Madagascar's History Essay

Madagascar's History Essay

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“Freedom isn’t free” (various artists sing song) is the one quote that describes the hardship and difficulties that Madagascar has experienced, since the 7th Century all the way until their independence in June of 1960 Madagascar and its people have been in constant turmoil. Through its eventful past it is easy to see how Madagascar gained its history, culture, and religion, this is the identity that the country has shifted to over this vast amount of time.
Archeologists such as Jarred Diamond, the author of “Guns, Germs, and Steel”, place the first humans in Madagascar as the Austronesian people from Indonesia around 500BC. It is believed that the Malagasy people came directly from Indonesia to Madagascar; this is evident through the many similarities in materials used for cloths and the distinct out rigger canoe that both people used. Jared Diamond writes this: “These Austronesians, with their Austronesian language and modified Austronesian culture, were already established on Madagascar by the time it was first visited by Europeans, in 1500. This strikes me as the single most astonishing fact of human geography for the entire world. It’s as if Columbus, on reaching Cuba, had found it occupied by blue-eyed, blond-haired Scandinavians speaking a language close to Swedish, even though the nearby North American continent was inhabited by Native Americans speaking Amerindian languages. How on earth could prehistoric people from Borneo, presumably voyaging on boats without maps or compasses, end up in Madagascar?” (Diamond, Jared (2001) Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, New Edition. New York: W.W. Norton.)
The first European colonists came to Madagascar in the 1500’s when a Portuguese sailor Diogo Dias acci...


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... war the French continued their control of Madagascar, even through the Malagasy Revolt of 1947, which resulted in the bloody death of 80-90,000 Malagasy rebels. Several years after the Malagasy Revolt the French nationals started a movement toward an independent Madagascar. In 1959 the Malagasy Republic was formed from the ashes of a broken country and in June of 1960 the Malagasy Republic was given its full independence as a self-governing state of the French community.
Madagascar has had a rough and beaten path to its freedom and overall independence. This path to freedom took hundreds of years and too much blood, but like most free countries it was all worth it in the end because freedom is not free after all. Through all this history and conflict Madagascar has developed its own identity and with that identity has earned its place in this world today.

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