The French Overseas Empire Review

The French Overseas Empire
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The French Overseas Empire ReviewThis is the second book I read from this publisher and it was a good choise. I am not very acquainted or very enthusiasthic about French history, but I think this part of the history of la France is attractive to know, especially when compared to other expansionist countries in the same period. You can see the author passion for French History, an American diplomat of long standing, who spent part of his life in some of the countries narrated in this book. These pages helps to understand why was so difficult for the French to have territories overseas, the lack of interest initially, the reticence of French people to go abroad and all the difficulties they had to endure in countries like Vietnam and Algeria. A good book separated in seven chapters, from the 16th century to the demise of this empire in the 20th century -- it also have clear maps.The French Overseas Empire Overview
For more than five centuries France has been both a European and a global power. French explorers, traders, settlers, soldiers and missionaries journeyed to the world's farthest reaches establishing colonies, bringing millions of people under French influence and claiming vast expanses of forests, jungles, deserts, and rich mineral and maritime resources. Through continued wars with rival powers, including Spain, Portugal, Great Britain, and Germany, France lost large portions of its empire and gained others. Century-long conflict with some of its most valued possessions, such as Vietnam and Algeria, further hastened the empire's demise after World War II. This is a story of colorful personalities and dramatic events: Cartier's exploration of Canada, Richelieu's and Colbert's global trading companies, Champlain the colonizer, the French presence in Louisiana, the vast but short-lived French empire in India, the nefarious slave trade, and France's defeat in its prosperous Caribbean colony, St. Domingue.

Later chapters survey France's important colonial lobby, the administration of colonies, the impact of World War I, the Colonial Expansion of 1931, the rise of labor unions and nationalist movements. Other chapters cover events related to World War II, Free France vs. Vichy, General de Gaulle, Ho Chi Minh, Dien Bien Phu, Algerian independence, the emergence of a generation of African independence leaders like Félix Houphoüet-Boigny and Léopold Sédar Senghor, the short-lived Community (1958â€"1960), and French relations with its overseas partners in a post-independence era. Drawing on the work of visual artists, creative and popular writers, and discussing the impact of science and technology on colonial life, the author paints a vivid picture of empire, including scenes of everyday life in overseas settings.

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