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HIS388H1 (6)
Lecture 11

Lecture 11.doc

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Nathalie Fournier

Algeria was very French - must be retained as French soil was consensus in Fance - French army had pride on the line, and there was oil in Algeria, needed for French super power status o Rhetoric to make Algeria French, but France was fighting tide of history o 1954 there were 2 independent states, but by 1962 most of Africa was independent o Algerians were not treated equally in France,  Most Muslims were disenfranchised, 1 millions colonists had superior social status and wealth in Algeria compared to indigenous people, - National Liberation Front (FLN) was coalition including Marxists and islamists o 1954 it initiated terrorists attacks against French and colonists  In Algeria, America didn’t help, France was on own o In order to pacify them, citizen soldiers were being drafted to fight in Algeria  500,000 soldiers were sent in Algeria • In addition 200,000 Muslim Algerians served with the French army, called Harkis o Sons of men serving for WWII or they served in it • More Algerian Muslims fighting for French rather than FLN - French army won, but territory was too big to pacify so there were ongoing terrorist attacks o To deal with stalemate, French resorted to desperate measures  Invaded Egypt in order to pacify Algeria  Nasser wanted to make Egypt leader of Arabic middle east, nationalized Suez Canal, he also supported Algerian rebels  Britain France and Israel organized coalition to attack Nasser and take him from power • Attacked Egypt in preemptive strike • World public opinion supported Egypt, thus Coalition won militarily but not diplomatically o Because of American opposition British pound collapsed making them resign and thus coalition lost and Egypt won  During Suez crisis, Guy Mollet believed that to solve France’s problems in world is to make political union with Britain • British Prime Minister turned down request to make France in British commonwealth o Thus France joined Germany o Britain made alliance to US  France embarked in counter terrorism and torture to deal with Algerians • Torture was type of propaganda, to show who was the boss o Electrocution o Franz Fanon ‘Wretched of the Earth’ documented this torture and concluded that violence damaged psyche of oppressors, urged people in 3 world to kill oppressors to regain dignity – in contrast to Gandhi  Became mandatory reading for left-wing intellectuals, inspired FLQ  Fanon was propagandist o Situation in Algeria was verging on Civil war  French morale was sapped by endlessness of war and torture • Army was becoming increasingly bitter  In this moment of national crisis, 4 republic handed over emergency powers to General De Gaulle • He drafted new constitutions, constitution from top not below from elected assembly • Office of presidency was strengthened • French people rallied to De Gaulle and supported new constitution, th o 5 republic was founded with de Gaulle as president o Almost half of the seats went to the Union of New Republic – Gaullist party - 1962 he amended own constitution took it one step further, and had the president elected directly by the people o Last time president was directly elected was Napoleon III, ensured primacy of president over chamber of deputies - De Gaulle strived on crisis, only peril can bring country together he said o Modernized constitution and dealt with Algeria o Came to conclusion that Algeria is costly adventure, proceeded to conduct referendum on question of Algerian self-determination  For this De Gaulle survived numerous assassination attempts • Majority voted in favour of autonomy for Algeria • Recognized Algerian Independence in 1962 o Mass exodus of colonists back to France, 900,000 return to France and they hated De Gaulle,  Strong anti-Gaullist group on Right-wing - One of the arguments for French Empire was to make France great power, it was no longer necessary by 1960s to maintain empire for that goal – other vehicles through which France can play great role o Alternative vehicle was Euro
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