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The French Connection

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  • Carl Williams
    A question for the group, How serious do you think the French were in terms of ambitious hopes of expanding empire in Mexico on the back of a possibly
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 9, 2009
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      A question for the group,

      How serious do you think the French were in terms of ambitious hopes of expanding empire in Mexico on the back of a possibly successful Southern secession ? They certainly tried to install their man in Mexico. They also seemed more serious in the matter of providing militarily useful ships for the CS Navy.

      Granted, in the end it all seemed somewhat cautious with some exceptions. Did vast ambition underly all this?
    • M. E. Heatherington
      Carl, I can t give you citations for the following, because it is pulled from childhood memory. My daddy, an anthropologist and historian of the Southwest,
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 9, 2009
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        Carl, I can't give you citations for the following, because it is pulled from childhood memory.  My daddy, an anthropologist and historian of the Southwest, spent a year in Mexico City finding and translating documents from the Spanish relevant to the 1600s through the 1900s.  He always said, more strongly worded than I will repeat, that the French were crazy-determined to expand their overseas empire into Mexico, regardless of Southern battle success; that their support for the CS "cause" was shallow and expedient; and that Maximilian and Carlota were gorgeously appareled, overweeningly proud, morally shallow figureheads with the collective brains of a sick goose.  French ambition for empire--and especially for (a) Mexican markets for French goods and (b) Mexican silver into French coffers--underlay every move "those crapulous Frogs" made: sheer greed, not a touch of political philosophy.  Or so Daddy believed.  I have myself read a bit in the history of Second Empire France, and am inclined to agree with him.
        Regards,
        Madelon
         
         
        2. The French Connection
            Posted by: "Carl Williams" carlw4514@... carlw4514
            Date: Sun Aug 9, 2009 5:28 am ((PDT))

        A question for the group,

        How serious do you think the French were in terms of ambitious hopes of expanding empire in Mexico on the back of a possibly successful Southern secession ? They certainly tried to install their man in Mexico. They also seemed more serious in the matter of providing militarily useful ships for the CS Navy.

        Granted, in the end it all seemed somewhat cautious with some exceptions. Did vast ambition underly all this?
      • James W. Durney
        I see no reason to disagree. The French wanted to follow the UK not lead BUT they were the leader in trying to take advantage of the USA being involved with
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 10, 2009
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          I see no reason to disagree. The French wanted to follow the UK not lead BUT they were the leader in trying to take advantage of the USA being involved with the ACW. A French controled Mexico would have been a major addition to the empire.
        • Carl Williams
          I am sure they were still smarting from the outcome of the 7 yrs war, called the French and Indian War over here, in which they lost what had been a
          Message 4 of 4 , Aug 11, 2009
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            I am sure they were still smarting from the outcome of the 7 yrs war, called the "French and Indian War" over here, in which they lost what had been a substantial foothold in North America... including those areas that are still French speaking.
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