The livre tournois, French for the "Tours pound", was: one of numerous currencies used in France in the Middle Ages. The denier tournois coin was minted by the abbey of Saint Martin in the Touraine region of France. Soon after Philip II of France seized the counties of Anjou and Touraine in 1203 and standardized the use of the livre tournois there, the livre tournois began to supersede the livre parisis, up to that point the official currency of the Capetian dynasty; the livre tournois was, in common with the original livre of Charlemagne, divided into 20 sols, each of, divided into 12 deniers. Between 1360 and 1641, coins worth one livre tournois were minted, known as francs. Other francs were minted under Henri III of France and Henri IV of France; the use of the name "franc" became a synonym for livre tournois in accounting. The first French paper money, issued between 1701 and 1720, was denominated in livres tournois; this was the last time the name was used as notes and coins were denominated in livres, the livre parisis having been abolished in 1667.
With many forms of domestic and international money circulating throughout Europe in the late Middle Ages and the early modern period, the use of an accounting currency became a financial necessity. In the world of international banking of the 13th century, it was the florin and ducat that were used. In France, the livre tournois and the currency system based on it became a standard monetary unit of accounting and continued to be used when the "livre tournois" ceased to exist as an actual coin. For example, the Louisiana Purchase treaty of 1803 specified the relative ratios of the franc and livre tournois; the official use of the livre tournois accounting unit in all contracts in France was legislated in 1549, but it had been one of the standard units of accounting in France since the 13th century. In 1577 the livre tournois accounting unit was abolished and accountants switched to the écu, at that time the major French gold coin in actual circulation, but in 1602 the livre tournois accounting unit was brought back..
Since coins in Europe in the Middle Ages and the Early modern period did not have any indication of their value, their official value was determined by royal edicts. In cases of financial need, French kings could use the official value for currency devaluation; this could be done in two ways: the amount of precious metal in a newly minted French coin could be reduced while maintaining the old value in livres tournois or the official value of a domestic or foreign coin in circulation could be increased. By reversing these techniques, currencies could be reinforced. For example: the worth of an écu d'or, a French gold coin, was changed from 60 sols to 57 sols in 1573. to curb increasing use of the Spanish real, its official worth was decreased to 4 sols 2 deniers in the 1570s. Royal finance officers faced many difficulties. In addition to currency speculation and the intentional shaving of precious metal from coins, they had the difficult problem of setting values for gold, silver and billon coins, responding to the large influx of foreign coin and the appearance of inferior foreign coins of intentionally similar design.
For more on these issues, see Monetary policy and Gresham's Law. A glyph for the livre tournois was added to Unicode 5.2, in the Currency Symbols block at code point U+20B6: ₶. French livre Livre parisis French franc Louis Luxembourgish livre Écu Roman currency
The lira was the currency of Italy between 1861 and 2002 and of the Albanian Kingdom between 1941 and 1943. Between 1999 and 2002, the Italian lira was a national subunit of the euro. However, cash payments could be made in lira only, as euro notes were not yet available; the lira was the currency of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy between 1807 and 1814. The term originates from the value of a pound weight of high purity silver and as such is a direct cognate of the British pound sterling. "L", sometimes in a double-crossed script form, was the symbol most used. Until the Second World War, it was subdivided into 100 centesimi, which translates to "hundredths" or "cents"; the lira was established at 290.322 milligrams of gold. This was a direct continuation of the Sardinian lira. Other currencies replaced by the Italian lira included the Lombardy-Venetia pound, the Two Sicilies piastra, the Tuscan fiorino, the Papal States scudo and the Parman lira. In 1865, Italy formed part of the Latin Monetary Union in which the lira was set as equal to, among others, the French and Swiss francs: in fact, in various Gallo-Italic languages in north-western Italy, the lira was outright called "franc".
