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French Empire

Empire français
1534–1980[1][2]
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French colonial empire 17th century-20th century .mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  France .mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  First colonial empire (after 1534) .mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  Second colonial empire (after 1830)
French colonial empire 17th century-20th century
  France
  First colonial empire (after 1534)
  Second colonial empire (after 1830)
StatusColonial empire
CapitalParis
Religion
Catholicism, Islam, Judaism,[3] Louisiana Voodoo,[4] mandate territories that came under French rule from the 16th century onward. A distinction is generally made between the "First French Colonial Empire," that existed until 1814, by which time most of it had been lost or sold, and the "Second French Colonial Empire", which began with the conquest of Algiers in 1830. At its apex, the Second French colonial empire was one of the largest empires in history. Including metropolitan France, the total amount of land under French sovereignty reached 11,500,000 km2 (4,400,000 sq mi) in 1920, with a population of 110 million people in 1936.

France began to establish colonies in North America, the Caribbean and India in the 17th century but lost most of its possessions following its defeat in the Seven Years' War. The North American possessions were ceded to Britain and Spain but the later retroceded Louisiana (New France) back to France in 1800 . The territory was then sold to the United States in 1803 (Louisiana Purchase). France rebuilt a new empire mostly after 1850, concentrating chiefly in Africa as well as Indochina and the South Pacific. As it developed, the new French empire took on roles of trade with the motherland, supplying raw materials and purchasing manufactured items. Rebuilding an empire rebuilt French prestige, especially regarding international power and spreading the French language and the Catholic religion. It also provided manpower in the World Wars.[10]

A major goal was the Mission civilisatrice or "The Civilizing Mission". 'Civilizing' the populations of Africa through spreading language and religion, were used as justifications for many of the brutal practices that came with the French colonial project.[11][12] In 1884, the leading proponent of colonialism, Jules Ferry, declared; "The higher races have a right over the lower races, they have a duty to civilize the inferior races." Full citizenship rights – assimilation – were offered, although in reality "assimilation was always receding [and] the colonial populations treated like subjects not citizens."[13] France sent small numbers of settlers to its empire, with the notable exception of Algeria, where the French settlers took power while being a minority.

In World War II, Charles de Gaulle and the Free French took control of the overseas colonies one-by-one and used them as bases from which they prepared to liberate France. Historian Tony Chafer argues: "In an effort to restore its world-power status after the humiliation of defeat and occupation, France was eager to maintain its overseas empire at the end of the Second World War."[14] However, after 1945 anti-colonial movements began to challenge European authority. Major revolts in Indochina and Algeria proved very expensive and France lost both colonies. Then followed a relatively peaceful decolonization elsewhere after 1960. The French constitution of 27 October 1946 (Fourth Republic), established the French Union which endured until 1958. Newer remnants of the colonial empire were integrated into France as overseas departments and territories within the French Republic. These now total altogether 119,394 km2 (46,098 sq. miles), with 2.7 million people in 2013. By the 1970s, says Robert Aldrich, the last "vestiges of empire held little interest for the French." He argues, "Except for the traumatic decolonization of Algeria, however, what is remarkable is how few long-lasting effects on France the giving up of empire entailed."[15]

Intervention in Syria and Lebanon (1860–1861)

Lebanon, then part of the Ottoman Empire, between the quasi-Muslim Druze population and the Maronite Christians. The Ottoman authorities in Lebanon could not stop the violence, and it spread into neighboring Syria, with the massacre of many Christians. In Damascus, the Emir Abd-el-Kadr protected the Christians there against the Muslim rioters. Napoleon III felt obliged to intervene on behalf of the Christians, despite the opposition of London, which feared it would lead to a wider French presence in the Middle East. After long and difficult negotiations to obtain the approval of the British government, Napoleon III sent a French contingent of seven thousand men for a period of six months. The troops arrived in Beirut in August 1860, and took positions in the mountains between the Christian and Muslim communities. Napoleon III organized an international conference in Paris, where the country was placed under the rule of a Christian governor named by the Ottoman Sultan, which restored a fragile peace. The French troops departed in June 1861, after just under one year. The French intervention alarmed the British, but was highly popular with the powerful Catholic political faction in France, which had been alarmed by Napoleon's dispute with the Pope over his territories in Italy.[45]

