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These elected bodies had only limited consultative powers, although they did approve local budgets.
The Four Communes of Senegal were entitled to elect a Deputy to represent them in the French Parliament in the years 1848–1852, 1871–1876, and 1879–1940.
The leaders of the winning parties were appointed to the newly instituted positions of Vice-Presidents of the respective Governing Councils — French Colonial Governors remained as Presidents.
The Constitution of the French Fifth Republic of 1958 again changed the structure of the colonies from the French Union to the French Community.
Note that the eighth colony, French Upper Volta was in this period parceled between its neighbors.
Rather, they were "French Subjects", lacking rights before the law, property ownership rights, rights to travel, dissent, or vote.
As the French pursued their part in the scramble for Africa in the 1880s and 1890s, they conquered large inland areas, and at first ruled them as either a part of the Senegal colony, or as independent entities.