A History of Mauritius Timeline
The History of Mauritius Island: This country is situated on an island of Africa in the South-West Indian Ocean, whose area is about 2,040 km². And the population here (Mauritius population) is about 12.7 lakhs (2019). The capital of this country is “Port Louis”.
The reference to the country of Mauritius comes from Austronesian and Dravidian (Tamil) sailors, but the Portuguese first came here in 1507 who left after making their travel base. History of Mauritius.
The Dutch settled their first permanent settlement here in the year 1638, but at that time there was a lot of damage to the settlement due to the harsh climate and cyclone, so the “Dutchess” left their settlement and left.
Religion Percentage in Mauritius
The Religion of Mauritius is as below some statistics:
- Hinduism 51%
- Roman Catholic 25%
- Islam 17%
- Christian faiths 5%
- Buddhists and others 2%
Mauritius Top 1 Most Developed Countries in Africa in 2023
- Global Ranking: 66
- Life Expectancy: 75.36 years
GDP: 13.50 billion USD
- Gross National Income Per Capita: USD 25,266
Mauritius is Africa’s most developed country with an HDI score of 0.804 as per United Nation record. With this score, the World Bank classifies the country as one of the countries with very high human development.
Since gaining independence from Britain in 1968, Mauritius’ economy has developed from a low-income, agriculture-based one to a high-income, diversified economy. Dubbed the “Mauritian Miracle” and “Africa’s Success”, the country’s economy is centered on tourism, textiles, sugar, and financial services and has attracted significant investment from both domestic and foreign companies. Whereas Mauritius is the most developed nation in Africa, the country is ranked 66th place out of 189 nations in the world. Mauritius has a high ranking in terms of economic competitiveness, a favorable investment climate, competent governance, and a free economy.
History Of Mauritius Island
History About Mauritius
From Antiquity, the progress of navigation pushed people to venture out of the Mediterranean. While the Atlantic Ocean appears as an obstacle for sailors (open from north to south, the crossing represents several thousand kilometers before touching land), the Indian Ocean will quickly become a high place of exchange between peoples. Smaller than the Atlantic Ocean, it is made up of isthmuses and straits and is bordered from west to east and north by coasts and island groups allowing boats to stop over. In addition, the alternation of monsoons and the relative absence of storms favored regular and safe crossings for sailing ships. History of Mauritius.
Exchanges between certain Mediterranean peoples, East Africa and Southeast Asia then develop.
Two Maritime Routes Emerge:
– in the north between India and Ethiopia
– a meridian axis is established from the Arab-Muslim peninsula, along the Horn of Africa via Socotra
Indonesian navigators went to the shores of Africa from the east and from Madagascar, however it is from the north that the Indian Ocean was awakened to maritime life. The pioneers of navigation were the peoples of the Arabian Peninsula. History of Mauritius.
Egypt will become the starting point for major maritime expeditions. The Egyptians will explore the country of Punt (now Somalia) and the shores of the Red Sea. Although navigation is difficult there due to the lack of depth, the coral reefs and the marshy shores. At that time the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean were considered to be one and the same sea: the Eritrean Sea.
Around 600 BC Pharaoh Necao began to explore the eastern coasts of Africa from the Red Sea. He entrusted this expedition to the Phoenicians known to be a people of skillful navigators and traders. Indeed, this expedition was made possible thanks to their improved vessels and navigation technique: Water tightness of the boats with “bitumen”, reinforcement of the hulls with a cabin. Night navigation at the Little Dipper, practice of cabotage. History of Mauritius. History of Mauritius.
The Phoenicians thus obtained longer, faster and larger tonnage vessels. They were able to practice offshore navigation through a thorough knowledge of winds and currents. History of Mauritius.
This is how they skirted the coasts and then bypassed Africa 2000 years before Vasco da Gama. The expedition lasted 3 years and ended up in the Mediterranean via the “Columns of Hercules” (Strait of Gibraltar). Herodotus then records this incredible fact for the peoples of Antiquity: they reported that having bypassed Libya (north-west Africa) they then had the sun on their right. The first circumnavigation had just been completed. History of Mauritius.
This is how some historians attribute the discovery of Mauritius to the Phoenicians, who in addition to the foundation of multiple trading posts in the Mediterranean Sea undertook distant voyages of discovery beyond the known worlds of Antiquity. History of Mauritius.
The Arab Period
From the 8th century the Arabs extended their commercial power in the Indian Ocean. They will be the first to reach China. At that time the vast and powerful Arab-Islamic empire stretched from Spain to the Indus and was mainly based on trade. During the first years of this Arab conquest trade declined in the Indian Ocean. It will resume a new boom under the dynasty of the first Abassid caliphs who, concerned about the prosperity of their empire, will give priority to maritime traffic by increasing trade.
