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The Colonial Wars were a series of conflicts fought by the French Empire in the first two decades of the 20th century, with varying degrees of success. The wars ranged from putting down rebellions in places such as Algeria and India to full-scale armed conflicts in Southern Africa and the Middle East. While initially a popular idea amongst the French public, economic decline during the period and sustained conflict eventually soured the national mood, in particular after a string of defeats in Australasia, Southeast Asia and, most prominently, in Egypt. The Colonial Wars, however, were culturally significant as they exposed ordinary Frenchmen to foreign cultures in a much more expansive way than ever before, and they exposed underdeveloped regions of the world to modern technology, causing a rapid modernization in many parts of the world between 1920 and 1950, most prominently in South Asia and Africa.