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p. 362. French and the civilizing missionlocked

  • Vanessa Schwartz


‘French and the civilizing mission’ outlines France's attempts to transmit their culture around the world. The Revolution adopted some ideas from the Old Regime, including an obsession with French literature, and the belief that French culture was the logical succession of Rome. Education in the language of French became the cornerstone of France's civilizing mission, creating a worldwide community of French speakers far beyond the scope of any imperial project. This global community became known as the francophonie. Writers and intellectuals were accorded a special place in French culture. As a result, French culture became associated with the highest academic circles.

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