Author Topic: French Colonialism in Algiers  (Read 123 times)

guest5

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French Colonialism in Algiers
« on: July 15, 2020, 06:03:25 pm »
The Battle of Algiers (Subtitled by Salem Zemali)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_N2wyq7fCE

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The Battle of Algiers (Italian: La battaglia di Algeri; Arabic: معركة الجزائر‎, romanized: Maʿrakat al-Jazāʾir) is a 1966 Italian-Algerian historical war film co-written and directed by Gillo Pontecorvo and starring Jean Martin and Saadi Yacef. It is based on events by rebels during the Algerian War (1954–1962) against the French government in North Africa; the most prominent being the titular Battle of Algiers, the capital of Algeria. It was shot on location and the film's score was composed by Ennio Morricone. The film was shot in a Roberto Rossellini-inspired newsreel style: in black and white with documentary-type editing to add to its sense of historical authenticity, with mostly non-professional actors who had lived through the real battle. It is often associated with Italian neorealist cinema.[2]

The film concentrates mainly on revolutionary fighter Ali La Pointe during the years between 1954 and 1957, when guerrilla fighters of the FLN regrouped and expanded into the Casbah, the citadel of Algiers. Their actions were met by French paratroopers attempting to regain territory. The highly dramatic film is about the organization of a guerrilla movement and the illegal methods, such as torture, used by the colonial power to contain it. Algeria succeeded in gaining independence from the French, which Pontecorvo addresses in the film's epilogue.[3]

The film has been critically acclaimed. Both insurgent groups and state authorities have considered it to be an important commentary on urban guerrilla warfare. It occupies the 48th place on the Critics' Top 250 Films of the 2012 Sight & Sound poll,[4] as well as 120th place on Empire magazine's list of the '500 greatest movies of all time'.[5] It was selected to enter the list of the "100 Italian films to be saved".

A subject of socio-political controversy, the film was not screened for five years in France; it was released in 1971.[
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Battle_of_Algiers

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guest5

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Re: Colonization of Africa
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2021, 01:16:03 pm »
French journalist says France should apologise to Algeria for its crimes
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French journalist Jean-Michel Aphatie says France should apologise to Algeria for its occupation, #colonialism​ and war crimes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sj6wJ61MVE8

90sRetroFan

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Re: French Colonialism in Algiers
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2021, 02:04:16 am »
OLD CONTENT

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_conquest_of_Algeria#Fan_Affair

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In 1795–96, the French Republic contracted to purchase wheat for the French army from two Jewish merchants in Algiers, and Charles X was apparently uninterested in paying the Republic's debt. The merchants, who had debts to Hussein Dey, the Ottoman ruler of Algiers, claimed inability to pay those debts until France paid its debts to them. The dey unsuccessfully negotiated with Pierre Deval, the French consul, to rectify this situation, and suspected Deval of collaborating with the merchants against him, especially since the French government made no provision to pay the merchants in 1820. Deval's nephew Alexandre, the consul in Bône, further angered the dey by fortifying French storehouses in Bône and La Calle despite prior agreements.[17]

After a contentious meeting on 29 April 1827 in which Deval refused to provide satisfactory answers, the dey struck Deval with his fly-whisk (then called a fan). Charles X used this slight against his diplomatic representative to first demand an apology from the dey, and then to initiate a blockade against the port of Algiers.
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Polignac opened negotiations with Muhammad Ali of Egypt to essentially divide up North Africa. Ali, although nominally a vassal of the Ottomans, eventually rejected this idea. As popular opinion continued to rise against Polignac and the King, they decided that a foreign policy victory such as the capture of Algiers would turn opinion in their favour again.[19]
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While the French command had nominally agreed to preserve the liberties, properties, and religious freedoms of the inhabitants, French troops immediately began plundering the city, arresting and killing people for arbitrary reasons, seizing property, and desecrating religious sites. By mid-August, the last remnants of Turkish authority were summarily deported without opportunity to liquidate significant assets.[22] One estimate indicates that more than fifty million francs in assets were diverted into private hands during the plunder.[23] This activity had a profound effect on future relations between the French occupiers and the natives. A French commission in 1833 wrote that "we have sent to their deaths on simple suspicion and without trial people whose guilt was always doubtful ... we massacred people carrying safe conducts ... we have outdone in barbarity the barbarians".[22] One important side effect of the expulsion of the Turks was that it created a power vacuum in significant parts of the territory, from which resistance to French occupation immediately began to arise.[24] The methods used to establish French hegemony reached genocidal proportions and war, famine and disease led to the death of between 500,000 and 1 million of an estimated 3 million Algerians.[25][26][27]

