Assimilation and Direct Rule in Term Paper

Total Length: 667 words ( 2 double-spaced pages)

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French self-interests sublimated all else and crushed African esteem and African way of life in the process. Self-centered, egoistic, intolerant, and bigoted, the French heartlessly subjected Africa to its rule, foisting its culture of assimilation in the meantime.

West African Assimilation has not always been the objective of France. Skeptical that the African people would ever become 'suitable" French citizens, and anxious at the potential expense of introducing such a system so complex and broad in its approach, the concept of Assimilation was only introduced later, pushed, to a great extent, by African individuals themselves (Crowder, 1991: 77).

Assimilation was achieved by the African nation adopting French ways as superior to their own and endeavoring to become as much French as possible. Frantz Fanon (1990) called this group of "assimilees" the "benis oui" or the "yes men" who regarded Paris as their home, adopted French food, French dress, Christianity as their religion, French culture and history as their tradition, and tried to be "more French than French" in an attempt to reject their "African primitive ways."

Assimilation aided France in achieving its objective that many of the colonies became dependent on France and later refused to sunder them from it. An example, as mentioned before, was the island of Mayotte.
Another example was that of Senegal which saw Africa's destiny as being most fortuitous in French hands. Houphouet Boighny, for example, opposed independence from France on the grounds that Africa would flounder without French guidance (Gunther, 1955).

It was in this dual manner of Direct Rule combined with Assimilation that France succeeded in entrenching its impact over its West African colonies.


Crowder, M. Africa South of the Sahara. London: Europa Publications, 1991.

Fanon, F. The Wretched of the Earth, New York: Grove Press, 1990.

Gunther, J. Inside Africa, New York, Harper, 1955.

Rodney, W.….....

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