The History Of Madagascar

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The date is June 11, 1883, the start of a very important, yet widely unknown event in Madagascar’s history, the first Franco-Hova War. Ranavalona II, the Queen of Madagascar, stands among the other Merina people on Madagascar’s main east coast port, Tamatave, watching and waiting. Alert, she gazes over the saffire blue water and watches as the tiny speck along the horizon bounces up and down with the waves, as it slowly makes its way to the island. With anticipation in her blood and determination in her eyes, Ranavalona is eager to see what will come her way, though all she and her people can do is wait. For hours, the Merina have been standing on this white sandy beach, sweat dripping down their dark burnt cheeks, blisters forming on their …show more content…
The plethora and complexity of events surrounding Africa, specifically Madagascar, during the late nineteenth century created a situation that is difficult to comprehend the cause of the international disputes between Madagascar, the United States, Great Britain, and France. Some historians say that the international disputes were contingent upon one egotistical imperialist's dispositions and his determination to lead a powerful country to fulfill his desires of proving yet another country’s culture inferior, clashing with the resistance among the peoples. While others say the conflicts were contingent upon a series of historical accidents that were unexpectedly brought upon the island through Europeanization. Dr. Garland Downum, a professor of European history at Northern Arizona University (NAU), argued that the war was driven by M.A Baudais, the newly-appointed French Consul for Madagascar, Commissioner of the French Government, and a widely accepted imperialist’s, determination to attack Madagascar, pursuing current Hova issues, building anger and tenacity among the Merina peoples, which lead to a …show more content…
Baudais started to encourage France to attack the current internal issues within Madagascar among the Merina peoples, such as the poverty due to the island’s collapsed government, in order to expand the country’s trade with Madagascar. After, hearing the threats posed upon the Merina peoples, an anonymous journalist for The Madagascar Times reported that, “Madagascar is almost destitute of native industries. Wagearning is almost nearly confined to the porter class. The bulk of Young Imerina really has no career. . . . Money is what both Young and Old Madagascar lacks . . . money means purchasing power. And more purchasing power means expanded trade. And expanded trade means employment for the people in selling and buying, carrying, and building.”Madagascar’s conflicts with France along with the island’s collapsing government caused a decrease in the island’s wealth with a heavy decline in the amount that the dollar was worth. The decrease in and limited supply of dollars left Madagascan merchants seeking to find an alternative currency. In order to rebuild the government, merchants involved in the export trade in Tamatave, refused to accept any currency for payment, other than the French franc. As a result, France’s commerce and economy improved, giving the country an advantage over Madagascar, Great Britain and the United

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