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Best Former French Colonies of All Time

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    1
    Martinique

    Martinique

    Martinique (French pronunciation: [maʁtinik]) is an island in the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of 1,128 km (436 sq mi). Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. To the northwest lies Dominica, to the south St Lucia, and to the southeast Barbados. As with the other overseas departments, Martinique is one of the twenty-seven regions of France (being an overseas region) and an integral part of the Republic. The first European to encounter the island was Christopher Columbus in 1493. As part of France, Martinique is part of the European Union, and its currency is the Euro. Its official language is French, although many of its inhabitants also speak Antillean Creole (Créole Martiniquais). Martinique owes its name to Colombus who landed on the island on 15 June 1502. The island was then called "Jouanacaëra-Matinino", which came from a mythical island described by the Tainos of Hispaniola. But according to historian Sydney Daney, the island was called "Jouanacaëra" by the Caribs, which would mean "the island of iguanas". After Columbus' initial discovery, the name then evolved along the
    7.00
    6 votes
    2
    Réunion Island

    Réunion Island

    Réunion (French: La Réunion, IPA: [la 'ʁeynjɔ̃] ( listen); previously Île Bourbon) is a French island with a population of about 800,000 located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, about 200 kilometres (120 mi) south west of Mauritius, the nearest island. Administratively, Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France. Like the other overseas departments, Réunion is also one of the 27 regions of France (being an overseas region) and an integral part of the Republic with the same status as those situated on the European mainland. Réunion is an outermost region of the European Union and, as an overseas department of France, is part of the Eurozone. Before the arrival of the Portuguese in the early sixteenth century, there is little to Réunion's recorded history. Arab traders were familiar with it by the name Dina Morgabin,. The island possibly features on a map from 1153 AD by Al Sharif el-Edrisi. The island may also have been visited by Swahili or Malay sailors. The first European discovery of the area was made around 1507 by Portuguese explorers, but the specifics are unclear. The uninhabited island may have been first sighted by the expedition led by Don Pedro
    7.00
    6 votes
    3
    Louisiana

    Louisiana

    Louisiana (/luːˌiːziˈænə/ or /ˌluːziˈænə/; French: État de Louisiane, [lwizjan] ( listen); Louisiana Creole: Léta de la Lwizyàn) is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Louisiana is the 31st most extensive and the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties. The largest parish by population is East Baton Rouge Parish, and the largest by land area is Cameron Parish. Much of the state was formed from sediment washed down the Mississippi River, leaving enormous deltas and vast areas of coastal marsh and swamp. These contain a rich southern biota; typical examples include birds such as ibis and egrets. There are also many species of tree frogs, and fish such as sturgeon and paddlefish. In more elevated areas, fire is a natural process in the landscape, and has produced extensive areas of longleaf pine forest and wet savannas. These support an exceptionally large number of plant species including many species of orchids and carnivorous plants. Some Louisiana
    7.40
    5 votes
    4
    French Congo

    French Congo

    The French Congo (French: La colonie du Congo or Congo français) was a French colony which at one time comprised the present-day area of the Republic of the Congo, Gabon, and the Central African Republic. It began at Brazzaville on 10 September 1880 as a protectorate over the Bateke people along the north bank of the Congo River, was formally established as the French Congo on 30 November 1882, and was confirmed at the Congress of Berlin. Its borders with Cabinda, Cameroons, and the Congo Free State were established by treaties over the next decade. The plan to develop the colony was to grant massive concessions to some thirty French companies. These were granted huge swaths of land on the promise they would be developed. This development was limited and amounted mostly to the extraction of ivory, rubber, and timber. These operations often involved great brutality and the near enslavement of the locals. Even with these measures most of the companies lost money. Only about ten earned profits. Many of the companies' vast holdings existed only on paper with virtually no presence on the ground in Africa. The French Congo was sometimes known as Gabon-Congo. It formally added Gabon on 30
    7.75
    4 votes
    5
    Tahiti

