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Racial Realities In Europe Contents



Chapter IV



COMPOSITE FRANCE

 

FRANCE is in many ways a land of paradox. Viewed from afar or seen by the passing traveller, she presents a surface appearance that is deceptive. Things are frequently not what they seem and outward semblance does not correspond to inner reality. More perhaps than in any other European country, one must get below the surface to understand the true trend of affairs.
The first impression which France gives the stranger is that of intense unity. A compact country, with a centralized government, an old civilization, and a special culture both land and people have a marked French stamp which is unmistakable wherever you cross the French frontier.
And when you come to meet Frenchmen .this impression of unity is deepened. In manners, habits,. and ordinary conversation Frenchmen seem alike. Above all, they are strongly nationalistic. Almost without exception, Frenchmen profess an ardent national patriotism. They are forever talking and writing about it. " La France" and "la Pa'trie"-- the Fatherland -- are words continually on French lips. Furthermore, Frenchmen emphasize the unity of their country. "France, one and indivisible," is a stock phrase. Lastly, this unitary doctrine is reflected in the centralization that characterizes every phase of French national life. Government, finance,

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education, art, and literature -- all are centred in Paris, the mighty capital. Seeing these things what wonder if most foreign observers come to think of the French as a homogeneous people, especially of one stock?
That, at least, is the prevailing idea concerning France and the French. And yet it is very far from being the case. The truth of the matter is that the French are a nation but not a race. France is in fact a good example of national as distinguished from racial, unity. This doed not mean that the French nation is likely to break up. But it does mean that French unity lacks the racial element. And this lack the French instinctively feel to be a weakness and a possible source of danger to their national life. That is just the reason why they are always stressing their unity and why they favor extreme centralization. When people keep emphasizing something as supremely desirable it is a pretty good sign that they are not quite sure of it. We do not congnitulate ourselves on the air we breathe; we just breathe it and take it for granted.
Compare France with its neighbor England. Both are strongly marked nations. The chief difference is that England has racial unity while France has not. Englishmen are overwhelmingly of one stock -- the Nordic race. The population of France on the other hand is highly composite; it is made up of all three of the European races. This difference in the racial make-up of France and England explains in great part why the two peoples are so different in past history and present outlook. England's development has been at once more stable and more consistent; English party quarrels have been less bitter, while there has never been a violent breach with the past like that



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of the French Revolution. Also, English nationality has been mainly a spontaneous growth, a natural evolution; whereas French nationality has been largely due to external causes like foreign invasion, combined with conscious efforts of the French ruling classes to weld the country into a strong political unity. England was a nation long before France, yet the process was so pormal and imperceptible that Englislllnen have never thought. or talked much about it. In France, however, national umty was attained only after great difficulties, so that in France nationality became a conscious principle inspiring passionate zeal of an almost religious character. It was revolutionary France that proclaimed the doctrine of nationality which asserts that national feeling is more powerful than blood in binding men together.
This doctrine has profoundly affected the thought not merely of France but of the whole world, and is still widely believed. However, the discoveries of modern science are undermining its authority. We now know that nationality is at bottom merely a state of mind, which may conceal but cannot really abolish those profound differences of instinct, temperament, and intelligence that are inborn in persons of different racial stocks.
France herself is the best proof of this. Despite the fact that for generations everything has been done to break down local distinctions and to unify her population, the inhabitants of various parts of France differ from one another in many important ways. French investigators of racial matters admit this frankly. Says the well-known French writer, Gustave Le Bon:
"In France, the Provencal is very different from the

