History of West Africa 1919-1939

The Establishment of a French Colony, 1842-1918

In 1842, Frenchman BOUET-WILLAUMEZ signed treaties with bative chieftains at Assinie, Grand Bassam and at Garraway in present Liberia, the locations being placed under French protection. FORT JOINVILLE (at Assinie) and FORT NEMOURS (at Grand Bassam) were constructed. In subsequent years, further treaties were signed, which placed almost the entire coastline under French protection.
Occasionally, the French had to undertake expeditions into the interior, for instance in 1853 into the Ebrie region, French influence however largely being limited to the coastal area. Among the most prominent trade goods were guns and ammunition. The ASHANTI, neighbours of the British GOLD COAST COLONY, bought their ammunition from the French, via middlemen; in 1873 Britain tried to interrupt this trade by imposing a naval blockade on Assinie.
In 1893 a Protectorate over the entire country was proclaimed (i.e. a muber of small protectorates was combined into a single larger one). SAMORI TOURE, who ruled a large territory extending far beyond the borders of Cote d'Ivoire, resisted until he was captured in 1898; some parts of the country were not under French control until 1912. The Hut Tax was introduced in 1900, Construction of a railway line was begun in 1903, plantations were established.
In 1892/1904, COTE D'IVOIRE (the Ivory Coast) became part of FRENCH WEST AFRICA, capital Dakar in Senegal. In 1908 the tax burden was increased; rifle-ownership by natives was banned.

History of the Ivory Coast, from Infoplease , and from Library of Congress, Country Studies
French West Africa, from Infoplease
DOCUMENTS Article Goldküste (Gold Coast), P.1 (489), P.2 (490), from Meyers Konversationslexikon, 1888-1890 edition, in German; see "Französischer Besitz an der Goldküste" (French Possessions on the Gold Coast) at the end of the article
REFERENCE Naval Intelligence Division : French West Africa, Vol.II : the Colonies, London, Dec. 1944, Ivory Coast : History, pp.257-269
Article French Sudan, Senegal, French Guinea & Dependencies, in : Statesman's Year Book 1895 pp.522-523 (on events of 1894) [G]
Article : West Africa and the Sahara : Ivory Coast, in : Statesman's Year Book 1901 pp.598-601, 1905 pp.660-667, 1918 pp.866-867 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on September 17th 2008

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