    Tahiti

    Tahiti is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia, located in the archipelago of the Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. It is the economic, cultural and political centre of French Polynesia. The island was formed from volcanic activity and is high and mountainous with surrounding coral reefs. The population is 178,133 (2007 census), making it the most populous island of French Polynesia and accounting for 68.6% of the group's total population. Tahiti was formerly known as Otaheite. The capital, Papeete, is located on the northwest coast with the only international airport in the region, Faa'a International Airport, situated 5 km (3.1 mi) from the town centre. Tahiti was originally settled by Polynesians between CE 300 and 800. They comprise about 70% of the island's population with the rest made up of Europeans, Chinese and those of mixed heritage. The island was proclaimed a colony of France in 1880 although it was not until 1946 that the indigenous Tahitians were legally authorised to be French citizens. French is the only official language although the Tahitian language (Reo Tahiti) is widely spoken. It was part of the Kingdom of Tahiti until its
    7.75
    4 votes
    6
    Laos

    Laos

    Laos ((/ˈlaʊs/, /ˈlɑː.ɒs/, /ˈlɑː.oʊs/, or /ˈleɪ.ɒs/) Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ, pronounced [sǎː.tʰáː.laʔ.naʔ.lat páʔ.sáː.tʰiʔ.páʔ.tàj páʔ.sáː.són.láːw] Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao), officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west. Its population was estimated to be 6.5 million in 2012. Laos traces its history to the kingdom of Lan Xang, which existed from the 14th to the 18th century when it split into three separate kingdoms. In 1893, it became a French protectorate, with the three kingdoms, Luang Phrabang, Vientiane and Champasak, uniting to form what is now known as Laos. It briefly gained independence in 1945 after Japanese occupation, but returned to French rule until it was granted autonomy in 1949. Laos became independent in 1953, with a constitutional monarchy under Sisavang Vong. Shortly after independence, a long civil war ended the monarchy, when the Communist Pathet Lao movement came to power in 1975. Laos is a single-party socialist republic. The capital city is Vientiane. Other large cities
    7.50
    4 votes
    7
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    4 votes
    8
    Île Amsterdam

    Île Amsterdam

    Île Amsterdam (French pronunciation: [ilamstəʁˈdam], also known as Amsterdam Island, New Amsterdam, or Nouvelle Amsterdam, is an island named after the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. It lies in the southern Indian Ocean. It is part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands and, together with neighbouring Île Saint-Paul 85 km/53 mi to the south, forms one of the five districts of the territory. Its base, the Martin-de-Viviès research station, first called Camp Heurtin, then La Roche Godon, and the only settlement on the island, is the capital of the territory and is home to about 30 (non-permanent) inhabitants involved in biological, meteorological and geomagnetic studies. Île Amsterdam is one of only three land antipodes of the continental United States. It corresponds to an area about 20 miles (30 km) southeast of Lamar, Colorado (the other two land antipodes of the US are île Saint-Paul and the Kerguelen Islands). The island was discovered by the Basque Spanish explorer Juan Sebastián Elcano on 18 March 1522, in the course of his voyage of global circumnavigation. However, he did not name the island. Having found the island unnamed, Dutch captain Anthonie van Diemen named
    8.67
    3 votes
    9
    Vietnam

    Vietnam

    Vietnam (/ˌvjɛtˈnɑːm/, /ˌvjɛtˈnæm/), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Cộng hòa xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam ( listen)), is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. With an estimated 87.8 million inhabitants as of 2011, it is the world's 13th-most-populous country, and the eighth-most-populous Asian country. The name Vietnam translates as "South Viet", and was officially adopted in 1945. The country is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea to the east. Its capital city has been Hanoi since the reunification of North and South Vietnam in 1976. The Vietnamese became independent from Imperial China in 938 AD, following the Battle of Bạch Đằng River. Successive Vietnamese royal dynasties flourished as the nation expanded geographically and politically into Southeast Asia, until the Indochina Peninsula was colonized by the French in the mid-19th century. The First Indochina War eventually led to the expulsion of the French in 1954, leaving Vietnam divided politically into two states, North and South Vietnam. Conflict between the two sides intensified, with heavy foreign
    8.33
    3 votes
    10
    French Guiana