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Breton, the inhabitant of Auvergne from the inhabitant of Normandy. Unfortunately, these types are very distinct as regards their ideas and character. It is difficult in consequence to devise institutions which shall suit them all equally weIl, and it is only by dint of energetic concentration that it is possible to lend them some community of thought. Our profound divergences of sentiment and belief, and the political upheavaIs which result therefrom, are due, in the main, to differences of mental constitution.
As a matter of fact, the policy of centralizing everything in Paris has produced grave disadvantages, which have led some Frenchmen to advocate granting local self-government and encouraging intellectual life in the provinces instead of draining it all to the capital. This is the movement known as regionalism. But regionalism is viewed with disfavor verging on alarm both by the bulk of French public opinion and by the government. Clemenceau voiced tbis uneasiness very well when he said of regionalism:
"It might correct those evils of excessive centralization from which we have suffered and still suffer so crueIly. And yet, somehow, we feel that if we relaxed our unifying bonds, France might weIl be lost."
It is interesting to note that the French dislike to admit the importance of race in human affairs. Most Frenchmen still cling to the old doctrine of nationality, and even deny that racial differences amount to much. Leading French students of racial matters like De Lapouge and Le Bon have told me personally that their writings are not only unpopular but have often been condemned as down-


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right unpatriotic in official circles. This reveals a state of mind in the French people which is of unquestionable importance to the world at large. France's insistence upon nationalism and minimizing of race, though due primarily to her internal political situation, affects strongly her attitude toward her vast colonial empire in Africa and accounts largely for policies like the creation of her Black Army for service in Europe, which we will later examine more in detail.
Although the three races which make up France's population have been settled there for ages, they have not intermarried to the extent which might be imagined, but still remain largely segregated in different regions. The reason for this is found in the geography of the country. GeographicaIly speaking, France divides into three parallel zones, running east and west. Northern France is mainly plain and valley country, open and fertile. Southern France is of somewhat similar character. Between these two well-favored regions thrusts an intermediate zone of relatively barren mountains, highlands, and plateaus, stretching clear across Central France from the Alps to Brittany. However, this barrier is not absolute; it is broken by two corridors of fertile lowland, which form natural highways between north and south. The broader of these corridors runs down through France from the open valleys and wide plains around Paris until it reaches the plain country .about Bordeaux. The second corridor cuts down through Eastern France, narrowing to the valley of the River Rhone and then broadening out into the coastal plains that fringe the Mediterranean Sea.
These corridors through the upland belt together form

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one of the keys to French history. If they had not existed, if the upland zone had been unbroken, there would have been no France, but rather two, or even three, separate nations. Along those two natural highways invading hosts have passed easily northward or southward, as the case might be, conquering the whole of France and thus bringing north and south under the same sway. But on the other hand, the presence of that intermediate upland belt has broken the full sweep of these invasions, restricted the numbers of the invaders, and thus prevented a general mixture of conquerors and conquered. Race lines have in fact always tended to follow geographical lines.
Both racially and geographically, present-day France can be described much as Caesar described ancient Gaul -- divided into three parts.
It is really extraordinary when we observe how closely the racial make-up of Gaul-the ancient name for France corresponds to the racial make-up of France to-day. Nordics, Alpines, and Mediterraneans were then grouped geographically much as they are now. When Caesar conquered Gaul, and thus brought it out of the twilight of barbarism into the light of world history, he found the south inhabited mainly by the slender, dark-complexioned race known as Mediterranean, the north mainly inhabited by the tall, blond race known as Nordic, while the intermediate uplands were occupied by the stocky, roundheaded Alpine race, living .in subjection to a Nordic aristocracy which had conquered the uplands a short time before and were beginning to push down through the fertile corridors between the uplands to the conquest of the Mediterranean south.



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Caesar's conquest of Gaul illustrates another striking feature of French history-the sudden shifts of fortune suffered by its various racial elements. Caesar's conquest is in fact merely one of a long series of changes in the balance of power from the hands of one racial element to those of another which is still going on. To-day, for example, the Alpine element in the French population is gaining so rapidly at the expense of both Nordics and Mediterraneans that the process must, unless speedily checked, produce profound changes in every phase of French national life.
This rapid rise of the Alpine element in present-day France is all the more interesting because it is the first time since the dawn of history that such a thing has happened. For ages the French Alpines have been continuously dominated by either the Nordic or Mediterranean elements. This Alpine stock, relatively passive and unintelligent, but extremely tenacious, has hitherto formed the solid yet humble base of the French social system. Hard-working, thrifty, clinging to the soil, caring little for politics, and contributing little to either art or ideas, the French Alpine has been the typical peasant, the man with the hoe, accepting stolidly the rule of more active and intelligent stocks, yet surviving doggedly the worst misfortunes and increasing rapidly in numbers whenever conditions have not been too unfavorable. More than once the Alpine element has been crowded back upon the poor and infertile uplands which from time immemorial have been its strongholds. But there it has stood its ground, multiplied, and spread out again when circumstances changed in its favor. Now for the past century a

