By A. BOUHOUCHE
Frenchmen are known for their patriotism and lack of interest in leaving their mother-country. Unlike other European countries, France has always enjoyed a well balanced economic equilibrium and diversity of cultures, climates, occupations. French people have not encountered major economic and social crisis, such as the potato-famine in Ireland or the cotton failure in Great Britain, and they were never forced to choose between starvation and emigration to other continents. In addition, to the advantage of being a self sufficient country, France has always enjoyed a low birth rate that kept things in balance and the French people never suffered from famine or crowding. What seems to be the driving force behind France’s colonial policy, since 1815, were the ideas of « economic subservience » and « assimilation ». Both elements would strengthen motherland, increase the prestige of rulers and restore to France her national greatness. Thus, the French colonial
policy, unlike that of Great Britain which developed in response to the necessities of trade, was merely one aspect of the domestic or foreign policy of governments concerned about their popularity ().
For the purpose of this study, we are concerned mainly with the French colonial policy since 1815 which marked the failure of France to reach any working compromise between the old order and the new, between the traditions of the Ancien Regime and the traditions of the traditions of the Revolution ().
The return of Charles X and the émigrés to France in 1815, in the baggage of allies raised fear and suspicion that they might succeed in rallying all those who believed that the revolution was the product of evil. After 15 years of mutual toleration came the inevitable showdown between the émigrés and the French masses. The émigrés proved to have «forgotten nothing and to have learned nothing ». They put pressure on kings and forced them to reward them for their loyalty to Bourbon family. They accepted nothing less than reasserting their social superiority and restoring the political influence of the clergy.
In reality, then, what motivated the Ultra-Royalist party, and especially its leader, Charles X, was not so much a desire for colonial expansion as much as the thought that a grandiose victory on the Napoleonic style might divert attention from the growing unpopularity of his regime in France (). The second motive for invading Algeria was the satisfaction of the army. The king thought that the conquest of Algeria would put the army in his pocket and induce the officers to crack down on the liberal elements in France later, as well as protecting him, in case there was a revolution(). It was his hope that the French
army would score an easy and quick military victory in Algeria and restore to France her prestige and its ability to challenge the British navy in the Mediterranean Sea. The third motive was to win the support of the French merchants, traders and planters. Charles X thought that an overseas victory would be popular with the bourgeoisie since it would open the Algerian market to them again (). The king felt that the right thing to do was to follow a strong Algerian policy which might persuade the merchants of Marseille to refrain from committing themselves to the liberal bourgeois opposition that was mounting in the nation().
The pretext used for invading Algeria was a long standing dispute between two Algerian Jewish merchants, who supplied France with wheat during the era of Directory, and the French Government. The Dey of Algiers sought to help the two merchants get their money back since the wheat has never been paid for and the sum due with interest, had mounted in 1817 to about one million pounds (). Apparently, the French Government and its general Consul in Algiers, Mr. Duval, were not prepared to pay the full amount and this led to an interminable diplomatic correspondence between the French king and the Dey of Algiers. The willingness of the Dey to settle for a reduced amount did not put an end to the dispute and the French diplomat started to harden the position of France. The General Consul showed that he was not seeking a settlement but rather a cause that justifies a French military intervention and save the Bourbon family from the rebels of Paris. Contrary to all traditions, the French consul in Algiers had business interests and his commercial activities were subsidized by the Bourbon family which had given him since 1816 more than the equivalent to 100 million old francs in our days (). He, undoubtedly, had under taken the responsibility of aggravating things and provoking the well known incident of 1827 in which he played a major role of interrupting negotiation and putting the blame on the Algerian side. It was in April 1827 that the Algerian ruler had an audience with the French Consul and the former indicated to the latter that he was concerned about the delay of Charles X to answer his letters on the subject of wheat. The consul was hardly diplomatic in his reply. He said it was beneath the French king to write a mere Dey. The Dey retorted by striking the Consul over the face with a flywhisk; and France’s answer was to send an ultimatum which the Dey could not possibly accept, and as follow up, to declare war on Algeria ().
While the long standing economic and diplomatic contraversy with the Algerian government had provided Charles X with a good excuse for taking action against the rulers of Algeria, it was not sufficient for saving his throne. Undoubtedly he failed to sense the mood of the Parisians who became impatient with the reactionary émigrés and their drive to root out the reforms of the revolutionary era. Taking advantage of initial triumph in Algiers to proceed with his coup d’état at home (dissolved the new chamber even before its convocation, altered the electoral System, deprived the wealthy bourgeois of the right to vote and stripped the press of any semblance liberty) proved to be the fatal thing the Bourbon family had ever done (). Unfortunately for the overthrowned king, the army and the colons benefited most from his strategies and plans to conquer Algeria. One has also to give him credits for facilitating the tasks of his successor, Louis Philippe or Roi des Français. Thus, Charles X had failed to bring together the incompatible tradition inherited from the old regime and the Revolution. It was unwise on his part to decline the role of a constitutional monarch. Instead of helping himself, he helped in (A) finding a place for the army in the French society and restoring its prestige; (B) satisfying the colons by securing for them very rich area which would stimulate their trade, market, and investment in the newly occupied territory; (C) making France virtually a prestigious power, with an
army controlling both sides of the Mediterranean sea; and (D) furnishing a location for sending trouble makers at home or undesirable element.
The initial success of the French army in Algeria inspired its officers to carry out the mission of France abroad and show the ability of the French army to restore the national honor. The officers in the French army felt that the colonization of Algeria would not only bring to them security in their professional career such as decorations, promotions, but could also give them free hand in setting up their own military institutions, indoctrinizing the new French comers to Algeria and making out of the natives Frenchmen. The military leaders realized from the beginning that they did not have to worry about getting financial aid from Paris since the resistance of the natives would never cease and the army will be assured of getting the necessary support for conquering the whole country. Naturally, the institutional set up and atomized politics of Paris convinced the army that Paris and Parisians were not in a position to check on its policies and dispute its leadership
in the newly occupied land. What seemed very important to the army were the questions of making the natives dependent on the army and attracting French immigrants to settle in the new colony of the army.
