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Madagascar History Timeline

400s AD - 1800s
  • (420 AD) Andavakoera is settled by migrants from southern Borneo
  • (1000) Bantu-speaking migrants from southeastern Africa arrived and introduced the zebu (a long-horned humped cattle)
  • (1600) Irrigated paddy fields were developed in the central highland region by the Betsileo Kingdom and extended into the neighboring Kingdom of Imerina
  • (1774) Madagascar gained prominence amongst pirates and European traders
  • (1793) The Kingdom of Imerina was reunited following a century of war and famine
  • (1817) A treaty was issued to abolish the slave trade in return for British military and financial assistance
  • (1818) Artisan missionaries from London arrived
  • (1883) France invaded Madagascar during the first Franco-Hova War
  • (1890) Britain accepted the formal imposition of a French protectorate over Madagascar despite the fact that it wasn't recognized by the government of Madagascar
  • (1896) Slavery was abolished
1900s
  • (1910) Discontent over French ruling sparked a growth of nationalism
  • (1946) Madagascar became an Overseas Territory of France
  • (1947) The Malagasy Uprising against French colonial rule occurred, thousands were killed
  • (1960) Madagascar gained independence with Philibert Tsiranana as president
  • (1972) The Tsiranana administration was overturned by protesters against the continuation of his strong economic and political ties to France; power was handed over to army chief Gen. Gabriel Ramanantsoa who reduced ties with France in favor of links with the Soviet Union
  • (1975) Lieutenant-Commander Didier Ratsiraka was elected president following a coup; Madagascar was renamed the Democratic Republic of Madagascar
  • (1992) Democratic reforms were introduced and a new constitution was approved
  • (1993) Albert Zafy was elected president
  • (1996) Zafy was impeached following an economic decline, allegations of corruption, and an introduction of legislation to give himself greater power; Ratsiraka was voted back into power
2000s
  • (2001) The senate reopened after 29 years, completing the government framework provided in the 1992 constitution that replaced the socialist revolutionary system; Marc Ravalomanana was elected president
  • (2002) Violence erupted after weeks of a political deadlock over the previous year's election; Ravalomanana's party won majority in parliamentary elections
  • (2003) Former president Didier Ratsiraka was sentenced to 10 years hard labor, accused of embezzling public funds
  • (2004) Thousands were left homeless after two tropical cyclones hit the island
  • (2005) Madagascar became the first to receive development aid from the U.S. under a scheme to reward nations considered by Washington to be promoting democracy and market reforms
  • (2006) Marc Ravalomanana was re-elected
  • (2007) Ravalomanana dissolved the parliament after the new constitution called for an end to autonomy of provinces
  • (2007) A 3.3 billion dollar nickel cobalt mining project was opened in Tamatave
  • (2008) Cyclone Ivan caused widespread damage, 93 killed in the aftermath
  • (2008) Madagascar produced its first barrels of crude oil in 60 years
  • (2009) Dozens were killed following violent protests in Antananarivo after oppositional supported tv and radio stations were closed; Andry Rajoelina assumed power with military and high court backing subsequently isolating Madagascar and provoking international condemnation; the deposed Ravalomanana was sentenced to four years in prison for abuse of office
  • (2010) EU suspended developmental aid to Madagascar in the absence of democratic progress; Marc Ravalomanana was sentenced to life in prison for ordering the killings of oppositional supporters
  • (2011) A new government was unveiled; former president Didier Ratsiraka returned after nine years in exile
  • (2014) Hery Rajaonarimampianina elected president

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.