Introduction: Zanzibar or the dramatic encounterof imperialism and humanitarianism

The history of Zanzibar in the nineteenth century has attracted the interest of many historians, as the island was one of the places in the world where two major historical forces - humanitarianism and imperialism - converged most dramatically. Although the case of Zanzibar has, of course, its specificities, it is a most relevant entry into the study of these two elements that decisively shaped the world in the nineteenth century. As John Darwin highlighted nearly 15 years ago in his seminal article revisiting Robinson and Gallagher’s grand theory on the Scramble for Africa, ‘Of the various theatres of British intervention in Africa after 1880, it is East Africa which has usually been seen as the locus classicus of imperial grand strategy, and the uncluttered playground of the official mind’.1 Building on Darwin’s idea that ‘the volcanic force of anti-slavery ideology swept ministers and officials willy-nilly into new commitments: in West Africa, Brazil and the Atlantic’, J. F. Gjerso more recently argued as follows: ‘Britain’s anti-slave-trade policy needs to be fully acknowledged, with regard to Britain’s raison d’être for establishing a formal presence’ in East Africa between 1885 and 1895.2

The spectacular encounter of imperialism and humanitarianism that took place in East Africa, and Zanzibar in particular, can be best illustrated by rhe legendary meeting of Henry Morton Stanley with Dr. David Livingstone near Ujiji on 10 November 1871.5 It was thought that the great Dr. Livingstone was lost, or even worse, that he had died in the ‘Heart of Darkness’ as popular culture in Europe or the United States then caricatured Africa to the point that Joseph Conrad chose it as the title of his famous novel published in 1899.4 The famous missionary had vanished at some point in the year 1866 in the Manyema country, on the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika. This region was not only allegedly famous for its ‘cannibalism’ - Una-Ma-Nyema meant ‘cannibals’ according to Victorian explorers - but it also had a reputation for being a great haven for ‘Arab slave traders’. Owing to this combination of popular stereotypes, Livingstone’s disappearance was a great opportunity for the printing industry. The public worldwide was eager to read the story of the ‘good old Doctor Livingstone’ who had disappeared while ‘crusading’ against the slave trade in ‘the dark heart’ of Africa. Livingstone was an icon of the

Victorian age. He embodied England’s moral values and the belief that Europe had the duty to spread commerce, civilisation, and Christianity as he had himself famously declared at Cambridge in 1857. Above all, Livingstone was the most famous humanitarian of his time, and his books, conferences, or letters made him one of the most popular figures of his age, as his 1874 national funeral at Westminster Abbey attested.' As a missionary, Livingstone had crucially contributed to binding abolitionism with the imperial ‘civilising mission’.6 Further, it is through him that the British public interest in the anti-slavery movement was revived and directed towards the East African slave trade.7 If well told, the story of Livingstone’s disappearance would therefore have a tremendous impact on public opinion and eventually yield great profits, either economic for the press or political for government leaders. It was not a complex story to write as Livingstone had himself paved the way for his own myth in declaring: ‘if my disclosures regarding the terrible Ujijian slaving should lead to the suppression of the East Coast slave trade, I shall regard that as a greater matter by far than the discovery of the Nile’.8 He was on his last voyage and thus had publicly pledged to solve the two grand causes of his age: finding the Nile sources and ending the slave trade.

In 1871, Livingstone had shown no sign of life for 5 years. Rumours of his death had even reached Europe on several occasions. However, the prestigious Royal Geographical Society (RGS) and the British government had failed to rescue him. The public was outraged, and the popular press was keen to underline the fiasco of the ruling elite. Therefore, when Henry Morton Stanley finally ‘found’ Livingstone, it quickly made headlines worldwide.9 In contrast with the British establishment, Stanley was an outcast and a complete outsider. Unlike Livingstone, he was not a missionary or a geographer. He was no saint either. He was more of an adventurer, a sort of nineteenth-century ‘conquistador’. As Joseph Conrad put it in Heart of Darkness, Stanley was one of those ‘hunters for gold or pursuers of fame’.10 He had been sent to Africa by the American tycoon James Gordon Bennett - the owner of the New York Herald Tribune - to find the old Doctor dead or alive. Bennett wanted Stanley to find Livingstone to boost the fame and sales of his newspaper. Bennett wanted the story to hit the globe. In early November 1871, Stanley found Livingstone and told his encounter with style: ‘Dr. Livingstone I presume?’ These famous words were printed a billion times around the world, and Stanley quickly became a household name. His encounter with Livingstone was then integrated in the pantheon of Western popular culture.11

Stanley was the very incarnation of this new wave of imperialism, which brutally swept across Africa between the 1880s and the First World War. Conversely, Livingstone symbolized the old abolitionist movement and its ‘noble crusade for humanity’.12 Put together, these two characters became a cornerstone of popular imperialism.13 Stanley and Livingstone’s iconic encounter was a historical moment. After their glorious meeting, it became increasingly difficult to dissociate imperialism from humanitarianism. Through the Scramble for Africa, prominent political leaders in Europe -Leopold II the Belgian Monarch, the German Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck, the French statesman Jules Ferry, and the British Prime Minister Marquess Salisbury - increasingly associated the abolitionist discourse with the necessity of colonial expansion before public opinion and international law.14 Today, most historians, such as Jacques Frémeaux, Françoise Vergés, Henri Médard, Claire Laux, or Jean François Klein, underline that ‘repression of slavery was, in Africa, a major argument in favour of [colonial] conquest’.15 Indeed, ‘abolitionism contributed to a discourse of freedom which colonialists and imperialists sought to appropriate’ as Robin Blackburn emphasized.16 Stanley can be said to have opened a new chapter of European penetration into Africa. He did not solve a geographical mystery, or end the slave trade or spread Christianity. He was there to stimulate and capture the imagination of his contemporaries, make them rave about the wonders - one among them being Livingstone - hidden in the ‘heart of darkness’. Stanley heralded an age where European societies would be told that they had to conquer Africa if they wanted to get their share of the riches this new ‘El Dorado’. It was now the age of empires, and Stanley embodied the spirit of his ‘New Imperialism’ as historians labelled it.17 In rescuing Livingstone, Stanley not only captured the European public opinion but also stimulated European leaders’ appetite for imperial expansion, King Leopold II especially. The King of Belgium was dreaming of an empire, and after hearing of Stanley’s discoveries, he decided that he should build one in the heart of Africa. By the 1885 Berlin Conference, King Leopold II succeeded in making the Congo Free State, his private property, officially acknowledged by the international community partly in the name of ‘civilisation’ and anti-slavery.18 Therefore, Leopold’s Congo illustrates particularly well how the abolitionists’ discourse, promoted earlier by Livingstone, had been opportunistically seized by imperialist leaders and integrated into the so-called European ‘civilising mission’ to find a convenient humanitarian justification to colonial expansion in Africa.19

