Asian Review


Deniz Kocak

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The essay analyzes and highlights the motives, determinants and scopes of three French influential actor groups: The French government, geographic societies and colonial associations, and the "men on the spot". While the government faced domestic struggles and set the colonial agenda, the geographic societies and colonial associations promoted French expansionist imperial rule, and the men on the spot, who represented France at the periphery, shaped the expansion by their own interests and ideas. The aim of this essay is to point out that the French colonial policy under the government of Jules Ferry did not follow any well elaborated concept, but rather served as a political instrument to overcome domestic struggle and to consolidate republican rule in France. Secondly, the colonial seizure of "Indochina" was a result of an interconnection between three major actor groups, who partial mutually constrained each other in their actions, and their respective interests.



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