Although, through alliances with various Native American tribes, the French were able to exert a loose control over much of the North American continent, areas of French settlement were generally limited to the St. Lawrence River valley. Global map which shows the First French Colonial Empire in light blue, the second in dark blue. These wars were the War of the Austrian Succession (1744-1748), the Seven Years War (1756-1763), the War of the American Revolution (1778-1783), and the French Revolutionary (1793-1802) and Napoleonic (1803-1815) Wars. In 1664 the French East India Company was established to compete for trade in the east. The French made their last major colonial gains after the First World War, when they gained mandates over the former Turkish territories that make up what is now Syria and Lebanon, as well as most of the former German colonies of Togo and Cameroon. Early French attemp… The French colonial empire began to fall apart during the Second World War, when various parts of their empire were occupied by foreign powers (Japan in Indochina, Britain in Syria and Lebanon, the US and Britain in Morocco and Algeria, Germany in Tunisia). Colonies were also founded in the Indian Ocean, on the Île de Bourbon (Réunion, 1664), Île Royale (Mauritius, 1718), and the Seychelles (1756). A distinction is generally made [by whom?] That ended the period of the French Consulate and of the French First Republic. The French Union, included in the 1946 Constitution of 1946, replaced the former colonial Empire. The French colonial empire constituted the overseas colonies, protectorates and mandate territories that came under French rule from the 16th century onward. In a more general sense, the French Empire described France's colonies and dominions overseas. Early French victories exported many ideological features of the French Revolution throughout Europe: the introduction of the Napoleonic Code throughout the continent increased legal equality, established jury systems and legalised divorce, and seigneurial dues and seigneurial justice were abolished, as were aristocratic privileges in all places except Poland. French ambitions in the New World were first limited to the looting of the Spanish and Portuguese galleons laden with gold and spices. During Napoleon's early career, Egypt was also conquered for a brief period, but French rule there only extended to the immediate area around the Nile. The second colonial empire, constructed in the late 19th Century, began in earnest after the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. It is only after the arrival of intendant Jean Talon that France gave its American colonies the proper means to develop population colonies comparable to that of the British. In 1849, French concession in Shanghai was established, which existed until 1946. These territories were Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan (now Mali ), French Guinea (now Guinea ), Ivory Coast, Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), Dahomey (now Benin) and Niger. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the French colonial empire was one of the largest in the world, just behind the Spanish Empire and later the British Empire ; it extended over 12,898,000 km 2 (4,980,000 sq mi) of land at its height in the 1920s and 1930s. In 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte was confronted by Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès—one of five Directors constituting the executive branch of the French government—who sought his support for a coup d'état to overthrow the Constitution of the Year III. The eastern half of Hispaniola also came under French rule for a short period, after being given to France by Spain shortly after the loss of Saint-Domingue to France by the Haitian Revolution. Although France had already established a colonial empire overseas since the early 17th century, the French state had remained a kingdom under the Bourbons and a republic after the French Revolution. French dominance was reaffirmed during the War of the Fourth Coalition, at the Battle of Jena–Auerstedt in 1806 and the Battle of Friedland in 1807.He was defeated during the 1815 battle of Waterloo. The true beginnings of the second French colonial empire, however, were laid in 1830 with the French invasion of Algeria, which was conquered over the next 17 years (see French rule in Algeria). The plot included Bonaparte's brother Lucien, then serving as speaker of the Council of Five Hundred, Roger Ducos, another Director, and Talleyrand. (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). Theme images by Josh Peterson. As the French empire in North America expanded, the French also began to build a smaller, but more profitable empire in the West Indies. Local Resistance by the indigenous peoples resulted in the Carib Expulsion of 1660. The extensive trading network throughout the region connected to Canada through the Great Lakes and was maintained through a vast system of fortifications, much of them centered in the Illinois Country and in present-day Arkansas. The French colonial empire constituted the overseas colonies, protectorates and mandate territories that came under French rule from the 17th century onward. Yet Napoleon’s realms were dwarfed by the Second French Colonial Empire, which reached its peak in 1920, controlling roughly 8.5 % of the world’s landmasses. Western colonialism - Western colonialism - The French: France probably could have become the leading European colonial power in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the colonial empire of France was the second-largest in the world behind the British Empire. The slaves, led eventually by Toussaint l'Ouverture and then, following his capture by the French in 1801, by Jean-Jacques Dessalines, held their own against French, Spanish, and British opponents, and ultimately achieved independence as Haiti in 1804. From the 16th to the 17th centuries, the