Author Topic: Mauritius: from British colony to independence  (Read 4058 times)

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Offline <k>

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Mauritius: from British colony to independence
« on: December 13, 2016, 04:38:12 PM »
The island of Mauritius was visited during the Middle Ages by the Arabs and then by the Portuguese, who named it Dina Arobi and Cirne, respectively. The island was uninhabited until the Dutch Republic established a colony in 1638, with the Dutch naming the island after Prince Maurice van Nassau. The Dutch colony was abandoned in 1710, and, five years later, the island became a French colony and was named Isle de France. Due to its strategic position, Mauritius was known as the "star and key" of the Indian Ocean. On 3 December 1810 the French surrendered the island during the Napoleonic Wars. Under British rule, the island's name reverted to Mauritius. British possession of the island was confirmed four years later by the Treaty of Paris. Nonetheless, French institutions, including the Napoleonic Code of law, were maintained, and the French language was still more widely used than English.

The British administration, with Robert Townsend Farquhar as the first governor, brought about rapid social and economic changes. One of the most important was the abolition of slavery on 1 February 1835. The planters received a compensation of two million pounds sterling for the loss of their slaves, who had been imported from Africa and Madagascar during the French occupation.

Below are maps of modern Mauritius.

Present-day Mauritius, officially the Republic of Mauritius, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) off the southeast coast of the African continent. The area of the country is 2,040 km2. The capital and largest city is Port Louis. The government uses English as the main language. The current population is estimated at around 1,348,000.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2016, 08:40:27 PM by <k> »
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Offline <k>

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Re: Mauritius: from British colony to independence
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2016, 04:43:49 PM »
Below is the first flag of British Mauritius, which was flown from 1869 to 1906.
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Re: Mauritius: from British colony to independence
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2016, 04:47:29 PM »
In 1876, the Mauritius Rupee was first established as the official currency unit.

In 1877, it was put into circulation, replacing the Indian Rupee, the Mauritian Dollar, and the British Pound Sterling. A Mauritian Rupee was equal to 1 Indian Rupee or ½ a Mauritian Dollar. The Pound Sterling was worth 10¼ Mauritian Rupees.

The first coins consisted of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 cents. They all carried Queen Victoria's portrait.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Mauritius: from British colony to independence
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2016, 04:50:37 PM »
The Mauritian Creole people trace their origins to the plantation owners and slaves who worked in the sugar fields. Indo-Mauritians are descended from Indian immigrants who arrived in the 19th century via the Aapravasi Ghat in order to work as indentured laborers after slavery was abolished. Included in the Indo-Mauritian community are Muslims (about 17% of the population) from the Indian subcontinent. In 1885, a new constitution was introduced. The Franco-Mauritian elite controlled nearly all of the large sugar estates and was active in business and banking. As the Indian population became numerically dominant and the voting franchise was extended, political power shifted from the Franco-Mauritians and their Creole allies to the Indo-Mauritians.

A new flag was adopted in 1906. It includes the coat of arms of Mauritius, which consists of a Dodo Bird and Sambur Deer supporting sugar cane, and a shield divided into four sections. The country's motto, "Stella clavisque maris indici," (Star and key of the Indian Ocean) is displayed in Latin on a ribbon below.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Mauritius: from British colony to independence
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2016, 04:55:19 PM »
No coins were issued for King Edward VII.

In 1911, 1 and 2 cents coins were minted for King George V. A 5 cents coin was not minted until 1917. Their reverses were the same as during Victoria's reign. These three coins were minted up to and including 1924. No 10 or 20 cents coins were minted during the reign of George V.

The Mauritian Rupee was also used in the Seychelles until 1914. Since then the Seychelles have used their official currency, the Seychellois Rupee, at par with the Mauritius Rupee.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2016, 08:24:20 PM by <k> »
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Re: Mauritius: from British colony to independence
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2016, 04:56:29 PM »
Conflicts arose between the Indian community (mostly sugar cane labourers) and the Franco-Mauritians in the 1920s, leading to several (mainly Indian) deaths.

A slightly redesigned flag was flown from 1923 onwards.
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Re: Mauritius: from British colony to independence
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2016, 05:03:49 PM »




In 1934, the pegged Indian Rupee was replaced by the pegged Pound Sterling, with a rate of 1 Rupee = 1 Shilling 6 pence. Some new denominations, designed by George Kruger Gray, were issued, including the quarter rupee, seen above. The different elements of the design represent the diverse cultural heritage of Mauritius: a fleur de lys for France, a rose for England, and a lotus for India. The new designs circulated until the 1970s.

 
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 06:53:52 PM by <k> »
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Re: Mauritius: from British colony to independence
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2016, 05:06:15 PM »




A red deer appeared on the half rupee, a new denomination.

 
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 04:45:23 PM by <k> »
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Re: Mauritius: from British colony to independence
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2016, 05:10:01 PM »




The shield of the coat of arms of Mauritius, seen here on the reverse of a rupee coin, first issued in 1934, shows a white star in the lower right quarter, and on the left-hand side is a key. These are referred to in the Latin motto “Stella Clavisque Maris Indici”, meaning “The Star and the Key of the Indian Ocean“.

In the first quarter a lymphad (galley).
In the second, three palm trees.
In the third, a key.
In the fourth, a star.
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Re: Mauritius: from British colony to independence
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2016, 05:12:16 PM »
Here is the portrait of George V, as it appeared on the obverse of the coins of 1934.
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Re: Mauritius: from British colony to independence
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2016, 05:24:40 PM »
During the short reign of King Edward VIII in 1936, no coins were issued in his name.

George VI came to the throne in December 1926. The first coins issued in his name in Mauritius were the quarter rupee and the rupee, dated 1938. The reverse designs were the same as before. Below you can see the portrait of George VI, as it appeared on the coins of Mauritius.
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Re: Mauritius: from British colony to independence
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2016, 05:29:12 PM »
The reverse of the 1, 2 and 5 cents coins were redesigned during the reign of George VI, and the same designs continued to be used into the 1970s, under Elizabeth II.

Under George VI, the first 5 cents coin was issued in 1942. The design is almost as below, with the only exception that the date was not of course 1975.
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Re: Mauritius: from British colony to independence
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2016, 05:31:10 PM »
The first 1 and 2 cents coins in the name of George VI were issued in Mauritius in 1943. The designs were the same as below, apart from the date.
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Re: Mauritius: from British colony to independence
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2016, 05:34:40 PM »
No 10 cents coin had been issued under George V. The first one was not issued until 1947, under George VI. It was made of copper-nickel and was entirely different from the Victorian version, being scalloped in shape.
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Re: Mauritius: from British colony to independence
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2016, 05:45:26 PM »
The first Mauritius half rupee in the name of George VI was not issued until 1946. In August 1947, India became independent. There are no coins dated 1948 for his reign. From 1949 onward, his portrait appears without his imperial title, reflecting India's departure from the British Empire.
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