Algeria is a North-African state boarder by Tunisia, Libya, Niger, Mali and Morocco. It was colonized by the French in 1830 after which they encouraged settlers from France, Spain and Malta to come and settle in Algeria.
As early as 1945 the Algerians had already started agitating for their independence. At the fore front of this was Ferhat Abass a moslem intellectual who inspired the uprising against the French but which was brutally suppressed. The Algerian revolution broke out mainly because of the following reasons.
The Algerians were discontented because of the land alienation policy of the French who grabbed land from Algerians and gave it to the settlers.
The French in their attempt to assimilate the Algerians, tried to do away with the moslem institution and substituted them with the French laws, customs and language.
The French also imposed their French religion i.e. Catholicism and education systems to the Algerians.
The French failed to promote democracy in Algeria i.e they dint allow free operation of political parties.
The revolution was also prompted by the growth of the spirit of nationalism among the few educated Algerians like Ahmed Ben bella.
The people of Algeria wanted to get their total independence from the French.
The Algerians also rejected bitterly the infiltration of European settlers in big numbers into their country.
The people of Algeria were opposed to the general exploitation of their economic resources by the French.
The French instituted many unnecessary land reforms in form of the old land tenure system. This was opposed by the Algerians.
The people of Algeria rejected the forced labour policy by the French on their plantations and public works.
The people were also disgusted by the heavy taxation levied on them by the French.
The Algerians also got influenced by the French literature scholars like Hugo “History of France” which emphasized freedom of man. All these were opposite to what was happening on the ground in Algeria.
The Algerians wanted Arabic to be recognized as the official language instead of French language.
They also wanted free and compulsory education since there were only a handful of educated moslems in Algeria.
The muslim status of the Algerians was also eroded by the French i.e. the unveiling of Algerian women by the French police whom they suspected of carrying dangerous weapons.
The French destroyed and uprooted many homes and villages in Algeria. This led to displacement of people and their property hence the revolution.
EFFECTS OF THE ALGERIAN REVOLUTION
It quickened Algeria`s steps towards independence and eventually got her independence on 3rd July 1962.
Due to the military option adopted by the Algerians many people including the French and Algerians died.
As the result of the war many properties like houses, crops and villages were destroyed.
The Algerians regained their fundamental rights and freedom for example they were allowed to practice their moslem religion.
Land which was formerly grabbed by the French was returned to Algerians unconditionally.
There was a general improvement in the lives of the people of Algeria.
The revolution discredited the 4th republic in France and led to its collapse because the French colonial policy was criticized.
Many political prisoners including Ahmed Ben Bella were released.
There was a general economic development thereafter.
The revolution was a step ahead in the democratization process.
In France the 4th Republic was empowered to negotiate with the Algerian rebels and in 1959 negotiations started.
The French president realized that in practice it was not possible to interrogate Algeria with France and thus agreed that the Algerians express their wishes in a referendum.
The referendum was conducted on 1st July 1962 and the Algerians overwhelmingly voted for independence which was later achieved on 3rd July 1962 with Benbella as the first president.
It contributed to the rise of the spirit of African Nationalism. The news of the violent Algerians was led to a quick pace of political developments in other African countries i.e. Senegal and Guinea.
The revolution led to a refugee problem i.e. about 300,000 Algerians fled to neighboring Tunisia, morocco and Egypt to seek asylum.
THIS VIDEO SHOWS THE ALGERIAN STRUGGLE FOR INDEPENDENCE