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Fashoda crisis

Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


Colonial confrontation of 1898 between Britain and France. During the 1890s the French, now ruing their decision of 1882 to allow British control over Egypt, dispatched a series of missions to the Sudan, though none established a foothold. In 1898 Captain Jean-Baptiste Marc-hand, having advanced from Gabon, reached the White Nile at Fashoda. There his small group of expeditionaries were soon confronted by a more formidable British force under Kitchener. Though no shots were fired, the ensuing crisis (lasting from September to November) was resolved only through skillful diplomacy on the part of Théophile delcassé and Lord Salisbury, the British premier. Though France felt humiliated by the episode ( de gaulle later claimed it left him very mistrustful of Britain), it was recognized that the British presence in Egypt and the Sudan could not be dislodged and that Germany and Russia were unlikely to assist Paris in any future colonial dispute. This understanding, plus the need to consolidate French dominance in Morocco, prompted negotiations with London that eventually produced the entente cordiale of 1904. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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