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1 The French Conquest

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Chapter Summary

This chapter covers the early years of the conquest, and fleshes out some of the themes introduced. "Planning & logistics" and "Occupying the ground" approach Algeria largely from the Army's point of view, but inevitably influenced by the politics and intentions of mainland France. It discovers that these were so confused that commanders did much as they pleased, and the implementation of policies was rarely straightforward. The final section deals with "Reactions to the occupation". Those from Paris offer a broad range of opinions, while Britain is generally sceptical and sometimes scornful. In Algeria, the local press is naturally favourable, presenting feel-good opinions for established colons, and also giving a window into the destruction and sometimes preservation of antiquities. The military and governance aspects of the conquest went in phases, and these are easy to discern. The first task was to capture important cities such as Algiers and Constantine.

Keywords: Algeria; Britain; France; Paris



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