At the end of the Seven Years’ War, France had lost the greater part of her overseas empire. With the Louisiana sale of 1803, the Napoleonic era saw the turning away from the colonies in the pursuit of an empire in Europe which also foundered. ‘There are two charges to be levelled against Napoleon; the first, that of losing our colonial empire by his own fault (the neglect of the French navy); the second of destroying our appetite for colonisation.’1 After 1815 the colonies were forgotten. All that remained were those territories which the English did not require, the sugar islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, Réunion and a few small islands in the Indian Ocean, the trading stations on the coast of India, Pondicherry, Chandernagar and the rest, footholds on the West African coast in Guinea and Senegal, and the islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon in the mouth of the Saint Lawrence Gulf.
KeywordsFrench Colonial White Settlement West African Coast Commercial Relation Colonial Expansion
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