Maldives - Early Days

Maldives Holiday Early Days
The ancient sultanate of the Maldives lasted for 853 years up to the 1950s when there was a brief formation of a Republic and a reversion to the sultanate by popular demand, finally ending on 11th November 1968 when a referendum established the second republic that exists to date.Throughout the history of the sultanate there were feuds between the royal houses for the "singa sana" or the lion throne. The sultans had absolute power over their subjects and maintained the sovereignty of the Maldives except for three instances that threatened it. The Portuguese empire is said to have occupied the Maldives in the 15th century for 15 years although later sources contest that the Maldives might not have been officially a Portuguese colony but dominated by Portuguese pirates who found an unarmed medieval kingdom an easy target.
Maldives Holiday Early Days
This was followed by a Dutch (Malabar) Occupation in the 17th century of four months. Finally, the Maldives became a British protectorate in 1887 when the sultan signed an agreement with the Governor of Ceylon handing over foreign and defense policy to the British empire while maintaining internal self government. The power of the sultan declined from the late 19th century onwards when the office of the prime minister became more influential which ultimately resulted in the formation of the first constitution of the Maldives in 1932 by Sultan Mohamed Shamsudeen III.

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