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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

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

Allison Drew

Manchester University Press

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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