    French Guiana

    French Guiana (French: Guyane française; French pronunciation: [ɡɥijan fʁɑ̃sɛz]; officially just Guyane) is an overseas region of France on the North Atlantic coast of South America. It has borders with two nations: Brazil to the east and south, and Suriname to the west. Its 83,534 km (32,253 sq mi) have a very low population density of less than 3 /km (7.8 /sq mi), with half of its 236,250 people in 2011 living in the metropolitan area of Cayenne, its capital. The addition of the adjective "French" in English comes from colonial times when five such colonies existed (The Guianas), namely from west to east: Spanish Guiana (now Guayana Region in Venezuela), British Guiana (now Guyana), Dutch Guiana (now Suriname), French Guiana, and Portuguese Guiana (now Amapá, a state in far northern Brazil). French Guiana and the two larger countries to the north and west, Guyana and Suriname, are still often collectively referred to as the Guianas and comprise one large shield landmass. A large part of the department's economy derives from the presence of the Guiana Space Centre, now the European Space Agency's primary launch site near the equator. French Guiana was originally inhabited by a
    6.25
    4 votes
    11
    Île Saint-Paul

    Île Saint-Paul

    Île Saint-Paul (Saint Paul Island) is an island forming part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (Terres australes et antarctiques françaises--TAAF) in the Indian Ocean, with an area of 6 square kilometres (2.3 sq mi). The island is located about 85 km (53 mi) southwest of the larger Île Amsterdam, and 3,000 km (1,900 mi) south of Réunion. It is an important breeding site for seabirds. A scientific research cabin on the island is used for scientific or ecological short campaigns, but there is no permanent population. It is under the authority of a senior administrator on Réunion. However, in 2007 Mauritian authorities indicated that they are exploring a potential claim on both Île Saint-Paul and Île Amsterdam. Île Saint-Paul is one of three land antipodes of the contiguous United States, corresponding to an area about 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Cheyenne Wells, Colorado. (The other two land antipodes are Île Amsterdam and Kerguelen Island.) Île Saint-Paul is triangular in shape, and measures no more than 3 mi (4.8 km) at its widest. It is the top of an active volcano, the volcano last erupted in 1793 (from its SW Flank), and is rocky with steep cliffs on the east side. The
    8.00
    3 votes
    12
    Gabon

    Gabon

    Gabon ( /ɡəˈbɒn/; French pronunciation: [ɡabɔ̃]), officially the Gabonese Republic (French: République Gabonaise) is a sovereign state on the west coast of Central Africa. Located on the equator, Gabon is bordered by Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, the Republic of the Congo on the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean's Gulf of Guinea to the west. It has an area of nearly 270,000 square kilometres (100,000 sq mi) and its population is estimated at 1.5 million people. Its capital and largest city is Libreville. Since its independence from France on August 17, 1960, Gabon has been ruled by three presidents. In the early 1990s, Gabon introduced a multi-party system and a new democratic constitution that allowed for a more transparent electoral process and reformed many governmental institutions. Gabon was also a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2010–2011 term. Low population density, abundant petroleum, and foreign private investment have helped make Gabon one of the most prosperous countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the highest HDI and the third highest GDP per capita (PPP) (after Equatorial Guinea and Botswana) in the
    7.67
    3 votes
    13
    Vanuatu

    Vanuatu

    Vanuatu (English /ˌvɑːnuːˈɑːtuː/ vah-noo-AH-too or /vænˈwɑːtuː/ van-WAH-too; Bislama IPA: [vanuaˈtu]), officially the Republic of Vanuatu (French: République de Vanuatu, Bislama: Ripablik blong Vanuatu), is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, 500 kilometres (310 mi) northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea. Vanuatu was first inhabited by Melanesian people. The first Europeans to visit the islands were the members of a Spanish expedition led by Portuguese navigator Fernandes de Queirós, who arrived in Espiritu Santo in 1605; he claimed the archipelago for Spain and named Espiritu Santo. In the 1880s France and the United Kingdom claimed parts of the country, and in 1906 they agreed on a framework for jointly managing the archipelago as the New Hebrides through a British–French Condominium. An independence movement arose in the 1970s, and the Republic of Vanuatu was founded in 1980. The nation's name was derived from the word vanua ("land" or "home"), which occurs in several Austronesian languages, and
    5.75
    4 votes
    14
    Algeria

