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This is the Law that Made French More Popular in Africa than in France

Until 1946, the real arrangement of French frontier administration in Africa was Assimilation.

The fundamental reason for this arrangement was to transform the locals of Africa into French men by instructing them in the dialect and French culture and accordingly influencing them to wind up French nationals and equivalents.

Basically, the arrangement, which has been depicted as more regrettable than servitude itself, was gone for deleting African convention and culture and supplanting them with the French.

Connected by French provinces, for example, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Morocco, and Congo, one of the real purposes behind acquainting the approach was with chopped down expenses as France planned to supplant French specialists with Africans.

During the French revolution of 1789, the French believed that they were the superior race and hence their ideals of equality, liberty, and fraternity should be adopted by the whole world.

Assimilation was, therefore, imposed in various colonies, the notable one being Senegal’s Four Communes (Gorée, Dakar, Rufisque and Saint-Louis).

After slavery was abolished in 1848, the Four Communes were given voting rights and the right to elect a Deputy to the Assembly in Paris. Residents were then known as Originaires, who typically became French citizens.

One of those elites was Blaise Diagne, the first black deputy in the French assembly.


A school in West Africa — Pinterest

The French basically opened schools in their respective colonies to teach natives both French culture and language, with the hopes that as they learned the French way of life, they would be more complacent under French rule.

Apart from undermining African culture, the policy of assimilation eroded the powers of traditional rulers and they became more like puppets of the French.

Their so-called civilization also implied that everything African was absurd and ungodly.

In terms of economics, colonies under this policy were made to produce raw materials to mainly feed French industries.

The French further plundered the resources of these colonies and were calling the shots as to what should be done in terms of finance and the economy to serve their interest and their citizens at the expense of the colonies.

On the social side, the policy dehumanized natives into the infamous system of Indigénat in which French administrators could beat Africans in public and imprison them for up to 2 years.

By 1930, only 80,000 Africans became French citizens and 78,000 of them only qualified because they were born in one of the four communes. The varied African cultures made it difficult for them to be absorbed into the French culture

Apart from being expensive, the French were not willing anymore to give all the African natives in the various colonies citizenship as they feared competition.

As a result, assimilation was abandoned and Association policy was introduced, which largely respected the culture of Africans.

Nevertheless, it is believed that the remnants of Assimilation are still being felt today, especially in Francophone countries, with many of them lacking good governance and infrastructure as compared to the English speaking countries.


Written by How Africa

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