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Algeria#Invasion_of_Algiers_(June_1830)

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Algerian refugees were welcomed by the Moroccan population, while the Sultan recommended that the authorities of Tetuan assist them, by providing jobs in the administration or the military forces. The inhabitants of Tlemcen, close to the Moroccan border, asked that they be placed under the Sultan's authority in order to escape the invaders. Abderrahmane thus named his nephew, Prince Moulay Ali, as Caliph of Tlemcen, charged with the protection of the city. In retaliation France executed two Moroccans: Mohamed Beliano and Benkirane as spies, while their goods were seized by the military governor of Oran, General Boyer.

Soon after the conquest of Algiers, the soldier-politician Bertrand Clauzel and others formed a company to acquire agricultural land and, despite official discouragement, to subsidize its settlement by European farmers, triggering a land rush. Clauzel recognized the farming potential of the Mitidja Plain and envisioned the large-scale production there of cotton. As governor-general (1835–36), he used his office to make private investments in land and encouraged army officers and bureaucrats in his administration to do the same. This development created a vested interest among government officials in greater French involvement in Algeria. Commercial interests with influence in the government also began to recognize the prospects for profitable land speculation in expanding the French zone of occupation.
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Among others testimonies, Lieutenant-colonel Lucien de Montagnac wrote on 15 March 1843, in a letter to a friend:

All populations who do not accept our conditions must be despoiled. Everything must be seized, devastated, without age or sex distinction: grass must not grow any more where the French army has set foot. Who wants the end wants the means, whatever may say our philanthropists. I personally warn all good soldiers whom I have the honour to lead that if they happen to bring me a living Arab, they will receive a beating with the flat of the saber.... This is how, my dear friend, we must make war against Arabs: kill all men over the age of fifteen, take all their women and children, load them onto naval vessels, send them to the Marquesas Islands or elsewhere. In one word, annihilate all who will not crawl beneath our feet like dogs.[14]
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The most successful local opposition immediately after the fall of Algiers was led by Ahmad ibn Muhammad, bey of Constantine. He initiated a radical overhaul of the Ottoman administration in his beylik by replacing Turkish officials with local leaders, making Arabic the official language, and attempting to reform finances according to the precepts of Islam. After the French failed in several attempts to gain some of the bey's territories through negotiation, an ill-fated invasion force, led by Bertrand Clauzel, had to retreat from Constantine in 1836 in humiliation and defeat. However, the French captured Constantine under Sylvain Charles Valée the following year, on 13 October 1837.
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From his capital in Tlemcen, Abd al Qadir set about building a territorial Muslim state based on the communities of the interior but drawing its strength from the tribes and religious brotherhoods. By 1839, he controlled more than two-thirds of Algeria. His government maintained an army and a bureaucracy, collected taxes, supported education, undertook public works, and established agricultural and manufacturing cooperatives to stimulate economic activity.

The French in Algiers viewed with concern the success of a Muslim government and the rapid growth of a viable territorial state that barred the extension of European settlement. Abd al Qadir fought running battles across Algeria with French forces, which included units of the Foreign Legion, organized in 1831 for Algerian service. Although his forces were defeated by the French under General Thomas Bugeaud in 1836, Abd al Qadir negotiated a favorable peace treaty the next year. The treaty of Tafna gained conditional recognition for Abd al Qadir's regime by defining the territory under its control and salvaged his prestige among the tribes just as the shaykhs were about to desert him. To provoke new hostilities, the French deliberately broke the treaty in 1839 by occupying Constantine. Abd al Qadir took up the holy war again, destroyed the French settlements on the Mitidja Plain, and at one point advanced to the outskirts of Algiers itself. He struck where the French were weakest and retreated when they advanced against him in greater strength. The government moved from camp to camp with the amir and his army. Gradually, however, superior French resources and manpower and the defection of tribal chieftains took their toll. Reinforcements poured into Algeria after 1840 until Bugeaud had at his disposal 108,000 men, one-third of the French army.

One by one, the amir's strongholds fell to the French, and many of his ablest commanders were killed or captured so that by 1843 the Muslim state had collapsed.

Abd al Qadir took refuge in 1841 with his ally, the sultan of Morocco, Abd ar Rahman II, and launched raids into Algeria. This alliance led the French Navy to bombard and briefly occupy Essaouira (Mogador) under the Prince de Joinville on August 16, 1844. A French force was destroyed at the Battle of Sidi-Brahim in 1845. However, Abd al Qadir was obliged to surrender to the commander of Oran Province, General Louis de Lamoricière, at the end of 1847.