    Algeria

    Algeria /ælˈdʒɪəriə/ (Arabic: الجزائر‎, al-Jazā'ir; French: Algérie, Berber: ⴷⵣⴰⵢⴻⵔ Dzayer), officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria (الجمهورية الجزائرية الديمقراطية الشعبية, Al-Jumhūriyyah Al-Jazāʾiriyyah Ad-Dīmuqrāṭiyyah Ash-Shaʿbiyyah; French: République algérienne démocratique et populaire), also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Algerian Republic, is an Arab country in the Maghreb region of Africa. Its capital (and most populous city) is Algiers. The territory of today's Algeria was the home of many ancient cultures, including Aterian and Capsian cultures. Its area have been ruled by many empires and dynasties, including ancient Numidians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arab Umayyads, Berber Fatimids and Almohads and later Turkish Ottomans. Algeria is a semi presidential republic consisting of 48 provinces and 1541 communes. With a population exceeding 37 million, it is the 34 most populated country on earth. Its economy is oil based, suffering from Dutch disease. Sonatrach, the national oil company, is the largest company in Africa. Algeria has the second largest army in Africa and in the arab world, after Egypt, and has Russia and
    9.00
    2 votes
    15
    Côte d’Ivoire

    Côte d’Ivoire

    Ivory Coast (/ˌaɪvəri ˈkoʊst/) or Côte d'Ivoire (/ˌkoʊt dɨˈvwɑr/; French: [kot d‿ivwaʁ] ( listen)), officially the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire (French: République de Côte d'Ivoire), is a country in West Africa. It has an area of 322,462 square kilometres (124,503 sq mi), and borders the countries Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana; its southern boundary is along the Gulf of Guinea. The country's population was 15,366,672 in 1998 and was estimated to be 20,617,068 in 2009. Ivory Coast's first national census in 1975 counted 6.7 million inhabitants. Prior to its colonization by Europeans, Ivory Coast was home to several states, including Gyaaman, the Kong Empire, and Baoulé. There were two Anyi kingdoms, Indénié and Sanwi, which attempted to retain their separate identity through the French colonial period and after independence. An 1843–1844 treaty made Ivory Coast a protectorate of France and in 1893, it became a French colony as part of the European scramble for Africa. Ivory Coast became independent on 7 August 1960. From 1960 to 1993, the country was led by Félix Houphouët-Boigny. It maintained close political and economic association with its West African neighbours,
    8.50
    2 votes
    16
    Saint-Pierre and Miquelon

    Saint-Pierre and Miquelon

    Saint Pierre and Miquelon (French: Collectivité territoriale de Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, French pronunciation: [sɛ̃ pjɛʁ e mikˈlɔ̃]) is a self-governing territorial overseas collectivity of France, situated in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean near Canada. It is the only remnant of the former colonial empire of New France that remains under French control. The islands are situated at the entrance of Fortune Bay, which extends into the southern coast of Newfoundland, near the Grand Banks. They are 3,819 kilometres (2,373 mi) from Brest, the nearest point in Metropolitan France, but just 20 kilometres (12 mi) off the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland. Saint-Pierre is French for Saint Peter, who is a patron saint of fishermen. The present name of Miquelon was first noted in the form of "Micquelle" in the Basque sailor Martin de Hoyarçabal's navigational pilot for Newfoundland. It has been claimed that the name "Miquelon" is a Basque form of Michael, but it appears that this is not a usual form in that language. Many Basques speak Spanish as well as Basque, and Miquelon may have been influenced by the Spanish name Miguelón, a form of Miguel meaning "big Michael". The adjoining island's
    8.50
    2 votes
    17
    Annam

