1919-1939 History of West Africa Independence
since 1960

Senegal, 1939-1960

World War II : During World War II, French West Africa remained loyal to the Vichy administration until 1942. A British attack on Dakar was repulsed in September 1940.
Only with the allies landing in North Africa, Dakar switched it's loyalty to the Free French administration in Brazzaville.

Relations with France; Administration : In January 1943 a conference of colonial governors convened in Brazzaville, recommending social reform in France's colonies, among them the abolition of forced labour and the indigenat.
In 1946, Senegal was declared an OVERSEAS TERRITORY, French citizenship was granted to all inhabitants; forced labour was abolished. The colonies all were represented in the French Nat'l Assembly (with a comparatively small number of deputees). A degree of self-administration was not foreseen by the French constitution of 1946.
LEOPOLD SEDAR SENGHOR emerged as the country's leading politician, an ardent admiror of French language and culture. Sceptical of the pro-Communist R.D.A. which enjoyed popularity in most parts of West Africa, in 1948 he founded the Independents d'Outre Mer (I.O.M.). an organization not founded as a specifically Senegalese movement, but insignificant elsewhere. The I.O.M. strove for political autonomy for Senegal; in 1956, the colony was finally given an ASSEMBLY. In 1957, the administration of French West Africa was "africanized", i.e. Africans appointed as ministers. Senegal gained autonomy in 1958. In 1959, Senegal and the French Soudan founded the Mali Federation, which was released into independence in 1960. enegal seceded from the Mali Federation weeks after it had been released into independence.

Economy : Since 1948, France was one of the main beneficiaries of the Marshall Plan. Marshall funds were invested in the colonies, mainly in order to finance infrastructure projects. The investment climate was considerably better than during the interbellum.

Society : In 1953, the Institute for Higher Education in Dakar was granted university status; in 1955 the Apostolic Vicariate of Dakar was elevated into an Archdiocesis.

Senegal, History of, from Infoplease
Timeline, from Senegal Online
REFERENCE J.A. Ballard, The Colonial Phase in French West Africa, pp.380-404, in J.F. Ade Ajayi and Ian Espie (ed.), A Thousand Years of West African History, Ibadan UP (1965) 1967 [G]
J.A. Ballard, Nationalist Movements in West Africa : The French Territories, pp.461-475, in J.F. Ade Ajayi and Ian Espie (ed.), A Thousand Years of West African History, Ibadan UP (1965) 1967 [G]
Chapter 45 : Dakar and French West Africa, pp.871-883, in : John Gunther, Inside Africa, NY : Harper & Bros. (1953) 1955 [G]
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 : Senegal, Republic of, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1960 p.616 [G]
Article : French West Africa and the Sahara : Senegal, in : Statesman's Year Book 1943 pp.936-937 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on August 23rd 2007

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