Vichy Rule in French West Africa: Prelude to Decolonization?

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Examines the Vichy period as a critical turning point in the prehistory of French decolonization. The author details the impact of Vichy rule on the reforms adopted in the West African colonies, at the 1944 conference in Brazzaville, that in turn led to the independence of the African colonies. Through a consideration of memoirs and correspondence of the period, as well as more recent interviews, the article suggests that the attitudes of the local ruling and intellectual elite toward French colonialism underwent a fundamental transformation during Vichy rule; assimilation gave way inexorably to self-determination.
Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)205-226
Number of pages22
JournalFrench Colonial History
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2003


  • WORLD War II
  • GERMAN occupation of France, 1940-1945
  • COLONIAL administration
  • FRENCH-speaking West Africa


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