Looking at the history of Zanzibar in the second half of the nineteenth century, this book intends to draw new perspectives on the interactions that bonded humanitarianism and imperialism together. It neither gives praise nor is an indictment of imperialism through the study of humanitarianism. In pointing out the paradoxes and failures of humanitarianism, it does not aim to castigate imperialism either. Indeed, as James Me Douglas stressed, ‘the history of empire is not about pride - or guilt’.20 Following Marc Bloch’s words, this book wishes to point that ‘for [a too] long time the historian was seen as a judge of Hell in charge of dispensing ... a praise or a blame’.21 This work, therefore, tries to portray humanitarianism and imperialism in stressing all the historical consequences of their relationship. As Serge Gruzinski rightly noted for the Americas in the sixteenth century,

‘the history of the colonial conquest ... cannot be reduced to a destructive clash between good Indians and bad Europeans’ - or vice-versa.22 This is the case with the history of empires in nineteenth century Africa; although this certainly does not mean that the ‘foundational role of violence in the process of empire building’ and its ‘astonishing brutality’ should ever be undermined.23

Zanzibar and the history of humanitarian intervention in the nineteenth century

This book intends to bring a new light on the interactions of humanitarianism and imperialism in linking them to the study of humanitarian interventions in Zanzibar between 1862 and 1905. Taking the path opened by Gary J. Bass, Brendan Simms, D. J. B. Trim, Michael Barnett, Davide Rodogno, Fabian Klose, Bronwen Everill, Josiah Kaplan, and many others, this work will contribute to historicise further the concept of humanitarian intervention in the history of international relations.24 Indeed, the history of humanitarian interventions has only become a new branch of contemporary historiography in the past 20 years, whereas it had been previously ‘treated as a subject without history’.25 This history reflects the recurrent debates in international relations around humanitarian intervention, the right or the duty to intervene, and the Responsibility To Protect (R2P) since the end of the Cold War; particularly after the genocides in Rwanda (1994) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (1995) as well as Western interventions in Kosovo (1999) or Libya (2011).26 In this context, humanitarian principles happened to be a source of polemic since they have served as a justification for war or contributed to label some military interventions as ‘just wars’.27 The expression of ‘humanitarian imperialism’ has thus become highly popular among scholars in the first decade of the twenty-first century to describe humanitarian interventions in the 1990s and early 2000s.28 Looking at the operation Restore Hope led in Somalia in 1992, journalist Aidan Hartley commented as follows: T saw it [the humanitarian intervention] as a new civilising mission, similar to the imperialism of my British forebears’.29 Like Hartley, most academics, and the public in general, now look at humanitarian interventions with great suspicion. A growing number of people see it as a convenient veil for brutal power politics.30 Notably, these debates probably have a certain kind of influence over the mind of historians looking at humanitarian interventions in the past. This is why this book intends to draw new historical perspectives over these controversies.

Thanks to the historians who dedicated their research to the history of humanitarian interventions, we can now acknowledge that humanitarian interventions were also a central aspect of the nineteenth century, as it appeared with the case of Greece in 1827, Syria in 1860-1861, Bulgaria in 1876, Cuba in 1898, or the Philippines in 1899.31 In 1910, Antoine Rougier, a French law professor, defined ‘l’intervention d’humanité’ (humanitarian intervention) as ‘the theory according to which the acts... of a government..., when contrary to the laws of humanity, give rise, for one or more foreign states, to a right to intervene’.32 Following Rougier and his contemporaries, we should stress that all the legal debates surrounding humanitarian intervention in the nineteenth century, including anti-slavery operations as such, show that it truly was an age where humanitarian questions mattered. However, if humanitarian interventions and the right to intervene were then discussed by lawyers and legal experts, it does not mean that these concepts had the same meaning that we give them today. Therefore, it is crucial to historicise these concepts to be able to understand their complexity, both in past and present, without falling into the trap of anachronism.33 This is an aspect that this book wishes to contribute to examining human rights, imperialism, and sovereignty in the nineteenth century following the path opened by Martti Koskenniemi or Antony Anghie.34

Examining the history of Zanzibar in the second half of the nineteenth century is a good occasion to step into a rich chapter of humanitarian history. Indeed, humanitarian intervention can also be studied through the use of imperial force, which Britain mobilised around this island during the second half of the nineteenth century when her government decided to put an end to the Indian Ocean slave trade. As a result, imperialism and humanitarianism were repeatedly confronted in Zanzibar waters. This book will emphasize how important this struggle against the slave trade was, not only for Britain, France, and Zanzibar during the Scramble but also for the structure of international relations throughout the late nineteenth century and the future foundations of international law in the twentieth century.35 Studying anti-slavery operations in Zanzibar will help the reader to understand the nature of the ideological, political, legal, and economic questions raised by the actions of the Royal Navy and its officers. These questions were relevant not only in the sphere of Zanzibar, Oman, France, and Britain but also to world politics, hooking at the ideology and the practice of anti-slavery and following the recent publications of Fae Dussart, Amalia Ribi Forclaz, Olivier Grenouilleau, Matthew S. Hopper, Richard Huzzey, Alan Lester, William Mulligan, Maeve Ryan, or Padraic X. Scanlan, this book will shed a new perspective on the process that led to the implementation of humanitarian action in international relations.36 Examining Zanzibar between the 1862 Anglo-French declaration on Zanzibar’s Independence and the 1905 Hague Arbitration on the Muscat Dhow Case will eventually allow us to understand the exact circumstances in which anti-slavery led to military or diplomatic interventions and the consequences it had on global politics.

