Delcassé, Théophile


Delcassé, Théophile
(1852–1923)
   A French journalist and statesman, Théophile Delcassé may be regarded as the founder of the Third Republic’s strategic diplomacy. Elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1889, he held various cabinet posts throughout his distinguished career in government. Delcassé was a staunch supporter of France’s colonial ambitions, and as minister of colonies authorized Marchand’s expedition to Fashoda. He is also known for his diplomatic efforts to cordon off the German Reich through a system of alliances.
   As Minister of Foreign Affairs between 1898 and 1905, he labored to tighten the Franco-Russian alliance and was instrumental to the signing of the Anglo-French Entente Cordiale in 1904. He was criticized by his opponents for his uncompromising and allegedly bellicose anti-German policy and was forced to resign on June 6, 1905, in the midst of the Moroccan Crisis and its attending rumors of war. As naval minister from 1911 to 1913, Delcassé worked to strengthen Anglo-French naval cooperation, particularly in the Mediterranean, in anticipation of war.
   See also <>; <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Andrew, Christopher M. Théophile Delcassé and the Making of the Entente Cordiale: A Reappraisal of French Foreign Policy, 1898-1905 . London: Macmillan, 1968;
    Zorgbibe, Charles. Delcassé: le grand ministre des Affaires étrangères de la IIIe République . Paris: Olbia, 2001.
   SERGE RICARD

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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