On French settler imaginings (and practices): Margaret Cook Andersen, Regeneration Through Empire: French Pronatalists and Colonial Settlement in the Third Republic, University of Nebraska Press, 2015
Excerpt (and link to sample chapter): French defeat in the Franco- Prussian War was swift; in less than two months of war, enemy troops had encircled Paris, captured the emperor Napoleon III, and left the government of the Second Empire discredited. This humiliating defeat in 1870 resulted in the unification of Germany, the loss of Alsace and Lorraine, the establishment of France’s Third Republic, and fears that France was on the brink of becoming a second- rate power in Europe. The crisis that gave birth to the Third Republic would influence its political history throughout its existence; in the immediate aftermath of the war, patriotic French men and women turned their attention to their empire, the declining birthrate in France, and the comparative demographic strengths of rival powers in Europe.
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