Le Paris de l'Extrême-Orient la "Francité" de la Concession française de Shanghai, 1900-1912
Other titre : Paris of the East : putting the "French" in French Concession in Shanghai, 1900-1912
While the French Concession made up only a small part of the area of Shanghai, most of which did not resemble Paris, the Chinese city came to be known as the"Paris of the East". Justifying the identification with the French capital was the presence of French amenities and luxuries; yet, the economic and political power in Shanghai rested within the borders of the International Settlement. The façade of a French aesthetic to the French Concession that made it desirable for residence and leisure, did not equate to French pre-eminence in business or the exercise of political power; but in the cultural sphere, particularly in education, the French did make an impact. The investigation of how Shanghai came to be carry the"Paris of the East" moniker; the self-conception and role of the French residents in Shanghai; and how these French identities were manifest in Shanghai in the transitional 1900-1912 period offers a new perspective on French overseas imperialism in the early twentieth century. The three phase analysis of: 1) the French façade - the 'myths and realities' of French Shanghai; 2) Expatriate Identity - the composition and goals of the French residents of the concession; and 3) the Frenchman's Burden - the impact of the French mission civilisatrice in Shanghai, illustrates the relationships with France, the international community of Shanghai and the indigenous Chinese population for a French perspective.