    Annam

    Annam (Vietnamese: An Nam) was a French protectorate encompassing the central region of Vietnam. Vietnamese were subsequently referred to as "Annamites." Nationalist writers adopted the word "Vietnam" in the late 1920s. The general public embraced the word "Vietnam" during the revolution of August 1945. Since that time, the word "Annam" has been regarded as demeaning. The region was seized by the French by 1874 and became part of French Indochina in 1887. Two other Vietnamese regions, Cochinchina (Nam Kỳ) in the South and Tonkin (Bắc Kỳ) in the North, were also units of French Indochina. The region had a dual system of French and Vietnamese administration. The Nguyễn Dynasty still nominally ruled Annam, with a puppet emperor residing in Huế. In 1949, the protectorate was merged in the newly-established State of Vietnam. The region was divided between communist North Vietnam and anti-communist South Vietnam under the terms of the Geneva Accord of 1954. Annam means "Pacified South" in Sino-Vietnamese, the toponym being derived from the Chinese An Nan (安南; pinyin: Ānnán). In the history of Vietnam, the designation is one of several given by the Chinese to the Tonkin, the core
    6.33
    3 votes
    18
    Seychelles

    Seychelles

    Seychelles (/seɪˈʃɛlz/ say-SHELZ; French: [sɛʃɛl]), officially the Republic of Seychelles (French: République des Seychelles; Creole: Repiblik Sesel), is an island country spanning an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, some 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar. Other nearby island countries and territories include Zanzibar to the west, Mauritius, Rodrigues, Agalega and Réunion to the south, and Comoros and Mayotte to the southwest. Seychelles, with an estimated population of 86,525, has the smallest population of any African state. It also has the highest Human Development Index in Africa. Scholars assume that Austronesian seafarers, and later Maldivian and Arab traders were the first to visit the uninhabited Seychelles. Remains of Maldivian mariner presence from the 12th century were found in Silhouette Island. The earliest recorded sighting by Europeans took place in 1502 by the Portuguese Admiral Vasco da Gama, who passed through the Amirantes and named them after himself (islands of the Admiral). A transit point for trade between Africa and Asia, the islands were occasionally used by pirates until the French began
    8.00
    2 votes
    19
    Kerguelen Islands

    Kerguelen Islands

    The Kerguelen Islands ( /ˈkɜrɡəlɛn/ or /ˈkɜrɡələn/; in French commonly Îles Kerguelen or Archipel de Kerguelen but officially Archipel des Kerguelen or Archipel Kerguelen, pronounced: [kɛʁɡeˈlɛn]), also known as the Desolation Islands, are a group of islands in the southern Indian Ocean constituting one of the two emerged parts of the mostly submerged Kerguelen Plateau. The islands, along with Adélie Land, the Crozet Islands and the Amsterdam and Saint Paul Islands are part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands and are administered as a separate district. There are no indigenous inhabitants, but France maintains a permanent presence of 50 to 100 scientists, engineers and researchers. The main island, Grande Terre, is 6,675 km (2,577 sq mi) in area and is surrounded by a further 300 smaller islands and islets, forming an archipelago of 7,215 km (2,786 sq mi). The climate is raw and chilly with frequent high winds throughout the year. While the surrounding seas are generally rough, they remain ice-free year-round. There is no airport on the islands, so all travel and transport from the outside world is conducted by ship. The islands were discovered by the Breton-French navigator
    6.00
    3 votes
    20
    Madagascar

    Madagascar

    Madagascar, officially the Republic of Madagascar (Malagasy: Repoblikan'i Madagasikara [republiˈkʲan madaɡasˈkʲarə̥]; French: République de Madagascar) and previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the southeastern coast of Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar (the fourth-largest island in the world), as well as numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from India around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90 percent of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. The island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the rapidly growing human population. Initial human settlement of Madagascar occurred between 350 BCE and 550 CE by Austronesian peoples arriving on outrigger canoes from Borneo. These were joined around 1000 CE by Bantu migrants crossing the Mozambique Channel. Other groups continued to settle on Madagascar over time, each one making lasting contributions to Malagasy cultural life.
    6.00
    3 votes
    21
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    1 votes
    22
    Guadeloupe

