Mauritius - Britain's 'Great Experiment'

mauritius britains great experiment

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Mauritius was under British rule, and important for its sugar industry.

Slaves were shipped in, mainly from East Africa and forced to work on these plantations.

As sugar was so profitable, Mauritius was one of the last British colonies to abolish slavery in 1835.

As Mauritius' economy was dominated by sugarcane production, the British needed another workforce to replace slaves.

To demonstrate the superiority of 'free' labour over slaves, the British created a new system- indentured labour.

Mauritius was chosen as the first site for this system, which was known as 'the great experiment'.

As another British colony, indentured labourers were mainly brought in from India.

Many would be sent to work on the sugar plantations, while others were transferred elsewhere.