known of the early life of Camille Barrère.1 Biographical material which does exist,
however, clearly illustrates the democratic, republican and patriotic values he
learned in early childhood and subsequently exhibited in adult life. Pierre-Eugène-Camille
Barrère was born 10 October 1851, the fifth child of
Pierre and Agathe Barrère. The father was an outspoken republican living
in Charité-sur-Loire, an
old Protestant center in central
after Camille’s birth, French republicanism was dealt a harsh blow in the
December coup d'etat
in which Louis Napoléon, President of the fragile
Second Republic, seized full control of the government and began France’s
inexorable slide toward a Napoléonic Second Empire
the following year. According to one
writer, the elder Barrère was arrested in the wake of
the coup.3 Pierre Barrère must have been released shortly
after his arrest because he and his entire family soon
found themselves in exile in
Camille received his education. His
mastery of the English language and his taste for British literature
are explained by the fact that he lived his first nineteen years as an emigré in
inspired by many of his father’s political ideals, Barrère
returned to France immediately after the fall of Napoléon
III in 1871. His politics and his
youthfulness quickly engaged him in the leftist cause of the Paris Commune. The extent of Barrère’s
activities in the struggle is not ascertainable. Although some writers contend that Barrère did not participate,7
others feel certain that he did "play a part in the Commune."8 As an artillery commander in the National
Guard, Barrère was involved in the fighting in the quartier
He appears, however, to have made his most important contributions to the Commune as a journalist. Writing for several publications, nineteen-year-old Barrère espoused the radicalism of the cause. In La Sociale a short-lived journal which, under its director, Madame Andre Leo, published forty-eight issues in 1871,9 Barrère produced several fiery articles. Proof of his fervent support for the radical Communards is found in his appeal of 10 May 1871 to pull down the Vendôme column—an edifice originally erected by Napoléon I, in the fashion of ancient Roman Emperors, as a glorification of Bonaparte’s imperial military triumphs.
Bitter Mockery! The revolutionary tempests have constantly spared the which represents execrated militarism. This column is the souvenir independence violated, of the nation crushed by the feet of the enemy, foreign soil watered with the blood of our fathers. This column the tomb of butchered liberty, with its assassin for a monument. The Commune has ordered the demolition of this sinister trophy. That was justice. Such an order gives proof of great sagacity. How they tell us that the edifice in the Place recalls glorious memories. For us, it is the monument of insolence surmounting its crime.10
crushing of the Commune sent Barrère, a death
sentence hanging over him, back to England in May 1871—again as an exile. His Commune experience as a journalist,
however, must have been overlooked in
in Constantinople and writing for such prestigious newspapers and magazines, Barrère came to the attention of French republican leaders.11 Through the support of
Gambetta and the political effort of the French foreign minister, W. H. Waddington,
the exiled journalist was brought to the Congress of Berlin in 1878 as an aide
to the French delegation.12 It was also through Waddington that Barrère was granted amnesty for his Commune activity and
was allowed to return to
In Paris for the second time in his life, Barrère found an outlet for his idealism in the stumbling new Third Republic. Gambetta became his idol and mentor in this new direction. Shortly after his introduction to the famed political leader, Barrère became Gambetta’s "diplomatic informant"13
Barrère joined the staff of La République Française,14 and was made foreign affairs editor. It was in this milieu of reportage and political instability that Barrère came into working contact with future French leaders such as Eugène Spuller, Gabriel Hanotaux, Jules Ferry, Paul and Jules Cambon, Eugène Étienne, and Théophile Delcassé. He remained, however, most impressed with Gambetta. Throughout his career, Barrère kept in his office a large picture of Gambetta, framed with a letter from the democratic champion expressing personal sympathy at death of Barrère’s older brother.15
Even in his later political correspondence, Barrère tended to assess complexities as Gambetta might have done.16 As late as 1932, when writing about Gambetta’s enormous influence upon Delcassé, Barrère confessed that "I, myself, felt it to such a degree that all of my career deeply reflects it."17
great contribution to life in the Third Republic was in the area of domestic
politics. In his renowned
did emphasize several ideas regarding foreign affairs, ideas that his new
editor also embraced.18 For one, Gambetta opposed the policy of
"retirement" which typified French foreign affairs after the end of
the Franco-Prussian War. He called
instead for action capable of returning
Another Gambettist ideal, implicit in his famous motto "think
of it always, speak of it never" was belief in the political
irreconcilability of France and Germany as long as the Germans held Alsace and
Lorraine, the so-called "lost provinces." He spoke out for revanche, for the
restoration of pre-1870 French frontiers that would mean return of the French
provinces that were captured and now incorporated in the German Empire. This did not mean a
distaste for Germans as such, but it did signify that
thought in terms of the European balance of power. He favored an
I desire that our enemies should be Russia's enemies. It is clear that Bismarck wants an alliance with the Austrians. Russia must therefore be made to see that we might be her ally….Since the revolution our country exerts great influence in Europe. Before long I see Russia and England at our side if we only have a proper internal policy21
Barrère's later career clearly demonstrated
how, as foreign editor of La République Française during
the period 1878-1879, he assimilated his mentor's political attitudes. In private and professional correspondence
after becoming a diplomat, Barrère strongly supported
an assertive French foreign policy. He demanded
the return of Alsace-Lorraine and scorned those who seemed willing to accept
second-rate status. In his letters,
furthermore, he proposed ambitious diplomatic schemes by which the
international balance of power could be shifted in favor of
Just as Gambetta’s democratic proposals were tempered when they encountered the realities of the Third Republic, so the radical spiritedness demonstrated by Barrère in his youth was moderated by the necessity to be practical. He did not abandon the radical values of patriotism and republicanism evidenced in the Paris Commune. Still, throughout his diplomatic career, his political actions shunned revolutionary exuberance and clearly understood international politics as "the art of the possible."
Barrère criticized the threatening politics of French public figures such as General Georges Boulanger and Paul Déroulède. Instead, he advocated realistic internal policies that would concentrate on governmental stability and the resolution of divisive issues such as separation of Church and State. He also abandoned any personal aspirations he might have for a career in parliamentary politics. To this point, by 1886 Barrère had already revealed his distaste for the intrigues of domestic politics when he wrote to his friend Delcassé:
I will never enter a ministry of adventure whose days are numbered…. No, my hour—if it should ever come—has still not sounded. I prefer rather to keep myself in reserve for some bad days—for those bad days which will only come too soon if the politicians of the Palais Bourbon not cease dishonoring France.22
Instead, Barrère focused his energies on French foreign relations. Here he found a calling, a field of endeavor
in which ideals were important, but practicality was paramount. It was as a diplomat, not as a street-fighter
or as a parliamentary schemer, that he would work to realize his political
aspirations and thereby strengthen
In 1879, Barrère first came into contact with Delcassé.23 The future Minister of Foreign Affairs, two
years younger than the future ambassador to
Delcassé was assigned to the foreign affairs bureau where Barrère was editor. It was Barrère’s task to initiate the young reporter. He gave Delcassé daily assignments, edited his work, and familiarized the new reporter with the journal’s editorial policy and eventually introduced him to Gambetta. Barrère later claimed that "In a sense" Delcassé was his "pupil."26 Their relationship, however, extended beyond office hours. The two men became good friends, so close that Barrère stood as a witness when Delcassé married in October 1887.27
The two men
continued to exchange personal messages long after both had left the newspaper
staff. In their activities during Delcassé's tenure at the
Barrère’s diplomatic career began in 1880. Leaders of the new government wanted to develop
a cadre of republican diplomats with no ties to the aristocratic and imperial
this appointment allowed him to continue writing in Paris for nine months of
each year,29 his
interest in journalism waned. By late
1883, he had abandoned newspaper and magazine writing and was stationed in
diplomatic communications written by Barrère from
Cairo and Stockholm illustrate little of the Barrère's
analytical prowess. There certainly are
some excellent dispatches recreating interviews or describing particular
but in none of this correspondence did Barrère
attempt to evaluate the French international predicament and proffer his own grand
solutions. It was not until he reached
according to one Russian diplomat, was the "training school for future
chancelleries felt that the Bavarian capital was a post "from which
excellent observations could be made," and that nations "chose men as
their representatives there with great care."31 In
understand the meaning and implications of Barrère’s
activities as ambassador to Italy, one should understand his political ideology. How did he assess the European international
situation? What was his answer for the
By closely evaluating
his private and professional correspondence, especially letters written during
his six years in Munich, a clear picture of his convictions emerges. In his correspondence Barrère
treated all the major problems confronting the
Barrère believed that only through
strength—military might and internal stability—could France gain respect for
its goals in foreign affairs. In
December 1889, he elaborated on the question of military might. In a lengthy letter to French Minister of
Foreign Affairs Eugène Spuller,
Barrère asserted "That which is noble and
generous in the French genius always will be admired. But it is worth more for
shows Barrère impressed by the "new national
strength" displayed in the 1889 Paris Exhibition. But rather than remain a "final
goal," he contended, the Exhibition should be an
inspiring stage in the further strengthening of
matters, Barrère was a center-left, moderate
republican, sympathetic toward the pragmatic Opportunist faction in French government. As such he advocated internal solidity. Strength, he felt, could come only with
internal political stability. Commenting
on the political struggle created in
In his suggestion of a united effort against the Extreme Left, however, Barrère did not lose sight of the need for an effective republican leader. In February 1887 after his friend Delcassé had written him that France was "disgusted" with questions of personality and wanted only a united party, Barrère reminded him that "Boulanger's astonishing fortune is proof to the contrary."
