Robert Aldrich. Greater France: A History of French Overseas Expansion (European Studies Series). New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996. x + 369 pp. $49.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-312-15999-3; $37.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-312-16000-5.
Patricia M. E. Lorcin. Imperial Identities: Stereotyping, Prejudice and Race in Colonial Algeria (Society and Culture in the Modern Middle East). London: I.B. Tauris, 1995. x + 323 pp. $69.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-1-85043-909-7.
Reviewed by Leland Barrows (UNESCO)
Published on H-France (March, 1999)
Scholarly Myths and Colonial Realities
The two books being reviewed reflect to varying degrees two intellectual currents that have been gaining momentum since the early 1980s: a general interest in what is called post-colonial studies and a rekindling of interest, particularly in France, in French imperial/colonial history. The first of these currents tends to be both international and interdisciplinary, owing much to the publication of Professor Edward Said's, Orientalism (New York: Vintage, 1979). The other, a more discipline-based current, reflects both French nostalgia for the former colonies and the coming to maturity of numbers of French scholars with colonial and/or Algerian backgrounds. Some of these are teachers who began their careers overseas before or after the independence of the territories in which they worked.
These books are of quite different genres. Robert Aldrich has written an introductory survey destined, as are all the volumes in the "European Studies Series" of St. Martin's Press, to be read by anglophone undergraduate university students. An associate professor at the University of Sydney, Aldrich is a specialist in French history with a strong interest in the current French presence in the Pacific. Like fellow-Australian, Stephen Henry Roberts, in whose footsteps he is to a greater or lesser extent treading, he has a particularly Australian interest in "the other empire" that from an Australian geographical perspective is almost as much present today as in the 1920s when Roberts wrote.
Patricia Lorcin's study is considerably more specialized and focused. The revised version of her Columbia University doctoral dissertation in history, it is a study of category formation, of why and how the French rulers of Algeria came to distinguish between the Berber-speaking inhabitants of Kabylie, the mountainous area of north-central Algeria, and the Arabic-speaking inhabitants of the plains. Lorcin focuses on the ways in which this distinction not only affected many aspects of the French perception of Algeria and of the native policies they developed here and elsewhere in French North Africa, but also on the evolution in nineteenth-century France of anthropology, ethnology, sociology, and other academic disciplines. In short, her study is a contribution to the intellectual history of colonialism as well as to French intellectual history, even if it is published as part of a series entitled "Society and Culture in the Modern Middle East."
Aldrich's book is a tour d'horizon of the history of overseas France, particularly in the nineteenth century. In 325 pages of narrative and topical description distributed among twelve chapters, it summarizes the history of the French overseas possessions and examines a number of related questions. These questions include the debates in France about the pros and cons of colonial expansion, the personnel of empire, including soldiers and settlers, theories of colonial administration, and colonial economic policy. Two chapters evoke some of the ground which Lorcin has covered: Chapter Six on "The French and the 'Natives,'" particularly a discussion of "Racism and Cultural Superiority," and Chapter Seven, "Colonial Culture in France," with its references to Pierre Loti, Alphonse Daudet, and Louis Bertrand and to the influence of the overseas possessions on French literature, scientific research, art, photography, and cinema. There are also rubrics on missionaries and explorers. An epilogue comments on the colonial heritage in France today, particularly the presence of immigrant communities, the continuation of colonial trade links, the continued existence under the French flag of the DOM's and the TOM's (overseas departments and territories), and in the latter case, the anti-colonial agitation in New Caledonia.
Lorcin's deconstruction of the so-called Kabyle myth combines chronological sequencing and thematic analysis of a period of Franco-Algerian history running from approximately 1830 to 1900. By "Kabyle myth," Dr. Lorcin refers to a body of beliefs, beginning almost as soon as General Louis Auguste Victor Bourmont's expeditionary army had captured Algiers. According to this myth, the mountain-dwelling Berber-speaking sedentary peoples, particularly those of the Kabylie region of north-central Algeria, were somehow "superior" to the Arabic-speaking "nomadic" peoples of the plains; the former were more like the French themselves than were the latter, and they could therefore be more easily assimilated to French culture than the Arabs.
