Faidherbe, Louis Léon César

Faidherbe, Louis Léon César

(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 DakarDakar
, city (1988 pop. 672,991), capital of Senegal, W Senegal, on Cape Verde Peninsula, a port on the Atlantic Ocean. Situated in a market-gardening region, Dakar is Senegal's largest city and its administrative, communications, and economic center.
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. He drove al-Hajj UmarHajj Umar, al-
or Hajj Omar
, 1797–1864, Muslim religious and military leader in W Africa. A chieftain of the large Tukulor tribe of Senegal, he desired to convert the pagan tribespeople of the W Sudan.
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 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 WarFranco-Prussian War
or Franco-German War,
1870–71, conflict between France and Prussia that signaled the rise of German military power and imperialism. It was provoked by Otto von Bismarck (the Prussian chancellor) as part of his plan to create a unified German
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. 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.
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