With regard to the question of controlling the natives, the army decided to proceed in the following manner: first, place Algeria under the full autority of the « Commandant de l’armée de l’Afrique », and in 1834 the name was changed to « Gouverneur Général des Possessions Françaises du Nord de l’Afrique ». The presence of military leader
in Algiers was necessary for establishing direct communication with the Minister of war in Paris and making sure that other ministries or other metropolitan political parties would not interfere in the military and civilian affairs of Algeria. The second technique used by the army to strengthen its power in Algeria was the recruitment of new military and civilian settlers who could perpetuate the French domination in North Africa. The third and most effective technique was the expropriation of lands belongs to the Algerians. The strategy of the army was to force Algerians either to show their loyalty to the French army or be deprived of their properties and their lands would be free for colonization. The fourth strategy was to set up a network of « Bureaux Arabes » for the purpose of infiltrating the territories in the hands of the natives as well as bringing to them the French civilization. Such political strategies of the army confirm the fact that the French people were not willing to take initiative and colonize other territories but it was rather the military officers who decided to be colonizers and make the French people accept the idea of overseas expansion. The general feeling in 1830 was that France had little to lose by evacuation, except
that the French army felt its honor was at stake ().
The Role of the Governor
Initially, the French military take over in Algiers did not involve the transfer of the Algerian sovereignty to the hands of the French. In fact, marshal Bourmont, head of the French military expedition, promised that the exercice of the Moslem religion would continue unrestrained. He also asserted the inhabitant’s rights that all classes would remain perfectly free and that no attempt would be made to interfere with their properties, trade or industry (). Hower, the advent of Louis – Philippe to power and his policy of « Juste Milieu» or appeasing all classes encouraged Bourmont and his military officers to intensify the war and make plans for complete domination of Algeria. The decree of July 22, 1834 asserted the supremacy of the army in Algeria by making it official that Algeria was to be under the military authority and the official title of its military ruler was to be called a
«governor General ». This ordinance made it explicitly clear that the chief of the military regime in Algeria would be responsible to nobody except the Minister of War in Paris.
By 1845, the terror of military rule against the natives started to pay off. Between 1834 and 1845, the army succeeded in forcing natives to emigrate from their fertile lands and take refuge in mountains or desert. The French army was able to do so and consolidate its power
since it was able to increase its size from 60,000 to 110,000 men (). Perhaps no one would sum up the policy of putting all sorts of squeezes on the natives of Algeria better than Marshal Bugeaud who said to members of the French parliament on January 15, 1840 : «I could not find any other way of subduing the country (Algeria) other than seizing these (agricultural) interests » (). He made the military policy clear when he further pointed out that settlers must be put wherever there is good water and fertile land. Don’t worry who it belongs to (). In the same speech to the National Assembly, Bugeaud revealed that he was
opposed to limited occupation and the only way to preserve Algeria is by total conquest. The mission of the French army is not to run after Arabs, this is very futile, but to prevent them from sowing, harvesting and grazing (). This technique of preventing the Algerians
from cultivating their lands was aimed at depriving them of the means of living, and to this effect the French troops were ordered to destroy crops and leave no space for « enemy » to cultivate and live on it.
Whether the Governor generated a military rule that was satisfactory to the colons, army, natives or to nobody, it is a delicate issue which deserves to be described by an eye witness. In October 1841, Tocqueville visited Algeria and noticed something strange. He sensed the hostility of soldiers against colons. Apparently, the officers became jealous of the colons who were enriching themselves and seizing different occasions to diminish their profits or ruin their enterprise (). The colons, on the other hand, disliked the military authority which slowed down the process of getting more lands and having direct control
over the natives. Intentionally or unintentionally, Tocqueville blew the whistle on the abuses of the military rulers of Algeria by attributing the uneasiness among army officers, colons, and the natives to the maladministration of the Governor. The visitor seemed to be shocked by the « savage rapidity » of expropriation. The Governor used the arbitrary decree of October 17, 1833 which gave him the right to expropriate lands. By this decree, he just declares the property to be for public utility and the administration seizes such property within twenty four hours without any indemnity. The owner is required to seek the
aid of an expert, within the next twenty four hours, so that he joins another expert representing the administration and make a value for the seized property. In case the owner could not or does not choose an expert, the court will designate one for him. What happened very often was that a colon may take a trip to Toulon (in France) for one week
and by the time he comes back, his property is no longer his (). Naturally, Tocqueville was concerned about the abuses and corrupted measures taken by the military Governor against his fellow citizens and colons. With regard to the natives, Tocqueville, however, felt that
the Arabs ought to be dominated but not by this savage method of expropriation. He advised the Governor to rely less on soldiers, and dominate them through the normal way of governing and not through expropriating because the latter would make them feel that the French were trying to replace them with the new European race ().
The tactic of wiping the Arabs and discontent of colons with the « exceptional regime of Algeria » kept growing in late 1840’s. The determination of Marshal Bugeaud, Governor of Algeria up to 1847, to give priority to military over civil colonization made the colons furious. The thing that irritated them most was his decision to make every colon serve 3 years in the army and do hard labors before being qualified for such spoils as free land, houses, stores and other privileges. On the other hand, Bugeaud’s support to some atrocities against the natives, especially the involvement of some generals ( like Pelissier, Cavaignac, and St. Arnaud ) who massacred one day 500 Algerian women and children when they sought refuge in caves, provoked widespread discussion among some conscious French deputies in Paris (). Suddenly, Bugeaud’s policies were disapproved and his dictatorship was denounced by a militant deputy named Lamartine. He labled Bugeaud’s tactic « as a system of extermination, more terrible than any crime of Nero and Tiberius» (). However, another deputy, by the name of Corcelle warned the Chamber of Deputies about another
threat which could do worse things to the natives than the military regime. He felt that «more worse than the army were the colonists. Already their newspapers in Algiers were filled with pseudo-scientific nonsense which urged the extermination of what regarded as inferior races » ().
Thus, the growing criticism of the military rule in Algeria resulted in sending three deputies by the Chamber of Deputies, to Algiers for the purpose of taking a look at the matter and reporting back to the legislative body. The report of the visiting deputies was vague and emphasized more than anything else, the need for creating a French population with French laws, French customs, French civilization, and at the same time treat the natives with the justice and humanity to which the French pledged by their interest and by their honor (). However, it was Tocqueville who summed up those proposals for changes and explained how to proceed with reforms in Algeria:
- To reduce the number of powers exercised over Algeria by Paris.
- To decentralize power further by sharing the functions of the Governor General in Algiers with his subordinates.
- To introduce simplicity, hierarchy and variety into a ramshackle administrative structure.
- To grant local authorities much greater power.
- To appoint a separate head for the civilian organization rather than to gather it with the military under the Governor General ().
