Jules Ferry: On French Colonial Expansion (1884)
DeVry University: HIST405
Professor Thomas Keyser
March 6, 2016
Jules Ferry is known for being a politician and twice the Prime Minister of France in the 18th century. Ferry wrote a pro-expansion speech to recite for the French Parliament on March 28, 1884. The main idea for his speech was to justify the policy on colonial expansion by addressing the need for growth in the French commerce. Is Ferry acting in good faith to the French or is it his own greed and the need to be superior, especially with the African countries?
Jules Ferry was concerned with economic strategies, because major industries of France were lacking outlets to export their goods such as textiles, Germany and the United States had set up trade barriers, he considered the United ...view middle of the document...
” (para.4). He also stated “the superior races have a right and duty to civilize the inferior races” and Spanish soldiers and explores introduced slavery into Central Africa, they did not fulfill their duty as men of a higher race” (para. 5). Ferry’s critics felt that he was justifying slavery. Ferry, (1884) countered by stating “again, the superior race have the right and duty to civilize the inferior race, I maintain that European nations acquit themselves with generosity, grandeur, and with sincerity of this superior civilizing duty” (para. 5). Indeed, Ferry did have an imperialist view.
The non-economic view argument that Ferry has to offer in favor of imperialism was that, the navy could not do without safe harbors, defenses, and supply centers on the high seas. Ferry explained that the ships could only carry a short amount of coal at a time, hence the need to have place of supply, shelter, and port of defense and provisioning. Ferry, felt France would be strengthened and it would expand France like other strong countries of Europe.
In conclusion, most of this speech has to do with economic necessity of overtaking lands for trade ports or safe harbors for the submarines. He tried convincing his people that France was facing a big problem and that there was a moral duty to expand into Africa. This writer feels that Ferry felt superior, evidenced by his statements that superior races have to civilize and help lower races and he also mentions that the people of his country are “hard working” to imply the people of Africa were inferior to the French.
From Jules Francois Camille Ferry, (1884). “Speech Before the French Chamber of Deputies.”
In P. Robiquet (Ed.), Discours et Opinions de Jules Ferry 1.5, pp. 199-201, 210-11, 215-18.
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