1904 AGREEMENT BETWEEN FRANCE AND BRITAIN

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    One of the motivating factors of the agreement was undoubtedly France`s desire to protect itself from a possible aggression by its former rival, Germany, which had gradually strengthened in the years since its victory in the Franco-German War of 1870-71 and which now had the most powerful ground army in the world. Britain also sought to contain Germany, particularly in the face of a revised and ambitious German naval programme which, if successful, threatened to call into question Britain`s clear dominance at sea. The Cordial Agreement of April 1904, which officially carries a declaration between the United Kingdom and France on respect between Egypt and Morocco, was more than anything a declaration of friendship between these two great European powers. On its terms, France promised not to question British control of Egypt; For its part, Britain has recognized French law as a power whose reigns are linked to a great distance from those of Morocco, to act in that country to maintain order and to help carry out all the reforms it deems necessary in the government, economy or army. With the Cordial Agreement, the two powers reduced the virtual isolation in which they had retreated – France involuntarily, Britain complacent – while they observed each other on African issues. Britain had no major ally of power except Japan (1902) and it would be pointless for war to break out in European waters; France had nothing but Russia, which was soon discredited in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904/05. The agreement was upsetting for Germany, whose policy has long insisted on relying on Franco-British antagonism. A German attempt to control the French in Morocco in 1905 (the Tangier incident or the First Moroccan Crisis) and thus to thwart the Agreement served only to strengthen them. Military talks were quickly initiated between the French and British staffs. Franco-British solidarity was confirmed at the Algeciras conference (1906) and reaffirmed during the Second Moroccan Crisis (1911).

    [3] While the Agreement effectively resolved important political disputes, the real viability of the alliance it helped shape remained in question. Indeed, in 1905, the German Emperor William II tried aggressively to exploit and disperse the instability of the Agreement by questioning France`s control over Morocco. However, Germany`s attempt to dissolve the Agreement failed when the British supported their new French allies. The deep divisions between Germany, on the one hand, and Great Britain and France, on the other, had been discovered. In the spirit of the original Cordial Agreement, the British and French entered the First World War as allies when the war dogs were released in 1914. For its part, the government of its British majesty will respect the rights enjoyed by France under the treaties, conventions and parts of use in Egypt, including the right to continue trade between Egyptian ports granted to French ships. The Cordial Agreement was a series of formal political agreements, signed in 1904, that negotiated peace between England and France. French for „warm understanding,“ the 1904 Cordial Agreement resolved more immediate differences between England and France in Egypt, Morocco and elsewhere in Africa. More famously, the series of agreements signed in 1904 contributed to the harmonization of relations between the two countries in the 20th and 21st centuries. But as I show here, the 1904 Cordial Agreement also served as the culmination of a more informal – and precarious – Agreement that had developed slowly between the former enemies from the 1830s and 1840s. Sat 9 Apr 1904 09.29 GMT First publication on 9 April 1904 09.29 GMT Both governments, which are committed to the principle of trade freedom in both Egypt and Morocco, declare that they will not accept inequality in these countries in terms of the collection of customs duties or other rail taxes or charges.

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