Lorcin holds that although the body of opinion which arose about the Kabyles never led to special French legislation in Algeria for them as distinct from the other indigenous peoples (and here she somewhat contradicts the view of Charles-Robert Ageron, the dean of French historians of post-1830 Algeria), these opinions had a tremendous influence on the development of French ethno-racial attitudes as reflected in practice, popular attitudes, and in many academic disciplines. Thus, Lorcin has elaborated a synthesis of French attitudes towards the Kabyle people, particularly the attitudes of persons of various occupational categories having a link to French Algeria during distinct periods of military (1830-1870) and then of civilian rule. She has traced the influence of these attitudes not only as they affected native (versus settler) policies in pre-independence Algeria but also in regard to the evolution of French indigenous policies elsewhere, particularly in Morocco after 1912, and finally as a major divisive factor in independent Algeria.
Three sets of motivations have shaped Lorcin's work: a desire to study the intellectual history of European imperialism, "an interest in the mechanics of marginalization and the formation of social hierarchies" the elites of which "emerge to impose their will or [to] exercise control over areas beyond the realms of politics and economics" (p. 1), and finally, her disagreement with some of Ageron's views.
Although Lorcin credits Ageron with coining the terms "Berber Vulgate" and "Kabyle Myth," she takes issue with what she considers to be his overly political explanations for the origins and utilization of the Myth as a simple question of divide and rule (what in different contexts and in a later era Generals Joseph Simon Gallieni and Hubert Gonzalve Lyautey would call "la politique des races," as described by Aldrich, p. 106). She finds that the idea of Kabyle superiority, i.e., "notions of the good Berber and the bad Arab," came to permeate more than simply the political realm. They also influenced the humanities, social sciences, religion, and art in so far as they touched Algeria and were reflected by the Algerian experience back to France itself. The way Lorcin presents the situation, this myth, that really began as a legitimate French reaction to certain realities of Kabyle society, developed a force and an autonomy of its own.
The evolution of the myth was influenced by the realities of a difficult conquest, by the role of Islam and of Arabic-speaking so-called nomads in the Algerian resistance to conquest, by the socio-economic and cultural evolution of the Kabyles themselves, by military versus civilian conceptions of colonial domination, and by the links to all of the above to nascent ideas on race, ethnicity, culture, and government which developed in France in the nineteenth century in various milieux. These emerging ideas in turn reinforced the myth almost as a dialectical progression, thus transforming "Kabyle-Arab imagery" into "the Kabyle Myth" (p. 3).
Although Lorcin makes certain veiled criticisms of Ageron, she has to a great extent used his writings as the foundation for her study. She nevertheless displays great originality in presenting and analyzing the links between trends in anthropology, sociology, medical science, and literature in France and the French conquest and settlement of Algeria. In a sense, Lorcin has put the icing on Ageron's cake, but she has done considerably more as well. She has provided a fascinating post-colonial study of the evolving intellectual results of and justifications for French rule in Algeria.
Both narrative and thematic chapters depend to a great extent on the biographical approach which Lorcin has adopted in regard to the many individuals who made important contributions to thought, images, and policy. She stresses the importance of graduates of the Ecole polytechnique--including Juchault de la Moriciere, Ernest Carette, Louis Leon Cesar Faidherbe, and Louis Joseph Hanoteau--who continued a scholarly tradition the roots of which go back to Bonaparte's Egyptian campaign. She examines the role of the medical corps, particularly the writings and theories of Dr. Auguste Hubert Warnier, one of the best known French specialists on the Kabyle people, and of Dr. Louis-Adrien Berbrugger, an Arabist who helped set up the National Library in Algiers. She evokes the work of scholarly societies founded in France and in Algeria, including the Societe de geographie de Paris (1821) and the Societe anthropologique de Paris (1859), and the work of such anthropologists as Paul Broca and Paul Topinard. Finally, she identifies and analyses a "settler myth" that by the early twentieth century, according to her, had eclipsed the Kabyle myth. The new myth was given particular ideological and intellectual respectability by the French writer and Academician Louis Bertrand, whose work Lorcin describes in some detail.
