"COLONIZATION seeks to establish a living balance among all the groups that constitute humanity." This definition by Jean Rémy Ayouné, a Negro intellectual from Brazzaville, in French Equatorial Africa, is imperfect but significant nevertheless. It is inadequate because other acts besides colonization aim at attaining the equilibrium mentioned -- war for instance; yet it reveals that in the eyes of a French African Negro the aim of France in colonizing his country has been to achieve a common level of civilization between the colonized and the colonizer. Each nation has its own civilizing genius; each advances on the road of human progress by its own particular methods. How does France intend to share her special genius with the peoples of her possessions? That is the question I shall try to answer.
But first let me recall a few familiar basic facts. France's colonizing experience dates back to the French states established in the Levant at the time of the first crusade, in 1099. The fifteenth century was a period of discoveries. The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw the vast French undertakings in the Americas and the Indies. The colonial empire of the present day was founded under the Third Republic, mostly since 1875.
This empire is very diversified, embracing all races and the principal religions and spreading over all latitudes. In Africa, the French possessions stretch from the Mediterranean to the Congo. In the Indian Ocean are Madagascar, Djibouti and the Establishments of India; in the Pacific, Indo-China, New Caledonia, Tahiti and many other islands; in the western hemisphere, Guiana, the French West Indies, St. Pierre and Miquelon. The judicial status of these colonies differs. Algeria, a Government General, divided into three French departments, comes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior. Morocco and Tunisia, international protectorates, are under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Numerous territories are colonial protectorates, and thus under the Ministry of the Colonies. Some of the colonies send elected representatives to the French Parliament. Members of
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