In Madagascar, A Climate Victory

POLITICS - A powerful kingdom with a strong institution

After adopting a constitution in 1854 and through the reign of remarkable monarchs, Madagascar managed to keep its independence from the imperialist powers of Europe. Important Prime Ministers, such as Rainilaiarivony (1864 - 1901) or Ravelojaona (since 1914) were able to maintain balance between Western interests in the region and in necessary cases, were able to defend the country thanks to their militarization policy. Now in 1926, the Democrat-Christian Union of Madagascar is directing the country since more than 10 years, promoting Welfare State ; the Church of Madagascar and the Zanaharist Clergy are guiding the morality of the population and advises the government and the monarchy, since there are no laws about separation of the State and the Church. The strong drive of the Fanjakana ("governement" in Malagasy) to develop the country was seen as a huge moral victory over the "Western civilization". Even Anglo-Saxon countries were so surprised to discover a working and flawless democracy in the Tropics.

GEOGRAPHY - A very diverse country

When visitors from outside come to Madagascar, the first thing they'll remark is the diversity of landscapes, of vegetation and a rich animal biodiversity. The island is provided a temperate and a tropical climate at the same time, allowing European migration to this territory. It wouldn't be surprising for a British to find out the same climate as London in Antananarivo. But what the Malagasy people consider t whe most is this massive forest across the island: as a haven for spirits according to Malagasy folklore, forest bears this link between the mortal world and the spiritual world. It provides as well enormous resources for construction, for heat and especially for security against invasions. As the former king Radama 1st said: "Forest and fever are my best generals against Europeans". This quote was proved during the second Malagasy-French War (1895) where the two-thirds of the French army were decimated by the diseases.

POPULATION - A dynamic population

Malagasy people are so peculiar: they share both Asian and African features, forming such unique people, but with different ethnicities, officially eighteen. Thanks to British support in the industrialization of the island, Madagascar managed to make its population more comfortable with medicine progress and hygiene policies across the country. Through this boom, demography explodes, doubling in a half of a century, and making Madagascar the most populous entity in Africa. So many young people, living in a promising territory, will assure the guard and bring Madagascar on higher steps.

ECONOMY - The Malagasy Miracle

For Ranavalona 3rd, Queen of the Kingdom of Madagascar since 1883, industrialization is the key of national success. She understood the necessity to transit from an agrarian land to an industrial power. One of her minister, Ravelojaona, was an admirer of the Meiji policy in Japan. Since his visit in Tokyo in 1920, the Prime Minister only dreams of one thing: make Madagascar a far more powerful country, even more than United Kingdom. For now, Madagascar has the same economic power as Spain and Canada, but the country is specializing in different sectors (agriculture, manufactory, vehicle industry...), copying, innovating and exporting its success all over the world. For American, British and even French investors, Madagascar could be their next El Dorado.

But one of the main struggles of the country is the energy: while expanding its railway and road network, the oil need is exponentially rising. Even though the regime discovered oil in the early 1920's in Western Madagascar, it wasn't enough. Fortunately, the discovery of oil in Cameroon managed to sustain Madagascar's economy and to be emancipated from expensive oil sold by British and American companies.

INTERNATIONAL - The Policeman of Africa

After WW1, Madagascar founded with other powers the League of Nations, in order to prevent another dramatic war and to ensure peace and stability in different regions of the world. Despite the presence of South Africa, Madagascar was considered as the Policeman of Africa, dealing with its independent mandates and with its European neighbors. This mission consists in avoiding any armed confrontation with bordering territories, especially the British Empire and the French Colonial Empire. In order to gain as many support as possible on the continent, Madagascar tied relationships with other independent African countries such as Ethiopia, Liberia and Egypt (despite being under British influence). The Kingdom helps these countries by providing infrastructure (railways, electricity, weapons...) and through frequent advices in terms of economy and policy. 

This role that Madagascar bears made himself attractive all over the continent: thousands of Africans (notably in its former mandates) came to Madagascar to study or to obtain better life conditions. Even Afro-Americans people from USA, Haiti, Jamaica or Brazil went from afar just to benefit from a setting where their skin color wouldn't be a problem.

Source : https://www.deviantart.com/arthistorian2000/art/Kingdom-of-Madagascar-1926-899735276

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