Both books reflect varying degrees of disapproval of colonialism. For both authors, disapproval seems primarily to be a reflection of the fact that they are studying and writing about a phenomenon--a period in history--that, if not totally discredited, is a thing of the past. It still behooves a historian working in this area to be careful not to moralize after the fact or to forget that what finally occurred was not inevitable and that the protagonists at the time did not have the benefit of the hindsight possessed by the contemporary historian.
These words are particularly applicable to Dr. Lorcin. While castigating so many of the writers, soldiers, ethnologists, anthropologists, medical doctors, and administrators for having created and then for having derived stupid and sometimes harmful conclusions from the premises of the Kabyle myth, she has nevertheless been forced to admit that the social, cultural, economic, and religious characteristics of the Kabyle people upon which the Kabyle myth was based did exist and that for the most part French observers recorded them correctly. And yet while insinuating that so many of these observers drew the wrong conclusions from correct evidence, she rarely suggests to the reader what the "correct" conclusions should have been. Likewise, a hint lurks throughout the study that Lorcin too finds the Kabyle myth beguiling. She also appears a bit annoyed that the French authorities in Algeria were not able to do more in the way of assimilating a major Algerian population group which did have more in common with the French themselves than did other Algerian groups. But since she knows the final outcome, she would prefer not to explore the might-have-beens while nevertheless wishing that some of the personages in her account had been more prescient. One suspects that for Dr. Lorcin writing this book represented as much an emotional as an intellectual effort.
Just as some of the early categorizations of Algerians made by French observers came to be set in stone, Lorcin seems to leave some of her own premises unquestioned. For instance, must of the time she seems to accept the Arab-Kabyle (Berber) dichotomy as a reality while criticizing contemporary observers who made too much of it. Yet most experts today consider that the actual numbers of Arabs who settled in Algeria were quite small. They simply had a major and lasting religious and linguistic influence.
Lorcin appears to accept, almost without question, the idea that the Arabs were nomads and that the Kabyles were sedentary. Without doubting that the Kabyle were and are sedentary (as are also the Arabic-speaking Chaouia peoples of the Aures Mountains), one regrets that the author did not include some estimate as to how truly nomadic the Arabs were (and also as to how many of the nomadic tribes in Algeria, like the Ouled Nail, were in fact Berber speakers). There is a difference between fully nomadic peoples and those who practice transhumant semi-nomadism, the situation that seems to have been characteristic of the rural Algerian "Arabs" of the Tell (coastal zone) and of the High Plateaux at the time of the French conquest.
What seems, however, to prove a degree of fixity on the part of the Arabs is that the French could defeat them by destroying their "interests": sequestering or burning the stocks of grain which they stored in underground--therefore fixed--silos; cutting down or burning fruit trees, burning crops before they could be harvested, and capturing herds of livestock. Ultimately the French used much the same tactics, the destruction of "interests," to quell the Kabyles only with some adaptation to a mountainous terrain and a with a greater emphasis on the destruction of physical property (homes). The similarity of tactics, however, suggests that the "enemies" in both cases had much in common.
Then throughout her study Lorcin insists that the factor which most separated the French from the indigenous inhabitants of Algeria was race. Yet she also makes particularly clear near the end of her study that she is exploring a conception of race that is not racial--or at least not racial in the biological sense. She writes that "Race became the inflexible determinant that indefinitely separated the indigenous and settler sectors of the population" (p. 253). Moreover, "the notion of race in Algeria under civilian rule was predominantly a cultural one" because "A clear racial distinction had to be maintained between the settler and the indigenous population, and if this could not be done physically it had to be done culturally" (p. 253). But if perceived racial distinctions are not based on physical criteria, then can one really be speaking of race? Would it not be more accurate to designate the ensuing racism that clearly was not based on race as bigotry, ethnocentrism, xenophobia, in short, as pseudo-racism rather than as racism? In other words, the fact that a number of nineteenth-century French luminaries developed theories of race that confused ethnicity, language, religion, and political economy--and that were mistaken--should have made the author leery of accepting any of them as an explanation as to what went wrong between the French residents of Algeria and the indigenous inhabitants, other than the fact of foreign conquest itself.
