Martin Thomas
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Consolidation and expansion
The French empire after the First World War
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French expansion into African and Middle Eastern territory took place in conditions of profound societal dislocation. As for the acquisition of additional territory in the Africa and, more especially, the Middle East, the new phase of French imperial expansion was no less brutal than the earlier era of colonial conquest. In 1919-20 parliamentarians and press commentators were more animated by the prospect of imperial expansion than by the challenge of development in existing colonial territory. This marked a new departure. French attachment to Syria, Lebanon, the Cameroons and Togoland after 1920 stood in marked contrast to the limited governmental interest in Middle Eastern and African expansion during the First World War. Even the well established colonies of the overseas empire retained their 'new frontier' aspect after the First World War.

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The French empire between the wars

Imperialism, Politics and Society


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