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Margaret Cook Andersen
University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Knoxville, TN 37916-3801)
Imperialism and France's Crisis of Depopulation, 1870-1940

I am seeking support from the NEH to complete research for both a journal article and part of the fourth chapter of my book project. My book examines the ways in which France's position as an imperial power shaped national anxieties about demographic decline during the Third Republic (1870-1940). I argue that pronatalists, a diverse group of individuals who sought to encourage stronger population growth, looked to the empire for solutions to French depopulation. They drew important lessons from comparatively high birthrates among French settlers overseas, population policies introduced in colonies such as Madagascar, and pronatalist legislation introduced in Tunisia and Morocco. While historians have studied colonial expansion and the influential pronatalist movement as separate and largely unrelated aspects of the history of the Third Republic, these two developments were actually closely intertwined responses to shared anxieties about France's trajectory and position in the world.

[Grant products][Media coverage]

Project fields:
European History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2012 – 6/30/2012