Barrère was not a Boulangist. He believed that the only way to establish
the "practical democratic government such as Gambetta dreamed of it"
was for republicans to accept one leader.
As an Opportunist, he urged idealists to make sacrifices until this third
attempt at creating a republic in
The problems of internal discord and its debilitating effect upon French international maneuverability continued to concern Barrère. As late as 1893, with the Boulanger crisis long passed and republicanism more popularly accepted in France, he still fretted, "Our country is still too absorbed by its internal affairs, by the necessity to constitute and consolidate the definitive form of government—the source of all powerful action externally—to exercise now on world affairs that influence it will have later when this great problem is resolved."35
Still, Barrère had grander ideas in mind than simply rebuilding
national strength to enhance France influence in international affairs. Because he was a revanchist, Barrère's ultimate domestic
consideration was for that revenge against
Seized from France by terms of the Treaty of Frankfurt, the Alsace-Lorraine issue was an impossible obstacle to political harmony between Paris and Berlin. Barrère felt the "lost provinces" were being controlled by a German "straitjacket of force."36 He questioned those Frenchmen who denied by the 1890s that there was a revanchist problem. He reasoned that if by stating "in every way and at every occasion that the question of Alsace-Lorraine does not exist, does it not proclaim its existence."37His answer was resoundingly affirmative, for as he wrote in 1896, France "has not renounced any of its hopes, and…the question which dominates Europe today as yesterday, the question which determines the groupings of peoples, and the question which will decide their fate, is the question of Alsace-Lorraine."38
apparent from Barrère’s letters that he saw another
war as possibly the only way to resolve the Franco-German impasse. In 1890 he claimed that it was time for
The young chargé in Munich expressed himself on this matter most clearly when, contending that ideas about a peaceful settlement to the Alsace-Lorraine question "can have a regrettable effect upon our national spirit," he concluded that such an
illusion could be perilous. It could tend to weaken our forces, to abate consideration of military strength of France. The more I examine this problem—the great problem that explains the political and military situation in Europe—the more it appears certain to me that it can only be resolved by war."40
Ideally, Barrère believed French foreign policy should consist of revanchist goals supported with military
prowess. He felt that
might, Barrère contended, was necessary for France
because "the German spirit respects only the strong: it regards only the
strong, and it reckons accounts only with the strong."42 From a position of strength, therefore, Barrère claimed that
If to Barrère the German annexation of Alsace-Lorraine
represented geographic proof of French military and political weakness, the Triple
Alliance was for him the diplomatic symbol of that impotence. The core of the
Although Barrère accepted the Dual Alliance as necessary for the
European balance of power, he was antipathetic toward the participation of
In Barrère’s view Austria-Hungary feared war "more than
any other European Power" because of its chronic and volatile
nationalities problem. If
danger of the Triple Alliance to France, according to Barrère,
was the participation of Italy in the league.
It was not, however, Italian military prowess that Barrère
feared. Rather, in a future war between
could prove decisive by lending military strength to Germany in a future
Franco-German conflagration, Barrère concluded that
French diplomatic policy toward Italy should aim "to detach her from the
Triple Alliance or to reduce her to powerlessness."47 In his diplomatic dispatches in the early
1890s he clearly set forth his ideas of how French diplomacy in
Barrère argued that the original goal of
Italian adherence to the Triple Alliance had not been realized.
relations between France and Italy had been excellent prior to the commencement
of the tariff war in 1888. During the
Barrère recognized in much of this condition
the effects of the commercial rupture with France. "
Italian economy had suffered from the estrangement with France, the popularity
of the monarchy in Italy was similarly undermined. The establishment of the House of Savoy as
the royal house of
months Barrère had written how adherence to the
Triple Alliance was more the protective policy of King Umberto I and his
followers than it was the natural inclination of the Italian public.53 Being republican and predominately Roman
attitude of the House of Savoy, Barrère believed that
if the Italian public opinion could be won to the French side, the king would
be compelled to move politically in the same direction. Furthermore, if the Italian public was
presently upset with the Triple Alliance and the consequent tensions with
Barrère’s envisioned a plan of action that
would mesh French political desires with Italian economic requirements and create
a foreign policy course that would satisfy both simultaneously. In 1891 the Italian Prime Minister, Antonio Starabba, the Marquis di Rudini, lamented to his friend Barrère
that the economic and political problems in Franco-Italian relations created a
"vicious circle." "In
order to ameliorate the economic relations of
Barrère's favored a third solution "which was to
modify simultaneously the political and economic relations of the two
countries."56 He recognized even from his post in
The danger of the Triple Alliance for ourselves is precisely the participation of the Power which is the most unstable: Italy. It is to this part that our greatest efforts should be carried. The day when Italy regains its liberty, the coalition will have lost its venom, and Europe will have changed full face.
The enterprise to detach her from the Central Powers, or to reduce her to impuissance, is pregnant with difficulties. It demands time, money, and consistency in the plans. It is really worthy of our diplomacy. It is not up to me to indicate the means to reach this end, these means exist. And if one adds the will to employ the will to employ them, the future holds nothing which should discourage us.
Italy is weak, exhausted, and three-quarters ruined. Her alliance with Germany and Austria has brought her only expenditures, bad luck, and humiliations It is only explainable through dynastic reasons, and the dynasty is beginning to carry the responsibility for it.
