Evolution of the French Empire

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The French colonial empire was the set of territories outside Europe that were under French rule from the 17th century to the late 1970s. In terms of land area, the empire extended to over 13,000,000 km² (4,767,000 sq. miles) at its peak, towards the beginning of the 20th century.

French Empire 17th century-20th century.png

Here is a list of all that were part of the French colonial empires in the last 500 years, either entirely or in part, either under French sovereignty or as mandate or protectorate. When only a part of the country was under French rule, that part is listed in parentheses after the country. When there are no parentheses, it means the whole country was formerly part of any one of the French colonial empires. Countries listed are those where French sovereignty applied effectively. Areas that were only claimed, but not effectively controlled (such as Manhattan or Western Australia) are not listed.

"1st" means the country/territory was part of the first French colonial empire. "2nd" means the country/territory was part of the second French colonial empire. "Now" means this is a territory still part of the French Republic today.

The Americas[edit]

North America[edit]

Main article: New France


South America[edit]

(see France Antarctique and France Équinoxiale)


North Africa[edit]

Name of territory Dates Status Comments
Algeria 1830 Colony
1848 annexed to France
1962 Independent
Morocco 1912 protectorate
1956 Independent
Tunisia 1881 protectorate
1956 Independent

West Africa[edit]

Equatorial Africa[edit]

Indian Ocean[edit]

Red Sea[edit]


Middle East[edit]

South Asia[edit]

East Asia[edit]

South East Asia[edit]


Antarctic Ocean[edit]