How Colonialism Contributed To The Lack Of Development In Mauritius.

859 words - 3 pages

How colonialism contributed to the lack of development in Mauritius.Colonialism means the policy of acquiring colonies and keeping them dependant. The Dutch, France and Britain colonized Mauritius. The British were most successful in Mauritius, but colonialism depressed development.The Dutch period lasted from 1598 to 1710 but the first attempt to settle lasted only 20 years. Many attempts were made after that but with little success. They were only successful in the introduction of sugar cane, domestic animals, deer and slavery. In September of 1715 Mauritius was taken by France and changed to Isle de France. The island started developing efficiently. They established Port Louis as a naval base and shipbuilding center and the Ile de France were used to organize successful raids on British commercial ships. The slave trade was also taking off and over time there emerged a colonial society of extreme inequality where all the power belonged to the estate planters from France while the labour became the lot of the slaves imported from Africa and Madagascar.Colonists on the Ile de France were plagued by problems of maroonage (plantation slaves which flight from there masters). Even the earliest settlers in 1725 -only four years after the French occupation, had problems with this. The missionary Ducros reported that 'maroon slaves were the principal danger feared by colonists.' In 1729 the administrative council noted that the "solid settlement of the Ile de France" required the destruction of fugitive slaves inhabiting the island. They even deployed fugitive slave patrols that captured and killed many of these maroons. In 1810 a strong British expedition captured the island and gave it back its former name 'Mauritius' and it was ceded definitely to Great Britain. They also had many problems with the runaway slaves who committed crimes like murder, damaging of property etc. The abolition of slavery on February 1, 1835 did not bring an end to maroonage or even suppress it. As coming years would reveal, the maroon legacy was alive and well and ready to flourish for at least another half century. The colonial state helped to organize the importation of Indian workers and by 1860 Mauritius became the leading cane producer in the British Empire.The financial condition of the Mauritian sugar industry by reviewing the general state of the colony's economy between 1810 and the mid 1930s shows that sugar accounted for 85% to as much as 90% of the value of Mauritian exports as early as 1833 to about 1934. Because the islands economic fortunes were so bound by the sugar industry, reports on the value of sugar exports, the colony's balance of trade and other indices of economic activity shows that the first decade of British rule were clearly ones of diminished prosperity...

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