Discuss the Impact of the French Revolution in Isle De France

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On the last Sunday of January 1790, a boat debarked at Port-Louis harbor from France, soaring a current emblem, the ‘Tricolor’ that conveyed the announcement about the revolution in France. Then the residers of Isle de France came to know about the French revolution.

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The inhabitants of Port Louis were delighted about all the advancements and progression which had taken place in France. Mahe de Labourdonnais was a great French governor. He changed Port Louis from a small village to a big town. He built the harbor. He also built important buildings. Such as; grain store, state house. He also set up the ship yard to repair ships, a canal to allow the inhabitants of Port Louis to get fresh water and quays that enable loading and unloading of goods. In order to develop the country, he brought masons, carpenters, dock workers and sailors from Pondicherry and Bengal in India. A road was built to link Port Louis to Pamplemousse to Moka. He lived at Pamplemoussse in his residence and called it Mon Plaisir.

Additionally, during the French rule, Port Louis was a very important harbor in the Indian Ocean. Many types of goods were imported and sold to ships which came from different countries. Cotton cloth and spices were imported from India, silk and porcelain from China. Goods were kept in warehouses, cereals and other types of food in grain stores. There were strong fortifications to protect the harbor from attacks.

There was a new constitution in 1791 which made Governor Cossigny the head because an Executive council was assigned with full power. Prior to this there was a Colonial Assembly which came into force to make some relevant changes at all levels. The members of the council were selected from among those of the Assembly who had been elected by the free citizens. Hence, the state of Isle de France started doing away with a variety of old stuffs which reminded of French Monarchy. The planters were excited beyond measure. The French also developed agriculture to provide food to the inhabitants and to sailors. They brought many crops to Isle de France. Such as; coffee from Arabia, tea from China, spices from India and East Indies.

Henceforth, the French immigrants requested for more power over decision making and disliked the authoritarian attitudes of Royal administrators. However, the assumptions of ‘Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite’ were not seen to apply to the entire people living in Mauritius. Yet, in 1794, when the French senate passed a law about the abolition of slavery, the French colonies were not happy and were totally against the French Government. Thus, they were not prepared to accept the law of 1794. Basically it was mostly the planters who were against the French Government. Moreover, the state in Paris, was not ready to eliminate the law of the abolition of slavery just because of some local inhabitants. In order to accomplish the law of 1794, soldiers and sailors headed by Baco and Burnel was sent to the island. Also, two authorized members was sent in order to liberate the slaves with or without the approval of the planters.

Furthermore, all representatives of the council were integrated in their opposition to liberate the slaves. During that period, Malartic was the governor. Actually, both Baco and Burnel were motivated to go for the liberation of the servants. They became extremely angry and voted for their urgent banishment of this country. The governor had no courage to deny the assembly and thus, allowed the planters to go further with their decision. Sooner or later, they established such situations that the two leaders had to leave the country.

Captain General Charles Decaen was the last French Governor of Isle de France. He made new legislations to control the island. He also set up the first college in the country. At first it was known as the Lycee Colonial. Later it became the Royal College. Decaen also built a new village at the mouth of River La Chaux, in the south-east of the island. The village was named Mahebourg and it was not far from the old Dutch and French settlement at Vieux Grand Port. There was a barrack for soldiers, large roads with drains for rain water. The villagers built houses and shops. There is a monument for the French at Robert Edward Hart Garden in Port louis ( Jardin Les Salines). In fact ,England and France were implicated in a war that’s why, they could not help Charles Decaen to overcome issues facing the island. Therefore, Decaen still required the aid of his native state. Unfortunately, the war between England and France was still going on and this country was divulged to some sedate attacks. Lamentably, he could not obtain any expected support and even lost Isle de France to the British.

Bibliography

  • Moonindra Nath Varma, The making of Mauritius
  • -Sydney Selvon, A new comprehensive, History of Mauritius, from the beginning to this day
  • -Vijayalakshmi Teelock, Mauritian History, from its beginning to modern times
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