A History Of The Seychelles Islands
The History of Seychelles: Of granite origin, the Seychelles archipelago was born 250 million years ago from the dislocation of the ancient continent Gondwana. Africa appeared in the west and India in the east. In between, the Indian Ocean filled the valleys. The peaks remained emerged, creating the Seychelles’ 115 islands. Until the ninth century, the Seychelles archipelago was the kingdom of turtles, birds and cocos de mer. The Seychelles islands were then visited by Arab navigators who had opened trading posts in East Africa. They stock up on water and food in the Seychelles.
History On Seychelles Island Facts
- Total Area of Seychelles 459 km²
- Language of Seychelles Seychellois
- Capital of Seychelles Victoria
- Currency of Seychelles The local currency in the Seychelles is the Seychelles rupee (SCR)
Religions in Seychelles Islands
Christianity is the main religion in Seychelles with 76% of the population being Roman Catholics. Other religions followed in Seychelles are Anglican, Hinduism, Island and the Baháʼí Faith. Seychelles religion percentage as mentioned below:
|Religious Group||Percentage of Population|
Seychelles Early Westerners
The History of Seychelles: The first Westerners who set foot on the islands and attributed the discovery were the Portuguese at the beginning of the 16th century. In 1502, on his second trip to India, Admiral Vasco de Gama arrived on the Islands; he named them The Admiral’s Islands in his own honor. The Almirante Islands are a set of coral islands that are part of the Seychelles and that are in the westernmost part.
For almost two centuries, the Seychelles were virtually abandoned and served as a refuge for pirates.
- In 1742, the Frenchman Lazare Picault explored the islands and named many of them, denominations that, like Mahé and Santa Ana, endure to this day.
- In 1756, another Frenchman, Nicolas Morphey, took possession of the islands on behalf of France and called them Sechelles in honor of Intendant Moreau de Sechelles.
That year, the islands became part of the French East India Company.
From 1768, the French began sending Indian settlers, slaves and workers from Mauritius and Rupe, mainly to the farm. While they belonged to the French East India Company, the Seychelles became an important producing center for copra, sugarcane, cassava, coffee, tobacco, vanilla, pepper and cinnamon. In 1778, Charles de Romainville founded a colony on Mahé, the most important island in the archipelago, which would become the city of Victoria, the current capital of the islands. Napoleon chose the territory as a prison for political deportees.
The First Settlers Seychelles History Timeline
Seychelles History: In 1770, the first French landed. These were mainly impoverished settlers from Mauritius and Reunion. Slaves also arrived deported from Madagascar and the African continent. The newcomers settled on Mahé and began to grow and produce spices. Soon after, the islands of Praslin, Silhouette, Félicité and La Digue were also colonized. French heritage still predominates today, which is reflected in surnames and most place names. The History of Seychelles.
In addition, the French language forms the basis of Creole vocabulary and grammar. In addition, African culture, introduced to the Seychelles by slaves, is also very present, especially through traditional music and dances. Due to the small number of inhabitants who lived in the archipelago during the first century after the beginning of colonization, different cultures mixed, which still influences the cultural and ethnological heritage of Seychelles today.
British Period in Seychelles History Timeline
British History of Seychelles: After the Franco-British War of 1814 and the victory of Great Britain, the Seychelles, like Mauritius, were integrated into the British Empire. Administered from Mauritius, Seychelles served as a penal colony for the British until the 1960s. The success of growing coconut for copra production, as well as growing and exporting cotton, was mainly due to the system of slavery put in place. When the slave trade was banned in 1812, about 2100 people lived in seychelles, including 1800 slaves. In the years that followed, the archipelago attracted mainly European settlers who gradually began to grow less labor-intensive plants such as cinnamon and vanilla.
In 1818, the Seychelles already had 7500 inhabitants, many of whom prospered by growing spices and cotton. In 1835, slavery was finally abolished in the colonies of Great Britain. It was not until nearly 80 years later, in 1903, under sweet-Escott’s rule, that Seychelles became an independent colony from the British Crown. Victoria was chosen as the capital and seat of the governor. It is still today the largest city in the Seychelles.
The first elections in Seychelles were held in 1948, after the archipelago gained some independence from the British Crown. At that time, a stronger political consciousness developed, which was reflected in the following years by the formation of political parties. It was in 1967 that the first fully independent Seychellois elections were held. Seychelles gained independence in 1976, but the island republic has since remained in the Commonwealth.
In 1810, after the Franco-British war, the islands were occupied by the British, which was ratified by the Treaty of Paris of 1814-1816.
The British Government incorporated them into the empire and the Seychelles came to depend administratively on Mauritius, a situation that would last until 1903.
In 1835, slavery was abolished in the Seychelles, which led to a massive migration of Hindu workers.
In 1903, the British government created the office of Governor. The islands received the Colonial Status, relying directly on London and no longer on Mauritius.
In 1976, the Seychelles became an independent republic, integrating into the Commonwealth. The first president was James Richard Marie Mancham.
In 1977, a coup d’état of socialist ideology, with the support of the Soviet Union, gave power to France-Albert René, who would rule until April 2004.
After the 1977 coup d’état, a one-party system was established that remained until 1991, when the only ruling party approved the participation of other political parties in the elections. The History of Seychelles.
How Did Seychelles Get Its Name?
Well, it turns out that the Seychelles islands were named after Jean Moreau de Séchelles, Louis XV‘s Minister of Finance, in 1756 when the French set a Stone of Possession on the islands Mahé. Before then, it was a transit point for trade between Africa and Asia.
The Seychelles islands today
Todays history of Seychelles islands: Nowadays, from a political point of view, this paradisiacal place is a democracy that lives on tropical crops. Fishing and tourism are the country’s economic engines.
The history of Seychelles has greatly contributed to the current identity of the archipelago. And, above all, it is thanks to this cultural diversity that these islands have become the fascinating destination we know. The History of Seychelles.
The settlement of humans on the islands has disrupted the Seychelles ecosystem: animal species have disappeared while some of the original vegetation has given way to wood production and agriculture (including coconut and cinnamon plantations). However, these industries, once profitable, have declined over time. Today tourism and fishing are the main sources of income in the archipelago. The History of Seychelles.
Because of its history, Seychelles today is a dream destination for many. Their cultural and ethnic diversity contributes to the myth that surrounds them, as does the wide variety of species they support. Today, sustainable tourism, stricter nature conservation and the preservation of marine ecosystems, play a major role in safeguarding the paradise that is the Seychelles. The History of Seychelles: