France in Black Africa by Francis Terry McNamara
Publisher: Washington, D.C.: National Defense University | ASIN: B000OK48RC | edition 1989 | PDF | 302 pages | 20 mb
… the best concise description of the post-independence Franco-African institutional structure in action… William J. Foltz, Yale University
As France approaches major decisions about its "European vocation" vs. its "African vocation," this book will provide the basis for understanding the French internal debate of the next few years. Andrew L. Steigman, Georgetown University
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, France acquired a vast African empire. This empire expanded rapidly, though without any clear, comprehensive plan. But then the French have never been keen colonists. (Algeria was the only destnafion of largescale French colonial migration.) Indeed, most of the French have been disinterested in overseas involvement.
Only at those historic moments when national pride has been aroused have the French given more than lukewarm support to colonial adventures. So Africa was left, by and large, to the separate initiatives of an interested minority made up mainly of military officers and merchants. Even the church, whose missionaries played a leading role in France's earlier North American empire, had no more than a secondary role in encouraging French territorial expansion in black Africa. The waning of ecclesiastical influence in France itself during the late 19th century was no doubt the cause of this lack of church influence.