History of Mauritius

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Mauritius was discovered by the Portuguese in 1507 and was later occupied by the Dutch, from 1598 up until 1710. In 1715, it came into the possession of the East India Company and in 1767, that of the King of France, who christened it ‘Ile de France'. Captured by the British in 1810 and then acknowledged by the Treaty of Paris in 1814, the British allowed the French settlers to use their language and their civil code. Many of the settlers remained and made up a group of Franco-Mauritian important property owners and businessmen. The sugar cane cultivations first developed with the African and Malagasy slaves. Following the abolition of slavery in 1835, the important landowners turned their attention to an influx of indentured Indian labourers, a large number of whom settled on the island. The island remained a British colony until its independence on 12th March 1968, under the presidency of Dr Seewoosagur Ramgoolam. The Dutch period~ The Dutch first arrived on the island in 1516, but was unable to colonise it as the slaves that had been brought over from Africa ran away into the mountains upon their arrival. They were the first fugitive slaves in Mauritius. In 1641, the Dutch developed the slave trade, with slaves from Madagascar, in the hope of securing a return on their installation in Mauritius. In spite of this, only a few Malagasy slaves were brought to Mauritius during the Dutch occupation. In 1598, a Dutch squadron landed on the island under the orders of the Admiral Wybrand Van Warwick. It was then that the island was named Mauritius, after the Prince Mauritius Van Nassau of Holland. Instead of expanding the colony, the Dutch contented themselves with devastating the fauna (which led to the extinction of the dodo) and the flora that caused the extinction of ebony wood. However, they introduced sugar cane and imported Java deer. They left the island along with their slaves in 1710, following severe droughts and devastation caused...
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