13.3 C
New York
Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Algeria Under French Rule

In 1848, Algeria was declared a territory of France, divided into departments headed by prefects and by the French governor-general.

The February Revolution of 1848 for a time paralyzed the further development of the French domination. General Cavaignac, who replaced (1848) the Duke of Omal, refused to satisfy the desire of the people who were striving for a closer political union of Algeria with France. The French National Assembly was pleased that Algeria, which had previously been called the Regency, was declared an eternal possession of the Republic and allowed 4 deputies of the colony to take part in discussions of Algerian affairs. In the period between 1848-1852. often successive generals had to suppress the uprising in the country more than once. After the December coup, Louis-Napoleon sent General Randon to the colony, who ruled from 1851 to 1858 and rendered great services to the approval and distribution of the French domination. In December 1852, Generals Pélissier and Yussuf seized the oasis of Laghuat in the south of Algeria, meanwhile, almost simultaneously in the far south of the country, the powerful Beni-Mzab tribe surrendered to French patronage. 1853-1854 was filled with expeditions against Kabyle. The campaign, undertaken in 1854 from Laguat against the rebel Arabs in the south, had as a consequence the subordination of the oases of Tuggurt and Wadi Suf. In the next the years the French extended their power to the Uled-Sidi-Sheikhs and to the oasis of Varglu. Since then, the French have gained some influence on the Tuareg tribes in the northern part of the Middle Sahara and have opened up their way to trade with internal Africa. With this goal on behalf of the French. Governments have undertaken precise studies of the border areas of the Sahara and made repeated attempts to establish a caravan communication with Timbuktu and Senegal. The great expedition, undertaken by Randon against the tribes of the Great Kabylie in 1856–57, ended in their complete subordination and construction of a military road through Kabylie, as well as Fort Napoleon, so that the whole country to the northern edge of the Sahara was under French rule. By decrees of June 24 and August 31, 1858, Algeria was entrusted to a special ministry, at the head of which Prince Napoleon first stood, and then Count Chasela Loba, but by decree on December 11. In 1860, the ministry was destroyed and replaced by a general governorship with unlimited power. This post was received by Marshal Pélissier.

From then until 1864, with the exception of a few minor uprisings of the natives, Algeria enjoyed complete peace of mind. But at the beginning of 1864, the French military authorities awarded the secretary of an Arab commander for some easy offense to punishment with canes. This punishment, considered by the Arabs to be the most shameful and never applied to free people, provoked their unusual armed uprising in the southern part of the province of Oran. The tribes in the Bogari district joined them, but on May 13 and 14, Generals Deligny and Youssouf defeated the Arabs in two battles, and even before the end of the year most of the rebels expressed submission. Meanwhile, General Pélissier died in May, and Marshal MacMahon was appointed in September. In 1865, Napoleon III visited Algeria and on 5 March issued a proclamation to the Arabs, in which he promised them the inviolability of their nationality and land ownership. But the Arabs in all these measures saw only signs of weakness and inability of the French government. Immediately upon the departure of the emperor, rebellions broke out in the Little Kabylia and the province of Oran, caused by the harsh measures of the Bureaux Arabes and the robberies of the tribes living on the borders of Tell. In Oct. In 1865, C-Gamed Ben-Hamza, with horsemen, attacked the tribes who remained loyal to the French, but was forced by Colonel Colombo to the Sahara. Broken tribes brought confession. In March 1866, C-Gamed again attacked one peaceful tribe, but was driven back into the desert. At the beginning of 1867, the French undertook a new expedition and completely defeated the Arabs at Goley. The following years passed quietly, because the famine made it hard for military enterprises.

This comparative calm was broken again in 1870. In January, Uled-Sidi-Sheikhs, living partly in Moroccan territory, forced their peaceful tribesmen in the southern part of Oran province to flee to the more northern plateaus, where they were subjected to all sorts of hardships. To protect them, the expedition was led by General Wimpfen, who drove the enemy onto Moroccan soil, where they inflicted a sensitive defeat. The opening of the Franco-Prussian War caused new uprisings. The French government had withdrawn most of its African troops to France since the beginning of July; General Durje was temporarily appointed to the place of Mac-Magon. When in September among the tribes of the south spread the news of the destruction of the French troops, they found it then to be the best opportunity to overthrow the French. First the tribes rose in the southeast of the province of Constantine, and in October from the extreme south of Oran significant troupes of Arabs moved to the east. However, thanks to the vigilance and activity of General Durje, the uprising did not become universal. Meanwhile, the transformation of France into a republic had its influence on the political affairs of the colony. The Republican government in Paris was hastily bestowed on her the desired civil rights. Then, on the place of the former military administration by decree, on October 24, 1870, a civilian governor was appointed, who should manage the three provinces of the country through his prefects. The advisory committee, which must be convened annually in October and is composed of a prefect, an archbishop, a military commander, etc., chaired by the governor, discusses the general budget of the colony. Native Jews granted the rights of the French citizenship. Brigadier General Lallemand was appointed to the position of General Durje, the head of all the country’s military forces. Civilian governor appointed Henry Didier. But even before the latter arrived, in all the more significant cities of Algeria the revolutionary movement grew stronger. In the city of Algiers, something like a revolutionary commune was formed, which forced the prefect to resign. In exactly the same way, General Valzan-Östergazi, a very unpopular military man who temporarily ruled the capital, was forced to resign.

