Senegal's relationship with France from the very beginning was marked by dependency. Economic, political and cultural life in Senegal revolved around the metropole — the highly centralized administrative and political institutions of France located in Paris dominated the Senegalese periphery. But Senegal's dependency was not merely economic or political. French policies towards Senegal primarily aimed at intellectual and cultural goals and were in some cases economic and political liabilities to the metropole. In this respect, the Senegalese case did not correspond to traditional theories of dependency which stress the overall importance of economic interests. Furthermore, the nature of this dependency does not appear to have significantly altered, although the political orientation of the French government has changed greatly since the colonization of Senegal. The character and development of this phenomenon, along with its implications for current French policy, will be considered here in light of the French world view, with particular reference to the Cartesian ideal.