Britain and France, Connected Empires

  • James R. Fichter
Part of the Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series book series (CIPCSS)


This chapter considers the importance of looking at the interconnections between the British and French colonial empires as opponents, as allies, and, perhaps most commonly, as frères ennemis—frenemies—engaged in competitive collaboration. It discusses the importance of looking at phenomena through an interimperial lens, the emerging historiographic trends encouraging a look at Anglo-French imperial connections, and some of the barriers that remain.


  1. Aldrich, Robert. 2017. Banished Potentates. Dethroning and Exiling Indigenous Monarchs Under British and French Colonial Rule, 1815–1955. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Aldrich, Robert, and Cindy McCreery, eds. 2016. Crown and Colonies: European Monarchies and Overseas Empires. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Barth, Volker, and Roland Cvetkovski, eds. 2015. Imperial Co-operation and Transfer, 1870–1930: Empires and Encounters. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  4. Between National Rivalry and Inter-Imperial Cooperation: European Encounters in the World, 1870–1919. Accessed 28 June 2018.
  5. Boucheron, Patrick, Nicolas Delalande, Florian Mazel, Yann Potin, and Pierre Singaravélou. 2017a. “Faire de l’histoire aujourd’hui.” L’Obs 2735: 72–73.Google Scholar
  6. Boucheron, Patrick, Nicolas Delalande, Florian Mazel, Yann Potin, and Pierre Singaravélou, eds. 2017b. Histoire Mondiale de la France. Paris: Le Seuil.Google Scholar
  7. Brocheux, Pierre, and Daniel Hémery. 2009. Indochina. An Ambiguous Colonization, 1858–1954. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  8. Campbell, Gwyn. 2005. An Economic History of Imperial Madagascar, 1750–1895: The Rise and Fall of an Island Empire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Connected Histories, Mirrored Empires British and French Imperialism from the 17th Through 20th Centuries.,%20Mirrored%20Empires%20Conference%20Call%20for%20Papers.pdf. Accessed 28 June 2018.
  10. Cooper, Frederick. 2002. Africa Since 1940: The Past of the Present. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cooper, Frederick, and Jane Burbank. 2010. Empires in World History. Power and the Politics of Difference. Princeton/Oxford: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Craig, Bryan Allen. “The Great 1859–1860 French Invasion Scare in Great Britain.” MA diss., Kent State University, 1995.Google Scholar
  13. Doyle, Laura. 2013. Inter-Imperiality: Dialectics in a Postcolonial World History. Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 16 (2): 1–38.Google Scholar
  14. Drayton, Richard. 2000. Nature’s Government: Science, Imperial Britain, and the “Improvement” of the World. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  15. ———. 2008. The Globalisation of France: Provincial Cities and French Expansion c. 1500–1800. History of European Ideas 34 (4): 424–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Drayton, Richard, and David Motadel. 2018. Discussion: The Future of Global History. Journal of Global History 13 (1): 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dubois, Laurent. 2012. A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787–1804. Chapel Hill: Published by UNC Press for the Omohundro Institute.Google Scholar
  18. Farnie, D. A. 1969. East & West of Suez. The Suez Canal in History, 1854–1956. Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
  19. Fichter, James R. 2012. British Infrastructure and French Empire: Anglo-French Steam Interdependency in Asian Waters, c. 1852–1870. Britain and the World 5: 183–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fredj, Claire. 2016. Une présence hospitalière en territoire colonial: les Filles de la Charité en Algérie (1842–1962). In Des Filles de la charité aux Soeurs de Saint-Valence-de-Paul (XVIIe–XXe siècle). Quatre siècles de cornettes (XVIIe–XXe siècle), ed. Matthieu Brejon de Lavergnée, 447–474. Paris: Honoré Champion.Google Scholar
  21. French Atlantic History. Accessed 28 June 2018.
  22. Games, Alison. 2008. The Web of Empire: English Cosmopolitans in an Age of Expansion, 1560–1660. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Greer, Alan. 2009. La Nouvelle-France et le monde. Montreal: Editions Boréal.Google Scholar