Beyond the spectacular encounter of humanitarianism and imperialism, Zanzibar represents a major historical field regarding many other important issues. In the second half of the nineteenth century, Western powers had there several economic, strategic, scientific, or religious interests.37 First, the island represented approximately 80% of the world’s production in ivory, gum copal, and cloves.38 Second, the Oman Sultanate and its Zanzibar counterpart were strategically attractive. To Britain, they were a key to the control of the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, maritime areas that Her Majesty needed to secure India.39 To France, they also represented an important tactical advantage as French colonies were established in La Réunion, Mayotte, and Nossi-Bé. Further, France was competing with Britain to maintain influence in this part of the world.40 Above all, Zanzibar was not only a major gateway for all European geographical or scientific explorations in Africa, such as the famous quest for the Nile sources led by Speeke, Burton, and Livingstone shows, but also the place where all missionary, humanitarian, or imperial activities started. Inextricably entangled in all these elements, the Indian Ocean slave trade was prominent and captured the attention of contemporaries and historians alike. When Sultan Seyyid Said developed clove plantations in the 1840s, both on the island and the coast, the slave trade then surged on a tremendous scale.41 In the second half of the nineteenth century, the Zanzibar Sultanate became the greatest slave market in East Africa and the Indian Ocean, if not of the whole world. Approximately 15,000-25,000 slaves were entering the island each year in the 1860s, most of them ‘to supply the needs’ of the plantations either on the island or the continent.42 It is now estimated that ‘the number of East Africans in the Indian Ocean slave trade reached ... 1,618,000 in the nineteenth century ... (about half of that number were sent overseas, with the other half retained on the East African coast)’.43 As the Atlantic slave trade faded in the wake of the American Civil War (1861-1865), the island quickly raised the interests of European abolitionists, among which Livingstone was pre-eminent. Historians, essentially, followed their path.

Zanzibar at the crossroad of the historiography of abolitionism and imperialism

Owing to all these characteristics, Zanzibar became a focus of historical research. It allowed scholars to participate in the broader debate on the nature of imperialism and humanitarianism as well as the factors that led to the Scramble for Africa.44 In the 1960s, influential colonial historians like J. D. Fage or Henri Brunswick presented British imperialism in East Africa as a positive expression of the British abolitionist movement, whereas decolonisation and criticism of the Empire reached their climax.45 According to their argument, colonisation was not as ‘dark’ as most people then thought it to be. It supposedly had some ‘good’ humanitarian roots. In his preface of Reginald Coupland’s British Anti-Slavery Movement, Fage highlighted that: ‘David Livingstone draws her [Britain] into Central Africa. This imperialism is a good imperialism ... At the heart of this humanitarian imperialism lay the movement for the abolition of the slave trade and slavery’.46 This historiographical defence of imperial expansion is now completely outdated. However, this book will argue that the expression of ‘humanitarian imperialism’ is surprisingly relevant to analyse the nature of the European anti-slave trade operations that took place around Zanzibar waters in the late nineteenth century, possibly an image of the broader role played by abolition in colonial expansion. Following Alan Lester and Fae Dussart, this book will ‘contend that colonisation was humanitarian in some sense, not in order to commend colonisation, but rather in ... a constructive critique of humanitarianism and its relationship with colonialism’.47 In fact, during the nineteenth century, the concept and meaning of colonisation - as well as imperialism or empire - underwent a significant revolution because of the abolition movement. It was progressively but finally disconnected entirely from its association with the slave trade and slavery - a relationship dating from the sixteenth century with the development of the American and West-Indian colonies.48 As Roland Marx puts it, ‘humanitarian conceptions changed the meaning of colonial enterprise’.49 This was demonstrated by Amalia Ribi Forclaz in her study of the Italian and British anti-slavery movements and their contribution to colonial expansion as well as a colonial rule between 1880 and 1940, a historical phenomenon that the author herself coined as ‘humanitarian imperialism’.50 Borrowing her words, we should define it as ‘the complex dynamic between humanitarian and imperial concerns’, which was later transformed into ‘the welfare of colonial subjects’.51

In the 1960s, however, when decolonisation was at its heights, historians looked at the relationship between slavery, abolition, imperialism, and colonisation differently compared to classic colonial historians like Coupland or Fage. In this context, the critics of the empire emerged as a new historiographical movement known as ‘Third-Worldism’ - a trend out of which later emerged Postcolonial studies in the 1990s.52 As a result, colonisation became a synonym for the worst form of human oppression; slavery was even used by some as a metaphor to describe the living conditions endured by most people under colonial rule. For those who opposed colonisation, such as Aimé Césaire or Franz Fanon in France, colonisation meant nothing but slavery.53 In the history of abolition too, things had changed. The traditional and rather ‘hagiographical’ historiography of the anti-slavery movement, whose roots laid in the nineteenth century celebration of Britain’s noble role in international relations - what Fage called humanitarian imperialism - was also challenged.54 These views were breached by Eric Williams, a historian and the first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, in his seminal book, Capitalism and Slavery. For the first time, the candour and sincerity of British anti-slavery policy were put to trial. Crucially, Williams did not take humanitarian statements at face value; he saw them as code, as justification for capitalistic exploitation.55 In the 1970s, historians such as Suzanne Miers or Moses D. E. Nwulia, following William’s footsteps, were also more than sceptical about the sincerity of the humanitarian motives when looking at British anti-slavery in East Africa. They both argued that Britain’s struggle against slavery was a mask to justify imperial expansion.56 Thanks to these historians, the literature, therefore, had completely shifted from the old idealistic views of abolition, imperialism, and colonisation. In this context, Marxist historians of the school of Dar es Salam, such as Abdul Sheriff, rewrote the history of Zanzibar in the 1980s. They saw colonisation as a by-product of Europe’s imperialist capitalism, and, in their views, imperialism inevitably led to the exploitation of both men and resources on the African continent, a historical fact explaining contemporary underdevelopment and poverty. Consequently, Sheriff also denounced British humanitarianism as a mask for imperialism. Abolition of the slave trade according to him ‘provided a convenient path for the penetration of British influence and power into East Africa under a humanitarian guise, and was a prelude to British supremacy at Zanzibar’.57 Paul E. Lovejoy - another major historian related to the Dar es Salam school - while demonstrating that only the spread of capitalism really led to the extinction of slavery, argued as well that ‘the conquest of Africa and the extension of European economic domination proceeded together under the banner of anti-slavery’.58 It has now become a common place among historians to point out the ‘humanitarian guise of the anti-slavery crusade under cover of which the British’ had led their imperial conquest’.59 In 2007, prefacing a book on the Foreign Office and anti-slavery policies, David Miliband, then Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, even stated that ‘humanitarian intervention in Africa, aimed initially at suppressing the trade at source, would likewise serve eventually as a mask for imperial expansion’.60 We can see here that the imperialist component of British humanitarianism has become a part of Britain’s official narrative.

