Théophile Delcassé

(redirected from Delcasse)
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Delcassé, Théophile


Born Mar. 1, 1852, in Pamiers; died Feb. 22, 1923, in Nice. French statesman and diplomat.

In 1889, Delcassé was elected to the Chamber of Deputies, where he advanced because of his speeches on foreign policy. From May 30, 1894, through Jan. 13, 1895, Delcassé was minister of colonies, and he was active in broadening French colonial expansion in Africa. From 1898 through 1905 he was minister of foreign affairs. A master of secret diplomacy, Delcassé, in defending the interests of French imperialism, strove to expand the French colonial empire (in particular, the seizure of Morocco) without losing sight of an encounter with Germany, which he felt was unavoidable. With these goals in mind, Delcassé attempted to strengthen the Franco-Russian alliance and expand France’s political ties with Great Britain and, partially, with Italy. Delcassé actively facilitated the conclusion of the Anglo-French agreement of 1904, as well as agreements of 1900 and 1902 with Italy, which in fact detached Italy from the Triple Alliance. At the time of the first Moroccan crisis, Delcassé, an advocate of a hard line with regard to Germany, was compelled to resign (June 1905). From 1911 to the beginning of 1913, Delcassé was maritime minister, but he continued to exert an influence on the foreign policy of France, and in 1912 he signed a Russo-French maritime convention. In 1913, in order to strengthen the Franco-Russian alliance, Delcassé was sent as ambassador to St. Petersburg. At the beginning of World War I, Delcassé was appointed minister of foreign affairs,, but because of differences with members of the British government over general questions of how the war should be conducted he resigned in October 1915 and subsequently played no active political role.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
1950), a confidant of the architect of the entente cordiale, foreign minister Theophile Delcasse (1852-1923).
Petersburg, Maurice Verstraete, reported in 1898 to the French foreign minister Theophile Delcasse: "Despite his combative temperament, [Witte] may be, quite possibly, the most peaceful man in Europe at this moment." (95)
Collin helps explain the reason for Roosevelt's influence in the world arena and with foreign heads of state: Europe felt more comfortable dealing with an American leader who was not only conversant with the style of European diplomacy--Weltpolitik and Realpolitik--but effectively practiced a personal diplomacy many European diplomatic leaders favored, including Wilhelm II, King Edward VI, French Foreign Minister Theophile Delcasse, [German chancellor Bernhard yon] Bulow, and Tsar Nicholas II.
The first move to upset this uneasy balance came from the French foreign minister Theophile Delcasse (1852-1923) who indentified Morocco as the best (and lowest risk) opportunity for the recovery of France's diplomatic prestige after the climbdown to the British at Fashoda in 1898.
Mitterand's earlier notes to the 1968 edition of the novel link Zola's expansionist enthusiasm with moderate opportunist discourses of the Third Republic: "Par son panegyrique de la colonisation, qui s'exprime d'ailleurs en evocations pour le moins idealisees, sinon naives, il se montre plus proche de l'ideologie de Jules Ferry ou de Delcasse que de celle de Jaures" (Zola, Fecondite 525).
The French Foreign Minister Theophile Delcasse, although skeptical of what could actually be accomplished at such a conference, feared a possible outcome that might endorse the Treaty of Frankfurt and, hence, the German annexation of Alsace and Lorraine.