Why was the development of Nationalists slow in the French West colonies?

The French West African territories were
under the authority of the Vichy Regime from 1940 and
1942. There was much repression and little political activities during the
period because the indigenate was much in
force with greater seventy and the few
unexperienced political parties and trade Unions were not allowed to function. 
The french initially introduced the policy of assimilation and
later introduced the policy of association. 
The main reasons for the slow development of
nationalism in French West African Colonies are: 

  • Existence of high level of repression from
    French officials. Africans were highly maltreated and Chiefs
    were freely deposed based on the wills of
    French officials. 
  • The existence of the indigenate system that
    enabled French officials to detain Africans
    for   offences committed served as a restraint against
    nationalist activities. 
  • The adoption of assimilation
    principles that created Frenchmen among Africans, also
    constituted  a  big 
    obstacle towards early existence of nationalist activities as
    educated Africans who had been assimilated enjoyed
    French citizenship and see themselves as
    Frenchmen.
  • The few inexperienced political parties also
    accounted for the late take off of nationalism in the French West African States.
  • Trade Union
    activities were not allowed to operate in a conducive atmosphere hence, nationalism was
    quite delayed.

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