一九世紀中葉フランス植民地拡大における海港都市マルセイユ商人の役割 (特集 海) [in Japanese] The Role of the Merchants of Marseilles in Colonial Expansion of the Mid-19th Century [in Japanese]
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This article focuses on the merchants of Marseilles to examine the role they played in French colonial expansion of the mid-19th century. The majority of previous studies discuss French imperialism only from the viewpoint of the nation state. This article, however, investigates each role in colonial expansion played by three different actors, i.e., the merchants of Marseilles, the navy and the government, for the purpose of examining whether French West Africa was main contributor to the colonial expansion in the Third Republic. The expansion of trade by the merchants of Marseilles was brought about by the following three factors: the securing of the sea lanes from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic after France succeeded in colonizing Algeria in 1830, the appearance of influential ship owners (who were also merchants), and the development of machine industries, particularly machinery for vessels specialized in commercial voyages. In order to solve the lack of oil- producing ingredients for soap making, the merchants of Marseilles ventured into the Gulf of Guinea, participating in the Atlantic trade with the goal of importing oleaginous plants. During the period of the July Monarchy, the merchants of Marseilles were active in trade in the Gulf of Guinea prior to the government intervention. Moreover, their increasing commercial profits made the government realize the importance of the Gulf of Guinea. Finally, the French government tried to invite the merchants to Grand-Bassam and Gabon. However, the only merchants responding to this invitation were those of Marseilles, leading to the establishment of a naval base in Gabon to protect the trade there. Gabon stands south of all English bases on the Gulf of Guinea. The base would now threaten Great Britain although the French government had adopted a humble diplomatic stance to show deference to the British ever since the defeat in the Naopleanic wars. Their threat seems to be surmised from the process of negotiations over the ceding of Gambia. From the period of the July Monarchy to the Second Empire, the French government changed its stance from an expansionist policy in regard to colonial territory to its selection and concentration policy. In West Africa, Senegal was judged to be the colony that most enhanced French maritime presence in the Atlantic. As a result, the French government's interest in Gulf of Guinea became attenuated, weakening the trade protection for the merchants of Marseilles. Finally, the government's lack of concern and the humble diplomatic stance toward Great Britain forced the merchants of Marseilles to withdraw from the trading houses, particularly in the Ivory Coast. However, in reality, the merchants of Marseilles were supported by the navy stationed in Gabon since the navy recognized the importance of the Gulf of Guinea in terms of naval strategy. Thus, to meet their demand of military intervention and establishment of a protectorate, the navy made a protectorate of Porto-Novo at its own discretion, enabling them to continue their trading activities. The navy demonstrated that the Gulf of Guinea could contribute to national wealth through the profit of the merchants of Marseilles. Contrary to the government's lack of concern, the navy played an important role in increasing the presence of France in Western Africa, and continuously threatening Great Britain. Among the representative studies on the merchants of Marseilles, Masson addressed their contribution to the colonial expansion in terms of finding the Gulf of Guinea as a new commercial frontier and advancing there earlier than the government intervention. Daumalin pointed out their contribution too, but in terms of their demands for the government to protect trade with the aim of compensating for the weak terms of trade of their own products. They focused on the relationship between the merchants and the government to evaluate colonial expansion chiefly from the perspective of the merchants. However, this article examines the mutual relationships of three actors, i.e., the government, the navy and the merchants of Marseilles, and concludes that the merchants of Marseilles contributed ultimately to the maintenance of the Gulf of Guinea as a French colony through their close relationship with the navy.
史林 100(1), 40-73, 2017-01