Algeria

Algeria had been formally under French rule since 1830, but only in 1852 was the country entirely conquered. There were about 100,000 European settlers in the country, at that time, about half of them French. Under the Second Republic the country was ruled by a civilian government, but Louis Napoleon re-established a military government, much to the annoyance of the colonists. By 1857 the army had conquered Kabyle Province, and pacified the country. By 1860 the European population had grown to 200,000, and lands of native Algerians were being rapidly bought and farmed by the new arrivals.[46]

Between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Algerians, out of a tota

Algeria had been formally under French rule since 1830, but only in 1852 was the country entirely conquered. There were about 100,000 European settlers in the country, at that time, about half of them French. Under the Second Republic the country was ruled by a civilian government, but Louis Napoleon re-established a military government, much to the annoyance of the colonists. By 1857 the army had conquered Kabyle Province, and pacified the country. By 1860 the European population had grown to 200,000, and lands of native Algerians were being rapidly bought and farmed by the new arrivals.[46]

Between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Algerians, out of a total of 3 million, were killed within the first three decades of the conquest as a result of war, massacres, disease and famine.[47][48] French losses from 1830 to 1851 were 3,336 killed in action and 92,329 dead in the hospital.[49][50]

In the first eight years of his rule Napoleon III paid little attention to Algeria. In September 1860, however, he and the Empress Eugénie visited Algeria, and the trip made a deep impression upon them. Eugénie was invited to attend a traditional Arab wedding, and the Emperor met many of the local leaders. The Emperor gradually conceived the idea that Algeria should be governed differently from other colonies. in February 1863, he wrote a public letter to Pelissier, the Military Governor, saying: "Algeria is not a colony in

Between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Algerians, out of a total of 3 million, were killed within the first three decades of the conquest as a result of war, massacres, disease and famine.[47][48] French losses from 1830 to 1851 were 3,336 killed in action and 92,329 dead in the hospital.[49][50]

In the first eight years of his rule Napoleon III paid little attention to Algeria. In September 1860, however, he and the Empress Eugénie visited Algeria, and the trip made a deep impression upon them. Eugénie was invited to attend a traditional Arab wedding, and the Emperor met many of the local leaders. The Emperor gradually conceived the idea that Algeria should be governed differently from other colonies. in February 1863, he wrote a public letter to Pelissier, the Military Governor, saying: "Algeria is not a colony in the traditional sense, but an Arab kingdom; the local people have, like the colonists, a legal right to my protection. I am just as much the Emperor of the Arabs of Algeria as I am of the French." He intended to rule Algeria through a government of Arab aristocrats. Toward this end he invited the chiefs of main Algerian tribal groups to his chateau at Compiegne for hunting and festivities.[51]

Compared to previous administrations, Napoleon III was far more sympathetic to the native Algerians.[52] He halted European migration inland, restricting them to the coastal zone. He also freed the Algerian rebel leader Abd al Qadir (who had been promised freedom on surrender but was imprisoned by the previous administration) and gave him a stipend of 150,000 francs. He allowed Muslims to serve in the military and civil service on theoretically equal terms and allowed them to migrate to France. In addition, he gave the option of citizenship; however, for Muslims to take this option they had to accept all of the French civil code, including parts governing inheritance and marriage which conflicted with Muslim laws, and they had to reject the competence of religious Sharia courts. This was interpreted by some Muslims as requiring them to give up parts of their religion to obtain citizenship and was resented.

More importantly, Napoleon III changed the system of land tenure. While ostensibly well-intentioned, in effect this move destroyed the traditional system of land management and deprived many Algerians of land. While Napoleon did renounce state claims to tribal lands, he also began a process of dismantling tribal land ownership in favour of individual land ownership. This process was corrupted by French officials sympathetic to the French in Algeria who took much of the land they surveyed into public domain. In addition, many tribal leaders, chosen for loyalty to the French rather than influence in their tribe, immediately sold communal land for cash.[53]