Abd al Qadir was promised safe conduct to Egypt or Palestine if his followers laid down their arms and kept the peace. He accepted these conditions, but the minister of war — who years earlier as general in Algeria had been badly defeated by Abd al Qadir — had him consigned in France in the Château d'Amboise.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Laghouat

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The Siege of Laghouat was an episode of the French Pacification of Algeria. General Aimable Pélissier commanding an army of 6000, besieged the city of Laghouat in November 21, 1852. The decisive storming of the city occurred in December 4 and the French captured the city. The brutal treatment of the inhabitants of the city was part of the scorched earth tactic of the French army one of the first instances of recorded use of chemical weapon on civilians.

The storming of Laghouat[1][2][3][4] turned quickly into several days of massacres[citation needed] to punish the population that was treated as combating enemies. The battle also witness the several deaths on the french side including that of general Bouscaren, that added to the fervor of the French soldiers to want to take revenge on the population setting an example for other towns and cities throughout the south of Algeria. About two thirds (2500 to 3000 out of a total of 4500 inhabitants remaining in the besieged city) including women and children were massacred[citation needed].

The massacre has left a deep trauma in the Laghouati population that endured until today.[4][3] The year of the "Khalya" arabic for emptiness is commonly known to the inhabitants of Laghouat as the year, when the city was emptied of its population. It is also commonly known as the year of Hessian sacks, referring to the way the captured surviving men and boys were put alive in the hessian sacks and thrown into digged up trenches. Many reports of the battle were written by army chiefs and soldiers as well as visitors of the city after the massacre that reported the morbid atmosphere of the city following the siege.

Surviving women were so afraid for their young sons of being collected by the French forces, they came up with a ruse to hide them. They dressed them as girls and put an earring on one ear. The tradition of protecting young boys from evil with an earring survived until today[citation needed].

The level of brutality of the massacre of Laghouat was both a show of force as well as part of the long scorched earth tactic of the three French generals that took the fortified city. By ordering the massacre of the population[citation needed], the French were eyeing all the remaining Saharian territories beyond Laghouat. During the battle of Laghouat several tribes and other city republics and fortresses delivered help to try and stop the advance of the French, namely Ghardaïa (and therefore the whole of the Mozabite confederation), Metlili, and Ouargla. The nobles of the latter cities after witnessing or hearing of the atrocities committed in Laghouat, quickly sought a peaceful agreement to surrender their cities or sign treaties keeping their autonomy within the protection of France.

90sRetroFan

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Re: French Colonialism in Algiers
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2021, 02:04:34 am »
OLD CONTENT contd.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lalla_Fatma_N%27Soumer

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Lalla Fadhma n'Soumer (Berber: Lalla Faḍma en Sumer, ⵍⴰⵍⵍⴰ ⴼⴰⴹⵎⴰ ⴻⵏ ⵙⵓⵎⴻⵔ; c.1830 – c. 1863) was an important figure of the Algerian resistance movement during the first years of the French colonial invasion of Algeria. She was seen as the embodiment of the struggle.

From 1854 to July 1857, she assisted in leading a resistance against the French. Once captured by French forces, she was imprisoned until her death six years later. Her disciples would believe that she was gifted powers by God, including the abilities to see the future and cure illness.[1]

