The attention of researchers to the history of empires, especially of the modern epoch, has not faded for several decades. Post-colonial approaches and the study of global history are contributing to the rethinking of the concepts of "empire", "colonialism", "imperialism". The article of 1953 by J. Gallagher and R. Robinson Dedicated to the concept of "informal empire" became a turning point for the study of this topic. However, the most studies on the informal empire are devoted to the British experience. David Todd's book “The Velvet Empire” attempts to correct this imbalance. The review addresses this fascinating research. D. Todd demonstrates how the economic and financial policy of France in the 19th century became an instrument for the spread and consolidation of French influence in the world. The book shows the methods by which the informal empire was built in the 1815-1880s and gives new interpretations of such topics as the establishment of French Algeria and the Mexican campaign of the 1860s.
The article was prepared in the framework of the project of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, topic № FZNF-2020-0001.
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