Building a Local Administration Abroad: The French Consulate in Salonica in the 19th Century

Mathieu Jestin

The consular institution, which affects the greatest commercial interests, is still today, among all the branches of public administration in France, the one which is the least known, consequently the least appreciated, the most neglected.1
In the foreword to his »Manual for Consular Agents« (1850), Louis-Joseph-Auguste de Moreüil gives a broad outline of the paradoxical situation of the French consular posts in the world. Established as a branch of the French state almost two centuries before by Colbert’s Ordinance of 1681, »this judicial and administrative institution created for the utility of trade«2still retains part of its mystery to this day, even if more and more historians have begun to study it since the 1970s.
The way it was conceptualized at its very institutionalization offers a first explanation of this paradox. Though consulates were devised as links of the French presence in the world, their incumbents – the consuls – were nonetheless denied any formal representation of the French monarchy under international law. Unlike ambassadors and other diplomats, consuls were not empowered to speak for the king of France. In practice, however, the duties of the consuls did involve the exercise of power delegated by the French state, within a scope that was quite limited at first, but that expanded substantially over time. Consuls directly administered the communities of French nationals living abroad, and participated in economic, political and cultural activities within their area of influence.3One of the first historians who studied the consular institution, Desmond Platt, divided the consular functions at the outset into three main categories: notarial duties, tasks linked with trade and navigation, and state services including police and judiciary functions.4In the course of time, however, the organization and attributions of consulates were repeatedly readjusted by the French central government, reaching their »climax« in the 19th century, according to Jörg Ulbert’s assertion.5In 1872, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs summarized the range of functions of its agents:
The functions of the consuls are administrative, political and judicial. They thus belong to three distinct orders of functions which are connected with almost all branches of our administration, and correspond to the very powers of the government whose delegates in foreign countries the consuls are.6
Consulates thus, no less than diplomatic institutions, represented France outside its borders, albeit they did so on an administrative rather than a diplomatic level. The very notion of ›representation‹, considering its etymology, refers to ›presence‹, and thus representation of any kind is necessarily a spatial phenomenon. The aim of this paper is to consider the French consulates in this light. As French administrative links abroad, they were part of the French state-building project, and at the same time, of the French state’s interaction with another state – in the case studied here, the Ottoman Empire. The construction of the administrative spaces surrounding the consulates was thus influenced both by the French state’s internal logic of organization and by the conditions and developments in the Empire. Both states, in the long 19th century, pursued projects of modernization involving the intensification of administrative control over space; but the rhythms of these efforts were as different as their goals were divergent. The paper will explore how the effects came together, and sometimes conflicted, in the specific case of the French consulate in Salonica (now Thessaloniki).
The establishment of this consulate in 1686 followed shortly after the promulgation of the Colbert Ordinance of 1681. The post would later experience all the vicissitudes related to the century of revolutions in France, while also being subject to the upheavals that struck the area of the Ottoman Empire in which it was set up. Beginning at the end of the 18th century, what was known in Europe as the ›Eastern Question‹ interfered in the everyday life of the consulate until the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913. This included three major sets of developments – reforms within the Empire, widespread uprisings among its subjects, and the growing interest of European states in the future of the Empire.
By a local approach to a global phenomenon, this paper attempts a »history of administrative reality«,7meaning that it will examine the praxis of the Salonica consulate in relation to the administrative theories and intentions of the French central government. The question is not simply whether the norms emanating from the center were or were not applied, but rather, what factors besides them entered into the daily practices of the consulate. Obviously, not all of the tasks carried out at a consulate can be considered in detail here, nor all the procedures it followed, nor all the modes of interaction with those over whom it exercised jurisdiction.8Rather, the focus will be on three aspects that are particularly crucial to understanding the intersection and competition between the multiple projects of spatialization centered on the consulate.
The consulate will first be considered as an administrative link of France abroad, following the research of Johannes Berchtold,9and focusing on its position between two systems of legal and spatial organization. On the one hand, the connection of the consular institutions to the administrative system of metropolitan France will be examined; on the other, their relationship to the Ottoman Empire as exterritorial installations within its territory. In the second part, the development of the space assigned to the jurisdiction of the consulate will be described and interpreted. The third and final section will offer reflections on the consular personnel who ensured the operation of this local administration. By means of these three avenues of investigation, the article will show how this institution, conceived by the French authorities from a theoretical and global point of view, was able to exist on its own terms, melding different influences to better respond to its local needs. The observations from this case study can suggest questions relevant to the state-building process as a whole, and especially to the role of space for that process.

Consulates as extraterritorial administrative links

The relation of consular institutions to legal and administrative space was a question that occupied a number of authors in the 19th century.10It was primarily conceptualized from the perspective of the notion of ›territoriality‹,11which described the relation between the state and space as one of exclusive control within precisely fixed geographical limits. The spatiality of consular institutions did not conform to this ideal, as was generally recognized, but was defined negatively in comparison to it. Two terms were discussed: ›extraterritoriality‹ and ›exterritoriality‹, as outlined by Francis Taylor Piggott in 1892:
The words ›exterritoriality‹ and ›extra-territoriality‹ are treated by some writers as identical; by others as indicating, the first, the privilege of ambassadors and their suites; the second, the Treaty privilege under which Consular jurisdiction has been established in the East. Both these privileges are, however, more correctly described as ›exterritorial‹; the condition of those to whom they are accorded as ›exterritoriality‹. On the other hand, the government of these privileged persons by their own authorities from home is ›extra-territorial‹. […] The government of subjects who enjoy exterritorial privileges must be by means of laws which are an exception to the general rule that laws are territorial in their application: these laws must have an extra-territorial force.12
This contemporary analysis shows a clear comprehension of an aspect of the specificity of consulates’ spatial position that is of particular interest here: it locates them in relation to the territoriality of not one state, but two. In both respects, their status is an exception to the principle of territoriality. On the one hand, consulates and their jurisdictions are – at least partially – exempted from the legal and administrative control of the state on whose territory they are built. On the other, they apply laws of the state that operates them, although they are outside its territory. In the case of the French consulate at Salonica, this meant that the consuls, in the exercise of their duties, were constantly confronted with the demands of two states, or rather, of two ongoing state-building projects.
France in the 19th century witnessed the continuation of the construction of a modern state: territorial standardization with departments and prefects, legislative standardization marked by codification and, mainly, the Civil Code,13linguistic standardization through school laws, and so forth. This process was also visible outside the borders of metropolitan France, in the shape of various attempts made to impose its model on other spaces. The conquests of the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Empire, although ephemeral, durably marked the societies and spaces concerned.14But this phenomenon could also be found, later in the century, with the new era of colonization. In this modernizing impetus, the consular network occupied a specific place. It tested the ability of France to project and impose its model not just beyond its metropolitan borders, but also outside the spaces it directly controlled.15The French consulates in the Ottoman Empire were particularly revealing examples. In the general context of the ›Eastern Question‹, they witnessed the modernization of both the French and the Ottoman state apparatus,16which they had to follow, assimilate and apply in their everyday functioning.
