The French Empire Between the Wars: Imperialism, Politics and Society

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Manchester University Press, 2005 - History - 408 pages
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The French empire between the wars is the first study of the French colonial empire at its height in the twenty years following the First World War. Based on extensive archival research, it addresses current debates about French methods of rule and their impact on colonial peoples, the origins of decolonisation, and the role of popular imperialism in French society and culture. By considering the distinctiveness of the inter-war years as a discrete period of colonial change, this book addresses several larger issues, such as tracing the origins of decolonisation in the rise of colonial nationalism, and a re-assessment of the impact of inter-war colonial rebellions in Africa, Syria and Indochina. The book also connects French theories of colonial governance to the lived experience of colonial rule in a period scarred by war and economic dislocation. The author analyses colonial decision-making in Paris and the renewed threat of global war, as well as colonial economic conditions and forms of discrimination in the empire to illustrate the process of French imperial decline.
 

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Contents

Frances interwar empire a framework for analysis
1
First World
17
Colonial planning and administrative practice
54
complementarity
93
Colonial economic demands and urban development
125
Women and colonialism and colonial education
151
Thinking imperially? Popular imperialism in France
185
An empire in revolt? The Rif war the Syrian rebellion
211
the examples of Algeria
245
the Popular Front experiment
277
the empire and international crisis
312
Prelude to decolonisation? The interwar
347
Bibliography
356
Index
395
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About the author (2005)

Martin Charles Thomas is Professor of Colonial History in the Department of History at the University of Exeter. He is a director of the University's Centre for the Study of War, State and Society, an interdisciplinary research centre that supports research into the impact of armed conflict and collective violence on societies and communities.

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