One notes that articulate French people who were involved both with North Africa and with Black Africa were quite clear in their understanding that Algeria was part of White Africa, and that Black Africa, from a racial point of view, was something different from the Maghreb. Worth citing is an early publication by Louis Leon Cesar Faidherbe, whose later anthropological writings in collaboration with Paul Topinard and inspired by Paul Broca, Dr. Lorcin cites favorably. Referring to the English practice of disguising white actors who played the role of Othello as Blacks, he editorialized that such a practice was a "facheux contre-sens, qui n'a pu exister dans l'idee de Shakespeare et qui rend invraisemblable le plus beau des chefs d'oeuvres dramatiques. Supposez qu'Othelle soit reellement un de ces beaux types de la race arabe, de cette race enthousiaste, poetique et passionnee, que tout le monde connait maintenant en France par ces deputations de chefs qu'on a envoyes, a plusieurs reprises, visiter Paris, et le drame d'Othelle est une oeuvre parfaite. Mettez a sa place un negre au cheveux crepus, et tout devient faux et contre nature; tout l'interet s'en va avec la vraisemblance, et Desdeamona n'est plus qu'une espece de monstre aux gouts depraves.
Another French military man of a later period, General Charles Mangin, also made the point clear. A strong partisan of the recruitment of Black African troops into the French Army for use in an eventual European war, he argued that because the nervous systems of Blacks were "less developed" than those of Whites causing Blacks to lack foresight and thus not to feel anxiety, Black soldiers would make excellent shock troops fit for the most dangerous of missions. General Paul Azan, on the other hand, a prolific military historian specializing in the history of the French conquest of North Africa and having a penchant for North African indigenous troops, argued strongly that the North African "native" Army would always be superior to the Black Army because "la race blanche est incontestablement plus intelligente..., et guerriere que la race noire." In short, these examples of "real" racism illustrate a somewhat different type of mind-set than that evoked by attempts to distinguish between Arab and Berber as well as between the French colons in Algeria and the indigenous Muslims by referring to cultural and religious differences (even if the actual material and psychological effects on the indigenous people who had to bear the brunt of this pseudo-racism might be the same as in situations of true racism in colonial Kenya or in Alabama of sixty years ago).
Other than the intrusiveness and exploitiveness of France as a conquering power, the basic problem between the French and the Algerians was religious. The problem became permanent because of the failure of the French government to impose the full naturalization of the indigenous peoples, en masse, particularly after 1865, and not really the immutability of Muslim law and unwillingness on the part of Muslims to commit apostasy, the explanation which Lorcin has adopted unquestioningly, as have most students of the subject. Nevertheless, it is not clear that adopting a French civil status in order to become a full French citizen was tantamount to repudiating one's Muslim faith. A Muslim would simply have had to give up certain non-essential practices, for instance, polygamy.
Individual Algerians (albeit very few of them) did take full French citizenship, and they certainly did not stop being Muslims. Indeed, there were a few Frenchmen who converted in the other direction, Ismael Urbain, for instance. He continued to be a French citizen after his conversion and was very much part of the French establishment in Algeria, particularly during the Second Empire. Indeed, one is curious about the few cases which Lorcin cites of prominent French officers and functionaries who married indigenous Muslim women: Rene Francois Edouard de Neveu and Louis-Adrien Berbrugger, among others. Did these men, as required by Sharia law, convert to Islam? How did their wives influence their feelings about Islam?
The tragedy for French Algeria was the failure of a Muslim Adolphe Cremieux to emerge in France, a person whose political activities at the center could have led to the imposition of French citizenship on the Muslims of Algeria the way the so-called Cremieux decree of 24 October 1870 imposed full French citizenship on the native Jews. Cremieux, who was minister of justice at the time, occupied a more powerful position in France (albeit undergoing serious crisis) than that held by Urbain at the time of the Senatus Consulte of 1865 (fixing the terms whereby Algerian Muslims could, at their request, become full French citizens) when he had some influence on Emperor Louis Napoleon regarding Algeria.
In response to the oft-repeated claim that the Algerians themselves rejected full French citizenship (and many sources make this point), it would be fair to state that the French authorities never offered them full citizenship under acceptable circumstances until too late, nor imposed it on them when imposition might have been possible. In describing the Senatus-consulte of 1865, Charles-Andre Julien recognizes that there was a reluctance on the part of the Muslims to seize the opportunity but also reluctance on the part of the French to allow them to seize it: "Les Arabes considererent comme une apostasie d'abandonner leur statut personnel et l'administration repugna a accorder la citoyennete aux elements les plus instruits ou les plus independents, qui echappaient de ce fait a son arbitraire...." The second half of the sentence explains it all.
