French colonial empire

French colonial empire 17th century-20th century
Map of the first (green) and second (blue) French colonial empires
The French colonial empire in the Americas comprised New France (including Canada and Louisiana), French West Indies (including Saint-Domingue, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Dominica, St. Lucia, Grenada, Tobago and other islands) and French Guiana.
French North America was known as 'Nouvelle France' or New France.
1767 Louis XV Colonies Françoises (West Indies) 12 Diniers copper Sous (w/1793 "RF" counterstamp)
Arrival of Marshal Randon in Algiers in 1857 by Ernest Francis Vacherot
French and other European settlements in Colonial India
The British invasion of Martinique in 1809
Animated map showing the growth and decline of the first and second French colonial empires
Queen Pōmare IV in 1860. Tahiti was made a French protectorate in 1842, and annexed as a colony of France in 1880.
The last photograph of Napoleon III (1872)
French trading post on Gorée, an island offshore of Senegal
The French expedition in Syria led by General Beaufort d'Hautpoul, landing in Beyrouth on 16 August 1860
The French conquest of Algeria
The Presidential Palace of Vietnam, in Hanoi, was built between 1900 and 1906 to house the French Governor-General of Indochina.
Central and east Africa, 1898, during the Fashoda Incident
The captured rebels of Raiatea, 1897
Comparison of Africa in the years 1880 and 1913
French colonial troops, led by Colonel Alfred-Amédée Dodds, a Senegalese mulatto, conquered and annexed Dahomey in 1894.
The gradual loss of all Vichy territory to Free France and the Allies by 1943. [[:File:Vichy france map.png|Legend.]]
Captured French soldiers from Dien Bien Phu, escorted by Vietnamese troops, walk to a prisoner-of-war camp
Capture of Saigon by Charles Rigault de Genouilly on 18 February 1859, painted by Antoine Morel-Fatio
Napoleon III receiving the Siamese embassy at the palace of Fontainebleau in 1864
Map of the first (green) and second (blue) French colonial empires

The French colonial empire (Empire colonial français) comprised the overseas colonies, protectorates and mandate territories that came under French rule from the 16th century onward.

- French colonial empire

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French Union

The French Union (Union française) was a political entity created by the French Fourth Republic to replace the old French colonial empire system, colloquially known as the "French Empire" (Empire français).

Free France

Political entity that claimed to be the legitimate government of France following the dissolution of the French Third Republic.

Political entity that claimed to be the legitimate government of France following the dissolution of the French Third Republic.

See [[:File:Vichy france map.png#Summary|map legend]] for color descriptions;sky blue = colonies under the control of Free France after Operation Torch
Commemorative medal for voluntary service in Free France
See [[:File:Vichy france map.png#Summary|map legend]] for color descriptions;sky blue = colonies under the control of Free France after Operation Torch
Charles de Gaulle was an armoured division commander and a minister in the Reynaud government during the Battle of France.
In Occupied France during the war, reproductions of the 18 June appeal were distributed through underground means as pamphlets and plastered on walls as posters by supporters of the Résistance. This could be a dangerous activity.
Emile Fayolle, pilot of the Free French Air Force, during the Battle of Britain
The Free French naval jack and French naval honour jack.
The argent rhomboid field is defaced with a gules Lorraine cross, the emblem of the Free French.
The Free French memorial on Lyle Hill, Greenock, overlooks Gourock, Scotland.
A very modern commissioned in 1937, was potentially a quite substantial threat to British control of the sealanes were she to fall into Axis hands.
Submarine . With 22 ships sunk (12 of them German men-of-war) on 22 operational patrols, she achieved the highest kill number of the FNFL.
A Chadian soldier fighting for Free France
De Gaulle meeting Félix Éboué in Chad
Insigna of the Free French Forces in the Far East (French Indochina), Langlade Mission
The fall of Damascus to the Allies, late June 1941. A car carrying Free French commanders General Georges Catroux and General Paul Louis Le Gentilhomme enters the city, escorted by French Circassian cavalry (Gardes Tcherkess).
The FFF's tenacious defence at Bir Hakeim prevented Rommel's attempted flanking manoeuvre at El Alamein from succeeding.
Free French Foreign Legionnaires "leap up from the desert to rush an enemy strong point", Bir Hacheim, 12 June 1942.
Operation Torch landings in Morocco and Algeria
Henri Giraud and de Gaulle during the Casablanca Conference in January 1943. Churchill and Roosevelt are in the background.
FAFL Normandie-Niemen Yak-3 preserved at the Paris Le Bourget museum
Picture of Jean Moulin and his iconic scarf. He was probably tortured to death by Klaus Barbie personally.
Charles de Gaulle speaks as president of interim government to the population of Cherbourg from the city hall's balcony on 20 August 1944
The Western Front in 1944
Leclerc's 2nd Armoured Division (2e DB) parading down the Champs Elysées on 26 August 1944, the day after the Liberation of Paris
A plaque commemorating the Oath of Kufra in near the cathedral of Strasbourg
Allied Occupation Zones in Germany in 1946 after territorial annexations in the East

