Réunion Assimilation Vindicated
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Réunion Assimilation Vindicated book
First and final society of Indian Ocean France, Reunion was created in 1665 as a supply station on the routes of empire. Serious settlement of Reunion followed a badly managed attempt to insert French East Indies Company colonists among the uncongenial populations of south-eastern Madagascar. Attempts to settle surplus Reunionnais in the empty stretches of Madagascar were largely repudiated by Malagasy and proved more costly than durable. Bourbon, as the island was originally called, developed slowly into a quiet haven of family subsistence, providing food, water, and wood for passing vessels of the company and the Crown. The island sank ever deeper into dependence on its principal export to earn the imports needed to keep the population alive. In organizational terms, the island's political parties reflect their metropolitan paternity, and their coalitions tend to follow European dispositions to Left and Right.