French Empire > Ile de France
Ile de France
Ile de France, (Île de France), also known as French Mauritius was a territory claimed by the French Empire in 1715 from the Dutch Republic. It was previously known as Dutch Mauritius and was a popular territory in the Indian Ocean.
In 1715 the French already controlled the nearby island of Ile Bourbon now (Reunion) and took control over the territory from the Dutch. The French East India Company was sent to manage the territory and establish a successful mercantile colony on the island. This would not happen for a few more years and in the meantime the island of Ile de France was a popular pirate haven and marooning place of a few pirates.
They renamed the island Ile de France and in 1735 the French sent governor Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais to manage the colony. He built a prosperous sugar economy and established Port Louis as the main naval base and shipyard for the island. de La Bourdonnais was also responsible for building up the island to what we see today. He was responsible for the construction of the Government House, the Château de Mon Plaisir,the Line Barracks, and the police headquarters.
The French East India Company would retain control over the island until 1767 when the settlers would establish an independent republic during the French Revolution. This only last a brief time before the French government reasserted control over the colony and managed to rule it until 1810.Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre lived on the island from 1768 to 1771, then went back to France, where he wrote Paul et Virginie, a love story, which made the Isle de France famous wherever the French language was spoken. Two famous French governors were the Vicomte de Souillac (who constructed the Chaussée in Port Louis  and encouraged farmers to settle in the district of Savanne) and Antoine Bruni d'Entrecasteaux (who saw to it that the French in the Indian Ocean should have their headquarters in Mauritius instead of Pondicherry in India).
In 1810 the British assumed control of Ile de France and reverted the name back to Mauritius for the duration of their rule.
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