Lyautey l’Européen: metropolitan ambitions, imperial designs and French rule in Morocco, 1912–25

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Abstract

Much of the scholarship on Marshal Hubert Lyautey has portrayed his method of conquest and rule in Morocco as a conspicuous manifestation of his previous colonial experience, neglecting other equally revealing features of his administration, such as his assumptions, expressions of intent and responses to perceived European ambitions in the Western Mediterranean. Lyautey’s lasting preconceptions about British and Spanish aspirations and capabilities, far from being marginal curiosities, became key tenets of policy and modus operandi in the French Protectorate. His over-simplified notions of imperial legitimacy, national traits and territorial priorities, although comparatively innocuous during the early years of French domination, would come to the fore during the Rif War (1921–26). Such perceptions became increasingly difficult to reconcile with the international agreements of 1912, and could explain Lyautey’s resistance and hesitation in the face of changing scenarios of the Rifian conflict and, eventually, his final fall from grace.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-120
Number of pages22
JournalFrench History
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

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