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FR248: Colonial Memory Dr Georgina Collins 10 January 2012.

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1 FR248: Colonial Memory Dr Georgina Collins 10 January 2012

2 Todays session Practicalities An overview of the course A background in French colonialism and imperialism Racial theories and hierarchies Advocates of colonialism / anti-colonialists The difference between Empire and Imperialism Issues of nationalism

3 This module One hour lecture: – Historical, political and theoretical background One hour seminar – Discussion of text in light of lecture – Interactive Office hours: Thursday 3-5 Email:

4 Website

5 Assessment Formative assessment: Essay (questions online now) around 1,500 words in length by Tuesday (4 pm) of week 9 Summative assessment: 1.assessed essay (50%) Questions online now 2,000-2,500 words 12.00 noon on Tuesday of week 25 2.formal examination (50%) not allowed to answer exam questions on material you have already covered in an assessed essay

6 Introduction to Colonial Memory Representations of empire: – Literary – Cinematic – Graphic 1st half of the course: – Emergence of colonial myths - use in culture 2 nd half of the course: – Use and reinterpretation of the myths since the demise of French imperialism – Real or imaginary legacies of imperialism

7 Imperialism Rooted in ideology Developed alongside Western capitalism It began almost 500 years ago: Christopher Columbus Christian Kingdom of Konko Large scale imperialism: Industrial revolution Need for raw materials Cheap labour - crucial

8 French expansion The industrial revolution - later than in Britain The colonial idea took longer to shape France did have colonies but they were not a priority It was more concerned about its powerful position in Europe

9 Comparison with British expansion Triggered by lack of space and opportunities France – powerful position at the centre of Europe Secured national borders and expanded territories on continent – note Louis XIV and Napoléan I Voltaire described Canada as: Quelques arpents de neige

10 Colonial possessions France lost many colonies to the British India, America and Canada No carefully planned colonial policy until the last third of the 19 th century Anticolonialism was based on economic principles at this time Idea that colonies would impoverish France

11 Racially motivated anti-colonialism Notion of race developed in the 19 th C Believed that humanity had poly-genetic origins: – that biological divergences had created different human societies – that some were more advanced than others ie Western civilisations NB Gliddons Indigenous Races of the Earth

12 French Racial Theorists Count Arthur de Gobineau: Essai sur linégalité des races humaines 3 main races – black, yellow and white All have weaknesses and qualities Races should be kept separate Avoid miscegenation / interbreeding which would affect the qualities of each race So colonialism should be avoided

13 Race separation This standpoint reflected Gobineaus anti- democratic feelings He also believed that classes should not mix Mistrust regarding miscegenation: – did not prevent the creation of empires – it did promote race separation and discrimination – South Africa - apartheid

14 Racial hierarchies Gustave Le Bon: a doctor applied Darwins theories to human societies concluded: races has evolved at different paces so a racial hierarchy exists Les lois psychologiques de lévolution des peuples (1894) Existence of 4 races

15 Hierarchy of four races 1.races primitives, races [...] chez lesquelles on ne trouve aucune trace de culture (p.39) 2.races inférieures, [...] représentées surtout par les nègres et seulement [...] capables de rudiments de civilisation (ibid.) 3.races moyennes, à savoir Les Chinois, les Mogols et les peuples sémitiques, tous à lorigine de [...] civilisations élevées que les peuples européens seuls ont pu dépasser (pp.39-40) 4.races supérieures dans lesquelles [...] il faut surtout mentionner les peuples indo-européens (p.40)

16 Jean Duval Tribunal employee After the Algerian conquest set up an agricultural business there Influenced by Saint-Simon and Fourier Believed that earth belongs to all men So every man should attempt to improve it for the benefit of all humans

17 Global economic unity Duval: colonisation to bring economic unity and social harmony An idea developed by 16 th Spanish colonisers They argued that it is mans right to exploit all untapped resources that remain unused by local populations

18 Colonisation as exploitation Bientôt où régnait la solitude, une population humaine sépanouit; où fleurissait la ronce, la récolte mûrit; où les bêtes féroces creusaient leur tanière, sélève les demeures dun peuple civilisé. Dans les flancs dun sol inerte, lémigration a jeté les germes dune société vivante qui, au soleil de la liberté ou de la discipline, suivant les temps, en travaillant grandit, qui en grandissant prospère, qui a son tour se multiplie et envoie ses essaims : voilà la colonisation, un des plus nobles spectacles dont il soit donné à lhomme dêtre à la fois lagent et le témoin (quoted by Girardet, p. 20).

19 Lucien-Anatole Prévost-Paradol Establishment of an empire – a matter of national life or death La France nouvelle (1868) France must choose between: – Decadence – The constitution of a true empire

20 Quotation « […] il y a deux façons de concevoir la destinée future de la France : ou bien nous restons ce que nous sommes, nous consumant sur place dans une agitation intermittente et impuissante […] ; ou bien de quatre-vingt à cent million de Français, fortement établis sur les deux rives de la Méditerranée, au cœur de lancien continent, maintiendront à travers le temps, le nom, la langue et la légitime considération de la France » (quoted by Girardet, pp. 21-22)

21 From Empire to Imperialism Mise en valeur: for the benefit of France or the colonised (Duval) French prestige (Prévost-Paradol) Moral or religious elevation (missionaries)

22 Religious elevation Special orders were created to further: – Christanity – Civilisation The two were synomymous Light was a common symbol of Christianity and Republicanism Les pères blancs were created To christianise Algerian populations

23 Imperial doctrine 2 major factors behind this development – The industrial revolution – Frances defeat in the Franco-Prussian war The creation of a German Reich – put an end to Frances continental domination The loss of Alsace-Lorraine: – A hard blow for French pride – France haunted by the thought of its own decadence

24 An incentive to build an Empire Territorial loss – an incentive to build a French empire What the French had lost internally – trying to gain overseas 1 st large wave of settlers – from Alsace Eg Camus – of Alsatian descent

25 Two types of nationalism 1.An anti-colonial nationalism – Emphasis on revenge against Germany – France should sort itself out before venturing abroad 2.Pro-colonial nationalism – Note Jules Ferry – French Prime Minister – Le Tonkinois

26 Summary: Frances colonial past The territories it colonised or lost Pro-colonial sentiments (Duval / Paradol) Anti-colonial beliefs – racial theorists (Gobineau) The transition from Empire to Imperialism Imperial doctrine – mise en valeur / French prestige / religious elevation Territorial loss – incentive for building an empire Two types of nationalism – Anti-colonial – sort out home before venturing abroad – Pro-colonial – building the French overseas empire

27 Questions and Comments?

28 Seminar Part 1: Round the room What have you learnt from the lecture?

29 Seminar Part 2: Group work 1.How many former French colonies can you name? 2.Formulate definitions for the following: Memory Colonial memory 3.Does colonialism belong to the past? 4.What is French-ness? 5.In what ways is Frances colonial past is still informing debates on topics such as immigration?

30 Dont forget to prepare for next week! Seminar questions will be posted online after todays session

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