French Colonial Empire The first French colonial conquests date from the 16th century, the Age of Discovery. 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. The size of the territory claimed by the French empire in the 19th and 20th centuries was second only to Britain. 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. 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). 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 … off Newfoundland throughout that century, were the precursors to the story of France's colonial expansion. When this ended with French defeat and withdrawal in 1954, the French almost immediately became involved in a new, and even harsher conflict in their oldest major colony, Algeria. 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. Although the War of the Austrian Succession was indecisive—despite French successes in India under the French Governor-General Joseph François Dupleix—the Seven Years War, after early French successes in North America, saw a catastrophic French defeat, with the British conquering not only New France, but most of France's West Indian colonies, and all of the French Indian outposts. Powered by. The French colonial empire began to fall during the Second World War, when various parts were occupied by foreign powers (Japan in Indochina, Britain in Syria, Lebanon, and Madagascar, the United States and Britain in Morocco and Algeria, and Germany and Italy in Tunisia). In the 19th and 20th centuries, the colonial empire of France was the second-largest in the world behind the British Empire. 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 "first colonial empire" was from the French colonization of the Americas to the Napoleonic Wars. 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. At the close of the Napoleonic Wars, most of France's colonies were restored to it by Britain, notably Guadeloupe and Martinique in the West Indies, French Guiana on the coast of South America, various trading posts in Senegal, the Île de Bourbon (Réunion) in the Indian Ocean, and France's tiny Indian possessions. 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. 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. 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 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. (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). 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). But Spain's jealous protection of its American monopoly, and the disruptions caused in France itself by the Wars of Religion in the later sixteenth century, prevented any consistent efforts by France to establish colonies. 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. The French Union, included in the 1946 Constitution of 1946, replaced the former colonial Empire. In 1804, the Constitution of the Year XII established the First French Empire with Napoleon Bonaparte — previously First Consul for Life, with wide-ranging powers — as Napoleon I, Emperor of the French. As with all colonial empires, its history is soaked with the blood of oppressed peoples across the globe. 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). 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). In 1911, Morocco became a protectorate. On 9 November 1799 (18 Brumaire VIII under the French Republican Calendar) and the following day, troops led by Bonaparte seized control. French ambitions in the New World were first limited to the looting of the Spanish and Portuguese galleons laden with gold and spices. For most of the history of New France, even Canada was far behind the British North American colonies in both population and economic development. These wars were the War of the Austrian Succession (1744–17… Settlement along the South American coast in what is today French Guiana began in 1624, and a colony was founded on Saint Kitts in 1627 (the island had to be shared with the English until the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, when it was ceded outright). Colonies were also founded in the Indian Ocean, on the Île de Bourbon (Réunion, 1664), Île Royale (Mauritius, 1718), and the Seychelles (1756). 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 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. In 1664 the French East India Company was established to compete for trade in the east. Wikimedia France should not be synonymous with the word “freedom”. Early French attempts to found colonies in Brazil, in 1555 at Rio de Janeiro (the so-called France Antarctique) and in 1612 at São Luís (the so-called France Équinoxiale), and in Florida were unsuccessful, due to Portuguese and Spanish vigilance. 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. 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. Québec became the capital of the colony of New France, which thrived mostly on the fur trade. 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. As the French empire in North America expanded, the French also began to build a smaller, but more profitable empire in the West Indies. 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. 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. 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. That ended the period of the French Consulate and of the French First Republic. The French Colonial Empire, 1500-1800. 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. 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. The food plantations of these colonies were built and sustained by slavery from the abduction of slaves from Africa. While the peace treaty saw France's Indian outposts, and the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe restored to France, the competition for influence in India had been won by the British, and North America was entirely lost—most of New France was taken by Britain, except Louisiana which France ceded to Spain as payment for Spain's late entrance into the war (and as compensation for Britain's annexation of Spanish Florida). 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. 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. It had the largest population and wealth, the best army while Louis XIV ruled, and, for a time in his reign, the strongest navy. 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. 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 plot included Bonaparte's brother Lucien, then serving as speaker of the Council of Five Hundred, Roger Ducos, another Director, and Talleyrand. 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. modern New Brunswick in colonial French Canada. 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