Free France also supported the resistance in Nazi-occupied France, known as the French Forces of the Interior, and gained strategic footholds in several French colonies in Africa.

Overseas France

Flag of the Minister of Overseas France
frameless

Overseas France (France d'outre-mer) consists of thirteen French-administered territories outside Europe, mostly the remains of the French colonial empire that chose to remain a part of the French state under various statuses after decolonization.

Knowledge of French in the European Union and candidate countries

French language

Romance language of the Indo-European family.

Romance language of the Indo-European family.

Knowledge of French in the European Union and candidate countries
Distribution of native French speakers in 6 countries in 2021
French language spread in the United States. Counties marked in lighter pink are those where 6–12% of the population speaks French at home; medium pink, 12–18%; darker pink, over 18%. French-based creole languages are not included.
Town sign in Standard Arabic and French at the entrance of Rechmaya in Lebanon
A 500-CFP franc (€4.20; US$5.00) banknote, used in French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna
Varieties of the French language in the world

Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole.

Map of North America (1656–1750). France in blue, Great Britain in pink and purple, and Spain in orange.

French colonization of the Americas

Map of North America (1656–1750). France in blue, Great Britain in pink and purple, and Spain in orange.
Portrait of Jacques Cartier by Théophile Hamel, arr. 1844
Governor Frontenac performing a tribal dance with Indian allies
Map of French Florida
Political map of the Northeastern part of North America in 1664.
A new map of the north parts of America claimed by France in 1720, according to the London cartographer Herman Moll.
Louisiana before 1736
In Weigel's map (1719) intended to promote sales of the Mississippi Company in Germany; most of the present-day United States appears under the name "Louisiana".
Saint-Domingue slave revolt in 1791
French Guiana located in the South American continent.

France began colonizing the Americas in the 16th century and continued on into the following centuries as it established a colonial empire in the Western Hemisphere.

Resistance leader Charles de Gaulle speaking from the balcony at Cherbourg City Hall, 20 August 1944

Liberation of France

Accomplished through diplomacy, politics and the combined military efforts of the Allied Powers, Free French forces in London and Africa, as well as the French Resistance.

Accomplished through diplomacy, politics and the combined military efforts of the Allied Powers, Free French forces in London and Africa, as well as the French Resistance.

