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Raymond Poincaré

Keiger, JFV 2008, 'Raymond Poincaré' , in: Mental Maps in the Era of Two World Wars , Palgave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 1-22.

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    Abstract

    An individual’s mental map of the modern world is as conditioned by their state as by their own particular upbringing, social and educational background and personal circumstances. Raymond Poincaré was born at Bar-le-Duc in Lorraine in north-eastern France on 20 August 1860 and died in Paris on 16 October 1934. His political career ran from the 1880s to the 1930s in one of the most formative periods of modern French history coinciding with the bedding in and maturing of the Third Republic. For most of that period he held the principal offices of state repeatedly from foreign and finance minister (four times a minister) to prime minister (four times) and president of the republic and was out of government for only a few years. He played crucial roles in organising France’s foreign and defence posture in the two years prior to the First World War, as well as the final decision to engage France in that conflict, the organisation of the war effort, the subsequent peace settlement, the reparations question, French occupation of the Ruhr in 1923 and the re-organisation of French finances and the stabilisation of the currency from 1926 to 1928. These were all critical exercises for France, Europe and, increasingly, the world. In all these actions Poincaré’s decision-making was informed by a mixture of overt and ‘unspoken assumptions’ about France’s geo-political position and interests that conditioned his freedom to choose. This chapter analyses and evaluates Poincaré’s mental map through a series of narrowing concentric circles beginning with the conceptual underpinnings of how, during the Third Republic, the French perceived time, space and France, then how a Frenchman such as Poincaré would have perceived the world. This will take us to the empirical underpinnings of Poincaré’s world view and finally to how his mental map influenced his policy and decision-taking principally in relation to Germany.

    Item Type: Book Section
    Themes: Subjects / Themes > D History General and Old World > DC France
    Memory, Text and Place
    Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for European Security
    Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences
    Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
    Publisher: Palgave Macmillan
    Refereed: Yes
    ISBN: 9780230007161
    Related URLs:
    Depositing User: JFV Keiger
    Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2010 11:32
    Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 17:36
    URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/11265

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