In order to deal with the particular conditions of this network, the French state had regulated the organization of consulates, from their first institutionalization, through a legislation which was, so to speak, two-faced. While on the one hand it was specific to the consulates, on the other hand it integrated the evolutions of the legislation applied in France. The consular system was primarily structured by general ordinances. The first, issued in 1681, which brought the consulates under the control of the monarchy, was updated by a series of new ordinances from 1778 to 1781, and above all that of 3 March 1781, which constituted »the true keystone of the legislative vault of the consular institution«.17Although they were last reviewed from 1833 to 1836, that of 1781 remained the reference until the end of the 19th century, as the French consul of Salonica, Hyacinthe Gillet, pointed out in 1844, calling it an »ordinance containing a large number of provisions which are no longer in use today, but whose wise prescriptions can nevertheless be consulted and used by all consuls in certain circumstances«.18
Indeed, the various regimes that succeeded the absolute monarchy after 1789 had experienced difficulties in changing the consular organization in depth. This was the meaning of the instructions received by the new consul, Louis-Auguste Félix-Beaujour,19in September 1794. In the »Report to serve as an instruction to the Citizen Félix, Consul of the French Republic in Salonica«, the Committee of Public Safety stated:
This ordinance [of 1781] is defective, but it is better to have a defective regulation than none; until it has been revised, the government intends that it is to be rigorously observed. This is the only way to maintain public order, to attract public confidence to the consul and to ensure his impartiality.20
If the revision of the ordinance of 1781 was again considered in July 1814, during the first Restoration, »time and circumstances having made it indispensable«,21it was only with the advent of the July Monarchy that the wish of the central government became a reality in the ordinances of 1833, completed for judicial and police matters by those of 1836. These ordinances were in the continuity of those of 1781. Their main objective was to rationalize the diplomatic apparatus and to enforce an updated legislation in the consulates abroad, an approach which, in particular, revolutionary and imperial reforms had made necessary. However, while these ordinances took account of general developments of French legislation, they were scarcely renewed afterwards and rapidly became obsolete. From then on, in order to remain as close as possible to the current French positive legislation, new regulations, decrees, laws and circulars were regularly sent to the consulates, as the Restoration government noted in 1815, acknowledging its own incapacity to renew the ordinances of 1778 to 1781 in depth:
The Ordinance of the King of 20 February 1815, and […] the Ministerial Directive of 18 January 1816 […] maintain, by default, the provisions of the Ordinance of 3 March 1781, if they have not been suppressed either by subsequent decisions or by the indirect effect of changes in our domestic regime.22
These – very numerous – texts adjusted the organization of the diplomatic machine to the needs and evolutions of French and local legislation.23Some of these measures were aimed at bringing the French diplomatic and consular network in line with the general policy of the state in a given conjuncture. This was the case in the autumn of 1807, when a set of instructions reached the consulates in order to make the Continental Blockade effective.24Others aimed to harmonize the functioning of the diplomatic machine by proposing solutions applicable everywhere, even if not all consulates were directly concerned. Finally, it was a matter of enforcing French positive law in every sovereign state where France and French people were present, while adjusting it, when necessary, to local contingencies, as was the case for birth, marriage and death certificates.
The first article of the ordinance of 23 October 1833 thus provided that »our consuls shall comply […] with the rules prescribed by this [Civil] Code«.25In 1864, the Marquis de Poncharra, consul of Salonica, requested an amendment to the laws relating to birth certificates, because, according to him, the provisions of 1833 encouraged fraudulent interpretations. He concluded by calling for the adoption of a »special law [as] several already exist for the jurisdiction of consuls in the Levant«.26If the ordinance of 23 October 1833 attempted to adapt the provisions of the Civil Code to consular realities, in particular by taking into account the constraints linked to the sea and seafarers, during the second half of the 19th century a different, hitherto limited phenomenon was growing in importance: the number of French citizens living in Ottoman territory was increasing, and they were more and more dispersed within the area of jurisdiction of the consuls. Consequently, consulates benefited from various exceptional provisions such as new deadlines for the declaration of a birth, extended from three days (Article 55 of the Civil Code) to ten, as was also the case in the armed forces (17 May 1900).27Thus, if the ordinances constituted the backbone of the consular administration, these supplementary regulations added to them in successive sedimentary strata. They most often came from the top to be applied at the local level, thus positioning the state as the central referent. Desiderata from below could influence decision-making to some extent, but under no circumstances could consuls be considered as standard-makers: their interactions with the center can be seen as lying somewhere between »persuasion« and »negotiation«.28This legislative abundance thus revealed the will of the central administration to enforce French legislation outside its borders, while taking into account the local particularities, especially since consular representations had to deal with local legislation, in this case that of the Ottoman Empire, and its evolutions.
The existence of consular representations in Ottoman territory depended first and foremost on capitulations, the founding texts regulating, at different levels, the relations between the Ottoman Empire and its external partners. Signed by states, they were settled at the local level between their representatives and established, as far as possible, the general framework of the foreign presence in the imperial space. »Antique monument of the wisdom of our Kings«,29according to the consul François Bottu in 1817, this type of bilateral treaty was signed for the first time by France at the end of the 16th century.30Thereafter renegotiated each time a new Sultan came to the throne, the last were ratified by France in 1740, with Article 85 specifying their perpetual nature.31The capitulations are thus the point of departure in understanding the original paradox of the consular institution.
Indeed, while France might think of its consular network as institutions regulated by French law and acting on its behalf, and strive to limit the autonomous power of its agents, the capitulations granted them a place and functions which were potentially very broad and subject to interpretation. They laid down the legal and spatial framework within which the consulates could enforce French legislation, and gave the incumbents the means to implement it at the local level. In particular, they accorded consulates a certain number of freedoms and immunities in religious, judicial or administrative matters which gave them a quite different scope than that imagined by the French government.32Thus, in the same »Report« intended for its consul in 1794, the Committee of Public Safety again proved to be pragmatic. The most important thing was to maintain this normative framework as it was, waiting for the redefinition of inter-state relations, even if it meant moving away from revolutionary principles.33Thus, while most of the French laws were to be locally applied, this was not to be the case with some of them, especially in matters of police and criminal law, such as the new Penal Code promulgated by the National Constituent Assembly on 25 September 1791.34Félix-Beaujour perfectly assimilated the spirit of the instruction in his own reports: »One of the main objects of my mission here, Citizen Minister, is to ensure respect for the French name and to ensure respect for the capitulations«.35Seen from France, this maintenance of the status quo in intergovernmental relations appeared as a temporary solution, but the fact remained that it did not allow a firm and effective application of the revolutionary decisions affecting the territory and the citizens of France. This situation confirmed and even strengthened the degree of autonomy enjoyed by the consuls in relation to their hierarchical superiors in the French metropolitan government. France thus maintained the formal claim to a unified legal space for its citizens extending even beyond the physical space of its territory, while actually allowing the persistence of exceptions to the application of its laws. From the central government’s point of view, what was important was that the special spaces created by this arrangement were not simply external to France, but were in a sense enclaves within its claimed legal space. In the local administrative reality of the consulates, however, the spaces in which they operated were hybrid or blended spaces, created by the superimposition of French legal space with Ottoman spaces, both imperial and local, whose legality and temporality differed from the former.
Despite the multiple changes of regime in France and the repeated demands of the Ottoman government, especially during the Congress of Paris in 1856 and that of Berlin in 1878,36the capitulations were never abrogated. On the contrary, they were further consolidated in the successive commercial treaties of 1838 and 1861. These were emblematic of the asymmetrical relations which the European states wished to impose on the Sublime Porte, pursuing interests which, while specific to each power, often converged.37It was thus not until 31 December 1913, in the aftermath of the Balkan wars, that the capitulations were abolished at Salonica. With the city and its region now attached to the Greek state, the uninterrupted succession of conflicts from 1912 to 1922 – according to the Greek chronology, the wars extended from the First Balkan War to the Great Catastrophe and the failure of the conquest of Asia Minor – postponed their renegotiation. The consuls of the interwar period, nostalgic for a ›glorious‹ past, continued to refer to them in their claims.
The political upheavals, as important as they were, thus did not make the mental space of law enforcement disappear; its modification seemed to be difficult for all of the actors involved. Indeed, it was first and foremost at the local level that the clauses of treaties, often obtained through diplomatic concessions, were put into practice. The ways in which this happened depended on the balance of power between Ottoman and foreign representatives, each trying not only to apply them, but also to make the most of their opportunities. The French central government thus never cut back on consular prerogatives when it came to retaining the advantage in the balance of power between administrations.
However, if the Ottoman Empire failed to weaken the general framework of the consular presence in its sovereign territory,38it transformed itself in the course of the 19th century by a series of reforms that impacted, more or less directly, the functioning of consulates. The edict known as the Hatt-i Sharif of Gülhane (1839) is considered to be the starting point of these reforms, or ›Tanzimat‹,39although adaptations in the functioning of the Empire had been ongoing since the 18th century and continued until its disappearance,40dealing with all the imperial domains of competence. While aiming to convince the European powers of the empire’s viability, their purpose was above all to allow its maintenance.41As Roderic Davison wrote, if the European model was imitated – by the promulgation of various legislative codes, for example, or by new divisions of territorial administration –, it was mainly adapted. Ottoman modernity was indeed not merely synonymous with standardization, homogenization and uniformity, contrary to what the French consuls were looking for, projecting their own model onto the Ottoman system. It also aimed to maintain, by adapting them, the imperial traditions and, in particular, the religious specificity of the Empire.42The reforms thus both modernized the imperial structure and consolidated it to face the external pressures, exerted for example by consuls, and the internal upheavals. These measures included the development of the education system,43the promulgation of equality before the law and establishment of an equal tax between non-Muslims and Muslims in 1856 with the Hatt-i Hümâyûn, the creation of an Ottoman nationality in 1869,44the gradual introduction of military recruitment based on a general draft,45and many more. And if, in their accounts, consuls corroborated the stereotypes of Western diplomacy, according to which these reforms were mainly a source of additional benefits to them,46they also had to contend with them for the success of their conduct of public affairs. Indeed, these reforms aimed, more or less indirectly, to reduce the real or imagined pretensions of foreign representations in Ottoman territory, and the consuls had to stay vigilant if they wanted to retain their prerogatives: real estate immunity in the face of cadastral registration, jurisdictional immunity despite the development of the courts, management of an enlarged French community in the face of the nationalization of Ottoman subjects, and so forth.