The debate over the nature of imperialism and its relationship with humanitarianism - or humanitarian intervention - is today as fierce as ever. While some, such as Seymour Drescher, argue that ‘nineteenth century British expansion after abolition had little to do with its policy toward the slave trade or slavery’, others, like Jeremy Prestholdt, insist on the ‘crucial role played by abolitionist ideology in colonial conquest’.61 Most recently Padraic X. Scanlan even argued that ‘Britain profited from slavery for 200 years and then used the abolition of slavery to justify nearly two more centuries of imperial violence and colonial rule’.62 The debate is well summarized by Olivier Grenouilleau in one his latest book on abolitionist revolution: ‘two legends are ... opposed. A golden one, making abolitionism the modern version of the most disinterested philanthropy. And another, a black one, turning the abolitionist movement into a bunch of hypocrites who were nothing but harbingers of colonisation’.63 Like Grenouilleau, many historians wish to go beyond this Manichean opposition. They want to elaborate further on these issues. They do not want to condemn, justify, or celebrate imperialism in looking at abolitionism and vice versa. As Richard Huzzey points out: ‘the triumph of certain anti-slavery views within government leaves unanswered whether anti-slavery commitment was organic or merely a vein of sentiment that wily imperialists or politicians could tap for their own ends’.64 In short, a part of the historiography is today inclined to portray the abolitionist movement with all its nuances, complexities, and paradoxes, sometimes leaving questions unanswered. Borrowing Mary Dewhurst Lewis’ words, this work argues that the history of abolitionism certainly has everything to gain in ‘finally putting to rest the Manichean categories through which ... imperialism and colonialism are often understood’.65

Following this trend, this book intends to go beyond the celebration or the condemnation of humanitarianism or imperialism. Although they formed an inseparable couple throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, they did not necessarily have the same goals or interests. This relationship never ceased to evolve in following the multiple interactions provided by the various combinations of the many different historical contexts and actors it went through. Adopting Edgar Morin’s ‘complex thinking’, this book argues that such historical phenomena have, like diamonds, more than a thousand facets. Their beautiful complexity should, therefore, not be reduced to simplistic or Manichean oppositions.66 Is it, in fact, possible to build any good understanding of such an important chapter of human history through only one single interpretation, implicitly denying all others any seeds of truth? Morin’s approach fits adequately into what Olivier Grenouilleau defines as a global and ‘comprehensive history’, a method that this book intends to follow. It is global because the historian demonstrates ‘a will to think an [historical] object in its entirety ... in trying to combine and connect various geographical scales’.67 It is comprehensive as it follows Max Weber’s vow ‘to understand how men of the past perceived the world as well as the meaning they wanted to give to their actions’ although Joseph Conrad argued that ‘it is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one’s existence - that which makes its truth, its meaning - its subtle and penetrating essence’.68 An ironic statement perhaps for a writer who managed to convey so vividly ‘the life sensation’ of his era as Heart of Darkness clearly attests.

Humanitarianism and imperialism as concepts: a methodological approach

Before going any further, the two concepts of imperialism and humanitarianism require considering briefly their excessively contentious meanings if we are to consider fully the complexity of their rather spectacular encounter and the unexpected impacts it had on the course of the nineteenth century, whether in Africa or the rest of the world. In 1902, J. A. Hobson noted in the preface of his seminal study that ‘modern imperialism’ was ‘a term which is on everybody’s lips and which is used to denote the most powerful movement in the current politics of the Western world’.69 Ironically, one could think that not much has changed since Hobson’s times. As a word and a historical phenomenon, imperialism has, indeed, remained the source of an immense - and most controversial - historiography, even 30 years after the end of the Cold War.70 The term had long built its sulphurous meaning. Even when Lenin published Imperialism as the Highest Stage of Capitalism in 1917, the term had already been for several decades at the heart of the fiercest academic and political controversies. However, Lenin decisively left his mark on the term and the debate. Owing to the most brutal dimensions of colonisation, imperialism easily fitted into Lenin’s argument. In Marxist rhetoric imperialism thus became synonymous with the greatest form of capitalist exploitation or oppression. Subsequently, it became such a polemical word that Keith Hancock, one of the most important historians of the British Empire in the 1940s, famously proclaimed that imperialism ‘is no word for scholars’.71 However, this book argues that the word imperialism should not be banned from historical research as it can be understood considerably well on a purely scientific perspective as ‘the rule or control, political or economic, direct or indirect, of one state, nation or people over similar groups, or perhaps one might better say the disposition, urge or striving to establish such rule or control, it is as old as recorded history’.72

The notion of humanitarianism, unfortunately in appearance only, seems less troublesome than its illustrious counterpart. The word gradually grew popular throughout the Victorian Age but did not generate at first as many disputes. Davide Rodogno points out that ‘the humanitarian spirit’ referred to ‘Christian charity and encompassed ideas of secular benevolence (bienfaisance} and philanthropy’.75 It described a supposedly sincere, good, honest, and benevolent ‘concern for human welfare’ even if it was sometimes mocked as naive, hypocritical, or just fashionable.74 Mostly, it nonetheless remained a positive synonym for both philanthropy and charity.75 This seemed to be in complete opposition to imperialism, which was often taken by its opponents as a synonym of the worst form of violence and oppression, as noted earlier. In fact, during the second half of the nineteenth century, the term was often used to qualify anti-slavery in Britain or other philanthropic movements that led to the creation of the Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions or initiated the abolition of the death penalty.76 Somehow, the term implied the idea that it contributed, unlike imperialism as some then believed, ‘to the progress of humanity’.

However, imperialism and humanitarianism were contemporaries, and their paths inevitably crossed, much like those of Stanley and Livingstone. Their encounter consequently made historical analysis difficult because of all the political controversies it generated 77 The idea that ‘the attempt to hide ugly business behind ... great humanitarian principles is a classic manoeu-ver of the Western World’ quickly became a common assumption among academics and non-academics alike.78 Humanitarianism, it was then - and still is now - argued, was nothing but a cynical mask behind which Western powers concealed their most brutal form of imperialism. In a way, there is certainly a part of truth in this common belief, and it is, therefore, necessary to inquire if humanitarianism, overpowered by imperialism, had not turned good intentions towards humanity into an unstoppable monstrosity, much like Dr. Frankenstein in Mary Shelley’s novel.79 Following this metaphor, we could wonder if the righteous doctor Livingstone, so genuinely concerned with human welfare, had not himself - in dangerously blending humanitarianism with imperialism - gave birth to an uncontrollable beast responsible for the most horrible colonial crimes, quite like Leopold in the Congo.80 This book intends to question this rather well-established stereotype in arguing that such complex historical forces - humanitarianism and imperialism - cannot just be reduced to the dual struggle of good over evil and vice versa. Both evolved through time and space, and so did their relationship. Even within the confined theatre of East Africa between 1860 and 1900, they underwent a perpetual and paradoxical metamorphosis, a true mirror of their age in a sense. This book will argue that humanitarianism was not always used to conceal or forward vile imperialists’ interests even though it was truly the case on several important occasions such as during the 1888 Zanzibar blockade or the 1890 Brussels Conference. Borrowing Stephen Platt’s words on the Taiping Civil War in China (1851-1864), this work argues that ‘the events of this period [in our case Zanzibar between 1862 and 1905] are a reminder of just how fine the line is that separates humanitarian interventions and imperialism’.81

Finally, as humanitarianism and imperialism truly are global historical phenomena, this book will examine them from a world perspective.82 This means that events unravelling in Zanzibar and the Indian Ocean cannot be fully understood if they are not viewed from a global standpoint. However, this seems to be a natural approach as this archipelago was connected through its trade, politics, culture, and people to Europe, North America, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent.83 Further, at the beginning of the 1890s, Zanzibar also laid at the crossroad of three major world empires: the British, the German, and the French, not to mention, of course, the Omanese Indian Ocean thalassocracy.

