Morocco and the Boer War

  • Christopher Andrew


ANGLO-FRENCH relations have never since been as bad as at the beginning of the Boer War. France was swept by sympathy for the Boer cause. In the year 1900 Boer dress had a notable influence on the collections of the fashion houses; one Paris couturier successfully launched a lady’s grey felt hat, turned up at the side à la Boer. Arriving at Marseille in the summer of 1900 on their way to the Paris Exhibition, a party of Madagascans was mistaken for Boers and given an enthusiastic reception by the Marseillais.1 In November President Kruger himself arrived at Marseille to begin a European tour and was greeted with wild enthusiasm. The Cannes chamber of commerce, alarmed by the dramatic decline in the numbers of English tourists, had begged Delcassé to prevent Kruger’s visit: ‘The Mediterranean coast of France, which is largely dependent for its livelihood on English visitors, is threatened by a new commercial crisis much worse than last year’s and perhaps by disaster’.2 Among the English tourists who failed to make their annual visit to the Riviera was Queen Victoria, who ‘heroically substituted a visit to Ireland’, her first for many years.3 Even the Francophile Prince of Wales was outraged by a series of scurrilous cartoons of his mother in a Paris magazine.


Foreign Minister European Tour French Rule French Troop Draft Declaration 
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  1. 3.
    Sir Sidney Lee, King Edward VII (London, 1927), I, 784.Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    Étienne, ‘L’Angleterre devant l’Europe’, Figaro, 7 Nov. 1899.Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    R. de Caix, ‘Les arrangements anglo-allemands et la situation générale’, BCAF, Dec. 1899.Google Scholar
  4. After the Boer War was over, de Caix was to regret that Delcassé had missed the opportunity to strike a bargain with England while she was occupied in South Africa and to regret that it might be too late to do so now that England’s hands were free (de Caix, ‘La Paix’, BCAF, June 1902; ‘Choses du Maroc’, BCAF, Oct. 1902).Google Scholar
  5. 3.
    MS. Letter, Neton to Beau, 16 May 1903.Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    R. de Caix, ‘Les affaires du Maroc’, BCAF, April 1900.Google Scholar
  7. Cf. de Caix, ‘Au Maroc: la nomination de M. Révoil au gouvernement de 1’Algérie’, BCAF, June 1901.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    A. Marsden, ‘Britain and the Tunis Base’, English Historical Review, LXXIX (1964), 90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 1.
    Delcassé, ‘Projet de Déclaration’, 4 Feb. 1900, Delcassé MSS.Google Scholar
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    MS. Letter, Bompard to Paul Cambon, 7 April 1903.Google Scholar
  11. 4.
    P. Leroy Beaulieu, ‘Le chemin de fer transsaharien’, Revue des Deux Mondes, I July 1899;Google Scholar
  12. ‘Le Sahara, le Soudan central et les chemins de fer’, Revue des Deux Mondes, I Oct. and I Nov. 1902. The controversy between the advocates of the two routes continued into the early years of the twentieth century; see, e.g., La Dépêche Coloniale, 31 Oct. and 3 Nov. 1902, and the articles by H. de Castries and A. Fock in BCAF, Aug. and Sept. 1902.Google Scholar
  13. 1.
    In addition to the articles cited above, 155 n. 4, see the article by Étienne in La Dépêche Coloniale, 19 Nov. 1902. Work on the Transsaharien was not begun until 1941, and was abandoned a year later.Google Scholar
  14. 2.
    W. B. Harris, Morocco That Was (London, 1921).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Christopher Andrew 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Andrew
    • 1
  1. 1.CambridgeUSA

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