French colonial empires
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
France had colonial possessions, in various forms, from the beginning of the 17th century until the 1960s. In the 19th and 20th centuries, its global colonial empire was the third largest behind the British Empire and Spanish Empire. At its peak, between 1919 and 1939, the second French colonial empire extended over 12,347,000 km² (4,767,000 sq. miles) of land. Including metropolitan France, the total area of land under French sovereignty reached 12,898,000 km² (4,980,000 sq. miles) in the 1920s and 1930s, which is 8.6% of the world's land area.
Currently, the remnants of this large empire are various islands and archipelagos located in the North Atlantic, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, the South Pacific, the North Pacific, and the Antarctic Ocean, as well as one mainland territory in South America, totaling altogether 123,150 km² (47,548 sq. miles), which amounts to only 1% of the pre-1939 French colonial empire's area, with 2,564,000 people living in them in 2007. All of these enjoy full political representation at the national level, as well as varying degrees of legislative autonomy.