A comparative history of anti-slavery in Zanzibar through British and French archives

For the first time, this book will compare and confront French and British diplomatic sources in studying the British Royal Navy anti-slave trade naval operations in Zanzibar and the Indian Ocean. This research is primarily based upon the reading of the great bulk of archives related to the slave trade contained in The House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (HCPP) and the Records of the Slave Trade Department (RSTD), along with the French ‘Correspondance Politique Consulaire’ of Zanzibar kept at La Courneuve (CADC), and the ‘Série des Correspondances Politiques des Consuls et les Mémoires et Documents’ in Nantes (CADN). The rich corpus of both British and French diplomatic archives was also complemented by a selection of influential printed books on both sides of the Channel. The analysis of all these sources should contribute a fresh look into the legal debates surrounding the slave trade, the right to visit, and humanitarian intervention. Above all, the confrontation of British and French sources should appear particularly fruitful in breaking up strong bias or stereotypes that these archives have often passed on to respective national historiographies. In the French archives, for instance, a majority of French Consuls posted to Zanzibar were convinced that British authorities were using anti-slavery operations at sea to hide their secret plan of colonisation in East Africa. This suspicion has long remained a distinctive part of the French historiography on the matter. Reading the British archives will show that no original plot was hidden behind anti-slavery in the Indian Ocean, even if, ultimately, some political leaders would manipulate the humanitarian discourse to justify colonial expansion. Conversely, British archives tend to stress the key role played by the French flag on the continuation of the Indian slave trade throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, a point still popular in today’s historiography. In examining the French archives, we should see that even if dhows flying the tricolour played a substantial role in the traffic, they were not as central as British consuls or navy officers argued. Moreover, the actions of French colonial authorities, both in Paris and in Zanzibar, were far from being supportive of this nefarious traffic.

Last but not least, due to linguistic and research funding limitations, this book has not drawn on documents in Arabic, available in archives in Zanzibar or Oman. Nonetheless, the extensive Arabic documentation translated in British and French archives should partly compensate for this absence. Consequently, this research, even if it is mainly based on European archives, will carefully try to avoid the Eurocentric approach and attempt to write what some French historians, such as Serge Gruzinski or Romain Bertrand, have called ‘a symmetrical history’.84

Nine chapters to explore anti-slavery and imperialism between 1862 and 1905 in Zanzibar and beyond

This book is divided into three parts and nine chapters. It highlights the complex evolutions that anti-slavery, humanitarianism, and colonial expansion underwent in the Zanzibar Sultanate between 1862 and 1905. It argues that, although the relationship between abolitionism and imperialism took many and different forms throughout that period, their interactions can be best summarized as a permanent power struggle between abolitionists, public opinion, men on the spot, on the one hand, and government officials as well as political leaders on the other. Chapter One will show how difficult the struggle against the slave trade in the Indian Ocean was for navy officers. It will, above all, underline that British sailors and navy officers did not have the proper resources, whether financial, legal, or cultural, to complete ‘the great mission’ they had been assigned by their government. Consequently, they had to not only risk their lives in the struggle against the slave trade on the eastern shore of Africa but also attract the attention of humanitarians, public opinion, and political leaders in London to get enough or decent ships as well as appropriate legal procedures to be able to stop the traffic. Chapter Two will continue to confront the British anti-slavery official discourse with the reality of the Indian Ocean slave trade in looking at the French flag and its alleged role in the traffic there. This chapter outlines that anti-slavery operations at sea were more hindered by international law and imperial policies than by dhows flying the French flag. This will lead us to Chapter Three to examine how the right to visit, used by Her Majesty’s ship to fight the slave trade, influenced Anglo-French relations, international law, and colonial policies in the nineteenth century. This chapter will also look into the outcome of the right to visit and examine the poor ‘freedom’ that British ‘liberated slaves’, and other former slaves recruited as indentured labourers by French traders, ‘enjoyed’ in the Indian Ocean. In examining the doings of the British ViceAdmiralty Court set up in Zanzibar in 1869, Chapter Four will continue to look into the relationship of abolitionism and imperialism through the legal and financial aspects of anti-slavery. If abolitionism did not necessarily conceal cunning imperialistic moves, this chapter will demonstrate that anti-slavery could occasionally be used by men on the spot to forward British colonial domination. Chapter Five investigates further the relationship of humanitarianism and imperialism in looking at the case of the 1873 Bartie Frere Mission designed to abolish the slave trade within Zanzibar’s African dominions. It demonstrates that important anti-slavery interventions, such as the diplomatic mission led by Frere, were often forced upon reluctant governments by abolitionists and colonial officials who had managed to win public opinion and Parliament. Chapter Six continues this analysis in studying the 1888-1889 Zanzibar blockade. It shows that whereas political leaders had been forced into action in 1873, they now used the abolitionists’ discourse to justify the legality and the morality of imperial interventions before public opinion and international law. In Chapter Seven, we will continue to observe how anti-slavery merged, at a global level, with imperial politics during the 1890 Brussels Conference. If the force of the abolitionist movement, now revived by the struggle against the Indian Ocean slave trade, was seized by imperialist leaders to justify colonial expansion, this also opened new political opportunities in international relations for the humanitarian movement. Again, the power struggle between humanitarians and imperialists had unforeseen and paradoxical consequences. Following the aftermath of the conference, Chapter Eight will focus on the question of the sovereignty of states and the legitimacy of humanitarian and imperial interferences in international law. This chapter mainly analyses the impact the 1905 Hague International Arbitration on Muscat dhows flying the French flag had over international relations. It argued that the arbitration was the conclusion of all the imperial disputes that had brought Britain and France into a fierce naval confrontation around Zanzibar’s waters in the context of the abolition of the slave trade and the Scramble for Africa. However, it will be stressed that this arbitration was not merely another trivial episode of the Anglo-French imperial rivalry but a cornerstone in the history of international relations and international law. Concluding this book, Chapter Nine will finally examine in depth the concepts of ‘intervention in the name of humanity’, ‘humanity’, as well as ‘crime against humanity’ in connecting the history of Zanzibar anti-slavery operations to the wider history of humanitarian intervention and international law. Looking at the political and judicial debates surrounding these concepts, this final chapter will demonstrate that the anti-slavery movement decisively attempted - although partly failing and succeeding - to place the rights of men, as it was then termed, before the sovereignty of states in both international relations and international law. Borrowing Seymour Drescher’s concept on abolition, this book, therefore, argued that this was ‘a mighty experiment’ for the world. Anti-slavery eventually left an inspiring and decisive historical experience for future generations of lawyers aiming at the protection of human rights in international law as the works of Hersch Lauterpacht prove it.85

In short, this book employs the study of the major anti-slavery operations in Zanzibar between 1862 and 1905 to demonstrate the importance of humanitarianism’s relationship with imperialism in shaping European colonial expansion in Africa and as well as the influence of abolitionism over international law. It is hoped that this will contribute to underline the influential role that Indian Ocean anti-slavery policies played in the history of international relations.


