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The Black Man's Burden: The Cost of Colonization of French West Africa

Abstract : Was colonization costly for France? Did French taxpayers contribute to colonies’ development? This article reveals that French West Africa’s colonization took only 0.29 percent of French annual expenditures, including 0.24 percent for military and central administration and 0.05 percent for French West Africa’s development. For West Africans, the contribution from French taxpayers was almost negligible: mainland France provided about 2 percent of French West Africa’s revenue. In fact, colonization was a considerable burden for African taxpayers since French civil servants’ salaries absorbed a disproportionate share of local expenditures.
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Elise Huillery. The Black Man's Burden: The Cost of Colonization of French West Africa. Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2014, 74 (1), pp.1 - 38. ⟨10.1017/S0022050714000011⟩. ⟨hal-03460531⟩

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