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What Was The Purpose of the Algerian Civil War (1954-1962)?
When after more than 130 years of colonial rule by France, the Algerian War commenced in 1954, Albert Camus was distraught. The second youngest writer to ever win the Nobel Prize was born in Algeria in 1913 and left his homeland in 1942 when the newspaper he voiced his opposition to French colonial policies in was put out of business. At that time, over 1 million European citizens also called Algeria their home, but the French government significantly ...view middle of the document...
Many European citizens settled in Algeria (they were called pieds noirs) but it was not an actual colony. This caused the bond between the two to be of a more emotional and deeper nature, as the French were very interested in the lush agricultural plots along Algeria’s coastlines, which were only 120 minutes away from France by airplane. (DiMarco, web). Until the 1930’s, France continued its rule without much dissent because it pitted the groups indigenous to the region against one another quite successfully, but with the rise of nationalist fervor in the 1930’s the mother country came to experience some real problems in controlling Algeria (Canuel, web). For example in 1945, the French killed an estimated 6,000 people in a small riot near Setif after expressing nationalist sentiment during a demonstration of exuberance after the end of the World War II (DiMarco, web).
During the next nine years, various independence movements sprung up, but the French managed to suppress them all until the Front de Liberation Nationale or FLN leapt to the fore of the scene as it had gained a significant amount of support. Schooled in the art of Maoist warfare, the FLN embraced urban terrorism and bombings of civilians to hit French targets. The initial French reaction to the outbreak of hostilities on November 1, 1954 was rather mild. They simply did not comprehend the ferocity or tactics the FLN intended to utilize to oust them from Algeria. It very well could have been a form of complacency because after all the French had managed to put down various other insurgencies, so why would this one be any different? (Canuel, web).
When the Fourth Republic collapsed in April 1958, it was largely the result of the issues in Algeria. France was being decried by its Western Allies for the situation in Algeria and how they were fighting the war. By this meaning incorporating the use of guerilla tactics like their opponents and not adhering to the Geneva Convention’s regulations on how
interrogations as well as prisoners of war should be treated. That’s when Charles de Gaulle came of retirement and was reinstituted as the head of the French government. He refused to accept that Algeria wanted their independence and stiffened his commitment to the war with more men as well as materials. Also, General Challe came into power and instituted a plan that technically defeated the Algerian forces in the field because the varying nationalities were fighting amongst themselves in addition to the French wanting to hold Algeria at all costs. (Canuel, web) (DiMarco, web).
The war finally came to conclusion through the Evian Accords of March 1962 when at long last, France acknowledged the Republic of Algeria (Canuel,...