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Look Inside An Economic History of Imperial Madagascar, 1750–1895

An Economic History of Imperial Madagascar, 1750–1895
The Rise and Fall of an Island Empire


Part of African Studies

  • Date Published: December 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521103916

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About the Authors
  • The first comprehensive economic history of pre-colonial Madagascar, this study examines the island's role from 1750 to 1895 in the context of a burgeoning international economy and the rise of modern European imperialism. Challenging conventional portrayals of nineteenth-century Madagascar as a unified and progressive kingdom, this study reveals that the Merina of the central highlands attempted to found an island empire and through the exploitation of its human and natural resources build the economic and military might to challenge British and French pretensions in the region. Ultimately, the Merina failed due to imperial forced labour policies and natural disasters, the nefarious consequences of which (disease, depopulation, ethnic enmity) have in traditional histories been imputed to external capitalist and French colonial policies. Although by 1890, Madagascar was firmly integrated into a regional trade network stretching from South Africa to India, dominated by British Indians, Britain acknowledged French claims to Madagascar. France took 13 years to conquer Madagascar, finally succeeding only due to the internal collapse of Merina power.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521103916
    • length: 436 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.64kg
    • contains: 37 b/w illus. 10 maps 38 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The traditional economy, 1750–1820: industry and agriculture
    2. The traditional economy, 1750–1820: commerce
    3. Empire and the adoption of autarky, 1810–26
    4. Industry and agriculture, 1820–95
    5. Labour, 1820–95
    6. Population, 1820–95
    7. The trading structure, 1820–95
    8. Foreign trade, 1820–95
    9. The slave trade, 1820–95
    10. Transport and communications, 1820–95
    11. Currency and finance, 1820–95
    12. Madagascar in the scramble for Indian Ocean Africa
    Epilogue. The rise and fall of imperial Madagascar

  • Author

    Gwyn Campbell, McGill University, Montréal
    Gwyn Campbell is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Applied Languages and International Trade at the University of Avignon. He is the editor of Southern Africa and Regional Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Regions (2003) and The Structure of Slavery in Indian Ocean Africa and Asia (2003). He is the author of numerous articles, in such scholarly journals as the Journal of African History and the International Journal of African Historical Studies.

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