This practice has ended with the introduction of the euro in 2002. World War I resulted in prices rising severalfold in Italy. Inflation was curbed somewhat by Mussolini, who, on August 18, 1926, declared that the exchange rate between lira and pound would be £1 = 90 lire—the so-called Quota 90, although the free exchange rate had been closer to 140–150 lire per pound, causing a temporary deflation and widespread problems in the real economy. In 1927, the lira was pegged to the U. S. dollar at a rate of 1 dollar = 19 lire. This rate lasted until 1934, with a separate "tourist" rate of US$1 = 24.89 lire being established in 1936. In 1939, the "official" rate was 19.8 lire. After the Allied invasion of Italy, an exchange rate was set at US$1 = 120 lire in June 1943, reduced to 100 lire the following month. In German occupied areas, the exchange rate was set at 1 Reichsmark = 10 lire. After the war, the value of the lira fluctuated, before Italy set a peg of US$1 = 575 lire within the Bretton Woods System in November 1947.
Following the devaluation of the pound, Italy devalued to US$1 = 625 lire on 21 September 1949. This rate was maintained until the end of the Bretton Woods System in the early 1970s. Several episodes of high inflation followed; the lira was the official unit of currency in Italy until January 1, 1999, when it was replaced by the euro. Old lira denominated currency ceased to be legal tender on February 28, 2002; the conversion rate is 1,936.27 lire to the euro. All lira banknotes in use before the introduction of the euro, all post-World War II coins, were exchanged by the Bank of Italy up to 6 December 2011. Italy's central bank pledged to redeem Italian coins and banknotes until 29 February 2012, but this was brought forward to 6 December 2011. Although Italian price displays and calculations became unwieldy because of the large number of zeros, efforts were unsuccessful for political reasons until the introduction of the euro which had the effect of lopping off excessive zeros; the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy issued coins between 1807 and 1813 in denominations of 1 and 3 centesimi and 1 soldo in copper, 10 centesimi in 20% silver alloy, 5, 10 and 15 soldi, 1, 2 and 5 lire in 90% silver and 20 and 40 lire in 90% gold.
All except the 10 centesimi bore a portrait of Napoleon, with the denominations below 1 lira showing a radiate crown and the higher denominations, a shield representing the various constituent territories of the Kingdom. In 1861, coins were minted in Florence, Milan and Turin in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 50 centesimi, 1 lira, 2, 5, 10 and 20 lire, with the lowest four in copper, the highest two in gold and the remainder in silver. In 1863, silver coins below 5 lire were debased from 90% to 83.5% and silver 20-centesimi coins were introduced. Minting switched to Rome in the 1870s. Apart from the introduction in 1894 of cupro-nickel 20-centesimi coins and of nickel 25-centesimi pieces in 1902, the coinage remained unaltered until the First World War. In 1919, with a purchase power of the lira reduced to one fifth of that of 1914, the production of all earlier coin types except for the nickel 20 centesimi halted, smaller, copper 5- and 10-centesimi and nickel 50-centesimi coins were introduced, followed by nickel 1- and 2-lira pieces in 1922 and 1923, respectively.
In 1926, silver 5- and 10-lira coins were introduced, equal in size and composition to the earlier 1- and 2-lira coins. Silver 20-lira coins were added in 1927. In 1936, the last substantial issue of silver coins was made, whilst, in 1939, moves to reduce the cost of the coinage led to copper being replaced by aluminium bronze and nickel by stainless steel. All issuance of coinage came to a halt in 1943. In 1943 the AM-lira was issued, in circulation in Italy after the landing in Sicily on the night between 9 and 10 July 1943. After 1946, the AM-lira ceased to be the currency of employment and was used along with normal notes, until June 3, 1950. Between 1947 and 1954, zone B of the Free Territory of Trieste used the Triestine lira. In 1946 coin production was resumed, although only in 1948, with the purchasing power of the lira reduced to 2% of that of 1939, did nu
The Australian pound was the currency of Australia from 1910 until 14 February 1966, when it was replaced by the Australian dollar. As with other £ sd currencies, it was subdivided into each of 12 pence; the first European settlement of Australia took place on 26 January 1788 at Port Jackson. The colony of New South Wales survived its first years and was neglected for much of the following quarter-century while the British government was preoccupied until 1815 with the Napoleonic Wars. One important British oversight during this period was the provision of adequate coinage for the new colony and, because of the shortage of any sort of money, the real means of exchange during the first 25 years of settlement was rum, the access to, controlled by the officers of the New South Wales Corps, who benefited most from access to land and imported goods. Though it did not solve the problem arising from the lack of coins, but in an attempt to put some order into the economy, in 1800, Governor Philip Gidley King issued a proclamation setting the value of a variety of foreign coins in the colony.
