Chapter

Domestic Politics, International Threats, and Colonial Security in French Territories, 1936–1939

Thomas Martin

in Empires of Intelligence

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780520251175
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933743 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520251175.003.0009
Domestic Politics, International Threats, and Colonial Security in French Territories, 1936–1939

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In the 1930s, France's security services expanded in response to mounting official fears of nationalist opposition, labor unrest, the radicalism of Islam, and Communist subversion. By 1936, even colonial governors loyal to Hubert Lyautey's principles of indirect rule, such as Charles Noguès in Morocco, Marcel Peyrouton in Tunisia, and Comte Damien de Martel in Beirut, were forced to concede that the associationist ideal of colonial policies devised to ensure harmonious Franco-Muslim coexistence was a figment of the imagination. Wishful thinking could not conceal the acute economic hardships and communal divisions apparent in French-ruled territories from Damascus to Rabat. This chapter discusses that the years 1936 to 1939 witnessed a sharp rise in security concerns throughout France's Muslim territories, a rise that paralleled Britain's deepening imperial problems in Palestine.

Keywords: France; security services; radicalism; Islam; Hubert Lyautey; indirect rule; Charles Noguès; Marcel Peyrouton; Comte Damien de Martel; Britain

Chapter.  14497 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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