Upper Senegal and Niger

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Upper Senegal and Niger

Haut Sénégal et Niger
1904 (1904)–1921 (1921)
A map of Upper Senegal and Niger circa 1911 from the Encyclopædia Britannica
A map of Upper Senegal and Niger circa 1911 from the Encyclopædia Britannica
StatusColony in French West Africa
CapitalBamako
Common languagesFrench
History 
• Established
1904 (1904)
• Disestablished
1921 (1921)
CurrencyFrench West African franc
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Senegambia and Niger
French Upper Volta
French Sudan
Colony of Niger
Today part of Burkina Faso
 Mali
 Niger

Upper Senegal and Niger (French: Haut Sénégal et Niger) was a colony in French West Africa, created on 21 October 1904 from colonial Senegambia and Niger by the decree "For the Reorganisation of the general government of French West Africa".[1]

At its creation, the "Colony of Upper Senegal and Niger" contained the old territories of Upper Senegal, the Middle Niger, and the military Niger territory. Its capital was Bamako.

History[edit]

From early on Upper Senegal and Niger was wracked by violence in the face of colonial reorganization and taxation. Most notable were the Kobkitanda rebellion, led by the blind cleric Alfa Saibou, and the Karma revolt (December 1905–March 1906) of Oumarou Karma. The latter engulfed much of the Niger valley and was suppressed by four French columns arriving from Dori, Gao, Tahoua, and Zinder.[2]

A decree of 2 March 1907 added the cercles of Fada N'gourma and Say, which had been part of the colony of French Dahomey (present day Benin).[3] On 1 January 1912, the military territory of Niger was split off from Upper Senegal and Niger,[4] and was erected into a colony in 1922.

Between November 1915 and February 1917, the Colony of Upper Senegal and Niger witnessed vastly popular, temporarily successful, and sustained armed opposition to colonial government in its western Volta region, which is referred to as the Volta-Bani War. It challenged colonial government authority for more than a year in an area stretching from Koudougou (in present-day Burkina Faso) in the east, to the banks of the Bani River (present day Mali) in the west.[5] This was the most significant armed opposition to colonial authority organized anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa in the period preceding World War II.

Division[edit]

After World War I ended, the unsuspected success of this resistance movement caused the French authorities to issue the decree "Concerning the Division of the Colony of Upper Senegal and Niger and the Creation of the Colony of Upper Volta" of 1 March 1919, which divided the colony into two distinct units:[6]

  • French Upper Volta, formed from the cercles of Gaoua, Bobo-Dioulasso, Dédougou, Ouagadougou, Dori, Say, and Fada N'Gourma;
  • the remaining territory – present-day Mali – was still called "Upper Senegal and Niger" until it was renamed "French Sudan" on 1 January 1921, implementing the decree of 4 December 1920, "For the Denomination of the Colonies and Territories Composing the General Government of French West Africa."[7]

Stamps[edit]

Camel and rider design on 1-centime stamp from 1914.

The colony of Upper Senegal and Niger is perhaps remembered most often by philatelists, since it issued a number of postage stamps during its existence.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Decree of 18 October 1904 portant réorganisation du Gouvernement général de l'Afrique occidentale française, published in the Official Journal of the French Republic on 21 October 1904 (Online)
  2. ^ Idrissa, Abdourahmane (1 June 2012). Historical Dictionary of Niger. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  3. ^ Decree of 2 March 1907, rattachant à la colonie du Haut-Sénégal et Niger les cercles de N'Gourma et Say, published in the Official Journal of the French Republic on 7 March 1907 (Online)
  4. ^ Decree 7 September 1911, rattachant le territoire militaire du Niger au gouvernement général de l'Afrique occidentale française, published in the Official Journal of the French Republic on 12 Septembre 1911 (Online)
  5. ^ Saul, Mahir; Patrick Royer (2001). West African Challenge to Empire: Culture and History in the Volta-Bani Anticolonial War. Western African studies. Ohio University Press. ISBN 0-82141-413-5.
  6. ^ Decree of 1 March 1919, portant division de la colonie du Haut-Sénégal et Niger et création de la colonie de Haute-Volta, published in the Official Journal of the French Republic on 20 May 1919 (Online)
  7. ^ Decree of 4 December 1920, portant dénomination des colonies et territoires composant le Gouvernement général de l'Afrique occidentale française, published in the Official Journal of the French Republic on 9 December 1920 (Online)

Coordinates: 12°38′45″N 7°59′32″W / 12.6458°N 7.9922°W / 12.6458; -7.9922