chapter  2
Algeria and colonisation
Pages 18

Algeria is located directly across theMediterranean fromFrance’s south coast and has been linked to France since at least the early 1500s as part of its commercial activities. Algeria came under French rule in 1830 as a way to recover lost pride and to gain national glory when Algiers was forcibly seized from the Ottomans. The French monarchy of Charles X was in disarray and an invasion of Algiers was considered as an effective means to bolster a monarchy in crisis. The French had blockaded Algiers for three years after what was considered an insult by the Dey of Algiers to the French consul. In 1830, the failure of the blockade was the pretext for a military invasion. Although the unpopular monarchy could not be saved, French rule of Algeria continued, despite opposition, on the grounds that it was necessary for national glory and prestige. In 1834, France annexed and occupied the territory and placed it under the administrative control of a Governor-General. Initially, French rule in Algeria was restricted to the coastal areas of Oran and Bône. From its inception, there was a great deal of resistance to the French occupation. One of the most well-known challenges came from Emir Abd al-Kader, the head of a Moroccan force, who gained hero status in 1832 for trying to defeat and remove the French from Oran (Stone 1997: 30). However, by 1851, the French had established rule over three civil territories that included Algiers,

Oran and Constantine, all of which were deemed to be integral parts of France and under the rule of the French administration.