French colonial empire

set of territories that were under French rule primarily from the 17th century to the late 1960s

The French colonial Empire was land under French rule from the 17th century to the late 1960s. In the 17th and 18th centuries France gained and lost large territories in North America and India. The "first colonial empire" is often taken to start with the French colonization of the Americas and to end with the Napoleonic Wars. The "second colonial empire" is often taken to start and end with French rule in Africa.

French Colonial Empire

Empire colonial français
1534–1946
Flag of France
French conquests and territories over the centuries
French conquests and territories over the centuries
Capital
and largest city
Paris
Bourbon
Bonaparte
History 
• Established
1534
• Cartier planted the French flag at Gaspé Bay
24 July 1534
30 April 1803
• Independence of Vanuatu
30 July 1980
• Disestablished
1946
Area
24,000,000 km2 (9,300,000 sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeFR
Today part of

From the 16th to the 17th centuries, the First French colonial empire stretched from a total area at its peak in 1680 to over 10,000,000 square kilometres (3,900,000 sq mi), the second largest empire in the world at the time behind only the Spanish Empire. In terms of land area, the Second French colonial empire extended to over 13,500,000 square kilometres (5,200,000 sq mi) at its peak in 1936, the second largest in the world at the time, which accounted for 10% of the world's land area. The total land area of the first and second French colonial empire combined reached 24,000,000 square kilometres (9,300,000 sq mi).