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Martin Thomas

At 10.45 on the morning of 15 March 1962 two ‘commando squads’ of the Organisation de l’Armée secrète (OAS), broke into a meeting of educational administrators in El Biar, a satellite suburb west of Algiers. An extremist group determined to keep colonial Algeria French, the OAS was in the midst of a terror campaign in defiance of Algeria’s imminent independence. Led by

in Rhetorics of empire
Unity and division in the liberation struggle
Allison Drew

(French Union) ‘based on equality of rights and obligations without distinction of race or religion’. But the colonial relationship remained intact. The new constitution allowed some representation of colonised peoples in the new National Assembly and French Union Assembly. Other reforms included the abolition of forced labour, the indigénat, and – except for Algeria - the dual college electoral system

in We are no longer in France
Imperialism, Politics and Society
Author: Martin Thomas

In the twenty years between the end of the First World War and the start of the Second, the French empire reached its greatest physical extent. At the end of the First World War, the priority of the French political community was to consolidate and expand the French empire for, inter alia, industrial mobilisation and global competition for strategic resources. The book revisits debates over 'associationism' and 'assimilationism' in French colonial administration in Morocco and Indochina, and discusses the Jonnart Law in Algeria and the role of tribal elites in the West African colonies. On the economy front, the empire was tied to France's monetary system, and most colonies were reliant on the French market. The book highlights three generic socio-economic issues that affected all strata of colonial society: taxation and labour supply, and urban development with regard to North Africa. Women in the inter-war empire were systematically marginalised, and gender was as important as colour and creed in determining the educational opportunities open to children in the empire. With imperialist geographical societies and missionary groups promoting France's colonial connection, cinema films and the popular press brought popular imperialism into the mass media age. The book discusses the four rebellions that shook the French empire during the inter-war years: the Rif War of Morocco, the Syrian revolt, the Yen Bay mutiny in Indochina, and the Kongo Wara. It also traces the origins of decolonisation in the rise of colonial nationalism and anti-colonial movements.

Commemorating colonial rule in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

Legacies of colonial empire are present in the demarcations of state borders, in architecture, on the pedestals of monuments, in books, and in other forms. Heroic men have not been forgotten but at the same time erstwhile insurgents rebelling against the colonial order are now celebrated as freedom fighters. Even commodities of daily life, such as coffee or rubber, bear the deep imprint of their colonial histories. This book presents imperial history as a history of interwoven, overlapping, partly contradictory memories in which non-European outlooks are considered on a more equal footing, alongside the recollections of former colonial masters. These include imperial architecture in nineteenth-century Algeria, the Koregaon obelisk in India, the Hungarian monument commemorating the thirteen martyrs of Arad, and Japan's twentieth-century post-war repositories of memories of war, empire, suffering and heroism. The heroes and villains of the imperial era include the Dutch colonial governor Jan Pietersz Coen; Robert Clive, the victor of Plassey; and the explorer and missionary David Livingstone. Other manifestations of memory include Imam Shamil who resisted the troops of Tsarist Russia. The book looks at the fragility and precariousness of repositories of imperial memory. It traces the cycles of obliviousness and remembrance, of suppression and political instrumentalisation that have accompanied the history of Mau Mau uprising in Kenya. The history of Berlin's Botanical Garden is intimately intertwined with Germany's colonial endeavours but this important aspect of the institution's history has remained all but suppressed.

Allison Drew

The Frenchmen who conquered the land now called Algeria were ruthless. Before they arrived, the indigenous Berber people had survived many invasions, from the Phoenicians to the Vandals, the Byzantine and the Arabs, who came in the seventh century bringing Islam. The Berbers adopted Islam but maintained their own language and customs. From the eleventh through to the

in We are no longer in France
Allison Drew

extremely risky, while the indigénat made it illegal for Algerians to join political parties. Yet Algeria’s socialists were optimistic. They could claim that Marx himself had spent a few months in Algeria in 1882 - for health reasons - and that Marx and Engels had written about the French conquest of Algeria. Marx and Engels readily recognised colonialism’s violence and economic devastation, but they did

in We are no longer in France
Abstract only
Dethroning And Exiling Indigenous Monarchs Under British And French Colonial Rule, 1815– 1955
Author: Robert Aldrich

The overthrow and exile of Napoleon in 1815 is a familiar episode in modern history, but it is not well known that just a few months later, British colonisers toppled and banished the last king in Ceylon. This book explores confrontations and accommodations between European colonisers and indigenous monarchs. It discusses the displacement of a few among the three dozen 'potentates' by British and French authorities from 1815 until the 1950s. The complicated relationship between the crown of a colonising country and colonial monarchies has often lain in the background of historical research, but relatively seldom appeared in the forefront except in the case of the Indian princely states. The book further examines particular cases of the deposition and exile of rulers: King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha in Ceylon in 1815, Queen Ranavalona of Madagascar in 1897, and Emperors Ham Nghi, Thanh Thai and Duy Tan in Vietnam during 1885-1916. It also provides more composite accounts of Asia and Africa: the British ouster of Indian princes, the last Burmese king and a sultan in Malaya, and then British and French removal of a host of 'chieftains' in sub-Saharan Africa. Finally, the book looks at the French colonial removal of rulers in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia - and the restoration of a Moroccan sultan on the eve of decolonisation. By the end of the colonial period, in many countries around the globe, monarchism - kingship, had lost its old potency, though it has not disappeared.

Communists, nationalists and the popular front
Allison Drew

In the 1930s impoverished rural Algerians swarmed into already densely populated urban areas. The traditional medina became both ruralised and Europeanised. The new urbanites maintained tight networks with their rural relatives, linking town and countryside ever more closely. However, urban youth spent more time in the streets by comparison with their parents, congregating at

in We are no longer in France
Abstract only
Imagining socialism and communism in Algeria
Allison Drew

. While at times the Comintern played a constructive role within its national sections, all too often its efforts to impose uniformity conflicted with local conditions, impeding the efforts of communists to address their own national problems. Algeria is a case in point. This book examines the efforts of communists in French colonial Algeria to imagine the Algerian nation

in We are no longer in France
Abstract only
The spread of French military operations in Algeria, 1954–1958
Martin Thomas

I It is hard to underestimate the political impact within France of the French military operations in Algeria between the initial uprisings in November 1954 and General Charles de Gaulle’s accession to power in May 1958. The Algerian War finally induced the political paralysis of the Fourth Republic which, although implicit in the 1946 constitution, had previously been

in Guardians of empire