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number of causes have favored the Alpines as never before, the result being that to-day this element is more numerous than the Nordic and. Mediterranean put together, and bids fair to turn France within a few generations into a land overwhelmingly Alpine in race.
The full significance of this racial change will be better appreciated if we glance backward at the racial changes of the past. When Caeser and his legions invaded Gaul the Nordics were the dominant element. The Roman. conquest, however, radically altered the situation. The Nordic Gauls put up a furious resistance, were slaughtered or enslaved wholesale, and were permanently broken. On the other hand, their Alpine subjects did little fighting, submitted to Roman rule, and continued to be the peasantry under the new order as they had been under the old. The real gainers were the Mediterranean elements. Welcoming the Romans, who were blood kin they took naturally to Roman civilization. During the five centuries of Roman rule Gaul became increasingly Mediterraneanized. The many cities and towns which sprang up were inhabited mainly by Mediterraneans, drawn not only from Gaul but from other parts of the Roman world.
Then came another dramatic shift of fortune. Roman civilization decayed and finally collapsed beneath a flood of Nordic barbarians pouring down from Germany. The cities and towns were ravaged, and with them perished most of their Mediterranean inhabitants. The Mediterranean element in France was again confined to the south. The north was once more stocked with a Nordic population, which spread as a conquering aristocracy over the central uplands and even into the southern plains. As


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for the Alpine peasantry, they bowed their heads to the storm and again became the serfs of Nordic masters, just as they had been before Caesar's day.
For a thousand years France was a predominantly Nordic land. The ruling classes were everywhere mainly Nordic in blood and set the tone to French life. It is striking to note how different the French spirit was in the Middle Ages from what it is now. There was the an individualistic energy, a fierce self-assertiveness, and a richness of local life which are rare in the centralized, regulated France of to-day. That was the Nordic spirit, stimulated by a dash of Mediterranean blood. In all this the Alpine peasant had practically no share.
Nordic ascendancy in France continued down to the French Revolution, a little more than a century ago. And yet long before the revolution France had been getting steadily less Nordic and more Alpine, this racial shift being revealed by subtle changes in both spirit and institutions. The main reason for Nordic decline was the endless series of foreign, civil, and religious wars which raged for centuries. In France, as elsewhere, war proved to be the Nordic's worst enemy. A born soldier, the Nordic always does most of the fighting and suffers most of the losses. Another reason for Nordic decline was the establishment of despotic monarchy. It is a significant fact that in their struggle for power the French kings found their stanchest allies among the largely Alpine middle classes, while their bitterest enemies were the free-spirited, individualistic Nordic aristocracy. To be sure, when the king had broken their resistance he did not destroy the aristocrats, but turned them into idle courtiers loaded

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with honors and privileges: Yet this was merely a subtle way of ruining them, because they thereby became social parasites hated by the people.
Then the monarchy itself decayed, and after that came the revolution. Although political in form, the French Revolution had a racial aspect far more important than is usually realized. It was largely a revolt of the Alpine and Mediterranean elements against the Nordic ruling class. The revolutionary leaders openly boasted that they were avenging themselves on the descendants of to Nordic Franks, who had dominated them since the fall of Rome. As a revolutionary orator shouted in a memorable speech against the aristocrats, "Let us send them back to their German marshes, whence they came!" Eye-witnesses of the Reign of Terror have left us vivid pictures of how the dark-haired mob surging around the guillotine yelled with special delight whenever the executioner would hold up the head of some French lady, swinging the head by its long blond tresses for the amusement of the crowd.
The revolution marks, indeed, a turning-point in the racial history of France. It started that rapid decline of the Nordic element which is still in full swing. Not only was the Nordic aristocracy hopelessly broken but the Nordic strain in the general population was weeded out faster than ever. The revolution caused a series of terrible wars, which were continued under Napoleon. For twenty-three years France was fighting most of Europe. Millions of Frenchmen perished on the battle-field, and, as usual, the Nordics were the worst sufferers. It has been shown that .at the end of this war period the average stature of French


