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Title:Creoles, Indian Immigrants and the Restructuring of Society and Economy in Mauritius, 1767-1885
Author(s):Allen, Richard Blair
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, African
Abstract:During the nineteenth century Mauritian society and economy experienced a series of profound changes. The inclusion of the former French colony into the British Empire in 1814 led to a major restructuring of the colony's economy. The abolition in 1825 of the preferential tariff on West Indian sugar entering Britain revolutionzed Mauritian agriculture. By the mid-1850s the fortunes of the colony's economy were linked irrevocably to those of sugar. The demand for labor caused by the rapid growth of the sugar industry, together with the abolition of slavery and the collapse of the apprenticeship system, led to the importation of more than 451,000 indentured laborers from India.
This study describes the changing social and economic structure and organization of the free black, ex-apprentice and Indian immigrant populations and their role in the restructuring of nineteenth century Mauritian society and economy. It builds upon a point made in other contexts in other recent historical literature: that the nature of colonial rule was determined, to a much greater degree than generally has been appreciated or acknowledged before, by the colonial subjects themselves. In the Mauritian case it is argued that the ability of the Creole and Indian immigrant populations to influence the course of the colony's social and economic development was determined by the extent to which they wielded social and economic power in their own right. The nature and extent of this power were governed by several variables: the size and characteristics of the populations involved, the social and economic structure and organization of these populations, and events and circumstances at least partially beyond their control.
This social and economic history opens with a discussion of the responses of the colony's non-white populations to slave and plantation labor conditions: marronage, illegal absence, desertion and vagrancy. It then discusses the rise of the free population of color from 1767-1830, ex-apprentices and economic change in the post-emancipation period, and Indian immigrants and the restructuring of the colony's society and economy from 1834-1885. It closes with a discussion of social and economic change, social order and power in nineteenth century Mauritius.
Issue Date:1983
Description:305 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1983.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8309903
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1983

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