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mokrani_Revolt

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Cheikh Mokrani (Mohamed Amokrane) and his brother Boumezrag were sons of a family of high rank - the Ait Abbas dynasty (a branch of the Hafsids of Béjaïa), the Amokrane, masters, since the sixteenth century of the Kalâa of Ait Abbas in the Bibans and of the Medjana region.[5] In the 1830s, their father Ahmed El Mokrani (d. 1853), had chosen to ally himself with the French; it was he who had allowed the Iron Gates expedition in 1839 and he had become khalifa of the Medjana under the tutelage of the French authorities.[6] This alliance had soon revealed itself to be subordination - a decree of 1845 abolished the khalifalik of Medjana so that when Mohamed succeeded his father, as the choice of the Arab Bureaux, his title was no more than “bachagha” (Turkish: başağa=chief commander).[7]:35 During the hardships of 1867, he gave his personal guarantee, at the request of the authorities, for important loans. In 1870, the creditors demanded to be repaid and the French authorities reneged on the loan on the pretext of the Franco-Prussian War, leaving Mohamed obliged to pawn his own possessions. The late 1860s were hard for the people of Algeria: between 1866 and 1868 they lived through drought, exceptionally cold winters, an epidemic of cholera and an earthquake. More than 10% of the kabyle population died during this period.[1] On 12 June 1869, Marshall MacMahon, the Governor General, advised the French government that “the Kabyles will stay peaceful as long as they see no possibility of driving us out of their country.”[8]
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A number of origins have been suggested for the Mokrani revolt. There was a general dissatisfaction among Kabyle notables because of the steady erosion of their authority by the colonial authorities. At the same time, ordinary people were concerned about the imposition of civilian rule on 9 March, which they interpreted as imposing domination by the settlers, with encroachments on their land and loss of autonomy.[13] The Cremieux Decree of 24 October 1870, which gave French nationality to Algerian Jews was probably another cause of the unrest.[7]
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On 16 March, Mokrani led six thousand men in an assault on Bordj Bou Arreridj.[20] On 8 April, French troops regained control of the Medjana plain. The same day, Si Aziz, son of Cheikh Ahaddad, head of the Rahmaniyya order, proclaimed a holy war in the market of Seddouk.[14] Soon 150,000 Kabyles rose,[21] as the revolt spread along the coast first, then into the mountains to the east of the Mitidja and as far as Constantine. It then spread to the Belezma mountains and linked with local insurrections all the way down to the Sahara desert.[22] As they spread towards Algiers itself, the insurgents took Lakhdaria (Palestro), 60 km east of the capital, on 14 April. By April, 250 tribes had risen, or nearly a third of Algeria's population. One hundred thousand “mujahidin”, poorly armed and disorganised, were launching random raids and attacks.[13]
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The military authorities brought in reinforcements for the Army of Africa; Admiral de Gueydon, who took over as Governor General on 29 March, replacing Special Commissioner Alexis Lambert, mobilised 22,000 soldiers.[1] Advancing from Palestro towards Algiers, the rebels were stopped at Boudouaou (Alma) on 22 April 1871; on 5 May,[1] Mohamed El Mokrani died fighting at Oued Soufflat, halfway between Lakhdaria (Palestro) and Bouira in an encounter with the troops of General Saussier.[20]
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On 25 April, the Governor General declared a state of siege.[23] Twenty columns of French troops marched on Dellys and Draâ El Mizan. Cheikh Haddad and his sons were captured on 13 July after the battle of Icheriden.[24] The revolt only faded after the capture of Boumezrag, Cheikh Mokrani’s brother, on 20 January 1872.[25]
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During the fighting, around 100 European civilians died, along with an unknown number of Algerian civilians.[1] After fighting ceased, more than 200 Kabyles were interned[26] and others deported to Cayenne[26] and New Caledonia, where they were known as Algerians of the Pacific.[27] Boumezrag Mokrani was condemned to death by a court in Constantine on 27 March 1873.

The Kabylie region was subjected to a collective fine of 36 million francs, and 450,000 hectares of land were confiscated and given to new settlers

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A commission of inquiry set up by the French Senate in 1892 and headed by former Premier Jules Ferry, an advocate of colonial expansion, recommended that the government abandon a policy that assumed French law, without major modifications, could fit the needs of an area inhabited by close to two million Europeans and four million Muslims. Muslims had no representation in the French National Assembly before 1945 and were grossly under-represented on local councils. Because of the many restrictions imposed by the authorities, by 1915 only 50,000 Muslims were eligible to vote in elections in the civil communes. Attempts to implement even the most modest reforms were blocked or delayed by the local administration in Algeria, dominated by colons, and by the 27 colon representatives in the National Assembly (six deputies and three senators from each department).[citation needed]

Once elected to the National Assembly, colons became permanent fixtures. Because of their seniority, they exercised disproportionate influence, and their support was important to any government's survival.[citation needed] The leader of the colon delegation, Auguste Warnier (1810–1875), succeeded during the 1870s in modifying or introducing legislation to facilitate the private transfer of land to settlers and continue the Algerian state's appropriation of land from the local population and distribution to settlers.
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Europeans held about 30% of the total arable land, including the bulk of the most fertile land and most of the areas under irrigation.[21] By 1900, Europeans produced more than two-thirds of the value of output in agriculture and practically all agricultural exports. The modern, or European, sector was run on a commercial basis and meshed with the French market system that it supplied with wine, citrus, olives, and vegetables. Nearly half of the value of European-owned real property was in vineyards by 1914. By contrast, subsistence cereal production—supplemented by olive, fig, and date growing and stock raising—formed the basis of the traditional sector, but the land available for cropping was submarginal even for cereals under prevailing traditional cultivation practices.