First French colonial empire stretched from a total area at its peak in 1680 to over 10,000,000 square kilometres (3,900,000 sq mi), the second largest empire in the world at the time behind only the … Québec became the capital of the colony of New France, which thrived mostly on the fur trade. Powered by. It might be outdated or ideologically biased. True disaster came to what remained of France's colonial empire in 1791 when Saint Domingue, France's richest and most important colony, was riven by a massive slave revolt, caused partly by the divisions among the islands elite resulting from the French Revolution of 1789. After independence, some of France's former colonies continued to participate in the French Union, and later in the French Community, nurturing to varying extents political, economic and cultural ties with their former colonial power. He thus became the most powerful person in France, a power that was increased by the Constitution of the Year X, which made him First Consul for life. Acadia itself was lost to the British in the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. The modern-day Acadiansare descendents from Frenchmen who settled Hist… The most important Caribbean colonial possession did not come until 1664, when the colony of Saint-Domingue (today's Haiti) was founded on the western half of the Spanish island of Hispaniola. Although France had already established an overseas colonial empire beginning in the 17th century, the French state had remained a kingdom under the Bourbons and a republic after the Revolution. modern New Brunswick in colonial French Canada. The Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique founded colonies in Guadeloupe and Martinique in 1635, and a colony was later founded on Saint Lucia (1650). Wikimedia Most of the other French African colonies had already been granted independence in 1960, following local referendums. A distinction is generally made between the "first colonial empire", that existed until 1814, by which time most of it had been lost, and the "second colonial empire", which began with the conquest of Algiers in 1830. The First French Empire, officially the French Republic (until 1809) then the French Empire (French: Empire Français; Latin: Imperium Francicum), was the empire ruled by Napoleon Bonaparte, who established French hegemony over much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. The First French Colonial Empire. During the time of Napoleon III, an attempt was made to establish a colonial-type protectorate in Mexico, but this came to little, and the French were forced to abandon the experiment after the end of the American Civil War. These wars were the War of the Austrian Succession (1744–17… Colonial conflict with Great Britain, 1744-1815. In the middle of the 18th century, a series of colonial conflicts began between France and Britain, which ultimately resulted in the destruction of most of the first French colonial empire and the near complete expulsion of France from the Americas. Although Sieyès expected to dominate the new regime, the Consulate, he was outmaneuvered by Bonaparte, who drafted the Constitution of the Year VIII and secured his own election as First Consul. The "second colonial empire" is the French colonies in Africa. Prior to the establishment of the 1663 Sovereign Council, the territories of New France was developed as mercantile colonies. In 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte was confronted by Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès – one of the five Directors who constituted the executive branch of the French government—who sought his support for a coup d'état to overthrow the French Constitution of 1795. The French also expanded their influence in North Africa, establishing a protectorate on Tunisia in 1881. On 9 November 1799 (18 Brumaire, An VIII under the French Republican Calendar), and the following day, tro… The First French Empire (French: Empire Français), also known as the Greater French Empire or Napoleonic Empire, was the empire of Napoleon I of France. French Colonial Empire The first French colonial conquests date from the 16th century, the Age of Discovery. The food plantations of these colonies were built and sustained by slavery from the abduction of slaves from Africa. France's defeat in 1814 (and then again in 1815), marked the end of the Empire. between the "first colonial empire," that existed until 1814, by which time most of it had been lost, and the "second colonial empire", which began with the conquest of Algiers in 1830. The French Empire achieved military supremacy in mainland Europe through notable victories in the War of the Third Coalition against Austria, Prussia, Russia, and allied nations, notably at the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805. These were restored at the Peace of Amiens in 1802, but when war resumed in 1803, the British soon recaptured them. In Senegal in West Africa, the French began to establish trading posts along the coast in 1624. Napoleon also established French control over Cochin-China (the southernmost part of modern Vietnam, including Saigon), as well as a protectorate over Cambodia. France's colonial history can be divided into two periods. Gradually, French control was established over much of Northern, Western, and Central Africa by the turn of the century (including the modern nations of Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, Niger, Chad, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo), as well as the east African coastal enclave of Djibouti (French Somaliland). However, control was gradually reestablished by Charles de Gaulle. The first French colonial empire The early voyages of Giovanni da Verrazano and Jacques Cartier in the early 16th century, as well as the frequent voyages of French fishermen to the Grand Banks off Newfoundland throughout that century, were the precursors to the story of France's colonial