Essay On French Imperialism

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The industrial revolution of the 17th and 18th century provided the economic and technological spur that many European countries and America lacked. As a result of the industrial revolution, the world trade markets saw a tremendous increase, with materials being transported between the nations at a frantic rate. The profits soared while the need for raw materials had never been that high, as it was during those times. That forced many of the industrialized European countries to rethink of new approaches to obtain the valuable materials. The solution came as a form of colonizing the areas that raw materials found abundantly. With the use of diplomatic and military force, European powers and America, asserted themselves as the rulers and governors…show more content…
Under the direction of Jules Ferry as France’s premier in “1880-1881 and again in 1883-1885, France occupied Tunisia, extended its rule in Indonesia, seized Madagascar and penetrated the Congo.” (768). The new colonies provided France with the vast amount of raw materials needed to support the industries back home, therefore strengthen France’s economy and role as an elite trade nation. But France’s prosperity did not come without a headache. Many opponents of imperialism passionately argued that France should stop its colonial expansion, because they insisted that colonialism weaken France’s position against its struggle with Germany. Also, they deemed France’s degrading treatment of the local population in the colonies as unacceptable. To justify his actions for a colonial expansion, France’s premier, Jules Ferry delivered a fiery speech to the assembly in 1883. During his speech, Ferry sustained a stern resistance from the many critics of imperialism. To support his claim, Ferry stated that “the superior races have the right and the duty to civilize inferior races.” (768). According to Ferry, France did not only have the right, but had the responsibility to teach the primitive people of Africa about Western democracy, as well as to provide them with all the amenities that Europeans have enjoyed for a long time such as education, medicine and higher living standards.
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