How did the Brazzaville conference help France keep its colonies?
The structure of the French colonisation as well as the foundation upon that which it existed on was a direct betrayal of the values of equality as well as fraternity (brotherhood) which is not only engrained into the french society but is also written in the declaration of the rights of man and the citizen; however, this did not by any means prevent the French from exerting its colonial empire on these colonies.
Why did the French initially colonise?
The French believed that it was their duty to establish a 'Plus Grande France' (Greater French Republic) and that in doing so, they were creating an end to the 'uncivilised practises' that existed within the french colonies, some of which were: cannibalism, human sacrifice, salve-trading, and even witchcraft. This was done through France's mission civilisatrice (civilising mission) in which the colonies were taught the French civilisation, culture and language; this later on would ease the process of assimilation where the colonies would gradually be assimilated in to the French culture, legally as well as politically. French policy of 'assimilation' was formed in order to make those in the french colonies more french using education as a means this may have been done in order to prevent the role of decolonisation to ever take place seeing as France never expected its colonies to ever decolonize. They formed laws and conferences in order to stay in power over these colonies for as long as possible, or even forever as some saw it. This may have affected the rate at which the french public as well as the french government reacted to decolonisation even more so in Algeria because it was made a department of France. This is demonstrated very well in the case of Algeria where native Algerians were part of the French political parties and even sat in their parliament, but this was done once Algeria formed into a department of France which we will later discuss.
Eradicating the uncivilised characteristics of the French colonies however was not the only reason France was able to justify its colonization. the west - including France - believed it was their duty to develop the untapped resources of these otherwise 'backwards nations' in order to benefit the rest of mankind and therefore, saw themselves as the guardians of these resources.
As earlier mentioned, French colonisation appears to be a direct betrayal of the French values. so how was it that colonisation was accepted by the French society for such a long period of time? the answers lies within the wide discrepancy that existed between the rhetoric of assimilation and the reality of the colonial practises.
This idea was in the very beginning defended strongly by the republican left who believed that the colonies were a demonstration of the universal applicability of republicanism. Not only that, but the liberal ideals encouraged the French to place limits on the amount coercion taking place within the colonial administration could use against the colonised, even more so in the administration of justice including the use of forced labour. This coercion was done through the legal means of laws, which created the illusion that the basic human rights were being met. This highlights how both the French as well as the liberals were able to conspire together in order to legitimise a regime based on brutal force in an age of democracy. This idea of 'LA france d'être mer' (France overseas) was also later adopted by the political right who endorsed this idea due to the remnants of the french greatness and privileges of France's monarchial past it portrayed. However, there are many within the French