century, new empire started trading with France.

century, during the 1960s. French colonies where France ruled made up the French Colonial
Empire, and there were two phases of growing the empire. The First Colonial Empire began
with France ruling in various territories overseas in 1534, initially Canada. In the 17
century,France colonised parts of India, North America and the Caribbean. However, after
several conflicts with other European countries,France lost most of its conquests across the
After this disappointment,France started to build a new empire from 1850, focusing on
Africa, Indochina and the South Pacific. As it developed, the colonised countries in the new
empire started trading with France. The growing of the French empire ended with the loss
of both the Vietnam war (1955) and the Algerian war (1962). Decolonisation – the
withdrawal of a colonial power from its colonies and their subsequent acquisition of
political and economic independence – started from the Second World War.
Explain that one major consequence of colonisation was that all countries in the colonial
empire shared the same language,French. The culture and religion of France also spread.
Discuss that lots of countries around the world have been influenced by the French culture
and language, but have adapted beliefs and language unique to themselves – discuss what
examples of this might be. Share that multiple countries in the Americas and Indian Ocean
archipels speak French Creole. French Creole is a French-based language, which originated
from the 17
th century and developed in the trading in harbours of French colonies. Traders
had to learn to communicate with each other, and so developed simplified languages which
suited that purpose.
Remind children of the Entry Point where they looked at the 29 French-speaking countries.
Display the phrase ‘DOM TOM’ and explain that France has numerous territories overseas,
which have representation in the French parliament, have French nationality, and can vote
for the French president. Even though the territories have different legal rights and levels of
independence, they are all considered part of France and all have French as their spoken
These territories are referred to as ‘DROM COM ‘(départements et régions d’outre mer et
collectivités d’outre mer) but are more commonly known as ‘DOM TOMs’ (départements et
territoires d’outre mer). These are not countries as they are part of France.
Today, the remainder of France’s control are islands in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and
French Guiana in South America, with some other remote peri-Antarctic islands and one in
Note: There are varying constitutional statuses which can make the situation confusing.
DOM TOMs are also known as overseas regions, overseas collectives and overseas territories.
The definition is not important to distinguish for the unit. It is important for the class to
know that there are areas overseas (regions, collectives and territories) from France with
very similar rights for the people living there as for French people living in France.