Queen Ranavalona I - A cruel reign
King Radama I died in 1828, although the circumstances of his death are still unknown. In addition to the theory that he died on a campaign, there are also rumors that he died of excessive alcohol consumption or took his own life. After his death, Radama's widow ascended, Ranavalona I, the throne and at the same time began a Reign full of horror and terrorThe Madagascans had never known it before. This reign of terror of Ranavalona I, which began by murdering all the relatives and advisors of the former king, earned the Merina queen the nickname of Ranavalona I, the cruel one one. Due to the structural upheavals that King Radama I had promoted until a few years ago, the nobles of the Howa, who had previously had great influence, had been partially disempowered. Queen Ranavalona I made it her task to help them regain their influence. In addition, from now on again held Fortune Tellers, Medicine Men and Stargazers The queen's family was joined in the palace, and they in turn were endowed with very great powers and authority. What influence these developments had on the reign of Ranavalona I is not entirely clear to this day, but it is certain that the queen refused to continue to honor the treaties once concluded with Great Britain. This concerned above all the point of slavery, which Ranavalona I did not want to accept: Ranavalona I disregarded the guidelines that had been agreed upon and the trade with slaves became legitimate again. The sad climax of this development was recorded when well 90 percent of Madagascar's population employed as slaves had to be.
The queen's various courses of action provoked the British and French military powers, who repeatedly intervened to protect certain population groups, such as the Sakalava on the island of Nosy Be. Nevertheless, Ranavalona I succeeded in revising or simply not accepting all the treaties concluded with the European powers, and so even the Christian missionaries who had come to the island only a few years before were banished again. The Christian faith was a thorn in the queen's side and so it decided to act rigorously and with all severity and cruelty against his followers. Around 150,000 people, including numerous followers of the Christian faith, were poisoned by Ranavalona I. In the royal palace of Ambohimanga can be discovered even today the gate through which the Madagascans destined for death had to pass in order to pick up a poisoned potion. This gruesome act, however, was not the only way Ranavalona I devised to get rid of the unloved Christians as well as the detested Christian faith: Near her government palace, a Christian church had been erected on a rock, from which Ranavalona I cast down all followers of Christianity who would not renounce their faith. There was also the first Christian martyr of Madagascar, Rasalama, executed.