Beginning at their institutionalization, but more and more in the 19th century, consulates were at the crossroads of a double legislative movement. On the one hand, France understood them as part of its administrative system, trying to shape them into a multifaceted administration outside its borders and an extension of its legal space. On the other hand, the Ottoman reforms tended to reduce their real margin of action in local space by more firmly integrating that space into what was becoming a more legally and administratively unified imperial territory. For consuls, this situation created specific challenges that could also be opportunities. While ordinances and capitulations constituted their main guidelines, in the face of incompatibilities between the two sets of legislation, consuls had to adapt in order to function locally as efficiently as possible. Therefore, knowledge and understanding of legislative frameworks and their evolution formed the basis of their ability not merely to enforce laws, but also to take advantage of gaps in the legislation. They considered this legislative arsenal primarily as shifting »normative landmarks«47which had to be adjusted depending on time and space. The maxim of Esprit-Marie Cousinéry, consul of Salonica from 1786 to 1793 and from 1814 to 1817, »each Mediterranean port [échelle] cannot be regulated on the same principle, because of the opposition of the localities«,48remained current throughout most of the 19th century for the Ottoman Empire, despite the efforts of the two central governments. Indeed, according to Hervé Faupin, »convergence and permanence do not mean that there is uniformity, identity. There are slight differences. The law applicable to consuls is not everywhere the same«.49Both the French and the Ottoman states were constructing themselves and simultaneously constructing their various components, creating an impression of »assemblage«, to quote Patrick Joyce.50At the same time, local actors were engaging in their own work of building institutions and spaces – often at the instigation of the state, but not always in line with its intentions. One recent author has thus described consuls as acting as »opposition forces«51to the states – both those on whose territory the consulates existed and those in whose name they were operated. In the following section, this activity will be examined more closely, showing how the Salonica consulate constructed its own space of jurisdiction and administration: a space which was extraterritorial in relation to France, exterritorial with regard to the Empire, and which, as will be shown, gradually developed some traits of a quasi-territoriality of its own.

Imagining and building a consular space of action

The French central government conceived of consulates as extraterritorial administrative links, using an ideal image which was meant to be applicable anywhere. However, consulates cannot be adequately understood on the basis of this delocalized notion alone. In order to function in practice, they needed to have defined areas of jurisdiction. One limit of their authority was a personal one: for the most part, it extended only over French nationals. Consular jurisdiction thus lacked the exclusive control over a physical space that was and is considered the hallmark of territorial statehood. Nonetheless, consulates did act in spaces with geographical borders, within which they could exercise their authority and prerogatives. These areas of jurisdiction were referred to as consular districts, departments or circumscriptions.52
Each was centered on a chief town, the principal residence of the consul,53which usually gave its name to the consulate, here the ›French Consulate in Salonica‹. The main residence was generally established in a metropolitan port which concentrated political, military, judicial or religious functions, as Charles Guys wrote about Salonica in 1838: »Europeans rightly reside in Salonica, which they consider to be central«.54However, the authority of consuls was not confined within the precinct of their city of residence, materialized in the case of Salonica by the eight kilometers of walls which surrounded it until the 1870s. It radiated from the city-port through a surrounding space whose limits – both physical and mental – fluctuated according to the needs, sometimes contradictory, of all the actors of the diplomatic machine: from the local demands of the consuls to the logics of the central administration to the choices of regional divisions dictated by the embassy in Constantinople. Simultaneously, Ottoman actors at both the central and local levels had a very real influence on the evolution of the consular districts, by creating circumstances and situations to which the French diplomatic service reacted. The actions of all these participants shaping the overlap of imperial, local and consular spaces eventually led, in the case of Salonica, to the creation of a Macedonian space that was ›produced‹ – as Henri Lefebvre might have said55– by and for French diplomacy.
As with all other aspects of the consular system, formally it was the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs which exercised control over the organization of the network. Numerous circulars, in addition to the general ordinances, spelled out the history of the organization of the consulates and their districts: for Salonica, especially those of 1756,56181157and 1875.58In addition, on-site inspections were carried out from time to time, with a view to readjusting the spatial arrangements: for example, those of Baron de Tott in 1776–1778,59Félix-Beaujour in 1817,60or Baron de Boislecomte in 1832–1834.61These interventions constructed a system of consular installations that, as we shall see, was both a nodal network of posts and a puzzle of carefully assembled parts. Its functioning should therefore be understood both vertically and horizontally. In the vertical perspective, the hierarchy was simple: the consulate of Salonica depended on the embassy in Constantinople and, since 1793, on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.62In the horizontal view, the district of Salonica was one of many in the Ottoman Empire that had to be carefully balanced against each other.
Until the middle of the 19th century, the configuration of this district evolved little. Its main purpose being to meet the commercial needs of French nationals active in the region, it was more or less exclusively littoral. In addition to Salonica, two secondary ports had been the seats of French representatives since the 18th century: the island of Skopelos at the northeast end of the Thermaic Gulf until the 1820s, when it was replaced by the city of Volos; and the port of Kavala, north of Salonica, although jurisdiction over this consular agency had long been disputed between the embassy in Constantinople and the consulate of Salonica, until its temporary abolition in 1756.63A third agency existed in Serres, an inland market city of the first importance.64The space of the Salonica consular district was thus, in this early period, marked out by a handful of consular agencies, the smallest category of French outposts. They stood for the first stage in extending consular jurisdiction beyond the main residence, but for the moment their choice was mainly a function of the desiderata of French communities in a few select cities, while the greatest part of regional space remained in the background, more or less untouched by the consular network.
The strongly littoral and nodal construction of the district was not specific to Salonica. Rather, it reflected the general mode of functioning of French consular installations in the Empire, and specifically in the area then known locally as Rumelia, or in the West as ›Turkey-in-Europe‹, and which gradually, during the 19th century, would come to be called ›the Balkans‹ or ›the Balkan Peninsula‹ (fig. 1). Part of the reason for the littoral orientation was that non-Ottomans were forbidden to settle in the imperial hinterland until 1838,65but above all this approach followed the maritime trade routes, in preference to the land-based ones which were scarcely usable by outsiders. French representations were thus established on the Aegean islands, along the rims of Attica and the Peloponnese – the consulate-general of Morea and its dependencies66–, as well as on the Adriatic coast. The district of Salonica was also set up in such a way as to enable consuls to run it effectively and at the least possible cost. The three agencies were each only a day or two from Salonica, by road or by sea.

Fig. 1: Rumelia, or ›Turkey-in-Europe‹, on the eve of the Balkan Wars (Source: Vincent H. P. Caillard: »Turkey«, in: The Encyclopaedia Britannica. A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, vol. 27: Tonalite to Vesuvius, New York 1911, p. 426–442, plate after p. 426).
Fig. 1: Rumelia, or ›Turkey-in-Europe‹, on the eve of the Balkan Wars (Source: Vincent H. P. Caillard: »Turkey«, in: The Encyclopaedia Britannica. A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, vol. 27: Tonalite to Vesuvius, New York 1911, p. 426–442, plate after p. 426).

Another major factor taken into account by the French authorities was the evolving territorial organization of the Ottoman Empire itself. While France was not legally bound to conform to Ottoman administrative divisions in the creation of its consular districts, in practice it was substantially constrained by the need for specific accreditation for its local agents. Indeed, the installation of the consuls was ratified by the Sublime Porte which accredited them to specific local authorities, at the request of the ambassador. Thus, within the immense administrative entity that was Rumelia, the French consular districts followed, quite coherently, the Ottoman administrative subdivisions, making it possible to apply for accreditations only to a limited number of Ottoman officials. The city of Salonica became, in 1846, the capital of a ›pashalik‹, a province composed of several ›sandjaks‹, including that of Serres, which had hitherto been part of the Salonica sandjak.67The port of Kavala, which had been the seat of a sandjak at the beginning of the 19th century, was now part of the sandjak of Drama, likewise subordinate to the pashalik of Salonica. The island of Skopelos belonged to the pashalik of Ioannina, but the port city of Volos was part of the pashalik of Salonica from 1846. By the mid-19th century, therefore, the Salonica consular district was roughly coextensive with the pashalik – another aspect of consular spaces being created by the intersection of French and Ottoman state-building.
