Malagasy history

Brief history of Madagascar summarized

Until about 2,000 years ago, Madagascar was uninhabited. Then the Indonesians came. Around the year 800 AD the Arabs began to sail towards Madagascar.

The first European to arrive in Madagascar was a Portuguese named Diogo Dias in 1500. However, Europeans initially showed little interest in the island, although pirates used it as a base in the 17th century.

In the early 19th century, a kingdom called Merina took over most of the island. Its king, Radama I, established relations with the British and allowed Christian missionaries to preach to the people. Queen Ranavalona (1828-1861) tried to stop the spread of Christianity in Madagascar.

He also tried to preserve independence from European powers. However, in 1890, Britain relinquished all rights to Madagascar and recognized it as part of the French sphere of influence. France formally annexed Madagascar in 1896.

When France surrendered to Germany in 1940, a puppet government was formed in Vichy. Madagascar was initially under Vichy control, but in 1942 it surrendered to the British. After the war, Madagascar was returned to France.

In 1947, the people of Madagascar again rebelled against French rule, but were crushed. However, in 1958 Madagascar became an autonomous country. It became fully independent on June 26, 1960. Philibert Tsiranana was the first president.

However, he was forced to resign in 1972 and was replaced by Gabriel Ramanantsoa. He introduced socialism, which was disastrous for Madagascar. In 1975 he was replaced by Didier Ratsiraka. He ruled until 1991.

Unfortunately, Ratsiraka continued with the socialist policy which further impoverished Madagascar. Multi-party elections were held in 1993 and in 1997 Ratsiraka was re-elected president. Marc Ravalomanana followed him in 2002. Ravalomanana was re-elected in 2007.

However, in January 2009, protests broke out against his government. In March 2009, the army appointed Andry Rajoelina as president. Presidential and parliamentary elections were held in 2013. Hery Rajaonarimampianina became the president of Madagascar in 2014.

Meanwhile, beginning in the mid-1990s, Madagascar abandoned socialism and the economy began to recover. However, today Madagascar is still a very poor country, but its economy is constantly growing. Currently, the population of Madagascar is 24.4 million inhabitants.

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