Resistance leader Charles de Gaulle speaking from the balcony at Cherbourg City Hall, 20 August 1944
Occupied France during World War II, showing German and Italian occupation zones, the zone occupée, the zone libre, the Military Administration in Belgium and Northern France, annexed Alsace-Lorraine, the zone interdite, and the Atlantic Wall
Philippe Pétain meeting Hitler on 24 October 1940. Ribbentrop on the right.
Poster of the 18 June appeal distributed in Occupied France through underground means as pamphlets and plastered on walls as posters by supporters of the Résistance.
Generals Eisenhower and Bradley with a young member of the French resistance during the liberation of Lower Normandy in summer 1944
Monument to Jean Moulin, leader of the Resistance
French colonial empire
Charles de Gaulle broadcasting from the BBC in London in 1941
Félix Éboué welcoming de Gaulle to Chad in October 1940
De Gaulle with Admiral Philippe de Scitivaux, pilot René Mouchotte, and Air Force general Martial Henri Valin
At a committee meeting in London: left to right Diethelm, Muselier, de Gaulle, Cassin, Pleven and Auboyneau (1942)
General Giraud with General Dwight D. Eisenhower at Allied headquarters in Algiers, 1943
Henri Giraud and de Gaulle
First page of La Dépêche algérienne headlining the creation of the French Committee of National Liberation 4 June1943
Inaugural session of the Provisional Consultative Assembly in the presence of General de Gaulle. Palais Carnot, Algiers, November 3, 1943
A Free French soldier from French Chad, recipient of the Croix de Guerre
Members of the Maquis, 14 September 1944
The "Big Three" (Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill) at the Tehran Conference
The gradual loss of all Vichy territory to Free France and the Allies by 1943.[[[:File:Vichy france map.png|legend]]]
American soldiers land near Algiers. The soldier at the dune line is carrying a flag because it was hoped the French would be less likely to fire on Americans.
British troops after landing at Algiers in November 1942
US B-25 bomber at Solenzara Air Base in Corsica in late 1944.
British troops wading ashore at La Breche, Normandy, France 6 June 1944
Vast amounts of men and equipment were landed on the Normandy beaches
Parade on the Champs Elysees, 26 August 1944 after Liberation
Armored vehicles of the 2nd Armored Division fighting at the Palais Garnier, a German tank in flames (Aug 25)
De Gaulle and his entourage stroll down the Champs Élysées on August 26
U.S. 28th Infantry Division in the "Victory Day" parade on 29 August
The Operation Dragoon invasion fleet on the French Riviera
Allied invasion of southern France in Operation Dragoon
Jean de Lattre de Tassigny walking through the liberated city of Marseille
British infantry of the 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment crossing the Seine at Vernon, 28 August 1944.
French Army armored car which participated in the liberation of La Rochelle in 1945. Musée d'Orbigny-Bernon
Journal American of 7 May 1945 announcing Victory in Europe (Musée de la Reddition)
The Vichy government moved to the castle in Sigmaringen, Germany
French women accused of collaboration with the enemy during the occupation are led through the streets of Paris barefoot, and with their heads shaved.
Emblem of the Provisional Government of the French Republic (1944)
Council of Ministers of the Provisional Government meeting in Paris, 2 November 1945
Campaign poster for Charles de Gaulle's RPF party: "We can overcome this; My fellow French citizens, vote for the Rassemblement du Peuple Français slate". Lithograph, Paris, 1944–1947
Deportation of Jews during the Marseille roundup, 23 January 1943

Efforts to liberate France began in the autumn of 1940 in France's colonial empire in Africa, still in the hands of the Vichy regime.

Jules Ferry

French statesman and republican philosopher.

French statesman and republican philosopher.

André Gill's cartoon on Ferry, where he eats a gingerbread priest (1878)
Portrait of Ferry by Léon Bonnat

Two important works are associated with his administration: the non-clerical organization of public education, and the major colonial expansion of France.

Louisiana (New France)

Administrative district of New France.

Administrative district of New France.

New France before the Treaty of Utrecht
The Mississippi River basin and tributaries
New France before the Treaty of Utrecht
Lower Louisiana in the white area – the pink represents Canada – part of Canada below the great lakes was ceded to Louisiana in 1717. Brown represents British colonies (map before 1736)
A new map of the north parts of America claimed by France under the names of Louisiana in 1720 by Herman Moll
A map of Louisiana by Christoph Weigel, published in 1734
Jacques Marquette
Map of New France (blue color) in 1750, before the French and Indian War (1754 to 1763), that was part of the Seven Years' War
Jean-Baptiste Colbert
Map of North America during the 17th century
Saint Louis Cathedral in New Orleans
The Code Noir, which was applied in Louisiana during the 18th century and, later, with some modifications, in the West Indies
Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville, governor of Louisiana in the early 17th century
French unmarried women transported to Louisiana as brides for the colonists
A coureur des bois
Eugène Delacroix, Les Natchez, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1832–1835. The Natchez tribe were the fiercest opponents of the French in Louisiana.
Profile of an American trapper (Missouri)
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The Louisiana Purchase territory
Map of current U.S. states that were completely or mostly inside the borders of post-1764 colonial Louisiana at the time of Louisiana Purchase