During this period, to protect the lucrative access to the imported rum, as well as other grievances, the officers, who came to be known as the "Rum Corps", deposed the governor in a standoff in 1808, referred to as the "Rum Rebellion". The New South Wales Corps was recalled soon after. Otherwise, the shortage of coinage persisted; the first coinage issued by the colony took place in 1813, was effected by punching the middle out of Spanish dollars. This process created two parts: a small coin, called the dump, a ring, called a holey dollar. One holey dollar was worth five shillings, one dump was worth one shilling and three pence; this was done in order to keep the coins in New South Wales. From 1817, when the first bank, the Bank of New South Wales, was established, private banks issued paper money denominated in pounds. Acceptance of private bank notes was not made compulsory by legal tender laws but they were used and accepted. In 1825, an Imperial order-in-council was issued with the purpose of introducing sterling coinage to all the British colonies.
This was due to the introduction of the gold standard in the UK in 1816, a decline in the supply of Spanish dollars, due to the revolutions taking place in Spanish South American colonies. Most of the dollars used had been minted in Lima, Mexico City, Potosí, which had become part of new Latin American republics, independent from Spain. In 1852, the Government Assay Office in Adelaide issued gold pound coins; these weighed more than sovereigns. From 1855, the Sydney mint issued half sovereigns and sovereigns, with the Melbourne mint beginning production in 1872. Many of the sovereigns minted in Australia were for use in India as part of a plan that the gold sovereign should become the imperial coin; as it turned out, India was too entrenched in the Rupee system, the gold sovereigns obtained by the treasury in India never left the vaults. Thus, in the lead-up to Federation, the currency used in the Australian colonies consisted of British silver and copper coins, Australian minted gold sovereigns and half sovereigns, locally minted copper trade tokens and private bank notes.
In addition, the Queensland government issued treasury notes and banknotes which were legal tender in Queensland. After Federation in 1901, the Australian government assumed power over currency matters and began overprinting the private issues that were in circulation, in preparation for the issue of a domestic currency. In 1910 the federal government passed the "Australian Notes Act" which prohibited the circulation of State notes and gave control over the issue of Australian notes to the Commonwealth Treasury. Passed in that year was the "Bank Notes Tax Act" which imposed a tax of 10% per annum on "all bank notes issued or re-issued by any bank in the Commonwealth after the commencement of this Act, not redeemed". In September 1910, the Labor Government of Prime Minister Andrew Fisher introduced a national currency, the Australian pound, with the passing of the Australian Notes Act 1910; the Act gave control over the issue of Australian notes to the Commonwealth Treasury and prohibited the circulation of state notes and withdrew their status as legal tender.
For the next three years, some of the earlier private banknotes were overprinted by the Treasury as a temporary measure and circulated as Australian banknotes until new designs were ready for Australia's first federal government-issued banknotes, which commenced in 1913. Blank note forms of 16 banks were supplied to the Australian Government in 1911 to be overprinted as redeemable in gold and issued as the first Commonwealth notes; the Commonwealth Bank Act 1920 gave note issuing authority to the Commonwealth Bank. In 1960, responsibility for note printing passed to the Reserve Bank of Australia; the new national currency was called the Australian pound, consisting of 20 shillings, each consisting of 12 pence. Monetary policy ensured; as such Australia was on the gold standard so long as Britain was. In 1914, the pound sterling was removed from the gold standard; when it was returned to the gold standard in 1925, the sudden increase in its value unleashed crushing deflationary pressures. Both the initial 1914 inflation and the subsequent 1926 deflation had far-reaching economic effect
The pound is the currency of Jersey. Jersey is in currency union with the United Kingdom, the Jersey pound is not a separate currency but is an issue of banknotes and coins by the States of Jersey denominated in pound sterling, in a similar way to the banknotes issued in Scotland and Northern Ireland, it can be exchanged at par with notes. For this reason, ISO 4217 does not include a separate currency code for the Jersey pound, but where a distinct code is desired JEP is used. Both Jersey and Bank of England notes are legal tender in Jersey and circulate together, alongside the Guernsey pound and Scottish banknotes; the Jersey notes are not legal tender in the United Kingdom but are legal currency, so creditors and traders may accept them if they so choose. The livre was the currency of Jersey until 1834, it consisted of French coins which, in the early 19th century, were exchangeable for sterling at a rate of 26 livres = 1 pound. After the livre was replaced by the franc in France in 1795, the supply of coins in Jersey dwindled leading to difficulties in trade and payment.
