Conclusion
in The French empire at war 1940–45
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By 1945 post-Liberation France was too engrossed in discussion of domestic reconstruction, constitution-making and the closing stages of the war in Europe to pay much attention to matters of empire. The Second World War caused a profound crisis of empire for France. It was made even more traumatic by the fact that French imperial territory became the battleground of several interlocking conflicts of authority. In the major French colonial federations, the economic stress engendered by the war acted as a catalyst to unrest and, in some cases, persecution. Whether in the form of stagnant trade, forced labour exactions, harsh rationing or alarming price inflation, the Levant states, Madagascar, French North Africa and Afrique Occidentale Francaise (AOF) all faced incipient crisis by the time the Fighting French assumed control. Systematically drained of its resources by the Japanese, the economic situation in French Indo-China was still more appalling by 1945.

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