Réunion Island, France History

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History[edit | edit source]

The island has been inhabited since the 16th century, when people from France and Madagascar settled there. Slavery was abolished on 20 December 1848 when the French Second Republic abolished slavery in the French colonies. However, later on indentured workers were brought to Réunion from South India, among other places. The island became an overseas department of France in 1946. As in France, the official language is French. In addition, the majority of the region's population speaks Réunion Creole.

Administratively, Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France. Like the other four overseas departments, it is also one of the 18 regions of France, with the modified status of overseas region, and an integral part of the republic with the same status as Metropolitan France. Réunion is an outermost region of the European Union and, as an overseas department of France, part of the Eurozone.[3]

Timeline[edit | edit source]

1665 - The French East India Company sent the first settlers
1793 - Île de la Réunion was the name given to the island by a decree of the Convention Nationale (the elected revolutionary constituent assembly)
1801 - 1848 The island was renamed Île Bonaparte and when it was restored to France by the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the island retained the name of Bourbon until the fall of the restored Bourbons during the French Revolution when the island was once again given the name Île de la Réunion
1946 - 1982 Réunion became a overseas départment of France
1963 – 1982 1,630 children from Réunion were relocated to rural areas of metropolitan France
2005 - 2006 Réunion was hit by a crippling epidemic of chikungunya, a disease spread by mosquitoes and 255,000 people contracted the disease