Jules Ferry on the French Colonial Expansion

Jules Ferry:   Why France Should Expand
Kimberly Hamilton
Chamberlain College of Nursing
HIST410: Contemporary History
July 2016

Jules Ferry:   Why France Should Expand
The purpose of this paper is to interpret Jules Ferry “Speech Before the French Chambers of Deputies, March 28, 1884” when it comes to addressing three questions.   The first question asks, “According to Ferry, what recent developments in world trade have made it urgent for France to have colonies?”   The second, “What arguments against imperialism have been raised by Ferry’s critics and how does he counter them?”.   And last, “What non-economic arguments does Ferry offer in favor of imperialism?”
The Urgency for France to Have Colonies?
Jules Ferry based his theory on the importance of expansion for France on three main ideas: “economic ideas; the most far-reaching ideas of civilization; and ideas of a political and patriotic sort” (Jules Ferry: On French Colonial Expansion (1884), (n.d.)).   With regards to economics, his beliefs in expansion focused on outlets for exports.   His concern was that there were already trade barriers in place by Germany and the United States was squeezing the trade markets even tighter.   Not only was he concerned about the limited access to these states, but the amount of products coming into their own state from outside sources.
Next, Ferry stressed how it is the superior race’s duty to civilize the lower, inferior races.   It was their duty to help the inferior race have a better life in the sense of housing, jobs, education and medical attention.   However, this would come at a cost.   The cost would be to live by the French rules and ways of life.   The inferior race would have to choose a lifestyle of slavery and slave trade over living a lifestyle they were not accustomed to and did not want to live.
Last, Ferry’s idea of political and patriotic sort was a reason for taking control of Saigon, Indochina, Tunisia and Madagascar.   They were a means to compete against...