KABYLE REBELLION ALGERIA 1871: CLEAVAGES AMONG MUSLIMS JEWS CHRISTIANSDecember 21, 2006 at 1:46 am | Posted in Arabs, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Islam, Middle East, Military | Leave a comment
Peter Watkins movie,
“La Commune”: (Paris 1871)
Muslims, Jews, Christians & 1871
Algerian Rebellion follows Commune as Spillover
1870, Oct. 24The Crémieux Decree granted Algerian Jews, who numbered about 40,000, French citizenship. This privilege separated them from the Muslims, who began to associate the Jews with colonists. The Europeans refused to accept the decree in practice, and much of the Jewish population left for France.
1871, March 14A Kabyle rebellion was launched by Muhammad al-Muqrani in response to French imposition of rule over previously autonomous tribal area
The most serious native insurrection since the time of Abd al Qadir broke out in 1871 in the Kabylie and spread through much of Algeria.
The revolt was triggered by Crémieux’s extension of civil (that is, colon) authority to previously self-governing tribal reserves and the abrogation of commitments made by the military government, but it clearly had its basis in more long- standing grievances. Since the Crimean War (1854-56), the demand for grain had pushed up the price of Algerian wheat to European levels. Silos were emptied when the world market’s impact was felt in Algeria, and Muslim farmers sold their grain reserves– including seed grain–to speculators. But the community-owned silos were the fundamental adaptation of a subsistence economy to an unpredictable climate, and a good year’s surplus was stored away against a bad year’s dearth. When serious
drought struck Algeria and grain crops failed in 1866 and for several years following, Muslim areas faced starvation, and with famine came pestilence. It was estimated that 20 percent of the Muslim population of Constantine died over a three-year period. In 1871 the civil authorities repudiated guarantees made to tribal chieftains by the previous military government for loans to replenish their seed supply. This act alienated even pro-French Muslim leaders, while it undercut their ability to control their people. It was against this background of misery and hopelessness that the stricken Kabyles rose in revolt.On March 14, 1871, the Kabyle rebellion was launched under the leadership of Muhammad al-Muqrani who raised 25,000 troops and 100,000 followers.
On April 8 the leader of the Rahmaniyya Sufi order, Sheik al-Haddad, joined the Kabyle rebellion as a holy war against the French. He mustered 120,000 troops and spread the revolt to the eastern Sahara. Al-Haddad and his Sufi followers were forced to surrender in June 1871. Al-Muqrani was killed and his uprising suppressed in January 1872.In the aftermath of the 1871 uprising, French authorities imposed stern measures to punish and control the whole Muslim population. France confiscated more than 500,000 hectares of tribal land and placed the Kabylie under a régime d’exception (extraordinary rule), which denied the due process guaranteed French nationals. A special indigénat (native code) listed as offenses acts such as insolence and unauthorized assembly not punishable by French law, and the normal jurisdiction of the cudah was sharply restricted. The governor general was empowered to jail suspects for up to five years without trial. The argument was made in defense of these exceptional measures that the French penal code as applied to Frenchmen was too permissive to control Muslims.
HISTORY 1600 – 1900
Algeria was brought into the Ottoman Empire by Khair ad-Din and his brother Aruj, who established Algeria’s modern boundaries in the north and made its coast a base for the corsairs; their privateering peaked in Algiers in the 1600s. Piracy on American vessels in the Mediterranean resulted in the First and Second Barbary War with the United States. Those piracy acts were affected by the slave trade. It forced people captured on the boats into slavery or took people from attacked coastal villages in southern Europe. At the same time, Europe also devoted itself it to piracy. However, in the XIX century there was no corsairs.
On the pretext of a slight to their consul, the French invaded Algiers in 1830. Algerians were exterminated as explained by Olivier Le Cour Grandmaison.In contrast to Morocco and Tunisia, the conquest of Algeria by the French was long and particularly violent since it resulted in the disappearance of about a third of the Algerian population.
.However intense resistance from such muslim personalities as Emir Abdelkader, Ahmed Bey and Fatma
N’Soumer, the French made a slow conquest of Algeria. It was not technically completed until the early 1900s when the last Tuareg were conquered.
Meanwhile, however, the French made Algeria an integral part of France, a status that would end only with the collapse of the Fourth Republic. Tens of thousands of settlers from France, Italy, Spain, and Malta moved in to farm the Algerian coastal plain and occupy the most prized parts of Algeria’s cities. These settlers benefited from the French government’s confiscation of communally held land, and the application of modern agriculture techniques that increased the amount of arable land.
