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History of Reunion

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The Portuguese discovered the uninhabited island in 1513.

The island was then occupied by the French. In 1642, the King of France Louis XIII named it Ile Bourbon. It was renamed La Réunion during the French Revolution.

From the 17th to the 19th centuries, French immigration supplemented by influxes of Africans, Chinese, Malays, and Malabar Indians gave the island its ethnic mix. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 cost the island its importance as a stopover on the East Indies trade route.

Reunion became an overseas départements of France on March 19, 1946.

See also : Reunion

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