The Algerian Jews, although already more assimilated than the Muslims, were nevertheless subject to the dictates of a personal status based on Mosaic Law. As Cremieux, himself a secular Jew, recognized, they were no more eager to take advantage, voluntarily, of the terms of the Senatus-Consulte than were the Muslims: "Ne leur dites pas: Soyez Francais si vous le voulez, car, volontairement ils n'abandonneront pas la loi de Dieu." It required the fiat of the Government of National Defense to make the Jews of Algeria full French citizens.
Possibly the problems of "native policy" and of the cohabitation of Muslim and Christian communities would have been easier for Lorcin to understand and to explain if she had been less insistent on viewing Algeria as a French "colony" rather than as a possession which never had the legal status of a colony, however much a colonial situation may have come into being between the French administration and the settlers, on one hand, and the indigenous peoples, on the other. The same could be said of Aldrich's conception of Algeria. The French ministry of war had responsibility for the conquest, defense, and administration of Algeria until October 1870. After that date, Algeria came under the purview of the ministry of the interior, just as in metropolitan France, through a decree the intention of which was to "assimilate Algeria to France."
In the opinion of this reviewer, the best analogy to draw in regard to the French experience in Algeria, one which is an aid to understanding because it deflects one's mind away from an immediate attempt to make comparisons with Indo-China, Senegal, and other tropical colonies, is that of the English experience in Ireland (even though French rule in Algeria did not come near to lasting as long). Here too one has the example of a subject people in a land with a temperate climate, separated from its conquerors and the country from which they came by differences in socio-political organization (decentralized Ireland seemed "tribal" in comparison to even the England of Henry II), by salt water, and then, following the Reformation, by religion.
The parallel with Ireland seemed clear to certain French leaders at the start of the French involvement in Algeria. As early as 1834, the Duke of Aumale was reported to have warned that "Il ne faut pas que l'Algerie puisse devenir une nouvelle Irlande." Having had the Anglo-Irish experience clearly in mind might have directed Lorcin (as well as Aldrich) if not to a more accurate at least to a more original perception of the settler/indigenous inhabitant confrontation in Algeria and have made clearer that the basic problem between France and Algeria, other than the French desire to dominate and not to share power, was religious.
Any evaluation of these two books must take into account the question of language. Being written in English, they are bound to be read by English-speakers many of whom will probably not know any French (particularly the case of Greater France, a broad introductory textbook). Their readerships will be skewed. Many more English-speakers, for the most part non-specialists, will be drawn to Aldrich's book simply because they may be unable to read books of higher quality in French on the same subject. On the other hand, Imperial Identities may not gain the francophone readership that it deserves. One can only hope that it will be translated into French very soon. Those students who can read French and wish to offer themselves a good introduction to the history of the French empire would be better advised to read the five volumes of the Editions Denoel series.
Certain parts of Aldrich's book are very good, particularly those that present facets of the intellectual history of French colonialism and of the reciprocal contacts of the French and non-western peoples. They carry the subject beyond the scope of the usual political and economic studies of colonialism. Yet there remains a problem of superficiality in this book which is probably inevitable given its broad sweep and scissors-and-paste approach to synthesis. More serious is the number of errors which crept into the text: for example, a map of colonial North Africa fails to show the boundaries of the Spanish Protectorate in Morocco (p. xii). Another map confuses Port-Etienne (Nouadhibou) in Mauritania, with Nouakchott, the post-1960 capital (p. 13). The sixteenth-century Bastion de France in Algeria is placed near Bone (Annaba) rather than at La Calle (El Kala) (p. 24). Cayor, a major coastal Woloff kingdom lying between Saint-Louis and Dakar in Senegal, is included among the polities of the Southern Rivers in Guinea-Conakry (p. 38). Contrary to what Aldrich writes, no Black African troops (i.e., Senegalese tirailleurs) took part in the French occupation of Saigon in 1859 (pp. 76-77). The troops to which he is referring were Algerian tirailleurs (some of whom might have been dark-skinned) on loan from the Army of Africa.