Thus, both the report of the parliamentary committee which visited Algeria and Tocqueville remarks, criticized the military rule. The unwillingness of the army to recognize civil liberties and property rights, as well as the excessive powers of the Governor General, seem to have influenced them to show their displeasure with the military regime in Algiers. In fact, Tocqueville could not help but speak up frankly and give an account of what he had seen and disturbed him most when he was in Algeria. He noticed that in mixed territories
(where most of the natives live and the military rule is more severe), the Governor General could expropriate any individual’s lands and reimburse him with bonds payable at a later date ().
By 1848, the excessive power of the army was trimmed, and especially after the falling of the July Monarchy. Undoubtedly, the revolution of 1848 brought the most drastic change in the history of the French colonialism (). The 125,000 colons were pleased with the downfall of the Monarchy which they felt declined to put an end to the military regime, left uncertainty about expropriated lands, remained undecided about the policy of assimilation, and paralysed the initiatives of colonists (). The Republicans of that era came up with a clear cut policy towards Algeria. That policy was one of assimilation: it rested on the
assumption that all are free and equal and that the overseas possessions ought to be integral, self-governing parts of France ().
In August 1848, Republican regime wasted no time in responding favorably to thee grievances of the colons. The policy of assimilation was adopted by attaching several branches of the Algerian administration to different Ministries in Paris. On the other hand, the administration of justice in Algeria was attached to the Ministry of Justice (except in Moslem cases which remained under the control of the Ministry of war) and the Governor General was left out with the limited duties of executing orders of the government and responsible directly to the Minister, as he had been, and to the Minister of Justice. However, the decree of October 12, 1848, brought up some changes that were short of the expectations of the colons, who hoped to achieve some sort of autonomy in Algeria. While the Governor-General’s power over the colons was reduced to its normal size, it was not given to the colons, but rather transferred to the Minister of war in Paris. This decree authorized the Ministry of War in Paris to be in charge of ail functions of the Ministries of Interior, Public works. Agriculture and Finance. Those prerogatives would remain in the hands of the Minister of War until August 26, 1881 when another decree striped this powerful Ministry from performing the duties of these Ministries in Algeria ().
Naturally, the Minister of War was pleased with the powers acquired by his Ministry as a result of the split among the leaders of the army in Algeria. In a way, this was an end to challenges presented to the military headquarters in Paris from Marshal Bugeaud, Governor
of Algeria from 1840 to 1847. The rift within the military establishment was due to some conflicting projects concerning the lands expropriated from the natives. Undoubtedly, the abundance of lands confiscated by the decree of November 1840 in Mitidja, induced General Lamorcière to present a project to the Ministry of war in which he suggested that the question of domination in Africa was a matter of investment in lands acquired from natives and not the question of men. Furthermore, he proposed the adoption of a new policy aimed at « pushing back the Arabs » from the fertile lands. When the Minister of War accepted this proposed and issued to that effect the ordinance of December 4, 1846, Governor Bugeaud felt his authority was undermined. Without hesitation, he countered by asking the National Assembly to allocate 3 millions francs for developing new agricultural centers to soldiers who completed their military duties. When the National Assembly
turned down Bugeaud’s request for new loan, the disappointed Governor protested and handed in his resignation in June 1847 ().
In reality, the difference between the policy of the July Monarchy and the Second Republic was the shift from the military colonization to the new System of assimilation and civil colonization. The new government undertook the responsibility of building villages for colons, and forcing the natives to emigrate either to the desert or to poor areas. Such initiated policy of « Official colonization » was designed to fulfil certain economic and political goals. The Republicans went to work immediately and started their project of colonization by issuing the decree of September 19, 1848, which allocated 50 million
francs for the aid of French immigrants to Algeria ; 5 millions for 1848, 10 millions for 1849 and 35 millions for the coming years (). It was hoped that the sponsored programs of immigration would enable the government to purge Paris from the unpredictable mood of the Parisian proletariat. The decree stipulated that each worker could get 2 to 10 hectares, a house and some financial assistance. The Government succeeded in sending 13500 immigrants, in 1848, to Algeria. The chief executive told the first groups to immigrate to Algeria « Honneur à vous ! » the future belongs to you, you will find a healthy climate,
immense plains and fertile, virgin soil which belongs to nobody else but to you, to cultivate, rise to affluence and honor ().
In the era of Napoleon III, the government boosted the policy of immigration to Algeria by giving concessions to companies for building villages in exchange for getting free lands and exploiting the natural resources of Algeria. The new policy of « Colonisation capitaliste» (1851 – 1858) resulted in increasing the French and foreign immigrants from 131 000 in 1851 to 181 000 in 1858. Up to the year 1851, the foreign and French immigrants to Algeria were more or less equal in number (66,050 from France and 65,233 from foreign countries) but the determination of the leaders of the Second Republic and Napoleon III to deport undesirable elements or trouble-makes to Algeria, boosted the number of French settlers in Algeria to 112, 229 in 1861, compared to 80,247 foreign immigrants in that year. The foreigners in Algeria, other than the French, will not outnumber the immigrants coming from metropolitan France until 1876 when the Spanish and Italian immigrants reached the number of 155,735 individuals, compared lo 155,727 Frenchmen in that date (). As a result of the new projects of the Ministry of War in Paris and in particular the « official colonization » initiated under the Second Republic and «Capitalist Colonization » in the Napoleonic era. The European immigrants accelerated their pressure on the native to be forced out of their lands. In fact, some Algerian families in the eastern part of Algeria lost between 40 and 85% of their properties ().
THE ARAB KINGDOM OF NAPOLEON III
The coup d’état of December 1851, which made Napoleon III the supreme rider in France, allowed the Governor to regain his power in Algeria. General Randon, who was Governor from 1851 to 1858, showed the supremacy of military rulers over the civil administrators in Algeria, by striping the colons of their rights to send deputies to the
French parliament. The constitution of January 1852 gave no rights to the three departments to be represented in the Chamber of De puties (). However, the new military ruler of Algeria seemed to show some interest in helping colons, more than former Governors and sought to win their support instead of imposing the military. A decree of 1851 instructed the prefects to give to each colon free lands (as long as it was less than 50 hectares) without delay or payment. And in order to have enough lands on hand available to ail colons, and in particular the 10,000 deported opponents of Napoleon III who refused to be quiet
about his coup d’état. Randon issued a decree in which the Governor introduced a new policy of cantonnement, that is, restricting each tribe to the land actually needed for the sustenance of its members and taking the rest to the state for settlement (). In short, this policy of « official colonisation » paid off and the Government acquired more than 1,500,00 hectares (). The reason for confiscating larger territories through the system of cantonnement was due to the fact that the colons could not dare to harvest expropriated lands in isolated areas and the army was unable to provide security to the colons scattered all over Algeria. So the Governor invented the system of building villages by companies and encouraged the colons to establish business and benefits from the cheap labor of the natives. It appears that Governor Randon wanted to make colons interested in «Commercial and industrial colonization and the Algerians serve as simple workers for the new masters. The success of such policy would consolidate the military rule, silent the lobbyists of the colons in Paris, and show how the army could run efficiently its empire and meet the needs of French men in the « new France » in Africa.
