The World at War

IVORY COAST 1700 - 1960


1700-1704 A French settlement is established at Assini.
1700 to 1707 A French trading post is maintained at Grand Bassam.
19th century In the early part of the 19th century several French traders establish themselves along the coast in the early part of the century.
1830Commandant Bouet Willaumez begins a series of surveys and expeditions.
1842Admiral Bouet Willaumez obtains cessions of territory at Assini and Grand Bassam from the native chiefs to France.
1843July Lieutenant Fleuriot de Langle enters Aby Lagoon with a small naval force and signs treaties of commerce with Atékéblé aka King Peter of Bassam and the King of Sanwi. The French occupy Assini and Grand Bassam and gradually extend their influence along the coast, but no attempt is made to penetrate interior.
1844March The chiefs of San Pedro accept Fleuriot de Langle's offer of French protection.
July The chiefs of Petit Béréby and Tabou accept Fleuriot de Langle's offer of French protection.
1845March The chiefs of Basha ccept Fleuriot de Langle's offer of French protection.
1852April - May Martin Despallières, Commandant of Grand Bassam, undertakes an expedition along the Ebrié and concludes a dozen treaties with the local chiefs.
1853French administrator August Baudin mounts a punitive expedition against rebellious chiefs in interior and instructs his engineering officer Louis Léon César Faidherbe to construct Fort Dabou.
1871France withdraws its garrisons from Assinie, Grand Bassam and Dabou in the aftermath of the Franco - Prussian War. The trading posts are handed over to the French trader Arthur Verdier who is named French Resident reporting to the Commander of the Naval Division of the Atlantic and the High Commander in Gabon.
1878France reclaims its concession in the Ivory Coast as Les Établissements Francaise de la Côte d'Or (French Settlements on the Gold Coast).
1881The French trader Brétignère, an agent of French Resident Arthur Verdier, is installed at Elima. Brétignère pioneers work in several domains; exploitation of the forests, prospecting for gold and planting the first coffee trees which are imported from Liberia.
1883France again takes over the actual administration of Assini and Bassam to head off claims of other European powers to the territory.
1887May 2 - July 22 Marcel Treich-Laplène leads the first French expedition to cross the great forest which they had yet to penetrate beyond Aboisso. Laplène signs treaties of friendship with the Indénié and Bondoukou chiefs, settles a dispute with the Kingdom of Krindjabo establishing trade relation and obtaining a promise of free passage for caravans and creates a chain of protectorates from Grand Bassam to Kong.
September Captain Louis Binger, General Faidherbe's aide-de-camp and a specialist in the Bambara and Mandingo languages departs Sikasso on an expedition to the interior where he encounters the Samory preparing to besiege Tiéba.
1888February Captain Binger's expedition reaches Kong then turns north to the Bobo and Mossi territories by way of the Gourounsi, Dagomba and Dagari lands.
1889January 5 The Binger Expedition returns to Kong where it is met by Treich Laplène. The two explorers return to Grand Bassam by way of Djimini, Anno and Indénié. Binger compiles a chart comprising 4000 kilometers of routes tracked by astronomical position and an ethnographic and linguistic work of the first order.
January A British mission dispatched by the Governor of the Gold Coast, Sir William Brandford Griffith, concludes a treaty with the King of Jaman at Bontuku, placing his dominions under British protection.
1890French troops subdue the populations of Jacqueville and Lahou.
1892The Ivory Coast's principle exports are palm oil, mahogany, dates, rubber, coffee, gold and ivory.
1893March 10 The Ivory Coast becomes a French colony. Louis Gustave Binger becomes governor and establishes the colony's administration in Grand Bassam.
1895June 16 Ivory Coast becomes a part of French West Africa.
During the Year French troops subdue the population of Bonoua.
1897Samory Touré, a Guinean warrior armed with rifles by the British destroys the French protected town of Kong.
1898French troops complete the subjugation of the Adioukrou country.
Samory Touré is captured and sent to Gabon where he dies two years later.
An Anglo-French accord establishes the boundary of the Ivory Coast with the Gold Coast.
1899On the northern confines of the great forest belt live races of cannibals, whose existence was first made known by Captain d’Ollone.
1900The capital is moved from Grand-Bassam to Bingerville (formerly Adjame) after a severe outbreak of yellow fever.
1901The government of the colony begins the granting of mining concessions which attract mostly British capital.
A head tax of 2.50 francs is instituted and levied on all persons over the age of 10 years and becomes the colony’s chief source of revenue.
1904Ivory Coast becomes an integral part of the newly established governor generalship of French West Africa.
Rubber and mahogany, the colony’s chief exports go almost exclusively to England. About 50% of the trade is with Great Britain. The export of ivory, for which the country was formerly famous, has almost ceased, the elephants being largely driven out of the colony. Cotton goods, by far the most important of the imports, come almost entirely from Great Britain.The half-mile of foreshore separating Port Bouet from the lagoon was pierced by a canal but the canal silted up as soon as cut.