The colonial regime imposed more and higher taxes on Muslims than on Europeans.[22] The Muslims, in addition to paying traditional taxes dating from before the French conquest, also paid new taxes, from which the colons were normally exempted. In 1909, for instance, Muslims, who made up almost 90% of the population but produced 20% of Algeria's income, paid 70% of direct taxes and 45% of the total taxes collected. And colons controlled how these revenues would be spent. As a result, colon towns had handsome municipal buildings, paved streets lined with trees, fountains and statues, while Algerian villages and rural areas benefited little if at all from tax revenues.

The colonial regime proved severely detrimental to overall education for Algerian Muslims, who had previously relied on religious schools to learn reading, writing, and engage in religious studies. Not only did the state appropriate the habus lands (the religious foundations that constituted the main source of income for religious institutions, including schools) in 1843, but colon officials refused to allocate enough money to maintain schools and mosques properly and to provide for enough teachers and religious leaders for the growing population. In 1892, more than five times as much was spent for the education of Europeans as for Muslims, who had five times as many children of school age.
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Efforts were begun by 1890 to educate a small number of Muslims along with European students in the French school system as part of France's "civilizing mission" in Algeria. The curriculum was entirely French and allowed no place for Arabic studies, which were deliberately downgraded even in Muslim schools. Within a generation, a class of well-educated, gallicized Muslims — the évolués (literally, the evolved ones)—had been created.
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Reporting to the French Senate in 1894, Governor General Jules Cambon wrote that Algeria had "only a dust of people left her." He referred to the destruction of the traditional ruling class that had left Muslims without leaders
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Algeria became the prototype for a pattern of French colonial rule which has been described as "quasi-apartheid".[26]

When French rule began, France had no well established systems for intensive colonial governance, the main existing legal provision being the 1685 Code Noir, which focused on slave-trading and owning. From 1830, Algerians were not French citizens, nor did they have a mechanism to become citizens.As French rule in Algeria expanded, particularly under Thomas-Robert Bugeaud (1841–48), discriminatory governance became increasingly formalised. In 1844, Bugeaud formalised a system of European settlements along the coast, under civil government, with Arab/Berber areas in the interior under military governance.[27]  An important feature of French rule was cantonnement, whereby tribal land that was supposedly unused was seized by the state, which enabled French colonists to expand their landholdings, pushing indigenous people onto more marginal land and making them more vulnerable to drought;[28] this was extended under the governance of Bugeaud's successor, Jacques Louis Randon.[27]
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In 1870, the French government granted Algerian Jews French citizenship under the Crémieux Decree, but not Muslims.[31] This meant that most Algerians were now 'French subjects', treated as the objects of French law, but were not citizens, could not vote, and were effectively without the right to citizenship.[30] (Jewish people's citizenship was revoked by the Vichy government in the early 1940s, but was restored in 1943.)

In 1881, the Code de l'indigénat was formally introduced, enabling district officials to issue summary punishments to Muslims without due legal process, and to extract special taxes and forced labour.
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In a bargain-hunting frenzy to take over or buy at low prices all manner of property—homes, shops, farms and factories—Europeans poured into Algiers after it fell. French authorities took possession of the beylik lands, from which Ottoman officials had derived income. Over time, as pressures increased to obtain more land for settlement by Europeans, the state seized more categories of land, particularly that used by tribes, religious foundations, and villages

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Re: French Colonialism in Algiers
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2021, 02:05:03 am »
OLD CONTENT contd.

The only bright spot in French administration:

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Napoleon III visited Algeria twice in the early 1860s. He was profoundly impressed with the nobility and virtue of the tribal chieftains, who appealed to the emperor's romantic nature, and was shocked by the self-serving attitude of the colon leaders. He decided to halt the expansion of European settlement beyond the coastal zone and to restrict contact between Muslims and the colons, whom he considered to have a corrupting influence on the indigenous population. He envisioned a grand design for preserving most of Algeria for the Muslims by founding a royaume arabe (Arab kingdom) with himself as the roi des Arabes (king of the Arabs). He instituted the so-called politics of the grands chefs to deal with the Muslims directly through their traditional leaders.[39]

To further his plans for the royaume arabe, Napoleon III issued two decrees affecting tribal structure, land tenure, and the legal status of Muslims in French Algeria. The first, promulgated in 1863, was intended to renounce the state's claims to tribal lands and eventually provide private plots to individuals in the tribes, thus dismantling "feudal" structures and protecting the lands from the colons. Tribal areas were to be identified, delimited into douars (administrative units), and given over to councils. Arable land was to be divided among members of the douar over a period of one to three generations, after which it could be bought and sold by the individual owners. Unfortunately for the tribes, however, the plans of Napoleon III quickly unraveled.