All the calculations of our transalpine neighbors have been deceived. They have been fooled about their own forces and about ours. They believed in an approaching war in which France and her territory would be the cost. They believed they could find in their allies the markets they lost with us. Nothing out of all that has been realized, and to crown its deception, sees within its walls—along side the Savoy dynasty which is reduced to finding in its own personal interests an alliance smirked at by the nation—a Pontiff who breaks openly with the thrones and makes common cause with democracy. If from all that there is nothing of great measure to extract, it is necessary despair of the science of diplomacy.57
1894, Camille Barrère left
If Barrère developed his plans in Switzerland, however, it
could not have been much more specific than the concepts on Italy and the
Triple Alliance that he promoted in his Munich correspondence. Jules Cambon, the
man who was French ambassador to
of an effective ambassador’s duties necessitates maneuverability and
in Rome in February 1898. Some have
suggested that he might have been sent to
As he had
clearly pointed out in reports written years earlier, Italian participation in
the Triple Alliance posed a potential threat to France in a future
Franco-German conflict. Barrère did not know the specific terms of the
important that Barrère approached the problem
pragmatically. Unlike his dogmatic
predecessor, he conceived of either inducing the Italians out of the
Barrère’s predecessor in Rome, Albert Billot, had not been popular there. He had come to Rome in 1891 with the desire to
ease tensions between the two states, and to separate Italy from the Triple
Alliance. His policies met with little
success.66 Billot's diplomatic methodology alienated the Italian
leadership. In the midst of negotiations
and physically, Billot was unsuited to conduct the
delicate task of reconciling Italy and France.
In his overriding desire to destroy the Triple Alliance, the ambassador
was unable to settle for simply neutralizing
The coldness of his temperament which he shows almost at pleasure, the excessive care with which he avoids all contact with the Italian intellectual world, the meticulousness which often gives a purely administrative character to diplomatic questions, even his physique—rigid and composed—which comes across as a feeling of excessive haughtiness but which in him is only the effect of a naturally unsympathetic face, the frequency of his indispositions: all that contributes to diffuse about him an atmosphere, which if not hostile, is at least defiant or indifferent.70
rumors that the ailing Billot would be removed from
For harmonization and for results, the ambassadorship of Billot one of the most disgraceful. The French word describes boria sussiego. The attitude he maintained from his first moment among us…. It is certain that the negative influence exercised in the person of Billot, and in his reports to the Quai d’Orsay were not without influence on the state of tensions that characterized Franco-Italian relations during his ambassadorship.73
French representative in
and professionally, Tornielli disliked his assignment
in France. He hated
ambassador was also scornful of the "mischief" and
"irritation" which, he claimed, France was causing in the world.83 Although he eventually came to believe in the
peaceful intentions of Delcassé84 ,
he predicted the emergence of a nationalistic government in
ambassador’s ideas and activities gained him little trust. Although he maintained normal diplomatic
contact with the Consulta, after Barrère's
The French leadership also mistrusted the Italian ambassador. Delcassé avoided serious communication with him unless it was part of Barrère's strategy. Delcassé feared diplomatic intimacy with Tornielli because he considered him to be un triplicien convaincu, a die-hard Triple Alliance supporter.87
Barrère was also antipathetic toward his
Italian counterpart. He felt that Tornielli, through his closeness with the German embassy in
Although Tornielli remained in Paris until his death, there was no
necessity to remove him. Technically, he
was an excellent diplomatician. He was also a loyal and hardworking
representative of the Italian monarchy. Furthermore,
with Barrère as a forceful proponent of close
Franco-Italian relations, Tornielli afforded the
Italian government and moderating point of view. His cautioning against diplomatic intimacy,
if not specifically followed in
Nevertheless, Tornielli was a poor representative of Italy. As Serra pointed out, despite his energy and technical brilliance, "his principles [carattere], beneath a grave and severe appearance, were his weakness."88
the reputation Barrère earned in Switzerland, his
Italian posting was well-received in Rome.89 But before he could work toward realizing his
personal plans he needed the confidence and cooperation of the Minister of
Foreign Affairs in
Barrère, too, had lost faith in Hanotaux.92 In order to gain a strategic role for himself
in commercial talks that had lingered in
Barrère's approval of his long-time friend Delcassé to occupy the Quai d'Orsay was not necessarily
shared by other observers of French policy.94 In his personal contacts with Parisian
governmental leaders before 1898, the diminutive politician who was five feet,
four inches tall95 had
gained the reputation for being a braggart.96 Delcassé had
confidently predicted that one day he would be foreign minister and that
"things would go differently and better."97 The German ambassador in
ambassador, however, tempered his unenthusiastic description of Delcassé' as one of “the phalanx of young French
statesmen," by noting that he felt the new minister’s attitude toward
Italy "probably" would lead to the consolidation of Hanotaux's
achievements.99 In the spring 1897, Delcassé
Barrère and the realization of his diplomatic goals,
however, the choice of Delcassé was a positive one. The two men had been close friends for twenty
had shared many of the influences which had shaped Barrère’s
thinking on French foreign policy. Throughout
their friendship, moreover, they had exchanged ideas in their correspondence. And from their experiences as journalists
with the La République
Française and their experience with the
democratic nationalist Léon Gambetta, the two men
shared similar hopes for the future of
Despite their commonalities the two friends were not without differences. By 1898, Barrère's views had been conditioned by his years as a diplomat. Delcassé's career as a journalist-politician gave him a different orientation. The mutual contact with Gambettism and an intimate friendship made their working relationship a unique and productive arrangement. The differences created by divergent careers help explain the friction that occasionally developed during the period under study.
Delcassé shared Barrère's desire to see Alsace-Lorraine returned to France. Although some comments about Delcassé 's revanchist sympathies are exaggerated,102 the foreign minister's republican background and his intense patriotism suffice to explain his predilections on the question. Writing in the summer of 1898, Delcassé said of Alsace-Lorraine:
France still remembers—it is her primary raison d'être, and she would be less respected if it were felt that she was ready to forget….For my part, even if I am foreign minister, I am a Frenchman first and cannot prevent myself from sharing the feelings of other Frenchmen.103
point in his diplomatic career, he foresaw the possibility of peacefully
revising the Treaty of Frankfurt.104 This thought proved untenable, however, and he
seems to have reconciled himself to Barrère's pessimistic
contention that only another war would return the lost provinces to
profoundly patriotic, Delcassé hoped indeed to see the return of Alsace-Lorraine to France. On more than one occasion I heard him say that that would happen following a general conflagration, the outbreak of which could not be ascertained, but which he knew was inevitable.105
Unlike Barrère, Delcassé’s revanchist sentiments did not make him
an immediate Germanophobe. Because he was not the minister of "a
policy of principle, the man of one line" but was rather "a
parliamentarian by career" and "a subtle maneuver in the
corridors,"106 Delcassé actually was amenable to a rapprochement with
You see with what phlegm I discuss German affairs [in La République Française]. Le Paris, whose tone is more sensational and where I discuss foreign affairs under the pseudonym ‘Pierre Dechene. I adopt the most moderate, even the most impartial, attitude. We shall be very careful to do nothing which might lead to a fearful collision between France and Germany.107
Delcassé’s admiration for
notable difference between Delcassé' and Barrère was in the geographic orientation of their thoughts
on future French policy. Barrère was interested primarily in the European balance of
power; Delcassé lent considerable weight to French
imperial expansion. Except for his
several months in
Delcassé, on the other hand, gave more
credence to Gambetta's desire for selective and cautious colonial expansion as
a means of attaining glory and power. He
did not ignore European affairs, but his tenure at the Ministry of Colonies in
the mid-1890s left an indelible mark upon his thoughts. This was borne out during his tenure at the
Quai d’Orsay, as the quest for
Delcassé was also devoted thoroughly to the
Franco-Russian Alliance; Barrère, though cognizant of
its diplomatic value, was more flexible in his appreciation. Throughout his journalistic career, Delcassé had been strongly favorable to the creation and
maintenance of ties between
Barrère was much more realistic in his
considerations of the Franco-Russian Alliance.