His attempted reforms were interrupted in 1864 by an Arab insurrection, which required more than a year and an army of 85,000 soldiers to suppress. Nonetheless, he did not give up his idea of making Algeria a model where French colonists and Arabs could live and work together as equals. He traveled to Algiers for a second time on 3 May 1865, and this time he remained for a month, meeting with tribal leaders and local officials. He offered a wide amnesty to participants of the insurrection, and promised to name Arabs to high positions in his government. He also promised a large public works program of new ports, railroads, and roads. However, once again his plans met a major natural obstacle' in 1866 and 1867, Algeria was struck by an epidemic of cholera, clouds of locusts, draught and famine, and his reforms were hindered by the French colonists, who voted massively against him in the plebiscites of his late reign.[54]

Despite the signing of the 1860 Cobden–Chevalier Treaty, a historic free trade agreement between Britain and France, and the joint operations conducted by France and Britain in the Crimea, China and Mexico, diplomatic relations between Britain and France never became close during the colonial era. Lord Palmerston, the British foreign minister from 1846 to 1851 and prime minister from 1855 to 1865, sought to maintain the balance of power in Europe; this rarely involved an alignment with France. In 1859 there were even briefly fears that France might try to invade Britain.[55] Palmerston was suspicious of France's interventions in Lebanon, Southeast Asia and Mexico. Palmerston was also concerned that France might intervene in the American Civil War (1861–65) on the side of the South.[56] The British also felt threatened by the construction of the Suez Canal (1859–1869) by Ferdinand de Lesseps in Egypt. They tried to oppose its completion by diplomatic pressures and by promoting revolts among workers.[57]

The Suez Canal was successfully built by the French, but became a joint British-French project in 1875. Both nations saw it as vital to maintaining their influence and empires in Asia. In 1882, ongoing civil disturbances in Egypt prompted Britain to intervene, extending a hand to France. France's leading expansionist Jules Ferry was out of office, and Paris allo

The Suez Canal was successfully built by the French, but became a joint British-French project in 1875. Both nations saw it as vital to maintaining their influence and empires in Asia. In 1882, ongoing civil disturbances in Egypt prompted Britain to intervene, extending a hand to France. France's leading expansionist Jules Ferry was out of office, and Paris allowed London to take effective control of Egypt.[58]

Most Frenchmen ignored foreign affairs and colonial issues. In 1914 the chief pressure group was the Parti colonial, a coalition of 50 organizations with a combined total of only 5000 members.[59][60]

Asia

Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871 and the founding of the Third Republic (1871–1940) that most of France's later colonial possessions were acquired. From their base in Cochinchina, the French took over Tonkin (in modern northern Vietnam) and Annam (in modern central Vietnam) in 1884–1885. These, together with Cambodia and Cochinchina, formed French Indochina in 1887 (to which Laos was added in 1893 and Guangzhouwanin 1900).[61]

In 1849, the French Concession in Shanghai was established, and in 1860, the French Concession in Tientsin (now called Tianjin) was set up. Both concessions lasted until 1946.[62] The French also had smaller concessions in Guangzhou and Hankou (now part of Wuhan).[63]

The Third Anglo-Burmese War, in which Britain conquered and annexed the hitherto independent Upper Burma, was in part motivated by British apprehension at France advancing and gaining possession of territories near to Burma.

French Concession in Shanghai was established, and in 1860, the French Concession in Tientsin (now called Tianjin) was set up. Both concessions lasted until 1946.[62] The French also had smaller concessions in Guangzhou and Hankou (now part of Wuhan).[63]

The Third Anglo-Burmese War, in which Britain conquered and annexed the hitherto independent Upper Burma, was in part motivated by British apprehension at France advancing and gaining possession of territories near to Burma.

France also extended its influence in North Africa after 1870, establishing a protectorate in Tunisia in 1881 with the Bardo Treaty. Gradually, French control crystallised over much of North, West, and Central Africa by around the start of the 20th century (including the modern states of Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast, Benin, Niger, Chad, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, the east African coastal enclave of Djibouti (French Somaliland), and the island of Madagascar).

Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza helped to formalise French control in Gabon and on the northern banks of the Congo River from the early 1880s. The explorer Colonel Parfait-Louis Monteil traveled from Senegal to Lake Chad in 1890–1892, signing treaties of friendship and protection with the rulers of several of the countries he passed through, and gaining much knowledge of the geography and politics of the region.[64]

The Voulet–Chanoine Mission, a military expedition, set out from Senegal in 1898 to conquer the Chad Basin and to unify all French territories in West Africa. This expedition operated jointly with two other expeditions, the Foureau-Lamy and Gentil Missions, which advanced from Algeria and Middle Congo respectively. With the death (Ap

Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza helped to formalise French control in Gabon and on the northern banks of the Congo River from the early 1880s. The explorer Colonel Parfait-Louis Monteil traveled from Senegal to Lake Chad in 1890–1892, signing treaties of friendship and protection with the rulers of several of the countries he passed through, and gaining much knowledge of the geography and politics of the region.[64]

The Voulet–Chanoine Mission, a military expedition, set out from Senegal in 1898 to conquer the Chad Basin and to unify all French territories in West Africa. This expedition operated jointly with two other expeditions, the Foureau-Lamy and Gentil Missions, which advanced from Algeria and Middle Congo respectively. With the death (April 1900) of the Muslim warlord Rabih az-Zubayr, the greatest ruler in the region, and the creation of the Military Territory of Chad (September 1900), the Voulet-Chanoine Mission had accomplished all its goals. The ruthlessness of the mission provoked a scandal in Paris.[65]

As a part of the Scramble for Africa, France aimed to establish a continuous west–east axis across the continent, in contrast with the proposed British north–south axis. Tensions between Britain and France heightened in Africa. At several points war seemed possible, but no outbreak occurred.[66] The most serious episode was the Fashoda Incident of 1898. French troops tried to claim an area in the Southern Sudan, and a British force purporting to act in the interests of the Khedive of Egypt arrived to confront them. Under heavy pressure the French withdrew, implicitly acknowledging Anglo-Egyptian control over the area. An agreement between the two states recognised the status quo: acknowledging British control over Egypt while France became the dominant power in Morocco, but France suffered a humiliating defeat overall.[67][68]

During the Agadir Crisis in 1911 Britain supported France against Germany, and Morocco became a French protectorate.

Pacific islands

At this time, the French also established colonies in the South Pacific, including New Caledonia, the various island groups which make up During the Agadir Crisis in 1911 Britain supported France against Germany, and Morocco became a French protectorate.

At this time, the French also established colonies in the South Pacific, including New Caledonia, the various island groups which make up French Polynesia (including the Society Islands, the Marquesas, the Gambier Islands, the Austral Islands and the Tuamotus), and established joint control of the New Hebrides with Britain.[69]

Leeward Islands (1880–1897)

The French made their last major colonial gains after World War I, when they gained mandates over the former territories of the Ottoman Empire that make up what is now Syria and Lebanon, as well as most of the former German colonies of Togo and Cameroon.

French involvement in WWII

Civilising mission

French colonial officials, influenced by the revolutionary ideal of equality, standardized schools, curricula, and teaching methods as much as possible. They did not establish colonial school systems with the idea of furthering the ambitions of the local people, but rather simply exported the systems and methods in vogue in the mother nation.slavery in most of French West Africa.[74] David P. Forsythe wrote: "From Senegal and Mauritania in the west to Niger in the east (what became French Africa), there was a parallel series of ruinous wars, resulting in tremendous numbers of people being violently enslaved. At the beginning of the twentieth century there may have been between 3 and 3.5 million slaves, representing over 30 percent of the total population, within this sparsely populated region."[75]

French colonial officials, influenced by the revolutionary ideal of equality, standardized schools, curricula, and teaching methods as much as possible. They did not establish colonial school systems with the idea of furthering the ambitions of the local people, but rather simply exported the systems and methods in vogue in the mother nation.[76] Having a moderately trained lower bureaucracy was of great use to colonial officials.[77] The emerging French-educated indigenous elite saw little value in educating rural peoples.[78] After 1946 the policy was to bring the best students to Paris for advanced training. The result was to immerse the next generation of leaders in the growing anti-colonial diaspora centered in Paris. Impressionistic colonials could mingle with studious scholars or radical revolutionaries or so everything in between. Ho Chi Minh and other young radicals in Paris formed the French Communist party in 1920.[79]

Tunisia was exceptional. The colony was administered by Paul Cambon, who built an educational system for colonists and indigenous people alike that was closely modeled on mainland France. He emphasized female and vocational education. By independence, the quali

Tunisia was exceptional. The colony was administered by Paul Cambon, who built an educational system for colonists and indigenous people alike that was closely modeled on mainland France. He emphasized female and vocational education. By independence, the quality of Tunisian education nearly equalled that in France.[80]

