Portal:Mauritius

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The Mauritius Portaledit
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Mauritius /məˈrɪʃəs/ (Mauritian Creole: Moris; French: Maurice, pronounced [mɔˈʁis]), officially the Republic of Mauritius (Mauritian Creole: Republik Moris; French: République de Maurice) is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) off the south east coast of the African continent. The country includes the islands of Agaléga, Saint Brandon and Rodrigues. Mauritius forms part of the Mascarene Islands, which include the neighbouring islands of Réunion, Saint Brandon and Rodrigues. The area of the country is 2040 km2, its capital is Port Louis.

The first Portuguese explorers found no indigenous people living on the island in 1507. The island of Mauritius was the only home of the Dodo bird. The bird became extinct fewer than eighty years after its discovery. The Dutch settled on the island in 1598 and abandoned it in 1710, Mauritius became a French colony in 1715 and was renamed Isle de France. The British took control of Mauritius in 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars. The country became an independent state as a Commonwealth realm on 12 March 1968 and a republic within the Commonwealth on 12 March 1992.

The country's populace is composed of several ethnicities, mostly people of Indian, African, Chinese and European descent. Most Mauritians are multilingual, English, French, Creole and Asian languages are used.

Selected articleedit

Venus vs Ceylon.jpg

The Mauritius campaign of 1809–1811 was a series of amphibious operations and naval actions fought to determine possession of the French Indian Ocean territories of Île de France and Île Bonaparte during the Napoleonic Wars. The campaign lasted from the spring of 1809 until the spring of 1811, and saw both the Royal Navy and the French Navy deploy substantial frigate squadrons with the intention of disrupting or protecting trade from British India. In a war in which the Royal Navy was almost universally dominant at sea, the campaign is especially notable for the local superiority enjoyed by the French Navy in the autumn of 1810 following the British disaster at the Battle of Grand Port, the most significant defeat for the Royal Navy in the entire conflict.

The Royal Navy had been planning an operation against Île de France since the capture of the Dutch East Indies in 1806, but was forced to act earlier than expected following the despatch from France of a powerful frigate squadron under Commodore Jacques Hamelin in late 1808. This force was able to capture a number of East Indiamen and disrupt trade routes across the Indian Ocean by raiding the convoys in which the merchant ships travelled. Forced to confront this enemy, Admiral Albemarle Bertie at the Cape of Good Hope ordered Commodore Josias Rowley to blockade the French islands and prevent their use as raiding bases.

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Mauritius 24.08.2009 08-06-17.jpg
Credit: Hansueli Krapf
Port Louis, Mauritius.
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Selected biographyedit

Bertrand François Mahé de La Bourdonnais.jpg

Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais (comte de La Bourdonnais) (Saint-Malo, 11 February 1699 – Paris, 10 November 1753) was a French naval officer and administrator, in the service of the French East India Company.

La Bourdonnais was born on 11 February 1699 in Saint-Malo, Brittany. He went to sea when a boy, and in 1718 entered the service of the French East India Company as a lieutenant. In 1724 he was promoted captain, and displayed such bravery in the capture of Mahé off the Malabar Coast that the name of the town was added to his own. For two years he was in the service of the Portuguese Viceroy of Goa, but in 1735 he returned to French service as governor of the Île de France (Mauritius) and the Île de Bourbon (Réunion). His first five years' administration of the islands was vigorous and successful. A visit to France in 1740 was interrupted by the outbreak of hostilities with Great Britain, and La Bourdonnais was put at the head of a fleet in Indian waters.

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Jacques-Désiré Laval

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Landscape near Les Mariannes
Credit: Hansueli Krapf

Landscape near Les Mariannes, Mauritius.

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