The Colonial Expansion of French Congo


L’Expansion coloniale au Congo français (The colonial expansion of French Congo) is a study of the history, geography, population, administrative structures, and economy of Congo, published in 1906 in conjunction with the French Colonial Exposition in Marseille. In the years before World War I, France’s global empire, second in size only to Britain’s, was nearing its peak. The exposition was intended to glorify France’s civilizing mission as well as to highlight its profitable trade with the colonies, much of which passed through the port of Marseille. Wedged between Belgian Congo to the south and German-controlled Cameroon to the north, Congo came under French control in the 1880s. In 1908, it became a part of French Equatorial Africa (Afrique équatoriale française), along with Gabon, Chad, and Oubangi-Chari (present-day Central African Republic). This account, like others produced for the Marseille exposition, outlines how the French administered the colony. It contains numerous photographs, maps, inventories, and tables. It also includes detailed descriptions of the landscape, cultures, languages, and religions of the colony, and outlines the administrative, economic, and political structure of French rule. In 1960, French Congo became the independent Republic of the Congo, with its capital at Brazzaville.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Émile Larose, Paris


Title in Original Language

L'expansion coloniale au Congo français

Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

viii, 942 pages : 88 illustrations (including plates, portraits), maps (partly folded), tables (partly folded) ; 26 centimeters


  • Second edition.

Last updated: September 18, 2015