French Congo

Not to be confused with Belgian Congo or Portuguese Congo.
French Congo
Congo français
French colony


Capital Brazzaville
Languages French (official)
Fang, Myene, Kongo, Lingala
Religion Christianity, Bwiti, Islam, traditional religions
Political structure Colony
   Established 1882[1]
  Renamed Middle Congo 1903
   Reestablished as French Equatorial Africa 1910
Currency French franc
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Kongo
French Equatorial Africa
Today part of  Republic of the Congo
 Central African Republic

The French Congo (French: Congo français) or Middle Congo (French: Moyen-Congo) 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.


The French Congo began at Brazzaville on 10 September 1880 as a protectorate over the Bateke people along the north bank of the Congo River,[1] was formally established as the French Congo on 30 November 1882,[1] and was confirmed at the Berlin Conference of 1884–85. 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.[2] It formally added Gabon on 30 April 1901,[1] was officially renamed Middle Congo (French: Moyen-Congo) in 1903, was temporarily divorced from Gabon in 1906, and was then reunited as French Equatorial Africa in 1910 in an attempt to emulate the relative success of French West Africa.

A 1906 study, L’Expansion coloniale au Congo français (The colonial expansion of French Congo) was published in conjunction with the French Colonial Exposition in Marseille.[3]

List of Commissioners-General

The colony was administered under four commissioners-general (commissionaires généraux) prior to its reorganization into Middle Congo.[1]

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to French Congo.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Histoire militaire des colonies, pays de protectorat et pays sous mandat. 7. "Histoire militaire de l'Afrique Équatoriale française". 1931. Accessed 9 October 2011. (French)
  2. Payeur-Didelot. "Gabon. - Colonie française du Gabon-Congo, 1/3,700,000". 1894. (French)
  3. Rouget, Ferdinand (1906). The Colonial Expansion of French Congo (in French). Émile Larose - via World Digital Library. Retrieved 2014-06-19.

Further reading

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/30/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.