February 27, 2024
Cartierism: A French Doctrine of Disengagement from Colonialism

Cartierism: A French Doctrine of Disengagement from Colonialism

Introduction

Cartierism is a French political doctrine named after the French journalist Raymond Cartier. It advocates for France’s disengagement from colonialism and the pursuit of a more pragmatic foreign policy. Cartierism emerged in the mid-1950s as a reaction to the growing costs and challenges of maintaining France’s colonial empire.

Cartierists argued that France’s colonial empire was a drain on the French economy and that it was no longer possible to maintain French control over its colonies in the face of rising nationalist movements. They also argued that France should focus on its own economic and social development rather than trying to maintain its global empire.

Cartierism had a significant impact on French foreign policy in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It led to the granting of independence to many of France’s colonies in Africa and Asia. Cartieris also led to a closer relationship between France and its former colonies, particularly in the form of economic and cultural cooperation.

The Rise of Cartierism

The French colonial empire was at its peak in the aftermath of World War II. France controlled a vast overseas empire that included large parts of Africa, Asia, and Indochina. However, the French colonial empire was increasingly becoming a source of trouble for France.

The Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962) was a major turning point in French colonial policy. The war was a costly and bloody conflict that lasted for eight years. It also had a significant impact on French public opinion. Many French people came to believe that the war was unwinnable and that it was time for France to disengage from Algeria.

Cartierism emerged as a response to the Algerian War and the broader challenges of maintaining France’s colonial empire. Cartierists argued that France should focus on its own economic and social development rather than trying to maintain its global empire. They also argued that France should pursue a more pragmatic foreign policy that was based on national interests rather than prestige.

Key Principles of Cartierism

The key principles of Cartierism can be summarized as follows:

  • Disengagement from colonialism: Cartierists believed that France should disengage from its colonial empire and focus on its own economic and social development.
  • Pragmatism: Cartierists believed that France should pursue a more pragmatic foreign policy that was based on national interests rather than prestige.
  • Cooperation with former colonies: Cartierists believed that France should maintain close economic and cultural ties with its former colonies.

Impact of Cartierism on French Foreign Policy

Cartierism had a significant impact on French foreign policy in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It led to the granting of independence to many of France’s colonies in Africa and Asia. Cartierism also led to a closer relationship between France and its former colonies, particularly in the form of economic and cultural cooperation.

Cartierism and the Decolonization of the French Empire

Cartierism played a key role in the decolonization of the French Empire. The granting of independence to Algeria in 1962 was a major victory for Cartierists. It also paved the way for the independence of many other French colonies in Africa and Asia.

The decolonization of the French Empire was a complex and often violent process. However, Cartierism helped to make the process more peaceful and orderly. It also helped to maintain a positive relationship between France and its former colonies.

Cartierism and French Foreign Policy Today

Cartierism remains an important influence on French foreign policy today. France continues to pursue a pragmatic foreign policy that is based on national interests. France also maintains close economic and cultural ties with its former colonies.

However, Cartierism has also been criticized for its focus on national interests and its willingness to compromise on human rights. Some critics have argued that Cartierism has led to France becoming a less influential and respected actor on the world stage.

Conclusion

Cartierism is a complex and multifaceted doctrine. It has had a significant impact on French foreign policy and the decolonization of the French Empire. However, Cartierism has also been criticized for its focus on national interests and its willingness to compromise on human rights.

References

  • Coquery-Vidrovitch, P. (1990). The French Empire: 1688-1980. London: Longman.
  • Gani, A. (2011). The French Colonial Doctrine of Disengagement: Cartierism (1950s-1960s).

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