History of Mauritius

Mauritius was first discovered by the Portuguese in the early 1600 but they eventually left the island. The Dutch settled in Mauritius from 1638 to 1710 and the island was named after the dutch prince Mauritz de Nassau. The French settled in the island as from 1715 and it became a French colony.

Mauritius became an important base connecting the trade routes from Europe to the Far East. Thus, before the opening of the Suez canal, the island was named " the star and the key of the Indian Ocean". In 1810 the British took over the island after a five day battle. The French surrendered to the British and a treaty was signed by the French and the British pursuant to which the French occupiers of the island were allowed occupation of their property, the use of their language and customs and the prevailing laws, especially the Code Napoleon, the Code de Commerce and  the Code penale.

Mauritius became independent in 1968 and a republic in 1992. It is a democratic state and elections are held every five years. Despite its accession to the status of a republic, Mauritius has maintained its membership in the Commonwealth and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as its court of final appeal.