French Equatorial Africa

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Image:French Equatorial Africa.PNG
Location of French Equatorial Africa.

French Equatorial Africa (French: Afrique Équatoriale Française, AEF) was the federation of French colonial possessions in Middle Africa, extending northwards from the Congo River to the Sahara Desert.

Established in 1910, the federation contained four territories — Gabon, Middle Congo (now the Republic of the Congo), Oubangui-Chari (or Ubangi-Shari, now the Central African Republic) and Chad, although the last was not organized as a separate entity until 1920. The governor-general was based in Brazzaville with deputies in each territory.

In 1911 France ceded parts of the territory to German Cameroon as a result of the Agadir Crisis. The territory was returned after Germany's defeat in World War I.

During World War II the federation rallied to the Free French Forces under Félix Éboué (August 1940) (except for Gabon which was Vichy between 16 June 1940 - 12 November 1940) and became the centre for their activities in Africa.

Under France's Fourth Republic (1946-1958), the federation was represented in the French parliament. When the territories voted in the September 1958 referendum to become autonomous within the French Community, the federation was dissolved. In 1959 the new republics formed an interim association called the Union of Central African Republics, before becoming fully independent in August 1960.

[edit] Postage stamps

The postal administrations of the four territories were separate until 1936, each issuing its own stamps. In that year, stamps of Gabon and Middle Congo were overprinted AFRIQUE / ÉQUATORIALE / FRANÇAISE. A definitive series for the colony followed in 1937, featuring local scenes and key (French) figures in the formation of the colony, with various color and value changes each year through 1940.

The 1937 series was overprinted AFRIQUE FRANÇAISE / LIBRE or just LIBRE in 1940 by the Free French, and in 1941 they issued a series depicting a phoenix rising from the flames.

A new definitive series, featuring local scenery and people, was issued in 1946, and another twenty-odd stamps came out during the 1950s, with the last being the omnibus Human Rights issue on 10 December 1958.

[edit] See also

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Image:Flag of France.svg
I- Former French protectorates and colonial possessions:
Africa & Indian Ocean: Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia) | Arguin Island (off Morocco) | French West Africa (Côte d'Ivoire, Dahomey, French Sudan (Mali), Guinea, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Upper Volta) & French Togoland & James Island (The Gambia) | French Equatorial Africa (Chad, Gabon, Middle Congo, Oubangui-Chari) | French Somaliland (Djibouti) | Comoros (Anjouan- Grande Comore- Mohéli) | Madagascar | Mascarene Islands : Ile de France (Mauritus) & Seychelles
The Americas (French colonization of the Americas): New France (Acadia, Louisiana, Quebec, Terre Neuve) | Inini | Berbice | Saint-Domingue (Haiti) | Tobago | Virgin Islands (part) | France Antarctique (part of Brazil) | France Équinoxiale (part of Brazil)
Asia: Alaouites | Alexandretta-Hatay (now a province of Turkey) | Ceylon | French India (Chandannagar, Coromandel Coast | Madras | Malabar, Mahé, Puducherry, Karaikal, Yanaon) | Kwangchowan (lease in China) | French Indochina (Cambodia-Kampuchea | Laos | Vietnam: Annam, Cochinchina, Tonkin)
Oceania: New Caledonia | New Hebrides (now Vanuatu)
II- Present overseas territories and possessions:
Americas: French Guiana | Guadeloupe | Martinique | Saint-Pierre and Miquelon | Oceania: French Polynesia | New Caledonia | Wallis and Futuna | Indian Ocean: Mayotte | La Réunion (Mascarene- formerly Île Bourbon)
See also: French colonisation of the Americas | Chartered company | French East India Company
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