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France and the Colonies: A Difficult Reconciliation

France and the Colonies: A Difficult Reconciliation

Thus it can be said with satisfaction that some of them have already apologized for their dark history. However, the question is, how far can this correct the mistakes of the past, and how far can the former colonial nations go in penance?

Because, having absorbed the gestures, we can logically expect demands for economic compensation. This is evidenced, for example, by the Algerian government’s invitation to Paris not only “to provide topographic maps of landfills contaminated with radioactive or chemical waste” and to participate in the treatment of these sites, but also to make it easier for the Algerian population. to get compensation.

Will the superpower continue to be a superpower?

Some observers fear that there will be a “restitution” of the property of the French who remained in Algeria after the revolution. In turn, France is modestly considering a proposal to lift the ban on the entry into Algeria of one hundred thousand Harkis, that is, the Algerians who remained loyal to the French during the liberation struggle and still considered them traitors in their former homeland. The Achilles heel shows development in Mali. French President Emmanuel Macron announced last month that he would withdraw from Mali part of the forces that have been helping the local army fight Islamists since 2013.

Aside from the financial costs, not only is the process not making much progress, but it has become at least difficult to maintain the status quo. In addition, there is no shortage of ironies. For example, the French, most of whom sincerely advocate a humanitarian settlement (“After all, we have moved elsewhere today”) still pride themselves on their great-power status, largely as a result of successful colonial activities. Initially, it also had a defensive strategic function, especially after France’s defeat to Germany on European soil in 1870.

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It follows from the above that one of the main causes of French difficulties in Africa remains the lingering consequences of its colonial past. This is despite the fact that young Africans have a particularly ambivalent relationship with former colonizers, as evidenced by waves of immigration to these countries.

The second largest after Britain

France gained its first colony in the early 17th century. Over time, it became one of the world’s leading colonial powers. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it had the largest colonial empire after Britain. Today, only a small portion of the former overseas colonial empire remains under French rule. The most important of these regions is French Guiana. In most of the former colonies, French culture took root, French remained the official language and they use the currency linked to the euro.