Reading 26 - Reading 26: Imperialism Points: 50 Reading 1:...

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Reading 26: Imperialism Points: 50 Reading 1: From Jules Ferry, Speech Before the French National Assembly Introduction: Jules Ferry (1832-1893) was a French politician who twice served as premier during the Third Republic, the name of the French government from 1871 until 1940. Ferry was an ardent imperialist, and during his premierships France annexed Tunisia and parts of Indochina and began exploring parts of Africa. In debates in the French National Assembly he frequently defended his policies against socialist and conservative critics, who for different reasons opposed French imperialism. The following selection from his speech on July 28, 1883, summarises his reasons for supporting French expansionism and also sheds light on his opponents' views. M. JULES FERRY Gentlemen, it embarrasses me to make such a prolonged demand upon the gracious attention of the Chamber, but I believe that the duty I am fulfilling upon this platform is not a useless one: It is as strenuous for me as for you, but I believe that there is some benefit in summarizing and condensing, in the form of arguments, the principles, the motives, and the various interests by which a policy of colonial expansion may be justified; it goes without saying that I will try to remain reasonable, moderate, and never lose sight of the major continental interests which are the primary concern of this country. What I wish to say, to support this proposition, is that in fact, just as in word, the policy of colonial expansion is political and economic system; I wish to say that one can relate this system to three orders of ideas: economic ideas, ideas of civilization in its highest sense, and ideas of politics and patriotism. In the area of economics, I allow myself to place before you, with the support of some figures, the considerations which justify a policy of colonial expansion from the point of view of that need, felt more and more strongly by the industrial populations of' Europe and particularly those of our own rich and hard working Country: the need for export markets. Is this some kind of chimera? Is this a view of the future or is it not rather a pressing need, and, we could say, the cry of our industrial population? I will formulate only In a general way what each of you, in the different parts of France, is in a position to confirm. Yes, what is lacking for our great industry, drawn irrevocably on to the path of exportation by the (free trade) treaties of 1860 [The reference is to a trade treaty between Great Britain and France that lowered tariffs between the two nations], what it lacks more and more is export markets. Why? Because next door to us Germany is surrounded by barriers, because beyond the ocean, the United States of America has become protectionist, protectionist in the most extreme sense, because not only have these great markets, I will not say closed but shrunk, and thus become more difficult of access for our industrial products, but also these great scares are beginning
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This note was uploaded on 04/12/2011 for the course HIST 123 taught by Professor Mr.shmit during the Spring '11 term at St. Vincent.

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Reading 26 - Reading 26: Imperialism Points: 50 Reading 1:...

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