In 1834, an Order in Council adopted the pound sterling as Jersey's sole official legal tender, although French copper coins continued to circulate alongside British silver coins, with 26 sous equal to the shilling. Because the sous remained the chief small-change coins, when a new copper coinage was issued for Jersey in 1841, it was based on a penny worth 1⁄13 of a shilling, the equivalent of 2 sous; this system continued until 1877. Along with the rest of the British Isles, Jersey decimalised in 1971 and began issuing a full series of circulating coins from 1⁄2p to 50p. £1 and £2 denominations followed later. As of December 2005, there was £64.7m of Jersey currency in circulation. A profit of £2.8m earned on the issue of Jersey currency was received by the Treasurer of the States in 2005. £1 coins have a different design each year. Each new coin featured one of the coats of arms of the 12 parishes of Jersey; these were followed by a series of coins featuring sailing ships built in the island.
The motto round the milled edge of Jersey pound coins is: Caesarea Insula. Jersey £1 coins ceased to be legal tender in Jersey on 15 October 2017 to coincide with the withdrawal of the circular £1 coin in the UK; the UK's new 12-sided £1 coin is the only £1 coin, legal tender in the Island. In 1834, an Order in Council adopted the pound sterling as Jersey's sole official legal tender to replace the Jersey livre, although French copper coins continued to circulate alongside British silver coins, with 26 sous equal to the shilling; because the sous remained the chief small-change coins, when a new copper coinage was issued for Jersey in 1841, it was based on a penny worth 1⁄13 of a shilling, the equivalent of 2 sous. In 1841, copper 1⁄52, 1⁄26 and 1⁄13 shilling coins were introduced, followed by bronze 1⁄26 and 1⁄13 shilling in 1866. In 1877 a penny of 1⁄12 of a shilling was introduced, the system changed to 12 pence to the shilling. Bronze 1⁄48, 1⁄24 and 1⁄12 shilling were introduced.
This was the only issue of the 1⁄48 shilling denomination. Between 1949 and 1952 the end of the German occupation of the Channel Islands was marked by one million commemorative Liberation pennies that were struck for Jersey. In 1957, a nickel-brass 3 pence coin was introduced carrying the denomination "one fourth of a shilling"; the 1957 and 1960 issues were round, with a dodecagonal version introduced in 1964. In 1968, 5 and 10 pence coins were introduced, followed by 50 pence in 1969 and 1⁄2p, 1p and 2 pence in 1971 when decimalisation took place. All had the same size as the corresponding British coins; the reverse of the first issue of decimal coinage bore the coat of arms of Jersey as had previous coins. The ½ penny coin was last minted in 1981. A square £1 coin was issued in circulation in 1981 to mark the bicentenary of the Battle of Jersey; the square pound could not be accepted by vending machines and was not issued after 1981 although it remains in circulation today. When the rest of the British Isles started to introduce a standardised pound coin in 1983, Jersey changed to a round coin to match.
The square version although rare is still used in the islands. Neither round nor square versions of the coin are as common in Jersey as the £1 note. 20 pence coins were introduced in 1982 and £2 coins in 1998. In 1797 Hugh Godfray and Company, a wine merchant, issued £ 1 notes. Due to the shortage of livre tournois coinage and companies issued a large number of low value notes until in 1813 the States laid down that notes had to have a minimum value of £1; until 1831, a large number of bodies and individuals in Jersey issued their own banknotes. The parishes of Jersey issued notes. Legislation in 1831 attempted to regulate such issues by requiring note issuers to be backed by two guarantors, but the parishes and the Vingtaine de la Ville were exempted from the regulatory provisions. Most of the notes were 1 pound denominations; these locally produced notes, which were issued to fund public works, ceased to be issued after the 1890s. During the German occupation in the Second World War, a shortage of coinage led to the passing of the Currency Notes Law on 29 April 1941.
