List of French possessions and colonies

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Map of all French possessions and colonies

During the 19th and 20th centuries, the French colonial empire was one of the largest in the world, behind the British Empire, the Russian Empire and the Spanish Empire; it extended over 12,898,000 km2 (4,980,000 sq mi) of land at its height in the 1920s and 1930s. The French colonial empire was the largest empire in the 17th century and the second largest empire in 1929. Including metropolitan France, the total amount of land under French sovereignty reached 13,018,575 km² (5,020,000 sq. miles) in 1929, which is 8.7% of the Earth's total land area. Also including Fezzan, captured by Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque for Charles de Gaulle during the Second World War, it reached 13,518,575 km2 (5,219,551 sq mi), which is 9% of the Earth's total land area. The French colonial empire's influence made French a widely spoken colonial European language, along with English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

France began to establish colonies in North America, the Caribbean and India, following Spanish and Portuguese successes during the Age of Discovery, in rivalry with Britain for supremacy. A series of wars with Britain during the 18th century and early 19th century, which France lost, ended its colonial ambitions in these regions, and with it what some historians term the "first" French colonial empire. In the 19th century, France established a new empire in Africa and South East Asia. Some of these colonies lasted beyond the invasion and occupation of France by Nazi Germany during World War II. At present, France possesses the second-largest exclusive economic zone in the world, just after the USA; it measures approximately 11,351,000 km2 (4,383,000 sq mi).

Here is a list of all the countries 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.

In Europe[edit]

The 130 French Départements in 1811
Illyrian Provinces
Flag of French Protectorate of Saar
1914 albania en.svg

In the Americas[edit]

This map shows the Louisiana Purchase area, which corresponds approximately with colonial French Louisiana.
Map of New France
Taking up of the Louisiana by La Salle in the name of the Kingdom of France

In Africa[edit]

The pith helmet (in this case, of the Second French Empire) is an icon of colonialism in tropical lands
Map of French colonies in Africa (in pink)
French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, who, without a shot, acquired territory which included the Gabon, Central African Republic and Republic of the Congo

French North Africa[edit]

French West Africa[edit]

French Equatorial Africa[edit]

French East Africa[edit]

In Asia[edit]

Map Of French Colony in India
Zones of French and British influence and control established by the Sykes-Picot Agreement

In Oceania[edit]

French flags in Polynesia
Flag of Anglo-French joint Naval
Flag of the Alo/Tu`a chiefdom
Flag of the Sigave chiefdom
Flag of the ʻUvea chiefdom

In Antarctica[edit]

Territory claim by France in Antarctic (Adélie Land)


See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Maisons de Victor Hugo". Paris.fr. Retrieved 2011-03-26. 
  2. ^ Google Books
  3. ^ "domaines français de Sainte-Hélène". Domfrance.helanta.sh. Retrieved 2011-03-26. 
  4. ^ "Ambassade de France près le Saint-Siège | Les Pieux Établissements". France-vatican.org. Retrieved 2011-03-26. 
  5. ^ http://webtice.ac-guyane.fr/histgeo/IMG/pdf/le_conteste_franco-bresilien-4.pdf
  6. ^ http://www.minefe.gouv.fr/fonds_documentaire/notes_bleues/nbb/nbb270/entente_cordiale.pdf
  7. ^ "Guerre d'Algérie (1954-1962), prélude à la guerre d'Algérie" by bernard CROCHET and Gérard PIOUFFRE
  8. ^ a b "Isc - Cfhm - Ihcc". Stratisc.org. Retrieved 2011-03-26. 
  9. ^ "Domaines nationaux - Consulat Général de France à Jérusalem". Consulfrance-Jerusalem.org. Retrieved 2011-03-26. 
  10. ^ http://expositions.bnf.fr/veo/reperes/index.htm
  11. ^ http://www.tahitiheritage.pf/fiche-drapeau-de-rurutu-24163.htm
  12. ^ "Consulter le sujet - L'Australie serait-elle française ?!... • [Forums". Francedownunder.com. Retrieved 2011-03-26. 
  13. ^ "TAAF". Taaf.fr. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  14. ^ "Kerguelen – yves trémarec – james cook – asia – hillsborough – rhodes". Kerguelen-voyages.com. 

External links[edit]