Maldive Islands

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For the modern independent state that was known as the Maldive Islands before 1968, see Maldives.

The Maldives Islands is a group of islands in the Indian Ocean composing today’s Republic of Maldives and the island of Minicoy in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep of India.

Historically Minicoy was within the domain of the sultans of the Maldives. In 1790 Minicoy was surrendered to the Court of Directors of the East India Company and thus became part of the territory of the Madras presidency of British India. In 1858, following the Indian Mutiny of 1857, the control of British India transferred from the East India Company to the British Crown, and a decade later Queen Victoria was proclaimed empress. At the time of the partition of India of 1947, Minicoy transferred automatically to the new Union of India, while the remainder of the Maldives continued as a self-governing sultanate, ultimately achieving full independence in 1965.

Linguistically, Minicoy remains linked to the rest of the island group.

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