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277
MADAGASCAR


the queen and her government to suppress all opposition to her commands. This, however, only served to show in a very remarkable manner the courage and faith of the Christian Malagasy, of whom about two hundred suffered death in various cruel forms, while many hundreds were punished more or less severely by fine, degradation, imprisonment and slavery. During the queen's reign the political condition of the country was deplorable; there were frequent rebellions, many of the distant provinces were desolated by barbarous wars; and for some years all Europeans were excluded, and foreign commerce almost ceased. This last circumstance was partly owing to an ill-managed attack upon Tamatave in 1846 by a combined British and French force, made to redress the wrongs inflicted upon the foreign traders of that port. But for the leaven of Christianity and education which had been introduced into the country it would have reverted to a state of barbarism. This reign of terror was brought to a close in 1861 by the death of the queen and the accession of her son Radama II. The R island was reopened to European trade, and misadama ll.

sionary efforts were recommenced. A determined attempt was made by some Frenchmen to gain for their country an overwhelming influence by means of a treaty which they induced the king to sign. But this act, as well as the vices and insane follies into which he was led by worthless foreign and native favourites, soon brought his reign and his life to an end. He was put to death in his palace (186 3) and his wife was placed on the throne. The new sovereign and her government refused to ratify the agreement which had been illegally obtained, choosing rather to pay a million francs as compensation to the French company. During the five years reign of Queen Rasohérina, quiet and steady advances were made in civilization and education, and treaties were concluded with the British, French and American governments. At the death of Rasohérina in 1868, she was succeeded by her cousin, Ranavalona II. One of the first acts of the new queen was the public recognition of Christianity; and very 5""'""°“" soon afterwards she and her husband, the prime minister, were baptized, and the erection of a chapel royal was commenced in the palace yard. These acts were followed in the succeeding year by the burning of the royal idols, and immediately afterwards by the destruction of the idols throughout the central provinces, the people generally putting themselves under Christian instruction. From that time education and enlightenment made great progress, chiefly through the labours of missionaries of various societies. The native Malagasy government, though theoretically despotic, was limited in various ways. Radama I. and Rana-Native valona I. were much more absolute sovereigns than 0°"°f"' those before or after them, but even they were "”'"° largely restrained by public opinion. New laws were announced at large assemblies of the people, whose consent was asked, and always given through the headmen of the different divisions of native society; this custom was no doubt a survival from a time when the popular assent was not a merely formal act. The large disciplined army formed by Radama I, aided much in changing what was formerly a somewhat limited monarchy into an absolute one. The Hova queen's authority was maintained over the central and eastern portions of Madagascar, and at almost all the ports, by governors appointed by the queen, and supported by small garrisons of Hova troops. At the same time the chiefs of the various tribes were left in possession of a good deal of their former honours and influence. Ranavalona II., her predecessor and her successor were successively married to the prime minister, Rainilaiarivony, a man of great ability and sagacity, who, by his position as husband and chief adviser of the sovereign, became virtual ruler of the country. Chiefly owing to his influence, many measures tending to improve the administration were introduced. The Hova army was estimated at from 30,000 to 40,000 men, several English non-commissioned 'officers and, latterly, others of higher rank being engaged to train them in European methods. Revenue was derived from customs duties, irstfruits, nnes and confiscation of offenders' property, and a money offering called hcisina, presented on a great variety of occasions both to the sovereign in person and to her representatives; and these were supplemented by “benevolences” (in the medieval sense of the word) levied upon the people for occasional state necessities. The government also claimed the unpaid service of all classes of the community for every kind of public work. The Hova government aspired to have Madagascar recognized as an independent civilized state, and consuls appointed by the British, French and American governments were V . Foreign

accredited to the Malagasy sovereign, the queen Re, a, ,0, , s having a consul in England, and a consular agent at Mauritius. The treaty with Great Britain, concluded in 1865, gave the consuls of that nation jurisdiction over the British subjects in the island. At this period, on the initiative of the 4th earl of Clarendon, then foreign secretary, an understanding was come to between the British and French governments by which it was agreed that each power should respect the independence of Madagascar; and the future of the country appeared to be bound up in the gradual consolidation- of the central Hova authority over the whole island. While this prospect would have satisfied the British interests in the island, it was otherwise with the French. The tradition of their former settlements in and influence over the island was strong; in 1840 they had taken under their protection the Sakalava ruler of the small island of Nossi-bé, off the north-west coast, and in virtue of that act claimed a vague protectorate over the adjacent shores of the mainland. A treaty, concluded in 1868, while establishing French consular jurisdiction in Madagascar, recognized Ranavalona II. as queen of Madagascar, and under the Second Empire attempts to establish French political influence were discouraged, and even as late as 1872 the subsidy enjoyed by the Jesuit missionaries was withdrawn. In 1878 the French consul, Laborde, died, and a dispute arose as to the disposal of his property. This dispute was the occasion of further intervention on the part of the French, for the Paris government supported the claims of Laborde's heirs, and revived their claim to a protectorate over the Sakalava of the north-west coast, as based on their agreement with them in 1840, ceding Nossi-bé to France. A policy of colonial expansion generally, and in Africa in particular at this time, was manifest in France, as in other European countries, and the French claims on the Hova were pressed with vigour.

Towards the middle of 1882 the relations between the native government and that of France became much strained, and to settle, if possible, these causes of dispute, two Franco. Hova officers of high rank were sent to France as M-ll-'E-'Sy ambassadors, but as they were not authorized to;g;; § ; concede any territory, their visit accomplished very little. Treaties had been concluded with Great Britain, Germany and America, giving improved facilities for trade with Madagascar, but before the return of the envoys matters had come to a crisis in the .island. In May 1883 an ultimatum was sent to the Malagasy queen, requiring immediate compliance with the demands of France; and as these were refused by the Hova government, Tamatave was bombarded by a French squadron and then occupied by the marines. The war continued in a desultory fashion for many months; but no serious attempt was made to invade the interior; and in 1885 terms of peace were agreed to. By a treaty signed on the 17th of December it was agreed that the foreign relations of Madagascar should be directed by France; that a resident should live at the capital, with a small guard of French soldiers; and that the Bay of Diégo-Suarez, together with surrounding territory, should be ceded to France. The word “protectorate” was carefully excluded from the treaty, although doubtless the French envoys intended that this should be its practical issue. It was at the same time agreed that there should be no foreign interference with the internal government of the country, and that the queen should retain her former position, with all its honours and dignity. It should be here noticed that the queen, Ranavalona II., died just at the beginning of the war, on the