Brief History of Mauritius lost in the Indian Ocean. It has a very rich past, as it has known several periods of colonization that are still documented today.
Mauritius was once Portuguese, then Dutch, then French, and finally English. Finally, in 1968 it has become a republic. In a few paragraphs, this article will tell you about all the periods in Mauritius’ history.
The history of Mauritius is quite fascinating. You will see how the past has influenced the modern Island. Yet, there is a lack of documentation on when the Island was exactly discovered.
As a result, pinpointing the exact date on which the events occurred is difficult. It is undeniable, but, that the Arabs were the first to settle on the island in the 10th century. Dina was the name given to the island.
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to visit the island in the early 16th century. They name the Island llha Do Cerne, which translates to “Swan Island.”
The Portuguese did not settle on the island but used the island as a port of call and a source of fresh food. They were very committed to protecting their trade and proximity to India.
During the first years of the Dutch arrival, they visited the country on a regular basis. They profited a lot from raw materials such as ebony and wild animals. Like pigs, turtles, the famous Dodo and goats.
The colonies’ goal was to ship ebony trees to Holland and Batavia. Food, tobacco, cattle, and poultry to supply the Dutch ships traveling the naval route.
The settlers were also ordered to construct a fort to protect the port, which they did in 1638.
Governor Van Der Stel came to the Island after Simons Gooyer’s reign. He brought with him various seeds and fruits, including sugarcane saplings.
He brought sheep, geese, ducks, pigeons, and deer, among other animals and birds. He bred the animals to multiply to provide fresh food and produce to passing ships. During his tenure as governor, Stel experimented with agriculture. Growing tobacco, indigo, cane, and rice.
But the crops did not last long after being severely damaged by a cyclone in 1644. The Dutch were so dissatisfied with the island’s difficult conditions. So they leave the island.
Yet, around 1710, the Dutch returned to the island and attempted to settle again. They had on-board qualified men like blacksmiths, sawyers, carpenters, brewers, and tanners. The difficult weather conditions on the island did not spare them and they left the island.
After the departure of the Dutch, Mauritius remained unoccupied until 1715. Captain Gillaume Dufresne D’Arsel occupied the island and named it Isle de France. Settlers arrived from the Isle of Bourbon and France. Denis Denyon becomes governor. Beneath it, large tracts of land were cleared to growing rice, corn, and tobacco.
Mahé brought in Indian sailors and craftsmen to help with public construction projects. During his reign,
This led to more developments which led to a thriving colony. In 1767, Governor Dumas and Intendant Pierre Poivre took charge of
After the war between the British and the French in 1810, the island fell under British rule.
Most of the former French settlers stayed on the island. They have the right to follow their own rules, religions, and traditions.
Under the British colony, the abolition of slavery was in 1835. Indian indentured labourers came to the island to work on the sugar cane plantations.
Indian workers disembarked at L’Aapravasi Ghats at Port Louis. (The capital of Mauritius).
On March 12, 1968, Mauritius declared independence. They chose a constitution based on the British parliamentary structure as their guide. After several years of economic prosperity, the island declared a republic in 1992. Based on the Westminster model, the Mauritian constitution. It gives legislative power to the Prime Minister and the cabinet. Mauritians hold elections every five years.
Mauritius is capable of welcoming a multicultural society that is free of conflicts. People of various religions, languages, and cultures can coexist as a single community.
The French played an important role in this cultural melting pot. During their colonization period.
They brought in African and Asian slaves. The British brought in the Indian workers and it changed the social culture of the island. Different people of different origins came together and formed a distinct Mauritian society.
Today, the people of Mauritius have different ancestors, different religions, and beliefs. This has successfully integrated into the local culture.