Former French colonies


  • New France (La Nouvelle France) & Louisiana Territory

Big chunks of what currently is Canada and US.

1534 Jacques Cartier discovers St. Lawrence River; sails up as far as present-day Montreal (then “Hochelaga”)

1608 Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec & explores Hudson to south, and west to Lake Huron

1682 Robert Cavelier de La Salle explores & claims Mississippi basin.  Names territory “Louisiana” in honor Louis XIV.

         → Louisiana lost in part to Britain during Seven Years War (1756-63) and the rest to the United States when sold by Napoleon in 1803.



  • St. Domingue (Haiti)



  • Algiers (Algeria)

1830’s onward.

1962 independence

  • Benin (“Dahomey”)

1960 independence

  • Burkina Faso (formerly the Republic of Upper Volta)

1960 independence

  • Cameroon

1965 independence

Note:  Comprising territories formerly claimed by both Britain and France.

  • The Central African Republic

1960 independence

  • Chad

1960 independence

  • The Union of the Comoros

1975 independence

Note:  France retained possession of the island of Mayotte.

  • The Republic of Congo

1960 independence

Note:  Distinguished from it’s larger neighbor, The Democratic Republic of Congo, which formerly was a Belgian colony.  French is the official language of both Congos.

  • Djibouti (formerly French territories of Afars and the Issas)

1977 independence

  • Gabon

1960 independence

  • Republic of Guinea

1958 independence

  • Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire)

1960 independence

  • Madagascar

1960 independence

  • Mali (“French Sudan”)

1960 independence

  • The Islamic Republic of Mauritania

1960 independence

  • Morocco

1956 independence

  • The Republic of Niger

1960 independence

  • Senegal

1960 independence

  • Togo

1960 independence

Note:  British Togoland became part of Ghana in 1957.

  • Tunisia

1956 independence



  • Syria

1946 independence

  • Lebanon

1941 independence



  • Vietnam (Indochina)

Status as Independent Overseas Possession in 1949

1954 independence

  • Cambodia (Indochina)

1954 independence

  • Laos (Indochina)

1954 independence

  • Non-Country Possessions:
  • Chandernagore (Incorporated into India in 1951)
  • Pondicherry (now Puducherry, became part of India in 1954)



  • Republic of Vanuatu (formerly the New Hebrides)

1980 Independence (previously governed by both France & England)


(From UND Libraries, on the Internet)

France and Britain ‘played merry hell’ in the Middle East for a couple of centuries, reportedly creating nations, changing boundaries, and placing their favourites on thrones, as they did elsewhere on the globe; and as was done by the other colonial ’powers’ everywhere. All of them worked very hard to create and protect their spheres of interest. The current mayhem in the Middle East has been said to reflect the historical shenanigans of Britain and France.

After their independence, the Indo-Chinese were apparently disgusted at the way they had been subjugated by an unimportant European country.

France too was reluctant to grant independence to its colonial territories.