Madagascar Modern History 1

Madagascar Modern History Part I

At the time of the immigration of the Malays, the center of Madagascar was inhabited by the Vazimba, who had as heads the queens Rangitra and Rafohy, and the ancestors of which were very likely originating (like the other populations of the island) of the islands of the Ocean Pacific. The newcomers, who obeyed Andriamanelo, yes, settled next to the Vazimba; more active, they soon imposed themselves on the first occupants, with whom they formed alliances, and Ralambo, son of Andriamanelo, gradually enlarged his domain; he conquered Tananarivo and gave rise to rice cultivation. His successor, Andriamasinavalona, ​​greatly extended his reign, but he was wrong to divide the domain among his four sons. The grandson Andrianampoinimerina, who reigned from 1797 to 1810,

Meanwhile European colonization had been developing. The first Europeans to set foot in Madagascar were the Portuguese, but it seems they had not established colonies there. During the reign of Louis XIII some Normans had founded a company to exploit the riches of the island: favored by the Cardinal of Richelieu, the company had prospered and had undertaken the exploration of Madagascar starting from the bay of Sainte-Luce, where the Protestant Pronis he had transported some coreligionaries and founded a small colony from which the colony of Mascarene and Bourbon Island (now Réunion) also originated. During the Frond the colony had fallen into decline, also because the zeal of the missionaries had provoked violent conflicts with the natives. Arisen, on the initiative of Colbert, the East India Company, it made Madagascar its main center of operations; but finding the colonization of the island too burdensome and wanting to devote all its resources to India, he soon obtained that Madagascar was once again reunited with the crown. Incapacitated governors were then sent to the island, which aroused the hostility of the natives. These, several times victors in the ensuing struggle, came to massacre the French who were in Fort-Dauphin (1672). For a long time Madagascar was no longer spoken in France; but the idea of ​​colonization was never abandoned. In 1774 in the same bay of Antongil a colony was built by an adventurer in the pay of France, the Hungarian MA Beniowski; but since he affected independence and posed as a sovereign, the governor of Mascarene had him attacked by a small armed expedition (1786). The death of Beniowski, who fell while fighting, also marked a new eclipse of French colonization.

According to SOURCEMAKEUP, Andrianampoinimerina was succeeded in 1810 by his son Radama I, who reigned until 1828. Under his reign the Hova, appreciating overseas products and recognizing the superiority of Europeans, began to civilize: Radama took care of the education of his people and he ordered the opening of schools where both adults and children went to educate themselves. He also favored the development of agriculture, industry and commerce. To stimulate his subjects to the love of progress he sent nine young Merina to England to learn the main trades, and he called several English craftsmen to Madagascar, including the carpenter Cameron. Since 1823 he gave orders to build bridges over many of the great rivers that interrupted the main communications and he had a Frenchman built a Trano Vola, is a large country house in Scanierano, south of Tananarivo. Ranavalona I, who succeeded Radama I in 1828, gradually extended its dominion over almost the whole island, with the exception of the southern part. The first major building in Madagascar, the Manjaka miadana, was built during his reign(“palace where one governs well in peace”), 38 m long, 18 wide and 39 high. This large and beautiful monument dominates all the houses of Tananarivo, wooden buildings, at that time, leaning against each other on slope of the hill, and separated by winding lanes. Tananarivo, which in 1853 had just 15,000 residents, Then took a great development, as the queen established a garrison of 12,000 men forced to reside there; during his reign Ranavalona greatly increased the eflective of the army, both to maintain order in the provinces subject to his authority, and to continue to extend the circle of borders.

During the Napoleonic Empire a small French commercial establishment was founded in Tamatava which declined as soon as the English took possession of the Île de France from which the small colony had left (1811). After the peace, the French were able to recover their rights with difficulty, because the British, masters of the che de France renamed Mauritius, wanted to consider Madagascar as a dependency of their new possession.

Then began an incessant English work of excitement of the Hova population, who were stimulated to proclaim themselves mistress of the whole island, while the tribe had until then dominated only a small part of it. The English recognized Radama as king of Madagascar, arousing his xenophobia against the French and helping him against the small establishments that the government of Louis XVIII and Charles X had founded along the coasts and in Santa Maria; however, France managed, shortly before the July Revolution, to set foot in Tamatava and to occupy other points on the eastern coast of the island. The xenophobia of the Hova also affected the English, who were expelled from Madagascar, nor did a Franco-English naval expedition avenge the outrage, and the bombing of Tamatava remained sterile (1845).

Madagascar Modern History 1

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