French Upper Volta

French Upper Volta
Upper Volta
Constituent of French West Africa





Flag of Upper Volta


Location of Upper Volta
Green: French Upper Volta
Lime: French West Africa
Dark gray: Other French possessions
Darkest gray: French Republic
Capital Ouagadougou
Lieutenant Governor
 - 1919–27 Édouard Hesling
 - 1928–32 Albéric Fournier
 - 1957–58 Daniel Ouezzin Coulibaly
 - 1958 Maurice Yaméogo
Historical era Interwar period
 - Established March 1 1919
 - Abolished September 5, 1932
 - Reestablished September 4, 1947
 - Autonomy December 11 1958
 - Independence August 5, 1960
¹ President of the Government Council
History of Burkina Faso
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This article is part of a series
Bura culture
Mossi people and Mossi Kingdoms
French Upper Volta
Republic of Upper Volta
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Upper Volta (French: Haute-Volta) was a colony of French West Africa established on March 1, 1919, from territories that had been part of the colonies of Upper Senegal and Niger and the Côte d'Ivoire. The colony was dissolved on September 5, 1932, with parts being administered by the Côte d'Ivoire, French Sudan and Niger.

After World War II, on September 4, 1947, the colony was revived as a part of the French Union, with its previous boundaries. On December 11, 1958, it was reconstituted as the self-governing Republic of Upper Volta within the French Community, and two years later on August 5, 1960, it attained full independence. On August 4, 1984, the name was changed to Burkina Faso.

The name Upper Volta indicates that the country contains the upper part of the Volta River. The river is divided into three parts, called the Black Volta, White Volta and Red Volta.



Until the end of the 19th century, the history of Upper Volta was dominated by the empire-building Mossi/Mossi Kingdoms, who are believed to have come up to their present location from Northern Ghana. For centuries, the Mossi peasant was both farmer and soldier, and the Mossi people were able to defend their religious beliefs and social structure against forcible attempts to convert them to Islam by Muslims from the northwest.

When the French arrived and claimed the area in 1896, Mossi resistance ended with the capture of their capital at Ouagadougou. In 1919, certain provinces from Côte d'Ivoire were united into a separate colony called the Upper Volta in the French West Africa federation. In 1932, the new colony was dismembered in a move to economize; it was reconstituted in 1937 as an administrative division called the Upper Coast. After World War II, the Mossi renewed their pressure for separate territorial status and on September 4, 1947, Upper Volta became a French West African territory again in its own right.

A revision in the organization of French Overseas Territories began with the passage of the Basic Law (Loi Cadre) of July 23, 1956. This act was followed by reorganizational measures approved by the French parliament early in 1957 that ensured a large degree of self-government for individual territories. Upper Volta became an autonomous republic in the French community on December 11, 1958.

Upper Volta achieved independence on August 5, 1960. The first president, Maurice Yaméogo, was the leader of the Voltaic Democratic Union (UDV). The 1960 constitution provided for election by universal suffrage of a president and a national assembly for five year terms. Soon after coming to power, Yaméogo banned all political parties other than the UDV.

Colonial governors

Lieutenant Governors (1919–1932)

  • Édouard Hesling (November 9, 1919, to August 7, 1927)
    • Robert Arnaud (August 7, 1927, to January 13, 1928), acting
  • Albéric Fournier (January 13, 1928, to December 22, 1932)
  • Gabriel Descemet (December 22, 1932, to December 31, 1932)

Governors (1947–1958)

    • Gaston Mourgues (September 6, 1947, to April 29, 1948), acting
  • Albert Mouragues (April 29, 1948, to February 23, 1953)
  • Salvador Jean Étcheber (February 23, 1953, to November 3, 1956)
  • Yvon Bourges (November 3, 1956, to July 15, 1958)
    • Max Berthet (July 15, 1958, to December 11, 1958), acting

See also

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Upper Volta — can refer to:*French Upper Volta (1919 ndash;1932, 1947 ndash;1958) **a territory in French West Africa (1919 ndash;1932) **a territory of the French Union (1947 ndash;1958) *Republic of Upper Volta (1958 ndash;1984) **a self governing republic… …   Wikipedia

  • Upper Volta — noun a desperately poor landlocked country in western Africa; was formerly Upper Volta under French rule but gained independence in 1960 • Syn: ↑Burkina Faso • Instance Hypernyms: ↑country, ↑state, ↑land …   Useful english dictionary

  • Republic of Upper Volta — Infobox Former Country native name = République de Haute Volta conventional long name = Republic of Upper Volta common name = Upper Volta| continent = Africa region = Western Africa country = Burkina Faso era = Cold War government type = Republic …   Wikipedia

  • List of governors of Upper Volta — This is a list of the colonial governors of French Upper Volta (1919 1932, 1947 1958) and high commissioners of the self governing Republic of Upper Volta before attaining independence in 1960. Contents 1 Lieutenant Governors (1919 1932) 2… …   Wikipedia

  • African Regroupment Party (Upper Volta) — African Regroupment Party (in French: Parti du Regroupement Africain ) was a political party in Upper Volta. The interterritorial PRA had established a strong section in Upper Volta in 1958. This party disappeared as the country became a single… …   Wikipedia

  • Party of Independents (Upper Volta) — Party of Independents (in French: Parti des Independents ), was a political party in Upper Volta, formed through a split in the Voltaic Democratic Union (UDV RDA). The party contested the 1970 elections.Source: Englebert, Pierre. La Revolution… …   Wikipedia

  • French West Africa — Afrique occidentale française Federation of French colonies ↓ …   Wikipedia

  • French Sudan — Infobox Former Country native name = Soudan français conventional long name = French Sudan common name = Sudan| continent = Africa region = French West Africa country = Mali era = New Imperialism status = Colony empire = France life span = 1890… …   Wikipedia

  • Upper Senegal and Niger — Infobox Former Country native name = Haut Sénégal et Niger conventional long name = Upper Senegal and Niger common name = Upper Senegal and Niger continent = Africa region = Western Africa status = Colony empire = France year start = 1904 year… …   Wikipedia

  • Volta River — Geobox River name = Volta River native name = other name = image size = 300 image caption = The Adome bridge crosses the Volta river south of the Akosombo Dam. etymology = country = Ghana country1 = state = state1 = region type = region = region1 …   Wikipedia

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