The French policy of ‘Assimilation’ was designed to make the Africans in French colonies more French through education. The final goal was to have the African colonies act more as extensions of France itself than as outposts of French mercantilism. This goal was achieved, if only temporarily, in Algeria, which was for a time considered a French “department.” In countries where the “Assimilation” policy was implemented the French opened schools that taught both French culture and language, and hoped that as the native Africans learned the French way of life, they would be more complacent under French rule. In the end assimilation did not work out that well because France was reluctant to give all the African people in their colonies citizenship. The hypocrisy of preaching the virtues of the French political and cultural system while denying those very same rights caused many Africans to simply not participate in the ‘assimilation’ policy.

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