This is a welcome, well-conceived, and clearly written study of overseas relations between France and the Netherlands in the nineteenth century. Louis Sicking examines the areas where the two countries shared colonial borders in West Africa, the Caribbean, and Guiana. Analyzing developments in these areas between 1815 and 1914, he discusses ideas and actions of three groups of protagonists: metropolitan governments, colonial administrators, and resident populations. Sicking argues convincingly that Franco-Dutch relations across the Atlantic world reveal the same tendencies that marked European colonial politics in general in the period under study. Both sides eagerly tried to delimit their zones of influence and determine exact borders, as most clearly expressed in the partition of Africa. After 1880, France and the Netherlands, unlike newcomers Germany and Italy, did not suddenly assert their rights to territories in other continents but moved into lands adjacent to...

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