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Lecture 5

Lecture 5.doc

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Nathalie Fournier

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French Foreign and Colonial Policy - 1870’s o Renewed interest among European Great Powers for imperialism - Many motives o New markets, to gain access to raw materials, to improve ones military security, sense of pride and missionary work - Missionary Work o “The Civilizing Machine” was French version of the White mans Burden  Partly inspired by Catholicism, but also since France had a unique culture which should be expressed to the world - Napoleon III left behind new French colony in southern Vietnam - Third republic took on new imperial push - French were not that interested in imperial expansion before Franco-Prussian war o Merchants and industrials, geographical societies, missionaries, army officers who wanted to make a career for themselves however made lobby groups for imperial push - Empire was sometimes led by the periphery - However after Franco-Prussian war, France was diplomatically isolated o Bismarck constructed alliance to intimidate France and isolate them  This alliance was known as Dreikaiserbund • Consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia - To French foreign policy making elite, colonial expansion was compensation for losing the war - Bismarck encouraged France’s colonial expansion to divert France from Germany o Also it would get them into conflicts with Italy and Britain - Gambetta agreed with Bismarck, established general understanding that France would not threaten Germany but would expand in Colonialism - New phase of empire building - Became 2 largest overseas empire - It established colonies in West Africa, Central Africa, Indochina and Madagascar and North Africa which was most important o 2 great prospects were Tunisia and Egypt for expansion - Tunisia and Egypt were semi-autonomous provinces of Ottoman Empire which was sick man of Europe - In 1878, Congress of Berlin o Russo-Turkish war in Balkans, Russia won  For compensation, France was granted dominant status over Tunisia - Jules Ferry o Secularized education, led expansion in Indo-China o Moved into Tunisia, get it before Italians - Ferry order invasion while national assembly was out on Easter break o Forced Ruler of Tunisia to sign Treaty of Bey to grant France control over - Muslim tribes men were fighting French army in city - It created complications in Foreign realm, Italian imperialists were outraged that Tunisia was stolen from them by France o Italy made triple alliance with Germany o France made enemy with Italy and thus became even more diplomatically isolated - Most prominent anti-colonialist leader was Georges Clemenceau, leader of French radical party o Accused Ferry of playing Bismarck’s game, he had weakened France in Europe - Foreign affairs took another turn against France in Egypt - Egypt was enslaved by the Suez Canal o Ruler of Egypt was one of the big shareholders for Suez Canal  Khedive tried to modernize Egypt but failed and spent a lot of money and forced to sell his shares in Suez canal to finance its enormous debt • In sudden move, British government bought Khedive’s shares - Now Britain became a big player in Egypt too - British and French established organization called Anglo-French condominium o This led to Egypt under control of both British and French - Egypt middle class nationalists were angered y this and colonel Arabi led revolt against Anglo-French condominium o This was threat to canal which was a vital interest for both governments - They took steps to attack Egypt, o France was diplomatically isolated, didn’t want to send army in Egypt since they were concerned about their safety at home o French government sent fleet to help British but not army  As a result British army went by itself and established protectorate in Egypt • France was badly humiliated, pushed out of Egypt by British imperialism • British seizure of Egypt was as great a blow to French pride as loss of Alsalce and Lorraine in Franco-Prussian war - 1890’s French army received boost - New German emperor after Bismarck dropped Russian alliance in favour of Austrians, thus Russia was also diplomatically isolated o Logical thing to do was for France and Russia to become allies  National security over their different ideologies  1893 France and Russia were formal allies - Russian Czar took off his hat during French national anthem which was significant example security over ideology - Germany Austria Italy vs. France and Russia o International politics became zero-sum game o Britain was free agent but there was still very strong anglo-franco rivalry mainly due to Egypt - Egypt had its own colony in Sudan o Key to Suez Canal, it was thought was Sudan o Sudan was conquered by British, French sent troops to southern Sudan led by Colonel Marchand  They confronted each other at Fashoda  British government took hardline on Sudan and it appeared that Anglo-Franco war was imminent • British had upper hand, so French had to back down and Marchand left - French public opinion was again humiliated - At this point however, Britain was becoming diplomatically isolated, antagonized many powers o It needed an ally so it turned to Japan  This set the stage for Russo-Japanese war in 1904-5 • Neither Britain or France was engaged in war but it was possible that they could be dragged in by allies - There was realization that it was time for Britain and France to find common ground - King Edward VII visit in 1903 improved their relations o He was Francophile, he was pro-French o He was jeered by French crowds when he arrives, but he was so openly pro- French that public opinion shifted  It set the stage for Anglo-French Entente which was negotiated in 1904-1905 • British Foreign Secretary Lord Landsdowne and French Foreign minister Theophile Delcasse o France once again recognized British as chief power in Egypt, British recognized French as chief power in Morroco  This settled the Egyptian question - Problem with this accord was that it ignored German’s international rights for voice on fate of Morocco - In spring of 1905, German emperor Wilheim II, made surprise visit to Morocco to observe o This provoked Moroccan crisis in 1905  Russia was not ready for war, while Germany was  France was still divided by Dreyfus affair - At this time in 1905, chief of German army General von Schleiffen, makes the Schlieffen plan, which probably would work in 1905 o Defeat France quickly before Russia could mobilize its army,  Wanted to do it in 40 days  But he couldn’t cross Alsace and Lorraine since it was rough terrain, he would have to outflank French from neutral Holland - This was Germany’s only plan to attack France o They weren’t very flexible for their planning - In order to avoid war, France dismissed Delcasse as foreign minister, Wilheim passed word to France that it wasn’t interested in war o King wanted to bully France into alliance o He settled for Conference for Morocco, however it backfired on Germany  France was supported b
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