Starting from the end of the 19th century, people of European descent in Algeria (or natives like Spanish people in Oran), as well as the native Algerian Jews (typically Sephardic in origin), became full French citizens. After Algerian independence they were called Pieds-Noirs. In contrast, the vast majority of Muslim Algerians (even veterans of the French army) received neither French citizenship nor the right to vote. Algeria’s social fabric was stretched to breaking point. During this period literacy plummeted, while land confiscation uprooted much of the population. However, the population increased steadily.
Before the putsch of 2 December, 1851 in France, 131,000 Europeans including 66,000 French were installed in Algeria. This was despite that fact that the extension of colonisation was made difficult due to the maintaince of intagibillity of individual property and the banning of transactions over tribe’s territory. This name replaces the old name “Possessions françaises dans le Nord de l’Afrique” not because of an official act, like a decree or an ordonance. Indeed, a letter from General Schneider, Ministre of War, dated from 14 October, 1839 to Marechal Valee, General Governor, states that the name Algérie (Algeria) shorter and most sgnificant, must be used in all acts and certificates issued by military and civil authorities.
1. 1857–67The first Franco-Arab colleges, secondary schools for Muslim students of the urban upper classes, were founded in Algiers, Constantine, and Oran. A teacher training college opened in 1865, with ten Muslim student teachers in attendance, and a school of arts and crafts was opened in Kabylia in 1867. These French innovations did not undo the damage caused by the closure of 2,000 Islamic primary schools during the uprisings.
1857–71The French pacified the Province of Kabylia, home to the Berber Kabyle tribe.
1864–83The revolt of the Awlad Sidi Shaykh of the Oran Province engulfed much of southwestern and south central Algeria. A confederation of tribes organized around marabouts rebelled, helped by spies attached to local tribes, who kept track of French officials and supplies and indicated the right times for revolts.
4. 1865, July 14The French Sénatus Consulte allowed Algerians to obtain citizenship if they agreed to accept French civil law. Muslims would no longer be governed by Islamic law in matters of marriage, divorce, and inheritance. The latter was particularly important to the French, who hoped to attain legal rights over the lands of new Muslim citizens. The stratagem failed, and by 1906 only 1,362 Muslims had received French citizenship.
1866Death of Mustafa ibn Azuz, rebel and leader of the Rahmaniyya Sufi order, who directed insurrections in eastern Algeria from his base in Tunisia. His center at the Nafta oasis became a center for Algerian refugees, illegal arms, and propaganda. Due in part to the example of Ibn Azuz, who was known as the Saint of Nafta, the Rahmaniyya order, founded at the end of the 18th century by a Kabyle Berber, attained the largest membership in eastern Algeria.
Famine resulted after locusts and animal epidemics hit the interior of the country. With the French export of grain, Algeria no longer had its customary reserves, and at least 300,000 died of hunger and the attendant epidemics of typhus and cholera.
7. 1870, Oct. 24
The Crémieux Decree granted Algerian Jews, who numbered about 40,000, French citizenship. This privilege separated them from the Muslims, who began to associate the Jews with colonists. The Europeans refused to accept the decree in practice, and much of the Jewish population left for France.
8.1871, March 14
A Kabyle rebellion was launched by Muhammad al-Muqrani in response to French imposition of rule over previously autonomous tribal areas. Al-Muqrani found 25,000 troops and 100,000 followers. On April 8 the leader of the Rahmaniyya Sufi order, Sheik al-Haddad, joined the Kabyle rebellion as a holy war against the French. He mustered 120,000 troops and spread the revolt to the eastern Sahara. Al-Haddad and his Sufi followers were forced to surrender in June 1871. Al-Muqrani was killed and his uprising suppressed in Jan. 1872. Eleven million acres of land were seized by the French in retribution to provide additional land for colonists.9.1873
The Warnier Law promulgated by the French government provided a means for the dispossession of privately owned Muslim land (mulk). Arabs lost their most fertile coastal lands to colonists in a process that continued until 1890.
The native code (code de l’indigénat) was promulgated. It imposed a series of discriminatory laws upon Algerians, who could be held, charged, and imprisoned without a trial. Algerians could be placed under surveillance and were not allowed to travel in the country without a permit. These laws were enforced until 1927.
11.1886, Sept. 10 A decree by the French government attempted to obliterate the authority of the Islamic legal system by decreeing that in matters of property or criminal proceedings, Algerians were subject to the French legal system.12.
1896, Dec. 31 The governor-general of Algeria was ceded control of ministries previously located in Paris, and French colonial control was localized in North Africa.