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Assimilation and empire : uniformity in French and British colonies, 1541-1954 /
Saliha Belmessous.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2013.
description
viii, 231 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0199579164 (hbk.), 9780199579167 (hbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2013.
isbn
0199579164 (hbk.)
9780199579167 (hbk.)
contents note
Assimilation in early modern French America : from francisation to racialism -- Assimilation in the nineteenth-century British Empire : the rule of law as an engine of civilization -- Assimilation against colonialism : the struggle of the Muslim natives in French Algeria.
catalogue key
8747952
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [212]-223) and index.
A Look Inside
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
An unravelling of the histories of two closely linked political goals - assimilation and empire - which were in many ways interdependent over the past 500 years, this book examines the resilience of assimilative ideology across centuries, continents, and empires.
Long Description
Assimilation was an ideology central to European expansion and colonisation, an ideology which legitimised colonisation for centuries. Assimilation and Empire shows that the aspiration for assimilation was not only driven by materialistic reasons, but was also motivated by ideas. The engine of assimilation was found in the combination of two powerful ideas: the European philosophical conception of human perfectibility and the idea of the modern state. Europeans wanted tocreate, in their empires, political and cultural forms they valued and wanted to realise in their own societies, but which did not yet exist.Saliha Belmessous examines three imperial experiments - seventeenth- and eighteenth-century New France, nineteenth-century British Australia, and nineteenth and twentieth-century French Algeria - and reveals the complex inter-relationship between policies of assimilation, which were driven by a desire for perfection and universality, and the greatest challenge to those policies, discourses of race, which were based upon perceptions of difference.Neither colonised nor European peoples themselves were able to conform to the ideals given as the object of assimilation. Yet, the deep links between assimilation and empire remained because at no point since the sixteenth century has the utopian project of perfection - articulated through the progressive theory of history - been placed seriously in question. The failure of assimilation pursued through empire, for both colonised and coloniser, reveals the futility of the historical pursuit ofperfection.
Main Description
Assimilation was an ideology central to European expansion and colonisation, an ideology which legitimised colonisation for centuries. Assimilation and Empire shows that the aspiration for assimilation was not only driven by materialistic reasons, but was also motivated by ideas. The engine of assimilation was found in the combination of two powerful ideas: the European philosophical conception of human perfectibility and the idea of the modern state. Europeans wanted to create, in theirempires, political and cultural forms they valued and wanted to realise in their own societies, but which did not yet exist. Saliha Belmessous examines three imperial experiments - seventeenth- and eighteenth-century New France, nineteenth-century British Australia, and nineteenth and twentieth-century French Algeria - and reveals the complex inter-relationship between policies of assimilation, which were driven by a desire for perfection and universality, and the greatest challenge to those policies, discourses of race, which were based upon perceptions of difference. Neither colonised nor European peoples themselves were able to conform to the ideals given as the object of assimilation. Yet, the deep links between assimilation and empire remained because at no point since the sixteenth century has the utopian project of perfection - articulated through the progressive theory of history - been placed seriously in question. The failure of assimilation pursued through empire, for both colonised and coloniser, reveals the futility of the historical pursuit of perfection.
Main Description
Assimilation was an ideology central to European expansion and colonisation, an ideology which legitimised colonisation for centuries. Assimilation and Empire shows that the aspiration for assimilation was not only driven by materialistic reasons, but was also motivated by ideas. The engine ofassimilation was found in the combination of two powerful ideas: the European philosophical conception of human perfectibility and the idea of the modern state. Europeans wanted to create, in their empires, political and cultural forms they valued and wanted to realise in their own societies, butwhich did not yet exist.Saliha Belmessous examines three imperial experiments - seventeenth- and eighteenth-century New France, nineteenth-century British Australia, and nineteenth and twentieth-century French Algeria - and reveals the complex inter-relationship between policies of assimilation, which were driven by adesire for perfection and universality, and the greatest challenge to those policies, discourses of race, which were based upon perceptions of difference.Neither colonised nor European peoples themselves were able to conform to the ideals given as the object of assimilation. Yet, the deep links between assimilation and empire remained because at no point since the sixteenth century has the utopian project of perfection - articulated through theprogressive theory of history - been placed seriously in question. The failure of assimilation pursued through empire, for both colonised and coloniser, reveals the futility of the historical pursuit of perfection.
Table of Contents
List of Mapsp. ix
To the Readerp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Assimilation in Early Modern French America: from Francisation to Racialism
French Colonial Justificationsp. 16
Francisation as New France's Founding Projectp. 24
Defining French Distinctiveness in Seventeenth-Century Francep. 30
Implementing Francisationp. 35
The Emergence of Race in French Political Imaginationp. 46
Conclusionp. 57
Assimilation in the Nineteenth-Century British Empire: the Rule of Law as an Engine of Civilization
British Colonial Justificationsp. 61
The Colonial Career of Saxe Bannisterp. 69
Bannister's Colonial Philosophyp. 75
Bannister's Civilizing Scheme for the Aborigines of the British Empirep. 85
Introducing the Rule of Law in the Coloniesp. 92
Building an Empire by Treatyp. 102
The Outcomes of the Assimilative Project in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Centuryp. 108
Conclusionp. 115
Assimilation Against Colonialism: The Struggle of the Muslim Natives in French Algeria
French Conquest of Algeriap. 119
Assimilation in French Political Culturep. 125
Assimilating Algeria to Francep. 128
Assimilating the Muslim Natives through the Rule of French Lawp. 131
Assimilating the Natives through Educationp. 145
The Rise of Racial Politicsp. 148
Assimilation in Post-First World War Algeriap. 156
Assimilation in Algeria: The Indigenous Point of Viewp. 160
Conclusionp. 201
Conclusion: Assimilation in Post-colonial Societiesp. 205
Selected Bibliographyp. 212
Indexp. 225
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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