Algeria History – French Colonization and Nationalistic Movements

The populations that inhabited today’s Algeria were involved, from the 4th century. BC, in all the struggles of north-western Africa: in particular the Numidians, involved in the Punic wars of the 3rd century, ended up falling between 46 and 44 BC under the direct dominion of Rome. The Arabs appeared in the region after 660, definitively taking hold at the beginning of the 8th century. The region shared the fate of neighboring Ifrīqiya (Tunisia) for a long time; after the rule of Aghlabiti (9th century) and Fatimids (10th century) the Banū Ḥammād dynasty flourished. In the 11th century, like all of northern Africa, the Algeria it was invaded by the Arab nomads Benī Hilāl. Absorbed between 11th and 13th sec. in the North African empires of the Almoravids and Almohads, when the latter disintegrated, a local dynasty with the Abdalwadites of Tilimsen was reborn. In the 16th century. the period of the Barbary States began; the Spanish-Portuguese effort to occupy the centers of the coast (Oran, Bugia, etc.) was quickly exhausted and the Barbaresco state of Algiers, under the high sovereignty of the Porta, was maintained until the 19th century. In 1830 a tangled commercial question led France to occupy Algiers. The occupation was then extended to the centers of the coast, Oran and Bona. Having won the resistance of Abd el-Kader, who tried to organize a Muslim state with Mascara as its capital, France took control of the whole of the Algeria, not without putting down new revolts (1871 and 1881). As early as 1865, Algerians were offered the opportunity to become French citizens, but only if they accepted the French civil code, which Muslims disliked. The question of Algerian representation in the French Parliament also arose, as the law (amended in 1919, but remained intact in substance) required that the deputies have French citizenship. The Algerian nationalistic movements, born towards the end of the First World War, they proposed different solutions, dividing themselves among the most extremist ones, supporters of an Algeria Muslim, those oriented towards full collaboration with the French and those in favor of collaboration as long as full political rights are recognized to Muslims. The French defeat of 1940 and the participation of the Algerians in the war effort of the French National Liberation Committee gave a strong stimulus to the independence movement. In 1943 Ferḥāt ‘Abbās launched the Manifesto of the Algerian people, in which he called for a constitution that guaranteed the freedom, equality and effective participation of Algerians in the government of Algeria. A first insurrection broke out in Kabylia and in the Constantine area in 1945: French repression was severe. For Algeria 1999, please check

The attitude of non-collaboration assumed by the moderates themselves pushed the government of Paris to make some concessions on the administrative level, but not on the political one. The Democratic Union of Ferḥāt ‘Abbās soon lost ground in favor of the more extremist groups, who did not want an Algerian republic federated with France. On November 1, 1954, a series of attacks inaugurated the Algerian uprising, which spread first in Kabylia, then throughout the territory, under the direction of the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN), which later became the Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic, with based in neighboring Tunisia. France responded with police and military repression, refusing any negotiation; but the harshness of the repression did not justify the insurrection, which continued despite the capture of Ben Bellā. After almost 4 years of guerrilla warfare, the French government showed its intention to negotiate; but at that point the violent reaction of the French of the ‘TO. French’. However, he was soon persuaded of the inevitability of a policy of concessions and from September 1958 he proposed an intermediate solution, which envisaged first the autonomy and then the political independence of the territory, safeguarding economic relations with France (especially interested to the fate of the Algerian Sahara, which turned out to be rich in oil). Feeling betrayed, French military and civilians multiplied the acts of insubordination: twice (January 1960, April 1961) they tried to repeat, this time against De Gaulle, the insurrection; but without success; then spread the anti-Arab terrorism of the settlers, organized by the OAS (Organization de l’Armée Secrète). In the meantime, the negotiations between the French government and the liberation front went to port in Évian (March 1962). The future structure of the Algeria it was referred to a popular referendum to be held on 1 July 1962; a five-year period was established within which the Europeans of. they could have opted for the new Algerian nationality or the preservation of the French one; France was also associated with the exploitation of the Sahara.

Algeria History - French Colonization