The French Colonial

The French Colonial Empire was a collection of territories and colonies controlled by France, primarily in Africa and Asia, but also in the Americas, Oceania and Europe. The French Colonial Empire began in the late 17th century and reached its height in the late 19th century, making France one of the largest colonial empires in the world.

The French empire's most extensive and profitable colony was Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia) where French influence was established through military and economic means. French West Africa, French Equatorial Africa, French Indochina and French Guiana were also major territories. French colonies in the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean were also significant, such as Guadeloupe, Martinique, and RĂ©union.

French colonialism brought Western culture, language, and government to many parts of the world, but it also brought exploitation, repression, and forced labor to the colonized peoples. The empire began to unravel after World War II as anti-colonial movements gained momentum and many colonies gained independence in the 1950s and 1960s. The French Empire officially came to an end in the 1960s and 1970s.