But the strife among the European population ceased quite soon, when unrest among the Mohammedan population turned into open rebellion. At the beginning of 1871, both Sheikh El-Mokrani and Ben-Ali-Sheriff rose in Kabylie, having achieved thanks to the honors rendered to them earlier by the French government and the annual content of great importance. They were soon joined by El-Gadad, the head of the order Sidi-Abder-Raman-El-Talebi, as a result of which the uprising became predominantly religious in nature. Although the French remained victorious whenever it came to open battle, nevertheless, as the uprising spread, they were forced to confine themselves to the defense of fortified places. In the spring of 1871 almost all of Algeria was in the hands of the rebels; many coastal cities, such as Dallis, Jijeli and Shercell, were surrounded on all sides and could communicate with Algeria only by sea. Only after the end of the Franco-Prussian war and the destruction of the Commune, the French again had the opportunity to go on the offensive and subdue the rebels during the summer of 1871. The new civil governor, Vice-Admiral Gaydon, and his successor, divisional general Chanzy only with difficulty could they maintain French domination in Algeria. In 1873, universal military service was introduced into Algeria, with some, however, changes relative to France (reduction of service life, etc.), and the following year the militia was also established. In 1879, when General Chanzy was sent to St. Petersburg by the French envoy, Albert Grevi, brother of the President of the Republic, was appointed civil governor-general. The uprising that flared up in the same year in Aures near Batna was quickly suppressed.

The following year passed quietly, but in March 1881 Tunisian Arabs from the tribe of the peacemakers attacked some French tribes on the eastern outskirts of the province of Constantine, took away the cattle and caused damage to the detachment sent against them. The French government decided to punish the patrons for this and take advantage of this expedition to subjugate Tunisia, which only nominally, and without recognition of France, recognized its dependence on the Ottoman Empire. Without declaring war and withdrawing their consul Rustan from the residence of Bey, 2 French columns under the command of General Lozhero on April 24 crossed the Tunisian border from Um-Tebul and Souk Arras and along the coast, as well as through the valley of Metsherdi got inside the country, while French squadron seized the island of Tabarka. On April 26, Kef was busy; on April 28, the main column reached the railway at Suq el Arba leading to Tunisia; On May 1, a squadron deported from Toulon occupied the harbor of Bizerte and landed troops herewho, on May 11 under the command of General Brear, approached the city of Tunisia; At the same time, French warships appeared on the Goletta raid. Neither the armies nor the Bey troops put up armed resistance to the French army, and on May 12, Bey signed in Tunis a treaty offered to him by General Brear, according to which Tunisia recognized French domination over himself. France assumes the diplomatic mission of a country that is nominally still considered independent in front of foreign powers, and has the right to maintain permanent garrisons both on the coast and inside the country and through the resident minister living in Tunisia has a decisive influence on internal affairs. Bey waives the right to conclude treaties with representatives of foreign powers, in return, France provides for his family the right to inherit in the country. Tabarka, Bizerte, Goletta, Kef, Souk-el-Arba and many small points inside the country were immediately occupied by French troops, and after a long bombardment they were occupied on July 16. In September, an uprising broke out in the holy city of Kairouan (south of Tunisia ), which quickly spread and required the sending of considerable reinforcements from France. General Gossier organized the expeditionary corps under Golett, who after the onset of the rainy period moved to Kairouan and occupied it on 26 October.

While these events were taking place in eastern Algeria, a dangerous uprising occurred in the southern part of the province of Oran, which the French were not able to suppress. In April, the powerful Uled-Sidi-Sheikh tribe, led by Bou-Amena, attacked a colony from the desert, destroyed the harvest, and cut off part of the French and the Spanish workers, seized herds and, skillfully avoiding the troops sent against him, returned to the oases. In May, a new robber raid occurred, in which Bou-Amena inflicted a sensitive defeat on the exiled Géryville French detachment and even reached the southern outskirts of Tell. Not once French transports were captured by predators, and small troops were attacked; nevertheless, Bou-Amena, with many captives and rich loot, returned again to his desert and remained there in the continuation of Ramadan.During this time, several other Arab tribes joined the uprising, so the French government saw itself compelled to send considerable reinforcements from France to defend the province. In place of General Osmon the command of the troops in Algeria was transferred to the General Saussier, who energetically began to prepare for the resumption of hostilities at the beginning of the rainy season; Similarly, General Sera and many other senior officers who were accused of lack of energy were recalled from Oran. Military action against Bou-Amena began only in October, with Géryville appointed as the main basis.

Sources:

The history of Algeria in the new and modern times / R. G. Landa

Stay Connected

172,512FansLike
20,219FollowersFollow

Latest Articles

Medieval Crime & Punishment – How Were Criminals Tortured?

During the Medieval Ages, there was a substantial amount of criminals. This was due to the impunity surrounding criminals which gave them the freedom to...

Were The Vikings Really As Strong As They Are Portrayed?

Who Were The Vikings? Vikings were known as one of the bravest warriors in history. But is this really true? Or do we just think this...

Twins in History – A Blessing or a Curse?

Twins in History The birth of twins isn't something unusual. Historically, it was accepted in many cultures.   The birth of twins can be...

Glima – The Nordic Martial Art Practiced by the Vikings

What is Glima? Glima is a Scandinavian martial arts system used by the fearless Vikings. Strength wasn't the only way to dominate your opponent even...

How Were Books Made In the Middle Ages

Each of the medieval period books were written by hand, starting in the early until the medium middle age when talking about Europe, a majority...