  • 1 John Darwin, “Imperialism and the Victorians: The Dynamics of Territorial Expansion”, The English Historical Review, vol. 112, no. 447 (Jun., 1997), 634.
  • 2 Darwin, “Imperialism and the Victorians”, 622-623; Jonas Fossli Gjerso, "The Scramble for East Africa: British Motives Reconsidered, 1884-95”, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, vol. 43, no.5, (2015): 831.
  • 3 Tim Jeal, "David Livingstone: A brief Biographical Account”, in David Livingstone and the Victorian Encounter with Africa, ed. John M. Mackenzie, (London: National Portrait Gallery Publication, 1996), 11-78.
  • 4 Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (New York: Norton and Company, 1988), ix-xi.
  • 5 Kevin Grant, A Civilised Savagery: Britain and the New Slaveries in Africa, 1884-1926 (London: Routledge, 2005), 26.
  • 6 Andrew Porter, “Commerce and Christianity: The Rise and Fall of a Nineteenth-Century Missionary Slogan”, The Historical Journal, vol. 28, no. 3 (1985): 617.

HCPP, 1871 (420), xiv; HCPP 1870 (C.209), 2-3. Andrew Porter, Religion versus Empire: British Protestant Missionaries and Overseas Expansions 1700-1914 (Manchester, 2004), 12; John M. MacKenzie, Imperialism and Popular Culture (Manchester, 1986), 2; James Heartfield, The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1838-1956: A History (London, C. Hurst & Co, 2017), 223-224.

Birmingham Daily Post, 27 July 1872. Also published in Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, 28 July 1872; Daily News 27 July 1872; Belfast News-Letter,

27 July 1872; Examiner, 27 Jul, 1872; Manchester Guardian, 27 July 1872; Pall Mall Gazette, 27 July 1872; The Times, July 27 1872, 5.

New York Herald Tribune, 2 July, 1872; The times, 22 July 1872, 6e; Le Temps, 21 Juillet 1872, 2; The Illustrated London News, 10 August 1872, vol Ixi, 137; L'illustration, 10 août 1872, vol. lx, 84-85. Henry Morton Stanley, How I found Livingstone (London: Low and Searle, 1872). Stanley’s account was translated into many European languages and hereafter reprinted countlessly.

Conrad, Heart of Darkness, 8.

Anne Hugon, L'Afrique des explorateurs (Paris: Gallimard, 1991).

Thomas Pakenham, The Scramble for Africa (London: Abacus) 1991.

John M. Mackenzie, Imperialism and Popular Culture (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1986), 2-3.

See for instance the article 6 of the 1885 Berlin Conference General Act or Jules Ferry’s most famous speech on colonisation, Journal officiel, séance du

28 juillet 1885.

Jacques Frémeaux, Les empires coloniaux Une histoire monde (Paris: Cnrs, 2012), 201 ; Françoise Vergés, Abolir l’esclavage : une utopie coloniale : Les ambiguïtés d’une politique humanitaire (Paris, Albin Michel, 2014) 59 ; Henri Médard, “Introduction’ in Traites et esclaves en Afrique orientale” in Traites et Esclavages en Afrique orientale et dans l’océan Indien, ed. Henri Médard et al. (Paris: Karthala, 2013), 16 ; Claire Laux et Jean-François Klein, Les Sociétés Coloniales de 1850 à 1950, Asie, Afrique, Antilles (Paris: Ellipse, 2012), 9.

Robin Blackburn, The American Crucible. Slavery, Emancipation and Human Rights (London: Verso, 2013), 457.

M.E. Chamberlain, The New Imperialism, (London: Historical Association, 1970); Cain and Hopkins, British Imperialism, 12.

Martin Ewans, European Atrocity, African Catastrophe: Leopold II, the Congo Free State and its Aftermath (New York: Routledge Curzon, 2002), 47-110.

Grant, Civilsed Savagery, 20-21; Alice L. Conklin, A Mission to Civilize: the Republican Idea of Empire in France (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997), 11-23.

James McDougall, “The history of empire isn’t about pride - or guilt”, The Guardian, Thursday 4 January 2018.

Marc Bloch, “Apologie pour l’histoire ou Métier d’Historien”, in L’Histoire, La Guerre La Résistance (Paris: Gallimard, 2006), 948.

Serge Gruzinski, La Pensée Métisse (Paris: Arthème Fayard, 2012), 43.

Philip Dwyer, Amanda Nettelbeck, Violence Colonialism and Empire in the Modem World (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), 2, 5.

Mark Swatek-Evenstein, A History of Humanitarian Intervention (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2020); Fabian Klose, The Emergence of Humanitarian Intervention: Ideas and Practice from the Nineteenth Century to the Present (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016); Bronwen Everill and Josiah Kaplan, The History and Practice of Humanitarian Intervention and Aid in Africa (Houndmills, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013); Davide Rodogno, Against Massacre : Humanitarian Interventions in the Ottoman Empire, 1815-1914 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012); Brendan Simms and DJ.B. Trim, Humanitarian Intervention: A History (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2011); Michael N. Barnett, Empire of Humanity : a History of Humanitarianism (New York, Cornell University Press, 2011); Gary J. Bass, Freedom’s Battle: The Origins of Humanitarian Intervention (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 2008).

Simms and Trim, “Towards a history of humanitarian intervention”, in Humanitarian Intervention: a History, 1.

The “duty or right of humanitarian interference also known as “humanitarian intervention” [droit d’ingérence] is an expression coined by the French Doctors (Médecins Sans Frontières) during the Biafran War in Nigeria (1967-1970). Philippe Moreau Defarges, Droits d’ingérence dans le Monde Post-2001 (Paris: Les Presses de Sciences Po, 2006), 9-16; Mario Bettati, Le Droit d'ingérence (Paris: Odile Jacob, 1996), 12.

