French Imperialism

Katy Yut, Neha Purandare, Sriram Palepu, Sakina D. Period 7

CaT Project - French edition

Study Guides

Multiple Choice

1. Which of the following was NOT under French imperial governance?

(A) Algeria

(B) Liberia

(C) Quebec

(D) Madagascar

(E) Cambodia

Answer (B): The correct answer is (B) Liberia. Liberia avoided imperialism during the colonization of Africa solely due to its use as a buffer state to separate the various imperial powers claiming other lands. Algeria, located in west Africa, was colonized by the French in 1830, although relations were typically incredibly tense. Quebec, founded in 1608, was the capital of the fur-trading colony of New France. Madagascar, declared a French colony in 1896, was overwhelmed with the supposedly superior French culture and lifestyle, while the extracted raw materials were incredibly beneficial to the French industrial economy. The French arrived in Cambodia in 1863, and a protectorate was placed over the colony, which was utilized as a trading post and route to Chinese markets.

2. Which contention did NOT transpire between France and Great Britain during 18th century imperialism?

(A) Seven Years’ War

(B) American War for Independence

(C) The Crimean War

(D) Napoleonic Wars

(E) French Revolutionary Wars

Answer (C): The correct answer is (C) The Crimean War. The Seven Years’ War was a conflict between Britain, France, Spain, and others which ended in a massive British victory and French defeat, resulting in the loss of the majority of French imperial territory in North America. The American War for Independence was fought against Britain with the assistance of France due to the rivalry and hatred the French felt towards the British and the desire to regain lost territory, such as Saint Lucia. The Crimean war broke out in 1853 between Russia and western European powers such as the Ottoman empire, which exposed Russia’s military weaknesses. The French Revolutionary Wars were fought from 1792 to 1802, while conflict with Britain existed concomitantly, ending with the Treaty of Amiens in 1802. However, French and British conflict resumed in during the Napoleonic Wars, which were simply an extension of the French Revolution.

3. What was the pertinent issue that the Geneva Conference of 1954 was primarily addressing?

(A) The prevention of the spread of communism within southeast Asia

(B) The discussion to Cold War hot spots: Berlin and Korea

(C) The issue of independence in Vietnam

(D) The battle between the Vietnamese and French

(E) The prospects of Genevian military alliances

Answer (D): The Geneva Conference of 1954 was a conference in which representatives from the United States, Soviet Union, France and the People’s Republic of China came together to address the situation and problems in Asia. One of the biggest problems they were trying to face was the long lasting battle between the French and Vietnam. The French were getting tired of draining out their resources and dedicating their time to the war so they called a meeting to set up an agreement. In this agreement the French agreed to remove their troops from north Vietnam and for Vietnam to be left alone for 2 years so that they could assemble their own government. Although it looked like a good plan on the surface there was a huge opportunity for Ho to step in and establish strict communism so the United States stepped in to establish anti-communist government in south Vietnam.

4. Which of the following areas was the first successful French colony?

(A) The colony established in Eastern Russia

(B) The colony established in America

(C) The colony established in West Africa

(D) The colony established on Pacific Islands

(E) The colony established in Brazil

Answer (B): Although answer choice E looks correct the question is specifically asking for the first successful colonization. It is correct Brazil was their first colonization (1555 Rio de Janeiro) however it was unsuccessful due to Portuguese and Spanish vigilance. France’s imperialist intervention allowed America to develop economically and in population. The following is a map to describe the order and timeline of the various imperialistic ventures.

5. The picture below shows the St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi, Vietnam.

This cathedral, along with many others which exist all over Indochina, were built because of:

(A) The spread of Christian principles throughout Indochina due to trade and cultural exchanges with China.

(B) Spanish officials and missionaries encouraging Catholicism with the intention of spreading “la verdadera fe” or the true faith

(C) Catholicism spreading throughout Indochina due to French missionaries and officials who introduced European schools and religion as an effort to connect with the natives

(D) French officials who enforced Catholicism as the only legal religion of Indochina, and banned the practice of other faiths.

(E) The diffusion of Catholicism through French and British trading posts that scattered the coastlines of Indochina, which led to the adoption of Christianity by much of the population

Answer (C): Indochina was a French colony so answer choices A and B can immediately be eliminated as any interactions with China or Spain would have had essentially no effect on Christianity’s dominance in Indochina. French officials never forcefully imposed any European traditions on colonial people, but rather promoted Christianity which eliminates answer choice D. The British colonial focus was around Malaya, Burma, India, and Sarawak and trading posts had a bigger economic significance rather than religious therefore eliminating answer choice E. The remaining answer that is left is C, which is correct because France introduced European education and religion in Indochina, and the promotion of Christianity is the reason why Catholicism is prominent throughout Indochina, especially in Vietnam. The cathedral shown in the picture was actually built by the French missionary Puginier, who received permission to construct the cathedral from the imperial French administration.



Essay Type: Compare/Contrast

(Suggested planning and writing time—40 minutes)

Directions: You are to answer the following question. You should spend 5 minutes organizing or outlining your essay.

Write an essay that:

  • Has a relevant thesis and supports that thesis with appropriate historical evidence.

  • Addresses all parts of the question.

  • Makes direct, relevant comparisons.

  • Analyzes relevant reasons for similarities and differences.

Prompt: Analyze the similarities and differences between the political and economic effects of French imperialism in West Africa and Indochina.


Basic Core (completion and competence)

  1. Has acceptable thesis. (2 pts.)

    1. Thesis must include 2 correct similarities and 2 differences between French colonization of W. Africa and Indochina

    2. At least one similarity and difference must be political, while the other two must be social for full credit

  2. Addresses all portions of the question, (not required to be a thorough analysis) (5 pts.)

    1. Must include information that pertains to both Indochina and W. Africa

  3. Supports thesis with appropriate historical evidence. (3 pts.)

    1. In order to score full points, essay must include at least 6 valid pieces of historical information in total

  4. Forms at least two pertinent comparison between effects. (2 pts.)

    1. Essay scores 1 point if 1 comparison is given.

  5. Explains the reasons for a similarities or differences between the effects. (2 pts.)

    1. Essay must adequately explain why there were differences in French political management of their African colonies and Indochina

Expanded Core (quality)

  • If essay meets all requirements it is able to receive up to 6 points in the expanded core level if:

    • Contains ample historical evidence that easily indicates that the student is experienced in the subject (2 pts.)

    • Has a clear, analytical, and comprehensive thesis that completely addresses the question (2 pts.)

    • Makes more than required substantive comparisons and contrasts (2 pts.)

Rubric Examples

These are examples of valid similarities and differences that can be credited with full points when supported with ample historical evidence