Lord Jim Historical Context

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Conrad wrote his novel at the dawn of the twentieth century, when the world was rapidly changing  in many ways. One of the biggest changes was the massive and widespread colonization of islands and other remote lands by European countries and by the United States—in many cases to establish trade or military posts. These colonization efforts, which in many places had begun centuries earlier, came to a head in several conflicts and events at the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth century.

In 1892, France, eager to gain more control over West Africa's interior, where it already had many holdings, launched a campaign against Dahomey—a country that provided much-needed access to the south coast of West Africa. The bitter conflict, in which the Dahomeyan army launched themselves at French forces several times, ended with a victory for France, although both...

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This section contains 504 words
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Lord Jim from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.