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Motto: "Liberté, égalité, fraternité"
"Liberty, equality, brotherhood"
Anthem: La Marseillaise
|Historical era||Cold War|
|27 October 1946|
|5 October 1958|
|Currency|| French franc |
French Indochinese piastre
The French Union (French : Union française) (1946–1958) was a political entity created by the French Fourth Republic to replace the old French colonial system, colloquially known as the "French Empire" (Empire Français). It was the formal end of the "indigenous" ( indigène ) status of French subjects in colonial areas.
French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.
France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.
The French Fourth Republic was the republican government of France between 1946 and 1958, governed by the fourth republican constitution. It was in many ways a revival of the Third Republic that was in place from 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War to 1940 during World War II, and suffered many of the same problems. France adopted the constitution of the Fourth Republic on 13 October 1946.
The French Union had five components:
The French Union was established by the French constitution of October 27, 1946 (Fourth Republic). Under it, it was said that there were no French colonies, but that metropolitan France, the overseas departments, and the overseas territories combined to create a single French Union, or just one France.
The goal of this union was "assimilation of the overseas territories into a greater France, inhabited by French citizens, and blessed by French culture".Whereas the British colonial system had local colonial governments which would eventually evolve into separate national governments; France wanted to create a single government under a single French state.
This French Union had a President, a High Council and an Assembly. The President was the President of the Republic. The Assembly of the Union had membership from the Council of the Republic, from the National Assembly and from regional assemblies of the overseas territories and departments but ultimately had no power.The High Council ultimately met only three times, first in 1951. The Assembly was the only actually functioning institution that could manage legislation within the overseas territories.
The Council of the Republic was the name of the upper house of the legislature of the French Fourth Republic (1946–1958). It was replaced by the Senate when the constitution of the French Fifth Republic came into force.
The National Assembly is the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of France under the Fifth Republic, the upper house being the Senate. The National Assembly's members are known as députés.
In reality, the colonial areas had representation but all power remained in the French Parliament and thus was centralized.The colonies had local assemblies but these had only limited local power. Instead, various natives of the overseas territories in metropolitan France grew into a group of elites, known as evolués.
On January 31, 1956, hoping to having peace in Algiers, the system changed, abandoning assimilation in favor of autonomy, allowing territories to develop their own local government and to eventually gain their independence. Charles de Gaulle 's Fifth Republic wherein France was now a federation of states with their own self-government.This would not succeed however and in 1958 the French Union was replaced by the French Community by
The French Community was an association of former French colonies, mostly from Africa. In 1958 it replaced the French Union, which had itself succeeded the French colonial empire in 1946.
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French army officer and statesman who led the French Resistance against Nazi Germany in World War II and chaired the Provisional Government of the French Republic from 1944 to 1946 in order to establish democracy in France. In 1958, he came out of retirement when appointed President of the Council of Ministers by President René Coty. He was asked to rewrite the Constitution of France and founded the Fifth Republic after approval by referendum. He was elected President of France later that year, a position he was reelected to in 1965 and held until his resignation in 1969. He was the dominant figure of France during the Cold War era, and his memory continues to influence French politics.
The Fifth Republic, France's current republican system of government, was established by Charles de Gaulle under the Constitution of the Fifth Republic on 4 October 1958. The Fifth Republic emerged from the collapse of the Fourth Republic, replacing the former parliamentary republic with a semi-presidential, or dual-executive, system that split powers between a Prime Minister as head of government and a President as head of state. De Gaulle, who was the first French President elected under the Fifth Republic in December 1958, believed in a strong head of state, which he described as embodying l'esprit de la nation.
In history, a colony is a territory under the immediate complete political control and occupied by settlers of a state, distinct from the home territory of the sovereign. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception.
French Indochina, officially known as the Indochinese Union after 1887 and the Indochinese Federation after 1947, was a grouping of French colonial territories in Southeast Asia.
The French colonial empire constituted the overseas colonies, protectorates and mandate territories that came under French rule from the 16th century onward. 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 second colonial empire came to an end after the loss in later wars of Indochina (1954) and Algeria (1962), and relatively peaceful decolonizations elsewhere after 1960.
French West Africa was a federation of eight French colonial territories in Africa: Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan, French Guinea, Ivory Coast, Upper Volta, Dahomey and Niger. The capital of the federation was Dakar. The federation existed from 1895 until 1960.
Decolonization or decolonisation is the undoing of colonialism, the latter being the process whereby a nation establishes and maintains its domination over one or more other territories. The concept particularly applies to the dismantlement, during the second half of the 20th century, of the colonial empires established prior to World War I throughout the world.