He realized that only the Alsace-Lorraine question kept the liberal and
If Barrère had come to Rome with a personal plan in mind, the same cannot be said of Delcassé when he assumed the portfolio of foreign affairs in June 1898. His views were ambivalent and short-range. In his journalistic writings during the 1880s Delcassé had championed at least once the idea of political entente with every Great Power.111 Unlike Barrère, who fixed Germany as the rival in his worldview, at various times Delcassé had called for: (1) an entente between France, Austria-Hungary, and Russia to counteract German influence in the Balkans; (2) an entente of France and Germany (or France, Germany and Russia) to withstand the British presence in the Eastern Mediterranean; (3) an entente involving France, Russia, and Great Britain to balance the German-Austrian alliance; (4) an alliance between France and Russia; and (5) an understanding between France and Italy.
during his first weeks in office, the new foreign minister thought only of
settling a few minor international disputes.
He considered that his foreign ministry would be successful if he could
use French "good offices" to settle the Spanish-American war,
negotiate an economic accord with
myopia of the foreign minister, Delcassian policy was
conducted in accordance with a program of diplomatic priorities. The plan was not created by Delcassé. Instead,
it was the product of a crucial meeting in
The idea for such a meeting came from Barrère. In a note to Delcassé in February 1899, he suggested a strategic conference to examine French foreign policy in terms of establishing strategic goals and coordinating diplomatic efforts.
I would like to profit from the Holy Week respite by coming to Paris for a few days and conversing thoroughly with you about particular and general policies. And if Paul Cambon is able to be there, I would be glad, for we would be able to establish linkages between our labors. I am not in contact with you enough. I know your thinking well, but am ignorant of the direction you are imparting to it.115
documentary record of the Easter meeting is extant. Neton, however,
contended that four specific policy decisions were reached at the
1) To fortify the Franco-Russian Alliance, while making it flexible. To adapt the terms and conditions of this diplomatic instrument to the foreseeable exigencies of the hour. In order to assure the maximum in efficacy, to render contacts between Paris and St. Petersburg more frequent and more confident.
2) To renounce the policy observed by the Quai d’Orsay since 1882…which had deformed…the Egyptian question by treating it arbitrarily on the European level, when it should never have left the limits of its origins in Franco-English relations.
3) To take up resolutely the problems in Franco-Italian relations, and by loyal explications, arrive at eliminating all the causes of friction; at the same time, render to Franco-Spanish friendship its traditional mark of uprightness and esteem.
4) To engage, then, with England in general conversations which would be like the key to the vault of this vast enterprise and which, on the basis of compensation—but a compensation strictly equivalent…would put an end to an eternal quarrel in which we were the protestors against an adversary which could brace herself, especially since, sheltered from all surprise by her insular situation, time worked for her.117
creative actor, a diplomat cannot operate successfully beyond the range of
political possibility and historical context.
The most successful diplomat, therefore, is that individual who is
cognizant of what is possible within his political situation and then manages
to gain maximum advantage for his nation.
Such was the hallmark of Camille Barrère in
The processes by which Barrère made his design a reality were the most classic, the most traditional existing: clairvoyant observation of what was under his eyes, of currents of opinion, of national aspirations, and of individual tendencies; research into the concrete interests which could serve as a base for an entente…vigilance in guarding what he had already acquired, allowing nothing to proscribe or destroy it; liquidation of incidents and ill feelings which troubled the atmosphere; negotiation in absolute good faith and sincerity; diplomatic action in the most normal sense of the word, that is, meeting with those who participate with diverse titles in public life….To represent Barrère as a Mephistophelean personage having recourse to Machiavellian or sinister procedures, is to make a completely false image. His activities never left the normal channels. The totality of his 'secret funds' would not permit a journal to last thirty days.118
Barrère’s influence was also felt in Paris. In addition to his personal friendship with Delcassé, the ambassador possessed and exercised a
manipulative control upon an influential portion of the French press. Throughout the Delcassian
era, he assailed, retarded, or suppressed publication of articles he felt
detrimental to his projects in
diplomatic skill, Barrère was hard-pressed to realize
his goals in Italy. The political
situation in which he acted was dominated by the legacy of three historical forces
operative for many years. These forces
were: (1) the history of the estrangement in Franco-Italian relations since
1881; (2) the dependence of
heritage of these three forces also posed the central problems which challenged
Barrère in his desire to achieve the military and
political incapacitation of Italy within the Triple Alliance. In 1930 he recalled the sequence of
historically-induced problems which existed when he came to
We were on bad terms with Italy. Everything appeared contrary to my projects. It was necessary first of all to regulate our commercial situation and our Mediterranean situation, then to establish a general entente on the subject of Morocco and Tripolitania. It was then necessary to establish accords on our respective positions in Europe, and to foresee by these accords the situation of Italy with Germany in case of war. These prolegomena of my activity cost me four years of immense efforts, of sounding, of conversations. Then it was a matter of developing this business and rendering tighter and more solid, the relations between the two countries.122
antagonism in Franco-Italian relations which existed for almost two decades had
been brought about when
the proximity of Tunis to naval bases in southern Italy would have given the
peninsular kingdom a strategic importance of tremendous magnitude in the
central Mediterranean. And regarding
prestige, the reconquest of ancient
after the Tunis occupation, the Italian government entered into the Triple
Alliance. In so doing Italian statesmen
were compelled to abandon their own revanchist
or irredentist attitudes toward
provinces lost to
course brought Italy political benefits which made the Triple Alliance popular
with most Italians. The
in Rome found security in the alliance with Germany and Austria125 Emboldened, too, Italian irredentists relaxed their campaigns against Austrians for the
Finally, with Tunis gone to the French, the Italians saw the Central Powers as diplomatic and military bulwarks for their imperialistic dreams of acquiring the only remaining uncolonized North African territory, the sandy stretches of Tripolitania, modern Libya, still under nominal Ottoman control.
The one tie
which continued to link France and Italy was the economic interdependence of
the two Latin states. Throughout most of
investors, prodded by the desires of the press and government to see Italy
abandon the Triple Alliance, had curtailed investments in Italian issues even
before the tariff war began. With the
renewal of the
times during the tariff war, Italian statesmen attempted to regain access to
the French commercial and financial markets.
They failed, however, because the prerequisite demanded by
attempt at reconciliation came in 1891 with the return of the political Right
to power under di Rudini
and his able treasury minister, Luigi Luzzatti. More moderate in foreign policy matters than
Crispi, and seeking to rectify their national economic miseries, Rudini and Luzzatti hoped to
negotiate a trade agreement and a settlement of outstanding African boundary
disagreements. In the midst of these
conversations, however, Billot, the French
ambassador, demanded disclosure of the terms of the Triple Alliance134 Rudini’s
intemperate response was to break off talks with
A third and
more cautious attempt at reconciliation was begun in 1896. It came as part of the profound reassessment
of Italian international goals which followed Crispi’s disastrous imperial
Visconti Venosta favored the abandonment of the Crispian pro-German policy and a return to a more balanced, even pro-French, foreign policy.136 However slight were the practical gains of this new approach, Visconti Venosta’s moderate policy was a positive step toward the entente that would be created in Franco-Italian relations after 1898.
Aware of the impracticality of not recognizing the French fait accompli in Tunis, Visconti Venosta negotiated a convention with Paris in October 1896 which, among other things, gave legal acknowledgment to the France’s protectorate there. This agreement was complemented the same year by a treaty which reciprocally assured the most-favored-nation treatment in matters of navigation between the nations.137 Significantly, in negotiating both these diplomatic accords, the Italians did not demand compensation before signing the final terms.
Despite Visconti Venosta’s minor successes with these treaties, he failed to realize his larger goals. The questions of African boundary settlements and negotiations of a commercial accord were broached in the period 1896-1898. But, no conclusive results were attained. The two issues remained major impediments to improved relations. Undoubtedly Visconti Venosta initiated an Italian movement toward rapprochement. But, as one historian has pointed out, although this lessening of tensions may have been ''inaugurated in 1896," it still "was not mature" two years later.138
When Barrère and Delcassé came to
power, Visconti Venosta’s policy had accomplished
little that reduced Franco-Italian mistrust.