In 1858, the emperor attempts to reconciliate between the army and the colons. He felt the need for re-organization and responding favorably to the colons who kept complaining to him about the severe rule of the military and the restrictions imposed on them by the officers in the army. On the other hand, some scandals occurred in the Bureaux Arabes which was a network of agents working for the army, helped to discredit the military rule in Algeria. On April 21, 1858 the Emperor felt strong enough to interfere and balance things in Algeria. He nominated his cousin, prince Jerome, to the newly created post of Ministry for Algeria and Colonies. This was regarded as the first stop toward a civilian regime, which the colons sought to establish in Algeria. Since Napoleon III always wanted badly to impress poor people and be just to every body, he stipulated in the same decree of
April 21, 1858, that the powers of the military Governor will be transfered to the Commandant Superieur in Algeria. The Emperor made it clear that new position for the Governor will give him more power and he will be acting like Marshal ().
Suddenly, the French Emperor decided to visit Algeria for the purpose of studying its problems on the spot and came away fascinated by the Arab people and Arab ways (). He thought it was unjust not « to protect Algeria from the invasion of foreigners ». Furthermore, he wanted to show that his policy of assimilation could be very meaningful
if he was able to curb the detrimental policies of containment against the natives. The French ruler started flirting with the natives of Algeria by making the assertion that Algeria was not a colony, but an Arab kingdom. He indicated that « the natives, like the colons, have a right to my protection and I am just as much Emperor of the Arabs as I am
Emperor of the French ». He felt it was the mission of Frenchmen to « convince the Arabs that we are not here to despoil them, but to bring them the benefits of the civilization » ().
The establishment of the new Ministry for Algeria and Colonies proved to be a major source of fear for the colons who felt that the natives and the army might outmanœuvre the dispersed colons one day. The army, on the other hand, became jealous of the growing
influence of the colons and fought back to regain its supreme authority over Algeria. In a way, the military rulers of Algeria were disillusioned and hastily accelerated their pressure on the Emperor. They were determined not to give chance to Prince Jerome to apply his liberal policies to Algeria or renew friendship with the natives. This was incompatible with their military policy of keeping the Algerians under very tight military control. In short, the military campaign paid off, and the colons, who could not stand up the latent policy of Prince Jerome to establish for himself a satellite « Arab Kingdom » in North Africa,
succeeded in making Louis Napoleon reverse his decisions about Algeria. In order to relieve himself from the pressure of both groups. Napoleon III visited Algeria in September 1860 and heard both sides. On December 10, 1860 he issued the famous decree which brought back to Algeria the military regime, headed by a Governor. By that decree, the functions of the ministry for Algeria and Colonies were attached to the Ministry of Mari ne, and Marshal Pelissier was named the governor of Algeria. With the exception of Justice, Public Instructions and Cultes which re-attached directly to the Ministries in Paris, the governor received all civilian and military powers in Algeria. Unlike before, the new governor, Marshal Pelissier (A) did not have to correspond with the Minister of Justice and he was responsible only to the Minister of War, (B) the governor became in charge of preparing the budget of Algeria, (C) he received the right to decide what type of taxes to be
levied, and (D) he got the support of his government to control the credits and loans for the Algerian affairs ().
The appointment of new governor was not considered a setback to the colons who realized the need to live with the military rulers until the time is ripe for replacing them, and achieve autonomy. The idea of having a Ministry for Algeria and Colonies in Paris was not acceptable to them because the army might make an alliance with the natives, living in military territories, and recover its power (). The general feeling of the colons was that the army had conquered the whole country and it was only a matter of time before it is going to get new assignment of duties in Europe or somewhere else. But the attempt of the Emperor to preserve the personality of the natives, who were entitled to his protection as he claimed, made the colons furious. Apparently, the Emperor wanted to keep a satisfactory balance between the natives and the colons, ‘that is to say that the French officials should restrict the number of colons to be admitted in Algeria, and the state should not act as banker in Algerian investment projects, but encourage private financial backing (). On April 22, 1863, Napoleon III came up with the Senatus – Consul Project which looked like reversing the policy of Cantonnement and leaving in Moslem hands what remained of Moslem landed property. It also provided that most of the land should be taken out of communal ownership and turned back to native proprietors ().
Guaranteeing or protecting the land of natives from the « land hungry European colons who might buy it easily and cheaply by resorting to dishonest persuasion, the whip of debt, or indirect coercion» made the regime of Napoleon III intolerable to the colons (). To
them, the efforts of the French Emperor to rectify the injustices occurred to the natives, meant that their hopes of getting land seemed to be indefinitely postponed (). However, this was not the last thing that disillusioned the colons. Napoleon III scared them further by taking another bold decision on July 7, 1864 when he reinforced the military authority in Algeria by abolishing the post of Director for Civilian Affairs and subordinating the activities or functions of the prefects in Algeria to the military generals in each Department(). In 1867 the Emperor left no doubt in the mind of anybody about his total commitment and full support to the military rulers of Algeria, when he strengthened the powers of the Bureaux Arabes which undertook the responsibility of keeping the natives, under strict military control of the army. Apparently, he gave up the idea of protecting the natives of his « Arab Kingdom » because of the still opposition he faced at home.