Primarily, then, the consular district of the early 19th century was constituted not so much by a coherent land area as by a handful of nodes, chosen by the French government with regard to factors including trade routes and travel times, administrative expediency and Ottoman territorial divisions.68Beyond the cities which housed consular agencies, the spaces of consular jurisdiction were at first not well defined, and it was up to consuls and their personnel to imagine and build them. Due to the small number of French agencies in Rumelia, in order to fulfill their appointed tasks as well as possible consuls regularly had to cross the recognized boundaries of their district. That they felt they could do so reflected a sense of their duties and competences and a mental map of the consular organization that increasingly extended well beyond the nodal network of posts. In practice, French representatives had to obtain temporary travel permits (›teskere‹) from the Ottoman authorities; these allowed them to move through imperial space, but by no means guaranteed the success of their missions. For instance, in 1834 the consul Charles Guys sent his dragoman, or interpreter, Michel Varda to spend five days in Trikala, a town located between Ioannina and Larissa, equipped with a decree (›firman‹) of the pasha of Salonica, an authorization from the pasha of Larissa, and an official diplomatic title. Despite all this preparation, in his subsequent report he deplored that the journey had been »unsuccessful. […] It was even forbidden to talk to him«.69Indeed, the Ottoman authorities at Trikala had refused to acknowledge any legitimacy for Varda to act in their area of jurisdiction.
Consequently, the French consuls generally did not bother with obtaining prior authorizations to carry out inspection missions within what they considered to be their established area of competence. This was the case, for example, in Vodena (now Edessa), the regular but seasonal setting of a small French colony linked to the traditional silkworm harvest. In such cases, the consular visits themselves constituted the markers of the French presence, in the absence of a permanent agency. As a result, while the consular district of Salonica had been initially defined from the outside by the French diplomatic service through the placement of main and secondary agencies in a logic of networking all the consular establishments, when it came to ›filling in the blanks on the map‹70in its everyday functioning, the district was above all an invention of its functionaries who defined its contours and tried to appropriate its space. The space of the consulate was constructed as much by the uses made of it – through physical presence, movement, and action – as by the treaties and ordinances on which it was formally based.
In the case of Salonica, the consular district retained its early configuration throughout much of the 19th century: the Serres agency remained in operation until 1907, and the one at Kavala closed only at the beginning of 1990s with the departure of the last agent, a M. Ypsilantis.71However, during the course of the century, the spatial scope of the district was subject to three major changes, all closely related to particular aspects of the ›Eastern Question‹. The Mediterranean dream of the Directory and the expansion of the Napoleonic Empire were at the beginning of the first of these redefinitions. Closed as a result of the French expedition to Syria and Egypt in 1798, the French consulates in the Ottoman Empire were reopened in 1802. Salonica was henceforth a consulate-general, and its district at first included the consulate of Ioannina, headed by François Pouqueville to whom a political mission was entrusted with Ali Pasha. While this dependency was ephemeral, ending in 1805, it remained a recurring idea within the French diplomatic apparatus; the post of Ioannina was briefly placed in the district of Salonica again at its reopening from 1837 to 1839, and then once more from 1876 to 1903.72Such a connection between posts facing different seas was an aspect of what might be called ›continentalization‹ – a shift in focus from a spatial logic based on maritime access to one based on land area. A further impetus in this direction was the Napoleonic blockade, which required the reinvention of traditional trade routes. The viability of a terrestrial solution through Ottoman Rumelia was thus tested in the early 1810s, with agencies opened in Orşova (1810) and Schiups (now Štip in Macedonia; 1811–1813), but this attempt did not last long.
Finally, the appearance of an independent Greek state in 1832 placed the consular district of Salonica in a hitherto unprecedented situation. It became a border area, adjoining the line of demarcation between two states, which was also a zone of contacts and exchanges – and notably, of military confrontations. The first consequence was the loss of the agency of Skopelos, the island being attached to Greece; the post at Volos was soon founded to replace it. Thus, for the first time, the southern border of the consular district as imagined by the French government coincided with the practical range of the action of the consuls: both were now equal to the Greek-Ottoman border, the consuls of Salonica having no legitimacy in the new Greek territorial space. Adrien Dupré, who held the position from 1825 to 1830, experienced this bitterly in 1828, when he had to leave his city of residence by order of his superiors, because of the Greek Revolution. His first choice was Skopelos, part of his district, but as it was infested with pirates, he had to go to the island of Syros and the town of Ermoupoli. There, in Hellenic territory,73he was treated only as a »private individual«,74and all his requests were systematically turned down.
The second direct consequence of the appearance of this territorial limit was to accelerate the process, already begun, by which the area of jurisdiction of the consuls came to be viewed as a distinct spatial entity. Taking increasingly concrete shape in the second half of the century, it was given a name: ›Macedonia‹.75Thus, from the 1850s, the consular district was defined by external boundaries as well as by its centers, and it received a new designation: the French Consulate of Salonica became, during the Second Empire, the ›French Consulate of Macedonia‹. This change in appellation was meaningful in several regards. For one thing, it exemplified the western European proclivity for dividing up the world on the basis of historical references, but also of economical, geographical or political considerations.76For another, it echoed the upheavals in the region.
Maintaining a presence at the national borders became an increasingly important part of the consular mission, leading to spatial reconfigurations. A new post on the southern margin of the district, the agency of Larissa in Thessaly, was thus created in 1867 and entrusted to Félix Robert with the status of political agent.77It merged in 1874 with that of Volos.78As a result of the Treaty of Berlin in July 1878, the district became surrounded by new nation-states on several sides. The consuls of Salonica closely supervised the implementation of the treaty’s clauses. For a short period of time, the agencies of Valona (now Vlorë in Albania), Preveza and Arta in Epirus were added to their sphere of competence. Simultaneously, however, their district lost its southernmost agency of Larissa-Volos,79amputated when – for the first time since 1830 – the Greek border advanced to the north with the annexation of Thessaly to Greece.80
Consequently, the district was henceforth delimited according to the new nation-states born from the Ottoman Empire, in which the French foreign service had to reinvent its diplomatic and consular network. Concomitantly, the consular district of Salonica also evolved in its internal organization. In what remained of Ottoman territory in Europe, only two French consulates, at Salonica and Scutari (now Shkodër; since 1853),81managed the entire French representation in the late 1870s, with a network of vice-consulates and agencies which were alternately assigned to one or the other. The arrangements in detail depended heavily on the Ottoman reactions to the regional upheavals. From 1864, the administrative division of the Empire was revised several times. Ottoman Rumelia was subdivided into ›vilayets‹, first in 1867,82then anew in the 1870s, to better respond to political circumstances. What western Europeans called ›Macedonia‹, assigned by the French government to its consulate at Salonica, gradually took shape. It was composed of the vilayets of Salonica (1867) and Monastir (now Bitola; 1874–1877, 1879),83but also a part of that of Ioannina (1867) running along the Greek frontier as far as Thessaly and, finally, the vilayet of Kosovo (1877)84with Uskub (now Skopje) as its seat. Scutari, the capital of the vilayet of the same name, was also the center of a consular district called ›Epirus‹ or ›Albania‹, which included the Adriatic part of the vilayet of Ioannina.
The consuls of Macedonia were thus accredited to the ›vali‹, or governor, of Salonica but also to those of Monastir, of Kosovo and, until 1903, of Ioannina. Their district reached its maximum geographical extension, including the agencies at Monastir – founded in 1854,85then unoccupied from 1860 to 1894 – and at Uskub, founded in 1902. The internal division of the district was reshuffled several times around the turn of the 20th century. When the vice-consulate of Monastir was elevated to a full consulate in 1906,86it became the center of its own district, and when it returned to Salonica in 1911, a new consulate was created at Uskub. Finally, in 1914, in the aftermath of the Balkan Wars and the exclusion of the Ottoman Empire from the region by the Balkan states, the consular district of Salonica was remodeled in depth, now embracing only the parts of its former area that came to be within Greek territory – or, as the French government described it officially: »encompassing the territories which have become Greek and which constituted the former Macedonia«.87
In the 19th century, the Salonica consulate’s circumscription evolved in depth, even if the list of places where agencies were set up changed little. Seen from France, the consular space of action was at first considered in terms of an assemblage of individual places; over time, it was thought of more as a solid area such as might be represented on a map. In the case of Salonica, the creation of the Greek state can be considered as the turning point of a partial territorialization of the consular district. By its effects, combined with the evolution of both French and Ottoman legislation, the space of action of the consulate was reduced in its geographical extent, while at the same time the scope of its action was broadened. It was no longer a matter of an assemblage of places, but a question of controlling a clearly bounded space. And it was not by chance that from the 1900s, the territory of effective competence of the French consulate in Salonica exactly corresponded to the Ottoman vilayet of Macedonia. But this history of administrative reality abroad cannot be limited to laws and borders. The human factor must also be taken into consideration, because space is constituted by the people inhabiting or using it. For the purpose of this article, the focus in the final section will be on the consular employees controlling the consular space.

