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France and Algeria (1870-1962)

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  1. The tyranny form of government
    1. The concept of power
    2. The tyrant, the sole holder of power
  2. Tyranny, a controversial and transient system
    1. A controversial system
    2. A transient regime

Algeria has been the largest French colony since 1830. Napoleon introduced a development that propagated more or less joint planning. But a large inflection occurs in the report that links the French in Algeria: the fall of the Second Empire and the proclamation of the Third Republic in 1870.

Algeria was considered as belonging to France in its own right. "Algeria is France" Mitterrand said in 1954). Algeria remains in memory as a symbol of failure in the French decolonization. The trauma of "events" is unprecedented, because it raises ethical, ideological strains and refers to a divided French society. Why did the uprising happen in 1954? Why not before?

The military conquest, begun in 1830, was fully completed in 1847, but the country was not administered in a modern way. This was the project designed by Napoleon III for Algeria, namely to establish the political and economic equality between the city and province and refused the attachment of territory to France as desired by the settlers already there. The defeat of 1870 sounded the death knell of the "Arab dream" of Napoleon and the Republic faced the problem of colonial practices, a priori incompatible with the values it embodies.

The causes of the shift in Algerian politics:
The defeat of the war of 1870-1871 was a trauma for the French elites: Paul Leroy-Beaulieu, like his mentor Lucien Prevost-Paradol, saw colonialism as a necessary measure to fight against the "decline" of France, a " matter of life or death. " The colonial enterprise served as an outlet and conspiracy to defeat Prussia, after a period of diplomatic "recollection" (Duke Descazes, Minister of Foreign Affairs). Colonization was the act of elites, mostly pro-colonial from the early 1880s, but not without debate in French political life: in fact, this issue confused the divisions, particularly the Republicans (one can remember the parliamentary debate between Clemenceau and Ferry in July 1885). Colonial discourse is oriented much more strongly to colonialism.

The official colonial doctrine is paradoxical: it wavers between colonialism and free trade, carried out in the field by the "development" and the promotion of mutual enterprises, a process advocating individualistic values. But the views involved in the colonial ideology inevitably reflect the interests of social groups and categories, and not a republican universalism, in which case it is indeed an enterprise of exploitation and domination .

More prosaically, the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine led to an exodus of people in Algeria, by a phenomenon of population pressure.

The Third Republic wished to complete the assimilation of Algeria to the French territory: it must be the simple extension of France across the Mediterranean. France intended to install and expand a settlement: according to the official settlement policy, the Alsatians loyal to France leaving their region are encouraged to settle in Algeria, under the Act of June 21, 1871 (Revised by the decrees of July 15, 1874 and September 30, 1878) which gave 100,000 hectares of land in Algeria to immigrants from Alsace-Lorraine. There are also Mediterranean village names such as Strasbourg, Belfort and Kleber. Other populations were especially encouraged to emigrate to southern France.

Tags: Third Republic , Algerian politics, fall of the Second Empire

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