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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Between fanaticism and loyalty: Algerian prisoners within the French Mediterranean Empire
Author:Dzanic, Dzavid
Periodical:The Journal of North African Studies (ISSN 1743-9345)
Geographic terms:Algeria
Subjects:colonial period
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/13629387.2014.928209
Abstract:The violent military method of colonisation embraced by French governors general such as Thomas Bugeaud and the violent resistance espoused by local leaders such as?Abd al-Qadir have received the lion's share of attention in the existing scholarship on the first two decades of French rule in Algeria. Although some scholars have emphasised that a number of Algerians had become an integral part of the French army and fought on the French side in many important battles, indigenous notables' ideas on French imperialism, the civilising mission and their sense of loyalty remain opaque. This article examines the writings of a number of influential Algerian leaders who experienced captivity in the colonial prison in southern France during the 1840s and redefined their sense of loyalty as a result of that experience. Most of them jettisoned?Abd al-Qadir's ideology of violent resistance and attempted to prove their loyalty to France by pointing to their military service and their belief in the benefits of the French civilising mission, which they interpreted as the uniform extension of the French system of justice in Algeria. In addition, some of them attempted to harmonise the French monarchy with Islam by presenting the French conquest as a divinely ordained and thus legitimate event. By analysing the ideas of Algerian notables who adopted a new sense of patriotism, the article underscores the importance of re-examining the existing narratives of French imperial expansion in North Africa in order to recover the key role that indigenous collaboration played in that development. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]