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Presents the history of the Madagascar Youths chosen to undergo craft apprenticeships in Britain. In the context of the 1820 Britanno-Merina treaty, and the attempt by Britain to extend informal hegemony over Madagascar, it examines the selection of these youths. Further, it follows their journey to Britain, their reception, and their education and training under LMS supervision. It notes their trials, tribulations, and successes, and how they changed British perceptions of the Malagasy.
This chapter examines the history, following their return from overseas, of the Madagascar Youths sent to Mauritius to learn European music and those who served apprenticeships aboard British naval vessels. It surveys the history of traditional Malagasy music and, in that context, explores the role of the returning musicians at court. It also examines the history of the naval apprentice returnees in military and ‘naval’ duties, as well as – alongside other Madagascar Youths – in diplomatic roles, as representatives of the Merina crown in its relations with foreign powers.
This chapter examines the careers of two Merina princes tutored by Hastie on Mauritius in 1816–17 and those Madagascar Youths selected to be trained abroad as a result of the 1820 Britanno-Merina treaty who, upon their return, were employed as court officials and diplomats for the Merina crown. It focuses in particular on the history of twins Raombana and Rahaniraka. They, alone of the youths sent to Britain, received a liberal education, with the specific intention that upon their return they might serve as royal counsellors and foreign secretaries. This chapter examines the experience of the twins in Britain and their subsequent roles in Madagascar, as well as the degree to which they, and the other Madagascar Youths, fulfilled the expectations of Farquhar, the missionaries, and the authorities in Cape Town and London that they would serve as steadfast proponents of British influence in the Madagascar.
This chapter sets the context for the story of the Madagascar Youths. It outlines the history of European interest in Madagascar that led the first Malagasy to visit Europe and resulted in the emergence of the island as a significant supplier of provisions and slaves to European colonies in the region. It discusses the reasons for a specifically British focus on Madagascar that resulted in the 1816 mission and in the Britanno-Merina accord of 1817, and the main authorities involved. It analyses why that accord was undermined and the fallout of its failure. Finally, it examines the renewal of the alliance and its outcome in the form of the 1820 treaty, which included the decision to send a select group of 'Madagascar Youths' abroad for training under British supervision.
This chapter focuses on those Madagascar Youths sent to the neighbouring Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. This group has received scant attention in the literature although they constituted the second largest group of Madagascar Youths despatched abroad for training under British supervision in the two decades following the British capture of the island in 1810. They numbered about thirty-five and were mostly males but included at least four females. In as much as the archives permit, the chapter examines their experiences on Mauritius where a substantial proportion of the slave population were Malagasy, and where the white population feared a Malagasy revolt.
This chapter presents the history of the third group of Madagascar Youths who Radama sent abroad as a result of the Britanno-Merina alliance. This group comprised the youths who from 1824 served as apprentices on British naval vessels under the Cape Command, one of the main tasks of which was to counter the western Indian Ocean slave trade. The chapter examines the role of Madagascar in the regional slave trade, the strategy adopted by the British to suppress that trade, notably the desire that Radama build a navy to patrol Malagasy waters, and the training of a select group of Madagascar Youths aboard British naval vessels in the expectation that they would subsequently man Radama’s fleet.
This chapter examines the reasons for the rupture of the Britanno-Merina alliance and, in the context of the adoption of autarkic policies, assesses the Merina court’s attempts to industrialize, and the role of the Madagascar Youths in such efforts. Following the 1820 Britanno-Merina treaty, the main aims of the Merina crown were to utilize the British alliance to create an island empire and to promote economic modernization through importing European skills and technology and exploiting the island’s human and natural resources. Thus, Radama sent a number of Madagascar Youths abroad to Britain and Mauritius to study British crafts and industrial techniques. He also encouraged an influx of ‘British’ military, agricultural, and craft specialists, chiefly British missionary and Mauritian Creole artisans to whom he assigned Malagasy apprentices. He intended that the apprentices, both those sent abroad and those trained locally, would quickly replace European personnel. This imperative increased from 1826, when Radama rejected the 1820 Britanno-Merina treaty and adopted autarkic economic policies, a decision endorsed from 1828 by his senior wife and successor, Ranavalona. This change of policy had profound implications for relations with the British, for foreign artisans in Madagascar, and, upon their return, the Madagascar Youths.