Acting as servants of the state: consular employees abroad

The 19th century saw a gradual transformation of consular occupations into an administrative profession, oriented towards what Yvan Debbasch has called a »consular ideal«.88The state relied on consular personnel whose general composition remained unchanged compared to the 18th century. In the Levant, the employees of a consulate usually consisted of the consul, a chancellor or vice-consul as his right-hand man, several dragomans – translators and interpreters –, and guards chosen from the local Muslim population, because only Muslims were permitted to bear weapons. The secondary agencies in the district followed a similar pattern, though depending on the importance of a post, it might often be simplified.
While the trend toward professionalization affected all consular employees, it primarily concerned the incumbents. The efforts to rationalize and homogenize the figure of the consul can be seen as integrating that office into the pantheon of local holders of authority which, in the 19th century, was being in part taken over and in part created by and for the state. Indeed, the local space allowed the consecration of notables.89Since the consular administration was the delegated holder – within its personally and quasi-territorially defined jurisdiction – of public authority in civil, police, judicial and notarial matters, consuls combined the powers of police officer,90bailiff, notary, judge, mayor and prefect91– a far cry from Montesquieu’s precepts on the separation of powers. In this regard, and because they exercised their office abroad, they came close to another figure, that of the colonial governor, which was also being concomitantly rethought.92
In the course of the 19th century, steps were taken to regulate their recruitment – the entrance examination to the ministry was created in 188093–, their initial training in economics and law – a legal degree was compulsory from the ordinance of 20. August 183394–, and their continuing training: consular manuals flourished throughout the century and filled the bookcases of chancelleries.95By thus standardizing their career, both abroad and in France, in the departments of the central administration, it was intended not only to make these agents genuine servants of the state96– civil servants –, but also to detach them from the strictly territorial framework of their functions,97and by loosening their link with local space, to also weaken that with the local population. Thus, in the later 19th century, consuls gradually lost much of what was described above as their role in the construction and maintenance of the consulate’s space of jurisdiction. In spite of their political vocation, they were required to focus on their role as administrative agents.
On the one hand, their everyday tasks were increasingly standardized, streamlined and bureaucratized, partaking of the 19th-century trend toward ever more encompassing and elaborate government by paperwork.98It was a matter of giving the appearance and the reality of a French administration, both in the internal functioning of the office99– from the forms to be filled to the periodicity of their correspondence to »the format, the quality of the paper, ink to be chosen, etc.«100– and in the image projected outward into the local public space. At the end of the century, consuls no longer held broad discretionary power, but were expected to meet objectives in precise figures, detached from personal considerations. However, beyond this increasing administrative rigidity, a more flexible activity was permitted to the local actors. Contrary to the fears of some consuls, the increasing number of rules allowed a complex repertoire of actions, leading to fewer local confrontations and a better adjustment to local needs, while retaining control for the state.
This evolution was materialized in the urban landscape by the consular buildings and the successive changes to them. These buildings, on the inside but also to the outside, represented the exclusive space of France, in Salonica as well as in the other cities of the district where agencies were established. In 1826, the French consul François Bottu expressed delight after France bought back the building which had been sold during the Revolution in 1793:
The Franks and especially the subjects of the King saw in this act the expression of the government’s formal intention to give back to its incumbent, who here enjoys the honor of representing him, and consequently to the French people entrusted to his administration, this consistency and consideration which they seemed to have lost.101
But when the building was definitively sold in 1892, successive rental arrangements reversed the hierarchy of norms: priority was from then on given to the office facilities rather than the demonstration of French power in urban space. This trend was attested first by the choice of locations, often on the Hamidié Boulevard, renamed ›Boulevard des Consulats‹ due to the presence of several foreign consulates built on the same plan, and also by the constitution of an inventory of state-owned furnishings for the offices and waiting room. Consequently, it was no longer the specificity of a particular consular post that guided the work of consuls, but their capacity to integrate it into the general logic of the French foreign service. The central administration aimed to make consulates standardized, interchangeable administrative links.
Thus, although the consuls changed frequently – staying at a post for three years on average around the turn of the 20th century, compared to ten years at the beginning of the 19th102–, they possessed shared working habits that were applicable to all consulates. They understood their functions as being identically transposable to any other location.103They were conscious of being only a link in French diplomacy both in a synchronic sense – individuals within the imposing machine of the Quai d’Orsay – and in a diachronic one: they were part of the long continuous history of the Salonica consulate.
On the other hand, the consular personnel was gradually relieved of some of its functions. Experts – archaeologists, doctors, soldiers, engineers – moved about within the consular district, taking over parts of what the consuls had once considered their prerogatives – tasks which the central government now considered ancillary to their mission priorities. The 19th century saw the gradual reduction of the paradox created at the establishment of consulates: by affirming the ›public service‹ dimension of the consular institution, France gradually succeeded in setting up a corps of civil servants outside its borders. Whereas the increasing density of the diplomatic network and number of consular missions could have been synonymous with a reduction in consular responsibilities, on the contrary, the administrative dimension of consulates and their employees expanded.
This change highlights both the »consular ideal«104and the ideal consul in the sense of a Weberian ideal type. At the end of the century, consuls were no longer chosen for their ability to control a consular district but for their allegiance to the state and their belonging to upper middle-class society.105This approach was facilitated insofar as the administrative tasks of the consuls were increasing rapidly in Ottoman Macedonia: the number of French nationals living there reached 500 in 1913, whereas there had been only about 50 on the eve of the French Revolution. The successive waves of nationalization initiated by the Ottoman Empire and then continued by the new sovereign states compelled the consular staff to be more vigilant. These changes also revealed that the role of consulates as representations of foreign national states was recognized by all the international actors.
However, this general trend towards professionalization and bureaucratization must be qualified in its local application. Let us consider the tenure of the chancellor Turquet de Beauregard in Salonica from 1912 to 1917, who received the following evaluation from his immediate superior:
M. Turquet de Beauregard does his best to precisely fulfill a service for which he is not prepared; the jurisdiction and all the responsibilities incumbent on the chancellor in an Eastern post are new to him. He would be a good agent in Christendom. He is a reliable, serious, perfectly well-behaved, discreet and tactful man.106
After starting his professional career in the administration of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (1892–1902), Turquet had joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and been assigned as a consular chancellor. Trained in administrative services and fluent in English, he quickly adapted to the requirements of the Ministry and enjoyed the positions he held at Southampton in England, then Johannesburg and Pretoria in South Africa. After the Great War, he was again appointed to England and Canada. The position at Salonica was therefore only a parenthesis in his career, but his superior, Jules Jousselin, deplored the fact that Turquet was ignorant of the local realities and people – knowledge of which he would have needed to successfully put the French administrative standard into practice. Thus, even if consuls were approaching the bureaucratic ideal type, local reality remained important and consuls always had to legitimate their local position.
Thus the exterritoriality and extraterritoriality of French consulates in the Ottoman Empire and, to a certain extent, in its successor states remained a permanently thorny issue, which the French administration tried to take into account for the implementation of its standards. As a result, regionally oriented careers were the rule more than the exception among consular personnel, with transfers like Turquet’s remaining unusual. The interchangeability of posts was effective, but only within regions characterized by similar tasks and circumstances. Moreover, while the Ministry systematically appointed French-trained career personnel to the principal posts of the district, where the agents were entrusted with the same administrative responsibilities that their hierarchical superiors at Salonica had previously held alone, it still kept its confidence in locally recruited employees to run the secondary agencies. This personnel was not specifically trained, and therefore was not accorded the same extent of powers; specifically, it was barred from performing civil acts.107
Considered in terms of the implementation of laws and of the building of a real space of action abroad, the evolution of the consular staff followed two main trends in the 19th century. On the one hand, the French state wanted to rely on a trained and homogeneous staff, committed exclusively to its service and disconnected from any local considerations. On the other hand, local reality could not be neglected: to be able to fulfill their missions, the consular staff had to continue seriously taking local specificities into consideration. Thus consuls could be considered as notables, because they combined autochthonous, locally acquired and maintained power with state-awarded office which, to some extent, allowed territorialization of their powers.


