A Brief History of


Seychelles is a comparatively young nation that can trace its first settlement back to 1770 when the islands were first settled by the French, leading a small party of Europeans, Indians and Africans.

The islands remained in French hands until the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, evolving from humble beginnings to attain a population of 3,500 by the time Seychelles was ceded to Britain under the treaty of Paris in 1814. During this period Seychelles came to know the enlightened policies of administrators such as Pierre Poivre, the brilliant politicking of Governor Quéau de Quincy and, of course, the terrible repercussions of the French Revolution.

Under the British, Seychelles achieved a population of some 7,000 by the year 1825. Important estates were established during this time producing coconut, food crops, cotton and sugar cane. During this period the country also saw the establishment of Victoria on Mahé as her capital, the exile of numerous and colourful troublemakers from the Empire, the devastation caused by the famous Avalanche of 1862, and the economic repercussions of the abolition of slavery.

Reaching independence from Great Britain on the 29th of June 1976, the island nation became a republic within the Commonwealth and in the same period, elected Mr James R. Mancham as its first President. Just under a year later, this was followed by a period of single party rule under the government of Mr France Albert René.

On the 4th of December 1991, Seychelles returned to a multiparty system of government. In 1993, the first multiparty presidential and legislative elections were held under a new constitution in which President René was victorious. President René also won the 1998 and 2003 elections before transferring the Presidency to Mr. James Alix Michel in June 2004.