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#624
Madagascar
Keymaster

From 1852 onwards, the reign of Ranavalona I knew a short parenthesis. Raharo or Rainivoninahitriniony succeeds his father, Rainiharo, deceased, and an era of lull opens. This allows Ellis, a missionary from the London Missionary Society, to go up to Antananarivo.
But Lambert hatched a plot to carry Prince Rakoto to power. Discovered in 1857, the plot fails and serves only to make the queen even more suspicious and provoke her fury. “She dismissed all Europeans including Laborde, and redoubled her persistence in persecuting Christians” (Regis Rajemisa-Raolison, “Geographical and Historical Dictionary of Madagascar”).
Moreover, during the reign of Ranavalomanjaka, the kingdom left by her husband extends still further, in the South to the Antesaka and the Bara to Ihosy, and to the North, to the Antankarana of Diego-Suarez. Two expeditions also failed, one directed against the Tanala of Ikongo, the other against the Sakalava of Ambongo. It should also be pointed out that in 1840, following the example of Princess Bety, Princess Tsiomeko ceded her island, Nosy Be, to France, to escape the domination of the Merina.
When Ranavalona I turned away, in 1861, Europeans exiled to Reunion returned to Madagascar. The academician mentions an important event that will occur two years later. Prince Rakoto, now Radama II, is too francophile at the will of the Great of the kingdom. Already during his mother’s lifetime, he secretly signed a charter with Lambert, which placed Madagascar under the French “protectorate.” “This, in addition to the exploits of debauchery he performed with his vicious young friends, the Menamaso, was enough for the Great, perpetrating an unprecedented regicide, to put him to death by strangling him with A silk cloth, in 1863. “
His wife, the Princess Rabodo, succeeded her under the name of Rasoherina. Shortly after her accession to the throne, she had to pay a heavy indemnity to France for the rejection of the Lambert Charter, which neither the Great nor she would countersign. With the reign of Rasoherina, begins what is called the period of the “Manjaka-Hova”. As of July 14, 1864, Raharo lost his position as Prime Minister, replaced by his brother Rainilaiarivony. The latter, under three successive queens, will hold power.
Rasoherina turns her back in 1868, her first cousin, Princess Ramoma, replaces her and takes the name of Ranavalona II. First Christian Queen, she burns the royal idols venerated since Ranavalona I. Madagascar’s relations with the outside world are fairly good until the day Jean Laborde died in 1874. According to the customs and customs of the country, which stipulate that foreigners can not own land in Madagascar,
Merina claims the succession of Laborde. With the establishment of the hova pavilion on the west coast, this was the pretext for the 1883-1885 war, known as the Franco-Hova war.
In the meantime, the queen turns her back. On November 22, 1883, one of her distant relatives, the princess Razafindrahety ascends the throne taking the name of Ranavalona III. “The war was not pressed vigorously on either side. Three admirals succeeded one another on the French side, Pierre, Galiber, and Miot, without a serious confrontation, except perhaps the battle of Andampy, in which Captain Pennequin (August 27, 1885) pointed out.
As for the Merina, they resisted firmly everywhere, especially at Farafaty, where the French tried, but in vain, to dislodge them (September 10). However, Prime Minister Rainilaiarivony finally accepted, given the losses he feared to see worse, negotiating the treaty of 1885, cleverly prepared by Miot and Patrimonio. This treaty stipulates, inter alia, that “Diego-Suarez was ceded to France and that a French resident would settle in Antananarivo”.
On the relations of Madagascar with the foreign, an ambiguity hangs, especially as regards its translation in Malagasy. This allows Rainilaiarivony to interpret the clauses of the treaty, concerning the exequatur of consuls and foreign agents, “otherwise than the French understood it”. This happened in 1890. Four years later, the French government saw in it a breach of treaty and “made it a pretext for a second war which was to become the decisive campaign of 1895”.
Begun on the 1st of March, 1895, by the landing at Mahajanga of the expeditionary force commanded by General Metzinger, it ended, on the 10th of September following, by the capture of the capital by General Duchesne. Madagascar is proclaimed French protectorate. Fifty-five days later, nationalism is felt in a resistance movement, known as Menalamba. The French resident Hippolyte Laroche, who was deemed too weak, was replaced by General Joseph Gallieni, who re-established order by force.