The Algerian War

The Algerian War, also known as the Algerian War of Independence or the Algerian Revolution (Arabic: ?????? ?????????? Al-thawra Al-Jazaa’iriyya;, Berber: Tagrawla Tadzayrit;, French: Guerre d’Algérie or Révolution algérienne) was a war between France and the Algerian National Liberation Front (French: Front de Libération Nationale – FLN) from 1954 to 1962, which led to Algeria gaining its independence from France. An important decolonization war, it was a complex conflict characterized by guerrilla warfare, maquis fighting, and the use of torture by both sides. The conflict also became a civil war between the different communities and within the communities 20. The war took place mainly on the territory of Algeria, with repercussions in metropolitan France.

Effectively started by members of the National Liberation Front (FLN) on November 1, 1954, during the Toussaint Rouge (“Red All Saints’ Day”), the conflict led to serious political crises in France, causing the fall of the Fourth French Republic (1946–58) replaced by the Fifth Republic with a strengthened Presidency. The brutality of the methods employed by the French forces failed to win hearts and minds in Algeria, alienated support in metropolitan France and discredited French prestige abroad.2122

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After major demonstrations in Algiers and several other cities in favor of independence (1960) 2324 and a United Nations resolution recognizing the right to independence,25 De Gaulle decided to open a series of negotiations with the FLN. These concluded with the signing of the Évian Accords in March 1962. A referendum took place on 8 April 1962 and the French electorate approved the Évian Accords. The final result was 91% in favor of the ratification of this agreement 26 and on 1 July, the Accords were subject to a second referendum in Algeria, where 99.72% voted for independence and just 0.28% against.27

The planned French withdrawal led to a state crisis. This included various assassination attempts on de Gaulle as well as some attempts at military coups. Most of the former were carried out by the Organisation armée secrète (OAS), an underground organization formed mainly from French military personnel supporting a French Algeria, which committed a large number of bombings and murders both in Algeria and in the homeland to stop the planned independence.

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