The treaty below with the Queen of Madagascar marked the full possession of Madagascar by France. It also marked the end of the Kingdom of Madagascar, or Merina Kingdom, officially known as Kingdom of Imerina. In essence, Ranavalona III, the last monarch of the Kingdom of Madagascar, tried to stave off the French colonization of her land by strengthening trade and diplomatic relations with the United States and Great Britain throughout her reign; however, French attacks on coastal port towns and an assault on the capital city of Antananarivo ultimately led to the capture of the royal palace in 1895, ending the sovereignty and political autonomy of the century-old kingdom. France officially annexed Madagascar on January 1, 1896.
As you read the treaty below, you could see the beginning of the schemes for the FCFA and the 11 Components of the French Colonial Tax in Africa we talked about a while back. Note that Madagascar was banned from dealing directly economically with foreign powers: everything had to go through France… isn’t this a predecessor to the FCFA?
H.E. the Queen of Madagascar, after reading the declaration of possession of the Island of Madagascar by the government of the French Republic, declares to accept the following conditions below:
The government of the French Republic will be represented to the Queen of Madagascar by a Resident General.
The government of the French Republic will represent Madagascar in all external relations.
The resident general will be in charge of relations with the agents from foreign powers. Matters of interest to foreigners pertaining to Madagascar will be dealt with by through him.
The diplomatic and consular agents of France in foreign countries will be in charge of the protection of Malagasy subjects and interests.
The government of the French Republic reserves the right to maintain in Madagascar the military forces necessary for its authority.
The Resident General will control the internal administration of the Island.
H.E. the Queen of Madagascar commits herself to proceed to the reforms that the French government will judge useful for the economic development and the progress of civilization.
The government of H.E. the Queen of Madagascar is prohibited from contracting any loan without the authorization of the government of the French Republic.
Antananarivo, January 19, 1896
Hoy Ranavalomanjaka III