History of Madagascar

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The recorded history of Madagascar began in the 7th century when the Bantus established trading posts for trade with Arab merchants along the northwest coast of the island. Madagascar's prehistory began when the first human settlers arrived, which included a large component from Southeast Asia. This explains the range of Malagasy features, which form a mixture of genotypes from both Austronesians and Africans, as well as later Arab, Indian, and European settlers.

Madagascar became known to Europeans after the Age of Discovery. From the 17th century through to the Scramble for Africa, the British and French colonial empires competed for influence in Madagascar. After a brief de facto protectorate period beginning in 1885 the island became a full formal French protectorate in 1890, then a colony in 1896, and gained full independence from France in 1960 in the wake of decolonization.

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