Ivory Coast Essay

815 words - 4 pages

The Côte d'Ivoire, or Ivory Coast is located on the southern edge of West Africa and north of the Gulf of Guinea, it was given the name “Ivory Coast” due to the ability to trade large quantities of ivory. It’s a beautiful land that’s tropical along the coast and semi-arid farther inland. The Ivory Coast still suffers from relative instability and civil wars and has experienced both economic and social growth and atrophy. While the inhospitable coastline prevented many European expeditions from taking hold, French expeditionary forces eventually worked their way through Africa in their quest to colonize. Natural resources were abundant and lucrative for French profiteers.
The Scramble for Africa was a European attempt by several countries to colonize Africa, create commerce, and establish treaties with the indigenous leaders. While other European expeditions endeavored to take possession of Côte d'Ivoire, the French were the first to make contact. In an effort to secure claim over the area, France built their first trading posts along the Gulf of Guinea while several voyagers began establishing territories along the Ivory Coast’s interior. Between Lieutenant Louis Binger, Verdier's agent, and Maurice Treich-Laplène nine treaties with local chiefs were negotiated in France’s favor.
In 1893, France formally took charge of the area and began to institute dominance over the people, immediately Captain Binger was installed as governor. By 1906, Governor Binger was replaced by Gabriel Angoulvant. Angoulvant ruthlessly pursued expansion and authority over the local leaders by pressing the tribes into service to French military men and protection of French trading posts. “French colonial policy incorporated concepts of assimilation and association. Assimilation presupposed the inherent superiority of French culture over all others, so that in practice the assimilation policy in the colonies meant extension of the French language, institutions, laws, and customs. The policy of association also affirmed the superiority of the French in the colonies, but it entailed different institutions and systems of laws for the colonizer and the colonized. Under this policy, the Africans in Côte d'Ivoire were allowed to preserve their own customs insofar as they were compatible with French interests. An indigenous elite trained in French administrative practice formed an intermediary group between the French and the Africans.” (Library of Congress) French leadership were unable to keep up with the hurried pace of French supremacy in Africa so they allowed local potentates to act in their stead. Once French law became stabilized in West Africa...

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