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narmy recruits had been lowered nearly four inches. This is striking proof of how the tall Nordics had been weeded out of the population in favor of the shorter Alpine and Mediterranean elements .
Although a clear majority of the French population is to-day Alpine in race the minority elements still play a greater part in the national life than their mere numbers would indicate. This is particularly true in certain fields. Nordics contribute most to science and invention, while in literature and art honors are shared between Nordics and Mediterraneans. On the other hand, politics and government are falling more and more into Alpine hands, as is natural for a majority under democratic political institutions. In fact, the general tone of French national life is becoming increasingly Alpine in character. This unquestionably makes for solidity. Yet many French writers deplore the lack of individual initiative and the reliance upon the state which the average Frenchman displays.
Both the virtues and the shortcomings of the Alpine. temperament come out most clearly in the French peasantry, which is mainly Alpine in blood. Hard-working, thrifty, solid, but limited in imaginative vision and creative intelligence, the French peasant remains what he has always been. The difference lies not in himself but in the fact that modern political and economic conditions have made him a greater power in the nation than was formerly the case. The French peasantry was never so prosperous as it is to-day. Furthermore, it is the most numerous occupational group in the nation. We must remember that France never industrialized herself like England and Germany, where the bulk of the population now lives in cities

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and towns. In France a majority of the population still lives in the country. According to the last census, of France's 39,000,000 inhabitants only 18,000,000 live under urban conditions, while 21,000,000 live on the land.
This means that France grows enough foodstuffs to feed her own population, and that, unlike England and Germany, she is not dependent for her very life upon selling the products of her industry in foreign markets. Indeed, France's whole economic system is very different from that of her more industrialized neighbors. Britain and German industry is based upon the principle of mass production for foreign markets. French industry, so far as staple manufactures are concerned, is based upon limited production behind a high tariff wall primarily for the home market. And French production is further limited by the home demand for high quality coupled with long wear. This is where the French view-point differs radically from ours. The Frenchman hates to scrap anything. Whether it be a single machine or a whole factory, his idea is to buy a well-made article and then use it until it is absolutely worn out. Even if it gets behind the times he cannot bear to throw it away. Under such circumstances French manufactured staples have not been able to compete in the world market with British, German, or American staples, and France's typical exports have remained high-grade specialties such as ladies' fashions, silk's, perfumes, wines, and other articles in which France has more or less of a monopoly advantage.
French business and finance have much the same character as French industry. The French merchant and the French investor do not like to take risks. They prefer



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safety to chances of big profits -- and big losses. Frenchmen like to salt down their thrifty savings in gilt-edged securities like government bonds. The recent decline of the French franc, threatening as it does the value of all investments, has been a great shock to the French people; and if anything like a collapse of the franc should take place, the political and social consequences might be nothing short of catastrophic.
This profound uneasiness among the great French investing public -- and it must be remembered that in proportion to her population France has a greater number of small investors than any other country -- is only part of the general shaking up which the war has caused. The casual observer may not see much of this, but the truth is that below the well-ordered surface of French national life important developments are taking place.
France to-day stands at a momentous parting of the ways. Before the late war her national life was, so to speak, geared low. Refraining from thoroughly industrializing herself like England and Germany, maintaining a balance between town and country, and with a stationary population, France led a stable, well-balanced existence. This balance the war and the peace combined to shatter in two different ways. France is to-day both much weaker and much stronger than she was in 1914. She is much weaker in blood and wealth; she is much stronger in political and military power. Let us cast our e!es over this singular balance sheet and note the possible results.
The late war was a frightful blood-letting for France. At the beginning of 1914 the population of France was