In the preceding sections, we have looked at the French consulate in Salonica from three perspectives, with a focus drawing increasingly closer: From the intergovernmental level of the laws and treaties, via the regional setting of the consular district, to the local action of the consular personnel. On all three levels, we observed the spatial effects of multiple intersecting influences: on the one hand, there were the state-building projects of France, the Empire, and its successor states, all of which vied for control of the local spaces in which the consulate existed, and strove to integrate them into homogenized spaces of the respective states. On the other hand, local actors including the consuls and their personnel, Ottoman and successor-state officials, and non-state actors exercised real agency in shaping, controlling, and limiting the space of the consulate’s jurisdiction. The gaps and conflicts between the rival state-building agendas facilitated this. It is in the light of these conflicting influences that the evolution of the French consular institution and of its mode of organizing space must be seen.
Referring to French colonial governors of the 19th century, the legal scholar René Maunier maintained in the inter-war period: »They hold all functions concurrently, they are dictators in more than one respect«.108These words could easily be applied to the French consuls, especially in the Ottoman Empire, where, under cover of the capitulations, they had numerous immunities and freedoms which could put them above the laws – the Ottoman laws, certainly, but also French ones. In France, consuls had a bad reputation for a long time, as Bourdeau de Fontenay wrote in his pamphlet denouncing their iniquities.109
Yet by shifting the focus from men to the consular institution, this statement must be qualified. The French government viewed its consulates as entities holding part of its power over a portion of space abroad. Throughout the 19th century, it consistently sought to bring this administrative network abroad into line with the situation within its borders, while taking into account the local reality and its evolutions. Hence, if Christian Windler asserts that »the consuls participated in the collective invention of the state which legitimized their position«,110the reverse is also true: the state participated in the reinvention of consuls. To a considerable degree, the French central authorities succeeded in producing an administrative entity which corresponded to their desiderata, and in making its personnel into servants of the state. Yet this bureaucratization and standardization was not completely determined by the state agenda, nor should it be understood as an inexorable and continuing process. It should rather be considered as a result of the interactions and frictions between different impulses, sometimes opposed.111Thus, through subtle uses made of conflicting laws, through the imagination and creation of its own space which corresponded to multiple logics, through the ability of the consular figures to act as local and often quasi-sovereign decision-makers, and because it was at the crossroads of different projects of state-building, the consular administration could be considered at the turn of the 20th century to be itself something like a state in miniature, even if its territoriality remained imperfect.

  1. Louis-Joseph-Auguste de Moreüil: Manuel des agents consulaires français et étrangers, contenant 1o la juridiction des consuls; 2o la théorie consulaire basée sur le droit des gens conventionnel; 3o la jurisprudence commerciale et consulaire, Paris 1850, p. III.
  2. Moreüil: Manuel des agents consulaires, p. IV.
  3. Géraud Poumarède: »Le consul dans les dictionnaires et le droit des gens: émergence et affirmation d’une institution nouvelle (XVIe – XVIIIe siècles)«, in: Jörg Ulbert / Gérard Le Bouëdec (ed.): La fonction consulaire à l’époque moderne. L’affirmation d’une institution économique et politique (1500–1800), Rennes 2006, p. 23–36.
  4. Desmond Christopher Martin Platt: »The Role of the British Consular Service in Overseas Trade, 1825–1914«, in: The Economic History Review 15 (1963), p. 494–512, at p. 494–495.
  5. Jörg Ulbert: »La fonction consulaire au XIXe siècle«, in: Jörg Ulbert / Lukian Prijac (ed.): Consuls et services consulaires au XIXe siècle, Hamburg 2010, p. 9–18.
  6. Archives du ministère des Affaires étrangères [AMAE], Sous-direction des affaires consulaires [SDAC], carton 313, »Le service consulaire français à l’étranger«, document dated 21. 5. 1872.
  7. Jean Tulard: »Préface: Plaidoyer pour une autre histoire«, in: Guy Thuillier: Bureaucratie et bureaucrates en France au XIXe siècle, Paris 1980, p. VII–XIX, at p. XI.
  8. On these topics, see for example Arnaud Bartolomei et al. (ed.): La chancellerie consulaire française (XVIe – XXe siècle): attributions, organisation, agents, usagers, in: Mélanges de l’École française de Rome. Italie et Méditerranée modernes et contemporaines 128/2 (2016).
  9. Johannes Berchtold: Recht und Gerechtigkeit in der Konsulargerichtsbarkeit. Britische Exterritorialität im Osmanischen Reich 1825–1914, München 2009.
  10. Stamatios Antonopoulos: Περι της εν Τουρκια Ετεροδικιας, Athina 1880 [German translation: Über die Exterritorialität der Ausländer in der Türkei mit Rücksicht auf die Gerichtsbarkeit in Civil- und Strafprozessen, Berlin 1895]; Arrigo Cavaglieri: »La finzione di extraterritorialità dei consolati«, in: La Scuola positiva. Rivista di criminologia e diritto N. S. 2 (1922), p. 18–30; Bernhard Hübler: Die Magistraturen des völkerrechtlichen Verkehrs (Gesandtschafts- und Konsularrecht) und die Exterritorialität. Zum Gebrauch für Vorlesungen über Völkerrecht und Politik, Berlin 1900.
  11. Christopher Pierson: The Modern State, London 1996, p. 12–14.
  12. Francis Taylor Piggott: Exterritoriality. The Law Relating to Consular Jurisdiction and to Residence in Oriental Countries, London 1892, p. 3–4.
  13. Jean Carbonnier: »Le Code Civil«, in: Pierre Nora (ed.): Les lieux de mémoire, vol. 2: La Nation, pt. 2: Le territoire, l’État, le patrimoine, Paris 1986, p. 293–315. He describes its symbolic power: standardization is founded on compromise and gradually internalized over the course of the century.
  14. See other contributions in this volume, especially those by Rüdiger von Krosigk and by Stefan Couperus et al.
  15. On this subject, see the stimulating reflections of Michael J. Strauss: »Nations Outside their Borders: How Extraterritorial Concessions Reinforce Sovereignty«, in: Anne-Laure Amilhat-Szary / Frédéric Giraut (ed.): Borderities and the Politics of Contemporary Mobile Borders, London 2015, p. 53–67.
  16. Karen Barkey: Empire of Difference. The Ottomans in Comparative Perspective, Cambridge 2008; Pál Fodor: In Quest of the Golden Apple. Imperial Ideology, Politics, and Military Administration in the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul 2000.
  17. Anne Mézin: »La fonction consulaire dans la France d’Ancien Régime: origine, principe, prérogatives«, in: Jörg Ulbert / Gérard Le Bouëdec (ed.): La fonction consulaire à l’époque moderne. L’affirmation d’une institution économique et politique (1500–1800), Rennes 2006, p. 37–49, at p. 40.
  18. AMAE, Correspondance consulaire et commerciale [CCC], Salonique, vol. 23, no. 82, Gillet (consul) to Guizot (Minister of Foreign Affairs), 1. 4. 1844.
  19. Later known as Louis-Auguste Félix, baron de Beaujour (from 1818).
  20. AMAE, CCC, Salonique, vol. 15 bis, Committee of Public Welfare to Félix-Beaujour (consul), Vendémiaire Year III. See also Maurice Degros: »L’administration des consulats sous la Révolution (1789–1799)«, in: Revue d’histoire diplomatique 96 (1982), p. 68–111, at p. 103–104.
  21. AMAE, Consulats, rapports et décisions, 1814–1819, no. 66, report dated 3. 7. 1814 on the ordinances of 1778 and 1781.
  22. AMAE, CCC, Salonique, vol. 17, no. 6, Bottu (consul) to Duc de Richelieu (Minister of Foreign Affairs), 28. 10. 1817.
  23. See especially Théodore Roland de Bussy: Dictionnaire des consulats. Exposé des devoirs, droits et fonctions des consuls et officiers consulaires de France dans leurs rapports avec les administrations de la métropole, les autorités étrangères, les nationaux et les navigateurs; rédigé d’après les lois, décrets et conventions en vigueur et suivi du tarif des chancelleries, Al-Jazā’ir 1854.
  24. Igor Moullier: »L’intérieur et l’extérieur: l’administration face à la conjoncture impériale en 1807«, in: Jacques Bernet / Emmanuel Cherrier (ed.): 1807: apogée de l’Empire?, Valenciennes 2009, p. 195–211, at p. 196.
