Lyautey and the French Conquest of Morocco

Author(s): 
Hoisington, William A.
ISBN: 
0333646150
Date published: 
January 1995
Hardback
Price: 
£28.00
Pages: 
288

Lyautey and the French Conquest of Morocco describes and analyzes the method of colonial conquest and rule linked to the name of Marshal Louis-Hubert Lyautey (1854-1934), France's first resident-general in Morocco and the most famous of France's 20th-century overseas soldier-administrators. Lyautey popularized the notions of 'peaceful penetration' and 'indirect rule' as part of a grand colonial design of military pacification, economic development, political modernization and social betterment. For Lyautey imperialism could be a life-giving force for both Frenchmen and Moroccans alike and during his thirteen years as resident general he boldly promoted France's actions in Morocco as the 'highest form' of imperialism. This book traces the development of Lyautey's ideas on conquest and rule at home and abroad, and shows how they translated into practice. While there was much that was praiseworthy in Lyautey's approach to colonial matters, in the end force always remained more effective than anything else and, whether used gently or severely, it failed to stem Moroccan resistance to French rule. Based on archival material in Morocco and France, Lyautey and the French Conquest of Morocco is the first book to deal in a detailed manner with French pacification strategy in Morocco and with the mechanics of 'indirect rule' (always, in reality, rather more direct than indirect). It should be of great value to readers of 19th and 20th century French, European and North African history and to students of colonialism and imperialism.