Italian political groupings, such as the pro-Germans centered about the monarch
and the aged Crispi, and the pro-British politicians around Sidney Sonnino, still were potential threats to those slender
threads of reconciliation that existed. Italian
and French public sentiments remained alienated from one another; and that estrangement
had been reinforced by frequent outbursts of anti-French and anti-Italian
feelings throughout the 1890s.139 Tensions still could be easily provoked
through ill-conceived speeches by governmental officials.140 There remained many economic and political
levels on which
heritage of almost two decades of diplomatic and commercial estrangement was
not overcome easily. Certainly Barrère understood this truth. Further complicating the situation was the
diplomatic intimacy between
British, the Italian relationship was a counter-balance to French political,
military and imperial pressures in the Mediterranean. The
If the understanding was a strategic matter for the British, it was a military necessity and an imperialistic advantage for the Italians.141 Fearing France as they did, the Italians needed British naval strength to secure their vulnerable and expansive coastline. Italian military and naval leaders rightly concluded that in a war with France, the most destructive French efforts would come from naval bombardments and strategic landings along the Tyrrhenian and Ligurian coasts.142 Italy possessed a navy of little strength and of lesser repute. Although there was no formal British commitment to assist Italy at sea in case of war with France, the general assurances inherent within the Anglo-Italian entente made the Italian position in the Mediterranean balance of power not unfavorable.143
Anglo-Italian understanding was also an indispensable factor in the
imperialistic activities of Italy. With
the loss of
statesmen tried to link the English understanding—the most fundamental component
of Italian foreign policy—with their continental position within the Triple Alliance. Throughout the 1880s they were fairly
successful in this effort. Moreover, the
Germans, recognizing that British alignment with the Triple Alliance effectively
isolated France and bolstered Austria’s anti-Russian balance in the Balkans,
co-operated with the Rome government to sustain this linkage. In 1887 two Mediterranean Agreements145 between
England, Italy and Austria-Hungary were concluded with Bismarck’s assistance.146
By their terms, the British government came as close to an alliance as Parliament
would allow by agreeing to maintain the status quo in
the Mediterranean, Aegean, Adriatic and Black Seas. Furthermore, the English agreed to co-operate
In 1891 the Italians took a second step toward binding England to the Triple Alliance when a Protocol to the renewed Alliance announced the intention of the three allies to seek British accession to the clauses of the Alliance which guaranteed the western Mediterranean.147
of international relations in the last decade of the nineteenth century,
however, dealt a harsh blow to the idea of British adhesion to the Triple
Alliance, and to the basic community of interests within the Anglo-Italian
entente. As long as Bismarckian
policy kept German diplomatic efforts directed toward the continental balance
of power, the British could afford the luxury of conducting an anti-French
foreign policy. German Weltpolitik after
1890, with its political and economic threat to British imperialism and its
ambivalent "zig-zag" diplomacy between
existence of the Franco-Russian Alliance after 1893 also weighed upon the
considerations of the London government.
The British could not oppose
British drift away from intimacy with the Triple Alliance affected the worth of
the Anglo-Italian understanding in the peninsula, British colonial policy in
the 1890s also introduced an element of distrust into relations between Rome
and London. In Morocco the refusal by
the British to commit themselves to an anti-French policy was not favorably
received in Italy. In East Africa
Anglo-Italian boundary disputes were complicated by the British desire to
accommodate the French there. The
Italians also feared that French, Russian, and now British co-operation
exhibited in investigating the Armenian Massacres in 1894 might be extended to
in Anglo-Italian relations was still unresolved when Barrère
came to Rome. Traditionally, the French
would have had to contend with British concerns if they approached
historical force influential in Italian politics in 1898 was the legacy of
sixteen years of alliance with the Central Powers. In entering the Triple Alliance
The negative effects of Austrian politics in the peninsula can be traced to the rivalry between the Papacy and Emperor in medieval times. For nineteenth-century Italy, however, diplomatic relations with the Dual Monarchy were tense for contemporary reasons: Austrian mistreatment of Italian minorities living within Habsburg territory antagonized the irredentist sympathies of Italian nationalists; the close association of Emperor Franz Josef with the Holy See kept alive the threat of restoring Papal temporal power in and around Rome; and Austrian political predominance in the western Balkans frustrated Italian imperialistic ambitions in Albania and along the Adriatic eastern shore.
was aware of the explosive potential of the Austro-Italian rivalry when he
forged the Triple Alliance. Although his
prime goal in making the
treaty of the Triple Alliance was defensive in nature, and despite revisions in
1887 and 1891, the
of Italian political support from the Central Powers was expanded by a second
treaty concluded in 1887.154 The original text was not altered, but to
this foundation the allies attached separate German-Italian and Austro-Italian
treaties dealing with
Although the Austrians would not extend guarantees to the Italian position in North Africa, they did commit themselves to cooperativeness with Italy in the Balkans.
promised to maintain "so far as possible" the territorial status quo
in the "Orient" and to share with Italy "information of a nature
to enlighten each other mutually concerning their own dispositions, as well as
those of other Powers." More importantly, the two allies promised that
should either make a move toward temporary or permanent occupation "in the
regions of the Balkans or the Ottoman coasts and the islands of the Adriatic
of Italian political aspirations with those of the Central Powers was further
strengthened by the third treaty signed in 1891.155 Aimed directly at Italian long-range designs
upon Tripolitania, the Germans agreed to support
benefits reaped by Italy from the Triple Alliance treaties were, for the most
part, political in scope.156 But political intimacy also brought
the Central Powers attempted to rescue Italy from the effects of the economic
desertion by France. At Bismarck’s
request, a financial syndicate of German capitalists was formed around the
banker Gerson von Bleichröder
to purchase failing Italian issues on the Paris Bourse.158 German bankers also established themselves
formidably in financing the Italian banking industry during the 1890s.159 Moreover, as commercial relations were
regularized by separate German-Italian and Austro-Italian commercial treaties In 1891, domestic markets in
important to note, however, that notwithstanding the political, military and
economic co-operation of the allied monarchies, the rivalry between Rome and
Vienna was not totally eclipsed. Moreover,
after 1896 when Italian imperialistic energies shifted from East Africa to
North Africa and the
During the early years of the Triple Alliance, the Italian government took measures to arrest hostile popular attitudes toward the Habsburg Monarchy.162 By the terms of Article IX of the Triple Alliance treaty of 1891 and the Visconti Venosta-Goluchowski declaration of November 1897,163 both governments attempted to reach an understanding respecting the status quo in their chief area of rivalry, the Balkans.
facade of friendship, however, Italian hatred of Austria-Hungary was still
strong. Italia Irredenta may have been played
down by the
Thus, the political situation which Camille Barrère encountered in 1898 was dominated by historical legacies of Franco-Italian, Anglo-Italian, and German-Austrian-Italian diplomatic relations during the previous two decades. The forces created by these heritages established the range of possibilities within which Barrère worked to achieve his clearly-conceived ideas.
task was to deal with the tension in Franco-Italian relations and to resolve
the economic, colonial and diplomatic problems besetting direct contacts
between the Latin nations. Only after
establishing a cooperative spirit could the new ambassador hope to approach the
Mediterranean question involving
The Prinetti-Barrère accord of June 1902 represents both the successful resolution of misunderstandings arising from Italian participation in the Triple Alliance, and the reconciliation through peaceful diplomacy of French and Italian interests and ambitions that Barrère anticipated a decade earlier.