Lorcin's study is of a very different order. In addition to its high intellectual level, one must mention the elegant English in which the author writes that is in no way blemished by any use of "politically correct" vocabulary. She has, for instance, retained the French transliterations of all Algerian names and terms, and she uses the designation "Berber" throughout, rather than "Amazigh." Unfortunately Aldrich's writing is considerably less elegant.
Both books will reward those wishing to read further, for the sources upon which they are based are clearly indicated--in a more user-friendly way in the case of Aldrich's book than in the case of Lorcin's study. In addition to reference endnotes, Aldrich has included an eight-page bibliographical essay (pp. 343-51) highlighting recent French colonial historiography. Unfortunately, Lorcin has not chosen to provide the same sort of comprehensive bibliography for her book (as she did for her doctoral dissertation). Interested readers in search of specific references must peruse the endnotes of which there are many (pp. 255-95) and a short "Bibliographical Note" (pp. 310-14). This note lists several general bibliographies of Algeria, a few general works on racism and other broad topics related to the subject, the archival series which Lorcin consulted at the Section Outre-Mer (ANSOM) of the French National Archives in Aix-en-Provence and at the Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal in Paris, and finally, the titles of thirty-three specialized journals. The fact that notes are placed at the end of both books rather than at the foot of the page concerned is an inconvenience to the reader, particularly in the case of Imperial Identities, the notes and references of which are essential reading. It is difficult to understand how in this era of word processing and computer-assisted printing it is still possible for publishers to fail to place all notes and references in books at the foot of the text pages concerned.
As for the usefulness and value of both books, Greater France is recommended as a rapid survey of French colonial history for persons--undergraduate students--who cannot read better books written in French--or to more advanced students, in various domains of history, who are seeking an introduction to the historiography of French colonial history. Imperial Identities, on the other hand, is strongly recommended as a major contribution to French intellectual history. It is a scholar's book, to be read by specialists seeking new insights in regard to a problem as old as French involvement with Algeria. It also offers lessons on how to approach, define, do research on, and write about a complicated historical problem drawing upon a myriad of sources in a variety of disciplines.
. He has written two books on the subject: The French Presence in the South Pacific, 1849-1990 (London, 1990) and France and the South Pacific since 1940 (London, 1993).
. History of French Colonial Policy: 1870-1925, 2 vols. (London, 1963 reprint).
. In his article, "La France a-t-elle eu une politique kabyle," Revue historique, 223 (April-June, 1960), pp. 311-352, Charles-Robert Ageron indicates that for a short period (1881-1885) there was an effort on the part of the judge and administrator, Camille Sabatier, and the Governor-General of Algeria, Louis Tirman, to initiate if not a special Kabyle policy at least certain special dispositions to apply to the "Grande Kabylie." These included the founding of public lay primary schools, a taxation measure purporting to be in line with Kabyle customary law, and a local regulation banning the facial tattooing of Kabyle women so as to make them more attractive to French men. Unfortunately, Lorcin's treatment of Sabatier (pp. 159-63 and 307) does not make clear how much he wanted to encourage the assimilation of the Kabyles, particularly through intermarriage between French settlers and Kabyle women so as to "confier aux flancs feconds des filles kabyles la perpetuation de notre race" (Ageron, "La France a-t-elle eu une politique kabyle," p. 337).
. Ageron himself credits Dr. August Hubert Warnier as "le veritable auteur du 'mythe Kabyle'" (ibid., p. 314). Lorcin and Ageron likewise do not always agree on terminology. For instance, what she calls the "Berber Vulgate," he calls the "Algerian vulgate" or the "Kabyle mirage."
. Particularly Ageron, "La France a-t-elle eu une politique kabyle?"; Ageron, "La politique kabyle sous le Second Empire," Revue francaise d'histoire d'Outre-Mer, 52, 186 (1965): pp. 67-105; Ageron, Les Algeriens musulmans et la France (1871-1919), 2 vols. (Paris, 1968); and Histoire de l'Algerie contemporaine, vol. 2, De l'insurrection de 1871 au declenchement de la guerre de liberation: 1954 (Paris, 1979).