It took WWII to inspire successful Algerian nationalism (though sadly it was based on democracy):

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algerian_War

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nationalist leader Ferhat Abbas founded the Algerian Popular Union (Union populaire algérienne) in 1938. In 1943 Abbas wrote the Algerian People's Manifesto (Manifeste du peuple algérien). Arrested after the Sétif massacre of May 8, 1945, during which the French Army and pieds-noirs mobs killed about 6,000 Algerians,[13]:27 Abbas founded the Democratic Union of the Algerian Manifesto (UDMA) in 1946 and was elected as a deputy. Founded in 1954, the National Liberation Front (FLN) succeeded Messali Hadj's Algerian People's Party (PPA), while its leaders created an armed wing, the Armée de Libération Nationale (National Liberation Army) to engage in an armed struggle against French authority. France, which had just lost Indochina, was determined not to lose the next anti-colonial war, particularly not in its oldest and nearest major colony, which was regarded as an integral part of the republic.
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Fewer than 500 fellaghas (pro-Independence fighters) could be counted at the beginning of the conflict.[41] The Algerian population radicalized itself in particular because of the terrorist acts of French-sponsored Main Rouge (Red Hand) group, which targeted anti-colonialists in all of the Maghreb region (Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria), killing, for example, Tunisian activist Farhat Hached in 1952.[41]
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As the FLN campaign of influence spread through the countryside, many European farmers in the interior (called Pieds-Noirs), many of whom lived on lands taken from Muslim communities during the nineteenth century,[43] sold their holdings and sought refuge in Algiers and other Algerian cities. After a series of bloody, random massacres and bombings by Muslim Algerians in several towns and cities, the French Pieds-Noirs and urban French population began to demand that the French government engage in sterner countermeasures, including the proclamation of a state of emergency, capital punishment for political crimes, denunciation of all separatists, and most ominously, a call for 'tit-for-tat' reprisal operations by police, military, and para-military forces. Colon vigilante units, whose unauthorized activities were conducted with the passive cooperation of police authorities, carried out ratonnades (literally, rat-hunts, raton being a racist term for denigrating Muslim Algerians) against suspected FLN members of the Muslim community.
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The FLN adopted tactics similar to those of nationalist groups in Asia, and the French did not realize the seriousness of the challenge they faced until 1955, when the FLN moved into urbanized areas. "An important watershed in the War of Independence was the massacre of Pieds-Noirs civilians by the FLN near the town of Philippeville (now known as Skikda) in August 1955. Before this operation, FLN policy was to attack only military and government-related targets. The commander of the Constantine wilaya/region, however, decided a drastic escalation was needed. The killing by the FLN and its supporters of 123 people, including 71 French,[44] including old women and babies, shocked Jacques Soustelle into calling for more repressive measures against the rebels. The French authorities stated that 1,273 guerrillas died in what Soustelle admitted were "severe" reprisals. The FLN subsequently claimed that 12,000 Muslims were killed.[13]:122 Soustelle's repression was an early cause of the Algerian population's rallying to the FLN.[44] After Philippeville, Soustelle declared sterner measures and an all-out war began

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Algiers_(1956–57)

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On the FLN side, a decision was made in late 1956 to embark upon a sustained campaign of urban terrorism designed to show the authority of the French state did not extend to Algiers, Algeria's largest city.[12] Abane Ramdane believed that such a campaign would be the "Algerian Dien Bien Phu" that would force the French out of Algeria.[12] It was decided to deliberately target pied-noir citizens as a way of breaking French power as one FLN directive put it: "A bomb causing the death of ten people and wounding fifty others is the equivalent on the psychological level to the loss of a French battalion."[13]

