Overseas possessions of France
Did you know that in the so-called Overseas Territories of France, a total area of six hundred thousand square kilometers, is two million seven hundred and fifty thousand people? True, about half a million square kilometers of them located in the south of the Indian Ocean, having no population and bearing the name of FUAT (French South Antarctic Territories) are not recognized as property of France by the International Community, but this, in fact, does not change much. There are thirteen territories in total, all of which are clearly divided by geographic location and administrative status, and add ten million square kilometers of ocean space to France.
DOM-TOM, or Interesting Geography
DOM-TOM is the former name of all Overseas Territories of France, the original abbreviation. Located on the islands of the Overseas Departments and Regions – Guadalupe and Martinique (Caribbean), Reunion and Mayotte (Indian Ocean), as well as continental Guiana in South America, there are elected regional councils completely subordinate to the French Constitution. Overseas departments are traditionally taken into account by statistics, like other internal divisions of the metropolis, and all their inhabitants are citizens of France.
Overseas communities are in a different status – the islands of St. Maarten and St. Barthelemy (Caribbean Sea), St. Pierre and Miquelon (North America), French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna (Pacific Ocean); Overseas Territories – Clipperton in the Pacific and Administrative and Territorial Formation New Caledonia in the Pacific. All Territories are islands, only Latin American Guiana is located on the continent. It should be noted, and some incident – for example, the Spaniards opened the island of Saint-Merten for three hundred and fifty years, divided into the northern (French) part and the Dutch southern. And another interesting fact – on the British island of St. Helena, where Napoleon is buried, the French is considered to be his house and valley with the burial.
No less entertaining story
Where did all these Overseas Territories come from? Of the former extensive French colonies totaling twenty-six, scattered earlier throughout the planet. In the 17th century, France made those territories known today called Overseas, sugarcane, tea and coffee, hand-grown slaves exported to the metropolis.
Guadeloupe in the Lesser Antilles, opened by Columbus in 1493, became French under a treaty with Britain from 1763 in exchange for Canadian territories.
On the island of Reunion discovered in the 7th century by the Arabs, the French after ten centuries left their flag, “staked out” the territory, and then turned it into an exile prison for criminals.
Saint Barthelemy, named by the name of his brother who opened it with Columbus, has long been a colony of Sweden, and has been considered a French since 1877.
French Guiana in the middle of the XVIII century was settled by colonists by the decree of Louis XV, later became world-famous Cayenne penal servitude, and today it is famous for its large Space Center.
Including one hundred and eighteen islands, of which Tahiti is best known, the “island of love”, French Polynesia has preserved its traditions and way of life and attracts tourists like a magnet.
Between the African continent and the island of Madagascar, you can find on the map Mayotte Island, which remembers the medieval rule of the Arabs and became the Overseas Department of France only ten years ago.
Wallis and Futuna are islands near Hawaii, the first of which is named after the English navigator, and the second for the glory of the local footstep tree. The inhabitants of the islands – the Europeans – in 1842, because of the rebellion of the aborigines, asked for a protectorate from France and received it safely, and finally the power of the local leaders was abolished in the early twentieth century.
Formerly part of French Polynesia, the island of Clipperton, which received its name in honor of the English pirate, has been directly the property of France for eleven years. The first name of the island, given to him by French sailors at the beginning of the XVIII century, is Passion Island. Uninhabited for a long time, in 1858, the rocky island of Clipperton, after brief disputes with the Americans, became part of France. Today, there is no resident population on Clipperton, but scientific expeditions are working to explore its ecosystem. The plans of the French government are to place a new cosmodrome on the desert island.
All Overseas Territories are attractive in terms of tourism, and Cofrans SARL is ready to organize thematic tours of the islands or to French Guiana at any time.
Exotic, chic beach vacation, rare flora and fauna of national parks and water sports are waiting for everyone who dares to take this trip!