1 The only biography is Noël, op. cit. A useful chapter is in Serra, op. cit., pp. 21-46. Some information, but much of it inaccurate, exists in Nemi, "Camille Barrère," Nuova antologia. 1 March 1902, pp. 158-160.
2 No information is available concerning Barrère’s religious affiliation, however, his embassy secretary implies that Barrère was a Roman Catholic. See Laroche, op. cit., p. 26.
3 Noël, op. cit., p. 17.
4 Laroche, op. cit. p. 13.
5 Bernhard von Bülow, Memoirs of
Prince von Bülow (
6 Laroche, op. cit., p. 13.
6 Nemi, op. cit., p. 158; Noël, op. cit., p. 18 denies that Barrère played a very active role.
8 These words from Bülow are found in Bülow, loc. cit.
9 Article by Alexandre Zévaès in Agence Technique de la Presse, 31 August 1932; MC, Biographie Contemporaine, file 15844.
10 This declaration appeared in La Sociale, number 41, and is quoted in part in Alexandre Zévaès, Henri Rochefort le pamphlétaire (Paris, 1946), p. 125n.
12 Noël, op. cit., p. 21.
13 Pierre Sorlin, Waldeck-Rousseau (
14 La République Française was small in circulation by Parisian standards. Founded by Léon Gambetta in November 1871, it was "badly presented" and never exceeded 10,000 in circulation. Following Gambetta's death this figure dropped below 6,000. In 1886 Joseph Reinach tried to inject new life into the paper; his effort was in vain. In 1893 the journal came under the influence of its new editor, Jules Méline. Ibid. pp. 541-545.
15 The letter is to be found in Gambetta to Barrère, 18 January 1880; Lettres de Gambetta 1868-1882. Daniel Halevy and Émile Pillias, editors (
16 An example of his Barrère’s pragmatism and his tendency to appreciate Gambetta's perspective when analyzing political situations can be found in a passage from Barrère to Delcassé," 6 February 1887; MAE, Delcassé MSS, I:
"Do not call me against the Left." That was the opinion of Gambetta, himself, who told me several times before his death that he would return to power only by a republican reaction. You tell me that Gambetta’s friends want to remain loyal to their traditions and to make their own policy, not one almost like it. I remain in agreement with them, but for that a leader is needed. And do you have that leader that allows you to separate from not only those recently in power, but also [Jules] Ferry? Ferry is the only man since Gambetta who, despite the very real mistakes he has committed, has shown proof of his statesmanship.
17 Barrère, Ibid, p. 603.
18 Serra, op. cit., pp. 28-29.
19 Porter, Ibid, p. 14.
20 Ibid. pp. 14-15; Serra, op. cit., pp. 28-29.
21 Quoted in Porter, op. cit., p. 15.
22 Barrère to Delcassé, 15 December 1886; MAE, Delcassé MSS, I.
23 Biographical material on Delcassé's early life can be Andrew, op. cit., pp. 1-25;
op. cit., pp. 6-52; Neton, op. cit., pp. 21-109. A good treatment of this subject is in Edouard Blanc, La jeunesse de Delcassé (
24 Porter, op, cit., p.
11 erroneously gives 1875 as the date of Delcassé's
25 Ibid., pp. 98-99 explains how Delcassé
set down his ideas in an essay entitled "Où allons-nous?" and mailed it to Gambetta. Gambetta was impressed enough to arrange to have Delcassé interviewed. This essay is not to be confused with Delcassé's published essay "Alerte!
Où allons-nous?" (
26 "My own interview with Camille Barrère," November 27, 1933; Porter MSS.
27 The other witness was Gambetta’s biographer, Joseph Reinach. Blanc, op. cit., p. 142.
28 "My own interview with Camille Barrère," Porter MSS; see also Cambon to his son, 8 May 1905, in Paul Cambon, op cit., II, p. 191; Noël, op. cit., p. 75.
29 Stephen Gwynn and Gertrude
The Life of the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles W. Dilke (
30 See for example Barrère's compte rendu of an interview on 10 June 1887 with Count Herbert von Bismarck in Barrère to Spuller, 22 June 1887, MAE, Suède-Norvège, 347.
31 Schelking, op. cit., p. 41.
32 Barrère to Spuller, 12 December 1889; MAE, Bavière, 268.
33 Barrère to Delcassé, 15 December 1886; MAE, Delcassé MSS, I.
34 This paragraph is taken from Barrère to Delcassé, 6 February 1887; MAE, Delcassé MSS, I [underlines are by Barrère.]bid.
35 Barrère to Develle, 23 September 1893; DDF, I, x, #371.
36 Barrère to Spuller, 3 September 1889; DDF, I, vii, #453.
37 Barrère to Develle, 23 September 1893; DDF, I, x, #371.
38 Barrère to Hanotaux, 14 March 1890; MAE, Hanotaux MSS, 17.
40 Barrère to Ribot, 23 March 1892; MAE. Bavière, 273
41 Barrère to Spuller, 12 January 1890, MAE, Bavière, 269.
42 Barrère Spuller, 13 April 1889; MAE. Bavière, 268.
43 Barrère to Ribot, 30 May 1890; MAE, Bavière, 270.
44 The term is Barrère's. See Barrère to Ribot; 31 March 1891; MAE, Bavière, 271
45 Barrère to Ribot, 10 September 1892; MAE, Bavière, 273.
46 Barrère to Ribot, 1 June 1890; MAE, Bavière, 270.
47 Barrère to Ribot, 10 September 1892; MAE, Bavière, 273.
48 Barrère to Spuller, 28 January 1890; MAE, Bavière, 269.
49 Barrère to Ribot, 12 May 1891; MAE, Bavière, 271.
50 Christopher Seton-Watson,
51 Barrère to Ribot, 10 September 1892; MAE, Bavière, 273.
52 Barrère to Spuller, 10 October 1889; MAE, Bavière, 268.
53 Barrère to Ribot, 30 August 1890; DDF, I, viii, #166.
54 to Ribot, 27 April 1890; MAE, Bavière, 269.
55 Barrère to Ribot, 3 March 1891; MAE, Bavière, 271.
56 Barrère to Casimir-Perier, 30 December 1893; DDF, I, x, #486.
57 Barrère to Ribot, 10 September 1892; MAE, Bavière, 273.
58 Nemi, op. cit., p. 160.
59 Noël, op. cit., p. 38.
60 Charles-Roux, op. cit., p. 111. One writer claimed that Barrère was partially responsible for the entente cordiale; according to André Géraud, the scheme of
an Anglo-French alignment, "loomed large in the talk of Léon Gambetta, some eighteen years earlier, and the idea had been taken up by Paul Cambon and Camille Barrère, the
most farseeing ambassadors any French government ever had in its service." See André Géraud ("Pertinax"), "Diplomacy, Old and New," Foreign Affairs. January 1945, pp. 258-259.
61 Jules Cambon,
62 Interview with Barrère by Philippe Amiguet, L’Ordre, 15 December 1930; MC, Biographie Contemporaine, file 15844. Interestingly, Barrère never submitted to a newspaper interview throughout his diplomatic career. This interview was allowed six years after his retirement.
63 Jules Cambon, op. cit., p. 60.
64 Cunliffe-Owen, op. cit.
65 Serra, op. cit., p. 69.
66 For the ambassador's assessment of his own
tenure, see Billot, La
is his article "Le rapprochement commercial entre la France et I'ltalie," Revue des deux mondes, 1 January 1899, pp. 131-145.
67 Albertini, op. cit., I, p. 70.
68 Mario Pastore, "Una questione di fondo nel riavviclnamento italo-francese: l'hinterland tripolino," Rivista di studi politica internazionale, April-June 1960, p. 263.