  25. »Ordonnance du roi sur l’intervention des consuls relativement aux actes de l’état civil des Français en pays étranger, du 23 octobre 1833«, cited from Jean-Baptiste Duvergier: Collection complète des lois, décrets, ordonnances, réglemens, et avis du Conseil-d’État, vol. 33: Année 1833, Paris 1834, p. 487.
  26. AMAE, CCC, Salonique, vol. 25, no. 48, Marquis de Poncharra (consul) to Drouyn de Lhuys (Minister of Foreign Affairs), 25. 10. 1864.
  27. Archives des Lazaristes de Cavalla, Correspondance 1862–1903, Sous-direction des affaires de chancelleries at Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Bulgarides (agent at Kavala), 5. 7. 1903.
  28. These terms for modes of interaction within political and administrative hierarchies are suggested by Michael J. Braddick: »State Formation and Political Culture in Elizabethan and Stuart England. Micro-histories and Macro-historical Change«, in: Ronald G. Asch / Dagmar Freist (ed.): Staatsbildung als kultureller Prozess. Strukturwandel und Legitimation von Herrschaft in der Frühen Neuzeit, Köln 2005, p. 69–90, at p. 70.
  29. AMAE, CCC, Salonique, vol. 17, no. 8, Bottu (consul) to Duc de Richelieu (Minister of Foreign Affairs), 26. 12. 1817.
  30. Gilles Veinstein: »Le mythe des capitulations de 1536«, in: Mohammed Arkoun (ed.): Histoire de l’islam et des musulmans en France du Moyen Âge à nos jours, Paris 2006, p. 354.
  31. Géraud Poumarède: »Négocier près la Sublime Porte. Jalons pour une nouvelle histoire des capitulations franco-ottomanes«, in: Lucien Bély / Isabelle Richefort (ed.): L’invention de la diplomatie. Moyen Âge – Temps modernes, Paris 1998, p. 71–85, at p. 84.
  32. Jean-Louis-Gérard Pélissié du Rausas: Le régime des capitulations dans l’Empire ottoman, 2 vol., Paris 1902–1905.
  33. AMAE, CCC, Salonique, vol. 15 bis, Committee of Public Welfare to Félix-Beaujour (consul), Vendémiaire Year III.
  34. Amaury Faivre d’Arcier: »Le service consulaire au Levant à la fin du XVIIIe siècle et son évolution sous la Révolution«, in: Jörg Ulbert / Gérard Le Bouëdec (ed.): La fonction consulaire à l’époque moderne, l’affirmation d’une institution économique et politique (1500–1800), Rennes 2006, p. 161–188.
  35. AMAE, CCC, Salonique, vol. 15 bis, Félix-Beaujour (consul) to Delacroix (Minister of Foreign Affairs), 25 Fructidor Year IV.
  36. Pélissié du Rausas: Régime, vol. 1, p. 117.
  37. Henry Laurens: L’empire et ses ennemis. La question impériale dans l’histoire, Paris 2009, p. 64.
  38. Feroz Ahmad: »Ottoman Perceptions of the Capitulations 1800–1914«, in: Journal of Islamic Studies 11 (2000), p. 1–20.
  39. For a detailed historiographic reflection on the ›Tanzimat‹ and their interpretation, see Bülent Özdemir: Ottoman Reforms and Social Life. Reflections from Salonica, 1830–1850, Istanbul 2003, p. 21–51. He qualifies the western historiography by quoting Turkish historians who insist, for their part, more on the internal forces of Ottoman transformations than on the imposition of a European model.
  40. Robert Mantran: »La Déclaration des droits de l’homme et les édits sultaniens de 1839 et de 1856«, in: Jean-Louis Bacqué-Grammont / Edhem Eldem (ed.): De la Révolution française à la Turquie d’Atatürk. La modernisation politique et sociale. Les lettres, les sciences et les arts. Actes des colloques d’Istanbul (10–12 mai 1989), Istanbul 1990, p. 141–148, at p. 143.
  41. Jacques Thobie: »L’agonie de l’›homme malade‹ et l’ambiguïté des médecines occidentales«, in: Revue de l’Occident musulman et de la Méditerranée 50 (1988), p. 15–29, at p. 26.
  42. Roderic H. Davison: »Ottoman Public Relations in the Nineteenth Century: How the Sublime Porte Tried to Influence European Public Opinion«, in: Daniel Panzac (ed.): Histoire économique et sociale de l’Empire ottoman et de la Turquie (1326–1960). Actes du Congrès international tenu à Aix-en-Provence du 1er au 4 juillet 1994, Paris 1995, p. 593–603. See also Barkey: Empire of Difference, p. 195.
  43. Selçuk Akşin Somel: The Modernization of Public Education in the Ottoman Empire 1839–1908. Islamization, Autocracy and Discipline, Leiden 2001.
  44. Mantran: »Déclaration«, p. 141.
  45. Elke Hartmann: Die Reichweite des Staates. Wehrpflicht und moderne Staatlichkeit im Osmanischen Reich 1869–1910, Paderborn 2016.
  46. François Georgeon: »L’Empire ottoman et l’Europe au XIXe siècle: de la question d’Orient à la question d’Occident«, in: Confluences Méditerranée 52 (2004/05), p. 29–39, at p. 38.
  47. Christian Windler: La diplomatie comme expérience de l’autre. Consuls français au Maghreb, 1700–1840, Genève 2002, p. 400.
  48. Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de Marseille (CCIM), Archives antérieures à 1801, Série J, no. 1290, Salonique, Lettres d’Esprit Marie Cousinéry, consul, 1791–1793, letter of 22. 7. 1793.
  49. Hervé Faupin: »Le cadre juridique de l’action consulaire au début du XIXe siècle«, in: Jörg Ulbert / Lukian Prijac (ed.): Consuls et services consulaires au XIXe siècle, Hamburg 2010, p. 21–35, at p. 23.
  50. Patrick Joyce: The State of Freedom. A Social History of the British State since 1800, Cambridge 2013, p. 19.
  51. Robert Ilbert: Alexandrie 1830–1930. Histoire d’une communauté citadine, 2 vol., Al-Qāhira 1996, vol. 1, p. 216.
  52. In French: »arrondissement, département ou circonscription consulaire«.
  53. Adnen El Ghali: La route des consuls. Les territoires de la diplomatie à Tunis, Paris 2015.
  54. AMAE, CCC, Salonique, vol. 22, no. 173, Guys (consul) to Comte Molé (Minister of Foreign Affairs), 23. 7. 1838.
  55. Henri Lefebvre: La production de l’espace, Paris 1974.
  56. Ordinance of 17. 8. 1756 on consuls and vice-consuls of the Archipelago.
  57. AMAE, SDAC, carton 312, Organisation consulaire, création des postes consulaires en Levant 1836–1860, Project for the reorganization of the French consular network, 1811.
  58. AMAE, SDAC, carton 329, circular to all consuls in the Ottoman Empire, 15. 9. 1875.
  59. Ferenc Tóth: Un diplomate militaire français en Europe orientale à la fin de l’Ancien Régime. La carrière de François baron de Tott (1733–1793), Istanbul 2011.
  60. AMAE, Mémoires et documents, Turquie, vol. 38, Turquie 1817, Inspection générale du commerce français en Levant par Beaujour, instruction from Duc de Richelieu (Minister of Foreign Affairs).
  61. Mathieu Jestin: Le voyage du Baron de Boislecomte en Orient entre 1832 et 1834, 2 vol., unpublished master’s thesis, Université Paris 1 – Panthéon-Sorbonne 2005.
  62. Degros: »Administration«, p. 74.
  63. Paul Masson: Histoire du commerce français dans le Levant au XVIIIe siècle, Paris 1911, p. 616.
  64. See Georges Koutzakiotis: Cavalla, une échelle égéenne au XVIIIe siècle. Négociants européens et notables ottomans, Istanbul 2009; Socrate Petmezas: »Serrès et sa région sous les Ottomans«, in: Paolo Odorico / Spyros Asdrachas (ed.): Conseils et mémoires de Synadinos, prêtre de Serrès en Macédoine (XVIIe siècle), Paris 1996, p. 458–470; Charalambos G. Charitos: Volos 1881–1955. The City and the People, Volos 2004; Vilma Hastaoglou: Volos. Portrait of the City in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Volos 2002.
  65. Ilkay Sunar: »Anthropologie politique et économique: l’Empire ottoman et sa transformation«, in: Annales. Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations 35 (1980), p. 551–579, at p. 568–569; Michel Morineau: »Naissance d’une domination. Marchands Européens, marchands et marchés du Levant aux XVIIIe et XIXe siècles«, in: Commerce de gros, commerce de détail dans les pays méditerranéens (XVIe – XIXe siècles). Actes des journées d’études, Bendor, 25–26 avril 1975, Nice 1976, p. 145–184.
