orangeone header_graphic

    Home             Contact Us

menu_top_corner content   content

Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Cast - France
Cast - Italy
Cast - Others


spacer spacer spacer


This is a study of one aspect of the diplomatic policy practiced by France during the first four years of the tenure of Théophile Delcassé as French foreign minister. By concentrating upon the activities of the French ambassador to Italy, Camille Barrère, it is contended herein that French policy toward the peninsular kingdom was in the hands of the ambassador rather than in those of the much-credited Delcassé. Most of the documentary research for this study was carried out in the unpublished sources of governmental archives in Paris and Rome and in document collections published by the various European governments after World War I.

The period 1898-1902 was a crucial one in Franco-Italian diplomatic history. During these four years France and Italy effectively healed the wounds of a diplomatic and economic estrangement which, precipitated by the French occupation of Tunis in 1881, had resulted in a costly tariff war and in Italian membership in Bismarck’s Triple Alliance. Barrère, in the first years of his assignment in Rome (He was named ambassador to Italy in December 1897 and remained in that post until 1924.), was greatly responsible for the Franco-Italian entente created by 1902. His personal energies in great part account for the Mediterranean Agreement of 1900 and the Prinetti-Barrère Accord of 1902—significant agreements which settled Franco-Italian misunderstandings in the western Mediterranean and North Africa, helped clear the way for the French occupation of Morocco and the Italian movement into Tripolitania, and essentially neutralized the anti-French role of Italian participation within the Triple Alliance.

This study is intended to show the steps by which diplomacy brought France and Italy from a position of estrangement to one of cooperation and understanding. It is also meant to illustrate that Barrère, and not Delcassé, was the creator of French diplomacy in Italy. Finally, it is meant to suggest that with desire and skillful intelligence the peaceful techniques of diplomacy can be utilized to settle international disagreements.

Return to Abbreviations

Continue to Chapter 1

spacer spacer
  content   content

Copyright © 2012 J. Fred MacDonald - All Rights Reserved.