African nationalists rejected such a public education system, which they perceived as an attempt to retard African development and maintain colonial superiority. One of the first demands of the emerging nationalist movement after World War II was the introduction of full metropolitan-style education in French West Africa with its promise of equality with Europeans.[81][82]

In Algeria, the debate was polarized. The French set up schools based on the scientific method and French culture. The Pied-Noir (Catholic migrants from Europe) welcomed this. Those goals were rejected by the Moslem Arabs, who prized mental agility and their distinctive religious tradition. The Arabs refused to become patriotic and cultured Frenchmen and a unified educational system was impossible until the Pied-Noir and their Arab allies went into exile after 1962.[83]

In South Vietnam from 1955 to 1975 there were two competing colonial powers in education, as the French continued their work and the Americans moved in. They sharply disagreed on goals. The French educators sought to preserving French culture among the Vietnamese elites and relied on the Mission Culturelle – the heir of the colonial Direction of Education – and its prestigious high schools. The Americans looked at the great mass of people and sought to make South Vietnam a nation strong enough to stop communism. The Americans had far more money, as USAID coordinated and funded the activities of expert teams, and particularly of academic missions. The French deeply resented the American invasion of their historical zone of cultural imperialism.[84]

Critics of French colonialism gained an international audience in the 1920s, and often used documentary reportage and access to agencies such as the League of Nations and the International Labour Organization to make their protests heard. The main criticism was the high level of violence and suffering among the natives. Major critics included Albert Londres, Félicien Challaye, and Paul Monet, whose books and articles were widely read.[85]

While the first stages of a takeover often involved the destruction of historic buildings in order to use the site for French headquarters, archaeologists and art historians soon engaged in systematic effort to identify, map and preserve historic sites, especially temples such as Angkor Wat, Champa ruins and the temples of Luang Prabang.[86] Many French museums have collections of colonial materials. Since the 1980s the French government has opened new museums of colonial artifacts including the Musée du Quai Branly and the Cité Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration, in Paris; and the Maison des Civilisations et de l’Unité Réunionnaise in Réunion.[87]

The Berber independence leader Abd el-Krim (1882–1963) organized armed resistance against the Spanish and French for control of Morocco. The Spanish had faced unrest off and on from the 1890s, but in 1921 Spanish forces were massacred at the Battle of Annual. El-Krim founded an independent Rif Republic that operated until 1926 but had no international recognition. Paris and Madrid agreed to collaborate to destroy it. They sent in 200,000 soldiers, forcing el-Krim to surrender in 1926; he was exiled in the Pacific until 1947. Morocco became quiet, and in 1936 became the base from which Francisco Franco launched his revolt against Madrid.[88]

World War II

During World War II, allied Free France, often with British support, and Axis-aligned Vichy France struggled for control of the colonies, sometimes with outright military combat. By 1943, all of the colonies, except for Indochina under Japanese control, had joined the Free French cause.[89]

The overseas empire helped liberate France as 300,000 North African Arabs fought in the ranks of the Free French.[90] However Charles de Gaulle had no intention of liberating the colonies. He assembled the conference of colonial governors (excluding the nationalist leaders) in Brazzaville in January 1944 to announce plans for postwar Union that would replace the Empire.[91] The Brazzaville manifesto proclaimed:

the goals of the work of civilization undertaken by France in the colonies exclude all idea of autonomy, all possibility of development outside the French block of the Empire; the possible constitutional self-government in the colonies is to be dismissed.[92]

The manifesto angered nationalists across the Empire, and set the stage for long-term wars in Indochina and Algeria that France would lose in humiliating fashion.

Decolonization

The French colonial empire began to fall during the Second World War, when various parts were occupied by foreign powers (Japan in Indochina, Britain in Syria, Lebanon, and Madagascar, the United States and Britain in Morocco and Algeria, and Germany and Italy in Tunisia). However, control was gradually reestablished by Charles de Gaulle. The French Union, included in the Constitution of 1946, nominally replaced the former colonial empire, but officials in Paris remained in full control. The colonies were given local assemblies with only limited local power and budgets. There emerged a group of elites, known as evolués, who were natives of the overseas territories but lived in metropolitan France.[93]