In order to be effective in their battle against the Emperor, the colons switched the arena of fighting him from Algiers to the French capital where they joined some opponents of Napoleon III and worked hard to discredit his military regime. They developed the strategy of making the Algerian issue a national one so that they could get enough publicity for dramatizing their cause and secure sufficient support from deputies and prominent personalities who favoured the policy of assimilation and establishing a civilian regime in Algeria. The colons intensified their campaign against ‘the empire and persuaded Jules Simon, one of the leaders of the Republican party in France, to be their spokesman in the last legislature of the Second Empire (). Suddenly, the French public opinion became hostile to the military regime and a prominent personality by the name of Prevost-Paradol, who dramatized the grievances of the colons and created national reputation for them
in la France Nouvelle, demanded that Algeria should not be « a camp for the exercise of our army, … but a French land, populated, possessed and cultivated by the French » (). The church also, jointed the colons in their campaign against the military authorities in Algeria after the complete failure of the archbishop of Algiers, Lavigerie; to convert Algerians from Islam to Christianity. He claimed that it was the army that prevented the birth of a Christian nation in Algeria (). What made things go worse for the military regime in Algeria was the terrible famine of 1867 which caused the death of a half million persons (). Thus, the eventual results of the campaign undertaken by the colons, coincided with the failure of the church to make Algerians Christians, and ‘the death of 500,000 natives from hunger and misery, were the inevitable reasons of investigating this matter by thee French Parliament.
In order to calm down the public opinion and the spread of public agitation. Napoleon III ordered the formation of a legislative committee, headed by his close friend, le Compte le Hon, who hurried to Algeria on a fact finding mission along with his colleagues in April
1868. During his stay in Algeria, the deputy became sympathetic with the colons and he «honestly » presented their case to the Corps Législatif. He proposed the following policies : (A) extension of the civilian territory, (B) elimination of Bureau Arabes, (C) division of lands belong to «arch» or lands owned collectively and can not be sold to any
body until the consensus of its members is obtained, (D) the formation of individual properties, (E) the vanishing of Arab chiefs (aristocracy), (F) eliminating the Moslem justice of cadi (judge) and replacing it with French justice, (G) and the creation of French jury in criminal cases (). Furthermore, the colons insisted on the following exceptions
from the French laws: (A) no taxes on land properties, (B) no military services, (C) impose taxes on the natives of Algeria, and (D) make the Algerians conform to the French legislation (). In a way, as one of the colons by the name of de Montebello elaborated on the contents of le Hon’s report, it was « assimilation but purely for the French. The
Moslems do not want any thing and they need nothing. The French are not willing to share their prerogatives with races that are interested in reducing us to nothing » (!) ().
At any rate, Deputy le Hon became the defender of their policies in the Corps Legislatif. On April 24, 1869, the Minister of War sent a letter to the Emperor in which he warned him about the explosive situation and insisted on the urgent need for shifting the Algerian issue from the hands of deputies in le Corps Legisatif and the Senate where
the latter should prepare a « special constitution » for Algeria and wisely takes into consideration the aspirations of European colons and also the interests of the natives. The Emperor responded immediately by appointing a committee, headed by Marshal Randon and composed of 9 members (of which only 4 were military officiers and 6 were
civilians). The committee presented its report to the Emperor late in March of 1870. Although he felt the committee’s report was fair, accepted its containts and refered it to the Council of State, but the Corps Législatif turned it down on the ground it was opposed to «absolute assimilation », granted some sort of autonomy to’ Algeria but delegated authority to a Minister – Resident in Algiers, maintained status quo in ail matters related to justice in Algeria and rejected the institution of the Jury system. In fact, le Hon and his colleague Jules Favre proposed to the Corps Législatif the condemnation of the « special constitution» of Algeria in the session of May 28, 1870. Furthermore, the « special constitution » received another setback from plebiscite of 1870, in which 35% of the colons abstained in a defiance to the French government and refused to vote because they « even ignore the existence of the Empire » (!) ().
The truth is that the colons were able to outmanœuvre the Emperor and the military authorities in Algeria before the collapse of the Second Empire and the birth of the Third Republic. Jules Simon, le Hon and other prominent personalities in the Corps Législatif had virtually assured the immigrants in Algeria of their victory over the military regime
and bringing the Arabs under direct control before the humiliating defeat of 1870. Such success was confirmed by the decree of May 31, 1870, which reversed things and made prefects responsible to the governor and no longer to the military generals in each Department ().
Naturally, the leaders of National Government of Defense capitalized on the defeat of the military oriented Empire and sought to generate the badly needed support to the new regime. The colons, on their part, took the advantage of that military disaster of Sedan and
attributed the defeat of France to the army officers who were labelled as « cowards and traitors ». Without delay or hesitation, the National Government of Defense issued the famous decree of October 24, 1870 which instituted a « civilian General Governor for the 3 provinces of Algeria ». According to the new political organization, the Governor General was allowed to correspond directly with each Ministry in Paris depending on the nature of the problems. The prefects were also instructed to correspond with the Governor General and that put an end to the dual supervision by the military generals of the Divisions
once, and the Governor-General other times. On the same date, December 24.1870, came out another decree which extended the civilian territory and made the « tell » or the northern part of Algeria under the civilian control. By this decree, the National Government of Defense striped the army of its right hand powerful Bureaux Arabes, which served as an intelligentia for the military authorities in Algeria and limited its activities to the Sahara where the military rule remained intact for decades to come.
But the colons wanted something else other than a civilian Governor-General and brinding the Arabs under their direct control. They focussed their attention on a massive immigration plan aimed at replacing the native population with the French immigrants. The number of new immigrants the colons hoped to get varied between 2 Millions in 1857 to 6 or 7 millions in 1875, but the real figures were estimated to be around 1.600.000 new immigrants (). The General theme of the colons for this new policy was the following: «let us take half of the lands that belong to the Arabs either through sequestration or expropriation » and « the state would provide a large scale settlement for the colons » () . Thus, the general feeling among the colons in 1870 was that the state was responsible for providing employment, lands, capital and villages- to the referendum from Alsace Loraine, as well as the colons in Algeria who were poor and could not find sufficient funds
for the purpose of exploiting that rich lands they acquired from the natives.
