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We are no longer in FranceCommunists in colonial Algeria$
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Allison Drew

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719090240

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719090240.001.0001

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The Land and Its Conquest

The Land and Its Conquest

Chapter:
(p.11) Chapter One The Land and Its Conquest
Source:
We are no longer in France
Author(s):

Allison Drew

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719090240.003.0002

The French military conquest of Algeria was ruthless. Dispossessed of their land, peasants were pushed ever higher into mountainous areas. Many became agricultural workers on European-owned farms, migrant workers in France or moved to urban slums in search of work. By the early twentieth century urban Europeans had fused into a Catholic, albeit often secularised, pied-noir [black-foot] community of manual and whitecollar workers, artisans and shopkeepers. Racist contempt for the indigenous Muslim majority and Jewish minority was intrinsic to pied-noir identity. Thus, the urban proletariat reflected colonial dynamics − rigidly divided between European and Algerian, Christian, Jew and Muslim, living in proximity to and even alongside each other, yet never together. It was this class − as part of a French nation − that Algeria’s early socialists saw as their imagined community.

Keywords:   Conquest, Peasantry, Dispossession, Class, Workers, Pied-noir, Christians, Muslims, Jews

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