expansion. Across the world, the dominance of the French as a colonial power was only overshadowed by the British. The word empire traditionally describes a state ruled by an emperor (with claims to succeed the Roman Empire); a title possessed by Napoleon Bonaparte and Napoleon III. And its record of perpetrating violence continues. The story of France's colonial empire truly began on July 27, 1605 with the foundation of Port Royal in the colony of Acadia in North America, in what is now Nova Scotia, Canada. The French colonial empire constituted the overseas colonies, protectorates and mandate territories that came under French rule from the 16th century onward. France was immediately confronted with the beginnings of the decolonisati… Colonies were established in India in Chandernagore in Bengal (1673) and Pondicherry in the Southeast (1674), and later at Yanam (1723), Mahe (1725), and Karikal (1739) (see French India). The French Colonial Empire, 1500-1800. In 1911, Morocco became a protectorate. The First French Empire, officially the French Empire, was the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte of France and the dominant power in much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. On 9 November 1799 (18 Brumaire VIII under the French Republican Calendar) and the following day, troops led by Bonaparte seized control. On 18 May 1804, Napoleon was granted the title Emperor of the French (L'Empereur des Français, pronounced by the French Sénat (a Senator) and was crowned on 2 December 1804, signifying the end of the French Consulate and of the French First Republic. From their base in Cochin-China, the French took over Tonkin and Annam (in modern Vietnam) in 1883. The first colonial empire A late comer in the discovery of the Americas, France tended to prefer piracy to the actual establishment of colonies and trading posts. France's repurchase of Louisiana in 1800 came to nothing, as the final success of the Haitian revolt convinced Bonaparte that holding it would not be worth the cost, leading to its sale to the United States in 1803 (the Louisiana Purchase). It had the largest population and wealth, the best army while Louis XIV ruled, and, for a time in his reign, the strongest navy. As with all colonial empires, its history is soaked with the blood of oppressed peoples across the globe. Between the 1920s and 1930s French colonies had an estimated population of about 110 million, half of British India. Between the 19th and 20th centuries, France ruled over colonies that span about 4,980,000 sq mi. The first French colonial empire. France should not be synonymous with the word “freedom”. A few years later, in 1608, Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec, which was to become the capital of the enormous, but sparsely settled, fur-trading colony of New France (also called Canada). French colonial expansion was not limited to the New World, however. These, together with Cambodia and Cochin-China, formed French Indochina (to which Laos was added in 1893 and Kwang-Chou-Wan in 1900). The Revolution, needless to say, was a disaster for the old French colonial empire and on the international front things were not improved by the creation of the actual “French Empire” under Napoleon who resigned himself to the loss of Haiti and sold the massive Louisiana Territory to the United States. In the 18th century, Saint-Domingue grew to be the richest sugar colony in the Caribbean. Former French Colonies. When French Empires are considered that of Napoleon leaps to mind. The French colonial empire constituted the overseas colonies, protectorates and mandate territories that came under French rule from the 16th century onward. But Spain's jealous protection of its American monopoly, and the disruptions caused in France itself by the Wars of Religion in the later 16th century, prevented any consistent efforts to establish colonies. off Newfoundland throughout that century, were the precursors to the story of France's colonial expansion. The First French Empire, officially the French Empire, was the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte of France and the dominant power in much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. The French colonial Empire was the set of territories that were under French rule primarily from the 17th century to the late 1960s. Historians refer to Napoleon's regime as the First Empire to distinguish it from the restorationist Second Empire (1852–1870) ruled by his nephew as Napoleon III. The First French Empire: Napoleon Bonaparte After the French Revolution and the overthrow of the Ancien Regime, France cycled through several attempts at finding the right form of government. The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). At its height in 1812, the French Empire had 130 departments, ruled over 70 million subjects, maintained an extensive military presence in Germany, Italy, Spain, and the Duchy of Warsaw, and counted Prussia and Austria as nominal allies. Charles de Gaulle's accession to power in 1958 ultimately led to independence for Algeria in 1962. The early voyages of Giovanni da Verrazano and Jacques Cartier in the early 16th century, as well as the frequent voyages of French fishermen to the Grand Banks off Newfoundland throughout that century, were the precursors to the story of France's colonial expansion. They dispersed the legislative councils, leaving a rump legislature to name Bonaparte, Sieyès and Ducos as provisional Consuls to administer the government. Algeria was particularly problematic due to the large number of European settlers (or pied-noir) who had settled there in the century and a quarter of French rule; in addition, a sizeable Jewish community feared that independence would expose them to retribution by the Muslim majority. Britain finally annexed Saint Lucia, Tobago, the Seychelles, and the Île Royale (Mauritius), however. 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