Madagascar’s colonization by France took place in the wake of rising nationalism. If itscolonization correspondedwithFrench strategic interests such as the establishment of an area of influence in the southern part of the Indian Ocean, then,except for the small colony of Réunion, France’s purely economic interest in Madagascar’s colonization remainsquestionable. Sparsely inhabited in spite of its large area, with no strategic resources such as gold or other important raw materials, Madagascar endured colonization efforts that focused on the constitution of a state capable of politically unifying the whole islandthrough the recycling of what remained from a sovereign precolonial state before French conquest. The conquest itself and the process of colonization were initially met with violent resistance, mainly from the countryside, which was crushed on the eve of World War I.Later,resistance gave way to more modern political expressions, all treated as illegal by colonial legislation until the eve of World War II. The first political proposal called for equal rights and integration of Madagascar and its people into a French republic. Gradually, influenced by the memory of the former Malagasy regime but also under the influence of nationalism,which blew over the whole world during the interwar period, the anticolonialism movement became nationalist despite the existence of its relatively influential socialist component. The post–World War II liberal atmosphere andfrustrations and deprivations endured during the war were among the causes of the March 1947 uprising. Its brutal crushing and subsequent repression excluded part of the political elite and the majority of the traumatized rural population from the decolonization process, which began by the mid-1950s. Decolonization was conducted without any actual hiatusfrom the previous colonial system in both institutions and political personnel.
John F. Robertson
The roots of the history of modern Iraq extend into the late Ottoman period, when the central government in Istanbul embarked upon administrative and educational reform in an attempt both to modernize and to reassert and centralize its authority there. The history of modern Iraq is also closely linked to ethnic (principally Arab and Kurd) and sectarian (principally Sunni and Shi’ite, but also Jewish and Christian) components of Iraqi society, and their interrelations and tensions. This history is also marked by distinct episodes of foreign intervention (specifically, by Great Britain and the United States), by internal political struggle often resolved by political violence, and by sectarian tensions exacerbated by the domination of political governance by a Sunni minority (1921–2003) and subsequently, beginning in 2004, by the Shi’i majority.