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Word Count: 2,071
Until the end of the 19th century the history of Burkina Faso was dominated by the empire-building Mossi who are believed to have come from central or eastern Africa sometime in the 11th century 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 Cote dIvoire 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 Yameogo 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 5-year terms Soon after coming to power Yameogo banned all political parties other than the UDV The government lasted until 1966 when after much unrest-mass demonstrations and strikes by students labor unions and civil servants-the military intervened The military coup deposed Yameogo suspended the constitution dissolved the National Assembly
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