Making Algeria French
Making Algeria French relates the history of the pieds noirs and Algerians in colonial Bône, renamed Annaba in 1962. Located in eastern Algeria, this Mediterranean port city staked an early claim to world historical fame as the site of St. Augustine's Hippo. Long after the Romans, as well as the Arabs and Turks, the French tried their hand at settling Algeria. Not content with mere occupation, they constructed colonial cities along the Mediterranean littoral -Algiers, Oran, Bône - and populated them with twice as many European settlers - French, Spanish, Italians, and Maltese - as native Algerians. Using the history of Bône as a lens, David Prochaska looks at the nature of French colonialism in Algeria. His study is based on research in the former Bône municipal archives, generally barred to researchers since 1962. Prochaska concentrates on the formative decades of settler society and culture between 1870 and 1920. After an overview of Bône in 1830, and a survey of French rule from 1830 to 1870, he describes in turn the economic, social, political, and cultural history of Bône through the First World War. He argues that, in making Bône a European city in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the settlers effectively blocked social evolution, attempted to contain history, and thereby precluded any genuine rapprochement with the Algerians in the twentieth century.