A Mission to Civilize: The Republican Idea of Empire in - download pdf or read online

By Alice Conklin

This publication addresses a significant yet frequently missed query within the historical past of contemporary France and sleek colonialism: How did the 3rd Republic, very hot for its professed democratic values, enable itself to be seduced through the insidious and chronic attraction of a “civilizing” ideology with specified racist overtones? through targeting a selected staff of colonial officers in a particular setting―the governors common of French West Africa from 1895 to 1930―the writer argues that the appropriate of a different civilizing challenge had a decisive effect on colonial policymaking and at the evolution of contemporary French republicanism generally.
French principles of civilization―simultaneously republican, racist, and modern―encouraged the governors basic within the 1890’s to assault such “feudal” African associations as aristocratic rule and slavery in ways in which referred again to France’s personal event of innovative swap. mockingly, neighborhood directors within the 1920’s additionally invoked those comparable rules to justify such reactionary guidelines because the reintroduction of pressured exertions, arguing that coercion, which inculcated a piece ethic within the “lazy” African, legitimized his lack of freedom. via consistently invoking the information of “civilization,” colonial coverage makers in Dakar and Paris controlled to imprecise the elemental contradictions among “the rights of guy” assured in a republican democracy and the forcible acquisition of an empire that violates these rights.
In probing the “republican” size of French colonization in West Africa, this e-book additionally sheds new gentle at the evolution of the 3rd Republic among 1895 and 1930. one of many author’s vital arguments is that the assumption of a civilized project underwent dramatic alterations, as a result of ideological, political, and monetary ameliorations taking place concurrently in France and its colonies. for instance, revolts in West Africa in addition to a extra conservative weather within the metropole after global battle I produced within the governors normal a brand new admire for “feudal” chiefs, whom the French as soon as despised yet now reinstated as a way of regulate. This discovery of an African “tradition” in flip bolstered a reassertion of conventional values in France because the 3rd Republic struggled to recapture the realm it had “lost” at Verdun.

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This e-book addresses a vital yet frequently overlooked query within the historical past of contemporary France and glossy colonialism: How did the 3rd Republic, very hot for its professed democratic values, enable itself to be seduced by way of the insidious and protracted attraction of a “civilizing” ideology with special racist overtones?

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A Mission to Civilize: The Republican Idea of Empire in France and West Africa, 1895-1930 by Alice Conklin


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