Madagascar- A French colony: AD 1897- 1960Africa-450-Madagascar.jpgexternal image mada.gif

Madagascar is a small island in the Indian Ocean, right off the east side of southern Africa. It is the fourth largest island in the world. Madagascar originally was connected to India but it broke off into an island about 65 million years ago. The climate of Madagascar is generally tropical along the coasts, and temperate inland. The weather is dominated by southwestern trade winds originating from the Indian Ocean. The entire island of Madagascar originally was inhabited totally by trees, but over the course of time the trees got burned down in order to clear land. Deforestation is currently a major issue there. Madagascar is also a huge cyclone region, as costal areas flood often.

The main language spoken in Madagascar is Malagasy but when France took over they made the official language French. 52% of Madagascar's population is of the Traditional African religion. 41% is of christianity and 7% is Islamic. They make textile, do stone and wood carvings, and paint paintings. They celebrate normal Christian holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, as well as celebrating their rebellion against French, which they call Insurrection Day.

Natural Resources-
Madagascar has a number of natural resources, including graphite , chromite , coal , salt , quartz, tar sands , semi prescious stones and mica . There are also fishing areas offshore, and potential for hydropower..

Agricultural products-
coffee, vanilla, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), beans, bananas, peanuts; livestock products

Imperialistic Reasons-
A few reasons France colonized Madagascar was for their natural resources, land and large amount of agricultural products that they were able to produce there. Those were not the main reasons though. The main reason France took over Madagascar was because they were competing against Britain for land and power. If France did not act and conquer Madagascar; Britain would.
Effects on Native People & Colony-
Positive Effects: Railroads were built, roads were improved, and new crops were starting to be grown such as coffee and tobacco.

Negative Effects: The French had control and could take as many crops or natural resources as they wanted. Also, they changed the official language of Madagascar to French even though the natives didn't know French.
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