. Lorcin writes, "much of the ethnological information on the Arabs and Kabyles was exact; it was the value judgements, so often attached to the facts, that created the distortions" (p. 3).
. Bugeaud to Esclaibes, 26 mai 1838, Lettres inedites du marechal Bugeaud, duc d'Isly, 1808-1849), comp., Capitaine Tattet (Paris, 1923), pp. 179-182.
. Faidherbe, "Les Berberes et les Arabes des bords du Senegal," Bulletin de la Societe de geographie de Paris 4, 7, (1854), pp. 129-130.
. Mangin, La Force noire (Paris, 1910), pp. 77-80 & 89.
. Azan, L'Armee indigene nord-africaine (Paris, 1925), p. 58. Even when advocating very repressive measures, Azan always recognized in a non-racist albeit perverse way the human equality of the Muslim and the non-Muslim (settler) populations of Algeria. Indeed, his advocacy of repressiveness was a tacit admission of his belief in this equality. In an article that he wrote in 1903 on the "native question" he opposed assimilation for "raison d'etat"; because "Ce ne seraient plus les indigenes qui seraient administres par les Francais, mais les Francais par les Indigenes...." (Ageron, "La France a-t-elle eu une politique kabyle," p. 327, n. 2).
. A typical French view of 1912 was that of Achille Sebe, who wrote in La Conscription des Indigenes d'Algerie (Paris, 1912), p. 90: "Entre nous [the French] et lui [the Muslim Algerian] le fosse est toujours beant et il y aura une barriere infranchissable: la religion".
. In a different place and era (1926-28), the Turkish government of Kemal Ataturk proved that when a will existed to impose a western European conception of citizenship along with European civil, criminal, and commercial law on a Muslim people, and to disestablish Islam as the state religion, the task could be accomplished successfully. To carry the analogy a bit further, one should note the parallels between French settler attitudes towards even secularized Muslims and the strong resistance within the European Union today to the full admission of Turkey as a member state.
. Notably, Ageron, Histoire de l'Algerie contemporaine, I, pp. 31-33; Achille Sebe, Conscription, pp. 88-96.
. Julien, Histoire de l'Algerie contemporaine: la Conquete et les debuts de la colonisation (1827-1871) (Paris 1964), p. 434.
. Ibid., p. 467.
. She writes, "Algeria... was the first formal colony in France's nineteenth-century or second colonial empire," completely neglecting Senegal et Dependances, where plans to expand territorially, beyond Saint-Louis and Goree, had been put forward in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries.
. Except for a brief period when it shared authority for Algeria with a ministry of Algeria and the colonies which had an ephemeral existence between June 1858 and November 1860. During this period, the true French colonies, that were normally administered by the ministry of the navy, were taken over by this new ministry.
. Julien, Histoire de l'Algerie contemporaine, p. 465. Lorcin recognizes that "In November 1848 the colony was officially declared a part of France and divided into three departments" (p. 7), and this while Algeria was still under military rule. The basic French military corps in Algeria, the Army of Africa, which was designated in 1873 as the 19th Corps of the French Army, was part of the Metropolitan Army despite the special formations it engendered.
. That came to be viewed as a major delegitimizing factor; see A. F. Thornton, Doctrines of Imperialism (New York, 1965), particularly the author's statement that salt water corrodes empires.
. Ageron, L'Algerie algerienne de Napoleon a de Gaulle (Paris, 1980), p. 27, n. 1.
. The series includes the following: Jean Martin, L'Empire renaissant, 1789-1871 (Paris, 1987); Gilbert Comte, L'Empire triomphant, 1871-1936, vol. 1, Afrique occidentale et equatoriale francaise (Paris, 1990); L'Empire triomphant, 1871-1936, vol. 2, Maghreb, Indochine, Madagascar, Iles et comptoirs (Paris, 1990); Paul-Marie de la Gorce, L'Empire ecartele, 1936-1946 (Paris, 1988); and Jean Planchais, L'Empire embrase, 1946-1962 (Paris, 1990).
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Leland Barrows. Review of Aldrich, Robert, Greater France: A History of French Overseas Expansion (European Studies Series) and
Lorcin, Patricia M. E., Imperial Identities: Stereotyping, Prejudice and Race in Colonial Algeria (Society and Culture in the Modern Middle East).
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