On 28 December 1956, on the orders of Ben M'hidi, Ali La Pointe assassinated the Mayor of Boufarik and President of the Federation of Mayors of Algeria, Amedee Froger outside his house on Rue Michelet. The following day, a bomb exploded in the cemetery where Froger was to be buried; enraged European civilians responded by carrying out random revenge attacks (ratonnade), killing four Muslims and injuring 50.[14]
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There were no written orders from the government of Guy Mollet to use torture or engage in extrajudicial executions, but numerous Army officers have stated that they received verbal permission to use whatever means necessary to break the FLN including the use of torture and extrajudicial killings.
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On the afternoon of Saturday 26 January, female FLN operatives again planted bombs in European Algiers, the targets were the Otomatic on Rue Michelet, the Cafeteria and the Coq-Hardi brasserie. The explosions killed 4 and wounded 50 and a Muslim was killed by Pied-Noirs in retaliation.[17]

In late January the FLN called an 8-day general strike across Algeria commencing on Monday 28 January. The strike appeared to be a success with most Muslim shops remaining shuttered, workers failed to turn up and children didn't attend school. However Massu soon deployed his troops and used armored cars to pull the steel shutters off shops while army trucks rounded up workers and schoolchildren and forced them to attend their jobs and studies. Within a few days the strike had been broken.[18] The bombings however continued and in mid-February female FLN operatives planted bombs at the Municipal Stadium and the El-Biar Stadium in Algiers killing 10 and injuring 45.[17] After visiting Algiers, a clearly shocked defense minister Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury told General Massu after the bombings: "We must finish these people off!".[19]
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the use of torture by the French security forces became institutionalised, the techniques ranging from beatings, electroshock (the gegene), Waterboarding, sexual assault and ****.[24]

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On 23 March following a meeting between Massu, Trinquier, Fossy-Francois and Aussaresses to discuss what was to be done with Ali Boumendjel, Aussaresses went to the prison where Boumendjel was being held and ordered that he be transferred to another building, in the process he was thrown from a 6th floor skybridge to his death.[34]

Major Aussaresses was unapologetic regarding the actions he had undertaken during the battle, he said that "The justice system would have been paralyzed had it not been for our initiative. Many terrorists would have been freed and given the opportunity of launching other attacks..The judicial system was not suited for such drastic conditions... Summary executions were therefore an inseparable part of the tasks associated with keeping law and order."[35]
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In early May two paratroopers were shot in the street by the FLN, their comrades led by one of Trinquier's informers attacked a bath-house which was believed to be an FLN hideout, killing almost 80 Muslims.[37]

On 3 June Yacef's forces planted bombs in street lamps at bus stops in the centre of Algiers, the explosions killed eight and wounded 90, a mix of French and Muslims. On 9 June a bomb exploded at the Casino on the outskirts of Algiers killing nine and injuring 85. Following the burial of the dead from the casino, the Pied-Noirs started a ratonnade that resulted in five Muslims dead and more than 50 injured.
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FLN losses are impossible to determine accurately. In addition to the publicised FLN deaths there were many who simply disappeared. Paul Teitgen, general secretary of the Prefecture of Algiers who resigned in March 1957 (but was kept in his post by Governor-General Lacoste until October 1957) over the use of torture by French forces calculated that over 24,000 Muslims had been arrested during the battle and by subtracting those released or still in captivity estimated that as many as 3,000 were missing.[43]

As details of the use of torture and summary executions became public in the years following the battle and the end of the Algerian War, the French victory and the reputations of many of the commanders became tainted by the methods used in the battle.[44]

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revelations of torture and the indiscriminate brutality the army visited on the Muslim population prompted widespread revulsion, and a significant constituency supported the principle of national liberation. By 1959, it was clear that the status quo was untenable and France could either grant Algeria independence or allow real equality with the Muslims. De Gaulle told an advisor: "If we integrate them, if all the Arabs and the Berbers of Algeria were considered French, how could they be prevented from settling in France, where the living standard is so much higher? My village would no longer be called Colombey-les-Deux-Églises but Colombey-les-Deux-Mosquées".
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De Gaulle convoked the first referendum on the self-determination of Algeria on January 8, 1961, which 75% of the voters (both in France and Algeria) approved and de Gaulle's government began secret peace negotiations with the FLN.
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The OAS was to be the main standard bearer for the pieds-noirs for the rest of the war.
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To pressure de Gaulle to abandon his demand to keep the Sahara, the FLN organized demonstrations in France from Algerians living there in the fall of 1961, which the French police crushed.[65]:91 It was in the course of crushing one demonstration that a massacre of Algerians on 17 October 1961, which was ordered by Maurice Papon. On 10 January 1962, the FLN started a "general offensive" against the OAS, staging a series on the pied-noir communities as a way of applying pressure.[65]:91 On 7 February 1962, the OAS attempted to assassinate the Culture Minister André Malraux by setting off a bomb in his apartment building that failed to kill its intended target, but did leave a four-year girl living in the adjoining apartment blinded by the shrapnel.[66] The blinding of the girl did much to turn French opinion against the OAS.

