Saturday, 31 December 2016
WHY DID THE FRENCH ASSIMILATION POLICY FAIL IN ALGERIA
• Brief background about French colonial rule in Algeria and the establishment of assimilation
• Explain reasons which led to the failure of the policy in Algeria.
• Logically conclude.
Background to the question:
• Algeria became the first country in the Maghreb to be colonized.
• It was colonized by France in 1830.
• Like in the rest of the colonies, the French employed the assimilation policy of administration in Algeria.
•However the policy turned out to be futile and it accumulated a lot of resistance.
Reasons of the resistance.
1. The Muslim background of the people of Algeria led to the resistance of assimilation because it was associated to with Christianity.
2. The policy was resisted by the French settlers themselves who feared that the policy would promote rivalry and competition in trade and commerce with Africans.
3. The high costs that were required to implement the policy. These resources were not readily available.
4. The policy was opposed by French scholars (liberals) who argued that it was wrong to assimilate people of different race and culture.
8. The strict conditions required for assimilation i.e. one bad to be fluent in French, rich and catholic. Most Algerians could not meet those standards.
6. The policy threatened to erode African and Muslim cultural values like polygamy to which most Algerians were already attached
7. The effect of numerous resistances against the French rule e.g. the Abdel Kader resistance of 1832-1847 and the Muhammad Mukraru resistance of 1871.
8. Weaknesses of the successive French governments like that of Charles X up to 1830 and that of Louis Philippe 1830-1848
9.There existed much differences between the French culture and the people of Algeria in terms of religion, way of dressing, feeding etc
10. The limited number of French settlers in Algeria.e.g. up to 1839 there were 25000 French settlers.
11. The earlier attachment of Algeria to the Ottoman leadership of Turkish Muslims.
12. Education as a tool of assimilation did not materialize because it was dominated by Christian missionaries thus discouraging many Algerian Muslims.
13. The conflicts between the settlers from other countries like those from Spain. ltaly and the French settlers
14. The French Government also led to the failure of assimilation. They were divided m approach of Algerian colonization i.e. some officials were pro and others against the colonization.
15. Unlike for the case of Senegal the French lacked adequate knowledge about Algeria for example the colonial governor Jerome sat in Paris and not in Algeria, thus could not effectively administer the colony.
16. Assimilation was opposed by some French imperialists because it tended to sabotage colonial exploitation i.e. there would be no body to offer labour on plantations and other public works since even the natives would "French men" Cassimidies.