The Algerian War of Independence begins


French Paras in Algeria during the Algerian War Source

Monday, 1 November 1954

On the 1 November 1954, small units of Algerians organized by Front de Liberation National (FLN) attacked government buildings. These attacks were fuelled by a broadcast made by FLN in Nasser’s Egypt, which called for Muslims in Algeria to join a national struggle for restoration of an Algerian state that would be democratic and sovereign within the framework of Islamic principles.

The French’s conquest of Algeria started in 1830 and by 1848 the Algeria was annexed as three French departments. During the colonial period the traditional patterns of land ownership were dismantled and reworked in favour of the French settlers as they were allowed to buy or confiscate land. By the mid 19th century the French Algeria society was polarized along racial lines. There was no harmony between the French and Algerian citizens as their relationship was based on racial violence.

The Algerian war began in 1954 and lasted until 1962. During the war over one million Algerians lost their lives. When the war started there were 200,000 Algerians living in France and 150,000 of those were employed. The FLN managed to organize those residing in France to finance the war for independence by taxing them. Eventually the war ended in 1962 and Algeria was granted its independence.

• Micro History and World timeline, Algeria and War 1954-62, from Micro History and World timeline [online] available at[accessed: 22 October 2014]
• History Today, French resistance and the Algerian war, from History Today [online] available at [accessed: 22 October 2014]

Last updated : 30-Oct-2015

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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