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

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This book addresses a central but often ignored question in the history of modern France and modern colonialism: How did the Third Republic, highly regarded for its professed democratic values, allow itself to be seduced by the insidious and persistent appeal of a "civilizing" ideology with distinct racist overtones? By focusing on a particular group of colonial officials in a specific setting - the governors general of French West Africa from 1895 to 1930 - the author argues that the ideal of a special ...
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0804729999 Publisher: Stanford Univ PrDate of Publication: 1997Binding: hard coverEdition: Condition: Very Good/No JacketDescription: 0804729999 Highlighting in chapter 5. ... Otherwise about excellent. Beautiful external appearance. Read more Show Less

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Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. 1997 Hard Cover 1st Edition Nr Fine/Nr Fine 8vo-over 7?"-9?" tall 0804729999 Light Shelfwear A few lines lightly underlined with pencil.

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Overview

This book addresses a central but often ignored question in the history of modern France and modern colonialism: How did the Third Republic, highly regarded for its professed democratic values, allow itself to be seduced by the insidious and persistent appeal of a "civilizing" ideology with distinct racist overtones? By focusing on a particular group of colonial officials in a specific setting - the governors general of French West Africa from 1895 to 1930 - the author argues that the ideal of a special civilizing mission had a decisive impact on colonial policymaking and on the evolution of modern French republicanism generally.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Conklin brilliantly traces the interconnections and linkages between the three critical sites of political, cultural, and ideological interchange in France's civilizing mission in Africa: the imperial center, the colonial edifice sur place in West Africa, and the Africans themselves. This is scholarship that will eventually provoke a significant change in the way modern French history is conceived, researched, and written." —Julia Clancy-Smith,University of Arizona

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804729994
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1997
  • Pages: 446
  • Lexile: 1540L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.37 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

Alice L. Conklin is Associate Professor of History at the University of Rochester.

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Table of Contents

A Note on Orthography and Translation
Introduction 1
1 The Setting: The Idea of the Civilizing Mission in 1895 and the Creation of the Government General 11
2 Public Works and Public Health: Civilization, Technology, and Science 1902-1914 38
3 Forging the Republican Sujet: Schools, Courts, and the Attack on Slavery 1902-1908 73
4 "En faire des hommes": William Ponty and the Pursuit of Moral Progress 1908-1914 107
5 Revolt and Reaction: World War I and Its Consequences 1914-1930 142
6 "Democracy" Reinvented: Civilization Through Association 1914-1930 174
7 Civilization Through Coercion: Human Mise en Valeur in the 1920's 212
Conclusion 246
Notes 259
Bibliography 327
Index 355
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