  24. Hall, Catherine, and Sonya Rose, eds. 2006. At Home with the Empire: Metropolitan Culture and the Imperial World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  25. “‘Histoire mondiale de la France’: le livre qui exaspère Finkielkraut, Zemmour et Cie,” Le Nouvel Observateur, 1 February 2017.Google Scholar
  26. Huber, Valeska. 2013. Channelling Mobilities: Migration and Globalisation in the Suez Canal Region and Beyond, 1869–1914. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Jasanoff, Maya. 2005. Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East, 1750–1850. New York/London: Knopf/Fourth Estate.Google Scholar
  28. Jennings, Eric. 2015. Free French Africa in World War II: The African Resistance. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Karabell, Zachary. 2003. Parting the Desert: The Creation of the Suez Canal. London: John Murray.Google Scholar
  30. Larson, Pier. 2009. Ocean of Letters: Language and Creolization in an Indian Ocean Diaspora. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Laux, Claire. 2011. Le Pacifique aux XVIIIè et XIXè siècle, une confrontation franco-britannique, Enjeu colonial et rivalité géopolitique de 1763 à 1914. Paris: Karthala.Google Scholar
  32. MacKenzie, John M. 2015. European Imperialism: A Zone of Cooperation Rather than Competition? In Imperial Co-operation and Transfer, 1870–1930: Empires and Encounters, ed. Volker Barth and Roland Cvetkovski, 35–53. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  33. McNeill, J. R. 2010. Mosquito Empires: Ecology and War in the Greater Caribbean, 1640–1914. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nora, Pierre. 2017. Histoire mondiale de la France, Pierre Nora répond. L’Obs 2734: 68–69.Google Scholar
  35. Nourse, J. E. 1884. The Maritime Canal of Suez, from Its Inauguration, November 17, 1869, to the Year 1884. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  36. Obituary: Vice-Admiral Sir George Strong Nares, K. C. B., F. R. S. The Geographical Journal 45 (3): 255–257.Google Scholar
  37. Russel, Alexander. 1869. Egypt: The Opening of the Great Canal. Edinburgh: “Scotsman” Office.Google Scholar
  38. Salevouris, Michael J. 1982. “Riflemen Form,” the War Scare of 1859–1860 in England. New York/London: Garland.Google Scholar
  39. Singaravélou, Pierre. 2017. Tianjin Cosmopolis: Une autre histoire de la mondialisation. Paris: Le Seuil.Google Scholar
  40. Stanley, Henry M. 1895. My Early Travels and Adventures in America and Asia Travels. New York: Charles Scribner’s.Google Scholar
  41. Ternat, François, and Lucien Bély. 2015. Partager le monde: rivalités imperials franco-britanniques (1748–1756). Paris: PUPS.Google Scholar
  42. Thomas, Martin. 1996. Britain, France and Appeasement: Anglo-French Relations in the Popular Front Era. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  43. ———. 2000. The French North African Crisis: Colonial Breakdown and Anglo-French Relations, 1945–62. London: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. ———. 2008. Empires of Intelligence: Security Services and Colonial Disorder After 1914. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  45. ———. 2014. Fight or Flight: Britain, France, and Their Roads from Empire. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Thomas, Martin, and Richard Toye. 2017. Arguing about Empire: Imperial Rhetoric in Britain and France, 1882–1956. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Todd, David. 2011. A French Imperial Meridian, 1814–1870. Past & Present 210 (1): 155–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. ———. 2015. Transnational Projects of Empire in France, c. 1815–c. 1870. Modern Intellectual History 12: 265–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. ———. A Velvet Empire: French Imperial Power and Economic Life in the Nineteenth Century. Book in progress.Google Scholar
  50. Vice-Admiral Sir George Nares, K.C.B., F.R.S. 1915. Nature 94: 565–567.Google Scholar
  51. Zemmour, Éric. 2017. Dissoudre la France en 800 pages. Le Figaro (19 Jan 2017) 15.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • James R. Fichter
    • 1
  1. 1.European StudiesUniversity of Hong KongHong KongHong Kong

Personalised recommendations