French Union, 1946–58, political entity established by the French constitution of 1946. It comprised metropolitan France (the 90 departments of continental France and Corsica); French overseas departments, territories, settlements, and United Nations trusteeships; French colonies, which became overseas departments of France; and associate states (protectorates), which became autonomous. The union replaced the colonial system. In 1954, the associate states of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia withdrew from the union, and in 1956 Morocco and Tunisia, also associate states, became independent. The French Community replaced the French Union in 1958.