|Government type||Absolute Monarchy|
|Ruling party||Royal Faction (conservative)|
|Capital||Tananarive (ID 2115)|
Madagascar is an uncivilized nation off the south-east coast of Africa. It will generally be first sphered and later annexed by France by the two decisions The Lambert Charter and End the Merina Monarchy fairly early on. This can however not happen if Madagascar is player-controlled.
Historically, Madagascar united under the Merina Kingdom in the early decades of the 19th Century. After initially attempting to remain isolated from European influences, it eventually fell under French influence thanks to the Lambert Charter. After successfully occupying Antananarivo in 1895, the French formally annexed the island and turned it into a colony.
Despite its small population and low literacy, Madagascar has the potential to survive and even thrive given the right approach. Though difficult, it is possible to become a secondary power by 1936.
As an uncivilized nation with very low literacy, the first priority is to use a national focus to encourage clergymen in North Madagascar. Ensure that education spending remains high, though it is unwise to neglect administrative or military spending. Ensure that the Madagascan army is large enough to put down any reactionary rebellions during the westernization process.
Given the threat of rebellions and the difficulty in constructing ships, expansion is unlikely during the early stages of the game. If one is feeling confident enough at home, annexing Zulu is a possibility. Broadly speaking, the early game should be spent focusing on westernization and improving Madagascar's dire literacy.
After westernizing, Madagascar can start thinking about expansion. The uncivilized nations scattered around the Indian Ocean and the East Indies, such as Atjeh or Brunei, make for good opportunities for early expansion. Conquering Oman's territories in East Africa gives Madagascar a foothold on the continent, while the Arabian peninsula itself can be attacked to secure future oil resources. If Zulu remains independent at this stage, it is advisable to annex them before the United Kingdom or Portugal does.
Try to expand Madagascar's industry as soon as possible after westernizing. Be mindful of the island's RGOs and try to build factories that will capitalize on what's available. As Madagascar doesn't start off with any capitalists at all, it is advisable to keep the Royal Faction due to their support for State Capitalism. Madagascar is covered in varied terrain, with the coastal plains divided up by the central highlands and hills in the north and south-west, which means that constructing a railway network that covers the whole island will take a long time. It's possible to get a headstart on railway construction by improving the transport system while westernizing, but this is not essential.
Madagascar is geographically isolated and the player will struggle to find alliances in the early-to-mid game. Despite this, attempt to befriend a European great power, such as France or the United Kingdom, if possible. Should resources permit it, expand Madagascar's navy and try to keep it as up-to-date as possible as this will be the best defense against foreign aggression. During the mid game, it is ill-advised to try and fight any of the great powers alone.