This Happened — November 1: A War Begins That Would Change Two Nations
Starting in 1954, the Algerian War was fought between France and the Algerian National Liberation Front, and ultimately led to Algeria winning its independence in 1962, ending more than a century of French colonial rule.
What caused the Algerian war?
The French invasion of Algiers in 1830 would begin more than a century of colonial rule by Paris over the territory of modern-day Algeria, which was fully integrated into the French state four years later until its independence.
Algeria was a longtime destination for European immigrants, and their descendants, who came to be known as the "pieds-noir" (black feet) population.
After promises of self-rule in Algeria went unfulfilled after World War II, Algerians eventually rose up against the French government to seek autonomy.
The war took place mainly on the territory of Algeria, with repercussions in metropolitan France. As the war continued , the French public slowly turned against its own government and many of France's allies, including the United States, switched from supporting France to abstaining in the UN debate on Algeria.
How did the Algerian war start?
The Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) launched a series of 70 attacks against French targets across Algeria on Nov. 1, 1954. It was what came to be commonly referred to as "Toussaint Rouge" (Red All Saints' Day), or Toussaint Sanglante (Bloody All-Saints' Day), and is considered the beginning of the War in Algeria.
While the FLN attacked government buildings, they also issued a broadcast from inside Egypt (where Gamal Abdel Nasser had recently led a revolution), which called for Muslims inside Algeria to join the struggle for self-rule and democracy, within the framework of Islamic principles.
Who won the Algerian War?
The French military relied primarily on neighborhood raids, arrests, and torture, focusing its sweeps in the Casbah slum, an opposition stronghold. More than 100,000 Muslim and 10,000 French soldiers were killed in the more than seven-year Algerian War, along with thousands of Muslim civilians and hundreds of European colonists.
On July 1, 1962, Algerians overwhelmingly approved a peace agreement promising independence. French aid to Algeria continued, and Europeans were given the choice to return to their native countries, remain as foreigners in Algeria, or take Algerian citizenship. Most of the one million Europeans in Algeria left the country.
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