In the south of Ecuador, in the Indian Ocean, the fifth island of the world (592 000 km ²) after Australia, Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo, is separated from the African continent through Mozambique. The distance between the western frontage of Madagascar and the coasts of Mozambique does not exceed 700 km. The Big island, sometimes called “the red Island” in reference to the laterite which colours its plates, stretches itself on 1580 km from north to south and 500 km in the East-West direction.
It has as neighbors the Comoros (300 km in the North-West), Réunion (800 km in the east), then Maurice (in the east) and Seychelles (in the North-East). A mountainous chain dotted with solid masses cuts the Big Island in the North-South direction at an average altitude of 1200 to 1500 meters (the Highlands account for 70% of the surface of the country).
The western half, the broadest and the slackest, is occupied by alluvial plains of weak declivity, since the highlands of the center to the channel of Mozambique, while in the east a narrow cliff band is levelled abruptly in a thin coastal plain bordered by the Indian Ocean. The area northern, volcanic, is isolated by the highest massif from the island (where culminates Tsaratanana to 2876 m). The « semi-arid is divided between sediment plates (south-western), dry plain (southern point) and anosyans chains (south-eastern).
Alaotra (182 km ²) is the vastest of the five big lakes of Madagascar. The originality of Madagascar, which has as an emblem the tree of the traveller (ravinala), lies in its extreme diversity: the variety of the relief and the climate supported the biodiversity of a flora and a fauna characterized by an important rate of endemism.
Le peuplement de Madagascar par des Indonésiens et par des Africains est très ancien (avant JC). Dès le XIIème siècle, des comptoirs commerciaux arabes sont fondés, comme la ville de Majunga.
A partir du XVIème siècle, l’île devient un territoire auquel s’intéressent les Européens, après sa découverte par un portugais, Diego Diaz, en 1500. En 1643, les Français fondent Fort Dauphin, et au XIXème siècle l’île passe peu à peu sous influence française. Tamatave est occupée par la France en 1883, et Madagascar devient un protectorat français en 1885, pour finalement devenir une colonie française en 1896.
Cependant, la colonisation est mal acceptée et les réactions de rejet de la part de la population malgache sont nombreuses. En 1947 et 1948, une insurrection indépendantiste et sa répression auraient provoqué plusieurs milliers de morts.
The settlement of Madagascar by the Indonesians and Africans is very old (before JC). Since the 12th century, Arab commercial counters are founded, like the town of Majunga.
From the 16th century, the island becomes a territory in which Europeans are interested, after its discovery by Portuguese, Diego Diaz, in 1500. In 1643, the French found Fort Dauphin, and inthe 19th century the island passes little by little under French influence. Tamatave is occupied by France in 1883, and Madagascar becomes a French protectorate in 1885, for finally becoming a French colony in 1896.
However, colonization is badly accepted and the reactions of rejection on behalf of the Malagasy population are numerous. In 1947 and 1948, an independence insurrection and its repression would have caused several thousands of deaths.
On October 14th, 1958, the Malagasy Republic is proclaimed. On April 29th, 1959, the constitution of the 1st Republic is adopted and Philibert Tsiranana is elected President. On June 26th, 1960, the independence of Madagascar is proclaimed at the Mahamasina stadium. Previously, the agreements franco-malagasy had been signed in Paris, on April 2nd, 1960. After the independence and under Philibert Tsiranana presidency, the relations franco-malagasy remain harmonious.
Didier Ratsiraka, reaches the power in 1975, after 3 years of political instability, marked by strikes, the dispute of the political regime and the rejection of the French presence. The socialist republic of Ratsiraka and its Marxist orientations had, between 1975 and 1980, negative effects on the relations between France and Madagascar: nationalisation of the French companies, confiscation of the grounds and collectivization of the plantations of the old colonists, left the free zone and French-speaking mobility, “malgachisation” of teaching, with in particular the suppression of the teaching of French in the primary and the secondary education.
In 1991, the regime of President Ratsiraka is qestionned. The demonstrations involve the end of the regime and the installation of a transitional period between 1991 and 1992, during which the past President and the strongman resulting from the contestation, Albert Zafy, “cohabit”. On August 19th, 1992, the fundamental law of the Republic of Madagascar is adopted by referendum. It marks the beginning of the third Republic and allows the election as President in February 1993 of Albert Zafy. However, in January 1997, thanks to the dismissal of Zafy by the High Constitutional court, Ratsiraka is re-elected at the presidency of the Republic for five years (1997-2002).
Geography-History Madagascar . Real Estate Madagascar.