69 The Marquise di Rudini is reported to have said of Billot's
health: "The French ambassador always has the colic; it’s a sign that the
Republic considers its embassy in
70 Deuxième Bureau report, 24 December 1897; AMA, Italie, carton 19, #8407.
71 Tornielli to Visconti Venosta, 23 March 1897; DDI, III, i, #401.
72 Georges Dethan, "Le rapprochement franco-italien après la chute de Crispi jusqu'aux accords Barrère-Visconti Venosta sur le Maroc et la Tripolitaine (1896-1904) d'après
les archives du Quai d'Orsay," Revue d'histoire diplomatique, October-December 1956, p. 331.
73 Tommaso Tittoni, ("XXX") "Visite ed ambasciatori," Nuova antologia, 1 November 1903, p. 147.
74 Enrico Serra, La questione tunisina da Crispi a Rudini ed il "colpo di timone" alia politica estera dell’Italia (Milan, 1967), pp. 136-139.
75 Enrico Serra, "Giuseppe Tornielli Brusati di Vergano," Storia e politica, July-September 1963, p. 345; Laroche, op. cit., pp. 49-50.
76 Writing to Alberto Pansa,
the Italian ambassador in
will be derived from it, however. Our major advantage is finding in it the better credit conditions without which no modern state has a secure life." Tornielli to Pansa, 19
January 1899; cited in Serra, "Giuseppe Tornielli," p. 351.
77 Tornielli to Pansa, 1 January 1901; Ibid., pp. 354-355; Andrew, op. cit., p. 145.
77 The romantic affairs of Madame Tornielli in
79 Tornielli’s immodest use of his money caused his widow to live in poverty after 1908; see Serra, "Giuseppe Tornielli," p. 344.
80 to Visconti Venosta, 26 October 1899; AMAE, Francia, 01804, pac. 56, posiz. 9
81 Canevaro, 9 December 1898; DDI, III, ill, p. 147n
82 Tornielli to Visconti Venosta, 10 October 1899; AMAE, Francia, 01804, pac. 56, posiz. 9.
83 Monson to
84 Tornielll to Visconti Venosta, 22 December 1899; AMAE. Francia, 01084, pac. 56, posiz. 9; Tornielli to Visconti Venosta, 25 January 1900; AMAE, Francia, 01085; pac. 57, posiz. 9.
85 Laroche, op. cit., p. 49.
86 See for instance the criticism of Carlo Romussi, publisher of Secolo and a close friend of Giovanni Giolitti: Romussi to Giolitti, 6 November 1903, in Giovanni Giolitti,
Quarant'anni di politica italiana, dalle carte Giovanni Giolitti
(Institute Giangiacome Feltrinelli),
87 Noël, op. cit., p. 54. Barrère later noted of Tornielli: "While he publicly makes the professions of a Francophile and, so contrary to the truth, claims a part in the
rapprochement between the two countries, we catch him
working secretly to create difficulties and to sow defiance between the two
governments. Besides, this explains why
his government always leaves its agent outside negotiations having a delicate
character; furthermore, it proves how it would be prudent on our part to
imitate this reserve and to furnish to Count Tornielli
as little occasion as possible to be involved in the dealings which concern the
good understanding between
88 Serra, "Giuseppe Tornielli," p. 345
89 Tornielli to Visconti Venosta, 10 January 1898; DDI, III, iii, #341.
90 Thomas M.
Iiams, Jr., Dreyfus, Diplomatists
and the Dual
91 Andrew, op. cit., pp. 180-181.
92 Ibid., p. 76n
93 Barrère to Hanotaux, 12 April 1898; Hanotaux MSS, 17.
94 For the historical controversy surrounding Delcassé’s nomination to be Minister of Foreign Affairs, see Andrew, op. cit., p. 58n.
95 Delcassé’s short
stature gave his enemies ammunition with which to diminish him For instance, Alphonse Daudet’s referred to
him as the "gnome of Fashoda,." while at
time Jean Jaurès called Delcassé
“dwarf,” “gnome,” and a "hallucinated Lilliputian. Even his mentor Léon
Gambetta creferred to him as “pitchoun,”
a French derivative of the old Occitan word “pichon”
meaning “tiny.” Delcassé knew the language because he
was from Pamiers, a village in south-central
96 Joseph Caillaux,
Mes memories (
97 Louis Le Gall, "Les souvenirs de Louis Le Gall 1898-1899," in Charles Brabant, Félix Faure à l’Élysée (Paris, 1963), pp. 137-138.
98 Letter of 24-25 October 1898, in Princess Radziwill, Lettres de la Princesse Radziwill au Général de Robilant,1889-1914 (Bologna, 1933), II, p. 154.
99 Tornielli to Canevaro, 6 July 1898; DDI, III, iii, #3. Ironically Charles Maurras
believed that Delcassé's appointment was due to the
efforts of the Italian embassy; see Charles Maurras,
100 The date of this visit often is erroneously cited as spring 1898. The fact that the visit was made in 1897 is clearly mentioned in Billot, op. cit., II, p. 427 and Tornielli to Canevaro, 25 January 1899; DDI, III, iii, #144.
101 Delcassé's loyalty to the ideals of Gambetta was not as strict as has usually been assumed. Compare Porter, op. cit., pp. 12-13; and Andrew, op. cit., pp. 3-4. For
Delcassé’s domestic political aspirations, however, the ties with Gambetta were an effective campaign tool as is evidenced by this last stanza from the poem, "Ode to Mr. Delcassé," composed and read for a banquet during the foreign minister’s campaign for re-election to the Chamber of Deputies in March 1902:
From what an excellent school he came
in your chest
See "Elections en Ariège; " MAE, Delcassé, MSS, XVIII.
102 Russian foreign minister, Count Mikhail
Nikolayevich Muraviev, is reported to have said:
"Delcassé is a maniac who subordinates everything
to the idea of revanche."
Cited in Bülow, op.
cit., I, p.
himself, considered Delcassé "the most tenacious
and skillful of all the protagonists of revanche—the idea which dominated his mind, his every thought,
his very life." Ibid., p. 318. Strongly unfavorable accounts of Delcassé's feelings on this matter are found in Harvey Goldberg,
The Life of Jean Jaures (
103 Cited in Andrew, op. cit., p. 121.
104 Early in his seven-year tenure Delcassé felt that the division of the Habsburg Monarchy
following the death of the Emporer Franz Josef would
105 Homberg, op. cit., p. 26.
106 Pinon, op. cit., p. 117.
107 Delcassé to Louis Nordheim, 28 January 1887; cited in Andrew, op. cit., pp. 16-17.
108 Ibid., pp. 17-19. For
an excellent documentary summation of German overtures for a rapprochement with
109 Andrew, op. cit., p. 119; see also Parr, op. cit., p. 82.
110 Barrère expressed
this idea to Count Paul Shuvaloff, the Russian
111 Porter, op. cit., pp. 16-51; Andrew, op. cit. . pp. 21-25.
112 Ibid., p. 78.
113 Easter in 1899 occurred on 4 April. Neton erroneously dated the meeting as being in "the first days of February 1899"; see Neton, op . cit., p. 204. Borrrowing heavily from Neton’s work, the latest scholarship on Delcassé erroneously dates this pivotal meeting as occurring 2 February; see Zorgbibe, op. cit., p. 89.
