What did French opponents of Algerian independence envision for Algeria's future?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,239
SoCal
What did French opponents of Algerian independence envision for Algeria's future?

Specifically, what was their future vision for Algeria's Muslims? Did they intend for the existing status quo in Algeria to remain indefinitely? Or did they--or at least some of them--envision eventually granting full equality to Algerian Muslims (even though this would have given Algerian Muslims the ability to elect a significant proportion of the French Parliament--perhaps 40%--on account of the fact that their population was growing much more rapidly than France's population was growing)?

Any thoughts on this?

Indeed, I'm wondering if opponents of Algerian independence had a similar attitude towards Algerian Muslims as Hindu nationalists had towards Indian Muslims--specifically wanting the land that these Muslims lived in without actually wanting these Muslims themselves to be there.
 

johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,773
Cornwall
I'm sure this is answered in the other threads raised on Algerian independence.

I believe you are thinking a lot deeper than your average 1960 French person.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,239
SoCal
I'm sure this is answered in the other threads raised on Algerian independence.

I believe you are thinking a lot deeper than your average 1960 French person.
I'll check out those threads.

Also, you might be right. For instance, some Israelis want to hold onto the West Bank without thinking much about the Palestinian Arabs who live there.
 
Mar 2014
122
San Mateo County, California, USA.
I don't know the answer to that one. I always figured that France would give it a degree of autonomy, and use the laissez faire approach, yet retain a leadership position in the governing hierarchy. So, I figured that Algeria's Muslims would pretty much go about life in the same way they would if the country was independent.

It should be noted that the Algerian Rebels weren't above perpetrating atrocities. Some years ago, I read from the interview of a French Foreign Legionnaire who served in Algeria. He witnessed the aftermath of a massacred family who manned a lighthouse in Algeria. It was a gory scene.
 
Nov 2015
1,747
Bye, bye
To answer your question:
There were three streams of views.
1/ Independence with the variant of what is called "independance associée" (associated independence).
An independence gradually established through the training of managers and the establishment of infrastructures.
Done over a period of 10 to 15 years.
A similar project existed for Vietnam.

2/ Departmentalisation with complete equality of rights between Europeans and Muslims.
A bit like the DOM/TOM.
The equality that could be partial like that was seen in some French overseas territories until the early 1980s.
For example in New Caledonia.

3/ Status quo reclaimed by many Algerian "pieds noirs" on the theme of "we built this country"supported by part of the army on the theme of "nous avons été trahis en Indo" (we were betrayed in Indochina).
Probable opposition with the French government and the majority of the Metropolitan population.
And that's what happened.
There were 3 military coups in Algeria during this period and there was also the emergence of a "pied noir" terrorist movement: the OAS (secret army organisation).


 
Last edited:
Dec 2014
37
Israel
One thing really bewilders me in regard to the French last year of ruling Algeria.
The Europeans fought against the FLN, they called for "French Algeria" but There was a referendum in 1961 where 69% percent in Algeria and 75 % in France voted Yes for Self-determination,
in other words, they vote for the end of French Algeria, (Taken into account the only French citizens could vote )

Am I missing something? What's the explanation?
 
May 2017
1,186
France
In fact the demographic battle was lost,the economical transformation-to pass from colonialism to association- was bloked by the europeans (french and people from Spain and Italia),the social transformation impossible and any new politic considered by the partisans of the statu quo as a capitulation…….De Gaulle had no choice than to consult the people.At this time,my father was the secretary of the general Challe,and my oncle commandant in the sanitary service of the Legion.The adversaries of the independence said "the independence in 1954 ? We would have obeid to our chiefs,but it is different now,because we have fought and lost friends during height years,and we must take the suitcases ? Absolutely not".Others,more intellectual said "Algiers is France-not a protectorat as Tunisia and Marocco-we must fight to defend our four departments,Oran,Alger,Constantine,and the Sahara (one prefet for a territory 3 x France).
 
Mar 2015
1,456
Yorkshire
One thing really bewilders me in regard to the French last year of ruling Algeria.
The Europeans fought against the FLN, they called for "French Algeria" but There was a referendum in 1961 where 69% percent in Algeria and 75 % in France voted Yes for Self-determination,
in other words, they vote for the end of French Algeria, (Taken into account the only French citizens could vote )

Am I missing something? What's the explanation?
From the excellent (as always with Alistair Horne) book "Savage Peace" - 8th April, France voted over 90% to accept the Evian treaty ie Independence (in Horne's words "out of sheer lassitude").

OAS and FLN declared a truce on 17th June and on 1st July ALL VOTERS (including algerian nationalists) of Algeria voted - result was

5,993,754 votes Oui to Evian
16,478 non
10% spoilt abstained votes (overwhelming from Pied Noirs)

So the explanation is that France was tired of the war and wanted an end to it.

Pieds Noirs and their muslim supporters realised the game was lost and were looking for boat to escape.
 
Dec 2014
37
Israel
Pecavi
If I understand, the explanation for the results of ,"69% percent in Algeria voted yes" , was that the majority of Pieds Noirs didn't vote?
Do you mean by "spoilt abstained" that they voted "blanco" not Yes and not No , or that they even didn't came to the polls?

Still , it is strange as many of them fought with all their heart for French Algeria.
 
Mar 2015
1,456
Yorkshire
Pecavi
If I understand, the explanation for the results of ,"69% percent in Algeria voted yes" , was that the majority of Pieds Noirs didn't vote?
Do you mean by "spoilt abstained" that they voted "blanco" not Yes and not No , or that they even didn't came to the polls?

Still , it is strange as many of them fought with all their heart for French Algeria.


The last statement about the 1st of July vote is correct. However I missed out "or" in the spoilt or abstained. The pied noirs had given in by then and independence was a formality.

Now, I realise that what you are quoting is the earlier vote. Having written this piece, I am re-reading a bit more since its so confusing and complicated.

De Gaulle was amazingly, duplicitous or clever or crafty (take your pick, depending up your opinion) in mixing up a vote for himself, for the Fifth Republic, out-right independence, close association or total assimilation of the Algerian Muslim population into Metropolitan France.

BTW none were more affected by the troubles than the Algerian Jews, a community that had existed from Roman times or maybe earlier, increased by Jews fleeing medieval Spain , given French citizenship in 1870 but subject to widespread discrimination and prejudice by the Pied Noir. Their citizenship was revoked by the Vichy Government. Courted initially by the FLN ("homeland of the Algerian Jew is Algeria", the events in Israel\Palestine, resulted in an almost total exodus following independence.