1906French troops attack rebellious Bété tribesmen at Daloa.
1907The North - South Railway from Abidjan reaches Agboville.
The boundary between the Ivory Coast and the Republic of Liberia is established.
1908April 25 Gabriel Angoulvant is appointed governor of the colony and initiates a plan of conquest utilizing a tactic called the, " tache d’huile " (oil spot). It calls for delaying any advance until such time as country to the rear is completely organized around a post established in the heart of a hostile area near a strategic crossroads which can be used as springboard for the next advance. More than 110,000 rifles are taken out of the hands of the native by this tactic.
During the Year The French decided to make Grand Bassam the chief port of the colony.
Official estimates placed the native population as low as 980,000. its population possibly 2,000,000, of whom some 600 are Europeans.
French troops besiege rebel held Man in the Dan country.
1910The Agni, Abbey, Attié and Adioukrou clans of Akan tribesmen unite to attack French posts at Agboville and Adzopé.
1911French troops besiege rebels holding Semien in the Wè country.
1912The decade long resistance of the Baoulé under Akaffou Bularé, Yao Guié and Boni N’djoré comes to an end following the destruction of the French post at Salékro.The North - South Railway from Abidjan reaches Bouaké.
1914 - 1918 The French Army recruits 24,000 Ivorians for service in the First World War. Recruits are drawn mostly from the northern tribes and the Baoulés of the savannah.
1920The defeat of the Lobi in northeast Ivory Coast after 22 years of resistance to French rule brings the colonizer's campaign to subdue the native population to a close.
November 28 The Council of Government for French West Africa resolves to move the capital of the Ivory Coast from Bingerville to Abidjan but a dozen years will pass before the plan is implemented.
1928The sawmills established by Europeans on the coastal lagoons export 150,000 tons of forest products. Exploitation of the forest, especially mahogany trees, advances as rubber and palm products disappear from the colony's list of exports.
1930Coffee and cacao dominate the economy. Cacao exports reach 20,000 tons, up from 1000 tons in 1920, and double in the remaining years before World War II. The Ivory Coast develops a plantation economy based on cotton, banana and wood exports.
1932Félix Houphouët-Boigny, a young doctor educated at the School of Medicine in Dakar, leads the defense of native cacao planters facing expropriation of their lands by the large French trading companies including La Société Commerciale de l'Ouest Africain, La Compagnie Française d'Afrique-Occidentale and Établissements Peyrissac.
1933January 1 The colony of Upper Volta is dissolved at the insistence of the major French trading companies. Six of its provinces are added to Ivory Coast.
The North - South Railway from Abidjan reaches Bobo Dioulasso at kilometer 793. Use of forced labor to complete the railway contributes to a rising tide of anti-colonialism.
1934The capital is transferred from Bingerville to Abidjan, the southern terminus of the railway.
1940June The French administration in the colony remains loyal to the Vichy regime following the armistice.
1942November 13 The colonial administration in Ivory Coast rallies to Free France following the Allied invasion of French North Africa.
1944Félix Houphouët-Boigny founds le Syndicat agricole africain (African Farmers Union) which later becomes the Parti démocratique de Côte d’Ivoire.
1945Félix Houphouët-Boigny is elected to represent the Ivory Coast as a deputy to the first French Constituent Assembly.
1946April 11 The French National Assembly approves legislation introduced by Félix Houphouët-Boigny to abolish the practice of employing conscript labor on public works.
October 13 The Constitution of the Fourth Republic comes into force. Ivory Coast becomes a French Oversea Territory.
1947The colony of Upper Volta is re-established and the six provinces ceded to the Ivory Coast in 1933 are returned.
1949Ivorian political parties affiliated with the French Communist Party support strikes brought on by a fall in the price of cacao.
1951Félix Houphouët-Boigny adopts a policy of co-operation with the French administration and proposes a series of reforms that advances the decolonization process.
1957Félix Houphouët-Boigny is appointed to the Council of French West Africa and declares his support for an independent Ivory Coast Republic.
1958August French President Charles de Gaulle visits Abidjan to rally support for his proposed constitution for the Fifth Republic which would replace the French Union with a French Community composed of France and its former colonies.
September Ivorians cast a nearly unanimous vote in favor of the Constitution of the Fifth Republic.
December 4 Ivory Coast becomes an autonomous republic within the French Community with Félix Houphouët-Boigny as premier.
1960August 7 Ivory Coast becomes an independent republic.

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