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French Equatorial Africa

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An administrative amalgamation of French colonies in central‐west Africa formed in 1910, from which the modern states of the Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Gabon, and most of Cameroon (added to the territory in 1920) emerged. It included some of the most underdeveloped parts of the French Empire, but experienced rapid economic progress during World War II, in which it became the initial stronghold of de Gaulle's Free French opposition to the Vichy regime. Led by Eboué, its infrastructure was improved, its administration overhauled and political participation increased. Legal reforms were introduced, freedom of association established, and forced labour abolished by 1946. In that year, it was transformed into a colonial federation, but the new structure failed to produce the degree of uniformity necessary to prevent its breakup in 1958, when its constituent parts joined the French Community.decolonization


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