The earliest settlers of Upper Louisiana mostly came from French Canada, while Lower Louisiana was colonized by people from all over the French colonial empire, with various waves coming from Canada, France, and the French West Indies.

Generic "black feet" emblem used by post-independence Pied-Noir associations.

Pied-Noir

The Pieds-Noirs (, 'Black Feet'), singular Pied-Noir, are the people of French and other European descent who were born in Algeria during the period of French rule from 1830 to 1962, the vast majority of whom departed for mainland France as soon as Algeria gained independence or in the months following.

The Pieds-Noirs (, 'Black Feet'), singular Pied-Noir, are the people of French and other European descent who were born in Algeria during the period of French rule from 1830 to 1962, the vast majority of whom departed for mainland France as soon as Algeria gained independence or in the months following.

Generic "black feet" emblem used by post-independence Pied-Noir associations.
Bombardment of Algeria by Admiral Duperré's forces in 1830
Zouaves embarking at Algiers for Tonkin, January 1885
Four children in a wagon pulled by two donkeys, circa 1905. The first Pieds-Noirs were the French Army of Africa personnel's children.
Map of French Algeria
Notre-Dame d'Afrique, a church built by the French Pieds-Noirs in Algeria
Non-Muslim proportion of population in 1954 by département (post-1957 administrative division). White: less than 2% non-Muslim; light blue: 2-5%; mid-blue: 5-10%; dark blue: 10-30%; black: greater than 30% non-Muslim population
An Algerian Jew, c. late 19th-early 20th century
Algiers: Muslim quarters (green), European quarters (brown), FLN attacks
Minister of Justice Adolphe Crémieux's decrees of October 24, 1870 granted automatic French citizenship to French Algeria's Sephardic Jews. In contrast, Muslims and 3-year resident European foreigners had to have reached the age of majority (21) to apply.
Albert Camus in 1957
Flag proposed by Jean-Paul Gavino<ref>{{Cite web |title=fotw |url=https://www.fotw.info/flags/fr%7Ddzfr.html}}</ref>
Tricolore flag with two black feet<ref>{{Cite web |title=fotw |url=https://www.fotw.info/flags/fr%7Ddzfr.html}}</ref>
Flag of the USDIFRA using pied-noir symbolism
État Pied-Noir flag to the claim sovereignty and nationhood.

For more than a century France maintained colonial rule in Algerian territory.

French Indochina

Map of French Indochina, excluding Guangzhouwan
Expansion of French Indochina (violet)
The emblem and seal of the Government-General.
Map of French Indochina, excluding Guangzhouwan
Siamese Army troops in the disputed territory of Laos in 1893
The Presidential Palace, in Hanoi, built between 1900 and 1906 to house the Governor-General of Indochina
Occupation of Trat by French troops in 1904
French Indochina around 1933
A propaganda painting in Hanoi, 1942
Members of the 1st Foreign Parachute Heavy Mortar Company during the Indochina War
Indochina in 1954
Indochina in 1891 (from Le Monde illustré)
The Cathédrale Saint-Joseph de Hanoï, inspired by Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
Subdivisions of French Indochina
Paul Doumer Bridge, now Long Biên Bridge.
Musée Louis Finot in Hanoi, built by Ernest Hébrard in 1932, now the National Museum of Vietnamese History

French Indochina (previously spelled as French Indo-China), officially known as the Indochinese Union and after 1947 as the Indochinese Federation, was a grouping of French colonial territories in Southeast Asia until its demise in 1954.