The purpose of this essay is twofold. First, it aims to show the various ways in which regions in metropolitan France were connected materially and affectively with overseas territories in what became popularly known during the interwar period as la plus grande France. Second, it explores how departmental archives, established in part to document local imperialism from the perspective of la France colonisatrice, not only allow an examination of changing reactions to vestiges of the colonial past, but also reveal examples of resistance to the colonial project. Departmental archives further reveal that, rather than being unidirectional from Paris to the provinces, the production of colonial knowledge could be locally specific in its form and its generation.
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