The French Protectorate of Cambodia refers to the Kingdom of Cambodia when it was a French protectorate within French Indochina — a collection of Southeast Asian protectorates within the French Colonial Empire. The protectorate was established in 1867 when the Cambodian King Norodom requested the establishment of a French protectorate over his country, meanwhile Siam renounced suzerainty over Cambodia and officially recognised the French protectorate on Cambodia. Cambodia was integrated into the French Indochina union in 1887 along with the French colonies and protectorates in Vietnam. In 1946, Cambodia was granted self-rule within the French Union and had its protectorate status abolished in 1949. Cambodia later gained its independence and the independence day was celebrated on 9 November 1953.
Metropolitan France is the part of France in Europe. It comprises mainland France and nearby islands in the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel, and the Mediterranean Sea, including Corsica.
The decolonisation of Africa took place in the mid-to-late 1950s and 1960s, with sudden and radical regime changes on the continent as colonial governments made the transition to independent states; this was often quite unorganized and marred with violence and political turmoil. There was widespread unrest and organised revolts in both Northern and sub-Saharan colonies, especially in French Algeria, Portuguese Angola, the Belgian Congo and British Kenya.
The United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories is a list of places that the United Nations General Assembly deems to be "non-self-governing" and subject to the decolonization process. Chapter XI of the United Nations Charter embodies a "Declaration on Non-Self-Governing Territories" which declares that the interests of the occupants of dependent territories are paramount and requires member states of the United Nations in control of non-self-governing territories to submit annual information reports concerning the development of those territories. Since 1946, the General Assembly has maintained a list of non-self governing territories under member states' control. Since its inception, dozens of territories have been removed from the list, typically when they attained independence or internal self-government, while other territories have been added as new administering countries joined the United Nations or the General Assembly reassessed the status of certain territories.
Some of the colonies, protectorates and mandates of the French Colonial Empire used distinctive colonial flags. These most commonly had a French Tricolour in the canton.
The French protectorate of Laos was a French protectorate forming part of the French Colonial Empire in Southeast Asia. It consisted of much of the territory of the former kingdom of Lan Xang and was part of French Indochina from 1893 until it was granted self-rule within the French Union in 1946. The Franco-Lao Treaty of 1953 establishing Laos as an independent member of the French Union. Under the Geneva Conference following France's withdrawal from Indochina after the First Indochina War, Laos was granted independence in 1954.
The Brazzaville Conference was a meeting of prominent Free French leaders held in January 1944 in Brazzaville, the then-capital of French Equatorial Africa, during World War II.
French Cochinchina, sometimes spelled Cochin-China, was a colony of French Indochina, encompassing the Cochinchina region of southern Vietnam. Formally called Cochinchina, it was renamed in 1946 as Autonomous Republic of Cochinchina, a controversial decision which helped trigger the First Indochina War. In 1948, the autonomous republic, whose legal status had never been formalized, was renamed as the Provisional Government of South Vietnam. It was reunited with the rest of Vietnam in 1949.
The French Far East Expeditionary Corps was a colonial expeditionary force of the French Union Army that was initially formed in French Indochina during 1945 during the Pacific War. The CEFEO later fought and lost in the First Indochina War against the Viet Minh rebels.
French Dahomey was a French colony of and a part of French West Africa from 1904 to 1958. After World War II, by the establishment of the French Fourth Republic in 1947, Dahomey became part of the French Union with an increased autonomy. On 11 December 1958, the French Fifth Republic was established and the French Union became the French Community. The colony became the self-governing Republic of Dahomey within the Community, and two years later on 1 August 1960 it gained full independence.
French administration in Indochina began June 5, 1862, when the Treaty of Saigon ceded three provinces. By 1897 the French administered all of Indochina.
The decolonization of Asia was the gradual growth of independence movements in Asia, leading ultimately to the retreat of foreign powers and the creation of a number of nation-states in the region. A number of events were catalysts for this shift, most importantly the Second World War. Prior to World War II, some countries had already proclaimed independence.
In the northern-hemisphere summer of 1940 Germany rapidly defeated the French Third Republic, and colonial administration of French Indochina passed to the French State. In September 1940 Japanese troops first entered parts of Indochina; and in July 1941 Japan extended its control over the whole of French Indochina. The United States, concerned by Japanese expansion, started putting embargoes on exports of steel and oil to Japan from July 1940. The desire to escape these embargoes and to become self-sufficient in resources ultimately contributed to Japan's decision to attack on December 7, 1941 the British Empire and simultaneously the USA. This led to the USA declaring war against Japan on December 8, 1941. The US then joined the British Empire, already at war with Germany since 1939, and its existing allies in the fight against the Axis powers.
Direct rule is when an imperial or central power takes direct control over the legislature, executive and civil administration of an otherwise largely self-governing territory.