A Progressive Occupation?: The Gallieni-Lyautey Method and Colonial Pacification in Tonkin and Madagascar, 1885-1900

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    Abstract

    On the eve of the 20th century Joseph Gallieni and Hubert Lyautey claimed to have devised a new approach to the consolidation of colonial acquisitions. Their method emphasized the primacy of political action over military action, called for the replacement of military columns with a ‘creeping occupation’, stressed the importance of economic-organizational development in ensuring the lasting stability of newly-acquired imperial possessions, and called for the unification of civil and military powers in the hands of the soldier, who would act as the first administrator of the colony. This method was the culmination of colonial experiences in Tonkin and Madagascar in the final decades of the 19th century. Following Gallieni’s career path across these colonies, this book focuses first on the painful process of pacification in Tonkin, locating the emergence of the method and Gallieni’s own achievements in their proper context. It then moves across the Indian Ocean to Madagascar. Here Gallieni, combining the roles of Commander-in-Chief and Governor-General, was able to play out his nascent colonial method on a grand scale. Meanwhile, his subordinates—with Lyautey at the forefront—were able to interpret his method in the execution of their missions. Drawing heavily on French archival sources, this book sheds new light on colonial conflict and consolidation during the age of European imperial expansion. It illustrates the differences, gaps, and transgressions that exist between the theory and the practice of pacification, and raises broader questions about the French army, empire and civil-military relations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationOxford
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Number of pages0
    ISBN (Print)9780199674572
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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