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Download Citizenship between Empire and Nation: Remaking France and by Frederick Cooper PDF

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By Frederick Cooper

As the French public debates its current range and its colonial prior, few keep in mind that among 1946 and 1960 the population of French colonies possessed the rights of French electorate. furthermore, they didn't need to comply with the French civil code that regulated marriage and inheritance. it is easy to, in precept, be a citizen and diversified too. Citizenship among Empire and Nation examines momentous adjustments in notions of citizenship, sovereignty, kingdom, country, and empire in a time of acute uncertainty in regards to the way forward for a global that had past been divided into colonial empires.

Frederick Cooper explains how African political leaders on the finish of worldwide conflict II strove to abolish the entrenched contrast among colonial "subject" and "citizen." They then used their new prestige to say social, financial, and political equality with different French electorate, within the face of resistance from defenders of a colonial order. Africans balanced their quest for equality with a wish to show an African political character. They was hoping to mix a level of autonomy with participation in a bigger, Franco-African ensemble. French leaders, attempting to carry directly to a wide French polity, debated how a lot autonomy and what sort of equality they can concede. each side appeared to types of federalism as choices to empire and the geographical region. The French govt needed to confront the excessive expenditures of an empire of electorate, whereas Africans couldn't consider French leaders or between themselves on how you can stability their contradictory imperatives. Cooper exhibits how either France and its former colonies subsidized into extra "national" conceptions of the nation than both had sought.

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Additional info for Citizenship between Empire and Nation: Remaking France and French Africa, 1945-1960

Example text

Moreover, they should have the right to govern their own colony, since the conditions of a slave society were not familiar to metropolitan legislators. Next came a delegation from the “gens de couleur,” property-­owning, slave-­owning people born in most cases of French fathers and mothers of African descent; they too claimed that they should have the full rights of citizens. The assemblies in Paris could not make up their mind about these demands. Then, in 1791, a slave revolt erupted in Saint-­Domingue, and among its complex strands was a demand by slaves for freedom and citizenship.

Some of the people who appear in the story told here—­including Mamadou Dia of Senegal and Modibo Keita of Sudan—­had attended the school, the École William Ponty, aimed at educating a small coterie of Africans who would bring French ways and their own esprit de corps to the different regions of AOF. Civil servants and teachers were often posted to different territories within AOF or AEF. And some had spent time in Paris. AOF provided a model for Africans who were thinking beyond the level of the individual territory—­if only an administrative unit could be turned into a political one, governed democratically, pooling resources, and expressing Africans’ “horizontal” solidarity with each other.

And while educated Africans had for some time been meeting up with people from across the empire in Paris, labor migration was picking up in the years after the war. 44 Algeria, the North African protectorates, the Indochinese states, and the sub-­Saharan colonies would all follow different paths through the transformation of empire and eventually out of it. France’s lack of sovereignty over Morocco and Tunisia turned out to be an obstacle to its attempt to include them in a new order, but rendered less painful their eventual exit from empire.

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