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


It gives its name to the Mahamasina Normal School in Antananarivo. Born on February 17, 1833 in Vendome, Charles-Marie Le Myre de Vilers, whose father is an officer of cavalry, was admitted in October 1849 to the Naval School from which he left in August 1851 with the rank of aspirant of 2nd class. He resigned from the Navy in May 1861, to enter the prefectural administration. Sub-prefect of Joigny in the Yonne from March 1863, then from Bergerac in the Dordogne in October 1857, he was appointed prefect of Algiers in November 1869 where there is only a short time.
When the War of 1870 broke out, he asked for his reinstatement in the Navy with his former rank on 13 September and appointed Lieutenant-Navy on 8 December 1870. His brilliant conduct in the sailors’ corps during the siege of Paris earned him 38, on January 26, 1871, to be promoted officer of the Legion of Honor.
A graduate of the Navy, on 16 February 1873, he entered the administration as a prefect of the Vienne. He remained four years in Limoges, where he showed himself a consummate administrator, which earned him, at the request of General Chanzy then civil governor of Algeria, to be appointed, on February 22, 1877, director of civil and financial affairs of This colony and councilor of State.
Because of the services he rendered in Algeria, on May 13, 1879, he was appointed to become the first civil governor of Cochin China where he endeavored to materialize the separation of civil and military power, had a penal code drawn up, Removes the chore, corporal punishment, cangue and irons, creates 300 schools. In addition, it set up a colonial council composed of an equal number of French and Annamese, borough councils and the municipal council of Saigon in Mytho. But hostile to the Tonkin expedition, Le Myre de Vilers was dismissed on May 10, 1882, and admitted to assert his rights to retirement on May 25, 1883.
Three years later, he was recalled by de Freycinet, who appointed him, on 9 March 1886, as plenipotentiary minister in charge of the duties of resident general of France in Madagascar. He left Marseilles on 8 April 1886, arrived in Toamasina on 29 April and entered Antananarivo on 14 May. As a resident general of France, his role is to supervise the application of the treaty of 1885, the interpretation of which gives rise to many difficulties.
Thus he had to settle a number of cases: payment of the indemnity of $ 10 million provided for in article 8, for which he succeeded in obtaining a loan from the Comptoir National d’Escompte de Paris by the Malagasy Government And not from an English bank; Delimitation of the territory of Diego-Saurez (Article 15) which is regulated unilaterally by the French troops, all negotiations having failed; (Articles 1 and 2), which for one moment failed to bring about the rupture. Myre de Vilers is also actively involved in the construction of the Antananarivo Toamasina telegraph line which was completed in 1888.
“Energetic, knowing how far to go, Le Myre de Vilers, a man of great common sense, has good relations with the Court of Antananarivo, especially Rainilaiarivony, for whom he had the highest esteem.” He says of him, Among others: “My task is laborious, for I have to deal with a man of real value. With a certain skill which, on a larger stage, would be described as genius … “(Letter of June 10, 1886 to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

Le Myre de Vilers left France in March 1888, returning to Madagascar in November, bringing the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor to Ranavalona III, and resumed his duties for a few months until July 1889. The siege of A deputy from Cochin-China who became vacant, he decided to run for office and was elected to the Palais Bourbon on 12 December, re-elected to the legislatures in 1893 and 1898, but did not represent himself in 1902 because he was 75 Plus the strength to make the trip to Saigon.
But in the meantime, he returns to the Great Island. Indeed, in the face of the aggravation of the Franco-Malagasy differences, the French resident general Larrouy was recalled in September 1894, and the French government in a final conciliation effort decided to send Le Myre de Vilers to Rainilaiarivony. He arrived in Antananarivo on 14 October, the next day he was received by the Prime Minister, to whom he described the gravity of the situation, and on 16 October he was received by the Queen. On 17 October he again had a long discussion with Rainilaiarivony, to whom he submitted a draft treaty prepared in Paris, giving him three days to examine it and give him an answer. Not obtaining it on Saturday 20 October, he sends an ultimatum to the Prime Minister stating that if the treaty is not ratified on October 26 at 6 pm, he would bring his flag and leave Antananarivo. At the same time he gave the order to the French to the coast.
On 22 October, the Prime Minister presented him with a long memorandum setting out Madagascar’s complaints and on 24 October he sent him a counter-draft of a treaty. As his ultimatum did not receive any effect, the Frenchman brought his flag on October 27 at 5 am, and left Antananarivo. It’s the war. Back in Paris, he played a great role in the Parliament during all the discussions concerning Madagascar: the law of annexation, the abolition of slavery, and so on.