A Guide to the United States' History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Madagascar


Relations between Madagascar (formerly the Malagasy Republic) and the United States date to the middle 1800s. The two countries concluded a commercial convention in 1867 and a treaty of peace, friendship, and commerce in 1881. Traditionally warm relations suffered considerably during the 1970s, when Madagascar expelled the U.S. ambassador, closed a NASA tracking station, and nationalized two U.S. oil companies. In 1980, relations at the ambassadorial level were restored.

Modern Flag of Madagascar

Modern Flag of Madagascar


U.S. Recognition of Malagasy Independence, 1960.

The United States recognized the Malagasy Republic on June 25, 1960, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent a letter to that effect to President Philibert Tsiranana. The area that became the Malagasy Republic had been previously under French sovereignty. The state’s name changed to Madagascar between 1975-1980.

Diplomatic Relations

Appointment of American Commercial Agent to Madagascar, 1866.

John P. Finkelmeier was appointed Commercial Agent to Madagascar on February 13, 1866.

Diplomatic Relations Established and American Consulate Opened, 1874.

The United States established diplomatic relations with Madagascar when Commercial Agent John P. Finkelmeier was appointed Consul and the station at Tamatave was elevated to Consulate.

American Consulate Moved to Tananarivo, 1916.

The American Consulate in Tananarivo was opened on or around July 8, 1916. The Consulate at Tamatave was closed December 31, 1916.

Elevation of American Consulate to Embassy, 1960.

With the establishment of the independent Malagasy Republic, the American Consulate at Tananarive (now Antananarivo) was elevated to Embassy status on June 25, 1960 with former Consul J. Roland Jacobs as Charge d’Affaires ad interim.

First American Ambassador to the Malagasy Republic Appointed, 1960.

Frederic P. Bartlett was appointed Ambassador to the Malagasy Republic on August 27, 1960.

American Ambassador Expelled, 1971.

On June 1, 1971, the Government of the Malagasy Republic requested Ambassador Anthony Marshall leave the country following a Malagasy newspaper report that the government received a secret document bearing his signature that implicated him in a supposed coup against President Philibert Tsiranana.


  • Department of State Background Note: Madagascar
  • Department of State Country Information: Madagascar