Portal:Mauritius

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Mauritius Listeni/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.

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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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Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire.jpg
Credit: Yann Crettaz
Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire, Mauritius's highest point.
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Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam KT, GCMG, KCMG, LRCP, MRCS (Hindi: सीवसगुर रंगूलम born on 18 September 1900 – 15 December 1985) was the first Chief Minister, Prime Minister and sixth Governor General of Mauritius.

He graduated from University College London and attended lectures at the London School of Economics. Ramgoolam was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 12 June 1965. Ramgoolam served as Chief Minister from 1961 to 1968, Prime Minister from 1968 until 1982 and lastly as Governor General from 1983 to 1985. He is known as the "Father of the Nation". Amidst much decolonisation, he led Mauritius to independence from the United Kingdom in 1968. He is perhaps the highest respected personality of Mauritius as he has various streets, public places such as a garden, a college, and the national airport, as well as his face on every Mauritian Rupee coin and on the highest note tender of Rs 2,000.

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Jacques-Désiré Laval

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Burning sugar cane fields near Pointes aux Piments
Credit: Hansueli Krapf

Burning sugar cane fields near Pointes aux Piments, Mauritius.

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