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Home >> Mauritius History

History of Mauritius

Mauritius is a mountainous island in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar. It was a Dutch settlement in the 17th century who named it in honour of Prince Maurits van Nassau. The French took over in 1715 and developed it into an important naval base and established the sugar industry. They also brought slaves from Africa and developed colonial plantations.

The British captured the island in 1810 but little capital and effort was put into the Mauritian economy. In 1825 Mauritius became a sugar based economy and in 1835 slavery was abolished. This led to large demographic changes. To make up for the loss in workforce, plantation owners imported labourers from India. Within a decade, the Indian population went up to a third of the total population. Mauritius became independent in 1968 and developed a unique culture, bringing ethnic groups together. Several political parties were formed, bringing in economic reforms which led to the economic boom after 1982. Within years Mauritius transformed from a third world country to a developing country.

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