Algerian Independence War
Causes of War
November 23rd 2012
Colonization of countries by the world leaders proved to be a successful and profitable action that completely abolished human rights of countries that were colonized but lined the pockets of the elite colonizers. Numerous countries were plundered and forced in to being ruled by superior and more powerful elite nations. However, after hundreds of years nations and peoples, who had been colonized, began to mobilize and gain strength in a basic attempt to gain sovereignty and nationhood. The French Colonial Empire was the second-largest empire in the world, directly behind the British Empire, with 12,347,000 squared kilometers. 2,381,741 of those kilometers were a nation, which had been forced into colonization and depression by the French, known as Algeria. In 1954 Algerian people and guerilla movements mobilized and initiated attacks upon the French, which led to a victory in the latter part of the century. Throughout this paper I will attempt to successfully answer why this war was initiated and caused through two major theoretical bodies. This first theory that will analyze and articulate this war is neoclassical realism, which will focus a great deal on rational calculations and revisionism, while the following theory will be that of . These theories will apply the fundamental factors of their theories to the core facts and aspects of the Algerian War, commonly referred to as the Algerian Revolution.
The conflict began in the early morning hours on November 1st 1954, when the FLN Maquisards; commonly known as guerillas, or terrorists as the French referred to them, launched attacks against various parts of Algeria against both military and civilians, where the French were located. The FLN broadcasted a message calling all Muslims to aid in the restoration of the Algerian state. John Talbott, an expert French political analyst illustrates within his book that the exact reason for the act on November 1st is unclear, but theorizes that the attack made by the Algiers was done so, within that time because Algerians portrayed unprecedented strength and because of previous French wars. Furthermore, he advances this notion by talking about population growth, which had occurred between 1904 and the outbreak of WWI, providing the Algiers with a significant population in 1956 willing and able to fight for independence. “While the native population of Algeria grew, the number of Europeans scarcely rose at all. The settlers found themselves a shrinking minority, giving the Algiers the motivation they required.” A steady rise in guerrilla attack over the following two years forced the French to call in reinforcements; eventually, 400, 000 French militia troops were stationed in Algeria. The guerrilla tactics effectively immobilized superior French forces, while indiscriminate murders and kidnappings of Europeans and Muslims who did not actively support the FLN, created a climate of fear throughout the country. The guerilla movement was under extreme pressure, therefore required as much support as possible leading guerillas to engage in fear tactics, which resulted in increased support. In 1956 the war took a significant turn spreading to the cities. In Algeria, cafés, schools, and shops became targets, as the nationalists sought to weaken French morale and draw international attention to their cause. The French militia ruthlessly put down the Algiers uprising as quickly as possible in order to prevent this conflict from becoming an international dilemma. These attacks within the cities began to show the rest of the globe that this conflict was in fact uncontrollable by the French, leading to negative views. Although the cities turmoil was catastrophic, elsewhere, the French gradually gained advantage by using new tactics. Collective punishment was inflicted upon whole villages suspected of aiding or supporting guerrillas. Other groups were...
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