French West Africa

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Following the establishment of French settlements on the African west coast in 1659 and a gradual extension of the French West African territory during the nineteenth century, it was created a colonial territory under a Governor‐General in 1904. In 1942, it switched its allegiance from the Vichy government to de Gaulle. In 1946 it became an overseas territory of the French Union, but as a result of strong nationalist pressures in the constituent colonies, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Benin, and Mauritania were given greater autonomy as part of the French Community in 1958 (to achieve independence in 1960), while Guinea insisted on immediate independence, also in 1958.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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