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Madagascar
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While the different stages of the negotiations to end the first Franco-Merina conflict (1883-1885) and the first mediation led by Suberbie did not reach their objective, it was the turn of Maigrot, the Italian ambassador, to Propose to intercede between Madagascar and France. On June 22, 1885, he joined Toamasina for the first time, with a letter from Rainilaiarivony, for Admiral Miot. He goes back and forth three times to pave the way to solving the problem.
During all these negotiations, the will of France is to get hold of Madagascar, in the form of protectorate, and to prevent it from maintaining relations of other countries without French authorization. Maigrot’s mediation ended in July 1885. On 6 September, French troops fired a cannon shot from a naval vessel over Manjankandrianombana.
On 10 September, they landed on the ground, confronted the Malagasy army, and they counted 53 dead in their ranks. On the Malagasy side, the losses are less and there are 11 wounded.
General Willoughby helps in the Rainandriamampandry negotiations.
The same month, the battle is much harder in Jangoa (Anorotsangana). Colonel Shervinton helps the Malagasy to chase the enemy. Meanwhile, the guns of ships
French soldiers do not stop firing above the city, but the damage is minimal.
While exchanges of shooting are made at times, secret exchanges of letters continue between Prime Minister Rainilaiarivony and Admiral Miot to find a way out of the conflict. The latter also discusses with the local authorities, including the 10 honors Ramonta and Radaoro who are the messengers of the Prime Minister. It is in this way that Admiral Miot informs the Queen’s government that the only outcome to this war is the protectorate.
It is in this way that Admiral Miot informs the Queen’s government that the only outcome to this war is the protectorate. To the question of the two Malagasy emissaries if this protectorate lasts five or ten years, Miot replies: “It is insufficient and it will take up to 60 years. But in any case, it is preferable not to limit, in time, because everything depends on the duration for Madagascar to reach civilization. At that time, the island will regain its independence! “
Article 1 of Miot’s proposal speaks of this protectorate. Article 2 confirms that Madagascar can not enter into an agreement with a third country without the agreement of France. In response Rainilaiarivony states in Article 1, “France accepts not to occupy Madagascar and leaves her autonomy, the government of the queen agrees not to contract a trait which grants her special advantages”.
The Prime Minister accompanies this proposal of the regret of his government that
“The term protectorate … has already prevented the signing of the preliminaries of Fihavanana presented by the Malagasy government.” It is on 15 August that Rainilaiarivony “limits the powers of the queen” to satisfy article 2 of Miot. These secret exchanges of letters between the Malagasy Prime Minister and Admiral Miot continued, and on October 31, 1885, Rainilaiarivony announced that Dighby Willoughby, his trustworthy man and that of the Queen, would continue the negotiations.
It was not until December 4, 1885, that Willoughby announced to the Great of the kingdom and to the superior officers that he was going to go to Toamasina. Some say that sending an English emissary may not please the French. But the Prime Minister replies that it is a military mission and moreover, Rainilaiarivony warns Miot before sending there Willoughby.
The French were satisfied with the envoy of the queen’s government,
“As he does” and who is accompanied for the occasion by Rainizanamanga and Ralaby who can not yet access the meeting tent. The agreement signed limited itself to specifying the rights
Granted to Madagascar by France! It contains 19 articles that the Notes summarize in an upcoming edition.