Upper Senegal and Niger
|Upper Senegal and Niger|
|Haut Sénégal et Niger|
|Colony in French West Africa|
A map of Upper Senegal and Niger circa 1911 from the Encyclopædia Britannica
|Political structure||Colony in French West Africa|
|Currency||French West African franc|
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".
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.
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). On 1 January 1912, the military territory of Niger was split off from Upper Senegal and Niger, and became its own 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. This was the most significant armed opposition to colonial authority organized anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa in the period preceding World War II.
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:
- Colony of Niger
- French Upper Volta, formed from the cercles of Gaoua, Bobo-Dioulasso, Dédougou, Ouagadougou, Dori, Say, and Fada N'Gourma;
- French Sudan (present-day Mali), was formed later on 1 January 1921 with the remaining territory, implementing the decree of 4 December 1920, "For the Denomination of the Colonies and Territories Composing the General Government of French West Africa."
- 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)
- 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
- 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.
- 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)
- 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 image)
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