A series of 2 shilling notes were issued. The law was amended on 29 November 1941 to provide for further issues of notes of various denominations, a series of banknotes desi
French Guiana is an overseas department and region of France, on the north Atlantic coast of South America in the Guyanas. It borders Brazil to the east and Suriname to the west. Since 1981, when Belize became independent, French Guiana has been the only territory of the mainland Americas, still part of a European country. With a land area of 83,534 km2, French Guiana is the second-largest region of France and the largest outermost region within the European Union, it has a low population density, with only 3.6 inhabitants per square kilometre. Half of its 296,711 inhabitants in 2019 lived in the metropolitan area of its capital. 98.9% of the land territory of French Guiana is covered by forests, a large part of, primeval rainforest. The Guiana Amazonian Park, the largest national park in the European Union, covers 41% of French Guiana's territory. Since December 2015 both the region and the department have been ruled by a single assembly within the framework of a new territorial collectivity, the French Guiana Territorial Collectivity.
This assembly, the French Guiana Assembly, has replaced the former regional council and departmental council, which were both disbanded. The French Guiana Assembly is in charge of departmental government, its president is Rodolphe Alexandre. Before European contact, the territory was inhabited by Native Americans, most speaking the Arawak language, of the Arawakan language family; the people identified as Lokono. The first French establishment is recorded in 1503, but France did not establish a durable presence until colonists founded Cayenne in 1643. Guiana was developed as a slave society, where planters imported Africans as enslaved laborers on large sugar and other plantations in such number as to increase the population. Slavery was abolished in the colonies at the time of the French Revolution. Guiana was designated as a French department in 1797. But, after France gave up its territory in North America in 1803, it developed Guiana as a penal colony, establishing a network of camps and penitentiaries along the coast where prisoners from metropolitan France were sentenced to forced labor.
During World War II and the fall of France to German forces, Félix Éboué was one of the first to support General Charles de Gaulle of Free France, as early as June 18, 1940. Guiana rallied Free France in 1943, it abandoned its status as a colony and once again became a French department in 1946. After De Gaulle was elected as president of France, he established the Guiana Space Centre in 1965, it is now operated by Arianespace and the European Space Agency. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, several hundred Hmong refugees from Laos immigrated to French Guiana, fleeing displacement after United States involvement in the Vietnam War. In the late 1980s, more than 10,000 Surinamese refugees Maroons, arrived in French Guiana, fleeing the Surinamese Civil War. More French Guiana has received large numbers of Brazilian and Haitian economic migrants. Illegal and ecologically destructive gold mining by Brazilian garimpeiros is a chronic issue in the remote interior rain forest of French Guiana. Integrated in the French central state in the 21st century, Guiana is a part of the European Union, its official currency is the euro.
The region has the highest nominal GDP per capita in South America. A large part of Guiana's economy derives from jobs and businesses associated with the presence of the Guiana Space Centre, now the European Space Agency's primary launch site near the equator; as elsewhere in France, the official language is standard French, but each ethnic community has its own language, of which French Guianese Creole, a French-based creole language, is the most spoken. The region still faces such problems as poor infrastructure, high costs of living, high levels of crime and common social unrest. Guiana is derived from an Amerindian language and means "land of many waters"; the addition of the adjective "French" in most languages other than French is rooted in colonial times, when five such colonies had been named along the coast, subject to differing powers. French Guiana and the two larger countries to the north and west and Suriname, are still collectively referred to as "the Guianas" and constitute one large landmass known as the Guiana Shield.
