During the era of New Imperialism, the French state had the daunting task of convincing the French public of the need to support and to sustain an overseas empire. Stemming from its defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and hoping to regain its erstwhile global position, the French state set out to demonstrate the importance of maintaining an empire. Since the vast majority of the French people were apathetic towards colonial ventures, the French state used the 1889 Parisian Universal Exposition and the 1906 and 1922 Colonial Expositions in Marseille not only to educate the French about the economic benefits of the empire, but to entertain them simultaneously so that they unwittingly began to accept the notion of an interconnected Greater France. Each of these expositions contained a group of colonial exhibits in which indigenous colonial subjects, whom the expositions' organizers handpicked to come to France, displayed their daily routines and interacted with the visiting public. Visitors witnessed the lifestyles of indigenous cultures and took away from the exhibits a greater understanding of those who lived in the colonies. However, the vast majority of the French public who visited the expositions did not experience a shift in their mindset favoring the continuance of a colonial empire until after World War One. Until they could personally see an impact of the colonies onto their daily lives, the French public remained indifferent toward the French state's colonial ventures.
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Lyons, Amelia H.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Brooks, Michael, "Civilizing the metropole the role of colonial exhibitions in universal and colonial expositions in creating greater France, 1889-1922" (2012). HIM 1990-2015. 1250.