Established in 1910, the
federation contained four territories — Gabon,
Middle Congo (now the Republic of the Congo),
Oubangui-Chari (now the Central African Republic)
although the last was not organized as a separate entity until 1920.
In 1911 France ceded
parts of the territory to German Kamerun as a result of the Agadir Crisis. The
territory was returned after Germany's
defeat in World War I, while Cameroun
proper became a French League of Nations mandate not integrated into the AEF.
During World War II the
federation rallied to the Free French Forces under Félix Éboué (August 1940,
except for Gabon which was Vichy French between 16 June 1940 and 12 November
1940) and became the centre for their activities in Africa.
Fourth Republic (1946–58), the federation was
represented in the French parliament. When the territories voted in the
September 1958 referendum to become autonomous within the French Community, the
federation was dissolved. In 1959 the new republics formed an interim
association called the Union of Central African Republics, before becoming
fully independent in August 1960.