This article focuses on the Territories of France. It is part of a 4-part series explaining current day situation of the remnants of the colonial empires of the early 20th Century, almost all of which are small islands scattered around the world. Other parts of the series will examine the status of Dutch, British and United States territories.
At its peak in 1929, France held one of the world’s largest empires during the early 20th century controlling 12,898,000 km2 (4,980,000 sq mi), or 8.7% of the Earth’s land area. A full 72 countries have territory which was at one time or another, a part of France.
Since 1929, the size of the French empire has shrunk dramatically. Like other European colonial powers, their empire never disappeared entirely. Today you can find the vestiges of the French Empire in islands around the world.
French flag flying over the island