Why didn't many Irish people settle in Algeria?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,537
SoCal
#1
A 1929 article about Irish people moving to Algeria caught my eye:

Irish emigration to Algeria

"Most Irishmen are familiar with Davis' thrilling poem The Sack of Baltimore, which tells the story of the swoop made by the Algerian corsairs in the seventeenth century on the village of Baltimore in the south-west of Cork county.

On that occasion the pirates took nearly 300 prisoners, who were subsequently sold as slaves in Algiers. It is, however, a curious, but little known, fact that there should have been in the nineteenth century voluntary emigration by Irishmen to the land of the Algerians.

Marshal MacMahon, desirous of diverting some portion of the stream of emigration from the country of his forefathers to the rich and fertile fields of Algeria, despatched a confidential agent to Ireland in 1869, with the result that about 150 Irishmen of the farming class set sail for Algeria in the October of that year. The experiment, however, proved a failure owing to lack of capital and the inroads caused by fevers, and in a few years the Irish colony vanished from this historic part of Northern Africa.

The Irish Times, December 27th, 1929."

The contents of this article made me wonder--why exactly was there a lack of capital invested in Irish settlement in Algeria in the 19th and early 20th centuries? Indeed, why exactly were large numbers of southern Europeans able to move to Algeria without any problem and stay there until Algerian independence in 1962 while the Irish never managed to create large, permanent settlements in Algeria of their own?

Was it because Algeria's climate and culture was too different for the Irish to integrate into? Or was there another reason for this?
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,537
SoCal
#2
I wonder if @johnincornwall has any thoughts about this.

Also, it's worth noting that France already controlled Algeria during the Irish famine of the 1840s. Thus, I wonder why France didn't try to recruit a lot of Irish people to move to Algeria either during this time or sometime afterwards.
 
Aug 2014
4,011
Australia
#5
I don't think your definition of "a lot" is the same as everyone else's. There was a Jihad declared only two years after French occupation and within seven years it had gained control of more than two-thirds of the country.

Hundreds of thousands migrated to Algeria but many were killed. Today less than 1% of the population is white.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,537
SoCal
#6
I don't think your definition of "a lot" is the same as everyone else's. There was a Jihad declared only two years after French occupation and within seven years it had gained control of more than two-thirds of the country.

Hundreds of thousands migrated to Algeria but many were killed. Today less than 1% of the population is white.
That's because almost all of the Europeans in Algeria fled after Algeria acquired independence in 1962.
 
Nov 2010
7,404
Cornwall
#7
Resistance to French occupation was pretty widespread. White settlers didn't live long.
I don't think your definition of "a lot" is the same as everyone else's. There was a Jihad declared only two years after French occupation and within seven years it had gained control of more than two-thirds of the country.

Hundreds of thousands migrated to Algeria but many were killed. Today less than 1% of the population is white.
Futurist is right on this occasion Dan. You are describing a post-WWII situation really. As Futurist has posted recently hundreds of thousands of 2nd and 3rd generation French and Spanish settlers had to leave Algeria on indepence. Whilst it got a bit hairy on the run up to Independence this society had been formed in the first half of the 19th century without too much grief away from the movie Beau Geste areas. Farming communities were well anchored although it was a firmly 2-tier society. Algeria is not a place I would have said had a national psyche too much. Unlike Morocco, which used to include, Tremecen, Oran and Mers-el-Kebir and had more of a national history (be it Almoravids, Almohads, Merinids or Sultans of Morocco) Algeria wouldn't have had organised 'resistance' as you put it.

On the Irish I can only speculate - I can't find anything - Futurist could you post a link?

Seems a very small number when you look at hundreds of thousands of French and Spanish going Algeria and hundreds of thousands of Irish going to America. You could speculate they were given poor land, maybe down toward the desert maybe in an area with hostile berbers? It does say 'fevers' and that wouldn't take much to take the heart out of a colony of 150 - maybe the rest are still there somewhere blended in?

It was the only option for a lot of French and Spanish. If you were in Ireland, USA sounds far more attractive than North Africa to me, for that period!!
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,537
SoCal
#9
Futurist is right on this occasion Dan. You are describing a post-WWII situation really. As Futurist has posted recently hundreds of thousands of 2nd and 3rd generation French and Spanish settlers had to leave Algeria on indepence. Whilst it got a bit hairy on the run up to Independence this society had been formed in the first half of the 19th century without too much grief away from the movie Beau Geste areas. Farming communities were well anchored although it was a firmly 2-tier society. Algeria is not a place I would have said had a national psyche too much. Unlike Morocco, which used to include, Tremecen, Oran and Mers-el-Kebir and had more of a national history (be it Almoravids, Almohads, Merinids or Sultans of Morocco) Algeria wouldn't have had organised 'resistance' as you put it.
For what it's worth, Algeria actually did have an organized resistance movement in the 19th century led by this guy:

Emir Abdelkader - Wikipedia

I don't know if this resistance movement was actually able to cause a lot of trouble to the Europeans in Algeria, though. It's possible that they lived far away from the main sites of resistance activity in the 19th century.

On the Irish I can only speculate - I can't find anything - Futurist could you post a link?
I did post a link. Take a look at my original post here and click on this part:

Irish emigration to Algeria

Other than this link, though, I couldn't find very much about this topic. :(

Seems a very small number when you look at hundreds of thousands of French and Spanish going Algeria and hundreds of thousands of Irish going to America. You could speculate they were given poor land, maybe down toward the desert maybe in an area with hostile berbers? It does say 'fevers' and that wouldn't take much to take the heart out of a colony of 150 - maybe the rest are still there somewhere blended in?

It was the only option for a lot of French and Spanish. If you were in Ireland, USA sounds far more attractive than North Africa to me, for that period!!
It's worth noting, though, that the US had virtually no restrictions on European--including French and Spanish--immigration until 1917 (which is when a literacy test was passed, to be followed by national quotas in the 1920s). In turn, this raises an interesting question--why did a lot of southern Europeans move to Algeria instead of the US? Indeed, what made Algeria so attractive to southern Europeans but not to the Irish? Was it the climate?