Louis Léon César Faidherbe
Louis Léon César Faidherbe
Louis Léon César Faidherbe (1818-1889) was a French colonial governor. One of France's great military conquerors, he carved out the boundaries of contemporary Senegal.
Louis Faidherbe, the son of a poor enlisted man, was born in Lille on June 3, 1818. An engineering graduate of the famed École Polytechnique, he had a lengthy colonial experience in Algeria and Guadeloupe, where he participated in the emancipation of the slaves in 1848, before he was stationed in Senegal in 1852. For 2 years he completed many engineering surveys, gaining a detailed knowledge of the region before the administration named him governor of the area at the age of 36.
During Faidherbe's tenure as governor from 1854 to 1865 his major accomplishment was to create a vast colony dominated by Europeans. From 1854 to 1858 he subdued a number of tribes in the western African hinterland through a combination of military victories and negotiated treaties. His greatest opponent, al-Hajj Omar, was the leader of an Islamic holy war. Al-Hajj Omar was born into a noble and well-educated family, made the pilgrimage to Mecca, and sought to create a religious empire in West Africa.
To defeat al-Hajj Omar and secure the colony, Faidherbe recruited the first batallion of Senegalese troops, the origin of all the African soldiers that fought the wars of France. He also developed a system of administration that relied on indigenous personnel, a system designed to enable trade to prosper. An educational system, geared to accomplish the French goals of assimilation, included a school for the sons of chiefs. The encouragement of trade involving Africans as businessmen was a pillar of his policy, and for this purpose he developed Dakar into a great maritime city.
Faidherbe later served in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) in command of the Army of the North after the fall of Sedan. He won victories at Pont-Noyelles and Bapaune and suffered a defeat at Saint-Quentin. In 1872 he led a French government expedition to study monuments in Upper Egypt and as a result wrote a book on Numidian inscriptions. Other books treated of the campaign of the Army of the North (1871), of Senegalese languages (1887), and of Senegal (1889). He died in Paris on Sept. 29, 1889.
Faidherbe left a mark on Dakar and Senegal that has lasted to this day. The development of France's entire empire in West Africa was based largely on the foundations that he constructed.
The best assessment of Faidherbe's role in the development of the French Empire is in French. A good brief account in English is in J. D. Fage, An Introduction to the History of West Africa (1955; 3d ed. 1962). □
"Louis Léon César Faidherbe." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 20, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/louis-leon-cesar-faidherbe
"Louis Léon César Faidherbe." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Retrieved January 20, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/louis-leon-cesar-faidherbe
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.
Faidherbe, Louis Léon César
Louis Léon César Faidherbe (lwē lāôN´ sāzär´ fādĕrb´), 1818–89, French colonial administrator. He was a leading participant in the establishment of the French colonial empire in Africa. As governor of Senegal (1854–61, 1863–65) he transformed the colony into the dominant political and military power in West Africa, founding (1857) the city of Dakar. He drove al-Hajj Umar out of Senegal, extending French control to The Gambia, but maintained the traditional authority of the chiefs. After living in Algeria for several years he was recalled to France during the Franco-Prussian War. He assumed command of the Army of the North after the fall of Sedan but saw the situation as hopeless. Elected to the National Assembly in 1871, he resigned in protest against anti-Republican politics. He was a senator from 1879 to 1888. Faidherbe wrote numerous works on geography, ethnography, and ethnology.
"Faidherbe, Louis Léon César." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 20, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/faidherbe-louis-leon-cesar
"Faidherbe, Louis Léon César." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved January 20, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/faidherbe-louis-leon-cesar