The Seychelles were for a long time a
collection of uninhabited islands far out in the Indian
Ocean. Around 1770 the first French settlers arrived
with slaves from Africa. From 1814 the islands were
under British control. During World War II, the
Seychelles were an important base for the British Navy
and the Air Force.
The first known visit to the formerly deserted
islands was made in 1609 by the British East India
Company. The Europeans did not show any real interest in
the islands until 1756 when France claimed them. The
archipelago was named after a French minister, Jean
Moreau de SÚchelles. To secure shipping from India, the
British wanted to conquer the islands used as a base for
French pirates' attacks on British merchant ships. For a
few decades, power shifted between French and British
before Britain finally took over.
Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Seychelles, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
When slavery was abolished in the 1830s, 6,500 of the
7,500 inhabitants were slaves. Many of them now became
fishermen, craftsmen or farmers. Cultivation of coconut
trees became of great importance, and coconut oil became
the Seychelles' main export commodity.
The British administered the Seychelles and the
island of Mauritius as a joint unit until 1903, when the
islands became a British crown colony.
After the Second World War, the first steps were
taken to give the islands a government that represented
the people. But in the first proper elections to the
colony's legislative council in 1948, only ten percent
of the population was allowed to vote.
Meriton new leader for Parti Lepep
Former President James Michel resigns as leader of Party Lepep and is
replaced by Vice President Vincent Meriton. Faure chooses not to participate on
the grounds that he does not believe that a head of state would lead a political
Ex-President Mancham dies
Independent Seychelles First President James Mancham dies at the age of 77.