Rony Brauman and Régis Meyran, Guerres Humanitaires? Mensonges et Intox (Paris : éditions textuel, 2018), Ch.l, Kindle.

Jean Bricmont, Humanitarian Imperialism: Using Human Rights to Sell War (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2006); Noam Chomsky “Humanitarian Imperialism: The New Doctrine of Imperial Right” Monthly Review, Vol. 60, No. 4 (September 2008): 22-50.

Haidan Harkey The Zanzibar Chest: A Mémoire of Love and War (London: Harper Collins, 2003) Ch.5, Kindle.

Brauman and Meyran, Guerres humanitaires?, Préface, Kindle ; Aidan Hehir, Humanitarian Intervention : an introduction (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 1-5.

Bass, Freedom’s Battle, 137-151, 155-157, 256-266. Rodogno, Against Massacre, 1-17.

Antoine Rougier, La Théorie de l’intervention d’Humanité (Paris: A. Pedone, 1910), 5.

Marc Bloch, “Apologie pour PHistoire ou le Métier d’Historien”, 868-73. He denounces what he calls the 'idols of the origins’. Daniel Marc Segesser “Humanitarian intervention and the issue of state sovereignty in the discourse of legal experts between the 1830s and the First Word War” in The Emergence of Humanitarian Intervention, 57: ‘following a tradition that aims to historicize law more than has been done so far’.

Martti Koskenniemi, The Gentle Civilizer of Nations: the Rise and Fall of International Law, 1870-1960 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 98-166; Antony Anghie, Imperialism, Sovereignty, and the Making of International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005) 32-100. Jonas Fossli Gjerso, “The Scramble for East Africa”, 831-860.

Olivier Grenouilleau, La Révolution Abolitionniste (Paris: Gallimard, 2017); Padraic X. Scanlan, Freedom’s Debtors: British Antislavery in Sierra Leone in the Age of Revolution (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017); Maeve, Ryan, “A moral millstone’?: British humanitarian governance and the policy of liberated African apprenticeship, 1808-1848”, Slavery & Abolition, vol. 37, no. 2 (2016): 399-422; Robert Burroughs and Richard Huzzey, The Suppression of the Atlantic Slave Trade : British Policies, Practices and Representations of Naval Coercion (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015); Amalia Ribi Forclaz, Humanitarian Imperialism: The Politics of Anti-Slavery Activism, 1880-1940 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015); Alan Lester and Fae Dussart, Colonisation and the Origins of Humanitarian Governance : Protecting Aborigines across the Nineteenth-Century

British Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014); William Mulligan and Maurice Bric, A Global History of Anti-Slavery Politics in the Nineteenth Century (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013); Richard Huzzey, Freedom Burning : Anti-Slavery and Empire in Victorian Britain (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012).

Jeremy Jones and Nicholas Ridout, Oman, Culture and Diplomacy, (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012), 4.

J.M. Gray, “Zanzibar and the Coastal Belt, 1840-1884” in History of East Africa, ed. Vincent Harlow (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1965), 219. Robert J. Blyth, “Redrawing the Boundary between India and Britain: The Succession Crisis at Zanzibar, 1870-1873”, The International History Review, vol. 22, no.4 (Dec 2000), 787.

Guillemette Crouzet, Genèses du Moyen-Orient : Le Golfe Persique à PAge des Impérialismes vers 1800-vers 1914 (Paris : Champ Vallon, 2015).

Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch, “La colonisation Arabe à Zanzibar”, in Le Livre Noir du Colonialisme, ed. Marc Ferro (Paris: Robert lafont, 2003), 603-622.

Frederick Cooper, Plantation Slavery on the East Coast of Africa (London: Yale University Press, 1977), 115; Paul E Lovejoy, Transformation in Slavery: A history of slavery in Africa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), 150-151; Abdul Sheriff, Slaves, Spices and Ivory in Zanzibar (London: Cur-rey, 1987), 231.

Matthew S Hopper, “Slaves of one master: Globalization and the African Diaspora in Arabia in the Age of Empire” in Indian Ocean Slavery in the Age of Abolition, ed. R Harms, B. K. Freamon, and D. W. Blight (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013) 224-225; Richard B. Allen, European Slave Trading in the Indian Ocean, 1500-1850 (Ohio University Press. 2014), 25. Sheriff, Slaves, Spices and Ivory in Zanzibar-, M. R. Bhacker, Trade and Empire in Muscat and Zanzibar (London: Routledge, 1992); Derek R. Paterson, “Abolitionism and Political Thought in Britain and in East Africa” in Indian Ocean Slavery in the Age of Abolition, 1-27; Matthew S. Hopper, Slaves of One Master: Globalization and Slavery in Arabia in the Age of Empire (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015), 142-181.

Henri Brunschwig, “L’impérialisme”, in Histoire Générale de ¡Afrique Noire, Tome 2, de 1800 à nos jours, ed. Hubert Deschamps (Paris: Presse Universitaire de France, 1977), 34.

J. D. Fage, “Preface” in Reginald Coupland, The British Anti-Slavery Movement (London: Frank Cass, 1964), xii.

Lester and Dussart, Colonization and the Origins if Humanitarian Governance, 3.

François Azalier, “De l’esclavagisme à l’abolitionnisme, Les Abolitions de l’Esclavage : de L.F. Sonthonax à V. Schoelcher, 1793, 1794, 1848”, actes du colloque international tenu à l’Université de Paris VIII les 3, 4 et 5 février 1994 (Paris, 1995), 299 ; Robin Blackburn, The Making of New World Slavery: From the Baroque to the Modern, 1492-1800 (London, Verso, 2010), 371-377; Grenouilleau, La Révolution Abolitionniste, ch.6, Kindle.

Roland Marx, Histoire de la Grande Bretagne (Paris : Armand Colin, 1996), 209. Amalia Ribi Forclaz, Humanitarian imperialism. The Politics of Anti-Slavery Activism in the Interwar Years (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 1-13. Forclaz, Humanitarian imperialism, 8-9.

Maxime Szczepanski-Huillery, “ « L’idéologie tiers-mondiste ». Constructions et usages d’une catégorie intellectuelle en « crise »”, Raisons politiques, no. 18 (2/2005): 27-48 ; Mark T. Berger, “After the Third World? History, Destiny and the Fate of Third Worldism” Third World Quarterly, vol. 25, no. 1 (2004): 9-39; Emmanuelle Sibeud, “Post-Colonial et Colonial Studies: enjeux et débats”, Revue d'histoire moderne et contemporaine, no.51-4bis (2004): 87-95.

