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8 Planting Colonies

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Chapter Summary

By the 1840s the French were clearly in Algeria to stay, and confirmed this by the planting of colonies. Not everyone believed the Army was there to protect colonists: Bugeaud was himself the originator of military colonies on the ground, "où le colon était soldat et où le village était caserne". The idea was supported long before he arrived in Algeria. This chapter begins with a brief account of the Bureaux Arabes and how they helped both colonists and Arabs. Since land often had to be properly prepared to be worth colonising, the clearance and settlement of the Mitidja is discussed. The chapter examines how villages both French and Arab fared, and the impact their establishment had on the antiquities. If most of the large ancient monuments were on sites taken over by the French, this was not always the case; and it was villages, often newly-founded on Roman sites.

Keywords: Algeria; Arab; Bugeaud; Bureaux Arabes; military colonies; Mitidja



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