In 1957, French Forces were able to militarily defeat and temporarily subdue FLN. However, to the surprise of the whole world, French President Charles De Gaulle opted for a political solution and announced independence for the Algerians in 1962. To what extent did the activities of FLN influence De Gaulle and what other factors can be identified which led to his surprising decision to grant independence to Algeria?
1. The Algerian War of Independence (1954–62) was a period of guerrilla strikes, maquis fighting, terrorism against civilians on both sides, and riots between the French army and colonists in Algeria and the FLN (Front de Libération Nationale) and other pro-independence Algerians. Although the French government of the time considered all Algerian violence, including violence against the French military, to be crimes or terrorism, some French people, such as former anti-Nazi guerrilla and lawyer(Jacques Verges) have compared French resistance to Nazi German occupation to Algerian resistance to French occupation.
2. The struggle was touched off by the FLN in 1954, only two years before France was forced to give up its control over Tunisia and Morocco. The FLN's main Algerian rival — with the same goal of Algerian independence — was the later National Algerian Movement (Mouvement National Algérien, MNA) whose main supporters were Algerian workers in France. The FLN and MNA fought against each other in France, and sometimes in Algeria, for nearly the full duration of the conflict.
3. Algeria was the greatest and in many ways the archetype of all anti-colonial wars. In the 19th century the Europeans won colonial wars because the indigenous peoples had lost the will to resist. In the 20th century the roles were reversed, and it was Europe which lost the will to hang on to its gains. Algeria was a classic case of this reversal.
4. In 1830 Algeria became a French territory and in 1848 was made a département attached to France . During this period political and economic power were held mainly by the minority of white settlers, and the indigenous Moslem minority did not have equal rights. Moslems were killed before independence was declared on July 5, 1962. Later that year the Algerian provisional government transferred authority to the Poli...
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...ely compelled French authorities to announce independence for the Algerian people. This war of independence passed through many ups and downs and millions of innocent people suffered badly but the ultimate will of the people found its way to the final success. Movement of such nature should always remain a source of inspiration and motivation for the deprived and suppressed people of the world.
Alistair Horne; A Savage War Of Peace, Algeria 1954 – 1962, Macmillan London Limited, London.
Tania Matthews; War in Algeria: Background for Crisis, Fordham University Press.
Dorothy Pickles; Algeria and France: From Colonialism to Cooperation, Methuen and co.ltd.
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