Undoubtedly, the advent of the Republicans to power in 1870 and the new rapprochement between the colons and Paris frightened the natives. The colons, having expelled the officials of the Empire, tried to govern as a revolutionary authority through the Commune d’Alger (). This made the Algerian revolt inevitable in 1871 because
they were persuaded that « if they fell into the hand of the colons that will mark the (complete) loss of their lands, disappearance of their civil status, and religions right ». Perhaps, the following conversation between a colon and a native would explain better than any thing else what did the advent of direct rule by the colons mean to Algerians. The
question posed to one of the natives was: « what does the civilian regime mean to you? » asked a wondering colon. Well, « it is simple », answered the native, « 1 have 10 ploughs, they have taken eight of them, 1 have had two thousands sheeps, they have left me with ten»(). Thus, the era of civilian colonization introduced by the Republican regime brought with it the most devasting measures that perpetuated the colonial rule in North Africa. In fact, the arbitrary military decisions of the military authorities seemed to the natives less harsh than those of the Republican leaders. While the military officers sought to have supreme authority, revenge from these natives who resist their rule and expropriate their lands in order to deprive them of the colonization » subsidized and sponsored large scale projects which led to the expansion and subordinating neighboring countries to the French rule and granted French nationality to foreigners so that they could get their share from the dispossessed natives (the famous cremieux decree of October 24, 1870 gave the Algerian Jews the right to get French citizenship without giving up their civilian status or religions rights). At any rate, the speed of issuing decrees to fulfil the goals of the colons in Algeria, makes one wonder whether the National Government of Defense was set up to re-organize France and erase the shame of Sedan or to serve the needs of the French immigrants in North Africa Within 5 months, this government issued 58 decrees that reinforced the policies of « Assimilation » in Algeria ().
The new drive of the Third Republic to assimilate Algeria started by boosting the moral of the colons : making them eligible to receive the aid of the state ( building new villages, schools, loans to business ) and facilitating the process of immigration to Algeria (sponsoring collective programs of transportation to the new lands, and giving free
lands to the new immigrants ). It was on June 21, 1871 that the French National Assembly passed a law which granted 100.000 hectares to the French refugees from Alsace-Lorraine. Along with this decision, came a proposal from a parliamentary committee which recommended the seisure of 340.000 hectares of fertile lands belong to the natives. In a
punitive action, the Assembly, also approved a « forced tax of war » to be collected from the natives as fines for taking arms against the French in 1871. While the French Assembly required the natives to pay an amount equivalent to 25 millions francs, this amount was raised to 36,582,298 francs by June 1872 (). A few months later, on September 15, 1871, the National Assembly passed another law which required the new immigrants to have on hand an amount equivalent to 5000 francs before leaving for Algeria. But the same law required the state to provide free transportation for the immigrants and construct for
them villages, schools and municipalities ».
In 1873, the Republican regime decided to alienate the natives further by extending its attack on the properties of the natives in the areas of group ownership after depriving the Algerian tribes of ail lands that were considered to be more than could actually use. It was on July 26, 1873 that the French National Assembly passed a law which made lands and properties subject to the French law. This meant ail inherited lands must be divided and the Moslems could no longer have collective property which is a part of the Moslem traditions. The law made it explicit that no individual or family were allowed to keep more than they actually could use or cultivate. In reality, then, this law was aimed at the expanding of the domain of the state and « clearly deliver the natives to the economic bondage ». Naturally, the most obvious result was to bring the spirit of speculation into the tribes. Any co- proprietor could demand his share, no matter how small his portion and the whole social structure of the Algerian society could be shattered as a result of this practice. Naturally, it was not a difficult matter for Europeans to find Arab «men of straw» and to induce them to demand their legal rights. Undoubtedly, such legal demands were often led to the dispossession of the rest of the tribes by what was known as the process of licitation. The unfamiliarity of the natives with intricate legal process and a mass of technicalities quite above the understanding of a layman (especially these technicalities were incompatible with the Moslem ideas of land ownership) had caused the natives to lose very often their lands by default ().
The year of 1876 is the year to remember as far as the French army is concerned. The decree of June 30, 1876 terminated the military rule in the northern part of Algeria by attaching the Algerian affairs to different ministries in Paris. This decision was aimed at assimilating Algeria and making it ruled by a civilian regime like France. On the other hand, it gave an ample opportunity for the colons to influence the civilian Governor- General. It also enabled them to have access to the administration in Algiers and overshadow the Parisian bureaucracy which has always been in command in the French capital. Thus, this decree in a way put an end to the common tradition of leaving Algeria ruled by a military Governor-General who was an officer of the French Marine since 1830. According to this decree, the Ministers were instructed to transmit directly to the Governor-General the special laws or decrees of their ministries which apply to Algeria and the
latter was requested to propose to each ministry what is needed to be done in Algeria, as well as counter-signing presidential decrees (). The unusual thing in this decree is that the Governor-General was given a tremendous power without responsibility. He exercised the authority delegated to him by different ministries in Paris and it was the ministers who were responsible for his acts, if there was any responsibility at ail. It is strange that no single person was responsible to the parliament or had the Algerian affairs in his hands!
By 1878, the individual and general sequestrations of rebel lands were practically completed and, thus, half a million hectares were reserved for the administration to utilize(). The decree of September 30, 1878 provided the colons living in the « official villages» with grants and free land on the condition that each one receives such aid must stay on that land for 3 years and improve it to the extent of 100 francs per hectare. In this way, the French Government opened new fields of activities to the wine growers of the Rhone Valley whose fields of growing wines suffered from the disease of phylloxera.
Furthermore, ‘this decree enabled the government to bring in new immigrants and put more squeezes on the natives. It was through this program that the number of colons residing in rural areas increased to 198,985 immigrants in 1878. When the Algerian wine boom occurred in 1880, the proprietors drifted to towns and were replaced by one big owner who could afford to carry losses for a while or a big company ().
In the first decade of the Third Republic, 1871-81, the number of immigrants in Algeria increased by 50%. But, in April of 1881, this seemed to be not enough for the Ministry of Waldeck-Rousseau which advanced the famous « fifty millions » scheme, to utilize that number of francs in buying enough land for 15.000 new families (). On August 21, 1871, came out another decree which made the French laws and decrees apply to Algeria, authority to be delegated to the Governor General, who can make decisions after consulting ministries concerned in Paris, prefects and generals of divisions to communicate with Paris
only through the Governor-General and a special budget for Algeria was annexed to the general budget of the state (). In short, the services were divided between ministries in Paris, like in France, and the Governor-General was the co-ordinator of those services between la metropole and Algeria.