    Guadeloupe

    Guadeloupe ( /ɡwɑːdəˈluːp/; French pronunciation: [ɡwadəlup]; Antillean Creole: Gwadloup) is a Caribbean island located in the Leeward Islands, in the Lesser Antilles, with a land area of 1,628 square kilometres (629 sq. mi) and a population of 400,000. It is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. Its departmental code is "971". Guadeloupe is an integral part of France, as are the other overseas departments. Besides Guadeloupe island, the smaller islands of Marie-Galante, La Désirade, and the Îles des Saintes are included in Guadeloupe. As part of France, Guadeloupe is part of the European Union and the Eurozone; hence, as for all Eurozone countries, its currency is the euro. However, Guadeloupe is not part of the Schengen Area. The prefecture and the capital of Guadeloupe is Basse-Terre. Christopher Columbus named the island Santa María de Guadalupe in 1493 after the Virgin Mary, venerated in the Spanish town of Guadalupe, in Extremadura. The island was called "Karukera" (The island of beautiful waters) by the Arawak people who settled on there in 300 AD/CE. During the 8th century, the Caribs came and killed the existing population of Amerindians
    7.50
    2 votes
    23
    Dahomey

    Dahomey

    Dahomey was a country in west Africa in what is now the Republic of Benin. The Kingdom of Dahomey was a powerful west African state that was founded in the seventeenth century and survived until 1894. From 1894 until 1960 Dahomey was a part of French West Africa. The independent Republic of Dahomey existed from 1960 to 1975. In 1975, the country was renamed "The People's Republic of Benin" after the Bight of Benin (not the unrelated historical Kingdom of Benin) since "Benin," unlike "Dahomey," was deemed politically neutral for all ethnic groups in the state. Based in his capital of Agbome, Wegbaja and his successors established a highly centralized state with a deep-rooted kingship cult of sacrificial offerings. These included an emphasis on human sacrifices in large numbers, to the ancestors of the monarch. Human sacrifices were not only made in time of war, pestilence, calamity, and on the death of kings and chiefs, they were also made regularly in the Annual Customs, believed to supply deceased kings with a fresh group of servants. Four thousand Whydahs, for example, were sacrificed when Dahomey conquered the Kingdom of Whydah in 1727. Five hundred were sacrificed for Adanzu II
    7.00
    2 votes
    24
    Marquesas Islands

    Marquesas Islands

    The Marquesas Islands (French: Îles Marquises or Archipel des Marquises or Marquises; Marquesan: Te Henua (K)enana (North Marquesan) and Te Fenua `Enata (South Marquesan), both meaning "The Land of Men") are a group of volcanic islands in French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the southern Pacific Ocean. The Marquesas are located at 9° 00S, 139° 30W. The highest point is the peak of Mount Oave (French: Mont Oave) on Ua Pu island at 1,230 m (4,035 ft) above sea level. The Marquesas Islands form one of the five administrative divisions (subdivisions administratives) of French Polynesia. The capital of the Marquesas Islands administrative subdivision is the settlement of Taiohae on the island of Nuku Hiva. The population of the Marquesas Islands was 8,632 at the August 2007 census. The first recorded settlers of the Marquessa were Polynesians, who, from archæological evidence, are believed to have arrived before 100 AD. Ethnological and linguistic evidence suggests that they likely arrived from the region of Tonga and Samoa. The islands were given their name by the Spanish explorer Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira who reached them on 21 July 1595. He named them after his
    7.00
    2 votes
    25

    Cambodia

    Cambodia (/kæmˈboʊdiə/; Khmer: ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា, Kampuchea, IPA: [kɑmˈpuˈciə]), officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. Its total landmass is 181,035 square kilometres (69,898 sq mi), bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest. With a population of over 14.8 million, Cambodia is the 68th most populous country in the world. The official religion is Theravada Buddhism, which is practiced by approximately 95% of the Cambodian population. The country's minority groups include Vietnamese, Chinese, Chams and 30 hill tribes. The capital and largest city is Phnom Penh, the political, economic, and cultural center of Cambodia. The kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with Norodom Sihamoni, a monarch chosen by the Royal Throne Council, as head of state. The head of government is Hun Sen, who is currently the longest serving leader in South East Asia and has ruled Cambodia for over 25 years. Cambodia's ancient name is "Kambuj" (Sanskrit: कंबुज). In 802 AD, Jayavarman II declared himself king marking the beginning
    9.00
    1 votes
    26
    French India

