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Union française
French Union

Flag Coat of arms
Liberté, égalité, fraternité
(French: Liberty, equality, brotherhood)
La Marseillaise
Territories of the French Union
Capital Paris
Language(s) French
Political structure State union
Historical era Cold War
 - Fourth Republic October 27, 1946
 - Indochina leaves 1954
 - Morocco leaves 1956
 - Tunisia leaves 1956
 - Fifth Republic October 5, 1958
Currency French franc
CFA franc
CFP franc
French Indochinese piastre
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Provisional Government of the French Republic
French Community
Kingdom of Laos
State of Vietnam
North Vietnam
Cambodia under Sihanouk (1954-1970)
French Guinea

The French Union (French: Union française) was a political entity created by the French Fourth Republic to replace the old French colonial system, the "French Empire" (Empire Français) and to abolish its "indigenous" (indigène) status.



Established by the French constitution of October 27, 1946 (Fourth Republic), it lasted until 1958, when it was replaced by the French Community by Charles de Gaulle's Fifth Republic.

French Commonwealth

The French Union was modelled on the British Commonwealth.

The French Union included France, French overseas départements, territories, settlements, United Nations trusteeships (Cameroun, etc.), French colonies (which became overseas départements of France) and associate states (protectorates) which became autonomous.


The associated states of French Indochina withdrew from the union in 1954, as did Algeria in 1962; French Morocco and Tunisia gained their independence in 1956.

See also



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