While promoting immigration to Algeria by the state was always regarded a fundamental policy, the contest between the French and the southern Europeans immigrants presented a real menace to the French government. The strange thing was that the colons cost the French tax payers about 55 million francs each year or 4 milliards and 500 millions
francs between 1830 and 1900 (). Yet at every census after 1832, there were more foreigners than Frenchmen in Algeria (). In order to make an artificial increase in the number of French immigrants and induce ail foreigners to be committed to the French cause, the French government enacted the naturalization law of June 26, 1889 by which
the children born in Algeria of foreign immigrants became French citizens and the young men were required to serve in the French regiments, if upon attaining their majority they did not decline this citizenship. This Law apparently intended to make the Algerian born generations of foreigners French settlers, like Americans, who come from different European lands but shaped by the climate of America and became a race different from those of Europe. Furthermore, it was aimed at fusing the different European elements into new African race that looks to Rrench civilization for its intellectual guidance (). Thus French citizenship was granted to the Jews by the decree of October 24, 1870 and to all foreign immigrants by the naturalization act of June 26, 1889 and the only one to be excluded is the native who had no rights in his homeland.
In the decade of 1880’s there was a big contest between the European powers which sought to get or expand their colonial domains and find markets for their goods. It was in this era that France decided to have a firm control on Algeria and expand to neighbouring Tunisia. As a result of this, the policy of complete assimilation received its complete sets of measures by the decrees of April 6 and November 26, 1882. These decrees, and other decrees that followed them, enabled the colons to have a supreme authority and autonomy in Algeria. The eventual results of such decrees were that colons (1) doubled the number of deputies (from 3 to 6) who represented them in the French National Assembly (2) expanded the civilian territory from 48,650 km2 in 1878 to 98,000 km2 in 1886 (3) increased the number of Communes de plein exercises or fully empowered localities from 198 in 1882 to 248 in 1890, (4) secured the application to Algeria, the French laws of 1884 which authorized the communes to elect mayors and members of the municipal councils instead of nominating them by the Governor General ().
Suddenly, the policy of assimilation lost its momentum. In the year 1896, the general principle of rattachements or the policy of integrating Algeria in France and controlling it from Paris was reversed. The decree of December 31, 1896 marked the definite sanctioning of the principle that each colony was an entity, with local interests of its own, independent of those of France(). In fact, the idea of reversing the policy of attaching the Algerian administration to Paris was inspired by Jules Ferry and his colleagues in the senatorial committee who visited Algeria and recommended the decentralization. During its stay in Algeria, the committee of 18 senators was surprised to find colons renting back to the natives lands taken from the latter, making all Algerians responsible collectively for any thing happened to the properties of colons and imposing heavy taxes (called les impôts Arabes) on the natives to the extent that the colonial revenues from 1887 to 1891 exceeded spendings by 11 to 13 million francs (). Jules Ferry summed up his feeling about what he saw in Algeria in this way: the French had reduced the natives to « a mere dust of men », and another authority summed the matter by saying: « we have broken the foundations of natives society without finding them a place in our own » (). As chairman of the Senatorial committee Jules Ferry told the French Senate: It was hard to make a European understand that there are other rights, other than his, which exist in an Arab country and that
the native is not a race to be taxed and enslaved as well (). He also gave a brief description of their character. Jules Ferry indicated in his report that the Algerian colon is particularist and looks for nothing more than exploiting the native and la métropole. His moral and intellectual level nearly at the horizon of a daily worker and his average may be equal to that of the French farmers in the mountains of South la Loire ().
It is interesting to note that Jules Ferry and his colleagues in the established Senatorial committee recommended (A) the abolition of the exclusive European jury established by the Crémieux decree of October 24, 1870 ( the colons always acted as judges, jury and opponents in any legal case ) ; (B) Elimination of the forest code of 1827 which prevented the natives from raising cattle or cultivating lands ; (C) getting rid of the land law of 1873 which prohibited collective ownership; (D) restoring the authority of Moslem cadis (judges) by allowing them to handle all matters of justice and related affairs ; (E) decentralizing the action of Governor-General and inducing him to act impartial as much as possible ( he should not be an inspector of colonization in a palace of a lazy king ) ; (F) protecting the interests of natives by giving them the chance to be represented in municipal
councils on the condition that the Moslem representatives will be chosen by the French administration and not elected by their fellow natives since this might result in favour of some native leaders who are hostile to the French ().
In fact, the ideas of introducing some reforms to the Algerian administration were not only due to the recommendation of Jules Ferry and the Senatorial committee. They came also as a result of appointing powerful Governor-General (Jules Cambon, 1891 -1897) who assumed full responsibility for putting things in order in this era. He was in full agreement with Jules Ferry that the Governor-General should not act as inspector of colonization but as a responsible ruler who safeguards the interests of France in any possible way. Like Jules Ferry, the Governor-General believed that it was in the interest of France to expand
in North Africa but the interests of la métropole should not be ignored. The general feeling was that France needed an organized market for her industries in Algeria and the time was ripe for doing something to stop alienating the natives and make the use of them. In brief, the new formula in the colonial policy was that: it is sufficient to have land
in the hands of Frenchmen and labour to be furnished by the natives. Unlike before, France should give the impression to the natives that she intends to protect them from the colons, help them, and she is no longer neglecting them.
What essentially Jules Cambon hoped to achieve by adopting the new policy was to reduce the economic burden on the French budget and consequently the French taxpayer, by establishing a central planning agency in Algiers, instead of having 8 ministries handing Algerian affairs and creating chaos m Algeria. Furthermore, lie sought to bridge the gap between the two communities and especially to persuade the natives that the role of France is to educate them and show to all the Algerians the glamour of the French civilization. In this way, France might win the friendship of the natives, rely on them to meet the shortage in manpower and have the Algerians serve the French needs instead of keeping them rebels in mountains and costing the French taxpayers millions of francs each time the war breaks out. However, it took the Governor-General, Jules Cambon, no less than 5 years to
convince Paris of the practicality and usefulness of this new policy. On December 31, 1896 came the awaited decision from the French capital which allowed the Governor-General to have full authority in Algeria, with the exception of justice for non Moslems, public education and customs. Along with the decision to strip the eight Parisian ministries
of their prerogatives in Algeria, came a complementary decree which made the Governor General the chief executive in Algiers. Nomination of all high ranking officials in Algeria became subject to his approval. Further measures were taken later, after nominating Jules Cambon ambassador in September 1897, and Algeria became neither assimilated in France nor a colony controlled by France. It became an autonomous state ruled by the colons and taxes paid by the natives. The new situation was brought about by the decrees of August 23, 1898 which fixed the powers of Governor-General, reorganized the superior council of the administration and created some thing like an Algerian parliament called les Delegations Financières ().
