Geography and Natural Resources
Being located in Northern Africa, along the Mediterranean coast, made this particular colony useful to France. It lies between Morocco and Tunisia. Algeria is divided into two major regions by the atlas mountains, which covers approximately one tenth of the country. the remaining nine-tenths is covered by the Sahara desert. The Mediterranean was one of the most potentially useful resources, so many of the major towns that France built were along the coastline. In the southern part of the country, water reserves in the ground also attracted large cities like Tamanrassot. The second most valuable of all the assets were the oil deposits along the eastern border with Libya. Iron and coal along the border with Morocco (northwest) was also of great use for the French, since they now had an availability of oil and coal to trade with other countries with limitless cheap labor. Agriculture was mainly practiced along the coast because of the rich fertile soil. since 90% of the country's land was desert, there isn't any other place that can sustain crops. A mass production of cash crops soon lead to a massive decline in the workforce's population so France had to change a few of their policies so they could still obtain a no-pay source of work. The climates are hot, dry summers along the coasts and even more dry air with cold winters.
This map to the left shows Algeria's (green) geographical relationship in regards to France (orange).
Daily and Previous Life
The coasts of Algeria were previously in the Roman's, Vandal's, and eventually the Ottomans in the 1500's. During the Napoleanic Wars, "Algiers" and other coastal cities sheltered pirates that used guerrilla warfare on the invading Europeans. When the congress of Vienna met, the Euro. countries made an agreement that consequences would follow suit if a country harbored pirates. Arabic is the main language in Algeria, and was the main language before the French arrived on the soil. To this day they still practice the Islamic religion and it still governs their personal, political, economic and legal lives.The family comes above all else, and it would have been extremely dishonorable if you were to disrespect your family. Since honor played a very important role in your family's status, you would act appropriately in the face of others since your family's honor was dependent upon you. The French imperialism experience in the past has resulted in French being the second language of many Algerians, and English is rarely spoken. Christianity also became the second religion because of the European invasion. Women cannot show their faces in public because it would be dishonorable and unfaithful to show their face to another man. fasting on holidays is required, meaning no eating, drinking, and smoking tobacco. Marriages could be previously arranged and the female must obey her husband or else she would dishonor her family.
When France started to imperialize, and attempted to erase Algeria's religion, they were met with fierce revolts. to the Islamic religion, if you were to switch over, that would be considered unfaithful and unworthy. since most people were devout, they fought as long as they could. Even today, they use the same fighting tactics, which was guerrilla warfare. where they would attack the enemy and then hide in the mountains until they were able to strike again. finally in 1872, the French stopped the revolt and constricted the Algerian people's rights immensely. Afterwards, they began imperializing without stopping. The French created industries, banks, schools, shops, and services similar to those in France. They had made their own lives better, but the Algerian's hatred continuously escalated. The French prohibited them from holding public meetings, carrying firearms, or leaving their homes/cities without permission from the French government. The people were French subjects legally, but they weren't citizens with full rights. If they wanted all of their rights, they would have to give up their religion and assimilate. Since the french basically had total control over the people, they extracted their natural resources with ease. This allowed for them to have a booming economy, and a lot of capital flew into the colony. Eventually, the restrictions got to the point where the people had an all out war for their independence. as seen in the picture below:
War of Independence:
War of Independence