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Heroes of EmpireFive Charismatic Men and the Conquest of Africa$
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Edward Berenson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520234277

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520234277.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Heroes of Empire
Author(s):

Edward Berenson

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520234277.003.0001

Jean-Baptiste Marchand and four other men rank among those who figured most prominently in France and Britain's unprecedented race for Africa between 1870 and 1914. These “heroes of empire” included Charles (Chinese) Gordon, Henry Morton Stanley, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, and Hubert Lyautey. They all contributed to a colonial enterprise that expressed and reinforced Europe's racial stereotypes about Africa and Africans and inflicted considerable suffering in what Stanley labeled the “Dark Continent.” In both Britain and France, most heroes had traditionally been military men who risked their lives to achieve lofty goals. Between the 1880s and 1914, individuals who appeared to embody the essence of France or Britain and who could thus strengthen feelings of national attachment could be excellent candidates for charisma.

Keywords:   Jean-Baptiste Marchand, Charles Gordon, Henry Morton Stanley, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, Hubert Lyautey, France, Britain, racial stereotypes

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