    French India

    French India is a general name for the French establishments set up by the French East India Company in India from the second half of the 17th century onward, and officially known as the Établissements français dans l'Inde from the resumption of French rule in 1816 to their de facto incorporation into the Union of India in 1949 and 1954. They included Pondichéry, Karikal and Yanaon on the Coromandel Coast, Mahé on the Malabar Coast, and Chandernagor in Bengal. French India also included several loges (subsidiary trading stations that all European East India companies maintained in a number of Indian towns), but after 1816 these were to be nominally French only. The total area amounted to 510 km (200 sq mi), of which 293 km (113 sq mi) belonged to the territory of Pondichéry. In 1936, the population of the colony totalled 298,851 inhabitants, of which 63% (187,870) lived in the territory of Pondichéry. France was the last of the major European maritime powers of the 17th century to enter the East India trade in a significant way. Six decades after the foundation of the English and Dutch East India companies (in 1600 and 1602 respectively), and at a time when both companies were
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    Tonkin

    Tonkin

    Tonkin (Bắc Kỳ in Vietnamese), also spelled Tongkin, Tonquin or Tongking, is the northernmost part of Vietnam, south of China's Yunnan and Guangxi Provinces, east of northern Laos, and west of the Gulf of Tonkin. Locally, it is known as Bắc Kỳ, meaning "Northern Region". Located on the fertile delta of the Red River, Tonkin is rich in rice production. The area was called Văn Lang by Vietnamese ancestors at around 2000-100 BCE. Evidence of the earliest established society other than the Đông Sơn culture in Northern Vietnam was found in Cổ Loa, the ancient city situated near present-day Hà Nội. According to Vietnamese myths the first Vietnamese peoples descended from the Dragon Lord Lạc Long Quân and the Immortal Fairy Âu Cơ. Lạc Long Quân and Âu Cơ had 100 sons before they decided to part ways. 50 of the children went with their mother to the mountains, and the other 50 went with their father to the sea. The eldest son became the first in a line of earliest Vietnamese kings, collectively known as the Hùng kings (Hùng Vương or the Hồng Bàng Dynasty). The Hùng kings called the country, which was then located on the Red River delta in present-day northern Vietnam, Văn Lang. The people
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    Haiti

    Haiti

    Haiti /ˈheɪti/ (French: Haïti [a.iti]; Haitian Creole Ayiti [ajiti]), officially the Republic of Haiti (République d'Haïti; Repiblik Ayiti), is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti (land of high mountains) was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island. The country's highest point is Pic la Selle, at 2,680 metres (8,793 ft). The total area of Haiti is 27,750 square kilometres (10,714 sq mi) and its capital is Port-au-Prince. Haitian Creole and French are the official languages. Haiti's regional, historical, and ethno-linguistic position is unique for several reasons. It was the first independent nation of Latin America and the Caribbean, the first black-led republic in the world, and the second republic in the Americas when it gained independence in 1804 as part of a successful slave revolution lasting nearly a decade. In 2012, Haiti announced its intention to seek associate membership status in the African Union. Haiti is the most populous of the predominantly Francophone independent nations in the Americas; others include Saint
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    Mayotte

    Mayotte

    Mayotte (French: Mayotte, pronounced: [majɔt]; Shimaore: Maore, IPA: [maˈore]; Malagasy: Mahori) is an overseas department and region of France consisting of a main island, Grande-Terre (or Mahoré), a smaller island, Petite-Terre (or Pamanzi), and several islets around these two. The archipelago is located in the northern Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean, namely between northwestern Madagascar and northeastern Mozambique. Mayotte's area is 374 square kilometres (144 sq mi) and, with its estimated 194,000 people, is very densely populated (520 /km or 1,300 /sq mi). Its biggest city and prefecture is Mamoudzou. The territory is geographically part of the Comoro Islands but has been politically separate since a 1974 referendum in which it elected to remain under French rule. The territory is also known as Mahoré, the native name of its main island, especially by advocates of its inclusion in the Union of Comoros. In a 2009 referendum, the population overwhelmingly approved accession to status of department (95.2% voted in favour of departmental status). Mayotte became an overseas department on 31 March 2011 and will become an Outermost region of the European Union on 1 January
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    New Caledonia

