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Jules Ferry and the Renaissance of French Imperialism

Jules Ferry was the French Minister, who contributed to the rise and importance of imperialism as an expansion strategy (Power, 2013; Fordham University, 2016). In this case, the primary goal of the paper is to understand his rationale for the urgency of the colonial expansion while considering criticism of Ferry’s approach and offering non-economic arguments in favor of imperialism. These matters will be assessed with the assistance of the analysis of Ferry’s speech and reference to the additional sources.

Firstly, the reasoning behind Ferry’s viewpoint related to the necessity of the colonies has to be provided to ensure the understanding of the leader’s angle. In this case, Ferry claims that the colonies can be regarded as a vitality from the economic perspective, as France needed to export its goods such as textiles (Jules Ferry, 1984). These issues tend to occur, as Germany and other countries try to protect their economies, and it minimizes the export possibilities for France (Jules Ferry, 1984).

Meanwhile, the freedom of trade and increasing the number of countries is the primary reason for the intensifying competition, while imperialism and the development of colonies will help France stay competitive in the market (Jules Ferry, 1984). Based on the information provided above these factors will assist in enhancing France’s position in the world and improve its economic functioning

Despite the positive intentions of Ferry’s thinking, the opponents tend to criticize the viewpoint of the politician. Some of the activists tend to emphasize that the proposed policy tends to violate the rights of the individuals who live in the colonies (Fordham University, 2016). This matter implies that Ferry does not consider the representatives of dissimilar countries as equal members of the global society (Fordham University, 2016).

In this case, the presence of this aspect highlights the discrimination of some nations and causes the rise of the criticism associated with this matter. Nonetheless, Ferry has a tendency to protect his position and states that the critics do not provision the beneficial influence of the colonies on the development of France while ensuring its economic constancy (Jules Ferry, 1984).

As for the presence of inequality in his viewpoint, Minister claims that he aims at the improvement of the financial stability of the “lower” races while stating, “the superior races…have the duty to civilize the inferior races” (Jules Ferry, 1984, para. 4). A combination of Ferry’s arguments clarifies the leader’s position and contributes to the logical reasoning of his conclusions while offering counterarguments to the critics.

Nonetheless, economic stability and the decrease of the competition are not the only arguments in favor of imperialism, as the introduction of this matter will have a positive influence in other spheres. For instance, Ferry implies that taking control of the colonies will contribute to the substantial economic, social, and cultural development in the colonized countries (Jules Ferry, 1984). Meanwhile, these political changes will be beneficial for France as it will offer increased military protection to the country (Jules Ferry, 1984).

In this case, the well-developed military and defense are vital elements for the country’s prosperity and security of the nation. In the end, it could be said that a combination of the overall points of Ferry’s argumentation described above contributes to the understanding of the positive intentions of the leader’s theory, as he aims to enhance the overall functioning of the world economy.


Fordham University: Imperialism. (2016). Web.

. (1984). Web.

Power, T. (2013). Jules Ferry and the renaissance of French imperialism. Whitefish, MT: Literary Licensing LLC.

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