Allison Drew
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The land and its conquest
in We are no longer in France
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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.

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We are no longer in France

Communists in Colonial Algeria


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