Algeria: Country to Colony
Algeria: Colony to Country Throughout history, there have been invasions and occupations. Starting with Alexander The Great, the idea came about that with land came power. The mid 1800’s brought about a resurgence of countries, mainly France and England, wanting more land. But unlike the past 400 years where the new land that was added was completely new land inhabited only by uncivilized savages, the land now being added was already inhabited with “civilized” people with their own government. This colonial period lasted for about one hundred to one hundred fifty years and left a lasting impact on the countries that were withdrawn from. Algeria, in North Africa, is one such country. Occupied by the French from 1830 to 1962 life during occupation cast a shadow over what life would be like in Algeria when France would no longer be there. France invaded Algeria in 1830 under the pretense that the Algerian government had insulted the French consul in Algiers. In reality, the invasion was a ploy by the reinstated French monarchy to revive its domestic popularity. After the invasion of Algiers the French army was sent out to acquire the agricultural land from the Algerian people. When the Europeans began to colonize A
Everyday life continued to be a struggle under the current government system, but in 1965 a military coup seized control of the country and life began to improve. At the time the government thought this idea of self-management was a good one, but it proved to be a failure due to incompetence, graft, and theft among many of the representatives. Only with an economic upturn of 4the 1990"tms did life improve, but it did not match the quality of life the people had briefly experienced in the 1980"tms. The war for national liberation and its aftermath severely disrupted Algeria"tms society and economy. The people of Algeria rushed to lay claims to lands, bank accounts, business, automobiles, and houses left behind by the colonists. The European settlers were largely of peasant farm or working-class origin from the poor southern areas of Italy, Spain and France. With this new government jobs became scarce and quality of life took a turn for the worse. These newly wealthy men became the upper class of Algerian society and took part in governing Algeria and controlling foreign and domestic policy. For the French colonists, life was not so harsh. In addition to the physical destruction, the departure of most of the colonists deprived the country of most of its managers, civil servants, engineers, teachers, physicians and skilled workers - - all occupations from which the Muslim population had 3been excluded or discouraged from pursuing by colonial policy. To take care of this problem, the government nationalized all property of the departed colonists. The only thing that was offered to the Algerian people from the French was education as Algeria was considered a vital part of France, but more often than not, the Algerian people went unschooled because all the male members of the family had to work to provide for the family. This subjugation and economic repression lasted 2until 1962, and during those one hundred thirty two years many armed resistances arose, but none were successful. lgeria, the Algerian people were considered second-class citizens and were often not allowed to participate in the everyday workings of Algeria.
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