Conflict

Algerian victims of the Sétif and Guelma massacre, 1945

France was immediately confronted with the beginnings of the decolonisation movement. In Algeria demonstrations in May 1945 were repressed with an estimated 6,000 to 45,000 Algerians killed.[94][95] Unrest in Haiphong, Indochina, in November 1945 was met by a warship bombarding the city.[96] Paul Ramadier's (SFIO) cabinet repressed the Malagasy Uprising in Madagascar in 1947. The French blamed education. French officials estimated the number of Malagasy killed from a low of 11,000 to a French Army estimate of 89,000.[97]

Also in Indochina, Ho Chi Minh's Viet Minh, which was backed by the Soviet Union and China, declared Vietnam's independence, which starting the First Indochina War. The war dragged on until 1954, when the Viet Minh decisively defeated the French at the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ in northern Vietnam, which was the last major battle between the French and the Vietnamese in the First Indochina War.

Captured French soldiers from Dien Bien Phu, escorted by Vietnamese troops, walk to a prisoner-of-war camp

Following the Vietnamese victory at Điện Biên Phủ and the signing of the 1954 Geneva Accords, France agreed to withdraw its forces from all its colonies in French Indochina, while stipulating that Vietnam would be temporarily divided at the 17th parallel, with control of the north given to the Soviet-backed Viet Minh as the Democratic Republic of Vietnam under Ho Chi Minh, and the south becoming the State of Vietnam under former Nguyen-dynasty Emperor Bảo Đại, who abdicated following the 1945 August Revolution under pressure from Ho.[98][99] However, in 1955, the State of Vietnam's Prime Minister, Ngô Đình Diệm, toppled Bảo Đại in a fraud-ridden referendum and proclaimed himself president of the new Republic of Vietnam. The refusal of Ngô Đình Diệm, the US-supported president of the first Republic of Vietnam [RVN], to allow elections in 1956 – as had been stipulated by the Geneva Conference – in fear of Ho Chi Minh's victory and subsequently a total communist takeover,[100] eventually led to the Vietnam War.[101]

In France's African colonies, the Union of the Peoples of Cameroon's insurrection, which started in 1955 and headed by Ruben Um Nyobé, was violently repressed over a two-year period, with perhaps as many as 100 people killed. However, France formally relinquished its protectorate over Morocco and granted it independence in 1956.

French involvement in Algeria stretched back a century. The movements of Ferhat Abbas and Messali Hadj had marked the period between the two world wars, but both sides radicalised after the Sec

During World War II, allied Free France, often with British support, and Axis-aligned Vichy France struggled for control of the colonies, sometimes with outright military combat. By 1943, all of the colonies, except for Indochina under Japanese control, had joined the Free French cause.[89]

The overseas empire helped liberate France as 300,000 North African Arabs fought in the ranks of the Free French.[90] However Charles de Gaulle had no intention of liberating the colonies. He assembled the conference of colonial governors (excluding the nationalist leaders)

The overseas empire helped liberate France as 300,000 North African Arabs fought in the ranks of the Free French.[90] However Charles de Gaulle had no intention of liberating the colonies. He assembled the conference of colonial governors (excluding the nationalist leaders) in Brazzaville in January 1944 to announce plans for postwar Union that would replace the Empire.[91] The Brazzaville manifesto proclaimed:

The manifesto angered nationalists across the Empire, and set the stage for long-term wars in Indochina and Algeria that France would lose in humiliating fashion.

Decolonization

Second World War, when various parts were occupied by foreign powers (Japan in Indochina, Britain in Syria, Lebanon, and Madagascar, the United States and Britain in Morocco and Algeria, and Germany and Italy in Tunisia). However, control was gradually reestablished by Charles de Gaulle. The French Union, included in the Constitution of 1946, nominally replaced the former colonial empire, but officials in Paris remained in full control. The colonies were given local assemblies with only limited local power and budgets. There emerged a group of elites, known as evolués, who were natives of the overseas territories but lived in metropolitan France.[93]

Conflict

decolonisation movement. In Algeria demonstrations in May 1945 were repressed with an estimated 6,000 to 45,000 Algerians killed.[94][95] Unrest in Haiphong, Indochina, in November 1945 was met by a warship bombarding the city.[96] Paul Ramadier's (SFIO) cabinet repressed the Malagasy Uprising in Madagascar in 1947. The French blamed education. French officials estimated the number of Malagasy killed from a low of 11,000 to a French Army estimate of 89,000.[97]

Also in Indochina, Ho Chi Minh's Viet Minh, which was backed by the Soviet Union and China, declared Vietnam's independence, which starting the First Indochina War. The war dragged on until 1954, when the Viet Minh decisively defeated the French at the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ in northern Vietnam, which was the last major battle between the French and the Vietnamese in the First Indochina War.