    New Caledonia (French: Nouvelle-Calédonie) is a special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, 1,210 kilometres (750 mi) east of Australia and 16,136 kilometres (10,026 mi) east of Metropolitan France. The archipelago, part of the Melanesia subregion, includes the main island of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Belep archipelago, the Isle of Pines and a few remote islets. The Chesterfield Islands in the Coral Sea are also part of New Caledonia. Locals refer to Grande Terre as "Le Caillou", the stone. New Caledonia has a land area of 18,576 square kilometres (7,172 sq mi). The population (Jan. 2011 estimate) is 252,000. The capital of the territory is Nouméa. The earliest traces of human presence in New Caledonia date back to the Lapita period. The Lapita were highly skilled navigators and agriculturists with influence over a large area of the Pacific. The British first sighted New Caledonia on 4 September 1774, during the second voyage of Captain James Cook. He named the territory New Caledonia, as the north-east of the island reminded him of Scotland. The west coast of Grande Terre was approached by Jean-François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse in 1788,
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    Mauritania

    Mauritania

    Mauritania /mɔrɪˈteɪniə/ (Arabic: موريتانيا‎ Mōrītānyā; Berber: Muritanya / Agawej; Wolof: Gànnaar; Soninke: Murutaane; Pulaar: Moritani; French: Mauritanie), officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, is an Arab Maghreb country in West Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, by Western Sahara (controlled by Morocco) in the north, by Algeria in the northeast, by Mali in the east and southeast, and by Senegal in the southwest. It is named after the ancient Berber Kingdom of Mauretania, which later became a province of the Roman Empire, even though the modern Mauritania covers a territory far to the south of the old Berber kingdom that had no relation with it. The capital and largest city is Nouakchott, located on the Atlantic coast. The government of Mauritania was overthrown on 6 August 2008, in a military coup d'état led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. On 16 April 2009, General Aziz resigned from the military to run for president in the 19 July elections, which he won. In Mauritania about 20% of the population live on less than US$1.25 per day. Slavery in Mauritania has been called a major human rights issue as well as female genital mutilation, child
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    New Hebrides

    New Hebrides

    New Hebrides was the colonial name for an island group in the South Pacific that now forms the nation of Vanuatu. The New Hebrides were colonized by both the British and French in the 18th century shortly after Captain James Cook visited the islands. The two countries eventually signed an agreement making the islands an Anglo-French condominium, which lasted from 1906 until 1980, when the New Hebrides gained their independence as Vanuatu. The Condominium divided the New Hebrides into two separate communities — one Anglophone and one Francophone. This divide continues even after independence, with schools either teaching in one language or the other, and between different political parties. The New Hebrides were a unique form of colonial territory in which sovereignty was shared by two great powers – Britain and France – instead of exercised by just one. Under the Condominium there were three separate governments – one French, one British, and one joint administration that was partially elected after 1975. The French and British governments were called residencies, each headed by a resident appointed by the metropolitan government. The residency structure emphasized dualism to the
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    Tunisia

    Tunisia

    Tunisia (US /tuːˈniːʒə/ two-NEE-zhə or UK /tjuːˈnɪziə/ tew-NIZ-iə; Arabic: تونس‎ Tūnis pronounced [ˈtuːnɪs]; French: Tunisie), officially the Republic of Tunisia (Arabic: الجمهورية التونسية‎ al-Jumhūriyyah at-Tūnisiyyah; Berber: ⵜⴰⴳⴷⵓⴷⴰ ⵏ ⵜⵓⵏⴻⵙ Tagduda n Tunes; French: République tunisienne), is the smallest country in North Africa. It is an Arab Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Tunisia's area is almost 165,000 square kilometres (64,000 sq mi), with an estimated population of just under 10.7 million. Its name is derived from the capital Tunis located in the northeast. The south of the country is composed of the Sahara desert, with much of the remainder consisting of particularly fertile soil and 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) of coastline. Tunisia has an association agreement with the European Union and is a member of the Arab Maghreb Union, the Arab League, and the African Union. Tunisia has established close relations with France in particular, through economic cooperation, industrial modernization, and privatisation programs. The word Tunisia is derived from Tunis; a city and capital of
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