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Algeria Timeline -- Part 2: Colonization to Independence

A Chronology of Key Events in Algeria

By Alistair Boddy-Evans, About.com

5 July 1830 Algiers falls to the French. The Dey, his advisors, and remaining Ottoman officials are exiled. A proposal that the disposition of the country should be decided by a European congress is abandoned as a result of the June revolution which removed the French king, Charles X, from power.
1832 Abd el-Kader, sheikh of the Qadiriyya Sufis, emerges as a resistance leader to French imperialism.
1834 French governor-general appointed. French begin colonization and settlement.
20 May 1837 Treaty of Tafna signed between France and Abd el-Kader, outlining their respective territories.
13 October 1837 The last Ottoman stronghold in Algeria, Constantine, is taken by the French.
November 1839 Abd el-Kader declares war on the French after their meddling in the administration of his territory. With support form both Arabs and Berber groups, he advances on Algiers.
February 1841 General Bugeaud begins his campaign against the forces of Abd el-Kader. He sets the foundations for future French rule in the colony.
14 August 1841 General Thomas Robert Bugeaud defeats an army sent by the Ottoman Sultan to support Abd el-Kader.
10 September 1844 France and Morocco sign the Treaty of Tangiers in which the Moroccan government agrees to proscribe Abd el-Kader.
1847 France finally subjugates the region.
21 July 1847 France determines that any land 'not in use' in Algeria can be appropriated for French settlers.
1848 Algeria is recognized as an integral part of France. The colony is opened to European settlers.
1881 France incorporates the three departments of Algiers, Oran, and Constantine into metropolitan France.
1902 Present borders of Algeria established.
c.1920 Khaled Ben Hachemi, aka Emir Khaled, the grandson of Abd el-Kader, is the leader of the 'Young Algerians', a nationalist group seeking equality for Algerians to French and European settlers.
1931 Association des Uléma Musulmans Algériens (AUMA, The Association of Algerian Muslim Clerics) founded by Sheikh 'Abd al-Hamid Ben Badis. The group is a social party rather than political, and looks to develop Muslim Algerian nationalism.
11 March 1937 The Parti du Peuple Algerien (PPA, Algerian People's Party) is formed by the veteran Algerian nationalist Messali Hadj, although it operates underground in Algeria.
1938 Ferhat Abbas forms the Union Populaire Algérienne (UPA, Algerian Popular Union) which called for equal rights for Algerian Muslims and the preservation of native Algerian culture.
1942 French Vichy administration of Algeria is lost when Allied forces seize control. Algeria becomes the base for the Free French.
December 1942 Ferhat Abbas, who heads independence movement, demands the creation of an Algerian constituent assembly following the fall of the Vichy administration.
10 February 1943 Ferhat Abbas releases the Manifesto for Algerian People calling for reforms, the end of colonization, and the recognition of Arabic as official language.
May 1943 Ferhat Abbas demands the creation of an independent Algerian state, and the prospect of a union between Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. The demand is rejected by the Free French administration.
March 1944 Amis du Manifeste et de la Liberté (AML, Friends of the Manifesto of Freedom) founded by Ferhat Abbas, calling for an Algerian republic with federal links to France. It has the support of the Parti du Peuple Algerien (PPA, Algerian People's Party).
1944 A limited number of Muslim Algerians offered French citizenship.
May 1945 Protests for independence in Sétif turn violent and French troops are called out. Estimates of Muslim dead range from 6,000 to 40,000.
1946 Ferhat Abbas forms the Union Démocratique du Manifeste Algérien (UDMA, Democratic Union of the Algerian Manifesto) which calls for the creation of an independent Algeria, rather than the country becoming a province of France. In June the UDMA won 11 out of 13 seats in the Constituent Assembly open to the colonists in Algeria. (The UDMA would eventually dissolve itself to allow its members to join the FLN).
October 1946 The Mouvement pour le Triomphe des Libertés Démocratiques (MTLD, Movement for the Triumph of Democratic Liberties) replaces the PPA, with Messali Hadj as president.
1947 The Organisation Spéciale (OS, Special Organisation) is formed as a paramilitary arm of the MTLD.
20 September 1947 A new constitution for Algeria is introduced. All Algerian citizens are offered French citizenship (of equal statues to those of France). An Algerian National Assembly is convened, but it is skewed to settlers compared to indigenous Algerians. Two 60 member colleges are created: one representing the 1.5 million European settlers, the other for 9 million Algerian Muslims. Highly restrictive voting qualifications leads to the majority of Muslims being excluded.
1949 The Organisation Spéciale (OS, Special Organisation) attacks the central post office of Oran.
1952 Several leaders of the Organisation Spéciale (OS, Special Organisation) are arrested by French Authorities. Ahmed Ben Bella, however, manages to escape to Cairo.
