USM Open Source History Text: The World at War: World History 1914-1945

Colonial Violence Between the Wars

Colonial violence did not cease in the post‐WWI period. Perhaps the most famous example of colonial domination took place in French Equatorial Africa where the colonial government initiated a plan to build a railroad from the town of Brazzaville to the Atlantic Coast. Targeted for this project were the Chadian Sara people. Some 120,000 Africans were forced by colonial authorities to participate in this grueling labor project. An estimated 50,000 people died in the course of the railroad’s construction between 1924 and 1934. Mandates on cotton growing and forced labor as carriers also continued in French Equatorial Africa during the interwar years. As protests grew among the African people, the French colonial rulers became increasingly violent – they met protests against taxation or forced labor with the barrel of the gun.

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