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39,700,000. From this population nearly 8,000,000 men were mobilized during the war years. Of these 400,000 were killed and 3,000,000 were wounded. Of the wounded more than 800,000 were left permanent physical wrecks. Thus fully 2,000,000 men -- mostly drawn from the flower of French manhood -- were killed or hopelessly incapacitated. In addition to this the civilian population suffered heavy losses. The result is that the last census -- 1921 -- showed a net decrease of over 2,000,000 inhabitants. Of course, the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine brought in 1,700,000 people. Nevertheless, even including Alsace-Lorraine, the population of France is 500,000 below what it was when the war broke out.
And, of course, the mere numbers of the dead are no test of the seriousness of the losses, because, as already stated, the killed included so large a proportion of the very flower of France. The drain on French vitality and ability has been simply incalculable. Frenchmen continually stress this melancholy fact. A leading French universIty professor said to me sadly:
"Nine-tenths of the rising generation of intellectuals who should now be coming to the fore -- that is, men in the early thirties -- are dead. Old men like myself feel as though we were in an intellectual desert. We look about in vain for successors to whom we may hand on the torch of learning."
And one of France's best-known political figures remarked to me grimly:
"You see our surviving generations are seeking to bridge the gulf of death. I, an old man of seventy am working like a man of forty; and I tell my grandson, aged



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fourteen, that he must jump into his profession five years ahead of normal."
The most serious aspect of the situation is that owing to France's low birth-rate, her vital losses will take a very long time to be repaired. In fast-breeding countries the ravages of war can be effaced, so far as numbers are concerned, in a generation. In France, however, population has long been practically stationary, and there are no signs of any marked betterment in the situation. It took France more than a century to increase her population 40 per cent. In fact the total number of births per year has actually fallen. In the year 1801, 904,000 babies were born in France. In the year 1901, the number of births had fallen to 857,000, although the population was 40 per cent greater than it had been a century before, and the number of births at the old rate should thus have been 1,266,000. The reason why France's population had increased notwithstanding the falling birth-rate was due mainly to a corresponding fall in the death-rate. It was also due to the growing number of foreigners who had entered the country. The foreign element in France is much larger than is usually imagined. In the year 1861 the foreign element numbered less than 400,000; in 1911 it had risen to 1,100,000; in 1921 it was nearly 1,600,000. Nearly one-third of these are Italians, with Belgians and Spaniards also contributing large quotas. Many Frenchmen are decidedly uneasy over this large foreign element, which they consider a possible danger to French national and cultural umty.
Such is France's population problem. And when we turn to her financial situation we find it likewise in serious

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shape. Even before the war the French Government was not paying its way. Every year saw considerable deficits in the budget, which were covered by floating bonds that were readily absorbed by the French investing public, which, as we have already seen, has a strong liking for safe securities. The French have always hated high taxation, particularly direct taxes -- before the war France had no income tax -- and the government naturally took the easier way of issuing bonds rather than rousing unpopularity by imposing new taxes. This was all very well for a while, but it could not go on forever. At the beginning of 1914, the French national debt was 34,000,000,000 francs, the largest per capita debt in Europe, which swallowed almost three-fourths of the annual revenue to pay interest charges.
Then came the war, and France's financial condition which had already been dubious, became infinitely worse. In contrast to Britain, which promptly imposed tremendous taxes and partly paid for the war as she went along, France financed herself almost entirely by new loans coupled with a partial inflation of her currency. The proportion of war expenses paid out of current revenue was infinitesima -- less than one-tenth of 1 per cent. The result was that at the end of the war France's national debt had grown to 147,000,000,000 francs. Still France made no real effort to balance her budget by drastic taxation on the English scale, and her debt grew even faster than during the war. To-day France's national debt stands at about 330,000,000,000 francs-practically ten times her debt in 1914, while her currency has been inflated to nearly seven times the amount in circulation in 1914.