Between 8th and 11th centuries, after the conquest of India, the Arabs developed trade relations with the populations of the African coast of the Indian Ocean and established trading posts in Zanzibar, Mogadishu, Kismayou, Mombasa … They took over foot also in the archipelago of Comoros and on the shores of Madagascar. Their counters are then competitive and independent of each other. We exchange gold, silver, slaves, exotic animals ..against fabrics, earthenware and glassware made in the Arab world, in India or in China.
From the Comoros and Madagascar, the Arabs set up the first commercial establishments in the Seychelles and Mascareignes, which had until then remained deserted. The islands appear on many Muslim maps, where according to the times they have different Arabic names. Thus for Mauritius we find the following names: Dina Robin, Dina Arobin, Dina Novare (Dina would come from the Sanskrit Dwipa which means island). History of Mauritius.
Mauritius would have served as a refuge for Arab pirates who used to hide their treasures there.
All these expeditions in the Indian Ocean were made possible thanks to the technical knowledge of the Arabs in matters of navigation and especially their experience of the monsoon cycle (from the Arabic mousin, “season”). They used the southeast monsoon to navigate to India and China, and the northeast monsoon brought ships back to Africa. History of Mauritius.
In addition, they used the compass (Chinese discovery) but also the astrolabe of which they were the inventors (precursor of the sextant) which showed them the latitude, and astronomical navigation to know the longitude. History of Mauritius.
The lightness of their boats and the use of the lateen sail made it easy for them to navigate against the wind. All this knowledge ensured them a perfect mastery of the Indian Ocean. History of Mauritius.
The Arab counters served as an intermediary between China, Africa and Europe. The Arabs, established on the coasts of East Africa, transported ivory and African slaves to China, and spices, gold, African ivory and Chinese porcelain to Europe. All these riches aroused the curiosity and the greed of Chinese and Europeans who wished to do without their Arab intermediaries.
From the 13th century to the 15th century, Arab trading posts in the Indian Ocean were at their peak.
The Portuguese Period
In 1494 the Treaty of Tordesillas left the field open to the Portuguese in Africa and the Indian Ocean. The Portuguese will divert to their profit the trade in spices, gold, ivory and slaves. This will deal a heavy blow to Arab trade and accelerate the decline of the Muslim states of the Mediterranean.
The Portuguese no longer want to depend on the Arabs for their supplies of exotic products.
From 1500 they undertook the conquest of all the Arab counties of the African coast of the Indian Ocean. A takeover that will be done by force.
Thus from the beginning of the 15th century the Portuguese gained a foothold in the Mascarenes. Historians differ on the name of the discoverer and the date of the event:
- Diogo Dias in 1500
- Domingos Fernandez in 1511
- Pero Mascahenras in 1512?Reunion Island will be named “Santa Apolonia”, Mauritius “Cirné” (meaning) and Rodrigues is named after its discoverer Diogo Rodriguez.As for the Arabs, Mauritius does not seem to be of much interest to the Portuguese who will only use it for a stopover. They only left a trace of their passage through the names they gave to the archipelago and the islands. History of Mauritius.
The Dutch period
It was in 1598 during a storm that a Dutch flotilla from the Dutch East India Company took shelter in a bay in the south of Mauritius. Admiral Wybrandt van Warwyck who commanded these ships landed with his men and saw that the island offered large reserves of water, substantial food resources and magnificent ebony wood. They decided to establish a counter in the bay which served as shelter and to make the island a stopover to supply the boats of the Dutch East India Company. Grand Port then saw the light of day and the first name of the Prince of Nassau was given to the island which was thus called Mauritius. History of Mauritius.
The beginnings of the colony were very slow, the Dutch having centered all their interests on Java, principal producer of spices.
It was not until 1638 that they set up a first colony in Grand Port and the exploitation of ebony wood was the main motive. Some year later a second colony was installed in Flacq. But the conditions of this colonization were difficult: epidemics, bad weather, invasions of rats, locusts which destroyed the crops. Discouraged these first settlers left the island in 1710. History of Mauritius.
Captured By British
Was Mauritius a French colony? The French claimed Mauritius in 1715 and renamed it le de France. It became a prosperous colony under the French East India Company. The French government took control in 1767, and the island served as a naval and private base during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1810, Mauritius was annexed by the British, whose island was confirmed 4 years later by the Treaty of Paris. French institutions were maintained, including the Napoleonic Code of Law. The French language is still more widely used than English.
Becoming a Republic:
Mauritius was declared a republic on 12 March 1992. Mauritius Independence day. History of Mauritius.
Languages of Mauritius
Mauritius Languages: By the way, the main language here is “Creole” and the national language of Mauritius is also “English”. But the residents here mostly speak English and French because here News Paper and TV News are printed/broadcasted in English language only. And you will also find people from Hindi and Bhojpuri here. If we know the currency of Mauritius, then the name of the currency of this country is “Rupee”. This country is considered to be the most developed and wealthy on the African continent. History of Mauritius.
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