Mauritius History | Pinkmango Blog

Mauritius History

Naval Museum Mahebourg Mauritius

Mauritian is known around the world as a beautiful paradise island with bountiful nature and azure blue lagoons. While this is all true, their lies a great Mauritius history behind the island as we know it today.

The discovery of Mauritius
The first people to have ever visited Mauritius and its beauty were the Portuguese at the beginning of the sixteenth century most probably in and around 1510, but it was only the Dutch who settled on the island many years later, more precisely in 1598 and named the island Mauritius after Prince Maurice of Nassau. The Dutch were the one introducing the sugar cane and the many fields, but also the one known to have hunted the Mauritian national bird, the famous Dodo, to extinction. The Dutch left the island in 1710 because they had found a far better settling place in The Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. Only around five years later around 1715, the French occupied the island, renaming it to "Isle de France.”

French occupation
It was under the French Governor, Mahé de Labourdonnais that Mauritius had its first real development as a great harbour was built and Port Louis, named after the ruling king Louis XV, became the capital of Mauritius. Trade became great business for the island and Mauritius could supply enough sugar and rum to the surrounding islands. Slaves were also brought to the island from Madagascar, Senegal and Mozambique around this time and the slaves worked hard in the sugar cane fields and many also died.  It was also during slavery that the Creole language was developed. Today creole is the mother tongue of Mauritius.

British occupation
However, in 1810 the British conquered the island which they then occupied, and re-named Mauritius. The island was formally ceded to the British in the "Traiti de Paris" of 1814. Most of the French people, who had settled down in Mauritius, remained on the island and were allowed to keep their customs, religion and laws. Years later, in 1835, the British finally abolished slavery this led to the importation of Indian indentured labourers to work in the sugar cane fields instead. They eventually settled in Mauritius and their descendants constitute nowadays the majority of the population. Quick and rapid development of the infrastructure continued and free primary education was given to the population so that local civil servants could be trained to run the affairs of the country.

The Independence of Mauritius
Jumping all the way to the 12 of March 1968, which was the year that Mauritius achieved their independence. The Mauritians adopted a constitution based on the British parliamentary system, yet the first post-independence years were difficult, but finally after 15 years of great work and planning, Mauritius finally achieved economic and political stability. Mauritius changed its status to a Republic on 12 March 1992.

Today Mauritius is in constant innovation and continuously trying to improve the country’s situation and development.


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