So, the results of the new changes and the beginning of the new century, 1900, marked the complete political victory for the colons. By this time, they were represented in the French National Assembly (by 6 Députés), in the Senate (by 6 Senators), and got a civilian Governor-General easy to influence. After achieving such political victory, the struggle was transferred to the economic sphere and the question for the colons was not the demanding of further political rights as much as some power of financial controls (). It was on December 16, 1900 that Algeria gained a distinct legal status as well as financial autonomy. The newly created assembly or Delegations Financières composed of 48 colons and 21 natives, exercised important budgetary powers and was controlled by the European voters in Algeria. It served as an effective brake upon most Governor-Generals who wished to have a quiet and popular term in office (). The strength of the colons in the Assembly does not only come from the two-third majority they secured for themselves, but also from dividing the native delegations into groups. They allowed 9 delegates to represent the interests of civilian territories, 6 to defend the interest of areas under military control, and 6 to represent the point views of the people from Kabylie. The Governor General, on his part, facilitated the task of the colons by appointing some of the delegates who were considered to be friendly to the French administration.
In a way, les Délégations Financières was a little parliament for the colons within the big French Parliament in Paris. Unlike the French Chamber of Deputies, the newly created assembly in Algeria was supposed to represent the interests of the colons and natives and not individuals. In order to ensure its function along these lines, there were sections for the Government, for the colons and for the natives. It was hoped that such arrangement would serve as a barometer so to speak to gauge the repercussion of financial policies on the various sections affected ().
It seems evident, then, that the creation of Delegations Financières was not a genuine move that paved the way for a sincere representation of the Algerian interests. This body was merely a council of advisers set up by the colons for the purpose of establishing a good relationship with the French taxpayers in la Métropole who became impatient with
the heavy expenses on Algeria. Secondly, the establishment of this legislative body achieved the main goal of the colons which was the recognition of the « Algerian personality » and getting complete immunity from any interference from Paris and running Algeria the way the colons want. Thirdly, the new arrangement allowed the European inhabitants to bring the natives under their direct control, both economically as well as politically and give them no chance or way to convey their wishes to reformers in metropolitan France. Fourthly, the colons wanted to perpetuate the privileges of having their own institutions in Algeria and freedom to decide what they like to do without
paying as much taxes as the French citizens in metropolitan France. It is rather very strange to note that the colons in Algeria were considered citizens of France, represented in the Chamber of Deputies by 6 delegates and 3 in the Senate, but some estimates made in 1910
show that the residents of France paid two-thirds as many taxes as the French residents of Algeria (). This, undoubtedly, confirms Jules Ferry’s statement that the main aim of the colons is to exploit the natives and la Métropole by all means available to them.
Naturally, from 1900 to 1954, the colons acted as a buffer state between France and Algeria. They succeeded in containing the natives through their access to the civilian Governor-General and Délégations Financières. From Paris, they exerted pressure and kept French public opinion aloof to the question of natives through their magazine
le temps, representatives in each chamber who defended whatever they did in Algeria, and through a political party or a lobby that assured the French that the natives needed nothing to be done on their behalf. In addition to such pressure generated by the colons in Algeria and in France, there was another pressure group which helped the colons to preserve their privileges and contain the natives. This group was called le Parti Colonial Français which was composed of large number of deputies who had the desire to assure France of its strength and grandeur in colonies. Undoubtedly, the voices of 91 Deputies and 30 Senators enabled the colons to have free hand in Algeria and follow any policy that served their interests best (). In fact, some experts on Franco-Algeria relations provided us with more insights about the role of the colons in making the policy of France itself. It was reported that the French colons in Algeria reached the stage where a prominent Algerian colon, like Henri Borgeaud, could tell the Prime Minister of France: « 1 can bring thirty votes for sure if …. » and he would have been telling him the truth ().
In conclusion, the French politics in Algeria had been always characterized by neglecting Algeria and using it « as a dumping ground for the political enemies of the regime ». For a century and three decades, the natives were suffering from the authoritarian rule of the army which every body knew that its main occupation is war and not the organization of the country. Worse than this, perhaps, was its determination to revenge from the Algerians each time the French army suffers from a humiliating defeat either in Waterloo, Sedan or Dien Bien Phu. The Third Republic had substituted the rule of the army by that of the colons, but it was a change for the worse. The colons were not the true Frenchmen who were dedicated to the French cause and accepted to live with natives in harmony and cooperation.While the naturalization laws of 1889 had made them legally French citizens, they always felt inferior to real Frenchmen of metropolitan France since they were motivated by their foreign backward cultures. As an Algerian born Frenchman put it : The colons Say : « je suis froncé, mois Monsieur, je suis aussi froncé que vous »(). They cannot even pronounce or spell the word ‘Français right. In fact, it was estimated in 1912 that only one citizen in three, one European in five was pure French (). It was a crime in the eyes of Algerians to give to the colons a free hand in Algeria without keeping them under check from the French authorities in Paris. The general feeling in Algeria is that the lack of an effective control over these foreign groups has encouraged them to refuse any compromise with the natives and live side by side. But the blame is also on the French political parties which remained silent about the miserable conditions of the Algerians in their native land. It appears that metropolitan parties did not advocate reforms in Algeria because the natives were not able to vote and help them to win some votes. Consequently, the French public opinion was not really well informed about the worsening conditions of the Algerians. It was only de Gaulle who became conscious of the Algerian tragedy and made some sincere efforts to rectify the injustice in Algeria. He also awakened the French public opinion to Algerian reality and to the misleading propaganda of the colons in Algeria and in France. It is for such reasons that the Algerians have high respect for the French people in metropolitan France, inspite of the long bitter war of liberation that lasted seven years and half, but despise the pseudo-Frenchmen of Algeria who lacked civic culture.
Maître de Conférence à l’Institut des Sciences
Politiques et de l’Information, université d’Alger .
(*) Prepared for delivery at the 10 th World congress of the International Political science Association. Edinburgh, Scotland (August 16 th – 21, 1976).
Published in Revue d’histoire Maghrebine, number 12, ( July ) 1978, pp, 238- 269.
Scholars Who are interested in futher derails on tchniques used by the colons in order to strip military officiers of their power and impose their will on the Algerians , will be satisfed and impressed by the published book of Annie – Rey Goldseiguer : Le Royaume Arabe ( Alger, S.N.F.D, 1977) .
In French : « le colon algérien a beaucoup de défauts, il est particularistes, il ne demande pas mieux que d’exploiter l’indigène et la métropolie. Son niveau moral et intellectuel est peu élevé au dessus de l’horizon journalier. Il est au niveau de la moyenne des paysans français des montagnes au sud de la loire ».