Hubert Lyautey and the French Seizure of Morocco

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:
Hubert Lyautey and the French Seizure of Morocco

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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Hubert Lyautey, soon to become one of France's leading colonial actors and propagandists, began in the 1890s to seek the potential for national regeneration among those who served in colonies. Lyautey's eventual status as a colonial hero suggests that colonialism could command widespread interest in France. Morocco was a society at war with itself and with outsiders who sought to bring it peace. Lyautey's reputation as a pacific conqueror, a lithe duelist on the colonial stage, received another boost in December 1908 when the general's forces defeated the Beni Snassen tribal army in its mountainous homeland in northeastern Morocco. If Lyautey could defeat Moroccan barbarism with the promise of a humane, French peace, there was reason for confidence that other French generals—or perhaps Lyautey himself—would overcome German barbarism as well.

Keywords: Hubert Lyautey; France; Morocco; Moroccan barbarism; German barbarism; French peace

Chapter.  14025 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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