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No wonder that the franc has fallen! To be sure, this fall of the franc has so alarmed the French people that it is getting ready to stand really drastic taxation. Nevertheless, even the new taxation programme which has been proposed will cover only a little more than half of France's annual expenses; so the national debt will continue to mount and the financial situation will get still worse.
Such is the debit side of France's national balance sheet. With a decimated stationary population, and with a debt so crushing as to threaten possible national bankruptcy, it is clear that the war has stained France of blood and treasure so terribly that in both respects she is much weaker than she was ten years ago.
However, there is a credit side to the ledger. Whatever her losses, the fact remains that France won the war and that the peace treaties gave her such political and military power that she stands to-day the strongest nation on the European Continent. Her army is the finest war machine in existence, while the system of alliances that she has built up, stretching from Belgium to Poland, dominates the Continent, at least for the time being. Lastily, it must not be forgotten that France possesses a great colonial empire, second only to Britain's, including as it does vast areas in Africa, rich portions of Asia, and desirable bits in other parts of the world.
Present-day France is thus a strange combination of great weakness and great strength. And this, as already remarked, means for France a momentous parting of the ways. Two roads lie open to her. On the one hand lies the path of conservative foreign policy and domestic reconstruction along traditional lines. On the other hand

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lies the path of expansive policy, both foreign and domestic, which if successful would make France politically and industrially a great world power, as Germany was before the war and as Britain is to-day. If France follows the conservative path she will endeavor to become once more the rather self-centred but stable and moderately prosperous nation that she was before the war. If France decides to tread the ambitious path, this will mean not only a great change in her political relations with other nations but also a profound transformation of her own internal economic and social life. We have seen that hitherto France's economic system has been characterized by a balance between manufacturing and agriculture, between town and country; that she has refrained from extreme industrialization and consequent vital dependence upon exports to foreign markets. If France abandons this system for that of mass production of industrial staples for the world market, she will have to do precisely what England did a century ago and what Germany did half a century ago. The outstanding features of such a policy would be retention at all risks of her present political and military dominance on the Continent of Europe, and competition, sharp and general, in the world market with great industrial nations like Britain and America, not to mention rising industrial nations like Italy and Japan -- and Germany, if she recovers her former industrial strength.
All this plays a great part in producing the mood' of uncertainty and uneasiness which is so evident in French public opinion to-day. Consciously or instinctively, m()st Frenchmen feel that they are passing through a highly critical transition period and that decisions now taken



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may involve momentous consequences for good or for ill. Foreign observers make a mistake in fixing their attention upon particular issues like reparations and security. Important though these matters undoubtedly are, they form merely part of a larger whole.
It is interesting to talk with Frenchmen these days and to observe the sharp contrasts of opinion and of mood. Paradoxical though it may seem, such contrasting ideas and sentiments are often held by the same individual. I have heard a Frenchman start conversation with expressions of high confidence in France's position and prospects and a few minutes late fall into deep pessimism. This, of course, arises from the unusual combination, of strength and weakness which we have already seen the basic feature of France's situation.
Another point insufficiently appreciated outside France is the extent to which its colonial empire figures in French calculations. France possesses the second-largest colonial empire in the world, Britain alone surpassing her in this respect. Indeed, in some ways France's colonial possessions constitute more of an empire than do Britain's. The vast assemblage of lands and peoples under the British flag are rapidly evolving into a loose-knit association of semi-independent nations. The territories and populations under the French flag, on the other hand, form a colonial empire in the old-fashioned sense, closely subordinated to the home government and surrounded by a high tariff wall which makes them frankly a preserve for French trade and commerce. Another point of difference between the French and British colonial empires is that none of the French colonies contain large populations

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of French blood. Algeria alone possesses a considerable French element -- about 500,000 -- yet even this is only one-tenth of the total population. Most of France's colonial possessions are topical or semi-tropical lands inhabited by non-white races. These possessions are, however, very extensive. In Southeastern Asia- Indo-China-France has a rich and populous group of colonies, while in Africa she owns a vast domain. Practically the whole northwestern quarter of the African continent is under the French flag -- a region nearly twice as large as the United States and with fully 35,000,000 inhabitants. The total population of France's colonial empire is a trifle more than 62,000,000.
For a long time France regarded her colonial possessions chiefly in an economic sense, the idea being, that they would form a close economic unit which might ultimately be self-sufficing, the colonies absorbing France's exports and capital while furnishing France in return with the bulk of her imported raw materials and tropical products. But about a generation ago France woke up to the potential value of her colonies in the political and military sense -- as reservoirs of soldiers which would increase French power both at the diplomatic council table and upon the battle-field. For the past twenty years France has been raising larger and larger contingents of colonial troops, especially in Africa, where both the brown-skinned Arab and Berber populations of the northern regions and the negro tribes to the south contain much excellent fighting material. The process was accelerated by the late war, when France raised hundreds of thousands of soldiers in Africa and Indo-China, shipping them to Europe, where