French Guiana was inhabited by indigenous people: Kalina, Emerillon, Palikur and Wayana. The French attempted to create a colony there in the 18th century in conjunction with its settlement of some Caribbean islands, such as Guadeloupe and Saint-Domingue. Bill Marshall, Professor of Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Stirling wrote of French Guiana's origins: The first French effort to colonize Guiana, in 1763, failed utterly, as settlers were subject to high mortality given the numerous tropical diseases and harsh climate: all but 2,000 of the initial 12,000 settlers died. During operations as a penal colony beginning in the mid-19th century, France transported 56,000 prisoners to Devil's Island. Fewer than 10% survived their sentence. Île du Diable was the site of a small prison facility, part of a larger penal system by the same name, which consisted of prisons on
Saint-Domingue was a French colony on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola from 1659 to 1804, in what is now Haiti. The French had established themselves on the western portion of the islands of Hispaniola and Tortuga by 1659. In the Treaty of Ryswick of 1697, Spain formally recognized French control of Tortuga Island and the western third of the island of Hispaniola. In 1791, the slaves and some free people of color of Saint-Domingue began waging a rebellion against French authority; the rebels became reconciled to French rule following the abolition of slavery in the colony in 1793, although this alienated the island's dominant slave-holding class. France controlled the entirety of Hispaniola from 1795 to 1802; the last French troops withdrew from the western portion of the island in late 1803, the colony declared its independence as Haiti, its indigenous name, the following year. Spain controlled the entire island of Hispaniola from the 1490s until the 17th century, when French pirates began establishing bases on the western side of the island.
The official name was La Española, meaning "The Spanish". It was called Santo Domingo or San Domingo, after Saint Dominic; the western part of Hispaniola was neglected by the Spanish authorities, French buccaneers began to settle first on the Tortuga Island on the northwest of the island: they called it le Grande Terre. Spain ceded the entire western coast of the island to France, retaining the rest of the island, including the Guava Valley, today known as the Central Plateau; the French called their portion of Hispaniola Saint-Domingue, the French equivalent of Santo Domingo. The Spanish colony on Hispaniola remained separate, became the Dominican Republic, the capital of, still named Santo Domingo; when Christopher Columbus took possession of the island in 1492, he named it Insula Hispana, meaning "the Spanish island" in Latin As Spain conquered new regions on the mainland of the Americas, its interest in Hispaniola waned, the colony's population grew slowly. By the early 17th century, the island and its smaller neighbors, notably Tortuga, became regular stopping points for Caribbean pirates.
In 1606, the king of Spain ordered all inhabitants of Hispaniola to move close to Santo Domingo, to avoid interaction with pirates. Rather than secure the island, this resulted in French and Dutch pirates establishing bases on the now-abandoned north and west coasts of the island. French buccaneers established a settlement on the island of Tortuga in 1625 before going to Grande Terre. At first they survived by pirating Spanish ships, eating wild cattle and hogs, selling hides to traders of all nations. Although the Spanish destroyed the buccaneers' settlements several times, on each occasion they returned due to an abundance of natural resources: hardwood trees, wild hogs and cattle, fresh water; the settlement on Tortuga was established in 1659 under the commission of King Louis XIV. In 1665, French colonization of the islands Hispaniola and Tortuga entailed slavery-based plantation agricultural activity such as growing coffee and cattle farming, it was recognized by King Louis XIV. Spain tacitly recognized the French presence in the western third of the island in the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick.
The economy of Saint-Domingue became focused on slave-based agricultural plantations. Saint-Domingue's black population increased, they followed the example of neighboring Caribbean colonies in coercive treatment of the slaves. More cattle, slave agricultural holdings, coffee plantations and spice plantations were implemented, as well as fishing, cultivation of cocoa and snuff. Saint-Domingue came to overshadow the previous colony in both wealth and population. Nicknamed the "Pearl of the Antilles," Saint-Domingue became the richest and most prosperous French colony in the West Indies, cementing its status as an important port in the Americas for goods and products flowing to and from France and Europe. Thus, the income and the taxes from slave-based sugar production became a major source of the French budget. Among the first buccaneers was Bertrand D'Ogeron, who played a big part in the settlement of Saint-Domingue, he encouraged the planting of tobacco, which turned a population of buccaneers and freebooters, who had not acquiesced to royal authority until 1660, into a sedentary population.