Ho Chi Minh's Viet Minh, which was backed by the Soviet Union and China, declared Vietnam's independence, which starting the First Indochina War. The war dragged on until 1954, when the Viet Minh decisively defeated the French at the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ in northern Vietnam, which was the last major battle between the French and the Vietnamese in the First Indochina War.

Following the Vietnamese victory at Điện Biên Phủ and the signing of the 1954 Geneva Accords, France agreed to withdraw its forces from all its colonies in French Indochina, while stipulating that Vietnam would be temporarily divided at the 17th parallel, with control of the north given to the Soviet-backed Viet Minh as the Democratic Republic of Vietnam under Ho Chi Minh, and the south becoming the State of Vietnam under former Nguyen-dynasty Emperor Bảo Đại, who abdicated following the 1945 August Revolution under pressure from Ho.[98][99] However, in 1955, the State of Vietnam's Prime Minister, Ngô Đình Diệm, toppled Bảo Đại in a fraud-ridden referendum and proclaimed himself president of the new Republic of Vietnam. The refusal of Ngô Đình Diệm, the US-supported president of the first Republic of Vietnam [RVN], to allow elections in 1956 – as had been stipulated by the Geneva Conference – in fear of Ho Chi Minh's victory and subsequently a total communist takeover,[100] eventually led to the Vietnam War.[101]

In France's African colonies, the Union of the Peoples of Cameroon's insurrection, which started in 1955 and headed by Ruben Um Nyobé, was violently repressed over a two-year period, with perhaps as many as 100 people killed. However, France formally relinquished its protectorate over Morocco and granted it independence in 1956.

French involvement in Algeria stretched back a century. The movements of Ferhat Abbas and Messali Hadj had marked the period between the two world wars, but both sides radicalised after the Second World War. In 1945, the Union of the Peoples of Cameroon's insurrection, which started in 1955 and headed by Ruben Um Nyobé, was violently repressed over a two-year period, with perhaps as many as 100 people killed. However, France formally relinquished its protectorate over Morocco and granted it independence in 1956.

French involvement in Algeria stretched back a century. The movements of Ferhat Abbas and Messali Hadj had marked the period between the two world wars, but both sides radicalised after the Second World War. In 1945, the Sétif massacre was carried out by the French army. The Algerian War started in 1954. Atrocities characterized both sides, and the number killed became highly controversial estimates that were made for propaganda purposes.[102] Algeria was a three-way conflict due to the large number of "pieds-noirs" (Europeans who had settled there in the 125 years of French rule). The political crisis in France caused the collapse of the Fourth Republic, as Charles de Gaulle returned to power in 1958 and finally pulled the French soldiers and settlers out of Algeria by 1962.[103][104]

The French Union was replaced in the Constitution of 1958 by the French Community. Only Guinea refused by referendum to take part in the new colonial organisation. However, the French Community dissolved itself in the midst of the Algerian War; almost all of the other African colonies were granted independence in 1960, following local referendums. Some few colonies chose instead to remain part of France, under the status of overseas départements (territories). Critics of neocolonialism claimed that the Françafrique had replaced formal direct rule. They argued that while de Gaulle was granting independence on one hand, he was creating new ties with the help of Jacques Foccart, his counsellor for African matters. Foccart supported in particular the Nigerian Civil War during the late 1960s.[105]

Robert Aldrich argues that with Algerian independence in 1962, it appeared that the Empire practically had come to an end, as the remaining colonies were quite small and lacked active nationalist movements. However, there was trouble in French Somaliland (Djibouti), which became independent in 1977. There also were complications and delays in the New Hebrides Vanuatu, which was the last to gain independence in 1980. New Caledonia remains a special case under French suzerainty.[106] The Indian Ocean island of Mayotte voted in referendum in 1974 to retain its link with France and forgo independence.[107]

