Martin Thomas
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An empire in revolt?
The Rif war, the Syrian rebellion, Yen Bay and the Kongo Wara
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Four distinct rebellions shook the French empire between the wars. The Rif war in northern Morocco and the Syrian revolt originating in the autonomous state of the Jabal Druze were major uprisings that had some claim to be national rebellions. They were suppressed only by the deployment of overwhelming French military firepower. The Yen Bay mutiny in Indochina triggered wider unrest that convulsed northern Annam and four provinces of Tonkin during 1930-31. The Kongo Wara in the Haute Sangha region of Afrique Equatoriale Francaise (AEF) is the smallest and least well known of these inter-war anti-colonial revolts. Whereas few politicians, media commentators or colonial officials remarked on the Kongo Wara rebellion, the Rif war, the Syrian revolt and the Yen Bay mutiny reverberated through French politics more than any other colonial issues during the inter-war period.

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The French empire between the wars

Imperialism, Politics and Society


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