D'Orgeron attracted many colonists from Martinique and Guadeloupe, including Jean Roy, Jean Hebert and his family, Guillaume Barre and his family, who were driven out by the land pressure, generated by the extension of the sugar plantations in those colonies. But in 1670, shortly after Cap-Français had been established, the crisis of tobacco intervened and a great number of places were abandoned; the rows of freebooting grew bigger. The first sugar windmill was built in 1685. On 22 July 1795, Spain ceded to France the remaining Spanish part of the island of Hispaniola, Santo Domingo, in the second Treaty of Basel, ending the War of the Pyrenees; the people of the eastern part of Saint-Domingue were opposed to the arrangements and hostile toward the French. The isla
Réunion is an overseas department and region of France and an island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar and 175 km southwest of Mauritius. As of January 2019, it had a population of 866,506; 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 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 one of the 18 regions of France, with the modified status of overseas region, 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.
Not much is known of Réunion's history prior to the arrival of the Portuguese in the early 16th century. Arab traders were familiar with it by the name Dina Morgabin; the island is featured on a map from 1153 AD by Al Sharif el-Edrisi. The island might have been visited by Swahili or Austronesian sailors on their journey to the west from the Malay Archipelago to Madagascar; the first European discovery of the area was made around 1507 by Portuguese explorer Diogo Fernandes Pereira, but the specifics are unclear. The uninhabited island might have been first sighted by the expedition led by Dom Pedro Mascarenhas, who gave his name to the island group around Réunion, the Mascarenes. Réunion itself was dubbed Santa Apolónia after a favourite saint, which suggests that the date of the Portuguese discovery could have been 9 February, her saint day. Diogo Lopes de Sequeira is said to have landed on the islands of Réunion and Rodrigues in 1509. By the early 1600s, nominal Portuguese rule had left Santa Apolónia untouched.
The island was occupied by France and administered from Port Louis, Mauritius. Although the first French claims date from 1638, when François Cauche and Salomon Goubert visited in June 1638, the island was claimed by Jacques Pronis of France in 1642, when he deported a dozen French mutineers to the island from Madagascar; the convicts were returned to France several years and in 1649, the island was named Île Bourbon after the French royal House of Bourbon. Colonisation started in 1665. "Île de la Réunion" was the name given to the island in 1793 by a decree of the Convention Nationale with the fall of the House of Bourbon in France, the name commemorates the union of revolutionaries from Marseille with the National Guard in Paris, which took place on 10 August 1792. In 1801, the island was renamed "Île Bonaparte", after First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte. During the Napoleonic Wars, the island was invaded by a Royal Navy squadron led by Commodore Josias Rowley in 1810, who used the old name of "Bourbon".
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 of 1848, when the island was once again given the name "Île de la Réunion". From the 17th to 19th centuries, French colonisation, supplemented by importing Africans and Indians as workers, contributed to ethnic diversity in the population. From 1690, most of the non-Europeans were enslaved; the colony abolished slavery on 20 December 1848. Afterwards, many of the foreign workers came as indentured workers; the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 reduced the importance of the island as a stopover on the East Indies trade route. During the Second World War, Réunion was under the authority of the Vichy regime until 30 November 1942, when Free French forces took over the island with the destroyer Léopard. Réunion became a département d'outre-mer of France on 19 March 1946. INSEE assigned to Réunion the department code 974, the region code 04 when regional councils were created in 1982 in France, including in existing overseas departments which became overseas regions.
Over about two decades in the late 20th century, 1,630 children from Réunion were relocated to rural areas of metropolitan France to Creuse, ostensibly for education and work opportunities. That program was led by influential Gaullist politician Michel Debré, an MP for Réunion at the time. Many of these children were disadvantaged by the families with whom they were placed. Known as the Children of Creuse and their fate came to light in 2002 when one of them, Jean-Jacques Martial, filed suit against the French state for kidnapping and deportation of a minor. Other similar lawsuits were filed over the following years, but all were dismissed by French courts and by the European Court of Human Rights in 2011. In 2005 and 2006, Réunion was hit by a crippling epidemic of chikungunya, a disease spread by mosquitoes. According to the BBC News, 255,000 people on Réunion had contracted the disease as of 26 April 2006; the neighbouring islands of Mauritius and Madagascar suffered epidemics of this disease during the same year.
A few cases appeared in mainland France, carried by people travelling by airline. The French government of Dominique de Villepin sent an emergency aid package worth €36 million and deployed about 500 troops in an effort to eradicate mo