French's Control Of Madagascar essay example

711 words
Imperialism in Madagascar When someone is talking about Madagascar usually they are talking about the huge cockroaches people have to eat on Fear Factor but there is so much more to the country than that. During a time when land was being snatched up and claimed by many Euro-Asia countries little had any right or reason to have the land. This time of imperialism effected economic markets, religion, and many other things pertaining to the Malagasy. Throughout the centuries countries and mankind have always wanted one thing: power.

This power can be in many forms such as money, property, friends, or technology. During the 1800's to 1914 many countries found land in Africa that had "primitive" or "incompetent" inhabitants so they claimed the country as theirs and took control of it to get more power. I believe France wanted Madagascar because it had found that the country's land was inadequate for further growth so to posses more land they saw Madagascar and what it had to offer them, and protectorate d it. During the 1600's the Portuguese, the English, and the French, successful or not, tried to colonize Madagascar. This was the first attempt of any kind to penetrate Madagascar. In 1869 the French attained and expanded their political influence in Madagascar.

In 1896, after a native rebellion they won the French achieved control and made all of Madagascar a French colony. In 1810, during King Radama I's reign, the British introduced Christianity. The Protestant London Missionary Society was welcomed and converted many willing natives. This period lasted until 1835 when in 1828 Radama was succeeded, by his wife Rana valona I, and Christianity was declared illegal. In addition all Europeans were to leave the country and trade was stopped. This era ended in 1863 when Queen Rasoherina lifted the anti-European policy and missionaries and traders were received once more.

Throughout the French's control of Madagascar there were several rebellions with at least 15,000 natives killed altogether. The first native rebellion lasted from 1894 until 1896 when a high government official organized a resistance to the French which ended with the French exiling the queen and gaining complete power over the nation. The second was in 1916 when the French uncovered a secret nationalist society that was outlawed and hundreds of its members were taken prisoner. The largest revolt was in 1947 and lasted nearly two years. This was a major uprising against the French, who crushed the rebellion, killing between 11,000 and 80,000 Malagasy (according to different estimates).

According to these uprisings and how many deaths there were I think the French cared little about the citizens and more about greed, power, and trade. In Madagascar, and in other French colonies, indigenous political activity rose in 1956 and the Social Democratic party, headed by Phil ibert Tsiranana, gained prevalence. This was the beginning of the end for the French. In order to keep the inhabitants happy France took measures to increase self-government on the island. The outcome of elections held in 1951, 1952, and 1957 favored those who advocated the continuing achievement of independence. On October 14, 1958 the country, renamed the Malagasy Republic, became self-sufficient within the French Community.

On June 26, 1960, the republic became fully autonomous because of congress rulings. As we enter the new century Madagascar is still mainly Christian, continues to export valuables, and is just starting to use current technology. The country's religious beliefs are 52% indigenous beliefs and 41% Christian. Without European influence this country would be almost 100% into indigenous beliefs. The Malagasy Republic exports coffee, vanilla, shellfish, sugar, cotton, cloth, chromite, and petroleum products. There are 2 AM stations and 9 FM stations.

As of 2000 there were 2 ISPs and 35,000 internet users. Earlier this year tropical cyclones devastate parts of the island and thousands were left homeless. Because of French influence in the 17th through 19th centuries this country is just beginning to flourish and will take about 50 more years to catch up to the rest of the world if all goes well.