List of French possessions and colonies  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

This is an historical article. For current French possessions see French overseas departments and territories

During the 19th and 20th centuries, the French colonial empire was the second largest colonial empire behind the British Empire ; it extended over Template:Convert of land at its height in the 1920s and 1930s. In terms of population however, on the eve of World War II, France and her colonial possessions totaled only 110 million inhabitants, compared to 330 million for British India alone.

France began to establish colonies in North America, the Caribbean and India, following Spanish and Portuguese successes during the Age of Discovery, in rivalry with Britain. A series of wars with Britain during the 18th century and early 19th century, which France finally lost, almost ended its colonial ambitions in these regions, and without it what some historian term the "first" French colonial empire. In the 19th century, starting with the conquest of Algier in 1830, France began to establish a new empire in Africa and South East Asia.

The following is a list of all the countries that were part of the French colonial empires in the last 500 years, either entirely or in part, either under French sovereignty or as mandate.


In the Americas

in the name of the Kingdom of France]]

In Africa

French North Africa

French West Africa

French Equatorial Africa

French East Africa

In Asia

In Oceania

In Antarctica

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "List of French possessions and colonies" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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