men and women who will have to populate it? Who are those who will have to work hard to survive? They are African, Asian and Malagasy slaves, who from 1642 will organize the resistance. They are called the Maroons. A term used at the time to designate domestic animals returning to the wild. The Maroons met in small groups in the mountains. The Morne Brabant is today a symbol of slavery in Mauritius. The history of Mauritius continues sadly.

The failure of the Dutch in Mauritius - History tells us that the Dutch developed the slave trade in Mauritius in order to exploit the island's wealth. “The trade of slaves being already a common thing in a few countries, they didn't hesitate to invest in the manpower for Mauritius and other islands in the Indian Ocean", according to Mr. Sudel Fuma, Professor of History (University of Reunion / UNESCO).

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