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Madagascar News Forums The Transformation of Antananarivo Reply To: The Transformation of Antananarivo


Despite its early success, the mission of the French resident general, Hippolyte Laroche, is doomed to failure, said Roger Pascal in 1961, this mission having taken place in full motion of the Menalamba. Many Frenchmen misunderstand the causes of the insurrection which they declare to be “the work of a band of imbecile and superstitious peasants who in all probability obey the great characters of Tananarive.” Error on the nature of the movement, which will be heavy with consequences.
Indeed, faced with this despised insurrection, the means and the powers of Laroche are insufficient. The decree of December 11, 1895, lays down the powers and obligations of the resident general “depositary of the powers of the Republic”. He administers, directs and controls the various services of the island; It is responsible for the internal and external defense of the country, but authority is not subordinate to it.
Thus, he has no authority over the army and must suffer the hostility of settlers and Catholic and Protestant missionaries. Moreover, it can not count on the support of the Malagasy government. Moreover, Hippolyte Laroche reproves the tactics of the army which, by burning the
Villages that shelter so-called insurgents, “with much efficiency, multiplies the number of rebels while reducing populations to hatred and despair”. Moreover, the officers of General Voyron regard all the royal governors as possible traitors, and endeavor to humiliate them.
French residents are furious about “perpetuating a regime that they abominate”. And besides, the secretary general of the residence, Bourde, believes not without reason their hand behind the uprisings of the Betsimisaraka against the Hova. “All these colonists, reduced to inaction, saw their economies lost, and rather than accuse their bad luck, preferred to exert their hatred on the queen. “
They even go so far as to repeat that “the last of the whites, whether he was a cretin or recovered from justice, was entitled to more respect than the queen of Madagascar.” And they accuse the resident
General of the blind, weak and entirely subject to the will of the sovereign. “They believed that it was from the palace itself that the slogans of revolt set out, and that the general resident closed his eyes. In a few words, soldiers, colonists, and even missionaries demand examples, that is to say, “the execution of the members of the royal government.” “
In fact, according to Roger Pascal, only Hippolyte Laroche knows how to analyze the situation and the famous policy of the races advocated by Gallieni is already proposed by him, as he wrote to Minister Lebon on September 10: “We have not Is a useless ally in the face of the Bara, the Tanala of Ikongo, the Antandroy, the Mahafaly, the Sakalava of Ambongo, and An ally compromising in front of the natives of most of the eastern coast. The opportunity of gradually withdrawing the queen’s agents from the posts they occupied outside the Plateau appeared to me in March. “
In struggle with his entourage and his collaborators – “I am in a house of fools” – he resists however the pressures of the European colony. It is worth recalling. As Roger Pascal puts it, there is in Antananarivo a street Hippolyte Laroche, a steep shortcut that automobiles can not borrow.
“You could not find a better symbol. Loaded by his government to enforce an impossible policy, Laroche was sacrificed. “
He handed over his powers to General Gallieni and left the capital on October 10, 1896. He was to be placed on pay with pay, then unpaid, and finally retired in 1899.
It must also be said that Hippolyte Laroche imagined a France fertilizing new countries, opening them to universal civilization by the sole virtue of example and the effect of republican ideals. In his speech of May 7, 1896, he stated in substance: “We are not conquerors, but elder brothers. We will help you forge a new world. “
But later, he will say, “I played with bad cards. General Gallieni, with a real capacity and in possession of the means and the unity of direction which were not in my hands, will succeed. “