Jean-Baptiste Marchand, Fashoda, and the Dreyfus Affair

Edward Berenson

in Heroes of Empire

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780520234277
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947191 | DOI:
Jean-Baptiste Marchand, Fashoda, and the Dreyfus Affair

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The Dreyfus Affair threatened to split France apart. The charges against Captain Alfred Dreyfus were false, and anti-Semitism had played no small part in both the accusation of treason and the solitary confinement and other harsh punishments he endured. Jean-Baptiste Marchand, the “hero of Fashoda,” returned from his long African trip. Nationalists hoped Marchand's immense popularity and African military experience would make him the ideal leader of a rightist counterrevolution. The heroes of the Third Republic were above all colonial heroes, and the extraordinary dangers they faced in Africa made it easy to portray them as martyring themselves for France. Fashoda became the first great European crisis to take place under the full spotlight of a mass medium. Marchand's heroic image had helped bring a measure of unity to a long-divided France.

Keywords: Dreyfus Affair; Captain Alfred Dreyfus; Fashoda; Jean-Baptiste Marchand; France; Third Republic; Africa

Chapter.  11737 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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