1918-1939 History of West Africa Independence

Dahomey, French West Africa, 1939-1960

World War II broke out in 1939. On June 25th French forces in France proper surrendered to the Germans, and the Vichy-administration was formed by Field Marshall Petain, collaborating with the Germans. Soon, General Charles de Gaulle established a Free French administration at Brazzaville, French Equatorial Africa, vowing to fight Nazi Germany and Vichy-France.
The administration of French West Africa at Dakar recognized the legitimacy of the Vichy-administration. Communication was difficult, however, as the British Navy controlled the Atlantic Ocean. With the Allied landing in North Africa in Nov. 1942, communication with Vichy-France was made impossible, and Dakar switched it's allegiance to Free France.
In 1946, Dahomey was declared an OVERSEAS TERRITORY, given an ASSEMBLY, French West Africa representation in France's National Assembly. In 1959, French West Africa was dissolved, in 1960 Dahomey's independence declared.

History of Benin, from Infoplease
Dahomey : The Party System in 1950-1956 and 1957-1962, in : Kenneth Janda, Political Parties : A Cross-National Survey
REFERENCE Article : French West Africa, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1953 pp.300-301, 1954 p.299, 1955 p.346, 1956 pp.282-283, 1958 pp.280-281, 1959 pp.278-279, 1960 pp.276-277 [G]
Article Dahomey, Republic of, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1960 p.194 [G]
Article : French West Africa - Dahomey, in : Statesman's Year Book 1943 p.939 [G]
Article : Dahomey, in : Americana Annual 1943 p.221, 1944 p.213 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on September 28th 2007

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