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they did good service. And this was not a mere war measure; it has been established as a fixed principle of French policy. In the present French military system nearly 200,000 African and Asiatic troops are included, part of whom are quartered in France, while in time of war their numbers could be expanded to something like 1,000,000. A large section of French public opinion frankly admits that they intend to exploit their colonial man-power to the uttermost and to make it the corner-stone of French military strength. Not long ago General Mangin, one of the pioneers in the creation of France's African army, asserted that "our colonial empire may be welded into one whole with France herself, and our power of expansion in the whole world thus increased." And about the same time Premier Poincare stated that France was no longer a nation of 40,000,000, but a nation of 100,000,000.
From a strictly military view-point these calculations are justified. But from the political view-point there are serious disadvantages. France's avowed intention of exploiting her colored colonial man-power for use in Europe is rousing fear and antagonism in Europe and is cooling friendly feeling for France in other parts of the world.
In England and Italy hostility to France's colonial military policy is widespread. Prominent Englishmen and Italians have assured me that neither country would long tolerate a policy which they considered a menace to the very heart of European civilization. The recent understanding between Italy and Spain was undoubtedly furthered by common dislike of France's African policies. As for Britain, this is one more count in the serious differences which exist between her and France. Typical of

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British feeling is this comment on General Mangin's speech by a leading English newspaper, the Manchester Guardian:
"It does not need much imagination to understand the horrors that would be brought upon Europe if European nations came to rely on the weapon that General Mangin brandishes before the world. A Europe with black garrisons would symbolize a civilization even more desperately retrograde and despairing than a Europe armed to the teeth. White conscription would mean a Europe without hope, but black conscription would mean a Europe without self-respect."
Here again we come back to the truth which we have already observed -- the striking contrast of strength and weakness that characterizes France's present situation. I have never heard it expressed better than it was by a clever French diplomat, who said to me: "You want to know what I think of my country's position to-day? I'll tell you. It's just about what it was at the height of Napoleon's power -- outwardly brilliant, inwardly dangerous."
One of the most serious miscalculations which many Frenchmen make is in regarding their country as precisely what it was in the past. That, of course, is an error of which other nations are guilty, notably the Germans; but it is a mistake which, wherever made, is apt to be very costly. The fact is that neither outwardly nor inwardly is France what she was in the days of her greatest power under Louis XIV and :Napoleon. In those days France was in every respect the strongest natiori in Europe. Take the factor of population alone. Under Louis XIV,



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France had three times the population of Britain, twice the population of Germany, and almost twice the population of Russia. To-day Britain and Germany have much larger populations than France, while Russia outnumbers her nearly five to one. Of course, Frenchmen see this and are mobilizing Africa to redress the balance, yet in so doing they may be also adding such counterweights of fear and hatred that in the end the scales will run still more heavily against them than they do now.
And even more important, though. less evident, is the question of the internal make-up of the French people to-day as compared with past times. We have already noted the striking racial changes which have been going on in France, and which have resulted in the rapid rise of the Alpine at the expense of the Nordic and .Mediterranean elements. For the first time in French history power is definitely passing into Alpine hands, backed by a clear majority of the population. This rise of the Alpine element has already produced distinct changes in the national life.
How will the Nordic and Mediterranean minorities accommodate themselves to these increasing changes? Already many of the internal strains in French national life are unquestionably due to this subtle yet powerful factor of racial readjustment. Can an Alpinized France be a world power? However solid their qualities, the Alpines have never shone as empire builders. Again, will the highly centralized French national fabric remain unaltered? Such are some of the questions which the France of to-morrow will have to face.

 


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