114 Cambon to Delcassé, 9 March 1899, MAE, Delcassé MSS, III.
Although it is not ascertainable, Neton claims
the meeting included Jules Cambon and the Director of
the Direction Politique within the
115 Barrère to Delcassé, 25 February 1899; MAE, Delcassé MSS, I.
116 On this action, see Paul Cambon to his son, 16 April 1904; in Paul Cambon, op . cit., p. 134.
117 Neton, op. cit., pp. 204-206.
118 Charles-Roux, op. cit., p. 111.
119 Barrère purposely
sought Umberto's favor, as he felt that this was partially the explanation for
German and Austrian success in
120 It has usually been assumed that Delcassé used Le Matin as his "official" newspaper. Barrère, however,
usually cited the Journal des Debats as his choice for planting an important story. For example, in late 1901 when the Viennese Neue Freie Presse printed an article suggesting that the Italians
would be sorry when the French clerics led by Méline
and Dupuy returned to power, Barrère
urged that the journalist Ebray respond in the Journal des Debats
with an article vigorously opposing the renewal of Papal temporal power. See Barrère to Delcassé, 18 December 1901; MAE.
121 When Barrère criticized the comments of the French press during the Italian ministerial crises in June 1898, Hanotaux reminded him: "As for the language taken in certain French journals on the occasion of the Italian ministeral crises, I do not believe it useless to remind you that we cannot bind the press and that there are no journals over which we have an influence." Hanotaux to Barrère, 6 June 1898; MAE. Italie, NS 13.
122 "Interview with Barrère by Philippe Amiguet," loc cit.
13 Seton-Watson, op. cit. , p. 107.
124 Thayer, op. cit., pp. 148-149.
125 Ibid.. pp. 159-168.
YEAR IMPORTS EXPORTS
1887 1,604,947 1,002,137
1888 1,174,602 891,935
1889 1,391,638 950,646
1890 1,319,585 895,945
1891 1,126,585 878,800
1892 1,173,392 958,187
1894 1,094,649 1,026,506
1897 1,191,599 1,091,734
1898 1,413,335 1,203,569
1899 1,506,561 1,431,416
1900 1,700,236 1,338,246
129 This term was Barrère's; see Barrère, op. cit.. p. 607
130 Herbert Feis,
131 Théry, op. cit., pp. 114-116. According to Théry,
the Italian five percent bond fluctuated from a high in 1886 of 102.75 francs
to a low in 1894 of 71.25. The three
percent bond moved in value between 71.40 and 47. He also pointed out that during the crisis
period of the Italian depression, 1893-1894, the value of fifteen principle Italian
132 The discriminatory tariff was replaced by a general tariff in February 1892.
133 Seton-Watson, op. cit., p. 143.
134 Ibid., p. 148; Augusto Torre, La politica estera dell’Italia dal 1870 al 1896
135 Langer, op. cit., p. 593.
136 On Visconti Venosta’s
foreign policy see Serra, La questione tunisina. pp. 406-454; and his Camllie
Barrère, pp. 47-66.
See also Torre, op. cit., pp. 82-110;
La triplice alleanza, Storia diplomatica, 1877-1912
137 Iiams, Dreyfus, p. 115.
139 On this matter, one can cite the anti-French
Pantheon; those in 1893 following the visit of the Prince of Naples to German military maneuvers in Lorraine; the Aigues Mortes quarrel in 1893 which resulted in the death of
several Italian workers; the mobbing of the
140 An example of this sensitivity to the spoken
word is found in the exchange of inflammatory gestures made during the height of
the Fashoda crisis in late 1898. On 26 October the Italian Minister of Posts
and Telegraphs, Nunzio Nasi,
a long-time Crispi follower, spoke before the Italian colony in Tunis and remarked
that Italy "should not acquire the friendship of other Powers at the price
of abandoning her rights," and that "the policy of renunciation will
not be followed by the present government" (cited in editor's note, DDF, I, xiv, p. 790n). Although the Italian government officially
denied that Nasi spoke with authority (Canevaro to Tornielli, 27 October
1898; DDI. III, iii #100), a Deuxième
Bureau report contended that, privately, Prime Minister Luigi Pelloux told Nasi that such
"ideas are those that all good patriots share in Italy, but that it is
committing a maladdresse
to enunciate them at the moment talks are underway with France aimed at gaining
commercial concessions" (Deuxième Bureau report,
31 October 1898; AMA, Italie, carton 19, #1637). Earlier that month the French Minister of the
Navy, Edouard Lockroy, had
visited naval installations in the western Mediterranean and
which her geography assigned to her" (Paris correspondent in Gazzetta del Popolo, 8 October 1898, cited in Deuxième Bureau report, 14 October 1898; AMA, Italie, carton 19, #1547).
141 On this concern, see the anonymous pamphlet published in 1894, "L'alleanza anglo-italiana." AMA, Italie, carton 81.
142 French military assessments of the
vulnerability of the Italian coast to naval bombardment are to be found in "Moyens d’action de l’Italie contre la
Mediterranée," July 1890; AMA, Italie, carton 81.
143 The British would not enter into an open
inability of any British cabinet to conclude an alliance because of Parliamentary opposition to alliances, the English would do nothing more formal than agree in the first
Agreement "to support [
prime minister, Lord Salisbury, verbally assured the Italians that "in
case of a French attack upon the Italian coasts…Italy can count on British
support whether or not there is any previous agreement." cited in
Seton-Watson, op. cit., p. 150. These assurances were repeated in 1892 by the
Liberal prime minister, Lord Rosebery,
who noted that "the English cabinet could not regard with indifference the
144 Glanville, op. cit., p. 23.
145 Texts of these Agreements can be found in Pribram, op. cit., I, pp. 94-103, 124-133.
146 Albertini, op. cit..
pp. 55-56; Langer, European
Alliances and Alignments, 1871-1890 (
147 Pribram, op. cit., Secret Treaties, pp. 161-163.
148 Glanville, op. cit., pp. 21, 25-26.
149 Ibid., pp. 28, 45-50; Langer. Diplomacy
of Imperialism, pp. 278-284; Enrico Serra, L'intesa mediterranea
150 Seton-Watson, op. cit., pp. 113-114.
151 Wedel to Bülow, 24 February 1901; GP, XVIII, ii, #5818.
152 Pribram, op. cit., II, p. 15.
153 The complete text of the first Triple Alliance treaty may be found in Pribram, op. cit., I, pp. 64-73
154 The complete text of the second Triple Alliance treaty may be found in Ibid., pp. 104-115.
155 The text of this third treaty of the Triple Alliance is in Ibid., pp. 151-163.
156 An exception was a Protocol stipulation in the 1891 treaty by which the three allies promised in economic matters "in addition to the most-favored-nation treatment, "
"all of the facilities and special advantages which would be compatible with the requirements of the three States with their respective engagements with third Powers": Ibid., p. 161.
157 For details on this commitment, see GP, VI, #1307, 1309, 1312, 1313, 1314, 1315.
158 Seton-Watson, op. cit., p. 143
159 Feis, op. cit., pp. 233-242; Gaspare M. Fiamingo, "Les raisons financières de la l’amitie franco-italienne," Nouvelle Revue, 15 March 1902, pp. 181-189; Jon S. Cohen,
"Financing Industrialization in
160 Statistics on Italian commerce in
161 For an excellent summation of the eventual degree of penetration by German investors in the Italian economy, see Pierre Milza, "Les rapports economiques franco- italiéns en 1914-1915 et leurs incidences politiques," Revue d’histoire moderne et contemporaine, January-March 1967, pp. 31-70.
162 Seton-Watson, op. cit., p. 137
163 The complete text of this declaration is found in Pribram, op. cit., I, pp. 196-201.
164 An interesting analysis of irredentismo as one of the cross-currents in Italian foreign policy is in Thayer, op. cit., pp. 142-155.
late as 1881, the Pope had appealed to the Austrian emperor for protection. The appeal resulted from the turbulence that
followed the attempt by a group of Roman anti-clerics to disrupt the funeral
procession of Plus IX and to throw the remains of the dead Pope into the
166 The complete text of this agreement is found in Pribram, op. cit., I, pp. 185-195.
167 Serra, La questione tunisina, p. 316.
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