Discussion on French colonialism

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 Considering colonization only (not the slave trade, which ended by 1830), what do you think of the idea of the "mission civilisatrice" / "civilizing mission"?  Did Europeans do any good at all in Africa, or was their presence purely negative? 

 -How do you interpret Sarkozy's specific comments from the clip shared (link (b) below), on "African man" and his relationship to history?  Sarkozy had been president for about two months, and was the head of the main center-right political party in France.  Do you think these comments indicate a certain political attitude? a certain French attitude?  a certain intellectual attitude?  Why do you think this speech was controversial?  How would you receive these comments if you were in the audience?  Can you draw any comparison (or comment on a lack of similarity) to American political speeches?  

  You may wish to look at the transcript of all of Sarkozy's speech, at link (a) below.  Do you find the speech as a whole more or less controversial than the clip (b)? Are there particular other portions you find worthy of discussion? 

 Read article (c) below on the controversial use of the term "ensauvagement" and comment.  Do you think its equivalent could be used in American political discourse? Why or why not? 

 What are your thoughts on the 19th century French official's comments on the difference between Algeria and Senegal as far as Islam was concerned?  Why was Algerian Islam seen as more "natural" than Senegalese Islam?  Do you think this was connected to the ethnic differences between Algerians and Senegalese? In what way? 

 - OR, are there other aspects of the French colonization of Africa that you learned about from my lecture, your own research, or current events you have read about, that you would like to discuss? 

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