List of French possessions and colonies

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This is an historical article. For current French possessions see French overseas departments and territories

During the 19th and 20th centuries, the French colonial empire was the second largest colonial empire behind the British Empire ; it extended over 12,898,000 km2 (4,980,000 sq mi) of land at its height in the 1920s and 1930s. In terms of population however, on the eve of World War II, France and her colonial possessions totaled only 110 million inhabitants, compared to 330 million for British India alone.

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. A series of wars with Britain during the 18th century and early 19th century, which France finally lost, almost ended its colonial ambitions in these regions, and without it what some historian term the "first" French colonial empire. In the 19th century, starting with the conquest of Algier in 1830, France began to establish a new empire in Africa and South East Asia.

The following 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.

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)
Italian-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. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  2. ^ "Domaines nationaux - Consulat Général de France à Jérusalem". Archived from the original on 2010-09-11. Retrieved 2011-03-26. 
  3. ^ "BnF - Voyage en Orient". Retrieved 23 September 2017. 
  4. ^ "Drapeau de Rurutu - Tahiti Heritage". Retrieved 23 September 2017. 
  5. ^ "Consulter le sujet - L'Australie serait-elle française ?!... • [Forums". Retrieved 2011-03-26. 
  6. ^ Godard, Philippe; Kerros, Tugdual de; Margot, Odette; Stanbury, Myra; Baxter, Sue; Western Australian Museum; Godard, Phillippe; De Kerros, Tugdual; Margot, Odette; Stanbury, Myra; Baxter, Sue (2008), 1772 : the French annexation of New Holland : the tale of Louis de Saint Aloürn, Western Australian Museum, ISBN 978-1-920843-98-4 
  7. ^ Philippe Godard, Tugdual de Kerros 2002, "Louis de Saint Aloüarn, un marin breton à la conquête des terres australes", Les Portes du large, Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande, 331-336
  8. ^ "TAAF". Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  9. ^ "Kerguelen – yves trémarec – james cook – asia – hillsborough – rhodes". Archived from the original on 2013-10-02. 

External links[edit]