French census statistics from 1931 show an imperial population, outside of France itself, of 64.3 million people living on 11.9 million square kilometers. Of the total population, 39.1 million lived in Africa and 24.5 million lived in Asia; 700,000 lived in the Caribbean area or islands in the South Pacific. The largest colonies were Indochina with 21.5 million (in five separate colonies), Algeria with 6.6 million, Morocco, with 5.4 million, and West Africa with 14.6 million in nine colonies. The total includes 1.9 million Europeans, and 350,000 "assimilated" natives.[108]

French Empire 1919-1939.pngHuguenots in British or Dutch colonies. France generally had close to the slowest natural population growth in Europe, and emigration pressures were therefore quite small. A small but significant emigration, numbering only in the tens of thousands, of mainly Roman Catholic French populations led to the settlement of the provinces of Acadia, Canada and Louisiana, both (at the time) French possessions, as well as colonies in the West Indies, Mascarene islands and Africa. In New France, Huguenots were banned from settling in the territory, and Quebec was one of the most staunchly Catholic areas in the world until the Quiet Revolution. The current French Canadian population, which numbers in the millions, is descended almost entirely from New France's small settler population.

On 31 December 1687 a community of French Huguenots settled in South Africa. Most of these originally settled in the Cape Colony, but have since been quickly absorbed into the Afrikaner population. After Champlain's founding of Quebec City in 1608, it became the capital of New France. Encouraging settlement was difficult, and while some immigration did occur, by 1763 New France only had a population of some 65,000.[111]

In 1787, there were 30,000 white colonists on France's colony of Saint-Domingue. In 1804 Dessalines, the first ruler of an independent Haiti (St. Domingue), ordered the massacre of whites remaining on the island.[112] Out of the 40,000 inhabitants on Guadeloupe, at the end of the 17th century, there were more than 26,000 blacks and 9,000 whites.[113] Bill Marshall wrote, "The first French effort to colonize Guiana, in 1763, failed utterly when tropical diseases and climate killed all but 2,000 of the initial 12,000 settlers."[114]

French law made it easy for thousands of colons, ethnic or national French from former colonies of North and West Africa, India and Indochina to live in mainland France. It is estimated that 20,000 colons were living in Saigon in 1945. 1.6 million European pieds noirs migrated from Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.[115] In just a few months in 1962, 900,000 French Algerians left Algeria in the largest relocation of population in Europe since World War II.[citation needed] In the 1970s, over 30,000 French colons left Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge regime as the Pol Pot government confiscated their farms and land properties. In

On 31 December 1687 a community of French Huguenots settled in South Africa. Most of these originally settled in the Cape Colony, but have since been quickly absorbed into the Afrikaner population. After Champlain's founding of Quebec City in 1608, it became the capital of New France. Encouraging settlement was difficult, and while some immigration did occur, by 1763 New France only had a population of some 65,000.[111]

In 1787, there were 30,000 white colonists on France's colony of Saint-Domingue. In 1804 Dessalines, the first ruler of an independent Haiti (St. Domingue), ordered the massacre of whites remaining on the island.[112] Out of the 40,000 inhabitants on Guadeloupe, at the end of the 17th century, there were more than 26,000 blacks and 9,000 whites.[113] Bill Marshall wrote, "The first French effort to colonize Guiana, in 1763, failed utterly when tropical diseases and climate killed all but 2,000 of the initial 12,000 settlers."[114]

French law made it easy for thousands of colons, ethnic or national French from former colonies of North and West Africa, India and Indochina to live in mainland France. It is estimated that 20,000 colons were living in Saigon in 1945. 1.6 million European pieds noirs migrated from Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.[115] In just a few months in 1962, 900,000 French Algerians left Algeria in the largest relocation of population in Europe since World War II.[citation needed] In the 1970s, over 30,000 French colons left Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge regime as the Pol Pot government confiscated their farms and land properties. In November 2004, several thousand of the estimated 14,000 French nationals in Ivory Coast left the country after days of anti-white violence.[116]

Apart from French-Canadians (Québécois and Acadians), Cajuns, and Métis other populations of French ancestry outside metropolitan France include the Caldoches of New Caledonia, the so-called Zoreilles, Petits-blancs with the Franco-Mauritian of various Indian Ocean islands and the Beke people of the French West Indies.