An Empire Divided: Religion, Republicanism, and the Making by J.P. Daughton

By J.P. Daughton

Among 1880 and 1914, tens of millions of guys and ladies left France for far-off spiritual missions, pushed by way of the will to unfold the be aware of Jesus Christ, wrestle devil, and convert the world's pagans to Catholicism. yet they weren't the single ones with eyes fastened on overseas shorelines. simply because the Catholic missionary move reached its apex, the younger, staunchly secular 3rd Republic introduced the main competitive crusade of colonial enlargement in French historical past. Missionaries and republicans in a foreign country knew they'd a lot to realize from operating jointly, yet their starkly diverse motivations usually led them to view each other with resentment, mistrust, or even worry. In An Empire Divided, J.P. Daughton tells the tale of the way afflicted relatives among Catholic missionaries and a bunch of republican critics formed colonial guidelines, Catholic views, and family French politics within the tumultuous many years earlier than the 1st international warfare. With case reports on Indochina, Polynesia, and Madagascar, An Empire Divided--the first ebook to envision the position of spiritual missionaries in shaping French colonialism--challenges the long-held view that French colonizing and "civilizing" ambitions have been formed by way of a extraordinarily secular republican ideology outfitted on Enlightenment beliefs. by way of exploring the reviews of Catholic missionaries, one of many greatest teams of French women and men operating out of the country, Daughton argues that colonial guidelines have been frequently wrought within the fires of spiritual discord--discord that indigenous groups exploited in responding to colonial rule. After a long time of clash, Catholics and republicans within the empire finally buried a lot of their disagreements via embracing a suggestion of French civilization that awkwardly melded either Catholic and republican beliefs. yet their entente got here at a cost, with either side compromising long-held and much-cherished traditions for the good thing about developing and conserving authority. concentrating on the much-neglected intersection of politics, faith, and imperialism, Daughton deals a brand new figuring out of either the character of French tradition and politics on the fin de siecle, in addition to the ability of the colonial event to reshape European's such a lot profound ideals.

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Additional resources for An Empire Divided: Religion, Republicanism, and the Making of French Colonialism, 1880-1914

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The ascendancy of Britain and Holland helped spread Protestantism around the globe, often in parts of the world once considered Catholic fields of action (such as Canada). Local resistance to Catholicism, especially in Japan, China, and Indochina, put a violent end to many missions. These international concerns were coupled with theological divisions in Europe and the suppression of the Jesuits starting in 1750. 28 The sheer destructiveness of the Revolution had devastating effects on French Catholicism, including the killing of priests, the division of the clergy into rival factions, the closing of seminaries, and the secularization of Church properties.

65 And missionary work in France’s newer possessions in West and Central Africa was still in an early state of development. 66 Thus, when publications heralded the long commitment of French missionaries in the colonies, they naturally turned to their accomplishments in Indochina, Polynesia, and Madagascar. These three were also among the most important possessions consolidated and developed as colonies during the early Third Republic: Indochina was integrated administratively in 1887, Tahiti (the center of French activity in Polynesia) was declared a colony in 1880, and Madagascar came under direct French control after 1895 when French troops took the island by force.

13 The Jesuits depicted the raw and often gruesome details of a missionary life full of suffering, sacrifice, fear, and violence. Choosing to live among the native populations, they were forced to learn difficult languages and to endure privations ranging from sleeping in bark huts during the icy Canadian winter to relying on hunting and gathering for their food. 14 Using guerrilla-like tactics, Native Americans kept Europeans constantly on edge. 15 By the end of the 1640s, after a decade of expansion, the unforgiving conditions had forced the Jesuits either to focus most of their efforts on defending the missions from armed attacks by native peoples or to retreat to areas populated by white settlers.

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