Historiography/Primary Sources Project

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“Every empire tells itself and the world that it is unlike all other empires and that its mission is not to plunder and control but to educate and liberate” is a quote by Edward W. Said. During the 19th century, Western nations started expansion into territorial imperialism to collect resources from colonies to benefit economically, politically, and socially. Jules Ferry, a former French prime minister, created a colonial policy to colonize territories for France’s benefits and to civilize the people in those territories. His biased views may affect the historical impact and people should not believe everything they hear. One should analyze a document and take past knowledge on the issue into consideration before making any decisions. “The French Colonial Expansion” is a modernized text of the “Speech Before the French Chamber of Deputies” by the former French prime minister, Jules Francois Camille Ferry, on March 28, 1884. Jules Ferry made this speech to show his support for imperialism and that it was the only way, at the time, for a nation to be powerful. He believed that the colonial expansion policy consisted of economic ideas, the most far-reaching ideas of civilization, and ideas of a political and patriotic sort (Watts, Int.). He backed his argument up with some statistics of how other nations, like Germany or the United States of America, have outlets, or colonies to export goods to, and this helped expand their market. Colonial policy will allow for France to compete against other powerful nations and help solve problems like the freedom of trade and supply and demand (Arkenberg, Int.). Not only did Ferry want to maintain France’s power, he also believed that Europeans were the “superior race” because they were civilized. A social issue he wanted to overcome was to civilize the “inferior races” because it was the higher races’ duty to do so (Arkenberg, Int.). In addition, Ferry made a good point that France needs colonies to...
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