  66. Auguste Boppe: »Le consulat général de Morée et ses dépendances (Athènes, Coron, Modon, Napoli de Romanie, Patras, Arta)«, in: Revue des études grecques 20 (1907), p. 18–37. See also Faivre d’Arcier: »Service consulaire«, who notes that at the time of the French Revolution, eleven consular districts existed in the Ottoman Empire.
  67. For more details, see Andreas Birken: Die Provinzen des Osmanischen Reiches, Wiesbaden 1976, p. 76–78.
  68. It is worth noting that the French diplomatic service also attentively kept track of the seats chosen by its international competitors, though it did not necessarily follow their example.
  69. AMAE, CCC, Salonique, vol. 21, no. 32, Guys (consul) to Duc de Broglie (Minister of Foreign Affairs), 27. 4. 1834.
  70. Isabelle Laboulais-Lesage / Jean-François Chauvard / Odile Goerg (ed.): Combler les blancs de la carte. Modalités et enjeux de la construction des savoirs géographiques (XVIe – XXe siècle), Strasbourg 2004.
  71. The agency is last mentioned in 1990 in the official listings of the French Foreign Office: Annuaire diplomatique et consulaire de la République française pour l’année 1990, Paris 1990, p. 388.
  72. Since 2000, the consular agency of Ioannina has been once again been included in the district of Salonica.
  73. AMAE, CCC, Salonique, vol. 20, no. 18, Dupré (consul) to Comte de La Ferronnays (Minister of Foreign Affairs), 29. 2. 1828.
  74. AMAE, CCC, Salonique, vol. 20, no. 24, Dupré (consul) to Comte de La Ferronnays (Minister of Foreign Affairs), 1. 6. 1828: »simple particulier«.
  75. Two of the most noteworthy consuls of the 19th century published in the genre of travel literature; see Esprit-Marie Cousinéry: Voyage dans la Macédoine, contenant des recherches sur l’histoire, la géographie et les antiquités de ce pays, 2 vol., Paris 1831; Charles-Édouard Guys: Le guide de la Macédoine, Paris 1857.
  76. Isabelle Surun / Hugues Tertrais: »Les continents orphelins? Introduction«, in: Monde(s). Histoire, espace, relations 3 (2013), p. 7–27. For an analysis of the concept of region and its evolution in the 19th century, see Roger Chartier: »Science sociale et découpage régional. Note sur deux débats (1820–1920)«, in: Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales 35 (1980), p. 27–36.
  77. AMAE, CCC, Salonique, vol. 26, no. 99, Marquis de Poncharra (consul) to Marquis de Moustier (Minister of Foreign Affairs), 11. 2. 1867.
  78. AMAE, CCC, Salonique, vol. 27, no. 202, Moulin (consul) to Duc Decazes (Minister of Foreign Affairs), 29. 8. 1874.
  79. The consular agency of Volos has been once more attached to the consulate of Salonica since 1954.
  80. Anne Couderc: État, nations et territoires dans les Balkans au XIXe siècle. Histoire de la première frontière gréco-ottomane (1827–1881), 2 vol., unpublished dissertation, Université Paris 1 – Panthéon-Sorbonne 2000.
  81. AMAE, Personnel, 1791–1965, carton 21, circular dated 23. 7. 1853.
  82. Birken: Provinzen, p. 50.
  83. Birken: Provinzen, p. 71.
  84. Birken: Provinzen, p. 69.
  85. Centre des Archives diplomatiques de Nantes, Monastir, carton 5, 1855–1915, Arrivée départ 1894–1909, no. 1, dated 10. 7. 1894.
  86. AMAE, Correspondance Politique des Consuls [CPC], Nouvelle Série, carton 406, 1897–1914, Turquie, document dated 2. 10. 1903.
  87. This expression is used in the French Foreign Office’s official list for the first time in 1914, the last in 1921: Annuaire diplomatique et consulaire de la République française pour l’année 1914, Paris 1914, p. 41; Annuaire diplomatique et consulaire de la République française pour l’année 1921, Paris 1921, p. 50. From 1922, the district is described with the words »la préfecture de Pelles et la sous-préfecture de Siderocastro«, referring to Greek administrative divisions. Only two agencies remained under the jurisdiction of Salonica: Kavala and Serres, though the latter was unoccupied at the time.
  88. Yvan Debbasch: La nation française en Tunisie (1577–1835), Paris 1957, p. 158–159.
  89. Jacques Rondin: Le sacre des notables. La France en décentralisation, Paris 1985.
  90. Dominique Kalifa / Pierre Karila-Cohen (ed.): Le commissaire de police au XIXe siècle, Paris 2008.
  91. Pierre Karila-Cohen: L’État des esprits. L’invention de l’enquête politique en France (1814–1848), Rennes 2008.
  92. See especially Véronique Mézin-Bourgninaud: Les gouverneurs des colonies sous l’administration royale, de 1763 à 1792, unpublished dissertation, Université Paris-Sorbonne 2016; and in a comparative perspective, Anthony H. M. Kirk-Greene: Britain’s Imperial Administrators 1858–1966, Basingstoke 2000.
  93. Raymond Poussard: »Le personnel des services extérieurs«, in: Jean Baillou (ed.): Les Affaires étrangères et le Corps diplomatique français, vol. 2: 1870–1980, Paris 1984, p. 135–163, at p. 152–153.
  94. Henry Rollet / Georges Dethan: »La Monarchie de Juillet«, in: Jean Baillou (ed.): Les Affaires étrangères et le Corps diplomatique français, vol. 1: De l’Ancien Régime au Second Empire, Paris 1984, p. 573–625, at p. 590.
  95. Jörg Ulbert: »Pour une typologie des manuels consulaires« [forthcoming 2017].
  96. Marc-Olivier Baruch / Vincent Duclert (ed.): Serviteurs de l’État. Une histoire politique de l’administration française 1875–1945, Paris 2000.
  97. On this question, see Mathieu Jestin: »Les identités consulaires dans la Salonique ottomane, 1781–1912«, in: Monde(s). Histoire, espaces, relations 4 (2013), p. 189–209.
  98. See for example Benjamin Kafka: The Demon of Writing. Powers and Failures of Paperwork, New York 2012; Delphine Gardey: Écrire, calculer, classer. Comment une révolution de papier a transformé les sociétés contemporaines (1800–1940), Paris 2008.
  99. Bruno Delmas: »Révolution industrielle et mutation administrative: l’innovation dans l’administration française au XIXe siècle«, in: Histoire, économie et société 4 (1985), p. 205–232.
  100. AMAE, CPC, Nouvelle Série, carton 407, 1897–1914, circular dated 10. 12. 1908.
  101. AMAE, CCC, Salonique, vol. 19, no. 12, Bottu (consul) to Baron de Damas (Minister of Foreign Affairs), 20. 12. 1824. The usage of ›Franks‹ to denote Westerners remained current in the Mediterranean ports until the mid-19th century.
  102. Faivre d’Arcier: »Service consulaire«.
  103. David Lambert / Alan Lester: »Introduction. Imperial Spaces, Imperial Subjects«, in: David Lambert / Alan Lester (ed.): Colonial Lives Across the British Empire. Imperial Careering in the Long Nineteenth Century, Cambridge 2006, p. 1–31.
  104. Debbasch: Nation française, p. 158–159.
  105. Igor Moullier: »Bourgeoisie et bureaucratie au début du XIXe siècle«, in: Jean-Pierre Jessenne et al. (ed.): Vers un ordre bourgeois? Révolution française et changement social, Rennes 2007, p. 237–253.
  106. AMAE, Personnel, 2e série nominative, no. 1509, Ernest-Théodore-Adolphe Turquet de Beauregard, annual report of Jousselin (consul) on his personnel, 9. 1. 1913.
  107. AMAE, CCC, Salonique, vol. 27, Moulin (consul) to Comte de Rémusat (Minister of Foreign Affairs), 23. 12. 1872.
  108. Cited from Olivier Le Cour Grandmaison: »L’exception et la règle: sur le droit colonial français«, in: Diogène. Revue internationale des sciences humaines 212 (2005), p. 42–64, at p. 64.
  109. Pierre-François Bourdeau de Fontenay: Iniquités des consuls français dans le Levant, Paris 1838.
  110. Windler: Diplomatie, p. 104.
  111. Rolf Torstendahl: Bureaucratisation in Northwestern Europe, 1880–1985. Domination and Governance, London 1991.


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