Frantz Fanon, Les Damnés de la Terre (Paris, Maspero, 1961), 11 ; Aimé Césaire, Discours sur le Colonialisme (Paris: Présence Africaine, 1955), 3. Aimé Césaire and Franz Fanon were major intellectual figures of the French West Indies. They inspired political as well as intellectual opposition to colonisation throughout the 1950s and the 1960s in the context of the colonial wars of independence in Indochina (Vietnam) and Algeria.

Seymour Drescher, “Eric Williams: British Capitalism and British Slavery”, History and Theory, vol. 26, no. 2 (May, 1987): 180-181; Olivier Grenouil-leau, Les Trades Négrières (Paris: Gallimard, 2004), 287.

Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery (London: University of North Carolina Press, 1994), 169-196.

Suzanne Miers, Slavery in the Twentieth Century (Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), xii; Moses D. E. Nwulia, Britain and Slavery in East Africa (Washington: Three Continents Press, 1975), Preface.

Sheriff, Slaves, Spices and Ivory, 210.

Paul E. Lovejoy, Transformations in Slavery (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 279.

M. Rheda Bhacker, Trade and Empire in Muscat and Zanzibar Roots of British Domination (London: Routledge, 1992), 174.

David Miliband, “Foreword” in Diplomacy and Empire Britain and the Suppression of the Slave Trade 1807-1975, Keith Hamilton and Patrick Salmon ed. (Brighton: Sussex Academic, 2009), viii.

Seymour Dresher, “Emperors of the World, British Abolitionism and Imperialism” in Abolitionism and Imperialism in Britain, Africa and the Atlantic, ed. Derek R. Peterson (Athens, Oh: Ohio University Press, 2010), 131-132.

Padraic X. Scanlan, Slave Empire: How Slavery Built Modern Britain (London: Robinson, 2021) 21.

Grenouilleau, La Révolution Abolitionniste, Ch.6, Kindle.

Huzzey, Freedom Burning, 205.

Mary Dewhurst Lewis, Divided Rule: Sovereignty and Empire in French Tunisia, 1881-1938 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014), 7.

Edgar Morin, Introduction à la Pensée Complexe (Paris: Seuil, 2005), chap. 1, Kindle. The French philosopher describes 'complex thinking’ as ‘a permanent tension’ for ‘non-fragmentary, non-segregated, non-reducing academic knowledge [savoir|.’

Olivier Grenouilleau, “Jalons pour une histoire globale de l’esclavage”, Histoire Globale Un Autre Regard sur le Monde, dir. Laurent Testot (Paris: Sciences Humaines, 2008), 131.

Grenouilleau, “Jalons pour une histoire globale de l’esclavage”, 138. Max Weber, Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology (Berkley: University of California Press, 1978), 9-10; François-André Isam-bert, “L’interprétation, source de la compréhension chez Max Weber” in Enquête, 3, (199) :, accessed May, 26, 2014. Conrad, Heart of Darkness, 30.

J. A. Hobson, Imperialism A Study (New York: James Pott& Co, 1902), p. v.

Noam Chomsky, Imperial Ambitions Conversations with Noam Chomsky on the post 9/11 World (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2005), 1-18. Recently, historians have started to explore the contribution of imperialism (colonial violence following colonial expansion) to the genesis of Nazism and the Shoah. A. Dirk Moses, Genocide and Settler Society: Frontier Violence and Stolen Indigenous Children in Australian History (New York: Berghahn Books, 2004); Sven Linquist, Exterminates all the Brutes (London: Granta, 1997), 46-69.

W. K. Hancock, Survey of British Commonwealth Affairs, Vol. 2 (London: Oxford University Press, 1940) 1-2.

Chamberlain, “The New Imperialism”, 3. A quote from Professor Langer.

Rodogno, Against Massacre, 6. Philanthropy could also be a source of fierce political debate. See Hugh Cunningham, The reputation of philanthropy since 1750: Britain and beyond (Manchester : Manchester University Press, 2020), 153-181.

The term humanitarian appeared both in French and English dictionaries in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. It applied to people who were moved by human sufferings; most notably nurses and doctors. These men and women reacted to the horrors of war and inspired the 1864 Geneva Convetion. See Marc-Antoine Pérouse de Montclos, “Quelques éléments de défintion et beaucoup de controverses”, Questions Internationales, Paris, La Documentation française, no. 56 (Juillet-août 2012): 10-11.

Fabian Klose and Mirjam Thulin “European Concepts and Practices of Humanity in Historical Perspective” in Humanity: A History of European Concepts in Practice from the Sixteenth Century to the Present, ed. F. Klose and M. Thulin (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016), 9-28.

Michael Barnett, Empire of Humanity A History of Humanitarianism (London, Cornell University Press, 2011), 49-94; Philippe Ryffman, Une Histoire de ¡’Humanitaire (Paris: La Découverte, 2016), 18-29.

Forclaz, Humanitarian Imperialism, 3.

Romain Gary, Les Racines du Ciel (Paris: Gallimard, 1956), 331

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus (London: Penguin, 2008), 81: ‘I had begun life with benevolent intentions, and thirsted ... [to] make myself useful to my fellow-beings’. Mairi S. Macdonald, “Lord Vivian’s tears” in The Emergence of Humanitarian Intervention, 120-140.

Adam Hochschild, King Leopold's Ghost A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa (New York: Macmillan, 1998), 47-60; 115-184; Seamas О Siochain and Michael O’Sullivan, The eyes of another race: Roger Casement’s Congo report and 1903 diary (Dublin: University College Dublin, 2003), 1-44; Ewans, European Atrocity, 175-210.

Stephen Platt, Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, the West, and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War (London: Atlantic Books, 2012), Preface, Kindle.

Jane Burbank and Frederick Cooper, Empires in World History Powers and the Politics of Difference (Princeton: University Press, 2011). Pierre Singara-vélou et Sylvain Venayre, Histoire du Monde au XIXe siècle (Paris : Fayard, 2018).

Jeremy Prestholdt, “Zanzibar, the Indian Ocean, and Nineteenth-Century Global Interface” in Connectivity in Motion Islands Hubs in the Indian Ocean World, ed. B. Schnepel and E.A. Alpers (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), 135-157.

Romain Bertrand, L’Histoire à parts Egales: Récits d'une Rencontre Orient-Occident, XVle-XVIIe siècle (Paris: Seuil, 2011), 14-15 ; Serge Gruzyn-ski, Les Quatre Parties du Monde : Histoire d’une Mondialisation (Paris: points, 2006).

Seymour Drescher, The Mighty Experiment: Free Labor versus Slavery in British Emancipation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 121-144.

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