Influence: Queen of Madagascar
Queen Ranavalona I, ruled the large Indian Ocean island of Madagascar from 1788–1861. Being of strong Merina descent, her rule was one of power and wrath. During her rule she defied European Colonialism while terrorizing those who opposed her regime. Her reign would last 33 years with accomplishments such as preserving the political and cultural sovereignty of Madagascar against European colonialism.
One tactic involved how policies were enacted in a context of increasing European influence within her kingdom and competing French and English bids for domination over the island. Early in her reign, the queen took incremental steps to distance Madagascar from the purview of European powers, first putting an end to a friendship treaty with Britain, then placing increasing restrictions on the activities of the missionaries of the London Missionary Society, who operated schools where basic education and trade skills were taught in addition to the Christian religion.
As a result, she was able to create a self-sufficient state for the good of her people in the face of opposition. Still to this day she is remembered as a Queen of great power and reverence.