On 20 February 1962 a peace accord was reached for granting independence to all of Algeria.[65]:87 In their final form, the Évian Accords allowed the pieds-noirs equal legal protection with Algerians over a three-year period. These rights included respect for property, participation in public affairs, and a full range of civil and cultural rights. At the end of that period, however, all Algerian residents would be obliged to become Algerian citizens or be classified as aliens with the attendant loss of rights. The agreement also allowed France to establish military bases in Algeria even after independence (including the nuclear test site of Regghane, the naval base of Mers-el-Kebir and the air base of Bou Sfer) and to have privileges vis-à-vis Algerian oil. The OAS started a campaign of spectacular terrorist attacks to sabotage the Évian Accords, hoping that if enough Muslims were killed, a general pogrom against the pieds-noirs would break out, leading the French Army to turn its guns against the government.[65]:87 Despite ample provocation with OAS lobbying mortar shells into the casbah of Algiers, the FLN gave orders for no retaliatory attacks.[65]:87 In the spring of 1962, the OAS turned to bank robbery to finance its war against both the FLN and the French state, and bombed special units sent by Paris to hunt them down.[65]:93 Only eighty deputies voted against the Évian Accords in the National Assembly and Cairns wrote the "fulminations" of Jean-Marie Le Pen against de Gaulle were only "...the traditional verbal excesses of third-rate firebrands without a substantial following and without a constructive idea".[65]
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De Gaulle pronounced Algeria an independent country on July 3. The Provisional Executive, however, proclaimed July 5, the 132nd anniversary of the French entry into Algeria, as the day of national independence.

During the three months between the cease-fire and the French referendum on Algeria, the OAS unleashed a new campaign. The OAS sought to provoke a major breach in the ceasefire by the FLN, but the attacks now were aimed also against the French army and police enforcing the accords as well as against Muslims. It was the most wanton carnage that Algeria had witnessed in eight years of savage warfare. OAS operatives set off an average of 120 bombs per day in March, with targets including hospitals and schools.

During the summer of 1962, a rush of pieds-noirs fled to France. Within a year, 1.4 million refugees, including almost the entire Jewish community, had joined the exodus. Despite the declaration of independence on July 5, 1962, the last French forces did not leave the naval base of Mers El Kébir until 1967.
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After having denied its use for 40 years, the French state has finally recognized its history of torture; although, there was never an official proclamation about it. General Paul Aussaresses was sentenced following his justification of the use of torture for "apology of war crimes." But, as it did during wartime, the French state claimed torture were isolated acts, instead of admitting its responsibility for the frequent use of torture to break the insurgents' morale and not, as Aussaresses has claimed, to "save lives" by gaining short-term information which would stop "terrorists".[101] The state now claims that torture was a regrettable aberration due to the context of the exceptionally savage war. But academic research has proven both theses false. "Torture in Algeria was engraved in the colonial act; it is a 'normal' illustration of an abnormal system", wrote Nicolas Bancel, Pascal Blanchard and Sandrine Lemaire, who discuss the phenomena of "human zoos."[102]

NEVER FORGIVE. NEVER FORGET.

Dazhbog

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Re: French Colonialism in Algiers
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2021, 07:48:28 pm »
De Gaulle told an advisor: "If we integrate them, if all the Arabs and the Berbers of Algeria were considered French, how could they be prevented from settling in France, where the living standard is so much higher? My village would no longer be called Colombey-les-Deux-Églises but Colombey-les-Deux-Mosquées".

Guess which side De Gaulle was on during WW2?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_de_Gaulle

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Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle [...] was a French army officer and statesman who led Free France against Nazi Germany in World War II

On a side note, I think Colombey-les-Deux-Églises shouldn't even be called Colombey-les-Deux-Mosquées in the future, though this would of course be an improvement over the status quo. It should get an altogether Arab/Berber name.

guest5

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Re: French Colonialism in Algiers
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2021, 11:40:01 pm »
Algeria's first National Remembrance Day for the Setif Massacre
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Algeria commemorates its first National Remembrance Day in memory of the Setif Massacre of 1945 when French troops killed 45,000 Algerians.
#8mai1945​ #Setif​ #Algeria​
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VuJByIINN4

90sRetroFan

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