Season 4 Episode 14: The Birth of The Merina Empire

History of Africa


Season 4 Episode 14: The Birth of The Merina Empire

In our last episode, Andrianampoinimerina reunited the warring kingdoms of Imerina after seven decades of intermittent civil war. While this alone is a significant achievement, Andrianampoinimerina also had to shoulder the considerable burden of trying to repair his economically and socially devastated kingdom. Through smart and efficient use of the Fanamapoana corvee labor system, Andrianampoinimerina directed the repair, construction, and maintenance of hundreds of canals and dams, which greatly revitalized the region’s agricultural output. Combined with the end of the Sakalava raids, this resulted in a major population boom. Soil depletion and overpopulation, however, forced Merina people to expand their territory for further settlement, at the expense of neighboring people.
Support the show