1954 The Comité Révolutionaire d'Unité et d'Action (CRUA, Revolutionary Committee for Unity and Action) is set up by several former members of the Organisation Spéciale (OS, Special Organisation) to lead the revolt against French rule in Algeria. Meetings in Switzerland by CRUA officials set out a future administration of Algeria after the defeat of the French, with six administrative districts (Wilaya) under the command of a military chief.
1 November 1954 The Comité Révolutionaire d'Unité et d'Action (CRUA, Revolutionary Committee for Unity and Action) changes its name to the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN, National Liberation Front). Its paramilitary wing is known as the Armée de Libération Nationale (ALN, National Liberation Army). Messali Hadj, under house arrest in Britany, France, founds the Mouvement National Algérien (MNA, Algerian National Movement) as a moderate alternative to the FLN. It is popular amongst Algerian Muslims living in France.
November 1954 Beginning of guerrilla attacks in the Aurès mountains signal the start of the independence struggle in Algeria. 450,000 French troops are deployed to combat the forces of the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN, National Liberation Front).
1955 Fighting between the FLN and French troops has extended to Constantine, the Kabylie, and the border with Morocco to the west of Oran.
April 1956 Moderate nationalists Ferhat Abbas and Ahmad Francis of the Union Démocratique du Manifeste Algérien (UDMA, Democratic Union of the Algerian Manifesto), currently in exile in Cairo, join the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN, National Liberation Front). The FLN now represents all of Algeria's nationalist groups except for Messali Hadj's MNA.
August 1956 Thirty-four member Conseil National de la Révolution Algérienne (National Council of the Algerian Revolution) established at a secret congress held in the Kabylie by members of the FLN.
September 1956 Battle of Algiers begins.
FLN begin bombing campaign. France responds by building electric fences along the borders with Morocco and Tunisia.
June 1957 French Assembly rejects proposals to link Algeria with France.
1957 A general strike is declared in the hope of influencing the UN debate on Algeria.
October 1957 FLN leaders enter into talks with Morocco over a proposed North African federation linked to France.
22 October 1957 Ahmed Ben Bella and three associates (Mohammed Boudiaf, Mohamed Khider and Hocine Aït Ahmed) are seized when flying from Morocco to Tunisia, the aircraft is forced to land at Algiers. They are interned for the duration of the war in France.
1958 French forces claim to have arrested all FLN members in Algeria, supposedly ending the ' Battle of Algiers'. However guerilla attacks continue.
8 February 1958 French aircraft bomb the Tunisian border village of Skhiet Sidi Youssif. The French government denies giving permission for the attack.
May 1958 Fearing that France will negotiate with the FNL, French generals under the command of General Jacques Émile Massu stage a coup.
Charles de Gaulle is called to head a government of national unity with specific powers to prevent the abandonment of Algeria. The Fifth French Republic is established following a referendum in metropolitan France and its colonies (in which Muslim women are allowed to vote for the first time). De Gaulle becomes president of France.
19 September 1958 A 'Free Algerian' government is established in Cairo with Ferhat Abbas as Head of the Gouvernement Provisoire de la République Algérienne (GPRA, Provisional Government of the Algerian Revolution) in rebellion. The existence of the GPRA was supposed to stop Charles de Gaulle holding a referendum on Algeria gaining autonomous status within La Communauté (the French community).
27 Aug 1961 Benyoucef Ben Khedda takes over as Head of the Gouvernement Provisoire de la République Algérienne (GPRA, Provisional Government of the Algerian Revolution) in Cairo.
1959 Charles de Gaulle proposes a referendum on independence for Algeria in the face of continued guerilla fighting. It is opposed by French colonists and French military personnel in Algeria. The Organisation de l'Armee Secrete (OAS, Organization of the Secret Army) is set up to oppose independence by those in Algeria.
1960 France suppresses French settler rebellion in Algeria.
1961 The Gouvernement Provisoire de la République Algérienne (GPRA, Provisional Government of the Algerian Revolution) and the French government agree to commence negotiations on independence. An Organisation de l'Armee Secrete (OAS, Organization of the Secret Army) coup in Algeria fails after four days.
1962 Formal ceasefire agreement, the Évian Accords, is signed with an agreement to hold a referendum on independence. Independence for Algeria is subsequently approved by a 91.2% vote.
3 July 1962 Independence is declared. Ben Bella is elected Prime Minister and Abderrahmane Farès as President of the Provisional Executive.

Algeria Timeline
Part 1: Prehistory to Colonization
Part 3: Independence to State of Emergency
Part 4: State of Emergency to Present Day

Algerian Leaders
Ahmed Ben Bella
Ferhat Abbas

Ottoman Terms in Africa

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